BMG acquires independent French production house AXS Music

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BMG has fully acquired French independent production music company AXS Music.

The deal represents a scaling up of BMG Production Music (BMGPM) – the library music-focused division of Bertelsmann’s BMG, which was established earlier this year.

BMG Production Music worldwide Managing Director Geert-Willem Koolhof said, “Just months after the creation of BMG Production Music, these moves are indicative of our ambition to create a global alternative to the established players. There is a lot more to come.”


AXS Music was founded in Paris by Axel von Hueck more than a decade ago to provide music for film, TV and radio licensing and is currently home to over 50 composers.

Following the acquisition, Von Hueck will leave the company which will now form the basis of the new BMG Production Music France – which will be run by Managing Director Jérôme Keff.

“Just months after the creation of BMG Production Music, these moves are indicative of our ambition to create a global alternative to the established players.”

The deal builds on BMG Production Music’s international network of offices in the US, UK, Benelux, and Germany, providing new markets for AXS clients and enhanced access to the French market for BMGPM’s existing repertoire.

Keff joins BMG from Universal Publishing Production Music France where he spent nine years, most recently as marketing and business development manager. Previously he worked for a number of big-name French companies including Carrefour and FNAC.


In addition, John Clifford has been named Senior Vice-President of BMG Production Music UK.

Clifford has nearly 25 years experience of the production music business, starting his career in Australia in 1993 working for independent music publisher Nightlight Music.

In 1997 he moved to Zomba Production Music Australia which ultimately became Universal Production Music with Clifford as General Manager. In 2012 he relocated to London where he was responsible for international website and tech development for Universal Production Music.

“I am delighted to welcome John and Jérôme to BMG Production Music.”

Geert-Willem Koolhof

In 2013 he became managing director of Universal Production Music UK where he re-shaped the business, created a team and nurtured media partnership deals that delivered significant growth. In 2015 he led Universal’s acquisition of Focus Music.

Geert-Willem Koolhof said, “I am delighted to welcome John and Jérôme to BMG Production Music. These are senior appointments which reflect our philosophy of combining deep music expertise with a commitment to ensuring our clients get the service and music they need.”

[Pictured L-R: John Clifford, Geert-Willem Koolhof, Jérôme Keff]Music Business Worldwide

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