Business Matters is a daily column that offers insight, analysis and opinion on the day's news.


-- The Wall Street Journal’s Aaron O. Patrick wrote a very thorough overview of Terra Firma's struggles with EMI. Notably, the private equity firm is trying to alleviate debt pressures. Terra Firma chief Guy Hands has considered the junk bond market to pay off part of Citigroup's loan. Sources told Patrick EMI is not generating enough profit to comply with Citigroup's £950 million ($1.54 billion) loan and will require more equity infusions - which are allowed under the terms of the loan - to avoid defaulting. Patrick addresses other issues, all interconnected with EMI's financial situation, such as the contrasts of the financial and entertainment worlds and EMI's inability to hire and retain effective digital executives. What does the future hold for EMI? Two scenarios seem the most plausible to Business Matters. One is a long, difficult period in which EMI struggles to grow revenue, meet its interest obligations, fulfill debt covenants and retake the marketshare it lost over the last three years. In the other scenario, Hands ceases equity injections, EMI defaults on its loan and Citigroup puts EMI's divisions up for sale. (Wall Street Journal)

-- Next month, the four majors will launch a streaming service that will offer Australian consumers unlimited music streams for AU $10 per month. The site, bandit.fm, is operated by Sony Music. The current version has free radio stations and MP3 downloads. (Sydney Morning Herald)

-- The New York Times has the first chapter of "Ripped" by music critic Greg Kot. Read it and you will get a critic-centric view of the industry's tumult over the last decade. It's the quality of the music, Kot argues, that has lead the industry through its downtown. Business Matters thinks the actual cause of the industry's challenges is obviously technology, which does not fit in the music critic's view of business, not the quality of music that has changed everything. Critics tend to romanticize the past and gloss over the pop schmaltz of yesterday. To them, the past was all about Bruce Springsteen and Prince. In reality, the charts of yesteryear were also dominated by the likes of the "Miami Vice" soundtrack and Phil Collins. Selective memory works better in music criticism but is problematic in assessing causes of changes in business conditions. (New York Times)

-- Rhapsody has added functionality with Facebook and Twitter. (Digital Noise)

-- Trees, the venerable venue in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, has reopened three years after being closed. The new owner put $750,000 into the renovation and reopening. (WFAA-TV)


Follow Billboard senior analyst Glenn Peoples on Twitter at twitter.com/billboardglenn.

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