BMG Rights Management

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"BMG" redirects here. For other uses, see BMG (disambiguation).
Industry Music
Genre Various
Predecessor Bertelsmann Music Group
Founded Berlin, Germany, (October 2008 (2008-10))
Headquarters Berlin, Germany
Area served
Key people
  • Hartwig Masuch (CEO)
  • Maximilian Dressendörfer (CFO)
  • Fred Casimir (Recordings)
  • Laurent Hubert (US)
  • Alexi Cory-Smith (UK)
  • Maik Pallasch (Germany)
  • Stéphane Berlow (France)
  • Frank Bruens (Benelux)
  • Dino Stewart (Italy)
  • Daniela Bosé (Spain)
  • Sanken Sandqvist (Scandinavia)
Services Music rights management
Owner Bertelsmann
Parent Bertelsmann
Website Official website

BMG is an international group of music companies focused on the management of music publishing, recording rights and music distribution. The company operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of the international media conglomerate Bertelsmann, its name being the legacy of the former BMG, which was sold to Sony Music Entertainment in 2008. The company was established in 2008 as a joint venture between Bertelsmann and the global private equity firm KKR. A sequential acquisition programme of music catalogues (e.g. the Hal David, Mute or Sanctuary catalogues), music publishers (e.g. Cherry Lane, Chrysalis or Bug Music) and record labels (e.g. Infectious Records Vagrant Records or Rise Records) coupled with an important number of international signings has made BMG the world's fourth biggest music rights company in terms of revenue.

In March 2013, Bertelsmann took over BMG by acquiring KKR’s shares, making BMG a fully owned subsidiary of the Bertelsmann group and underlining Bertelsmann’s long-term interest in the music business.[1] The company's head office is in Berlin, and it operates regional offices in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Munich, Stockholm, Hilversum, and Beijing. BMG is the youngest major international company in the music industry.

Company profile[edit]

BMG is the fourth-largest music publisher in the world, based on revenue.[2] The company was first announced in late 2008 shortly following Bertelsmann's sale of its music interests to Sony Music Entertainment, and first opened offices in January 2009.[3] BMG specializes in the administration and management of musical copyrights and acts as broker between the creative community and the professional users in times of multiple digital exploitation and distribution. Since its founding, the company has completed a number of prominent signings and now represents the rights to around one million songs. It has acquired major independent publishers such as Crosstown Songs, Cherry Lane Music Publishing, Stage Three Music, Evergreen Copyrights, Chrysalis Music Group,[4] Bug Music[5] and R2M.[6] It also acquired from Sony/ATV Music Publishing the song libraries of Virgin Music and Famous Music UK.[7] The company trades under the name BMG Chrysalis in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

As a service provider, BMG supports songwriters, recording artists and producers to administer, manage, develop, market and exploit their copyrights globally. The company serves artists of all genres, nationalities and levels of development and devotes a substantial percentage of its funds each year to signing and developing new talent.[8] BMG contributes its licensing know-how, a diverse roster of artists and songwriters, an established brand name and a proficient management strategy.

Hartwig Masuch, BMG CEO, has demonstrated that his business strategy of becoming a European service provider in the music world has proven to be a realistic approach. With its business model, BMG has quickly acquired national stars such as Sasha, Nena, Peter Fox and Zweiraumwohnung.

Since its founding, BMG has signed promising or established songwriters, artists and producers to its roster. The company provides the opportunity for their creative development while taking over the management of copyrights. "There is lots more to come", said BMG Chrysalis UK senior vice-president Alexi Cory-Smith "The music business has changed. Writers want a new alternative. BMG Chrysalis is proving it has the resources, the technology and the creative vision to provide that alternative".[9]

Since 2012, BMG expanded in the administration and management of master recording rights by establishing the BMG masters model. The model is based on both artist and company jointly contributing toward distribution and promotional finances, while the company generally does not pay an advance against royalties; This allows for the recording contract to grant a higher royalty rate to the recording artist than more traditional arrangements.[10]

BMG acquired Sanctuary Records Group from Universal Music Group for over €45 million.[11] The previous BMG had distributed Sanctuary in certain territories. The deal was approved by the EU in May 2013.[12]

Soon after completing its acquisition of Mute Records and Sanctuary, BMG arranged for INgrooves to distribute the catalogues in North America, and Play It Again Sam for the rest of the world. Also, Depeche Mode (Mute) will be distributed through Sony Music Entertainment, while Black Sabbath (Sanctuary) remained at Universal Music Group until March 2014.[13] Then in 2014, BMG signed multi-platinum selling group Day26. In November 2014, BMG acquired Union Square Music.[14]

Artists and writers[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bertelsmann Buys Out BMG for $390M: Sources. Billboard (2013-03-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  2. ^ Billboard Power 100: Hartwig Masuch | Billboard. (2012-01-26). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  3. ^ Spahr, Wolfgang (14 October 2008). "Bertelsmann Unveils BMG Rights Management". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2009-12-12. 
  4. ^ "BMG and Warner Music Said to Weigh Bid for Chrysalis". The New York Times. 2010-11-04. 
  5. ^ "BMG Rights Management to Purchase Bug Music". Billboard. 2011-09-12. 
  6. ^ "BMG Rights Management Purchases R2M Music Lux SARL Catalog". Billboard. 2012-03-02. 
  7. ^ BMG Buys Virgin, Famous Music Catalog From Sony/ATV. The Hollywood Reporter (2012-12-21). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Music Week. Music Week. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  10. ^ "BMG: Dexys' release shows artists want alternatives to 'old-style record deals'". MusicWeek. 2012-03-07. 
  11. ^ Chmielewski, Dawn C. (2013-02-14). "Universal Music agrees to sell Sanctuary Records". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ EC approves BMG acquisition of Mute and Sanctuary catalogues. Music Week. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  13. ^ News | BMG Music Rights Management. (2013-06-25). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  14. ^ BMG Acquires Union Square Music. Retrieved on November 4, 2014
  15. ^
  16. ^ Faughnder, Ryan. (2013-06-26) BMG to represent Rolling Stones' publishing post-1983. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.

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