Bertelsmann Launches Music Rights Co.

German media giant Bertelsmann says its new music rights business has been launched in response to the strong music industry trend toward autonomous, service-oriented artists.

BMG Rights Management is intending to position itself as a modern service provider for artists, and describes the new venture as a “forward-looking business model with an established brand, experienced management and a valuable corporate network.”

The company, which will have a Berlin HQ, plans to offer custom-tailored services for songwriters and performers who want competent support in the creation, marketing and licensing, collection and accounting as well as advance financing of their music repertoire.

Although the company framework is already being put in place, Bertelsmann doesn’t expect to launch the new company into the market until 2009.

It will also look after the European music catalogues that Bertelsmann retained when it sold its 50 percent share of Sony-BMG to its partner. The portfolio includes the recordings of more than 200 artists.

BMG Rights expects to rapidly expand it to include other European artists, and eventually beyond Europe.

The new company’s core role will be to advise songwriters and performers in building their repertoire, supporting them with marketing and licensing services and providing transparent coverage of all their rights management needs.