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Horizonal vs. Vertical
The Rise of the Big Six/Five
Changing Tastes and Genres
Instant Gratification
The Influence of Technology
Value-Added Chain
EMI and Time Warner
Global Interaction Perspective
Imports & Exports
Big Six Profile
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A Introduction to Competitive Strategies

By the mid 1990ís, the top four distributing firms, WEA, Sony, PolyGram, and BMG, were in control of about 62% of the market in the United States. In the label sector of the supply chain, independent labels had successfully gained control of about 20% of the market, but the Big Six still controlled the other 80%. The figures have only been growing in the past few years. Each time an independent label creates profitability or significant market share, a huge conglomerate company buys it. The economy has slowly become a transnational economy. With undefined borders between each country, a global market opens where companies seek to vertically as well as to horizontally integrate to gain market share and a competitive strategy. The internet has only helped this transnational economy thrive- location becomes almost meaningless for the purchase and use of music. And the oligopoly in the music industry is only narrowing. With the huge merger between EMI and Time Warner, the Big Six has become the Big Five. We can only wait to see if the Big Five will slowly become the Big Four as more and more companies react to the new threat of the internet as a new distribution source.

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Last Update: April 6, 2000