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BMG moves into live music through promoter acquisition

By | Published on Thursday 22 October 2020


Music rights company BMG has announced plans to move into the live music market in Germany. Odd timing, you might think. Although the move comes through the acquisition of a majority stake in promoter Undercover, which it presumably got at quite a good price.

Undercover’s team – including CEO Michael Schacke – will launch a new live entertainment division within BMG. The aim is for the company to be able to offer concert promotion and ticketing services to the artists signed to its recordings and publishing divisions. It will also work with other parts of the Bertlesmann empire, including book publisher Penguin Random House.

“Moving into live is the logical extension of BMG’s plan to integrate all the services an artist could need under one roof, with the artist brand at the centre of it all”, says BMG, EVP Repertoire & Marketing Continental Europe, Dominique Casimir. “Crucially, we have found in Michael Schacke and his team a partner who shares our values. We look forward to working with the other [Bertlesmann] divisions and together adding even more value to our artists and media brands by creating bespoke live experiences”.

Schacke adds: “I founded [Undercover] in 1991 to be able to perform with my band and that’s how I became a promoter. This idea has since grown into a nationwide concert agency with over 30 employees. Discussions about a partnership with BMG commenced long before the coronavirus pandemic, but we are now perfectly set up for when the market returns. There is a significant opportunity for us working together to offer a genuine alternative for artists in Germany and beyond, building on Undercover’s established recipe of ‘live entertainment and artist partnership'”.

The acquisition is expected to be finalised by the end of this month.