HARTWIG MASUCH, 62
Last Year’s Rank: 36
A LABEL GROWS IN GERMANY: BMG continued to expand the label side of its business in an attempt to match its status as the world’s fourth-largest publisher. In its recently completed fiscal year, the company was on track to ring up $600 million in revenue: 25 percent of that total was minted by BMG’s label side, including revenue from the 2017 acquisition of Broken Bow Records, home to Jason Aldean.
BIG PIVOT: Since Masuch led BMG’s revival in 2008, the company has made over 100 acquisitions, which executives say cost an estimated $1.7 billion. But with multiples soaring for publishing and master-recording assets, BMG is now focused on its operations. “With the market overheated, we have successfully pivoted to focus on organic growth,” says Masuch.
POTENTIAL INDUSTRY PITFALL: “I would question the degree to which the music business has made progress in the past two years. Streaming companies have clearly made progress. The music business’ success is no more than a side effect of that. Most companies are essentially doing the same as their forebears were doing 10 or 20 or 50 years ago. Are they releasing better records? More effective at marketing? More profitable than their predecessors? I’m not convinced.”