Universal Music Canada announced 19 job cuts last Friday (Jan. 11), as well as the departure of senior executives, as the company attempts to cope with sagging compact disc sales in the Canadian market.
The job cuts were from administrative positions, including finance and royalty departments. In addition, two high-level executives, senior VPs Sarah Norris and Steve Cranwell, were also part of the cuts.
Randy Lennox, chief executive at Universal Music, would not comment on the layoffs.
Universal Music is the largest and most successful of the four major labels operating within Canada. The company’s market share for 2007 was 38.2%, up more than 3% from a year previous.
However, overall sales of compact discs continue to decline in the country, and Graham Henderson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, which represents Canada’s major record labels, said revenue declined significantly in 2007 as well.
Compact disc sales dropped by 5.9 million last year, versus an increase in digital sales of 4.5 million (counting 10 single digital tracks on average as a single album). That led to an overall decline of 1.4 million albums.
Universal Music was the last of the Canadian major labels to be forced to cut staff following sizable job losses at EMI Music, Sony/BMG and Warner Music over the past two years.