BMG expands into artist management, partners with Carl Stubner’s Shelter Music Group

BMG, which is expected to turn over more than $600m this year, is well known for its work in music publishing and records, alongside its growing presence in music-leaning movies and books.

Now, the Bertelsmann-owned firm has a new string to its bow, artist management – complete with an approach which it says will “set the pace for the industry”.

According to BMG boss Hartwig Masuch, the company believes it can attract top management talent into its stable by offering them an attractive revenue share deal which also “guarantees independence”.

BMG is entering the artist management world in partnership with Carl Stubner, the manager of Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top, Crowded House, and Neil Finn, among others.

BMG is backing Stubner’s new Shelter Music Group, which, according to BMG, is “a music management company with a global presence” that retains full independence to sign artists to other labels and music publishers.

Stubner serves as Chairman of Shelter Music Group, with Dino Paredes as President.

BMG already works with Shelter artists including ZZ Top, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle.

“As the lines blur between the services provided by labels and those provided by managers, it is inevitable that these previously separate parts of the business will come together.”

Hartwig Masuch, BMG

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said, “Carl Stubner is a force of nature and we are delighted to partner with him.

“As the lines blur between the services provided by labels and those provided by managers, it is inevitable that these previously separate parts of the business will come together.

“Ultimately we are both in the business of serving artists and have complementary interests.

“We believe that combining resources and expertise on certain projects will benefit artists.”


Shelter has relocated its Nashville operation into BMG’s new office in the city.

BMG says this move gives Shelter access to its “global resources and networks through [our] 15 offices worldwide”, as well as offering “BMG artists and songwriters located outside the US a unique ability to receive management support and expertise in the North American market”.

“This is an opportunity to build a new kind of management company with a presence in every significant music market. We have ambitions to move into both records and publishing with BMG and are already in advanced discussions to recruit other managers to join us.”

Carl Stubner (pictured)

Carl Stubner said, “BMG has created the first new music major of the streaming age. This is an opportunity not just to work more closely with the most innovative company in music, but also to build a new kind of management company with a presence in every significant music market.

“We have ambitions to move into both records and publishing with BMG and are already in advanced discussions to recruit other managers to join us.”

Added Masuch, “Artist managers are more important in the music business than they have ever been. You want to stick close to the ones who get things done.

“The same kind of revenue share deal BMG has pioneered for artists could be extended to managers, all while guaranteeing their independence… Our new approach to the artist management business  will set the pace for the industry.”

Hartwig Masuch, BMG

“Our key insight has been to understand that the same kind of revenue share deal BMG has pioneered for artists could be extended to managers, all while guaranteeing their independence.

“BMG has consistently pioneered fresh approaches to the music business from our insistence on fairness and transparency, to our revenue share approach to records, to our early recognition that streaming favours established artists.

“Our approach to the artist management business is equally new and will yet again set the pace for the industry.”


Typically, BMG offers a recorded music deal which sees artists receive a 75% share of revenue, with 25% retained by the company.

This split buys the artist core services like royalty collection, product management and accounting, while other label services – including marketing spend, PR and physical distribution – are layered on via optional additional costs.

BMG and Shelter are already collaborating on Mick Fleetwood’s forthcoming sold-out all-star tribute to Peter Green and the early years of Fleetwood Mac, which is due to take place on 25 February 2020 at the London Palladium.

Musical guests at the event will include Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, Jonny Lang, Andy Fairweather Low, John Mayall, Christine McVie, Zak Starkey, Steven Tyler and Bill Wyman.Music Business Worldwide

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