Toy manufacturing giant Mattel, Inc. has signed an exclusive, multi-year global music licensing deal with Warner Music Group’s Arts Music division, which will become the sole distributor of Mattel’s catalog of more than 1,000 songs from brands like Barbie, Thomas & Friends, Hot Wheels, American Girl and Fisher Price.
The new partners will also collaborate to create and distribute new music, like an upcoming Thomas & Friends birthday album out May 8, and make hundreds of other, never-before-released songs from the Mattel catalog available for the first time. Arts Music will partner with WMG’s ADA Worldwide for global distribution.
“Arts Music has been steadily building a powerful repertoire of family-friendly material over the last few years and adding Mattel to our offering absolutely takes it to a new level,” said WMG Arts Music president Kevin Gore. “Mattel’s iconic brands have been bringing joy to children around the world since its founding 75 years ago, and we are honored that they’ve trusted our team as the exclusive stewards of their musical enterprises. We very much look forward to releasing new music full of positive messages, fun adventures and educational themes to delight kids and families for generations to come.”
Added Mattel senior vp, content distribution and business development Fred Soulie: “Music is an important part of Mattel’s DNA, and has been integral to our brands’ ability to connect with children of all ages to help them learn and grow. WMG’s Arts Music division will unlock our substantial library of music to help us broaden our reach across digital and streaming platforms. Additionally, their significant expertise in nurturing music creation across genres will enable us to significantly expand our catalog with new music for generations of children to come.”
The deal comes on the heels of WMG’s announcement last month that Arts Music had entered a global partnership with Fred Rogers Productions for its animated children’s television series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, a spinoff of sorts from the iconic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Back in July, Arts Music and Warner Chappell Music partnered with Build-A-Bear Workshop to set up a record label based on the customizable stuffed animal brand.
WMG isn’t the only music company that sees opportunity in creating products for kids. Earlier this week, Universal Music Group landed a partnership with The LEGO Group for a line of new, music-based toy products that will launch in 2021. And Mattel itself unveiled a collection of dolls modeled after the members of K-pop sensation BTS in March.