BMG had “sustained growth and further enhanced its market position” in the first six months of 2018, according to results published by parent company Bertelsmann.
Revenue was up by 3.3% to €241 million (£216.7m), an increase that was offset by negative exchange rates. BMG attributed the result to organic growth in its recorded music and production music businesses. The music publishing business was stable in revenue terms.
Operating EBITDA rose by 5% to €42 million (£37.8m) in the reporting period, as a result of the company’s performance in US and UK frontline and catalogue recordings.
Ten years after its formation, BMG has bolstered its management team as it continues its expansion.
The company’s strategy of signing of established artists continued with deals to secure administration of the publishing rights of Ringo Starr, Lenny Kravitz and Yusuf/Cat Stevens in 2018. It has recent or upcoming album releases from Dido, Lenny Kravitz, Good Charlotte, Alice in Chains and Gabrielle.
During the first six months of the year, BMG had a UK No.1 with Kylie Minogue and a US chart-topper for Jason Aldean. In the publishing business, George Ezra topped the UK album charts, while songwriters signed with the company were involved in three of the five biggest radio hits of the first half of 2018 in the United States.
In April, the company acquired Big Bang & Fuzz, one of the leading production music firms in the Asia-Pacific region. In June, BMG took over the catalogue of French singer/songwriter Michel Polnareff, whose publishing rights the company was already managing. It has also taken over the name rights and selected audio and video material from the 1960s British TV programme Ready Steady Go!.
BMG is also expanding into films and has secured a distributor for its Joan Jett documentary.
Thomas Rabe, chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “Bertelsmann's organic growth in the first half of 2018 was the strongest it has been in years. The expansion of our growth businesses is bearing ever more visible fruit. It is particularly gratifying that the investments made in our services business in recent years are increasingly paying off. We want to continue improving the company's growth profile. To this end, we are investing heavily in our businesses, especially in creative content. So as not to jeopardise this expenditure, there is an urgent need to modernise the regulatory framework for creative industries in Europe. This concerns areas such as data protection, copyright, antitrust law, advertising law, media law, and taxation.”