Hartwig Masuch recently declared that big buys were over for BMG. While the CEO has since made some acquisitions, the company’s focus has been on organic growth – and BMG’s latest results out-perform the market on that front.
Bertelsmann’s music division has reported organic growth of 7.8% in 2018.
Overall, music revenues were up 7.5% year-on-year in 2018 to €545 million (£482m).
Operating EBITDA was up 17.3% to €122m (£108m), with a margin of 22.5%. Again, the company said that was ahead of its major label competitors.
The recordings business is driving growth at BMG. Its successful 2018 releases included albums by Jason Aldean, Kylie Minogue, Lil Dicky, The Prodigy, Kontra K, A Perfect Circle, Alice In Chains and Aled Jones & Russell Watson.
BMG is currently enjoying a UK No.1 album with Jack Savoretti.
BMG’s music publishing business also grew in 2018. Strong publishing performers included Jason Evigan, George Ezra, Camille Purcell, Bebe Rexha, Jessie Reyez, Jess Glynne and The BossHoss.
World tours by artists including Roger Waters and The Rolling Stones contributed to higher collections, along with BMG’s administration of the Fremantle music catalogue.
Expanding areas of BMG include the production music division and its music books business, including illustrated titles about Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. The number of titles published doubled compared to 2017.