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BMG to Buy Primary Wave Publishing Assets in $150 Million Deal

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Since 2006, Primary Wave Music has been a go-to source for independent artists’ music publishing in the United States, but as of yesterday (Sept. 3) BMG Rights Management, “a rights management company equally representing music publishing and recording rights,” announced a $150 million deal to take majority control of Primary Wave’s music publishing.

Primary Wave is behind artists such as Cee-Lo Green, Goodie Mob, Ginuwine, Steven Tyler, Eric Benet and Ray J.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “the agreement will give BMG ‘significant rights in Primary Wave’s music publishing assets,’ including such songs as Earth Wind & Fire’s ‘September,’ Hall & Oates ‘Kiss on My List,’ John Lennon’s “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and Marvin Gaye’s ‘How Sweet It Is’,” the management company confirmed.

While BMG is set to take over the majority of the Larry Mestel-owned company’s music publishing, the two corporations have also announced a partnership for “the talent management side of Primary’s business.” The collaborative effort will be called BMG/Primary Wave Artist Services, “which will focus on signing recording artists who already have a track record.”

BMG has good reason for wanting to build a corporate alliance with Primary Wave. “The U.S. remains the heartland of and biggest single market in the worldwide music industry,” said BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch. “This strategic alliance with Primary Wave, one of the most respected independents in the business, gives us control of some of the greatest copyrights in popular music in one stroke, while also strengthening our marketing resources in promoting new recordings.”

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