BMG moves into video content as ‘strategic offering to artists and songwriters’

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BMG is expanding into music-related film and TV production, spearheaded by the Joan Jett documentary Bad Reputation, which will premiere at the Sundance film festival in January.

The record label and music publishing company is both financier and executive producer of the feature-length documentary project, and three more are in the pipeline.

The move into film and TV is led by BMG SVP Justus Haerder, who heads a four-person team operating from BMG’s Los Angeles office.

The new business unit’s remit covers feature-length documentaries, narrative features, concerts, and scripted and unscripted series in both long and short-form.

Bad Reputation explores the life of rock ‘n’ roll legend Joan Jett from her early days as founder of The Runaways and first meeting with collaborator Kenny Laguna, to her enduring presence in pop culture.

It is directed by Kevin Kerslake, whose portfolio includes As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM, and Nirvana Live! Tonight! Sold Out!

“Be in no doubt: this is a strategic move. These are early days, but increasingly we expect video content to develop into a formidable addition to BMG’s strategic offering to artists and songwriters alongside music publishing and recordings.”

Hartwig Masuch, BMG (pictured)

Three more feature-length music documentaries – The Show’s The Thing (working title), The Children of The Revolution, and Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records (working title) – are in production in addition to Bad Reputation, all represented by Submarine.

Haerder said, “We have been pretty successful so far in keeping BMG’s strategic move into audiovisual production under wraps. Bad Reputation being selected for Sundance kind of blows the lid on that, but we are incredibly excited and proud. Joan Jett is an American icon and Kevin Kerslake has created a superb documentary which really captures her story.”

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch added: “Be in no doubt: this is a strategic move. From YouTube to the rise of the music documentary to the increasing emphasis of Spotify and Apple Music on video content, technology is transforming music into a visual medium.

“These are early days, but increasingly we expect video content to develop into a formidable addition to BMG’s strategic offering to artists and songwriters alongside music publishing and recordings.”Music Business Worldwide

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