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Media group Bertelsmann published its financial results this morning, including figures for its music arm BMG for the first half of 2023.

The latter saw its revenues grow by 11.5% year-on-year to €414m (around $449.8m at current exchange rates) with digital accounting for 63% of those revenues.

That’s actually down from 69% a year ago, which Bertelsmann said was because “higher digital revenues were offset by comparably stronger growth in live revenues due to post-pandemic developments”.

The company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation – a measure of its profitability within the group) grew by 23.2% to €89m.

BMG made 15 acquisitions in the first half of this year, including catalogues and shares in music interests of the likes of The Hollies and Paul Simon.

How much did it spend? That wasn’t announced. Bertelsmann said that as a group it spent €264m investing in ‘intangible assets’ in the first half of 2023.

While that’s partly BMG buying music catalogues, it’s also another subsidiary, RTL Group, making “investments in the streaming and content businesses”.

Update: BMG has issued its own release with some more stats. 62% of its revenues in the first half of 2023 came from publishing, 34% from recordings and 4% from broader rights. Meanwhile, 58% of its investment went on acquisitions versus 42% on signings.

“This is a strong performance in the face of an increasingly tough market. We achieved double-digit growth in both revenues and EBITDA,” said CEO Thomas Coesfeld.

“Against the background of a soft advertising market, a maturing subscription streaming business and a physical music market impacted by inflation-driven cost increases, this is a very positive result.”

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