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BMG more closely integrates catalogue and frontline operations

By | Published on Wednesday 19 April 2023


BMG yesterday announced that it has become the “first global music company to abandon the outdated industry distinction between new ‘frontline’ and older catalogue recordings”. This basically means that the management of the music firm’s new releases and its recordings catalogue will be much more closely aligned, with frontline and catalogue operations having the same structure, both globally and in each market.

The rejig acknowledges the ever-increasing importance of catalogue in the streaming age, with older recordings now accounting for, says BMG, “up to three quarters of revenue”. With that in mind, “BMG’s recorded catalogue will now report locally as per its country of origin and then globally through EVP Global Repertoire Fred Casimir for all sales outside the owning territory, exactly the same structure used for new so-called ‘frontline’ recordings”.

Explains BMG boss Hartwig Masuch: “Music fans demonstrate on a daily basis that they reject the music industry’s outdated privileging of new music over older music. Music is music regardless of its age. Great artists and great music have no expiry date and we believe it is time for the music industry to reflect that”.

In a memo to staff, Masuch also notes that the structural change “means that on a local level, our repertoire leaders – Thomas Scherer in LA, Alistair Norbury in London etc – will uniquely in the music industry oversee music publishing and frontline and catalogue recordings in their local territories”.

“This makes good on our long-term plan to create the world’s first fully integrated music company”, the memo states, adding: “It empowers local leaders, it shortens reporting lines and it makes us more responsive for our artist and songwriter clients”.

Commenting on his expanded role as a result of this rejig, Casimir says: “There’s no great secret to BMG’s success. It’s about wrapping ourselves around artists’ needs and adjusting to the realities of the streaming world. Successful music catalogues deserve the same effort, commitment and passion as newer recordings. I am delighted to take on responsibility for marketing BMG’s recorded catalogue”.