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One Direction will become $100m business empire, says Sony

Tim Ingham
One Direction will become $100m business empire, says Sony

The chairman of Sony Music UK, Nick Gatfield, has estimated that One Direction will represent $100m business by next year.

The forecast came at a Creative Industries Reception hosted by Sony Music UK and CBI this evening, attended by Music Week.

Gatfield talked about One Direction's current global success, demonstrated by a No.1 album in 16 countries and a No.1 DVD in 25 markets.

"What you might not know about One Direction is that they already represent a $50 million business - and that's a figure we expect to double next year," Gatfield said about the Syco-signed band, before pointing to another positive impact the group has had on the domestic market.

"The team around them - which includes musicians, stylists, producers, tour managers and so on - account for around 90 people," he explained. "That's 90 jobs created by these five boys."

Sony Music's fiscal year ended on March 31, with the company posting an annual operating profit of £287m. Parent Sony Corp recorded an annual net loss of over £3bn.

One Direction's international success will be boosted by a reported deal recently signed with children's television channel Nickelodeon, which will allow the group to make an even bigger impact in the US market via their own TV show.

Speaking about Sony Music's business model and talent pool more generally, Gatfield added: "We continue to grow our investment in talent. We support an incredibly diverse range of artists across our label brands as well as cutting edge new talent. That really is where the lifeblood of our business is - in investing in the new talent that we hope to bring to market.

"Effectively, this is our research and development funding," he said. "There would be no current business and certainly no future without the investment that we make. That's why we put over 20% of our net revenues into signing new talent. That's the largest share of R&D across any business."

Look for a full report including comment and analysis in next week's issue of Music Week.

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Tags: one direction, Nick Gatfield, Sony Music

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