Albert Music, the iconic Australian music label started in 1884, has been sold to German company BMG.
Albert Music was founded by clockmaker Jacques Albert in Sydney and remained in family hand for five generations. Jacques stepped down for his son Frank. Frank retired for his son Alexis. Ted Albert shaped the current business that is now run by David Albert.
The Albert family branched into publishing and radio. Frank Albert was a co-founder and the first director of the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA).
Frank also started Australia’s second radio station 2SB in Sydney in 1924 that later went back to government ownership as 2BL to set up the first station in the ABC radio network. In 1934 Frank acquired another Sydney licence and started 2UW (later MIX 106.FM and now KIIS 106.FM).
In 1954 Frank’s son Alexis became a founding director of Amalgamated Television Services (ATN 7) Sydney.
Alexis’s son Ted focused on the music business establishing Albert Productions in 1964 and signing Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs and The Easybeats. The Easybeats featured Harry Vanda and George Young who became the production backbone of the hit making factory for over 40 years. George’s brother Angus and Malcolm Young were the founders of AC/DC. To this day, the band remains with the Alberts label in Australia.
Albert Music artists include John Paul Young, Ted Mulry, Rose Tattoo, The Angels, Stevie Wright, Flash & The Pan, Alison MacCallum, Cheetah, Dallas Crane, Skybombers and Choirboys.
The sale of the company to BMG was announced on Tuesday 5 July 2016.
BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said, “This is an incredible opportunity to create a new leader in Australian music, combining Alberts’ strengths with BMG’s 21st century approach to the music business. As of today, Australian artists and songwriters wishing to tap into the world market have a genuine alternative to the established majors. BMG is very serious about the Australian market and this deal is an indication of our commitment.”
Alberts CEO David Albert said, “This was a difficult decision to make, but as music grapples with its digital future, with new distribution models and the influence of global technology companies, we believe BMG is in the best position to take the business forward. BMG has a global presence, an artist-friendly approach to business and a genuine desire to invest in and support the Australian music scene.”
BMG Australia Managing Director Heath Johns will run the newly-enlarged company, which will take on a number of the Alberts team. “No company has left a mark on Australian music like Alberts,” he said. “It is an honour for BMG Australia to protect this profound legacy and also work with its exciting contemporary roster to further build their careers at home and abroad. This is a big vote of confidence in Australian talent and a recognition of Australia’s status as the biggest international exporter of recording talent after the US and UK.”
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