BMG to acquire 'significant' Primary Wave assets in $150m strategic alliance

Tom Pakinkis

BMG Rights Management has entered into a strategic alliance with US independent company Primary Wave Music in a $150 million deal.

The deal will see BMG buying “significant rights” in Primary Wave’s music publishing assets, while Primary Wave will market joint record releases in the US.

The purchase will see BMG acquire an interest in songs such as Earth Wind & Fire’s September, Hall & Oats Kiss On My List, John Lennon’s I Want To Hold Your Hand and Marvin Gaye’s How Sweet It Is.

While BMG will acquire significant rights in the independent music publisher’s music catalogues, Primary Wave’s marketing team will continue to be involved in marketing. The deal will also combine the forces of BMG and Primary Wave to sign and develop new writers and administer publishing catalogues.

Meanwhile Primary Wave, will partner with BMG to create a new joint venture – BMG/Primary Wave Artist Services – which will focus on signing recording artists who already have a track record in the industry.

Primary Wave’s current, in-house marketing team, which includes resources such as brand marketing, digital marketing, product management, press and TV/Film development, will act as the marketing arm for the artists signed to BMG / Primary Wave Artist Services.

All such projects will be signed to BMG’s Artist Services model under which the artist retains ownership of their copyrights and BMG provides funding, and administration including royalties and accounting, sync, as well as back office services.

Primary Wave Music’s current business structure and team will have little change internally; however, the venture will add radio promotion capabilities to the company’s creative team.

“The US remains the heartland of and biggest single market in the worldwide music industry,” said BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch.

“This strategic alliance with Primary Wave, one of the most respected independents in the business, gives us control of some of the greatest copyrights in popular music in one stroke, while also strengthening our marketing resources in promoting new recordings. And from the writer’s perspective, we are confident this deal will open up many new opportunities for the international exploitation of these iconic songs through our pro-active BMG team.”

Larry Mestel, founder and CEO of Primary Wave Music added: “Having worked closely with the old BMG and Bertelsmann in the past while at Arista Records, I’m looking forward to rekindling that strong working relationship and leveraging our various resources and strengths to create a powerhouse partnership that will give artists a refreshing alternative in the industry.”


Tags: BMG, acquisition, Primary Wave

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