BMG annual revenues hit $979m in 2023, up 4.6% YoY; EBITDA flat at $210m

BMG's Kylie Minogue won a Grammy in February, alongside other BMG-signed talent such as Lainey Wilson

BMG generated EUR €905 million (USD $979m) in annual revenues in 2023, up 4.6% YoY.

That’s according to a new set of annual fiscal results from the music company’s parent, Bertelsmann, published today (March 26).

BMG’s operating EBITDA stood at EUR €194 million ($210m), which was flat vs. the prior year’s EBITDA result of €195 million.

Bertelsmann pointed out today that BMG had achieved that 2023 EBITDA result “in a year of considerable structural changes” – likely a reference to the fact that the company has laid off 100+ employees since CEO, Thomas Coesfeld, took over last summer.

BMG’s EBITDA margin stood at 21.4% in 2023, down slightly from the 22.5% margin it posted in 2022.

According to Bertelsmann’s results, BMG spent EUR €197 million ($213m) on acquiring music catalogs in 2023. That was close to half the size of the EUR €380 million that BMG spent on catalog acquisitions in 2022.

Of the €197 million spent in 2023, some €85 million was spent in the United States, with €62 million spent in the UK, €29 million spent in Germany, and €21 million spent in other countries.

Of BMG’s €905 million in annual revenues in 2023, 51.5% was generated in the United States, with 12.8% generated in the UK, 10.3% generated in Germany, and 7.0% generated in France. Just 7.3% of BMG’s 2023 revenues (around €66m) were generated in non-EU/UK/US countries.

BMG’s revenue breakdown in 2023

Last year was a transformational one for BMG.

In the final third of 2023, Thomas Coesfeld announced that BMG would be moving its digital distribution (for Apple Music and Spotify) in-house, while a fresh physical distribution partnership was agreed with Universal Music Group.

Coesfeld also announced that, amongst other restructuring, BMG would be closing its film/TV and live music operations, in a bid to “re-focus” on music rights.

BMG made 30 catalog acquisitions in 2023, Bertelsmann confirmed today, including significant music rights packages from The Hollies, Snap!, Jet, Dope Lemon, Martin Solveig, the band Nena, and Alain Chamfort.

BMG also acquired a significant share of Paul Simon’s music interests, including the artist’s revenues from Simon & Garfunkel’s recordings.

New deals were inked by BMG in 2023 with the likes of Jennifer Lopez (recording and publishing) and the Sex Pistols (publishing), as well as with the artists Wiz Khalifa, Sum 41, Corey Taylor, Mammoth WVH (recording and publishing), and Half Moon Run.

Meanwhile, Pitbull, Robin Schulz, and the estate of Juice WRLD extended their long-term publishing contracts with BMG, while the company secured the right to release George Harrison’s solo recordings.

BMG’s biggest successes in frontline recorded music in 2023 included new releases by Kylie Minogue, Jason Aldean, Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson, Rita Ora, and Godsmack. (Aldean delivered BMG’s first No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Try That In A Small Town.)

In the publishing business, BMG’s biggest contemporary songs included cuts on I’m Good (Blue) and Boy’s A Liar Pt. 2, plus the albums Hackney Diamonds by the Rolling Stones and Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent by
Lewis Capaldi.

All EUR-USD currency changes in this story are made at average annual exchange rates published by the IRS.Music Business Worldwide

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