BMG launches in Brazil and acquires John Telfer’s Basement

BMG has launched a own wholly-owned operation in Brazil – Latin America’s most populous nation.

The Bertelsmann-owned firm has acquired the assets of publisher Basement Brazil to faciliate its new launch.

Basement founder John Telfer will serve as Managing Director of the new BMG Brazil based in São Paolo.

The move raises questions over BMG’s long-term deal in Brazil with Warner/Chappell – a key part of the major’s agreement to represent the company in Latin America.

Telfer originally founded Basement Music in 1978 as a publishing and management company working with artists including Joe Jackson, The Proclaimers, Everything But The Girl, and Television (whom he continues to manage).

Telfer opened Basement Brazil in 2005 and has since become the partner of choice in Brazil for many international independent music publishers.


“The new operation will not only increase the speed and quality of our service to our international clients in brazil – it will allow us to offer our unique service to local songwriters.”

Hartwig Masuch, BMG

John Telfer said, “The launch of BMG Brazil is one of the most significant developments in the Brazilian music market for many years. I have been incredibly impressed by the scale, the infrastructure, and the reach BMG has achieved in such a short time.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Basement’s clients, who I am confident will receive an even better service than before, and for the new BMG Brazil team.”

BMG EVP Business Strategy Thomas Mackenbrock said, “BMG is very committed to expand its global presence. We are excited to open our first office in Brazil and have a clear objective of further growth in this market – both organically and through acquisition.”

The launch of a Brazil office comes around two months after BMG launched BMG Australia, based in Sydney.

Brazil becomes the 12th territory in which BMG operates directly after Germany, the US, UK, France, Canada, Italy, Scandinavia, Spain, Benelux, China, and Australia.

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said, “The addition of John Telfer and the respected Basement operation gives BMG a strong platform to launch in Brazil.

“The new operation will not only increase the speed and quality of our service to our international clients in Brazil, it will allow us to offer that unique BMG service to artists and songwriters from Brazil. Great music knows no barriers.”

Despite recent economic difficulties the recorded music market in Brazil has grown by nearly 50% over the past five years, according to IFPI.

Brazil is the 10th biggest recorded music market in the world (IFPI) and the eighth biggest for music publishing collections (CISAC).

The growth of music streaming services has been rapid, already overtaking downloads, and with smartphone penetration still less than 50%, streaming is expected to grow substantially.Music Business Worldwide