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BMG Rights Management and GEMA sign deal for the licensing of Anglo-American repertoire online across Europe

BMG Rights Management and GEMA have reached an agreement which will simplify the licensing and administration of online rights for BMG's Anglo-American repertoire across Europe. The cooperation is scheduled to start operations on July 1, 2012. It means digital service providers can now acquire licenses for BMG’s Anglo-American repertoire for all of Europe directly through GEMA. The service will particularly benefit cross-border digital music services.


BMG was founded in 2008 with a business model designed specifically to help both music artists and writers and music users make the most of today’s digital landscape. After several acquisitions and numerous international signings, BMG has assembled a strong catalogue of Anglo-American rights within just over three years. BMG believes that its new cooperation with GEMA will offer both music creators and users considerable advantages in rights administration.

As one of the leading copyright administration organizations worldwide, GEMA (in conjunction with PRS for Music) already administers the Anglo-American mechanical repertoire of EMI Music Publishing under the CELAS banner, and the Anglo-American mechanical repertoire of Sony/ATV under the name of PAECOL. With the agreement announced today, GEMA now has one of the most attractive catalogues of music rights in the online area, which can be offered to national as well as foreign online users as part of its Pan-European licensing programme.

Hartwig Masuch, CEO of BMG: "BMG is a start-up of the digital age, and we see technology primarily as an opportunity for the music industry. This cooperation with GEMA is an important step in the right direction, offering digital service providers one-stop licensing of our Anglo-American repertoire across Europe. The advantages include easier access to our repertoire for digital music service providers and simplified, more transparent and faster accounting for our songwriters."

Dr. Harald Heker, chairman of GEMA's Executive Board: "The signing of the agreement shows once again how much copyright holders trust GEMA. We are very pleased with the agreement with BMG Rights Management. Through this additional cooperation for the licensing and administration of mechanical online rights in all of Europe, GEMA is in the best position to grant rights in the online area, which has a promising future."

Laurent Hubert, President Creative & Marketing, BMG North America, said: „Simplifying the licensing process and speeding up payment to writers is one part of the picture, but of equal importance is the ability the deal gives us to actively seek out new opportunities and experiment with new business models. This deal is about unlocking the enormous potential of music’s digital future.”

BMG is an international group of music companies focused on the management of music rights. BMG covers the entire range of rights administration, development, and exploitation, placing the needs of songwriters and artists at the core of its business model. Since its founding in 2008, BMG has established a presence in eight core music markets and represents the rights of nearly one million songs and recordings including Crosstown, Cherry Lane, Stage Three, Evergreen, Chrysalis and Bug as well as signed a number of prominent artists and songwriters. BMG is a joint venture between the international media company Bertelsmann and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., a leading global alternative asset manager. The company trades under the name BMG Chrysalis in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Sweden following the acquisition of Chrysalis plc.

GEMA represents in Germany the copyrights of more than 64,000 members (composers, text authors, and music publishers), as well as over two million copyright owners from all over the world. It is one of the largest societies for authors of music works in the world.

Press officer of BMG Rights Management:
Annika Reiche-Seiz, Manager Corporate Communications
E-mail: annika.reiche-seiz@bmg.com, tel.: +49 30 300 133 - 382

Press contact of GEMA:
Julia Heymann, director of marketing & communication (interim)
E-mail: jheymann@gema.de, telephone: +49 89 48003 – 426

Katharina Reindlmeier, public relations manager
E-mail: kreindlmeier@gema.de, telephone: +49 89 48003 – 583

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