In a deal that closed this week, the Kidz Bop franchise has officially been repurchased by its founding label, Razor & Tie. Though rumors in May pointed to Disney as a possible buyer, Razor & Tie will again have sole ownership of the brand for the first time in 8 years.
Kidz Bop is a series of compilation albums that features children and teens performing the latest pop hits. The Kidz are selected by audition, and the chart-topping songs undergo lyrical edits so they will be appropriate for young ages.
The brand was created in 2000 by New York-based Razor & Tie co-founders, Cliff Chenfeld and Craig Balsam. The numbered albums have been pouring out almost twice a year ever since, along with dozens of holiday specials and party albums (compilations of compilations). The brand has sold over 14.9 million albums and 4.04 million digital track downloads to date. Kidz Bop 27 is slated for release on January 13th, 2015.
Back in 2006, Chenfeld and Balsam sold a 50 percent stake in the business to a private equity firm in Boston called ABRY Partners. Sources in the industry have stated that Kidz Bop generates around $12 million annual revenue, resulting in around $2.8 million in earnings. ARBY placed the value between $16-19 million while they were seeking buyers.
This week, Razor & Tie will not only regain the bestselling record franchise, but the Kids Bop annual tour, book series, video game, and Sirius XM radio show. The label has declined to disclose the terms of the deal, but Chenfeld and Balsam issued the following statement: “We are very excited to regain complete ownership of Kidz Bop. Razor & Tie and Kidz Bop are energized and ready to move forward by doing what we have always done – diversify and grow.”
The most recent Kidz Bop album, Kidz Bop 26, was released on July 15th, 2014. The Kidz took on covers of the following tracks: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, “Timber” by Pitbull feat. Kesha, “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry feat. Juicy J, “Story of My Life” by One Direction, “Pompeii” by Bastille, “Sing” by Ed Sheeran, “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic, “Team” by Lorde, “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors, “All of Me” by John Legend, “Not a Bad Thing” by Justin Timberlake, “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore, “The Man” by Aloe Blacc, “Say Something” by A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera, and “Let it Go” by Idina Menzel.