Business

Kidz Bop Partners With Universal to Move Into U.K. Market

Kidz Bop Kids perform at the SiriusXM launch of "KIDZ BOP" Radio at SiriusXM Studios on Jan. 14, 2014 in New York City.
Rob Kim/Getty Images

Kidz Bop Kids perform at the SiriusXM launch of "KIDZ BOP" Radio at SiriusXM Studios on Jan. 14, 2014 in New York City. 

Multi-million selling children’s music brand Kidz Bop is taking its primary-colored singalong pop across the Atlantic and launching in the U.K.

Universal Music On Demand (UMOD), formerly known as Universal Music TV, has signed on as label partner with the first Kidz Bop album due to be released in April, followed by a second release in the fourth quarter. Like their U.S. counterparts, the British version of Kidz Bop will be made up of child singers performing cover versions of current chart hits.  

London-based Crown Talent and Media Group led a nine month nationwide talent search to find the four members of the new Kidz Bop cast, who are all either 11 or 12 years old. Other launch partners include national TV network ITV, acting as media partner for the U.K. bow, and Creative Artists Agency (CAA), who will serve as strategic advisors as well as tour and live booking agents. Album releases will be supported by a U.K. Kidz Bop YouTube channel, produced in the same style the U.S. edition.

Since debuting in 2001, Kidz Bop’s "child friendly" covers albums have sold 17.1 million albums in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music, while Kidz Bop albums sold a combined 818,000 copies in 2016, more than acts like Justin Bieber (642,000), Rihanna (745,000) and The Weeknd (757,000).

The series has had 49 entries on the Billboard 200 chart, including 24 albums that reached the top 10, with their main series and additional genre-specific and holiday-related releases. The series' latest album, Kidz Bop 34, featuring covers of Bruno Mars' “24K Magic” and DJ Snake and Justin Bieber’s “Let Me Love You,” debuted at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 earlier this year with 17,000 equivalent album units, almost all of which -- 16,000 units -- were pure sales.

“We’re excited to bring Kidz Bop to kids and families around the world, and Britain’s preeminent place in pop music makes the U.K. the obvious first territory for international expansion,” said Victor Zaraya, Kidz Bop president, in a statement.

Zaraya cited the brand’s strategic partners as being “instrumental in helping us navigate the U.K. market and develop a distinct voice for the brand that will appeal to young British fans.”

“We’re certain British kids and parents will enjoy Kidz Bop as much as they do in the U.S., where the brand has become such a huge phenomenon,” added Simon Barnabas, managing director at Universal Music On Demand, calling the addition of the four "super-talented” U.K. performers that make up the British franchise “the icing on the cake.”