BMG Expands Licensing Deal With GEMA to Reach Digital Services in Russia, Turkey

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BMG has expanded its ongoing deal with German collection society GEMA to add an additional 48 territories in which it licenses its Anglo-American catalog to Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and other digital services. The Berlin-based music company had already been licensing through GEMA subsidiary ARESA in 38 European countries, but now will expand to Russia, Turkey, and territories throughout the Middle East and Africa.

Through the new agreement, announced Thursday, BMG will continue to license through ARESA until 2012. The partnership began in 2012 and was refreshed it in 2015 in a deal that simplified the licensing and administration of online rights for the BMG repertoire across Europe. ARESA says it represents the rights of 1.6 million songwriters.

"Ensuring songwriters get the money they deserve in the streaming age is a simple concept but an incredibly complicated process," commented BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch. "We are delighted to extend our relationship with GEMA through ARESA to make sure BMG’s writers continue to receive a world-class service."

According to Masuch, the addition of 48 territories to its GEMA deal means BMG songwriters now have the potential to reach 1.8 billion music fans, up from 531 million via its previous arrangement.

"For six years, GEMA has, together with BMG, been facilitating a transparent and efficient licensing process for Anglo-American music all over Europe," said Harald Heker, GEMA CEO. "I am pleased that we continue this successful cooperation and now also expand it far beyond Europe's borders. We have a strong partner in BMG in order to meet the challenges of digital music licensing and to develop up-to-date licensing models."


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