Bertelsmann Music Group

Bertelsmann Music Group (abbreviated as BMG) was a division of German media company Bertelsmann before its completion of sale of the majority of its assets to Japan's Sony Corporation of America on 1 October 2008. Although it was established in 1987, the music company was formed as RCA/Ariola International in 1984 as a joint venture to combine the music label activities of RCA Corporation's RCA Records division and Bertelsmann's Ariola Records and its associated labels which include Arista Records. It consisted of the BMG Music Publishing company, the world's third largest music publisher and the world's largest independent music publisher, and (since August 2004) the 50% share of the joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment, which established the German American Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Sony BMG) from 2004 to 2008.

Bertelsmann Music Group
FateAssets sold to Sony Corporation of America
SuccessorBMG Rights Management
Defunct1 October 2008


The joint venture with Sony Music was set up in August 2004. It reduced the Big Five record companies to the Big Four record companies. At that time, the company had a 21.5% share in the global music market. Sony Music and BMG remained separate in Japan, although BMG Music Japan was wholly owned by Sony BMG.

On 27 March 2006, The New York Times reported that Bertelsmann was looking to raise money by leveraging some of its media assets, and that executives from both companies were in talks about possibly altering the current venture. Bertelsmann sold its 50% share of Sony BMG to Sony Corporation of America for a total of $1.5 billion, and the company was renamed back to Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

While officially withdrawing from the business of recorded music, Bertelsmann continued its strong presence in other areas of the music industry by establishing BMG Rights Management, which specializes in music rights management and by representing artists and authors. It is focused mainly in BMG's European stronghold markets. The basis of the company was formed through BMG's decision to withhold selected European music catalogues from the former Sony BMG joint venture and the BMG Publishing businesses.

Also kept separate from the acquisition by Sony Corporation of America was Sony BMG's wholly owned and operated BMG Japan. Sony Music Japan remained independent from the Sony BMG joint venture, therefore BMG and Sony labelling were kept separate in Japan under the venture. During Sony BMG's buyout, BMG Japan was instead picked up by Sony Music Entertainment Japan. It briefly continued to operate as a distinct entity until a reorganization in early 2009 folded the company into Sony Music Japan.


Now part of Sony Music Entertainment after the buyout of Bertelsmann AG's 50% stake in Sony BMG.

BMG Music Publishing

BMG Music Publishing, which was not part of the Sony BMG merger, was a business of the Bertelsmann Music Group until it was sold to Universal Music Group for €1.63 billion in 2007. Universal then folded the company into Universal Music Publishing Group, and the BMG name was retired.[1] The company was headquartered at 245 Fifth Avenue, 8th Floor New York, New York 10016 and had operations in 36 offices in 25 countries.


BMG Music Publishing controlled over one million copyrights. Writers/artists signed to the company included: Ann Wilson, Anastacia, Kylie Minogue, Jaguares, Diana Yukawa, Alcazar, Gloria Trevi, Angélica María, Dido, Lee Ryan, Ai Uemura, Julieta Venegas, The Troubadours, Powderfinger, Nelly, Rammstein, Milli Vanilli, Modern Talking, Slayer, Shania Twain, Nikki Webster, Ville Valo, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Coldplay, Yellowcard, Hum, Rob Dougan, The All-American Rejects, Clannad, Iron Maiden, Maroon 5, Mayra Verónica, Backyard Babies, Hipster Daddy-O and the Handgrenades, Soda Stereo, Gustavo Cerati, Keane, HARD-Fi, Horace Andy, The Cure, The Killer Barbies, Joss Stone, Elvis Costello, Paul Weller, Sara Evans, Sneaker Pimps, Take That (1991-1996), Westlife, D-Pryde, Luke Friend and Mikolas Josef.

