Global giant BMG Music Publishing enters India through Turnkey

In acknowledging India’s rapid growth in the international music industry and, as part of Turnkey Music & Publishing’s plans of having global representation in India, BMG, the world’s largest international

Atul Churamani

music company outside the “majors” has, end-October 2022, signed a sub-publishing agreement for the territory of India with Turnkey, which was floated in July 2013 by media and industry veteran Atul Churamani.

BMG – established in 2008 – is the world’s fourth-biggest music company, the first new music global player in the streaming age, and a record label and music publisher combined in one. Named in 2020 as one of the world’s most innovative companies in their annual listing by Fast Company, the US magazine that each year honours the businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture, specifically named BMG’s ground-breaking revenue share deals for artists as core to its innovative approach.

“BMG set a new standard in how record deals are constructed,” Fast Company said. “Instead of the typical deal where labels retain upwards of 80% of the profits, BMG typically retains only 25%, leaving the lion’s share of the revenue to the artist.”

Indeed, BMG’s pitch is unique – a relentless focus on fairness, transparency, and service to its artist and songwriter clients – as its 21 offices across 12 core music markets now represent over three million songs and recordings, including many of the most renowned and successful catalogues in popular music history. BMG’s fresh approach includes music production, films, books, artist management, merchandise, rights management, as well as music publishing and recordings. BMG is owned by international media services and education company Bertelsmann, whose other content businesses include entertainment group RTL, and book publisher Penguin Random House.\

BMG’s music publishing catalogue comprises of works by such established artistes as George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Roger Waters, Ray Davies, Buddy Holly, Paul Anka, Diane Warren, Kurt Cobain, and Chris DeBurgh, as well as contemporary songwriters including Lewis Capaldi, Bebe Rexha, Kings Of Leon, and Juice WRLD, among others. Some of the great songs in musical annals are also represented by BMG, such as ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ (Pink Floyd), ‘Walk This Way’ (Aerosmith), ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ (Tears For Fears), ‘Wild World’ (Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam), and ‘Come As You Are’ (Nirvana).

BMG also owns the publishing catalogues of Virgin, Chrysalis, Stage Three, Cherry Lane, and Primary Wave, among others and, in turn, represents the works of acts such as Human League, Jethro Tull, Billy Idol, Blondie, Lenny Kravitz, The Black-Eyed Peas, and John Legend.

Turnkey Music & Publishing also represents the works of independent Indian songwriters such as Shaan, Papon, Leslee Lewis, Raghav Meattle, Louiz Banks, Rudy Wallang and Tipriti Kharbangar of blues band Soulmate, Merlyn D’Souza, Sanjay Divecha, apart from artiste imprints like Merchant Records of Salim & Sulaiman Merchant, Taalim of Bickram Ghosh, and Anuradha Pal’s Sur Aur Saaz. Turnkey also sub-publishes the catalogues of Rajshri Entertainment, Shemaroo Entertainment, Ultra Media & Entertainment, SVF, Sree Devi Video Corporation, and Super Audio Madras, among others, for global markets.

Since July 1, 2020, Turnkey has also been the sub-publisher in India for Kobalt Music, Fairwood Music Publishing, Big Swede Studios, and Konic Records, as well as representing music production libraries like You Tune Music and Soho Production Music.

“India is an important and growing market for us and we are delighted to have found, in Turnkey, an independent publisher,” announces Janet Andersen, SVP of BMG Global Publishing Services, “which not only share our values, but also brings a dynamic approach to monetising publishing catalogues.”

“We are honoured that BMG has chosen us to represent its amazing catalogue in the Indian market,” beams Atul Churamani, Managing Director of Turnkey, expectedly with pride. “BMG’s presence will help strengthen the representation of international works in India, particularly at the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS), which is now aggressively looking to license all users across all genres of music. BMG brings some fantastic music to the party and, having worked with the team there on the ‘Jim Beam Originals’ project in 2020 and 2021, we look forward to creating some interesting and unique opportunities for the company.”

Keeping in mind, Churamani’s enviable track record in the media & entertainment industry since the mid-’80s, there is no denying that he is one industry veteran who not only sticks to promises, but also initiates all things promising!

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