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BMG, BroadbandTV Create ‘Windfall’ for Aspiring YouTube Music Stars

Multichannel network operator BroadbandTV and BMG, Bertelsmann’s music publishing and rights subsidiary, have formed Windfall — a joint venture promising up-and-coming YouTube music artists a comprehensive solution for producing, distributing and making money from their content.

German media conglom Bertelsmann owns both BMG and European broadcaster RTL Group, which owns a controlling stake in BroadbandTV. Via Windfall, BMG will provide YouTubers services including music publishing, rights management, promotion and distribution; BBTV brings to the table a suite of online-video services including production, premium channels and fan-generated content management.

BroadbandTV operates two of the largest music networks on YouTube: Opposition, focused on hip-hop; and WIMSIC, an electronic dance music (EDM) network backed by such artists as Major Lazer, Dillon Francis and Will Sparks. BBTV’s pact with BMG will help the MCN company hit its target of more than doubling the size of its music network over the next 12 months, according to BroadbandTV founder and CEO Shahrzad Rafati.

“Not only does this partnership with BMG break new ground in expanding the relationship between artists and labels, it’s a big step forward in the music industry as a whole where online video has become such a massive strategic component to engage with fans,” Rafati said in announcing the venture. “With Windfall, we’re not just creating music stars, but media stars.”

Added BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch, “With online video emerging as a breeding ground for new talent, our partnership with BroadbandTV brings an innovative new offering to the market, creating an artist-friendly suite of online video services which we believe will be a game-changer.”

BBTV, founded in 2005, currently has some 36,000 content partners across MCN verticals including gaming, music, lifestyle, entertainment, kids and family, and news. It is headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Bertelsmann formed BMG in 2008. The company is the world’s fourth-biggest music publisher, representing more than 2 million songs and recordings, including the catalogs of Chrysalis, Bug, Virgin, Mute, Sanctuary, Primary Wave and Talpa Music, as well as thousands of individual artists and songwriters.

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