Today in Music: BMG keeps rebuilding publishing empire with Fuji deal
Bertelsmann’s BMG Music Rights has continued to expand by agreeing to a deal to manage the song catalogs of Fuji Entertainment America’s ARC Music, Six Palms Music and Third Story catalogs in a worldwide deal everywhere outside of Japan and South East Asia.
While this isn’t quite as committed a deal as buying a company’s catalog, it’s still an important way to continue to gain influence and power in the music publishing business. The German media company returned to music publishing in 2007 after a brief absence following the sale of its song publishing company to Universal Music Group in 2006.
Since being founded, BMG Music Rights has built up its catalog to more than 200,000 songs and recordings following acquisitions of catalogs like Crosstown Songs, Cherry Lane Music Publishing and Stage Three Music.
The joint venture company (between Bertelsmann and private equity firm KKR) is now seen as the likely buyer of EMI’s rich catalog of songs whenever, if ever, its owner Terra Firma finally puts EMI’s assets on the block.
ARC Music’s catalog includes works by blues and rock ‘n’ roll legends like Chuck Berry (“Johnny B. Goode”), Bo Diddley “Who Do You Love”, Howlin’ Wolf (“Smokestack Lightning”) and John Lee Hooker (“Boom Boom”), pictured left.
Six Palms’ catalog includes Tom Waits’ I Hope that I Don’t Fall In Love With You” and “Hey Joe” made popular by Jimi Hendrix.