BMG has outlined a new structure designed to further develop its ability to deliver for artists and songwriters on a global scale.
It is understood that a small number of positions are affected across each of BMG’s offices, including London.
The company will focus on its key areas of music publishing and recordings, having cut back on areas including film commissioning and theatrical productions.
The plan involves:
Doubling down on its presence in the US with a new global catalogue function based in Los Angeles.
Recalibrating its presence in Continental Europe, and renewing its frontline recorded business in a new ‘hub-and-spoke’ structure.
Further strengthening its services to artists with substantial investments in technology and its myBMG ecosystem.
BMG will also be clarifying roles and structures to make the company more accountable to its artist and songwriter clients.
CEO Thomas Coesfeld said: “Fifteen years after the emergence of streaming, music is going through another tectonic change. It is vital we now re-engineer our business to make the most of that opportunity. BMG has challenged the conventions of the music industry ever since we began, bringing music publishing and recordings under one roof with a distinctive service-orientated and transparent approach. Now new ways of creating and consuming music and looming changes in streaming economics are challenging us to do even better for our clients.”
The changes form part of a strategy which has already seen BMG take control of its distribution, forming direct relationships with Spotify and Apple Music. The company is discontinuing its Berlin-based international marketing function in order to simplify its relationships with artists and empower local A&R and campaign management teams.
Last month BMG formed a global alliance with Universal Music Group, including physical distribution.
Standing still is not an option if we want to deliver for our artist and songwriter clients
In line with its publishing operation, the new structure for BMG’s recordings business will make a clear distinction between local expertise in artist relationships and global functions which serve them. Catalogue, sales and marketing will now become global functions, alongside investments, technology, rights and royalties, which BMG already organises on a global basis. Local campaign management will work with a new global marketing team responsible for analytics, content creation and media planning and buying.
“We are changing the way we do things,” said Coesfeld. “We will combine creative intuition with data-driven insights to deliver the best service for our clients and customers. We are local where necessary, global where possible.”
Alistair Norbury, BMG president repertoire & marketing UK, said: “I am confident that this new approach will make us even more competitive in the market. BMG has had a very strong 2023 in the UK with our best-ever year in frontline recordings thanks to Kylie, Rita Ora, Rick Astley and Madness and phenomenal success in publishing with Mura Masa, Disclosure, George Ezra and the Chemical Brothers, among many others. The new strategy strengthens our role as the UK gateway to BMG’s global services, and our new global digital sales and marketing teams will increase our effectiveness in helping UK artists achieve international impact.”
“This is a strategy for future growth,” added Coesfeld. “But in a business in which change is a constant, we ourselves need to change to grow further. Standing still is not an option if we want to deliver for our artist and songwriter clients.”
BMG Continental Europe’s new structure will involve focusing on functional centres of excellence within Europe, aggregating budgets and expertise to focus resources and enable it to deliver bigger projects.
Maximilian Kolb, EVP repertoire & marketing Continental Europe, said: “We have shown our ability to deliver successful new releases in every European country. We will now build on these strengths and focus on what will allow future growth.“