Music Business

BMG Publishing Review: What Is BMG Music Publishing?

Photograph of the blog post author, Dylan Easton

Dylan Easton

2.6.2021

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BMG Publishing is the self-proclaimed ‘fourth major music company’ and has bragging rights as the world’s largest independent music publisher. BMG has certainly become one of the global music industry’s biggest players since re-emerging as a Bertelsmann-owned independent in October 2008. They have the strength of a major publisher with the passion and commitment of an indie.

bmg music publishing logo

BMG Music Publishing have some impressive names in their roster. This includes the likes of Elvis Presley, Kylie Minogue, Coldplay, Nelly and countless others. It would seem they are doing something right since they’re responsible for the King of Rock n Roll!

In this article, we are going to take a look at what BMG Publishing does, their pricing, and look at some alternatives to BMG. Be sure to stay tuned until the very end so you don’t miss any key information!

What Is BMG Publishing?

we are bmg music publishing

BMG Music Publishing LTD is an independent music publishing company responsible for some of the biggest names in music. They offer what you’d expect from a global music publisher.

This includes creative services, administration services, sync and digital licensing, accounting and reporting tools and more.

They had a revolutionary plan to operate a worldwide publishing and recordings business on the same platform and under one roof. What started with a team of just three people in Berlin has grown into the largest independent music publisher.

What Does BMG Publishing Do?

BMG offers a wide variety of services, as any good music publisher does.

Let’s take a look at some of these services in greater detail and what they can do for you. 

Administration Services

bmg music publishing reception

In the heart of BMG Music Publishing France, and other areas of the world, is their world-class administration team. This is a combination of deep international experience, an obsession for detail and advanced technology.

As a significant international music company to be born in the internet age, their systems were digital from day one.

Copyright Administration

BMG Music Publishing London, as well as the rest of their offices, offers a fast, accurate, international song registration with collection societies worldwide. This is key to ensuring you get the money you’re due.

Royalty Accounting & Income Tracking

They collect your song play data from all over the world. It is then checked, then double-checked to ensure you get paid fully, accurately and on time.

Creative Services

bmg creative services

BMG Music Publishing NYC along with the rest of their operation has an enormous amount to offer in terms of creative services. They will introduce your music to the industry’s leading artists, A&R staff, managers and producers

Furthermore, they will connect you with other great songwriters for unique global co-writing opportunities.

Good creative services are what you’d expect from a publisher of this size since it’s in both their interest and the artists interest to make hits!

Sync & Digital Licensing

bmg sync licensing

They have an enormous Sync and Digital license team with tonnes of experience. This team promotes and licenses your music for use in film, trailers, videogames, commercials or web videos.

With regards to digital licensing, they put your music directly in front of your audience on the digital music services that matter. A single, simple passport to a world of digital opportunity.

All your digital rights and your royalties are expertly managed through the BMG company.

Mechanical Licensing 

BMG Music Rights ensure recordings of your songs are properly licensed. To obtain a mechanical license for audio-only products (including CDs, digital downloads, etc.)

Live Performance

Live music has never been more important in the world of music. Neither has collecting the live performance royalties that you are entitled to.

Wherever your song is played, BMG ensures that every play counts and you are compensated for it.

BMG Publishing Pricing

cash money coins and notes

The traditional record deal comprises an advance which is recouped by a royalty on sales. The reality is that for most artists the advance is never recouped while the record company makes money long before recoupment. 

Such deals are notoriously intransparent. BMG Music Publishing Nashville has opted instead for a revenue share deal in which the artist is credited with 70% or more of revenues and is given complete transparency over how the money is spent.

While this is a decent royalty rate, there are certainly some options out there which are better value for the average artists. 

Alternatives To BMG Publishing 

BMG Publishing isn’t your only option. There are many music publishing companies out there, including us at Music Gateway!

Let’s take a look at some alternatives to BMG Publishing. 

Kobalt

kobalt music logo

Kobalt is an admin publisher that prides themselves on paying their members more money in a quick manner. This is all thanks to their excellent technological advancements. This also means they have more transparency when it comes to finding out what’s happening with your music.

Kobalt represents artists such as Zayn Malik, Marshmello, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. They offer not only music publishing, but music recording and neighbouring rights. Kobalt represents more than 40% of the top 100 songs and albums in the US and UK, so they are definitely an impressive company and a worthy alternative to BMG.

