BMG buys catalog of Germany’s Coconut Music, including the recorded rights of ‘What Is Love’ star Haddaway

BMG has acquired the catalog of Cologne-based record label Coconut Music.

The deal includes the recorded rights of Eurodance star Haddaway, whose 1993 single What Is Love has been streamed more than a billion times (across all platforms), as well as tracks by Bad Boys Blue, London Beat and Wolfgang Petry.

The deal builds on BMG’s 2022 acquisition of Haddaway’s recorded royalties.

BMG said that the latest transaction gives the company “100% control of one of the most iconic songs of the Nineties”.

BMG noted that, in 2010, Eminem sold one million downloads of his song No Love with Lil Wayne, which uses a sample of What Is Love in the chorus.

In 2023, Baby Don’t Hurt Me by David Guetta, Anne-Marie and Coi Leray charted in more than 30 countries and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Dance Recording.

Coconut Music (formerly known as Coconut Records) was founded in 1981 by Karin Hartmann and Tony Hendrik in Cologne.

The label scored success across multiple genres, but What Is Love became a worldwide hit selling 2.6 million copies, reaching No.1 in 13 countries and hitting No.11 on the Billboard Hot 100, receiving four platinum and seven gold awards.

“We are delighted to have been able to conclude a deal with the BMG team.”

Karin Hartmann, Coconut Music

Coconut Music Co-founder Karin Hartmann said: “Building Coconut was a labor of love. Every track holds its memories and of course What Is Love was a global success beyond our wildest dreams.

“It’s no surprise then when we decided to sell, there was a lot of interest. What was most important to us is that we would find a buyer which understood and respected what we achieved and would do this catalogue justice.

“We are delighted to have been able to conclude a deal with the BMG team.”

“We are delighted to become custodians of Coconut’s 2,500 track catalog and especially What Is Love.”

Maximilian Kolb, BMG

BMG EVP Repertoire & Marketing Continental Europe Maximilian Kolb, added: “We are delighted to become custodians of Coconut’s 2,500 track catalog and especially What Is Love.

“It is one of the most influential tracks in the whole Europop movement and as seen in David Guetta’s successful homage last year, it still very much resonates with music fans today. We look forward to ensuring its place in music history.”

Coconut Music was advised in the transaction by the lawyers Karsten Dropmann and Bettina Strehl of Kiso Siefert Dropmann (Germany).

Other deals made by BMG in recent months include an additional stake in ‘99 Luftballons’ by German band Nena.

The company also acquired the recording catalog of British pop-rock band The Hollies in June and the Australia/New Zealand recorded music rights of two albums by rock band Jet in September.

BMG announced the acquisition of the writer’s share of royalties of Michael Münzing of the Eurodance chart-topper SNAP! in August, and also purchased Paul Simon’s artist royalty income stream and the neighboring rights income stream from Simon & Garfunkel recordings in June.

In October, the company acquired the recorded music catalog of superstar French DJ and electronic music artist Martin Solveig, including some of his biggest hits including IntoxicatedHello and +1.

The company spent USD $400 million on rights acquisitions in 2022, and CEO Thomas Coesfeld said in October that he expected the company would have spent a “similar” amount in 2023.

 Music Business Worldwide

Related Posts