Despite the pandemic that has devastated global economies, revenues of BMG’s music division were up 4.8% year-over-year for the first half of 2020, reaching $308 million.
The company’s operating income for the period was flat at $54 million, while the percentage of digital revenue was up 3%, from 56% to 59%.
The company said it was its best first-half since it was founded in 2008, despite its 19 offices across the world being closed and its 926 staffers working remotely.
“Thanks to dynamic growth in music streaming, further facilitated by [BMG’s] broad and highly digital setup, any lost revenues due to postponed releases or disruptions of physical distribution [during the pandemic] were more than compensated for,” the company said in a statement.
Key drivers of the results were a strong performance by the company’s music publishing business and surging streaming numbers for the company’s recording artists, it said, with streaming of its recorded catalogue up 49% year-on-year, and overall up 26%.
BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said, “To deliver a record result in the midst of a pandemic is a remarkable achievement. It is a testament to our artist-centric business model, but also to our 926-strong team worldwide who went to extraordinary lengths to maintain service to our artist and songwriter clients.
BMG successes during the period included Lewis Capaldi, Conkarah, NAV, KSI, Juice WRLD, Run The Jewels and Jason Aldean.
There were no major acquisitions during the period. Said Masuch, “Our growth is almost entirely organic. Despite the high levels of M&A in the wider music industry, we have not made a major acquisition since 2017. Our focus is on growing by delivering better, fairer, more efficient services to artists and songwriters. There is no doubt musicians are hurting through the pandemic, particularly with the loss of live business. That puts a particular responsibility on record labels and music publishers to help artists and songwriters maximise their earnings.”