Earlier this year, BMG announced that it was reviewing its catalogues to see if any of the contracts were discriminatory towards Black musicians.

“While BMG only began operations in 2008, we have acquired many older catalogues. If there are any inequities or anomalies, we will create a plan to address them. Within 30 days,” it said in June.

The process may have been more complicated than expected: six months on, BMG says it has completed the first stage of its review, and found that “four of the 33 labels in its historic acquired catalogues show statistically significant differences between the royalties paid to Black and non-Black artists”. It’s now going to conduct a deeper study “to establish definitively the reasons for those differences”, while promising to “bring forward measures which will benefit the lowest paid recording artists across all of its catalogues”. BMG is also lobbying for other labels to undertake similar reviews.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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