BMG acquires Australian indie publisher and label Alberts

BMG has acquired the 131-year-old Australian music publishing and recording company, J Albert & Son Pty Ltd, better known as Alberts.

Alberts has published songs and released records from many major names in Australian music, including The Easybeats and their songwriters Harry Vanda, George Young & Stevie Wright, AC/DC, John Paul Young, Rose Tattoo and a roster of contemporary writers including; Montaigne, Megan Washington, Brendan Gallagher, Josh Pyke, Urthboy, the Cat Empire and San Cisco.

As part of the deal, the Albert family will retain their interests in the catalogues of AC/DC plus Vanda, Young & Wright.

BMG will administer the music publishing catalogues worldwide on behalf of the family.

Alberts will now form part of BMG Australia, the Sydney-based operation of BMG launched just three months ago, and has already signed contemporary Australian talent such as Peking Duk, Wolfmother, LDRU, The Living End’s Chris Cheney and Wave Racer.

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said, “This is an incredible opportunity to create a new leader in Australian music, combining Alberts’ strengths with BMG’s 21st century approach to the music business.

“As of today, Australian artists and songwriters wishing to tap into the world market have a genuine alternative to the established majors. BMG is very serious about the Australian market and this deal is an indication of our commitment.”

Alberts CEO David Albert said, “This was a difficult decision to make, but as music grapples with its digital future, with new distribution models and the influence of global technology companies, we believe BMG is in the best position to take the business forward.

“BMG has a global presence, an artist-friendly approach to business and a genuine desire to invest in and support the Australian music scene.”

Masuch Hartwig_BMG

“As of today, Australian artists and songwriters wishing to tap into the world market have a genuine alternative to the majors.”

Hartwig Masuch, BMG

BMG Australia Managing Director Heath Johns will run the newly-enlarged company, which will take on a number of the Alberts team.

“No company has left a mark on Australian music like Alberts,” he said.

“It is an honour for BMG Australia to protect this profound legacy and also work with its exciting contemporary roster to further build their careers at home and abroad.

“This is a big vote of confidence in Australian talent and a recognition of Australia’s status as the biggest international exporter of recording talent after the US and UK.”

Alberts Chairman Robert Albert said of the retained catalogue: “These songwriters were an integral part of my late brother Ted Albert’s vision to take Australia’s music to the world. Retaining these catalogues will allow us to stay connected with an industry that has been an integral part of our lives for the last 131 years. The family will also continue to maintain its lifelong connection with music through our philanthropy, which is focused on achieving positive outcomes through music.”

BMG launched as an independent in October 2008 with a plan to operate the traditionally separate music publishing and record businesses under one roof.

Last Friday (July 1) its new Brazilian operation BMG Brazil opened for business.

Over the past five years, BMG and Alberts have developed a strong working relationship, with Alberts representing much of the BMG catalogue in Australia and BMG acting as Alberts’ sub-publisher in various territories in Europe.Music Business Worldwide

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