BMG acquires US label Rise Records in multi-million dollar deal

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BMG has fully acquired US-based metal and hard rock label Rise Records. Sources tell MBW that the two parties have agreed a multi-million dollar deal.

Rise, home to artists including Of Mice & Men (pictured), Memphis May Fire, Crown The Empire and The Devil Wears Prada, was founded by Craig Ericson in 1991.

The acquisition is the fourth significant recorded music buyout in the past 12 months for BMG. It follows its acquisition of two key frontline indies – UK-based Infectious and US-based Vagrant Records – plus catalogue specialist Union Square Music in the second half of last year.

These acquisitions, combined with organic growth, helped BMG officially become the UK’s fifth biggest record company in Q1 2015.

Under BMG’s ownership, Rise will continue to operate from its headquarters in Portland, Oregon under the leadership of Ericson.

BMG will handle back office functions and will offer Rise artists access to its international network.

Rise currently generates around 95% of its revenue in the US.

“I’m thrilled to work with BMG and I know Rise Records and its bands will benefit greatly from this partnership.”

Craig Ericson, Rise records

The label has used digital media to an impressive degree in recent years, building a YouTube video channel which now boasts more than 1.4m subscribers.

Its current releases include White Noise by PVRIS, currently embarking on a 50-date tour, including a performance at next month’s Download Festival in the UK.

The partnership builds on BMG’s existing strengths in the heavy rock/metal genre. It owns historic recording catalogues from the likes of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Megadeth, Uriah Heep and Helloween and contemporary recordings from You Me At Six, Within Temptation and Bring Me The Horizon.

Sales of hard rock recordings in the US grew by 8% in the fourth quarter to 2014 at a time when the overall market declined by 3.5%.

Laurent Hubert, President Creative & Marketing at BMG Chrysalis US, said: “Rise Records is more than a record label. It is a cultural phenomenon which has harnessed digital media to create a genuine community.

“We are delighted to partner with Craig and his team to give Rise’s artists access to BMG’s world-class admin services and international network.”

“Rise records is more than a record label. It is a cultural phenomenon.”

LaurenT Hubert, BMG

Craig Ericson, President of Rise Records, said, “I’m thrilled to work with BMG and I know Rise Records and its bands will benefit greatly from this new partnership.”

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said, “BMG continues to invest in the future of the music business.

“We believe music offers tremendous potential – provided you recognise the rules of the game have changed.

“An innovative company like Rise Records is an ideal match for BMG.”

Seven years after it was relaunched as an independent, BMG now represents the rights to around 2.5 million songs and recordings.

It previously acquired the catalogues of Chrysalis, Bug, Virgin, Mute, Sanctuary, Primary Wave, Talpa Music and more.Music Business Worldwide

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