Aussie-born executive John Clifford is rising up the ranks at BMG.

Clifford will head BMG’s worldwide production music business, a reward for his role in doubling the division’s revenues and EBITDA in just two years.

The former BMG Zomba Australia exec joined BMG Production Music (BMGPM) in 2017 as managing director U.K. and senior VP global sales, marketing & repertoire. In that time, the company has been on a tear and it now claims to be the fourth biggest player in the worldwide production music business.

“In many ways BMG Production Music has followed the same growth trajectory as the core BMG business,” comments Clifford, “first of all defining a unique market positioning and then growing swiftly by acquisition. The emphasis now is on organic growth and service delivery, but we do so now as a global player.”



Based in London since 2012, Clifford reports in his new role to BMG CFO Maximilian Dressendoerfer.

“Production music is one of our most dynamic segments of business,” said Dressendoerfer in a statement announcing the new promotion. Clifford has made a “significant contribution to this growth,” he adds, “and I am delighted to congratulate him on his expanded role.”

Clifford brings to the post a quarter-century experience in production music. His CV includes a lengthy spell at Universal Production Music where he held the roles of MD U.K., head of media rights management Europe, and from August 2007 – May 2012, served as GM for Australia and New Zealand.

His Australian industry experience includes a two-year-plus stint as general manager for BMGZomba Production Music.

Since Clifford joined BMGPM, the company has integrated the acquisitions of U.K. companies Altitude and Deep East Music, relaunched its BMGPM brand, and brought on board a host of new clients, including Ninja Tune and Red Bull.

ARIA Charts

Kylie Minogue

He succeeds Geert-Willem “GW” Koolhof, who has decided to stand down following the completion of BMGPM’s initial build phase, a company statement reads.

Launched in 2008, BMG today has 15 offices in 12 music markets, including Australia, where it made its entry in 2016 through the acquisition of Alberts. The German company represents over 3 million songs and recordings.

The Bertelsmann-owned company posted revenues of €269 million in the six months to the end of June, up 11.4% from the year-before period, with operating EBITDA spiking by 16.7% to €49 million. The group, led by CEO Hartwig Masuch pointed to Kylie Minogue as one of its star performers.