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Bertelsmann has announced its annual results, including details of its music division’s financial performance in 2021.

BMG’s figures show its strongest performance yet, based on its investment in acquiring music catalogues and the performance of its recordings business, where vinyl sales more than doubled.

Major catalogs acquired by the company in 2021 include Tina Turner, Mötley Crüe and ZZ Top, while key signings and re-signings included 5 Seconds of Summer, Bryan Adams and Louis Tomlinson in records and D’Mile, Diane Warren, the Juice WRLD estate and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in publishing.

In 2021, overall revenues grew 10.1% to €663 million (approximately $748 million) while profit measure EBITDA increased by 5.4% to €144m. According to the announcement, catalog recordings and production music both grew revenue by a quarter, while publishing revenues from streaming grew by a fifth. The impact of the lockdown diminished publishing performance revenues, but streaming revenues continued to grow strongly through the pandemic.

Publishing remains the business’ foundation, accounting for 62% of revenue, but recordings now account for 38% of sales. Vinyl sales grew more than 100% over 2020 and overall physical sales grew by 44%.

In a note to the BMG team, CEO Hartwig Masuch, said, “Acquisitions remain a real focus, and the extraordinary support of Bertelsmann means no deal is out of our reach. But while money is necessary it is not sufficient to strike successful deals. BMG’s track record in respectfully and dynamically reviving great catalogues, both digitally and physically, continues to be our most potent tool in attracting world-renowned artists and songwriters. An emerging trend is for artists already deep in negotiations with competitors to break off those talks and come to BMG instead because they want to ensure their life’s work is duly respected.

We believe the emphasis on service which we have made our calling card and which you deliver on daily, will become increasingly important as a differentiator in the months and years to come.”