German music rights management company BMG have acquired the rights to all tracks by Katrina & The Waves and the ’80s act’s songwriter Kimberley Rew, paying around £10 million for the privilege.
BMG has a substantial stable of artists including Gorillaz, Portishead, Blondie, Sex Pistols and The Rolling Stones, and is currently among the top five largest companies in the world when it comes to revenue from music rights.
The Katrina & The Waves valuation is likely made largely on the basis of their 1985 UK Number 8 single ‘Walking On Sunshine’, which The Financial Times recently revealed earns approximately $1 million per year. The income comes through commercials, film licensing and television shows, with past uses including appearances in hit movies American Psycho and High Fidelity.
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The £10 million valuation of the band’s catalogue comes at a time when discussion over the value of music is at the very heart of industry debate. Only last month, government plans threatening 10 years in jail for copyright breach for the purposes of significant financial gain were unveiled.
Katrina & The Waves’ other notable tracks include 1996 Eurovision entry ‘Love Shine A Light’ and minor 1986 hit ‘Sun Street’. Their most famous track has been covered by the likes of The Muppets and Dolly Parton, as well as in Spanish by Diego Torres for his 1994 album ‘Tratar de Estar Mejor’.
The band last performed live at a show celebrating ’80s music with David Hasselhoff in Malmo (Sweden), last October. Kimberley Rew continues to perform locally around her hometown of Cambridge, and released a solo album, ‘The Next Big Adventure’, last year.