BMG Acquires Mick Fleetwood’s Recorded Catalog Interests
BMG has acquired outright Fleetwood Mac co-founder Mick Fleetwood’s interests in the band’s recordings. The deal gives BMG Fleetwood’s royalty interest in over 300 recordings including all of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits. BMG will also participate in proceeds generated from the streaming business – as from the global viral success of the song “Dreams” on Tiktok.
Formed in the late 1960s, the blues, pop and rock band Fleetwood Mac is one of the most internationally successful groups in music history - and has recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Their 43-year-old hit “Dreams” experienced a tremendous revival in the digital world. And BMG, too, will profit from this going forward: Bertelsmann’s music company recently acquired all of Fleetwood Mac co-founder Mick Fleetwood’s interests in the band’s recordings. The deal gives BMG Fleetwood’s royalty interest in more than 300 recordings including all of Fleetwood Mac’s greatest hits such as “Dreams,” “The Chain,” “Go Your Own Way” and “Landslide,” released on albums such as “Fleetwood Mac” (1975), “Rumours” (1977) and “Tango In The Night” (1987). The acquisition includes Fleetwood’s interest in all of the band’s recordings except the first two albums.
Interest in revenues from streaming hits
According to BMG, this means that in the future it will also share in the proceeds of the viral success of “Dreams” on the social media platform Tiktok, which became a worldwide sensation with more than 3.2 billion online views. The song generated 182 million streams, 126k downloads, 2.8 billion Tiktok views, and sold upwards of 86k albums in the US in 2020. Thanks to this “Tiktok moment,” the band has won a new generation of fans. “Rumours” was catapulted back into the charts worldwide, and “Dreams” reached number six on the Billboard Streaming Songs chart, 43 years after its release. The acquisition strengthens BMG’s existing business ties with Mick Fleetwood, which cover the theatrical, album, and book releases of Mick Fleetwood & Friends. The February 2020 tribute concert honoring legendary guitarist and Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac’s early years featured performances by stars including Steven Tyler, Christine McVie, Neil Finn, Noel Gallagher and Pete Townshend. “Mick Fleetwood is the bedrock of one of the greatest bands in rock,” says BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch. “He has a unique talent to bring together musicians of all genres and of course he is one of rock’s greatest drummers. BMG is proud to represent his greatest work and excited about the forthcoming launch of Mick Fleetwood & Friends.” Mick Fleetwood said, “This is a wonderfully inspiring marriage between two creative partners that understand all aspects of the business. Foremost, BMG understands the artistry and puts the artist first. If this partnership is any indication of my past, and now future, working relationship with BMG, it’s that they truly ‘get it’.”
Recorded investment benefits from streaming growth
The sale of Mick Fleetwood’s recorded interests was brokered by his manager Carl Stubner of Shelter Music Group. Said Stubner: “For over 50 years Mick’s works continue to be introduced to legions of new fans while BMG continues to ensure its artists are paid their fair share. In an industry, not always known to look after its iconic artists, BMG continues to maximize their income streams.” BMG EVP Group Strategy and M&A Justus Haerder said, “This acquisition highlights the value of timeless recordings in a streaming market which is increasingly benefitting established rather than newer artists. While recent acquisition activity in the music market has focused on music publishing, this is a pure recorded investment which will get the full benefit of streaming growth. Catalogues such as Fleetwood Mac’s which connect with every generation are benefiting disproportionately from that growth.” Mick Fleetwood formed Fleetwood Mac with John ‘Mac’ McVie in 1967 with guitarists Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer. The band hit their stride with their third album “Then Play On” with hit singles “Albatross” and “Man Of The World,” but the band fell apart amid substance issues and relationship problems. Their golden period began in July 1975 with a new line-up and the release of Fleetwood Mac, their first US Number One. It was followed by a string of classics including “Rumours,” “Tusk,” “Mirage,” “Tango In The Night,” and “The Dance.” Fleetwood Mac have sold more than 120 million records worldwide and were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame in 1998.