Edel AG

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Edel AG
Traded as FWBEDL
Industry Music, entertainment, publishing
Genre Pop music, rock, classical, entertainment for children
Founded 1986; 32 years ago (1986)
Founder Michael Haentjes
Headquarters Hamburg, Germany
Area served
Products CD, Vinyl, DVD & Blu-Ray, Books
Revenue Increase€ 180.2 millions (2015/2016)
Number of employees
> 1000
Subsidiaries Edel Germany GmbH
optimal media GmbH
Kontor Records
Kontor New Media
ZS Verlag GmbH
Pandastorm Pictures GmbH
Brilliant Classics B.V.
Website www.edel.com/en/home/

Edel AG is one of Europe’s leading independent media companies[1][2]. It combines a label and publishing group with a variety of producers and providers. The company offers the music, film and book sector a full-service model. It covers marketing and production along with sales and distribution of music, books and movies. The stock-market-listed family business (Securities identification code: 564950/Segment: Scale) was founded in 1986 by its present CEO Michael Haentjes and has maintained its position in the European media market for the past thirty years. With more than 1000 employees[3] distributed across various repertoire and subsidiary companies, Edel is able to open up and expand market segments of its own.

Edel's main office is based in Hamburg, Germany, but the Edel network extends the label presence all over Europe with affiliates offices and labels and in the rest of the world with a strong network of distributors, Edel is in fact still present in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, and France.


Edel Germany GmbH encompasses repertoire companies and service providers. These include music labels, book publishers and departments for the product’s physical sales and fulfilment. The range of modular services offers full-spectrum marketing and product strategies to artists and authors and to label and publishing partners. Digital distributor Kontor New Media is a pioneer in shaping the digital market and is among the leading companies[4] of its kind with 1700 music, film and audiobook labels at global level. At the same time Edel AG makes a sustainable investment in visionary strategies like the leading dance label[5] Kontor Records and the publisher ZS Verlag. The Edel subsidiary optimal media GmbH employs over 650 employees[6] on a production area of 100,000 m2 at Röbel an der Müritz in Mecklenburg[7]. With its pressing plant and printing works, the media services company is considered one of the most modern and innovative of its kind in Europe. Its consumer base is drawn from all the leading record labels, film companies and publishers.


Edel Music was founded in 1986 by Michael Haentjes in Germany as a mail order record company selling mostly soundtracks. With artists such as Scooter, SASH!, Holly Johnson and many others, it became a very successful pop music label. Edel was listed in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 1998. In October 1998, Edel produced a video series based on the EM.TV marketed cartoon series Sailor Moon as part of Edel's licensing contract with EM.TV, which gave Edel the right to produce German and European cassettes, CDs, and videos for the series through 2001.[8] Over the years, Edel purchased the music labels Eagle Rock Records, Face Down Records (not Facedown Records), Gang Go Music, Club Tools, Control Records and Belgian Play It Again Sam.

In the most recent years, Edel released studio albums by Tarja Turunen, JoJo, Lisa Stansfield, Toni Braxton, Sabrina Salerno, Deep Purple, Gregorian, Thomas Anders, Chris Rea, Jerry Lee Lewis, Status Quo, Ali Campbell (UB40), Europe, Nazareth, Jon Lord, Glenn Hughes, Turbonegro, and its roster is becoming among the strongest in the independent industry. Edel released also the last solo album project by Chris Rea, Blue Guitars. This record was nearly the largest album ever to reach the UK Top 75, however by the Sunday the record had dropped from its Top 75 midweek charts position.

Edel was the company chosen by artist Prince in 1994 when he parted from Warner Bros. Records. The company released in Europe the single "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" which was Prince's first UK #1 hit. They also released several Prince-produced albums such as The Beautiful Experience, NPG's Exodus, and Mayte's Child of the Sun.



The Edel label group has been managing releases for international musicians, labels and brands since 1986. They launch new releases in virtually any musical genre. They offer comprehensive marketing and physical distribution through all trading channels while producing CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and LPs from a single source. The digital distribution partner Kontor New Media ensures that any kind of digital content is fine-tuned prior to release. Thus they cover many areas in every market sector and regularly attain peak positions in the international charts.


earMUSIC is the international rock label founded in 2009[9]. It provides stars of the classic, hard and alternative rock genres and renowned pop acts with wide-ranging expertise in the field of conventional label work, combined with innovative release and career strategies. earMUSIC achieves worldwide recognition and success in the charts. earMUSIC's roster features names such as Chickenfoot, Skunk Anansie, Deep Purple, Status Quo, Foreigner, Babymetal, Gamma Ray, Stratovarius, Marillion, Tarja, Christopher Cross, Dee Snider, DragonForce, Gregorian, Lisa Stansfield, Def Leppard, Joe Jackson, H.E.A.T and many others.[10]In April 2017, earMUSIC signed a deal with RED Distribution, to reach additional throughout the U.S. and Canada.[11]

Kontor Records[edit]

The affiliate Kontor Records is an international club/dance and techno specialist. This brand is noted worldwide for sourcing talent and establishing long-lasting commercial dance acts. Singles, albums and compilations have brought the label a series of physical and digital chart successes. With four million subscribers, Kontor.TV is one of the most successful online music platforms.


