Label faces major shake-up...
Jason Gregory

09:37 8th October 2007

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Guy Hands, the new owner of EMI Records, has told his employees that they must look for digital alternatives to the music CD.

Hands’ request was made in a confidential email to EMI staff just days after Radiohead – a former band of EMI – announced that they would allow fans to choose the price of their new album, ‘In Rainbows.’

In the email, Hands reportedly described Radiohead’s decision to offer the album as a download as a “wake-up call” to the company.

He added: "The recorded music industry... has for too long been dependent on how many CD's can be sold, rather than embracing the digital revolution and all the opportunities is brings for promotion, the industry has stuck its head in the sand."

Hands took over at EMI after the record label was brought by the private equity firm Terra Firma in August.

According to the BBC, Hands also questions the second-tier salaries of EMI executives in the email and distances himself from advance payments made to artists.

In 2002, for example, EMI paid Robbie Williams £80 million in return for the right to keep the profits from his releases.

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