Bertelsmann-backed BMG Music and ITV Studios have struck a partnership that will see the German music publisher become the go-to partner for the “Love Island” and “Bodyguard” producer-distributor’s business spanning production music, records, publishing and synch.
The deal includes a global music publishing and administration agreement for future commissioned music, as well as the launch of a joint venture production music label and the development of a customized online platform.
The BMG-created platform will be a top music delivery system serving as a one-stop shop for ITV Studios’ creative teams. The platform will host ITV’s commissioned music, music from the new joint venture production music label, as well as BMG Production Music’s broader catalogue offering. The portal will also provide a direct link for ITV Studios’ creative teams to browse and search across BMG’s synch catalogue.
Under the deal, ITV Studios will also benefit from BMG’s royalty portal, myBMG, which offers insights into royalty information, analytics and 24/7 reporting. BMG Production Music will also provide ITV Studios with global access to its entire repertoire. In addition, ITV Studios will collaborate with BMG’s artist and composer clients on new projects.
The deal comes at a turbulent intersection for ITV Studios, which has been hard hit by COVID-19. In its first-quarter results, ITV Studios reported an 11% dip in revenues to £342 million ($425 million), impacted “by the phasing of deliveries and restrictions on working practices due to COVID-19.”
The business, which is under the same ITV plc-owned group as U.K. commercial broadcaster ITV, has more than 8,400 hours of original programming in its catalogue, across 55 production labels. Its global footprint spans 13 countries, including the U.K., U.S., Australia, France, Germany, the Nordics, Italy and the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, BMG has 19 offices across 12 music markets, representing more than three million songs and recordings, and thousands of artists and songwriters spanning production music, film and books, as well as music publishing and recordings.
The business, which launched its music division only in 2008, recently committed to reviewing all of its contracts with artists of color, and in particular, Black artists.
David McGraynor, chief operating officer for ITV Studios, said: “Music is a key part of the world-class programs our talented production teams around the globe create to entertain millions of viewers. BMG demonstrated that they understood our music challenges and have come to the table with innovative solutions. We are looking forward to connecting our teams and working with everyone at BMG around the world to make this partnership a huge success.”
Alistair Norbury, president for repertoire and marketing at BMG U.K., added: “Entering into such a comprehensive partnership in the middle of the pandemic when we can’t all be in the same room together is an incredible testament to BMG and ITV Studios’ ability to work in a coordinated way across all business segments. The partnership opens up a great opportunity for our artists and songwriter clients to maximize their exposure to television audiences. I would like to thank ITV Studios for their faith in BMG.”
John Clifford, executive VP and global MD for BMG Production Music, said the deal helped to “slingshot” BMG’s production music business “to an almost immediate, market-leading position in the U.K.”
“With ITV Studios already established as a prominent international production company, we are excited to play a significant, mutually beneficial role in further advancing ITV Studios’ music strategy around the world,” said Clifford.