Monday, November 15, 2004

Speaking of Competition...

OK, I’m still reeling from the shock.

But I’m getting better.

I know, I get so tweaked over such small things, but still…

I read in A Motley Vision that Deseret Book bought Excel Entertainment. They also had a link to an article at the DB website. I was just blown away by the news. Out of the blue, what a total surprise.

And I gotta admit, I got real mixed feelings.

My first thought was, “OH, no! Now EVERYTHING will sound like Deseret Book!” I mean, for many years, Excel was the “other guys” that were doing things that DB couldn’t get away with. Then, as I thought about it, I realized that frankly, some of the more innovative stuff that’s been coming out of the “big leagues” in LDS music has been coming from Deseret Book, and that Excel has gotten more and more locked into their own little acoustic folksy tradition. They’ve gotten mellower in the last few years, less edgy.

I wonder what that will mean for the artists. The article said that most of the artists will transfer over to the Shadow Mountain label. Will DB drop any of them? Who will survive the transition? That leaves one bigger label, and two up and comers, Sounds of Zion’s IMS label and Halestorm’s Hale Yeah! Records. Then there’s a few smaller distribution companies.

Of course, it’s a tough time for record labels right now. With sales down, they don’t often have the capital to sign new artists or the gumption to take more risks. And in the mormon world, doubly so.

Still, when I think about it, I’m not sure that this move will impact me, personally. I mean, neither Excel nor DB was pounding on my door with their latest bid to sign my CD. I didn’t forsee that in the near future, either. But I hope it also doesn’t mean that there’s less choice for me as a potential buyer of LDS music. And I guess that’s my greatest fear.

The DB chiefs were saying that, "The real winners in this merger are the families who are interested in wholesome entertainment."

I truly hope so.

Mark Hansen


  1. Nice analysis, Mark.

    I'll just say this: If it follows the same pattern as D.B.'s acquisition of Covenant, then, yes, artists will be dropped as will in-process titles.

  2. OK, I'm a bad blogger. I'm far behind. I wasn't aware that DB had acquired Covenant... Anyone know any details.


  3. Wo! Sorry -- the above information is clearly incorrect.

    I meant when Deseret Book acquired Bookcraft a couple of years ago.

    Covenant is still alive (and well -- as far as I know) and really the only serious competitor with DB on the publishing side of the business (as Seagull is the only serious competition on the bookselling side -- although they tend to follow DB's lead when it comes to trends in the industry).



Related Posts with Thumbnails