Warner Music takes minority stake in Croatian company Dancing Bear

Warner Music takes minority stake in Croatian company Dancing Bear

Warner Music Group has taken a minority stake in the independent Croatian music company Dancing Bear Music.  

The deal will enable Dancing Bear’s recorded music artists to tap into the infrastructure of ADA, Warner Music’s global distribution and label services arm, and have the opportunity to upstream and sign to the major’s 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 Music’s licensee in Croatia since 1996. Its sister company, Dancing Bear Publishing, also acts as a local representative of Warner Chappell Music.

Dancing Bear, founded in 1990, has released music from significant artists in the country and wider region including Darko Rundek, Dino Dvornik, Daleka Obala, and more. New artists include Bruno Pietri and Pete Spruce.

The label’s biggest act is Dalmatino, the band founded by Ivo Jagnjic and Zdravko Sunara in 1998. They have amassed more than 250 million streams and regularly outsells the world’s biggest artists in Croatia, across both digital and physical formats. 

Dancing Bear has tapped into the local streaming market, but also continues to focus on physical music.

Silvije Varga, co-founder and managing director, Dancing Bear, said: “This 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.”

Izabela Ciszek-Podziemska (pictured), general manager of Warner Music South East Europe, added: “I’m so pleased we’re expanding our agreement with Dancing Bear, which has an incredible reputation in the region as a key industry player. We’re already working on joint releases in the EDM space and plan to expand our collaboration in the months ahead.”

The deal 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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