canadian singer Justin Bieber joined the trend that is all the rage among renowned artists and made the decision to sell his music catalog to the company Capital of the Songs of Hipgnosis for a figure that was not officially revealed but is estimated at about 200 million dollars.
According to specialized US media, the operation closed the six albums studio album by the 28-year-old interpreter, in addition to his singles and some remixes.
The company that bought Bieber’s catalog has been in this form of business for years, not only buying catalogs but also buying the rights to famous songs. The company spent around $670 million in the period from March 2020 to September 2020 alone to acquire the rights to more than 44,000 songs from Blondie, Rick James, Barry Manilow and Chrissie Hyndeamong others.
In addition, the same company bought the music of Neil Youngwho sold half the rights to his song catalog for about 150 million dollars and Shakirawho sold the rights to his 145 songs.
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The most emblematic cases
Bob Dylan sold his catalog between 300 and 400 million dollars to the record giant universal music groupthe group Imagine Dragons a Concord Music Publishing for more than 100 million dollars and the singer-songwriter of Fleetwood Mac, stevie nickswhich in November 2020 sold 80% of those rights to primary wave for 100 million dollars.
A little over a year ago, on February 10, 2022, it was announced that the British musician Sting He sold his entire catalog to the label Universal Group (UMPG). The operation was valued at more than 250 million dollars and included both the solo singer’s songs and those he composed with Police. The record label already controlled the recordings of the British musician and now added the rights to his compositions.
“I am delighted that Jody (Gerson, CEO of the group), and the UMPG team organize and manage my catalog of songs. It is absolutely essential for me that my career work has a home where it is valued and respected, not only for Connect with longtime fans in new ways, but also to introduce my songs to new audiences, musicians, and generations.had said Sting when announcing this news.
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Why do artists sell their music?
The news of Justin Bieber surprised because it is a young artist, with a not too extensive repertoire -compared to others who sold it before.
In any case, selling a music catalog is not something new and the explanation goes back to the disappearance or progressive decline of physical sales. (cassette, CD, vinyl)displaced by music platforms, which was the main source of income for artists.
Now, online song streams don’t make enough money, as it takes hundreds of stream miles per month to start generating a decent amount of revenue, and they take a long time to collect.
The majority of artists’ income, today, is given by tours, which, it is estimated, represents 80% of the earnings of a consecrated musician. When the pandemic forced the suspension of massive shows, artists like Bob Dylan he made the decision to sell his catalogs in order to obtain a greater profit that he could not obtain due to the absence of live recitals.
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Furthermore, it is a fact that the sightseeing it wears you down physically, and big artists like Shakira who already has a family or Bob Dylan who is old enough would rather have a golden and easy retirement than never hit the road again for one or two more tours.
In most cases, selling a record catalog it’s a surefire way to get an impossible amount of money through record sales or touring.
When a label, fund or other entities buy the artist’s music catalog they keep the percentage of royalties belonging to the artist on all the platforms where their music is distributed, the right to use the song, synchronization offers (sellers for commercial use) and the merchandising associated with the artist’s brand.
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