BMG is an international music company focused on the management of music publishing, recording rights and music distribution. The company operates as a division of the international media conglomerate Bertelsmann, its name being the legacy of the former BMG, which was sold to Sony Music Entertainment in 2008. The company was established in 2008 as a joint venture between Bertelsmann and the global private equity firm KKR.

The company's head office is in Berlin, and it operates regional offices in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm, Hilversum, Beijing, Toronto, Sydney, and São Paulo. BMG is the youngest major international company in the music industry.


The company was first announced in late 2008 shortly following Bertelsmann's sale of its music interests to Sony Music Entertainment, and first opened offices in January 2009. [3] The company trades under the name BMG Chrysalis in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

In 2012, BMG was the fourth-largest music publisher in the world, based on revenue. [4]

Since 2012, BMG expanded in the administration and management of master recording rights by establishing the BMG masters model. The model is based on both artist and company jointly contributing toward distribution and promotional finances, while the company generally does not pay an advance against royalties ; This allows for the recording contract to grant a higher royalty rate to the recording artist than more traditional arrangements. [5]

In February 2013, BMG acquired Sanctuary Records Group from Universal Music Group for over €45 million. [6] The previous BMG had distributed Sanctuary in certain territories. The deal was approved by the EU in May 2013. [7]

In March 2013, Bertelsmann took over BMG by acquiring KKR’s shares, making BMG a fully owned subsidiary of the Bertelsmann group and underlining Bertelsmann’s long-term interest in the music business. [8]

Soon after completing its acquisition of Mute Records and Sanctuary, BMG arranged for INgrooves to distribute the catalogues in North America, and Play It Again Sam for the rest of the world. Also, Depeche Mode (Mute) will be distributed through Sony Music Entertainment, while Black Sabbath (Sanctuary) remained at Universal Music Group until March 2014. [9] Then in 2014, BMG signed multi-platinum selling group Day26. In November 2014, BMG acquired Union Square Music. [10]

In April 2016, BMG signed a distribution deal with Warner Music Group, which will cover most of BMG's catalogue and future releases; though a few albums will remain distributed by other labels. [2]

At the end of May 2016, BMG expanded into Brazil by acquiring the local publisher Basement Music. [2]


BMG works in the field of administration and management of musical copyrights. It acts as broker between the creative community and the professional users in times of multiple digital exploitation and distribution. BMG offer artists and producers assistance to administer, manage, develop, market and exploit their copyrights globally. The company devotes a percentage of its funds developing new talent. [2]

BMG Chrysalis UK senior vice-president Alexi Cory-Smith commented that "The music business has changed. Writers want a new alternative. BMG Chrysalis is proving it has the resources, the technology and the creative vision to provide that alternative". [2]

Subsidiaries and artists

The company has brought many music publishers and record labels. It has also signed numerous artists.

Music publishers