BMG posts 'solid performance' with revenue high of €905m

BMG posts 'solid performance' with revenue high of €905m

BMG has reported revenues of €905m in 2023, an increase of 4.6% on the prior year.

Following the results from parent company Bertelsmann, BMG CEO Thomas Coesfeld described the “solid performance” of the music company. In 2022, BMG’s revenue growth topped 30%.

In his overview memo to staff, which Music Week has obtained, Coesfeld noted that the results followed a period of transition and changes already implemented since he took over last summer

For 2023, BMG’s profit measure EBITDA was close to last year’s record high. Coesfeld said that revenues and EBITDA have increased by more than a third in just two years.

“The fact that we did it while implementing the most fundamental shift in strategy and structure in the company’s history, focusing in on our two core businesses of music publishing and recordings, is all the more remarkable,” wrote Coesfeld.

“We did so while remaining true to our mission to deliver the best possible service to our artist and songwriter clients. This is the focus of our work. In a rapidly changing music industry, delivering the best today means providing additional services such as improved data insights into marketing campaigns, better revenue assurance on the publishing and recorded side of things and clearer accountability for every team member.” 

BMG made 30 catalogue acquisitions, including The Hollies, Snap!, Jet, Dope Lemon, Martin Solveig, the band Nena, Alain Chamfort and Paul Simon’s music interests in Simon & Garfunkel’s recordings.

In recordings, highlights included new releases by Kylie Minogue, Jason Aldean, Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson, Rita Ora and Godsmack. Jason Aldean’s Try That In A Small Town became BMG's first US Hot 100 No.1 last year. 

In publishing, the company’s successes included I’m Good (Blue), co-written by BMG-signed Bebe Rexha, and Boy’s A Liar Pt. 2 co-written by BMG songwriter Mura Masa for Pink Pantheress and Ice Spice.

Hackney Diamonds by the Rolling Stones and Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent by Lewis Capaldi were major releases in 2023 with BMG publishing interests.

Although the market is changing rapidly, we have already done much to address those changes

Thomas Coesfeld

Coesfeld added: “I am very optimistic as I see more and more elements of our new BMG Next strategy come to fruition. Many departments across the company have already implemented our new way of working and I can confirm that our new structure will be fully operational as of next month. It is a structure designed to be more focused, more specialised and to offer exactly the kind of improved services listed above. Although the market is changing rapidly, we have already done much to address those changes.”

BMG has shifted to focus on the core music publishing and recordings businesses, increased investment in technology and made distribution changes (direct with Spotify and Apple Music, plus partnering with Universal for physical).

The company has given local repertoire leads a bigger role alongside dedicated global marketing, sales and catalogue functions in a new structure.

“We have confirmed plans for substantial investment in music rights, backed by an upgraded and rigorous investment model,” added Coesfeld.

In the first two months of 2024, Coesfeld said that there has been a “strong double-digit increase in revenue and an increase in EBITDA versus prior year”.

“We have made the changes we needed to. We are on the right path,” he wrote. “And we are set for renewed success in 2024 – for our clients, our business partners and for BMG.”


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