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Warner Music Group Invests in Croatian Record Label Dancing Bear

Agreement will see Dancing Bearís artists distributed globally by ADA and given the opportunity to upstream to Warner Music

New deal also renews licensing agreement covering Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and North Macedonia


WEBWIRE

Warner Music Group has taken a minority stake in the independent Croatian music company Dancing Bear Music.† The deal will enable Dancing Bearís recorded music artists to tap into the infrastructure of ADA, Warner Musicís global distribution and label services arm, and have the opportunity to upstream and sign to Warner Musicís global roster.† It also sees a renewal of the licensing agreement covering Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and North Macedonia.†

The two companies have worked closely together for almost 30 years, with Dancing Bear acting as Warner Musicís licensee in Croatia since 1996.† Its sister company, Dancing Bear Publishing, also acts as a local representative of Warner Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group.

Dancing Bear, founded in 1990, is one of the longest standing and leading record companies in Croatia.† The label has released music from some of the country and regionís most important artists, including Dalmatino, Dino Dvornik, Daleka Obala, Darko Rundek, Hladno Pivo, Kojoti, Kawasaki 3P, Zdenka Kovačiček, Goribor, Vlado Kalember & Srebrna Krila, Alen Vitasović, Ibrica Jusić, Majke, Gustafi, The Bambi Molesters, and Baba Yaga.††

Several releases by these artists are deemed to be some of the most significant and iconic records in Croatian and regional music history, and their success has helped shape the growth of the industry there over the last four decades.

Some of Dancing Bearís past releases and artists, such as The Bambi Molesters and The Strange, have reached fans beyond the region and achieved international success.† New artists, such as Bruno Pietri and Pete Spruce, are well on their way to accomplishing the same level of recognition, with their music gaining popularity across Europe and North America.

The labelís biggest act is Dalmatino, the band founded by Ivo Jagnjić and Zdravko Sunara in 1998.† With decades of support from Dancing Bear, the band has amassed more than 250 million streams and regularly outsells the worldís biggest artists in Croatia, across both digital and physical formats.†

Dancing Bear has successfully tapped into the now established local streaming market, but also continues to celebrate the cherished traditional mediums of vinyl and CDs, offering a variety of domestic and international records through its multiple shops across the country.

Silvije Varga, Co-Founder and Managing director, Dancing Bear, says: ďThis investment by Warner Music is a vote of confidence in the future of music from the West Balkans.† We look forward to working together to take music from our existing roster to the wider world, and to uncover the next generation of local talent.Ē

Izabela Ciszek-Podziemska, General Manager of Warner Music South East Europe, adds: ďIím so pleased weíre expanding our agreement with Dancing Bear, which has an incredible reputation in the region as a key industry player.† Weíre already working on joint releases in the EDM space and plan to expand our collaboration in the months ahead.Ē

Todayís news marks the latest expansion of Warner Music in South East Europe, following on from the†launch of EDM label Balkan Electro†in April 2024; the†acquisition of a minority stake in Slovenian independent label NIKA†in March 2024; and the†purchase of a minority stake in Serbian label Mascom†in October 2022.†


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