Kobalt works the music releases of their clients early to find opportunities to place music in advertisements, TV shows, video games, films, and movie trailers. This goes to show how involved and proactive this company is in regards to getting your music out there!

They also have over 50 sync and brand experts across the world. These numbers display their vast music contacts and placement within the industry.

Most publishers take ownership of song copyrights and split income 50-50 with their writers. On the other hand, Kobalt lets its writers keep those copyrights and charges administration fees of about 10 percent.

This is 20 percent less than BMG Music Publishing and therefore proves to be the better option for artists who wish to keep more of their royalties.

Downtown Music Publishing 

downtown music logo

Downtown represents popular music from all around the world and has nearly 100 years of experience of doing so. Similarly to BMG, they aren’t afraid to embrace new technological ways to place music.

Staying relevant and moving with the times is important to them, which is beneficial to the artists that they represent. They also have direct relationships with music streaming platforms.

Downtown’s has a number of A-lister clients such as John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Hans Zimmer, The Kinks and tonnes more. They offer a range of services, from dealing with an artist’s finances and royalty payments to marketing, creative services and career development.

However, Downtown doesn’t accept what is considered ‘unsolicited submissions of material’. This means that they only accept music which they have requested. Additionally you cannot simply sign up on their website which makes it harder to get onto their radar.

Downtown’s Songtrust service costs 100 dollars upfront while still taking 15% commission on your royalties. This seems to be a better deal in comparison to BMG. However BMG offers greater services on one, easy to use platform. 

Music Gateway

music gateway logo

Music Gateway has a number of other really great services that they offer our members. This includes submission to Record Label A&R (both for artists looking for deals and for songwriters looking to place their songs with artists) and even free digital music distribution

We also offer services such as Music Management, Artist Promotion and Mastering. On top of this, we have Artist Sites, a place where artists can build an online showcase of themselves.

On Music Gateway, you can manage and store all of your recordings and assets securely in one place. Metadata and rights management are all handled within your private account database. You can assign song data (works) to files and add ID3 metadata information into your files. 

Furthermore, our inclusive audio library search tool gives you full flexibility to manage your music and add files to the integrated playlist creator, streamlining the whole curation process.

Music Gateway is also an established sync licensing agent. We work directly with music supervisors, broadcasters, TV production companies, advertising agents and games publishers worldwide licensing music and earning our rights holders revenue. 

Music Gateway offers a simple rolling monthly contract with quarterly royalty payouts and in depth royalty statements. What’s more, there are no upfront fees and you keep up to 95% of your royalty income!

Verdict

We may be biased, but numbers do not lie! Music Gateway has no upfront costs like some publishers such as Downtown’s Songtrust. Additionally, Music Gateway has everything you could possibly need on one, intuitive platform. Additionally, Music Gateway offers free distribution, unlike BMG.  

This user-friendly platform makes your life as an artist easy and you are entitled to 95% of your royalties. This makes it the better option to BMG since BMG takes a larger 30% cut compared to Music Gateway’s 5% cut.

That Was Our BMG Publishing Review

bmg music publishing office nashville

So, there we have it! We hope you’ve learnt something new today about BMG Publishing. We’ve gone through the features of the company and what it does for artists. This includes administration, licensing and more. We have also taken their fees into consideration.

In addition, we have had a look at some of the alternatives in the music industry. We’ve concluded that Music Gateway seems to offer artists the best services for its price. While BMG fees are decent, it simply cannot compete with Music Gateway. This is since we allow you to keep a greater percentage of your hard earned royalties. We may be biased, but we think we have the best deal!

We hope that you enjoyed this article! Whilst you’re here, why not check out some more guide on our blog? We have articles such as What Are Music Licensing Fees, a Beginner’s Guide To Sync Licensing, What Are Royalties In Music? and so much more.

Are You A Musician Or Artist?

Keep 100% of your copyrights and register your songs globally through our Music Publishing service. Wondering how to get a music publishing deal with us? Sign up free for Music Gateway now and we will guide you through it!

If that wasn’t enough, you can also grab free music distribution and find opportunities to get your music in film, TV, and more through sync licensing. Finally, you can amplify your music to those that need to hear it with music promotion and professional sharing tools. Try all of this out for yourself by joining Music Gateway. Get your 14-day free trial, no strings attached.

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