BMG Acquires Chinese Publishing Catalogs

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BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch

Continuing a very busy year for the German music company, including a distribution deal with Chinese digital giant Alibaba in March and distribution partnership with Giant Jump, BMG today announced its acquisition of EWorld (not to be confused with Apple's mid-'90s web company) and J.Music's publishing catalogs.

In a statement, BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch says his company's "rapid growth" in China "vindicates" his company's global approach to business. "With these first two acquisitions in Greater China, BMG is demonstrating its confidence in and long-term commitment to the Asian market," said Dora Yi, Chief Investment Officer at BMG Greater China. “These two great catalogues form the foundation for what BMG intends to be significant future growth in China.”

This year alone, BMG has acquired a metal label, acquired some works by J. Lo and Nina Simone, inked a pan-European licensing deal, secured rights to Janet Jackson's upcoming record, dipped its toes into YouTube's ecosystem and acquired the rights to Buddy Holly. If nothing else, Masuch is keeping busy.

The climate of China's music industry is tempestuous. As companies have begun to join that market -- a Billboard chart was launched in the country last month -- and attempt to capture some of the huge volume of listeners it offers, the country's problematic relationship with speech freedom has recently created some problems for creativity-based companies. On one hand, China has stepped up its policing of removing infringing content. On the other, it recently announced that music streaming companies must police the catalogs they make available for content that could run afoul of the Ministry of Culture.

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