Edel:Kids is one of Germany’s top players in children’s entertainment.[12] The versatile children’s brand promotes and exploits international film and TV successes by producing its own supporting audio plays and DVDs. The label provides services in the fields of merchandising, cross-marketing and children’s publishing to support a range of TV broadcasters and licensors, including world-famous film studios and toy manufacturers.

Berlin Classics and MPS Jazz[edit]

The labels Berlin Classics and MPS Jazz devise marketing and product strategies to help established and new artists in both genres attain success in the national charts. They are also a distribution partner to leading jazz labels, including ACT Music, and various classical and audio book labels.

Brilliant Classics[edit]

The subsidiary Brilliant Classics occupies the budget sector of the classical market with new releases and encyclopedic collector editions. Its extensive catalogue makes rare and rediscovered works known to a wider audience and closes gaps in the repertoire. To this end, the international label provides its worldwide distribution service for a number of classical and jazz labels.


Edel has been active in the home entertainment sector for over ten years and collaborates with virtually every major national and international licensor. They provide a wide range of series and films and offer partners extensive services, including comprehensive marketing, physical distribution through all trading channels and the production of DVDs, Blu-rays and special editions from a single source. At their in-house authoring studio and encoding house they process audiovisual content and present it in any DVD format and on all digital VoD platforms worldwide. They are certified by iTunes, Netflix, Amazon and Google. The in-house YouTube-certified digital distributor (Kontor New Media) can fine-tune any kind of film or series content prior to release.


Edel:Motion is a specialist in the TV series sector. The label focusses on the physical and digital marketing of renowned international crime drama releases, particularly in the whodunit and Nordic noir genres. Edel:Motion furthermore procures films with full marketing rights and holds a leading position in the fitness video sector.

Pandastorm Pictures[edit]

The label Pandastorm Pictures has been part of the Edel group since October 2015. Pandastorm markets feature films and series through all available channels, including cinema, home entertainment, VoD, TV sales, airline and covermount. Its range includes rom-coms, horror thrillers, children’s series, historical films by major directors and successful sci-fis.


Edel publishing group is one of the largest independent book providers in Germany.[citation needed] The diversity of their range has brought them a wide readership and a leading position in the cookbook market. Their popular non-fiction books regularly appear in the best-seller lists. They offer a one-stop shop for design, production, physical and digital distribution and a direct link to their state-of-the-art printing house.

Edel Books[edit]

Edel Books was founded as the first publishing house of Edel AG in 2007. Ever since then, Edel Books has managed the Moewig range and established its own brand as a provider of popular non-fiction books, including best sellers in the biography, media, arts and cookbook sectors. Edel Books also publishes German-language licensed editions of the cookbook and art book publisher Phaidon and exclusively distributes its English-language editions.

ZS Verlag[edit]

Based in Munich, ZS Verlag provides an extensive range of guidebooks and digital services, drawing on 30 years’ expertise in the fields of food & drink, health and personal stories. ZS has also been responsible for the entire Dr. Oetker range since 2016. The company therefore boasts two portfolios on the non-fiction market, supplementing its watchword “Jetzt leben!” (live now!) with the assured success of Dr. Oetker.

Eden Books[edit]

Eden Books is a publisher for inspirational books, people and stories and targets an inquisitive female readership. All its publications are non-fiction. Eden Books publishes autobiographies and memoirs of prominent figures, social media stars and other exciting protagonists. These are supplemented by personal guidebooks, humorous short stories and gift books.


The earBOOKS label creates innovative books from the areas of art, design, pop culture and lifestyle that combine traditional books with digital content such as high fidelity recordings, high resolution prints or pictures and HD video material.

Edel Elements[edit]

Edel Elements offers a range of 1000 titles spanning the entire spectrum of fiction and poetry, including a number of new editions of high international standing.


edel&electric does not have a fixed range and embraces new initiatives in its literary experiments. The youngest imprint, the children’s publisher Edel:Kids Books, operates independently alongside the label Edel:Kids, the renowned provider of children’s audio books and DVDs. Since 2017, Edel:Kids Books has been marketing original German editions as well as publications in their first German version.


