BMG Rights Management is the youngest major international company in the music industry.
BMG opened for business in October 2008 as a subsidiary of one of Europe’s biggest media companies, Bertelsmann.
Bertelsmann has been associated with music for more than 50 years, ever since the foundation of the Ariola label in 1959. After several acquisitions - including Arista (1979) and RCA (1986) - Bertelsmann consolidated its music interests under the BMG – Bertelsmann Music Group – name to become one of the top five music industry players in the world.
In response to declining sales, Bertelsmann agreed to merge the BMG recorded music division with Sony Music in 2004 to form Sony BMG. Bertelsmann kept the BMG music publishing division separate. By 2006, BMG was the third largest music publisher worldwide.
In October 2008, Bertelsmann founded BMG Rights Management with a clear philosophy: it was not to be either a traditional music publisher or a record company. It was to be something else entirely - a rights management business.
As part of the deal to exit the Sony BMG joint venture, Bertelsmann acquired a subset of the Sony BMG master rights catalogue. Thus BMG Rights Management received its very first revenue from master recordings.
From the beginning Bertelsmann has encouraged the BMG team – created from a group of former executives of BMG Music Publishing, other major music publishers and Bertelsmann itself – to create a new kind of company, rooted in music, but born of the digital age.
In 2013, BMG announced the acquisition of Virgin Music / Famous UK Music Publishing catalogues as well as the Mute and Sanctuary Records catalogues.
In March 2013, Bertelsmann took over BMG by acquiring KKR’s shares, making BMG a fully-owned subsidiary of the group and underlining Bertelsmann’s long-term interest in the music business.
BMG is an international music company focused on the management of music publishing and recording rights.
BMG covers the entire range of rights administration and exploitation worldwide, placing the needs of songwriters and artists at the core of its business model.
BMG has a presence in eight core music markets and represents the rights to more than a million songs and tens of thousands of master recordings.
With its unique philosophy, strong financial backing and commitment to put the interests of artists and writers at the heart of its business model, BMG is truly a 21st century music company.