Through Zomba Music Publishing, BMG controlled the rights to Linkin Park, Britney Spears, Iron Maiden, 30 Seconds to Mars, R. Kelly, Justin Timberlake, Bowling for Soup, Daft Punk, Katatonia, Ne-Yo, Anthrax, Mudvayne, and Poison. These artists' European rights are currently controlled by Imagem, a division of Concord Music.[2]

The company's songwriters wrote chart-topping hits for Mariah Carey, The Black Eyed Peas, Kenny Chesney, The Game, Mario, Rascal Flatts, Milli Vanilli, No Doubt, Thomas Anders, Jessica Simpson and 50 Cent as well as legends like Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Roselyn Sánchez.

BMG Music Publishing was the global leader in Classical music and was number one in Contemporary Christian music.

Catalogues owned

Through international subpublishing deals, BMG Music Publishing represented the catalogues of Famous Music Publishing, Walt Disney, Roadrunner Records, Leiber & Stoller, Fremantle Media, Pete Waterman, and Malaco Records in various territories.

Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing is BMG Music Publishing's Christian publisher and owns over 60,000 copyrights.

BMG Music Publishing and its assets have now been completely absorbed and folded into Universal Music Publishing Group.

BMG Rights Management

After Sony bought out Bertelsmann's share in Sony BMG, Bertelsmann was allowed to keep the rights to several recordings from the former joint venture. These songs served as the foundation to BMG Rights Management.

BMG Rights Management now serves as a division within Bertelsmann and as a replacement to the defunct Bertelsmann Music Group.


CD price fixing

Between 1995 and 2000 music companies were found to have used illegal marketing agreements such as minimum advertised pricing to artificially inflate prices of compact discs in order to end price wars by discounters such as Best Buy and Target in the early 1990s.[3]

A settlement in 2002 included the music publishers and distributors; Sony Music, Warner Music, Bertelsmann Music Group, EMI Music and Universal Music. In restitution for price fixing they agreed to pay a $67.4 million fine and distribute $75.7 million in CDs to public and non-profit groups but admitted no wrongdoing.[4] It is estimated customers were overcharged by nearly $500 million and up to $5 per album.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "Universal to buy BMG publishing". 6 September 2006.
  2. ^ "Imagem Music Group Buys R&H".
  3. ^ a b Stephen Labaton (11 May 2011). "5 Music Companies Settle Federal Case On CD Price-Fixing". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  4. ^ David Lieberman (30 September 2002). "States settle CD price-fixing case". USA Today. Retrieved 26 April 2016.

External links

1540 Broadway

1540 Broadway (known as the Bertelsmann Building until late 2013) is a 44-story, 733 foot (223 m) office tower at West 45th Street in Times Square in Manhattan, New York City. The building was the North American headquarters of media conglomerate Bertelsmann from 1992 until the company vacated and sold the property, of which they occupied all office-use floors, in 2004. The building housed US satellites of central functions such as Corporate Development, Corporate Communications and the Office of the Chairman and CEO, as well as serving as worldwide headquarters for the Bertelsmann Music Group and Bertelsmann Book Group (what has later taken on the umbrella brand name Random House). Current office tenants include Viacom, China Central Television, KEMP Technologies, Adobe Systems and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Retail tenants are Planet Hollywood, MAC Cosmetics, Disney Store, and Forever 21.Started in 1989 and finished in 1990, the tower is one of the few in Times Square to contain class A office space.In the 1990s, Random House looked to build a skyscraper across 45th Street from its parent and be connected to it via a neon-lighted bridge across 45th Street. When the deal fell through, it built the Random House Tower 10 blocks uptown.

The building's location was formerly the site of Loew's State Theatre (1921) and Bartholdi Inn (1899), then New York’s best-known theatrical boarding house.

19 Recordings

19 Recordings Inc. (registered in the United Kingdom as 19 Recordings Ltd.) is a New York-based record label owned by 19 Entertainment. Founded in London by British entrepreneur Simon Fuller in 1999 as the music division of 19 Entertainment, the label is one of the top record imprints as compiled by Billboard in 2012. 19 Recordings has the exclusive rights to sign contestants of the television series Idols. Since 2005, it shifted its main operations to the United States following CKX, Inc.'s ( CORE Media Group) acquisition of 19 Entertainment.

