BMG Revenues Grew to $629 Million in 2017

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BMG on January 1, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Benefiting from positive trends around the world, BMG Rights Management, also known as BMG, grew revenue 1.5 percent to €507 million ($629 million) in 2017, according to the earnings report released Tuesday by its owner, German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization grew 9.5 percent to €104 million. 

As for territories, 44 percent or €224 million, came from the U.S., where recorded music revenues grew 16 percent in 2017, according to numbers released Monday by the RIAA. The U.K., where spending on recorded music increased 10 percent last year, had the second-highest share of revenue with €120 million. Around 85 percent of BMG’s revenue growth came from the organic growth experienced by publishing and recorded music businesses around the world. Bottom line improvements came from gains in the U.S. record business and the publishing businesses in the U.K. and U.S.

BMG acquired [outright] BBR Music Group, a $100 million deal for Broken Bow Records, home of country star Jason Aldean, two offshoot labels, and music publisher. In total, BMG spent 213 million on acquisitions in 2017. The company also added its roster of publishers the likes of Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders; its recorded music segment gained Nickelback, Morrissey, Kylie Minogue and others.

In total, Bertelsmann’s revenue grew 1.5 percent to €17.2 billion. BMG, which represents just three percent of Bertelsmann’s revenue, fits into Bertelsmann’s strategy of creating “a faster growing, more digital, more international and more diversified” portfolio, as explained in the annual report. Bertelsmann also owns book publishing houses Penguin Random House, and Gruner + Jahr; radio, TV company and media company RTL Group; Bertelsmann Printing Group; and a handful of others companies.

The nine-year-old BMG is Bertelsmann’s second music company. BMG Rights Management was preceded by Bertelsmann Music Group — abbreviated as BMG — that was one of the five major music companies before merging with Sony Music to create a 50-50 partnership, Sony BMG Music Entertainment. Bertelsmann sold its share of Sony BMG to Sony in 2008 but retained some assets that were the foundation for the smaller standalone, BMG Rights Management.