A plethora of rock and steel heavyweights have bought off their music catalogs not too long ago. It’s develop into a serious story within the music business over the previous few years, with musicians resembling Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney, Mike Inez and William DuVall all opting to promote their mental property.
The explanation why firms, particularly Sony Music Group, Common Music Group and BMG, would need to buy these rights are fairly apparent: the return on funding. They imagine they’ll get extra from royalties and licensing the music to be used in movies, TV, and promoting over time than what they paid for the catalog upfront.
READ MORE: Why Musical Artists Are Selling Their Catalog Rights
Cash can be the most important consider why musicians might want to sell their catalogs. As a substitute of playing with the unsure quantity of dough they may rake in by holding onto their mental property, some select to easily money it in for a lump sum cost and have their very personal Scrooge McDuck second. As well as, firms often reside longer than musicians, and promoting one’s catalog minimizes the possibilities of a musician’s heirs preventing over their inheritance as cash is a neater asset to cross alongside.
Listed here are 10 of the most important rock and steel musicians who’ve made a killing by promoting their catalog rights.
Sony Music Group acquired Bruce Springsteen’s complete recorded music and songwriting catalogs by means of separate agreements in December of 2021 for a reported whole of between $500 million and $550 million. The 2 agreements lined the recorded music and music publishing rights to all of Springsteen’s songs all through his five-decade recording profession with Columbia Information — throughout which he launched 20 studio albums and sold 150 million records worldwide. Sony partnered with holding firm Eldridge on the songwriting catalog buy.
David Bowie’s property bought the singer’s publishing catalog to Warner Chappell Music Group in January of 2022 for a worth upwards of $250 million, according to Variety —who will likely be a recurring supply all through this text. The catalog spans six many years, and the settlement was composed of songs from the 26 studio albums Bowie launched throughout his lifetime, in addition to the posthumous studio album launch Toy. Total, Bowie bought roughly 140 million records worldwide all through his lifetime.
Sting reduce a take care of Common Music Group in February 2022 to promote his publishing and recorded music catalogs for an estimated $250 million. UMG now controls Sting’s complete portfolio, together with his work with the Police and the 15 studio albums launched between 1985 and November 2021. With each his work with the Police and his solo profession mixed, Sting has bought over 100 million records.
“It’s completely important to me that my profession’s physique of labor have a house the place it’s valued and revered – not solely to attach with longtime followers in new methods but additionally to introduce my songs to new audiences, musicians and generations,” Sting mentioned of the deal.
Sony Music Leisure introduced in January 2022 that they had acquired the rights to Bob Dylan’s complete again catalog of recorded music, in addition to rights to “a number of future new releases.” Although the monetary deal was not disclosed, Billboard estimates Dylan’s grasp recordings to be price $200 million or extra.
The deal included Dylan’s complete physique of recorded work —together with a whopping 39 studio albums and numerous singles which accounts for more than 125 million records bought— and adopted the sale of Dylan’s publishing rights to Common Music Group in December 2022. That deal was estimated to be price $300 million or extra.
Motley Crue bought their complete music catalog in November 2021 to BMG in a deal that, according to Variety’s sources, was valued at roughly $150 million (although different sources cited a considerably decrease quantity). The deal spans all 9 studio albums from the band’s over 40-year profession, together with reside LPs and compilations. The acquisition was BMG’s largest since its formation in 2008.
“It feels superb to be collaborating with our new companions at BMG,” the group mentioned in an announcement. “Their intensive observe file of success in rock made them the right residence to proceed preserving and rising our musical legacy, making certain we all the time keep on the prime.”
A part of Motley Crue’s legacy contains the sale of more than 100 million albums worldwide.
Neil Young bought half of the rights to his complete again catalog in a January 2021 take care of Hipgnosis Songs Fund that’s estimated to be price $150 million, according to the BBC. The deal comprised 1,180 songs written by the Canadian people rocker, who has launched a staggering 45 studio albums all through his profession.
“This can be a deal that modifications Hipgnosis eternally,” Merck Mercuriadis informed the BBC. “I purchased my first Neil Younger album aged seven. Harvest was my companion, and I do know each word, each phrase, each pause and silence intimately. Neil Younger, or at the least his music, has been my good friend and fixed ever since.” Mercuriadis is simply one of many roughly 64 million album sales from Younger.
Purple Scorching Chili Peppers
Hipgnosis Songs additionally purchased Red Hot Chili Peppers’ tune catalog in 2021 for upwards of $140 million. The band have launched 13 studio albums and bought an estimated over 120 million records worldwide.
Hipgnosis has been fairly busy with music catalogs over time, now boasting a portfolio of greater than 70 artists and greater than 70,000 songs.
Stevie Nicks bought 80 p.c stake in her songs to Hipgnosis rival Major Wave again in December of 2020. The deal was made to the tune of $100 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Included within the deal had been the rights to “Fringe of Seventeen,” “Landslide,” “Stand Again,” “Rihannon” and “Goals.” The latter re-entered the Billboard charts across the identical time following a viral TikTok featuring a man skateboarding to the tune —a feat the tune hadn’t reached since 1977.
Nicks has launched eight solo albums in addition to seven studio albums with Fleetwood Mac all through her iconic profession, and has bought over 11 million albums worldwide.
Quickly after BMG and KKR introduced their partnership, they acquired the “complete music pursuits” of ZZ Top for round $50 million in 2021, according to Variety. The settlement included a buyout of the band’s publishing catalog and their earnings from recorded royalties and efficiency royalties. The band have launched 15 studio albums and bought an estimated 50 million records worldwide over the course of their 50-year profession.
Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney, Mike Inez and William DuVall
In February 2022, Alice in Chains members Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney, Mike Inez and William DuVall bought their catalogs with the band to Spherical Hill Music. The phrases of the deal that encompassed Alice in Chain’s six studio albums —which garnered an estimated over 30 million record sales worldwide— weren’t disclosed. Nonetheless, sources told Variety the deal was for $50 million.
The deal didn’t embrace copyrights to the estates of unique singer Layne Staley or unique bassist Mike Starr, who handed away in 2002 and 2011, respectively. Their estates bought their music rights to Major Wave. As well as, compositions by Cantrell —the group’s most important songwriter over their profession— had been included within the reduce, however his solo work was not.