BMG transforms artist compensation with big data solutions powered by Google Cloud

This global music company accelerated its royalty processing and matching capabilities to provide even more timely and accurate earnings data to artists and clients.

BMG Industry Media & Entertainment Challenge

BMG was faced with an explosion in data volume generated by digital music platforms and processing billions of lines of information from various sources was becoming increasingly time-consuming.

Solutions Rackspace Elastic Engineering, Public Cloud Platforms Google Cloud, Data, Google Cloud Data

Our customer

BMG is the world’s fourth-largest music company, the first new global player in the music business of the streaming age, and a record label and music publisher.

Named in 2020 as one of the world’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company magazine, BMG maintains a relentless focus on fairness, transparency and service to its artist and songwriter clients. BMG’s 22 offices across 13 core music markets now represent over three million songs and recordings, including many of the most renowned and successful catalogs in popular music history.

“Rackspace Technology was instrumental in our cloud migration. With upwards of 45 applications to migrate into Google Cloud — many of them heavily dependent on each other — we were able to proceed with a well-defined and refined migration process.”
Dave Wimbush, Service Delivery Director, BMG

The obstacles they faced

BMG faces three main obstacles. First, acquiring a new catalog or a new label brings a flood of data that needs to be quickly ingested and integrated into the company’s system. On average, BMG is increasing the data it intakes by 30% every year.

Second, once the music is in the system, BMG receives billions of data queries each day from music streaming providers, and it needs to quickly and accurately parse that data to ensure that artists are fairly compensated.

Its existing on-premises infrastructure enabled it to scale vertically, but not horizontally, and by looking at its growth trajectory, BMG knew this lack of scalability would create challenges in the face of rapidly increasing data volumes.

BMG recognized that it was the correct time to pivot and adapt to public cloud technologies to help get a handle on the first two challenges. It also knew there was a pressing need for improved tools and resources for both internal and external teams to effectively utilize various technology stacks and increase efficiency.

“We're committed to transparency and fairness and providing the best service to our clients. And what that means is not hiding anything,” explained David Wimbush, Service Delivery Director at BMG. “What we wanted to do was give artists, songwriters and other rights holders even greater confidence in the data and the information that we're presenting to them.”

Man with the face illuminated and wearing headphones

“Rackspace is an amazing partner, and we are continuously working with them to provide better systems while continuing to build on our existing ones.”

Maxime Rousson, Cloud Architect, BMG
Man playing a guitar

How we helped

After migrating 95% of BMG's applications and services into Google Cloud, Rackspace Elastic Engineering teams provided additional project delivery and 24x7x365 support expertise. BMG achieved enhanced performance and scalability through Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and BigQuery.

“Having a Kubernetes engine backed by Google is amazing because we don't need to worry about the underlying infrastructure,” explained Maxime Rousson, Cloud Architect at BMG. “We can focus on building the tooling and the platform-as-a-service.”

BMG implemented a multi-tenancy cluster on GKE, allowing multiple applications to run in a shared yet segregated environment with enhanced security. This also integrated tightly with their continuous deployment (CD) pipeline, using Argo CD for seamless application delivery.

“This is where further optimization can be realized through the use of technologies and concepts such as Kubernetes clusters,” explained Wimbush. “It enables us to have much smaller application components running in a way in which each one can scale, self-heal and remain resilient.”

And via its new central BigQuery platform, BMG was able to connect key datasets and pull information from various applications and services. This data lake significantly improved decision-making by providing real and meaningful data.

“We not only need to be able to scale on the data processing side, but on the client side as well, because our internal repertoire and client base is growing at a fast pace,” recalled Rousson. “Scalability is key for us, and all the PaaS solutions we're building facilitate that goal via Kubernetes engines and container technologies microservices, which are completely decoupled from each other and can scale at a very granular level.”

After moving to Google Cloud, BMG can process royalty data 10x faster.

What we achieved together

After the migration, royalty processing runs 10 times faster and the process of adding new artists and songwriters and their music to the tracking system is 50% faster, thanks to automation.

“We already had music tagging in place, which helps us to classify music in general by style,” explained Rousson. “Thanks to AI integration, we’ve seen a huge increase in velocity of data treatment. And now we can categorize music by mood much faster, which helps us make better decisions on classification.”

BMG clients now benefit from increased transparency and access to more detailed data, allowing them to pinpoint the origins of their royalties, identify the popularity of individual tracks across various countries, and discern which platforms are streaming their music most frequently.

“Rackspace was really great to help us in this journey,” says Rousson. “They helped us design and to architect the best services in Google Cloud.”

About Rackspace Technology

Rackspace Technology is a hybrid, multicloud solutions expert. We combine our expertise with the world’s leading technologies — across AI, applications, data and security — to deliver end-to-end solutions. We have a proven record of advising customers based on their business challenges, designing solutions that scale, building and managing those solutions, and optimizing returns into the future. 

As a global hybrid, multicloud technology services pioneer, we deliver innovative capabilities to help customers build new revenue streams, increase efficiency and create incredible experiences. Named a best place to work, year after year according to Fortune, Forbes and Glassdoor, we attract and develop world-class talent to deliver the best expertise to our customers. Everything we do is wrapped in Fanatical Experience® — our obsession with customer success that drives us to help each customer work faster, smarter and stay ahead of what’s next. 


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