bmg dr. alban catalog deal

A live performance from Dr. Alban. Photo Credit: Olaf Kosinsky

BMG has closed yet another Eurodance song-rights acquisition, this time in a deal with “It’s My Life” singer-songwriter Dr. Alban.

Berlin-based BMG reached out today with word of the music-IP purchase, weeks after closing a separate play for the catalog of Coconut Music (including Haddaway’s song rights). Nigeria-born and Stockholm-based Dr. Alban (real name Alban Nwapa) has released seven studio albums since arriving on the scene with 1990’s Hello Afrika.

That project was followed by 1992’s One Love, including commercially prominent tracks such as the aforementioned “It’s My Life” (243 million Spotify streams across the original and the remix), “Sing Hallelujah” (143 million), and “One Love” (4.2 million).

While BMG opted against disclosing the deal’s precise financials, it did spell out that the transaction encompasses 66-year-old “Dr. Alban’s recording interests” in his body of work. The Universal Music Group-partnered business also emphasized the “renewed interest” in 1990s Eurodance releases.

“Dr. Alban is one of the key figures in Eurodance with hits which are joyous, anthemic and timeless,” added Maximilian Kolb, BMG’s EVP of repertoire and marketing for continental Europe. “We are delighted to have reached agreement to take on his royalty interest in some of the most important tracks in 90s European music.”

And in comments of his own, Dr. Alban (who, along with Haddaway, evidently remains popular in Europe) indicated that the BMG tie-up will bring his professional efforts to fans “for generations to come.”

“I am thrilled to have chosen BMG as the custodian of my musical legacy,” relayed Dr. Alban. “Their passion for preserving and promoting the vibrant energy of Eurodance aligns perfectly with my own vision. With BMG’s expertise and dedication, I am confident that my music will continue to resonate with audiences around the world for generations to come.”

Bigger picture, BMG’s focus on Eurodance isn’t new; besides the previously noted deal for Coconut and Haddaway’s IP earlier in March, the Bertelsmann subsidiary in November of 2022 finalized a different pact with the “What Is Love” vocalist.

Meanwhile, August of 2023 saw BMG up its stake in the catalog of Frankfurt-based Snap!. Regarding the trajectory of Germany’s music market, reports closer to 2024’s beginning pointed to a 12 percent year-over-year boost in 2023 domestic streaming volume, at 212.7 billion streams. That’s nearly double the sum attached to 2019, with the total having topped one trillion since 2013.

A little over one week ago, Robin Schulz extended his global publishing deal with BMG, the 2023 financials of which will become available as part of Bertelsmann’s annual report next Tuesday, March 26th.