BMG announced solid earnings for 2018 — its tenth year since the “new” BMG opened for business after its previous incarnation merged with Sony Music — as part of parent company Bertlesmann’s results Tuesday. According to the announcement, despite “negative exchange rate effects,” BMG’s revenues increased by 7.5 percent to €545 million (around $644 million), over the previous year’s €507 million. Operating EBITDA rose by 17.3 percent to €122 million (around $144 million, over the previous year’s €104 million), boosted by the increase in revenues and economies of scale. The EBITDA margin rose to 22.5 percent (previous year: 20.5 percent).
BMG publishing clients are currently in the No. 1 spots on the albums and singles charts in the U.S. (JuiceWRLD’s “Death Race for Love” and Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings,” co-written by Kimberly Krysiuk and Victoria Monet McCants) and the U.K. Jack Savoretti and Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved”).
The company’s recorded-music division had a particularly strong year, driven by releases from Jason Aldean, Kylie Minogue, Lil Dicky, The Prodigy (whose Keith Flint died earlier this month), Kontra K, A Perfect Circle, Alice In Chains and Aled Jones & Russell Watson. The company signed new deals artists including Keith Richards (whose publishing has been handled by the company since 2013), Dido, Marianne Faithfull, Lenny Kravitz and Adel Tawil. BMG also acquired the world music label World Circuit Records and the US hip-hop and rap label RBC Records.
BMG’s publishing business also continued to grow, with chart success from songwriters including Jason Evigan, George Ezra, Camille Purcell, Bebe Rexha, Jessie Reyez, Jess Glynne and The BossHoss. The company also showed its diversity by signing publishing deals with both Ringo Starr and rising rapper JuiceWRLD.
BMG Production Music, which provides music specifically for movies, video games and advertising, was expanded and now has a presence in eight territories with new offices in Singapore and Hong Kong.