BMG has appointed music business executive Ian Ramage to head a new strike force for British repertoire in the United States in a first for the UK music industry.
With staff in London, New York, and Los Angeles, the team will explicitly address the emerging gap for UK artists in music’s biggest market in the switch to streaming consumption.
Figures from BPI, the UK record companies trade association, show that while the UK share of U.S. album sales in 2018 was 12.6%, the U.K.’s share of on-demand streams was just 7.6%, a fact attributed by the BPI to the “popularity of North American R&B and Hip Hop/Rap.”
The new strike force is endorsed by Berlin-based BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch who says that the disparity is a result of record company practices rather than consumer preference. “The problem for UK artists is that US-based companies naturally tend to favor their local repertoire,” he said. “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.”
The new team will focus particularly on performer-songwriters and crucially the strike force roster will include artists across the generations from the Sixties until today.
As Vice President Repertoire & Marketing UK, Ramage will report to BMG President Repertoire & Marketing UK Alistair Norbury.
Said 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. Ian Ramage is amply qualified to take on this role and we are delighted he has committed to BMG.”
Ramage boasts more than 30 years’ experience in the UK music industry working with artists including The Cure, Elvis Costello, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Coldplay, Keane, and Richard Hawley.