In an expansion of its family content, Warner Music Group’s Arts Music division, along with Warner Chappell Music, have entered into a global partnership with Skyship Entertainment, creator of the Super Simple Songs children’s brand.
The deal kicks off today (Sept. 18) with three new compilations, Down in the Deep Blue Sea, It’s Time for Bed and Happy, Happy, Happy! Next month, Toronto-based Skyship’s full catalog of educational songs will transition to Arts Music and become available across more digital services around the world, with Warner Chappell administering all publishing rights. Warner Music Group has not taken an ownership position in Skyship, but the recorded music rights involved in the deal are exclusive, as are the publishing rights.
Super Simple Songs, whose YouTube channel has 24 million subscribers, combines animation and puppetry aimed at pre-schoolers for such shows as The Super Simple Monsters!, Noodle & Pals!, and The Super Simple Puppets. Skyship produces content in English, Spanish, and Japanese, and their videos are often used by English as a Second Language (ESL) learners.
“Ask any family with preschool-aged children – they all know and love the songs and colorful characters that Super Simple has brought into their homes,” says Kevin Gore, Warner Music Group president of global catalog and Arts Music. “I’m excited to be working with such a dynamic and creative team…at Skyship. Their vision for creating engaging and educational content founded on English as a Second Language learning has real purpose and value. We’re looking forward to making these beloved songs and new songs available to more children across the globe and to continue to grow Arts Music’s footprint with meaningful content in the Kids & Family space.”
Since its launch in 2017, Arts Music has made a number of deals with kids and family content providers, including partnering with Sesame Workshop, Mattel, Fred Rogers Productions, Build-A-Bear Workshop, and Cloudco Entertainment for Holly Hobbie.
Skyship has long been on the wish list. “As we were putting together our strategy for building the right partnerships in the kids and family space we looked at the significant audience engagement across several creators on YouTube,” Gore tells Billboard. “To us, these channels were as powerful as having a great traditional broadcast partner. Every time we’d do a review, we’d come back to Super Simple Songs with their thoughtful messaging through great music and memorable characters. After spending time with [Skyship Entertainment executives] Devon [Thagard, co-founder] and Morghan [Fortier, CEO], and later Brett [Jubinville, head of production], it was clear the Skyship team would be great partners, that their approach was special and that Warner Music could add value on both recorded music and music publishing. I’m thrilled it’s come together.”
Fortier added in statement, “The core of our mission is to create fun, educational songs that kids love and that makes the day-to-day lives of parents, teachers and caregivers a little easier. We’re delighted to be continuing that mission alongside Arts Music & Warner Chappell. They’re building something really special in the kids and family space and we’re really pleased to have Super Simple Songs be a part of it.”
Ashley Winton, senior VP of creative services for Warner Chappell Music added, “Warner Chappell Music is thrilled to align ourselves with a forward-thinking brand that is creating music that seamlessly combines fun and learning, and really resonates with children and their families.”