BMG Forms Strike Force to Boost UK Artists’ Streaming Market Share in US


The team will be led by longtime U.K. music executive Ian Ramage.

BMG has appointed Ian Ramage to head a new strike force for U.K. repertoire in the U.S., the company announced Monday (Sept. 16). The team will address the “emerging gap” for U.K. artists in the U.S. as streaming increasingly becomes the dominant mode of music consumption. 

“The problem for U.K. artists is that U.S.-based companies naturally tend to favor their local repertoire,” said BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch in a statement. “Our view is that U.K. artists and songwriters deserve better than that. We need to ensure we maximize their success in the U.S.” 

Figures from the U.K. trade association BPI shows that the U.K.’s share of on-demand streams was just 7.6 percent in 2018, despite accounting for 12.6% of all U.S. album sales. BPI attributed the disparity to the “popularity of North American R&B and Hip Hop/Rap.”

The strike force — which will have offices in London, New York and Los Angeles — will focus primarily on performer-songwriters, while its roster will consist of artists from across multiple generations.

Ramage, whose title is vp repertoire & marketing U.K., will report to BMG president repertoire & marketing U.K. Alistair Norbury

“This is a distinctive service which cuts across the traditional dividing lines of music publishing and recordings, which plays to our strength as the only fully-integrated international music company,” added Norbury. “Ian Ramage is amply qualified to take on this role and we are delighted he has committed to BMG.” 

Ramage began his career as a product manager at Polydor and later marketing manager at East West/Warner Records. He later returned to Polydor as head of marketing and subsequently joined EMI Records as marketing director. After that, he worked as general manager at BMG Music Publishing, a role he served in for nearly a decade before the company was sold to Universal. He then spent two years as head of A&R U.K. and Europe at Sony/ATV Publishing before becoming a lecturer on the music business. He has worked as a part-time consultant to BMG in the U.K. while completing a dissertation on The Beatles.