The Edel AG offers its partners the full range of services that are nowadays needed for extensive media sales including distribution, licensing or royalty services. Physical and digital distribution, processing for labels and trade partners and supplier-controlled transactions are all examples of processes that are coordinated in-house and directed by means of optimal’s logistics network. Moreover, the licence management team single-handedly provides statements detailing copyright licences, artist royalties and sales transactions. The licensing and corporate publishing agencies provide strategies for product developments and all the possible options for launching them on multiple markets.

With 1700 label partners, Kontor New Media is one of Europe’s leading digital distributors. Kontor New Media thus manages, promotes and markets 1.5 million music titles, 1600 feature films, 3000 audio books and 600 YouTube channels at global level.

Edel:Distribution is one of Germany’s leading physical distributors. Labels of all sizes and genres praise its sales competence and connections within the sound and visual media market. Edel:Distribution provides labels, key partners and dealers with preparation, marketing and cooperation at all sales levels, thus ensuring that products are ideally staged and showcased on the market and attain the highest possible chart rankings.

Their book distributor ensures that Edel’s products attain the most prominent positions in all bookstore chains and best seller lists. Comprising key account managers, field sales staff and comprehensive back office support, a team of over 20 employees provides internal and external publishers with tailored sales concepts that are not confined to traditional sales channels.

elegant advises brands in the luxury and premium sectors on ways to communicate their creative content. This full-service agency develops tailored publications and serial formats for companies and branded products. The licensing label Wunderwelt is jointly run by the label Edel:Kids and the production company WunderWerk. Both providers assume leading positions in the children’s entertainment sector and pool together their comprehensive production, marketing and commercial expertise in a licensing label focused on brands that are intended to be established on the market in the long term.

Press, print and performance from optimal media GmbH[edit]

The subsidiary optimal media, based in Röbel/Müritz, has over 650 employees and operates at a production facility covering an area of over 100,000 m². The media service provider is equipped with a pressing plant and printing house that make it one of the most modern and innovative businesses of its kind. It serves a clientele comprising all the renowned record companies, film producers and publishers.

optimal’s pressing plant sees to every stage of the in-house production process, creating first-class CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and vinyl records: from pre-mastering and authoring through data media production to the creation of printed matter. To this end, optimal works in consultation with its customers to develop tailored packaging solutions, ranging from conventional packaging through editions to box sets.

The company’s printing house specializes in books and commercial printing. It creates excellent printed products, including image cultivation, attractive books and brochures, magazines, multimedia materials and packaging. optimal is competent and dedicated at every stage of its implementation, from devising the concept through the graphic design stage, printing and refinement to further processing. optimal was nominated “art printer of the year” in 2016.

The Logistics & Fulfilment Centre ensures cost-effective warehousing and worldwide distribution. Its order picking process can be manual, fully automated or somewhere in between. Its services include returns and transport management, lettershop services, compiling assortments, setting up displays and webshop solutions. optimal can provide individual services or manage an entire chain of processes, serving consumers as well as other businesses. Over 25,000 pallet spaces, 20,000 spaces in the fully automated warehouse and over 60,000 picking stations attest to a very high level of productivity.

optimal’s audio mastering studio sector5 ensures optimum sound quality and precision. Equipped with the finest analogue and digital equipment and many years of experience, the studio masters CDs, vinyl (DMM and lacquer mastering) and audio files. sector5’s proximity to the production site ensures swift processing of the vinyl cuttings, thus maintaining high sound quality.

optimal’s authoring studio and encoding house press9 processes films, series and music. The studio is certified by iTunes, Netflix, Amazon and Google and produces audiovisual content on DVD, Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray and all digital VoD platforms worldwide. press9 takes care of every step of the process, from quality inspections and delivery to archiving.


  1. ^ "Musikindustrie in Zahlen 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-09-19. 
  2. ^ ifpi (2017). "Global Music Report 2017". Full Report: Data and Analysis. 
  3. ^ "Edel AG – One of a Kind". Retrieved 2017-09-19. 
  4. ^ "Labels Top 100". Retrieved 2017-09-19. 
  5. ^ "Labels Top 100". Retrieved 2017-09-19. 
  6. ^ "Optimal: Media – Company". Retrieved 2017-09-19. 
  7. ^ "Aktie – Unternehmensinformationen". Retrieved 2017-09-19. 
  8. ^ Nikla Gibson. "Germany's Edel Music pitches higher." Reuters (December 7, 1998)
  9. ^ "Edel zieht nach einem Jahr earMusic Zwischenbilanz". Retrieved 2017-09-19. 
  10. ^ "About the Label". earMUSIC. Retrieved September 19, 2017. 
  11. ^ "earMUSIC Signs with RED Distribution - Music Connection Magazine". www.musicconnection.com. Retrieved 2017-11-10. 
  12. ^ "Kinder hören mehr: Kindertonträgermarkt legt weiter zu" (PDF). Retrieved 4 October 2017.