BMG integrates frontline and catalog recording companies
BMG has announced the full integration of its new release and catalog recording businesses.
In doing so, the company claims to have become the first global music company to abandon the “old-fashioned industry distinction” between new, ie “frontline” and older, ie “catalogue” recordings.
The industry has traditionally defined “frontline” as any release less than 18 months old, while “catalog” is considered music older than 18 months.
According to BMG, the move “reflects the new reality of a streaming market where older catalog recordings account for up to three-quarters of sales.”
Effective immediately, BMG announces that its recorded catalog will now report locally according to its country of origin and then globally via EVP Global Repertoire Fred Casimir for all out-of-territory sales. This is the same structure the company uses for new or so-called “frontline” recordings.
BMG’s catalog of recordings includes recordings by artists such as Black Sabbath, The Kinks, Motörhead, Rick Astley, Mötley Crüe, Kylie Minogue, Chris Rea and Nick Cave.
“Music is music regardless of its age. Great artists and great music never expire and we believe it’s time the music industry reflected that.”
According to BMG boss Hartwig Masuch, “music fans show daily that they reject the music industry’s outdated preference for new music over older music”.
He added: “Music is music, regardless of its age. Great artists and great music never expire and we believe it’s time the music industry reflected that.”
The move means Casimir will now lead a team of around 90 people responsible for marketing recordings worldwide.
“BMG’s success is no big secret. It’s about catering to the needs of artists and adapting to the realities of the streaming world.”
Fred Casimir, BMG
Casimir joined the new BMG in 2009 as Managing Director BMG Germany from Bertelsmann sister company FremantleMedia, where he was responsible for all music-related business in Europe.
He became EVP Continental Europe in 2012, EVP Global Recordings and President Continental Europe in 2018 before assuming his current role as EVP Global Repertoire in 2019.
International success stories under Casimir’s leadership include projects by Louis Tomlinson, 5SOS, Lenny Kravitz, Katie Melua, Conkarah, Bryan Adams, Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue and LP, as well as developing BMG’s film business, including the documentary Moonage Daydream and David Bowie’s hit Lewis Capaldi documentary Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now, currently streaming on Netflix.
Fred Casimir said, “BMG’s success is no big secret. It’s about taking care of the needs of artists and adapting to the realities of the streaming world.
“Successful music catalogs deserve the same effort, commitment and passion as newer recordings. I am very pleased to take on the responsibility for marketing BMG’s pre-recorded catalogue.”
In a note to BMG employees, CEO Hartwig Masuch wrote, “BMG was the first music company to recognize that older music would be relatively more important in a streaming environment than ever before. This is backed up by market statistics showing that frontline new release business has declined to 30% or less of streaming consumption.
“As a result, we have invested heavily in classical repertoire and the majority of our front-line new releases come from proven and established artists.
“But until now we have always followed industry practice and established a separate global reporting line for catalog records as opposed to the frontline.
“That’s changing now. Effective immediately, the recorded catalog will now report locally according to its country of origin and then globally via EVP Global Repertoire Fred Casimir for all out-of-territory sales.”
Masuch added, “This represents a significant expansion of Fred’s responsibilities and reflects the success of the global frontline marketing team he created in 2018. He will now have additional responsibility for the global catalog marketing team and the London-based Global Licensing Hub.
“It also means that at the local level, our repertoire leaders – Thomas Scherer in LA, Alistair Norbury in London etc. – unique in the music industry will oversee and catalog music release and frontline recordings in their local areas.
“This fulfills our long-term plan to create the world’s first fully integrated music company, empowers local leadership, streamlines reporting lines and makes us more responsive to our artist and songwriter clients.”
“Congratulations to Fred and to all of our repertoire and marketing teams who continue to do such a great job.”music business worldwide