Monday 24 October 2016

Strypes music publisher pays €14m to walk on sunshine

Published 09/08/2015 | 02:30

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Walking on Sunshine, the irritatingly catchy 1985 pop hit by Katrina and The Waves, has just been acquired for €14m by German song rights manager BMG - the same company that represents Cavan boyband The Strypes.

As part of the deal, the German company, which declined to comment on the purchase price, has acquired the rights to every song written by Katrina and The Waves and the band's main songwriter, Kimberley Rew.

The catalogue includes Love Shine a Light, which won the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest, and Going Down to Liverpool, which was covered by The Bangles, the US all-female band.

But almost all of the british band's music publishing income reportedly stems from a single three minute song - Walking on Sunshine.

It generates an estimated $1m a year in publishing income and has been covered by acts ranging from The Muppets to Dolly Parton.

Walking On Sunshine was first released in 1985, becoming top 10 hits on both sides of the Atlantic. It is one of the most consistently successful songs in UK music.

BMG publishes and distributes music as well as trading in recording rights.

In Ireland the label has already worked with acts like The Dubliners and Cavan revivalist boyband The Strypes, who signed a publishing deal with the UK division of the company in 2013.

BMG is a subsidiary of the international media conglomerate Bertelsmann, which was established in 2008 as a joint venture between Bertelsmann and the global private equity firm KKR. Bertelsmann acquired KKR's shares in 2013.

It is one of the most acquisitive music rights companies in the world and at the forefront of the global music distribution revolution. Earlier this year it signed a digital distribution deal with China's Alibaba, as the world's largest e-commerce firm firms upped its bid to become a digital media empire.

The deal, one of the first in China made by a major music publisher rather than a label, brings more than 2.5m copyrights to Alibaba, whose music platforms already had many of the songs from artists including Kylie Minogue, the Rolling Stones and Jean-Michael Jarre, an Alibaba spokeswoman said.

Alibaba has set its eyes on becoming an online-media powerhouse, with music, film and television.

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