Puneet Varma (Editor)

BMG Rights Management

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Industry  Music
Area served  Worldwide
Founded  2008
Parent organization  Bertelsmann
Genre  Various
Headquarters  Berlin, Germany
Number of locations  14
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Predecessor  Bertelsmann Music Group
Key people  Hartwig Masuch (CEO) Zach Katz (US) Alexi Cory-Smith (UK) Maik Pallasch (Germany) Stéphane Berlow (France) Brian Dessaur (Benelux) Dino Stewart (Italy) Daniela Bosé (Spain) Sanken Sandqvist (Scandinavia) Heath Johns (Australia) John Telfer (Brazil)
Services  Music rights management
CEO  Hartwig Masuch (Oct 2008–)
Artists  Janet Jackson, The Rolling Stones, blink‑182, Kylie Minogue, Juan Gabriel
Albums  California, Avon, Hometown Life, Friends, Girl at the End of the World

Great stories start at midem with hartwig masuch bmg rights management

BMG Rights Management GmbH is an international music company focused on the management of music publishing, recording rights and music distribution. The company operates as a division of the international media conglomerate Bertelsmann. The company was established in 2008 as a joint venture between Bertelsmann and the global private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR). In March 2013, Bertelsmann took over BMG by acquiring KKR's shares, making BMG a fully owned subsidiary of the Bertelsmann group. The company's head office is in Berlin, and it operates regional offices in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm, Hilversum, Beijing, Toronto, Sydney, and São Paulo. BMG is the youngest major international company in the music industry.



The formation of the company was first announced in October 2008 shortly following Bertelsmann's sale of its music interests to Sony Music Entertainment. BMG opened their first offices in January 2009 in Paris, London, Milan, Madrid, Amsterdam, with headquarters in Berlin. The company trades under the name BMG Chrysalis in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Sweden. BMG in 2010 made its biggest acquisition at the time with the purchase of Cherry Lane Music. The Cherry Lane roster of clients includes Elvis Presley, John Denver, the Black Eyed Peas, etc. The acquisition gave BMG a major presence in the U.S.

In 2012, BMG was the fourth-largest music publisher in the world, based on revenue. BMG acquired Sanctuary Records Group from Universal Music Group for over €45 million in February 2013. The previous BMG had distributed Sanctuary in certain territories. The deal was approved by the EU in May 2013. In March 2013, Bertelsmann took over BMG by acquiring KKR's shares, making BMG a fully owned subsidiary of the Bertelsmann group.

In 2014, it was the most successful music publisher in Germany and received 53 Grammy nominations. 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. Then in 2014, BMG signed multi-platinum selling group Day26. In November 2014, BMG acquired Union Square Music.

BMG completed the purchase of Oregon-based metal and hard rock label Rise Records, home to The Devil Wears Prada (band), Of Mice & Men (band), and PVRIS in 2015. In 2015, the Berlin-based company became the 5th biggest recorded music company in the UK. In April 2016, BMG signed a distribution deal with Warner Music Group, which will cover most of BMG's catalogue and future releases; though a few albums will remain distributed by other labels. At the end of May 2016, BMG expanded into Brazil by acquiring the local publisher Basement Music. In July 2016, BMG completed two major acquisitions. First, BMG announced the acquisition of the recording assets of The End Records, a New York-based independent label. As part of the deal, BMG is acquiring the label's entire catalogue, as well as its rights to future recordings. Second, BMG acquired the 131-year old Australian music publishing and recording company Alberts.


BMG works in the field of administration and management of musical copyrights. It acts as broker between the creative community and the professional users in times of multiple digital exploitation and distribution. BMG offer artists and producers assistance to administer, manage, develop, market and exploit their copyrights globally. The company devotes a percentage of its funds developing new talent. BMG UK senior vice-president Alexi Cory-Smith commented that "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".

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.

Subsidiaries and artists

The company has brought many music publishers and record labels. It has also signed numerous artists.


BMG Rights Management Wikipedia