BMG is planning to increase investment in its US record labels as it “doubles down” on its North American operation, which, it reports, already accounts for more than 50% of its revenue.
BMG’s entire business – including recorded music and music publishing – generated EUR €414 million (USD $447m) in the first six months of 2023.
As part of its plan to boost its investment in the USA, BMG announced on Thursday (January 25) that BMG Nashville President Jon Loba will become President Frontline Recordings, North America, taking charge of BMG’s entire North American frontline records business across Nashville, Los Angeles, New York and Canada.
In addition, Thomas Scherer, previously running publishing and recordings in Los Angeles and New York, will become President, Global Catalog Recordings, while retaining his responsibilities as President, Music Publishing, North America.
Alongside CFO North America Joe Gillen, they will comprise BMG’s US-based leadership.
BMG’s renewed focus on the US forms part of a new strategy revealed by CEO Thomas Coesfeld in October.
The company noted in its latest announcement that Coesfeld’s plan has seen BMG strike direct deals with Spotify and Apple Music and agree to a new physical recorded music distribution deal with Universal Music Group.
“BMG is stepping up. This is an integral part of our new strategy to deliver for artists and songwriters and go for growth.”
Thomas Coesfeld, BMG
Coesfeld also revealed in November that BMG will shift its attention to music rights and focus on music publishing and recordings as part of this strategy. As a result, BMG has divested its two live concert companies, Undercover and Karo, as announced in December.
“We are making good on our promise to double down on our US operation with a distinctive new approach: an integrated frontline operation spanning the whole of North America plus a Global Catalog business steered from Los Angeles,” Coesfeld said on Thursday.
He added: “BMG is stepping up. This is an integral part of our new strategy to deliver for artists and songwriters and go for growth.”
Jon Loba, now President of Frontline Recordings, North America, joined BMG in 2017 when the company acquired Nashville-based BBR Music Group.
Loba has built on a roster that already included country superstars Jason Aldean and Dustin Lynch to break artists including Blanco Brown, Parmalee, and 2024 Grammy nominees Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson.
In 2023 Loba delivered BMG its first Billboard Hot 100 No.1 yet with Jason Aldean’s Try That In A Small Town and Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson accounted for the six of the 12 awards presented at the CMA Awards.
Loba’s additional responsibilities include the Rise (Spiritbox, Sum 41) and RBC (Chief Keef, Run The Jewels) imprints as well as the main BMG label.
Thomas Scherer, meanwhile, joined BMG in 2008, moving to Los Angeles as EVP Global Writer Services in 2014.
In 2016 he took on BMG’s US music publishing business as EVP BMG US Publishing, before being promoted to President, Repertoire & Marketing, Los Angeles and New York, responsible for publishing, frontline recordings and production music.
Under his leadership BMG has signed or re-signed writers in the US including Diane Warren, Bebe Rexha, the George Harrison catalog, Pitbull and Ringo Starr, artists including Jennifer Lopez, 5 Seconds of Summer, Spiritbox and Nickelback and secured 48 acquisitions, including Mötley Crüe and Paul Simon.
“I’m looking so forward to working even closer with our staff throughout North America and as important, helping bring the visions of our amazing artists to life.”
Jon Loba said: “We have created something special with our artists in Nashville. I am excited at the opportunity to apply the timeless formula we have employed there – genuine partnership with authentic new artists – to BMG’s broader North American recorded business.
“I am grateful to Thomas Coesfeld for his constant inspiration and trust and to the broader BMG team. It’s been an exciting six months since Thomas was named CEO.
“His energetic and strategic approach to the business has been very inspirational for all of us, because that’s the way our Nashville team runs. I’m looking so forward to working even closer with our staff throughout North America and as important, helping bring the visions of our amazing artists to life.”
“BMG’s LA-based global catalog hub will be a genuinely digital-first catalog operation with dedicated digital, marketing and content creation teams to add value to the priceless catalog we have built and will add to with further acquisitions.”
Thomas Scherer added: “BMG’s LA-based global catalog hub will be a genuinely digital-first catalog operation with dedicated digital, marketing and content creation teams to add value to the priceless catalog we have built and will add to with further acquisitions.
“I am grateful to Thomas for the opportunity to build BMG’s Global Catalog operations to become the destination of choice for established and iconic artists around the world.”
Commenting further on Thursday’s news, Thomas Coesfeld added: “Under Jon Loba, BMG Nashville has exceeded our expectations year after year.
“Jon is not only one of the most accomplished record executives in Nashville, the multi-genre success he has achieved with Jelly Roll makes him the ideal person to take additional responsibility for our Los Angeles, New York and Canada recordings business as we further pursue our objective of making BMG the most effective and artist-friendly destination for artists, both established and new.
“Jon is a true entrepreneur and combines music savvy with an instinctive and well-rounded managerial style. I am delighted he is stepping up to take on this challenge.”
Coesfeld continued: “Thomas Scherer is a seasoned and trusted BMG executive who has served BMG in a wide variety of roles with significant success.
“He is the ideal person to lead our new streaming-first global catalog operation based in Los Angeles, while also retaining oversight of our important North American music publishing business, the backbone of BMG’s US operation.
“With Thomas at the helm of our Global Catalog Recorded organization, BMG will step up its investments in catalog. Together with our value-added approach to managing artists’ lifetime achievements, BMG will be uniquely positioned. Together with Jon and Joe, Thomas will deliver the expertise, energy and focus we need to further grow our business.”Music Business Worldwide