From 1999–2000, EMI has distributed its recordings. From 2001–2004, releases by most of the artists signed to 19 Recordings were distributed by Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG). Following BMG's merger with Sony Music Entertainment to form Sony BMG, RCA Music Group has distributed releases by 19 Recordings from 2005–2010. Since 2011, 19 Recordings partnered with Universal Music Group for distribution through Interscope Geffen A&M. Out of the dozens of Idol alum to have signed to the label, only 7 have continued their contract.

Amiga (record label)

Amiga is a popular music record label in Germany. Once an organ of the East German state-owned music publisher VEB Deutsche Schallplatten, Amiga became a label of the Bertelsmann Music Group in 1994.

In 1947, actor and singer Ernst Busch got permission from the Soviet Military Administration in Germany to create a music publishing house, which was named Lied der Zeit GmbH ("Song of the Times"). This publishing company included the label Amiga. In the 1950s, Lied der Zeit became VEB Deutsche Schallplatten ("German Records"), a state-owned company with a monopoly on record production. VEB Deutsche Schallplatten had a number of labels, each with a different purview; Amiga releases included folk, jazz, pop, rock, Schlager music, chanson, and children's music.

After the dissolution of the German Democratic Republic, most of the former East German public state enterprises were dismantled or sold to private investors. The Amiga label and catalog were acquired by Bertelsmann Music Group in 1994, which in turn was dissolved into Sony Music Entertainment in 2008.Amiga's catalog consists of 2,200 albums and about 5,000 singles, with a total of 30,000 titles.

Ariola Records

Ariola Records (also known as Ariola, Ariola-Eurodisc and BMG Ariola) is a German record label. In the late 1980s, it was a subsidiary label of Bertelsmann Music Group, which in turn has become a part of the international media conglomerate Sony Music.

Arista Records

Arista Records, Inc. () is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment and previously handled by Bertelsmann Music Group. The label was founded in 1974 by Clive Davis, who formerly worked for Columbia Records. Until its demise in 2011, it was a major distributor and promoter of albums throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Today, the label's reissues and catalogue releases are handled by RCA Records and Legacy Recordings.

In July 2018, Sony revived the Arista label.

BMG Poland

BMG Poland Sp. z o.o., was a Polish subsidiary of BMG founded in 1993 in Warsaw.In 1996 BMG Poland purchased independent label Zic Zac owned by musician Marek Kościkiewicz of De Mono. At the time Zic Zac had 10% share on Polish music market with such artists in their roster as Kayah, Urszula Kasprzak, Andrzej Piaseczny, Formacja Nieżywych Schabuff, Elektryczne Gitary, and Varius Manx among others. Kościkiewicz became BMG Poland CEO, while Zic Zac was reformed to labels subsidiary. In 2001 label opened subsidiary Sissy Records with such artists as Andrzej Smolik, Cool Kids of Death, Futro, Jacek Lachowicz, Lenny Valentino, Novika, Old Time Radio and Ścianka in catalogue.BMG Poland bestselling artists included Liroy and Varius Manx among others, with several albums certified Gold and Platinum in Poland.In 2004 BMG Poland merged with Sony Music Entertainment Poland to Sony BMG Music Entertainment Poland, as of joint venture deal between Sony Music Entertainment and Bertelsmann Music Group.


CDnow, Inc. was a dot-com company that operated an online shopping website selling compact discs and music-related products. In April 1998, during the dot-com bubble, the company was valued at over $1 billion. In July 2000, it was acquired by Bertelsmann Music Group for $117 million; shortly thereafter Amazon was contracted to operate the website. At its peak, it employed over 750 people and had offices in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, New York City, London, and Los Angeles.

Double Faced Ruby Lin

Double Faced Ruby Lin is an album by Ruby Lin. It marks the release of the first album by Bertelsmann Music Group(BMG). After released an EP in 1999, Lin signed a contract with BMG and subsequently released her first full-length album.

