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Justin Bieber sells music rights for $200 million

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Pop juggernaut Justin Bieber has sold his music publishing and recording catalog shares to Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital for $200 million, the company announced on Tuesday – marking the latest blockbuster rights deal Of the industry.

The sale has been rumored for weeks and sees the 28-year-old join a who’s who of artists who have recently cashed in their catalogues.

Hipgnosis has not publicly disclosed the terms of the deal, but a source familiar with the matter told AFP it was worth around $200 million.

Contemporary stars such as Justin Timberlake and Shakira have sold large stakes in their work – the two have also struck deals with Hipgnosis – but this move has mostly been seen with legacy artists like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

The staggering sums – Springsteen’s catalog went to Sony for half a billion dollars – are considered safe bets both for older artists who are getting their finances in order and for investors who can count. on consistent returns from proven music and the viability of streaming. .

Younger catalogs are seen as riskier territory, but Bieber is one of the best-selling artists of all time, and now Hipgnosis has its share in some of the biggest hits of the 21st century, including “Baby” and ” Sorry”.

Hipgnosis Songs Capital is a $1 billion venture between financial giant Blackstone and Britain’s Hipgnosis Song Management.

Under the deal, Hipgnosis acquired Bieber’s copyright to his 290-song catalog — all of his music released before Dec. 31, 2021 — including his writer’s share.

This also includes his artist rights to his lucrative master recordings as well as neighboring rights royalties – a right that sees its owner receive payment each time a song is performed publicly.

But while Hipgnosis will receive the revenue, Bieber’s longtime home of Universal will continue to administer the catalog, Variety reported.

Outstanding’

After the Canadian native was discovered on YouTube as a teenager, Bieber rose to worldwide fame, selling over 150 million records.

He has scored eight number-one records on Billboard’s Top Albums list, and his songs have been streamed on Spotify more than 32 billion times.

“Justin Bieber’s impact on global culture over the past 14 years has been truly remarkable,” Hipgnosis chief Merck Mercuriadis, a longtime music industry executive, said in a statement.

“At just 28 years old, he is one of a handful of defining artists in the streaming era that revitalized the entire music industry, taking a loyal, global audience with him on a journey of phenomenon. teenager to culturally significant artist.”

Bieber’s health has suffered recently as the star halted his tour indefinitely after revealing he had been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, a rare complication of shingles that caused him partial facial paralysis.

Lucrative asset class

Music catalogs have always changed hands, but the current publishing sales boom has accelerated rapidly as financial markets have increasingly been drawn to lucrative music portfolios as an asset class.

Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis, which went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2018, played a big role in publicizing the surge in sales.

The sector had seemed to cool over the past year, but the Bieber deal shows that investors are still hungry for music acquisitions.

Besides Springsteen and Dylan, major deals in the industry included work by Sting, Stevie Nicks, Paul Simon, Motley Crue, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and estates of David Bowie and Leonard Cohen.

Owners of a song’s publishing rights receive a discount in a number of scenarios, including radio play and streaming, album sales, and use in advertising and film. Recording rights govern reproduction and distribution.

The flurry of sales came amid a broader conversation about artist ownership of the work, amplified in large part by Taylor Swift, who found resounding success re-recording her first six albums so she could control their master registration rights.

The move stems from Swift’s very public feud with Scooter Braun, the music executive whose company once owned its original masters, and later sold them to investment firm Shamrock Holdings.

Braun has been Bieber’s manager for 15 years, and in a statement he said “When Justin made the decision to enter into a catalog deal, we quickly found the best partner to preserve and grow this incredible legacy was Merck and Hipgnosis”.

“Justin is truly a once-in-a-generation artist and that is reflected and recognized by the magnitude of this agreement.”…AFP

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