Hartwig Masuch

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Hartwig Masuch
Hartwig Masuch
BornJuly 20, 1954
Hagen, Germany
Alma materRuhr University Bochum
OccupationMusic executive
Known forChief Executive Officer of BMG

Hartwig Masuch born July 20, 1954, in Hagen[1] is a German music executive.[2][3] Since 2008, he has been Chief Executive Officer of BMG Rights Management, a Bertelsmann group division.[4] Under his leadership, BMG became a leading international music company.[5] According to Billboard, he is among the most influential representatives of the industry in the world.[6][7] Masuch was himself a musician and producer and is considered a pioneer of the Neue Deutsche Welle.[8]

Early life

After graduating high school, Masuch began studying economics at the Ruhr University Bochum in 1974.[9] At the same time, he worked for the Chair of Money Theory, and was the frontman of the punk and new wave band The Ramblers.[10] To finance his livelihood, he worked as a taxi driver at times.[11] At the age of 20, Masuch signed his first recording contract.[12] In 1980, he finished his studies without graduation to concentrate on his career as a musician.[13]

Masuch founded an independent music publishing house, was the frist to sign with Nena and produced the debut album of Extrabreit. Since then, he has been regarded as a pioneer of Neue Deutsche Welle.[8] He also established his own music label and was responsible for hits by Ina Deter and others before selling it in 1984.[10]


In 1985 Masuch joined Warner Music Publishing as General Manager Repertoire. After two years he was promoted to the position of General Manager & Vice President Creative Affairs.[14] During this time he signed nationally and internationally successful bands.[1] In 1991, Masuch joined BMG Music Publishing, a subsidiary of Bertelsmann, as Managing Director & Senior Vice President.[15] There he was mainly responsible for business in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.[5] Masuch left the company in 2007 to sell BMG Music Publishing to Universal Music, where he advised Bertelsmann on the separation from Sony BMG and the reorganization of activities in the music industry.[16]

Masuch coordinated the administration and marketing of the music rights to works by around 200 European artists, such as the Prinzen, that remained with the group.[17] The catalog formed the cornerstone for the foundation of BMG Rights Management in 2008.[18] Masuch was managing it from the beginning, and positioned the company as a fair and service-oriented partner for artists.[8][19] He also focused on digital marketing, especially on streaming services.[20] With the support of Thomas Rabe, Chief Executive Officer of Bertelsmann,[21] Masuch organized the temporary participation of the financial investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR).[22] From 2009 to 2013, KKR supported the international expansion and numerous acquisitions of BMG Rights Management.[23][24]

Since 2013, Masuch has been a member of Bertelsmann's Group Management Committee, the highest management body below the Executive Board.[25]


The 2018 Echo Music Prize was overshadowed by a controversy over supposedly anti-semitic texts by Kollegah and Farid Bang.[26] Masuch also had to explain himself for the release of the album by BMG Rights Management.[27] He emphasized the principle of artistic freedom, which the company takes very seriously. BMG Rights Management stopped working with both rappers, and initiated a campaign agains anti-semitism.[28][29]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Hartwig Masuch – Weltstars unter Vertrag" (in Deutsch). Stadt Hagen. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  2. "Hartwig Masuch". Mediabiz. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  3. Meier, Christian (2017-06-06). "Popmusik ist weniger reibungsfreudig geworden". Die Welt (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  4. Caspar Busse (2016-03-14). "Vom Taxifahrer zu Musikmanager". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Catrin Bialek (2017-04-04). "Die Gitarre immer griffbereit". Handelsblatt (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  6. "2019 Power 100 List". Billboard. 2019-02-07. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  7. Ingham, Tim (2015-05-28). "How to Revolutionise the Music Business: Rip It up and Start Again". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Henrik Mortsiefer (2018-10-15). "Wir wollen die Guten sein". Der Tagesspiegel (in Deutsch). p. 14.
  9. "Hartwig Masuch im Gespräch" (in Deutsch). Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Michael Koch (2018-09-27). "Ich sehe keine Stadt in den Fußstapfen von Hagen". Westfalenpost (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  11. Henrik Mortsiefer (2010-08-09). "Taxifahren mit Nena". Der Tagesspiegel (in Deutsch). p. 15.
  12. "Alleskönner waren mir schon immer verdächtig". Berliner Zeitung (in Deutsch). 2016-02-11.
  13. Henrik Mortsiefer (2010-07-26). "Das Spiel hat sich geändert". Der Tagesspiegel (in Deutsch). p. 14.
  14. "Hartwig Masuch". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  15. Margit Mair (2013-06-03). "Bertelsmann erweitert Group Management Committee". New-Business (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  16. Arndt Ohler (2007-09-28). "Bertelsmann prescht mit Plan für Musikverlag vor". Financial Times Deutschland (in Deutsch). p. 3.
  17. "Bertelsmann verwertet die Prinzen". Der Tagesspiegel (in Deutsch). 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  18. Arndt Ohler (2008-10-09). "Bertelsmann bietet Musikern neuen Service". Financial Times Deutschland (in Deutsch). p. 5.
  19. Martin Krause (2008-10-15). "Der Künstler ist König: Bertelsmann steigt mit neuer Firma wieder ins Musikgeschäft ein". Neue Westfälische (in Deutsch).
  20. Stefan Betschon (2008-10-17). "Online-Musik im Aufwind". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in Deutsch). p. 59.
  21. "Der Visionär mit der Bassgitarre". Handelsblatt (in Deutsch). 2011-10-10. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  22. "Bertelsmann: Duett mit Heuschrecke". Der Tagesspiegel (in Deutsch). 2009-07-09. p. 20.
  23. Wolfgang Spahr (2009-08-15). "BMG Is Back: Buying Songs With KKR Cash". Billboard. p. 17.
  24. Gerrit Wiesmann (2013-03-01). "Bertelsmann Takes Control of BMG". Financial Times. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  25. "Masuch steigt bei Bertelsmann auf". Mediabiz (in Deutsch). 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  26. "Antisemitismus-Debatte um Kollegah und Farid Bang überschattet Echo-Verleihung". Handelsblatt (in Deutsch). 2018-04-10. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  27. "Strafanzeige gegen BMG-Chef". Die Glocke (in Deutsch). 2018-04-25. p. 17.
  28. Carsten Germis (2018-04-19). "Warum BMG die Kooperation mit Kollegah und Farid Bang stoppt". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  29. "BMG plant Kampagne gegen Antisemitismus". Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (in Deutsch). 2018-04-23. Retrieved 2019-06-25.

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