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'Network' Merger Gives BMG Production Power
By Darren Ratner
(more articles from this author)
2001-06-21
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It's getting complicated as to where, when or how the music industry manages to form monumental concepts that sharpen the entire industrial sphere. Bertelsmann is just one of the larger-than-life masterminds looking to compress the music industry into something manageable, and far more profitable. So it might just be beneficial to relax, turn up your boom-box and watch mergers and acquisitions take place directly under our ears. It's becoming inevitable.

On June 12, it was confirmed that BMG Entertainment purchased a San Diego-based music production company, Network Music, from the 1.6 billion dollar private equity firm, ABRY Partners, LLC. The objective: Gaining unlimited access to an enormous library of music and tracks. Thus, steadily boosting international promotion and strengthening the grapple on music, television ads and motion pictures. BMG has already reaped the rewards from the success of their production division called, Killer Tracks. It remains one of the largest in the world and can be heard in countless television spots and films. BMG will officially have Network Music on a leash, but the network itself will remain a separate entity, housing independent sales, production, marketing, warehouse and distribution units.

"Since 1992, we have steadily built our production music division, one of the fastest growing sectors of the music publishing business," said a confident Nicholas Firth, President of BMG Publishing Worldwide. "The addition of Network Music to our already dynamic library strengthens our position as one of the premier production music library groups in the world."

Oh, for sure. With BMG's music production assets already exceeding 800 CD's, the Network Music Private Label CD division will sport a "full-service" library of over 200 CD's, complete with high quality music compilations that benefit smaller to medium-sized production companies. Needless to say, it has BMG humming a happy tune.

"We are always looking for smart ways to increase our business...," said Gary Newman, Executive Vice President of BMG Special Products. "The addition of Network's Private Label CD division will provide us with the ability to offer new and existing customers a full range of products and services regardless of order size."

It must be true - size really doesn't matter! It's becoming increasingly apparent that with each M&A, the ferociously blinking "monopoly" sign becomes brighter and brighter. The little guys are slowly being overrun and acquired by corporations that hold a skeleton key to the entertainment world, opening any door they please. Good or bad? The only way to tell might be to let the brush fire run its course. Organizations like BMG and Universal have come to a unanimous decision, looking to explore the possibilities of a state-of-the-art music industry from a broader, more global perspective.

Universal announced last week that Sweden will now benefit from the technology boom by receiving musical content via the telephone. The combination of Universal Music International and Schibsted Telecom will become one of the largest deals ever to grace the Scandinavian market, allowing music lovers such capabilities as sampling tracks over the phone.

Hordur Bender, CEO for Schibsted Telecom and Inpoc had this to say: "...there is a major demand for these kinds of entertainment services. That is why we have given our customers the opportunity to sample the latest music on the phone."

Does it sound like the same difference? Between BMG and Universal, it's a strong possibility that both are hatching plots to bolster music and sound into our widely-used media and telecommunication outlets. BMG themselves have production offices in countries such as China, Germany, Italy and Hong Kong. So it appears that international music is already drumming to the beat of American influence, with any advances made in the States guaranteeing a strong impact on our neighboring countries.

The music industry, through various methods of simplification and marketing strategy, is beginning to create what could have been a time of complexity into something complimentary. The merging of BMG with Network Music can only help bring music production fresh amounts of recognition and technological prowess. It also gives the film and television industry a new reason to smile for the camera.

Linkography

BMG - www.bmg.com
Killer Tracks - www.killertracks.com
Network Music - www.networkmusic.com
Schibsted Telecom - www.schibsted.com
Universal - www.umusic.com

Related News from Mi2N:
» Universal Music International And Schibsted Telecom Announce Telephone Music Content Delivery Deal
» BMG Entertainment Acquires Network Music


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