Drakkar Entertainment

This article is about the German record label, for the French black metal label, see Drakkar Productions.Drakkar Entertainment GmbH, also called Drakkar Records or Drakkar Publishing, is a German record label with its headquarters in Witten. It is a joint venture with Bertelsmann Music Group.

Gotham Entertainment Group

Gotham Entertainment Group LLC was a US-based company established in 1997 to establish a leadership position in the Indian comic magazine and children's book market. The Company was established by a number of media luminaries, including the former CEO of Time-Life, the former President of Warner Music Media and former President of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) Direct and the former Regional Creative Director of J. Walter Thompson-Asia Pacific. Gotham's CEO, Mr. Sharad Devarajan, is an entrepreneur with prior media experience at MTV Networks, Ford Modeling Agency, Elektra Entertainment, and DC Comics.

Hansa Records

Hansa Records (also known as Hansa, Hansa Musik Produktion or Hansa International) was a record label founded in the 1960s based in West Berlin, West Germany.

Imago Records

Imago Records (The Imago Recording Company) was an American independent record label, which was active during the early 1990s.

In 1990 Ann Munday was hired as Vice President and General Manager in their New York office.Several influential artists released albums through Imago, including Rollins Band, Aimee Mann, Paula Cole and Love Spit Love. Despite building a slate of up and coming alternative rock artists, the company ran into serious financial difficulties when, in December 1994, the company's former financial backer Bertelsmann Music Group pulled funding. This left many of their artists scrambling to find new labels.


Indolent may refer to:


A music label owned by Bertelsmann Music Group

indolent condition, a slowly progressive medical condition associated with little or no pain

The lowest of three grades of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL)

Indolent ulcers or Boxer ulcers, refractory corneal ulcers

Indolent carditis, a form of infective endocarditis that may also indicate rheumatic fever

Jim Henson Records

Jim Henson Records was a record label established in 1992 by Jim Henson Productions in an agreement with Bertelsmann Music Group. Robert Kraft was selected to run the label. The first album released by Jim Henson Records was the soundtrack to the film The Muppet Christmas Carol in 1992.

Jive Records

Jive Records was an American record label under the RCA Music Group formed in 1981 by Zomba Records. Formerly headquartered in New York City, the label was best known for a string of successes with hip hop artists in the 1980s, and also in teen pop and boy bands during the 1990s and early 2000s.

Jive Records operated as an independently managed label until 2003, when Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) acquired the remainder of its parent company Zomba for US $2.74 billion, which at the time was the largest-ever acquisition of an independent label with major-label distribution.

LaFace Records

LaFace Records was an American record label based in Atlanta, Georgia that operated as a unit of Sony Music Entertainment from 2008 to 2011 and was historically a part of Bertelsmann Music Group from 1989 to 2004. It was most active and achieved its greatest commercial success during the 1990s; dealing largely in the field of urban music. It was originally distributed by its co-creator Arista Records from 1989 through 2001; after which it was shuttered and absorbed into Arista. In 2004, the label was rebooted, and it began operating through Jive Records until both were absorbed into RCA Records in 2011. Today, the label's back catalog and reissues are managed by Legacy Recordings.

Pala Pala

Para Para is an album by Taiwanese pop singer Ruby Lin. It marks the release of the second album by Bertelsmann Music Group(BMG). A few days after released Double Faced Ruby Lin album, BMG features new AVCD format special edition containing one cantonese song 'Para Para' and bonus VCD.

Sony BMG

Sony BMG Music Entertainment was an American record company owned as a 50–50 joint venture between Sony Corporation of America and Bertelsmann Music Group. The venture's successor, the revived Sony Music Entertainment, is wholly owned by Sony, following their buyout of the remaining 50% held by Bertelsmann AG. BMG was instead rebuilt as BMG Rights Management on the basis of 200 remaining artists.

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