Musicians have been making news lately for huge deals made to sell the rights to their song catalogs. Selling the rights to their songs, or publishing their music, has a lot of benefits for artists – especially in this era of global epidemics when tourism and merch sales are completely stalling. Selling music catalogs have been a lucrative opportunity for songwriters over the last two years. The songwriters are able to get immediate payment for their work instead of getting the chance that their songs will continue to earn money for them. Catalog buyers take risks, but can earn money through licenses, merchandise, and other opportunities to play songs.
The price of music catalogs for music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music have skyrocketed. Licensing presents a particularly attractive revenue prospect for song list owners. A song featured in popular shows such as “The Office” or “Grey’s Anatomy” can provide a consistent income stream as those shows are replicated online, platforms, multiple broadcasts and cable channels, and more. . Additionally, selling music catalogs has several major tax benefits.
The two firms that are primarily driving the recent wave of catalog sales are the Hipgnosis Songs Fund and Primary Wave and are changing the way the music industry works. Traditionally, the rights to the publication of music rest with publishers and songwriters, and the recorded rights are those of the composer / artist and record label. But over the past year, these two companies have been buying rights to artists’ catalogs including Neil Young, Stevie Nickel, Fleetwood Mac, Dyer Straits, Shakira, John Lennon, Ryan Tedder, Bob Dillon, Bob Marley, 50 Cent, Nelly . , And many more.
By purchasing music catalogs, companies can now collect money from royalties, licensing, branding, and other revenue streams that previously went to the artist. Hypnosis was a very big year in 2020. The company purchased musical rights from Richie Sambora, Mark Ronson, Jack Antonoff, Rick James, Barry Manilow, Blondie, and Tom DeLong. In November 2020, she bought the publishing rights for 33,000 songs from Cobalt Music Copwrights, including hits from writers from Skylrex, 50 Cent, Nelly, and Christina Perry. Imagine Dragons sold their publishing rights to Concord Music Group for nine figures. Calvin Harris sold his catalog to Vine Alternative Investments. Scooter Braun sold the rights to Taylor Swift’s Big Machine catalog to Shamrock Capital (without his approval). The killers sold their inventory to Connecticut-based investment group Aldridge. In December 2020, Stevie Knicks sold the majority of its catalog to Primary Wave.
A few days after the Knicks sold their catalog, it was revealed that Bob Dylan sold his catalog extensively to Universal Music Group. Killing 2021, Neil Young sold half of his 1,180 song catalog to Hipgnosis. That company took the publishing rights of Lindsay Buckingham and Shakira as well as producer royalties from Jillen Iovine. Mick Fleetwood gave BMG his music list. Ryan Tedder of One Republic sold a majority stake to his recorded music and publishing firm KKR. In addition to his work with One Republic, Tedder has written dozens of songs for dozens of artists including Beyoncé, Adele, Timbaland, Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, Collie Catlett, Gavin Degraw, Jennifer Hudson, and more.
Tedder’s deal is particularly interesting because of the buyer – indicating that a new phase of music catalog acquisition is on the horizon, with Wall Street firms joining the game. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that music catalogs are trading at 10 to 18 times their annual value. This means that a catalog that earns $ 50,000 in a given year can easily be sold for anywhere between $ 5 million and $ 40 million. This is a good breeze for any artist and especially Bob Dylan, who is 79 years old.
Below is the list of the biggest music list sales of the previous year (roughly). In many cases, the terms of the deals were not disclosed, but we are convinced of all who had the greatest deal. Hypagnosis spent $ 700 million to acquire 42 catalogs between March 2019 and March 2020, and $ 670 million for the rights to more than 44,000 songs from March 2020 to September 2020. Originally, everyone on this list cashed in some serious money.
Steve Nick – 100 Million Dollars
Imagine Dragons – $ 100 Million +
Neil Young – $ 150 million
Ryan Tedder – $ 200 million
Taylor Swift (Scooter Braun profited from this sale, not Swift) – $ 300 million
Bob Dylan – $ 400 million