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BMG reaches licensing agreement with Roblox

By | Published on Monday 21 June 2021


BMG has announced that it has signed “a strategic agreement to bring the vision of BMG to the Roblox metaverse”. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s done a licensing deal with the gaming platform. This follows, we are told, “the resolution of prior claims relating to the use of BMG-controlled songs and recordings” by the Roblox company.

“BMG’s artist-centric approach and boldness in bringing state-of-the art technology to help maximise their success is very much in line with Roblox’s focus on empowering our community of creators”, says Jon Vlassopulos, Vice President and Global Head Of Music at the gaming firm. “Our partnership with BMG will enable them to do what they do best; and that’s to empower incredible talent with new ways to reach and engage fans, and create innovative new commercial opportunities”.

Christopher Ludwig, BMG’s VP Global Digital Partnerships & Strategy, adds: “Roblox has transformed the gaming experience for millions and is proving a powerful way to introduce new generations to music they love. We are delighted to embrace the opportunities Roblox presents”.

Wow, what a beautiful story of people coming together in loving harmony. Roblox could really do with making a few more friends like BMG. There are still plenty more people in the music industry who are not best pleased with it. Not least the consortium of other music publishers in the US, led by trade body the National Music Publishers Association, who earlier this month sued the company for $200 million.

The litigation is seeking “no less than $200 million for Roblox’s unabashed exploitation of music without proper licences”, said the NMPA when launching the legal action. “The lawsuit will ensure songwriters are fully paid for their works on the platform and that Roblox takes seriously its obligations to those who have made its service so popular and profitable. Songs recorded by artists including Ariana Grande, Imagine Dragons, Deadmau5, Ed Sheeran and the Rolling Stones are all being utilised without compensating their writers and copyright holders”.

The day after the NMPA went legal, Roblox issued a statement saying it was “surprised and disappointed” about the litigation which “represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Roblox platform operates”. The gaming platform added that it would defend itself “vigorously as we work to achieve a fair resolution”.

NMPA boss David Israelite then countered that “having some deals with some labels and publishers to host music events is in no way legally adequate when you operate a massive platform to which music in integral”.

It remains to be seen if Roblox can see off that lawsuit by making more friends like BMG.