Numerous Nominations and Awards for Fremantle Productions

In the area of drama and film, Fremantle enjoyed great creative success in 2023 and was honored with a total of 145 awards (2022: 115), including two Golden Globes and the Golden Lion for the movie “Poor Things” by Fremantle company Element Pictures. In 2024, “Poor Things” won four Oscars out of eleven nominations at the Academy Awards and five BAFTAs (British Academy Film Awards). While The Apartment Pictures won a Best Actress award for “Priscilla” (Cailee Spaeny) at the Venice Film Festival, Wildside’s “C’è Ancora Domani” (“There’s Still Tomorrow”) won three awards at the Rome Film Festival and was the most successful film of 2023 in Italy, with audience figures of more than 5 million since its theatrical release in October.
“Poor Things” trailer “Priscilla” trailer eMore about “C’è Ancora Domani”
4 Oscars,
2 Golden Globes &
for Poor Things
43 M
hours of streaming
for the
Waco documentary
in the 1. HY 2023

Fremantle Increases Its Focus on Documentaries

Fremantle expanded its documentary business in 2023: In March, the global company launched its new label Undeniable, which specializes in the production of first-class documentaries such as “The Second Woman” with Ruth Wilson and “Devo,” a joint feature film with BMG, Warner Music Entertainment and Undeniable about the New Wave band Devo. “House of Kardashian,” a thought-provoking documentary series about the life of the Kardashian-Jenner family and produced by Fremantle’s 72 Films, launched on Sky in 2023.

“Waco: American Apocalypse,” a docuseries produced for Netflix by the Fremantle label Original Productions, ranked among the top-ten Netflix television series in 13 countries worldwide in 2023, including the United Kingdom and the United States, with 43 million hours watched in the first half of the year alone. “Waco: American Apocalypse” includes previously unreleased footage of the 51-day siege between a heavily armed cult and federal authorities FBI and ATF in 1993. Exclusive first-look deals were also signed with Oscar-nominated producers Edward Berger and Amy Berg to develop a new series of premium documentaries.
eAll about Undeniable “House of Kardashian” trailer “Waco: American Apocalypse” trailer eMore about “Devo” eMore about “The Second Woman”

Prince Harry Memoir Sells Millions of Copies

In 2023, numerous entertainment, sports and political celebrities published their autobiographies and self-help books with Bertelsmann’s book division. In January, Penguin Random House published “Spare,” Prince Harry’s memoir, in all its markets worldwide, selling six million copies across all formats and becoming the publisher’s – and the book industry’s – bestselling title of the year.

For Penguin Random House US, “My Name Is Barbra” by Barbra Streisand, “Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life” by Arnold Schwarzenegger and “The Creative Act” by multi-Grammy-winner Rick Rubin were also major successes. Penguin Random House publishers also published the German, Spanish and Portuguese editions of Britney Spears’ bestseller “The Woman in Me.” Among many international literary accolades, Penguin Random House authors won four Pulitzer Prizes in 2023.
M“Spare” audio sample “My Name is Barbra” reading sample “Be Useful” reading sample “The Creative Act” reading sample eMore about “The Woman in Me”
6 M
copies of “Spare”
sold worldwide

The Publishing Family Continues to Grow

Penguin Random House continued its growth path in 2023, both organically and through acquisitions of small and medium-sized publishers. In the United States, the publishing group increased its stake in the fast-growing independent publisher Sourcebooks to a 53-percent majority, and purchased the publishing assets of the non-fiction publisher Callisto Media via Sourcebooks. Also in the United States, the publishing group acquired Hay House, a leading publisher of self-help, health and wellness books. In addition, Penguin Random House bought the rights to the 200-title catalog of “The Boxcar Children,” one of the classic children’s book series in US literature.

In Spain, Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial acquired Roca Editorial, one of the nation’s ten-biggest independent book publishers. In the United Kingdom, the non-fiction publisher Hardie Grant UK is now part of Penguin Random House, as is the textbook publisher Berlut Books in South Africa. And in Germany, the majority of self-help and holistic health publisher Kamphausen’s publishing assets were purchased by Bertelsmann’s books division.
eMore about Penguin Random House

More Global Stars Join BMG

BMG further expanded its catalog with a total of 30 acquisitions in 2023. BMG acquired rights or royalties packages from artists and songwriters including bands The Hollies and Nena, musician and songwriter Paul Simon, Eurodance music project Snap!, singer Dope Lemon, and artists Martin Solveig and Alain Chamfort.

Artists signing new contracts with BMG in 2023 included superstar Jennifer Lopez, rapper Wiz Khalifa, punk band Sum 41 and rock musician Corey Taylor. In addition, superstar streamers such as Pitbull and Robin Schulz as well as the heirs of rapper Juice WRLD extended their long-term music publishing contracts with BMG. In recordings, BMG secured the rights to release George Harrison’s solo recordings catalog. This is the first time ever that the ex-Beatle’s recorded rights and publishing catalog have been united under one roof, that of BMG/Dark Horse Records.
eMore about Jennifer Lopez More BMG Recording highlights
catalog acquisitions
in 2023
catalog acquisitions
in 2023
80 bn
annual streams
of BMG content

BMG Directly Supplies Spotify and Apple Music

In 2023, BMG successfully took control of the digital distribution of its recorded music catalog. The Bertelsmann music subsidiary has now made a catalog of around half a million recordings available directly to streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music, a task previously outsourced. This step marks the biggest change to its recorded music strategy in BMG’s history. Over the years, BMG’s digital business has grown to 80 billion streams a year.

BMG also announced it would move the distribution of physical formats – i.e., vinyl and CDs – for thousands of BMG artists to Universal Music Group’s Commercial Services division. The transition is to be fully completed by the end of 2024.
eMore about the partnership with Universal Music eAll about the collaboration with Spotify and Apple Music