BMG chief says: “We are the fourth major”
BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch has announced it loud and clear: “Yes, we are the fourth major.”
Masuch was being interviewed onstage at MIDEM as one of the keynote speakers, and asked if the “new” BMG was now on the same level of Universal, Sony and Warner.
He responded, “I think we can do whatever you think a major should be able to do. Yes, we are the fourth major.
“Our DNA, by acquiring some very important independent companies, is that we share the values of those independent companies…
“But our ambition is that we are a major.
“A major for me means you have global access to the markets, and you are able to give artists a global perspective on several parameters: recording and publishing.
“To say we’re the leading independent would be to shy away from the ambition that we have.”
He added, “Saying we are the leading independent is cheating. It sounds great to be the #1, but we’d rather be the #4, challenging the #3.”
Masuch also spoke of how having the BMG brand name (BMG was a record label launched in the 1950s) was an advantage because “It gives us a lot of credibility; a very serious investment into music by a very savvy media company.”
The ‘new’ BMG – which launched in 2008 – has acquired over 100 independent music companies.
Last year BMG grew its revenues by 22% year on year, turning over $573 million via its integrated label and publishing division.
In comparison, Warner Music, the smallest of the big three, generated $3.7 billion.