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Label News (more headlines) 01-06-2013

BMG Has Reached An Agreement To Acquire The Mute Records Catalogue

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BMG has reached an agreement to acquire the catalogue of the legendary Mute Records label from Universal Music Group, subject to regulatory approval by the European Commission. The agreement includes recordings by the likes of Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Nick Cave and Moby.

The acquisition is the first to result from the disposal of assets ordered by the European Commission following Universal Music's acquisition of EMI Records. BMG says it will continue to pursue further acquisition opportunities regarding master rights.

The agreement is pending subject to regulatory approval by the European Commission.

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said, "We are delighted to become the new custodians of the Mute Records catalogue, one of the most prized and influential in electronic and alternative music and a testament to the vision and A&R skills of Daniel Miller. BMG looks forward to working with all the artists concerned to give these copyrights the care and attention they deserve."

Mute Records was founded in 1978 by Daniel Miller who was inspired by the DIY approach of punk rock and the European electronic music he loved.

After signing Depeche Mode in 1980, Mute gained worldwide recognition as the band became an international success, and supported a range of experimental artists leading to its next big artist hit, Yazoo (Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet), followed over the years by Erasure, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Moby and Goldfrapp.

Depeche Mode alone are estimated to have sold over 100m singles and albums, including 48 hit UK singles and one US and two UK Number One albums. Their last studio album Sounds Of The Universe went to Number One in 21 countries.

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds have recorded 14 albums with Mute, building a worldwide cult following. Dance pioneer Moby has sold over 20m albums worldwide with Mute, most notably with the 10-million-selling album Play.

The Mute Records catalogue is BMG's most significant acquisition yet of master recordings as it pursues its policy of bringing together the traditionally separate disciplines of music publishing and masters.

During 2012 it has released albums by Bryan Ferry, Dexys and Nena and has signaled its intention to further ramp up activity in master recordings.

Said Masuch, "Earlier this year we said we would double our income from master recordings this year. I am glad to say we have more than exceeded this target. Creating a balanced portfolio of publishing and master rights remains central to our vision of creating a new digital-age music company."


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