Spirit Music Group has scored a multi-year global, joint venture deal with the Jim Henson Co. that covers its entire media library, including films such as "Labyrinth" and "The Dark Crystal" and the television series "Fraggle Rock," "Farscape," "The Hoobs,""Mopatop's Shop," "Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas," "Mother Goose Stories" and "The Wubbulous World Of Dr. Seuss." Also included are the award-winning childrens' television series "Sid the Science Kid" and "Dinosaur Train."
As part of the deal, Spirit will serve as worldwide administrator for the back catalog, which in addition to the above properties, encompasses theme songs, cues and scores from more than 50 years' worth of feature films, television series and webisodes reflecting thousands of hours of content, according to the announcement made by the two companies.
In another aspect of the deal, the Jim Henson Co. and Spirit Music Group will co-own and co-publish songs scores and soundtracks from the studio's future output of new film, television and web-based programming. Upcoming projects including a new feature film based on its "Fraggle Rock" franchise, another film re-telling of the classic "Pinocchio" story to be produced with Guillermo del Toro and ongoing television and web productions including "Me and My Monsters," and "Wilson & Ditch: Digging America."
As part of the venture, Spirit's creative staff will re-purpose the song library and related master recordings to create new commercial opportunities. Moreover, the Spirit creative staff will have an active presence on the Henson Hollywood lot, working in a wide range of areas including helping to source songs, composers and both rising and established artists for new project. Spirit will also help develop new strategies to sell music from Henson properties via traditional music outlets and non-traditional retail channels and contributing to the development of an overall digital sales strategy. In addition, Spirit affiliate companies around the world will contribute both music and marketing ideas for Henson projects debuting in their territories.
In the announcement, Spirit noted that in the last year, the company's creative staff has worked with supervisors directors and producers to place songs in more than 75 feature films and more than 250 network and cable television series.
"For us, music publishing has historically been a largely passive business," Jim Henson Co. President/COO Peter Schube said in a statement. "Not anymore. We're looking forward to breaking the mold with Spirit, leveraging the broad and complementary expertise of our combined staffs to create a robust platform to market our music everywhere our fans are."