Beggars Group last week announced a 230% increase in profits for 2015 after the release of Adele’s blockbusting 25 album. But what’s going to be really interesting is what they decide to do with that money.
Traditionally, any indie label enjoying that kind of windfall would have thrown a massive party, splashed some cash on new signings and increased the office head count in order to try and expand.
That doesn’t seem to be the Beggars way – according to the Company House filing, they employed fewer people in 2015 than they did in 2014, and only released four more albums than in the previous year, despite 25 surely representing the mother of all release schedule insurance policies.
Of course, you can’t blame Beggars for looking at what, say, Creation did post-Oasis and deciding that signing up just about anything that moves may not have been the most sensible policy.
Plus, they already had a healthy roster operating below Adele, and who knows what new signings they have lined up for next year.
But if the rumours about their superstar leaving turn out to be true, let’s hope her current label decides to show they can still mix it with the big boys at the sharp end of the global charts.
And the same goes for pretty much every other indie out there; independent publishers seem happy to fight for the next-gen stars, so why not record companies?
There was a time when indie labels – Creation and Factory being good, if not ultimately successful examples – wanted to take on the world, rather than fiscal responsibility. Some of us miss those days. Even if Beggars’ accountant doesn’t.
Mark Sutherland, Editor