Canadian singer Justin Bieber has sold the rights to his music catalog to Hipgnosis for US$200 million, the latest in a long list of artists like Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen to sell his sensational music collection for cash.
Hipgnosis, a British jukebox management company, is adding the 28-year-old superstar to its basket, which was already filled with artists like Leonard Cohen and his label Hallelujah, Shakira or the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
“Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of Justin Bieber’s share of the copyright (including the author’s interest in performances), master recordings and related rights to his entire catalog,” the company announced, which did not specify the amount of the transaction.
The repertoire includes over 290 songs released prior to December 31, 2021, including his biggest hits “Baby,” “Sorry,” and “Love Yourself,” which will now receive the rights to Hipgnosis upon the songs’ release.
The sum amounted to about $200 million in December, the Wall Street Journal reported, confirmed to AFP on Tuesday by an informed source. According to Variety, Universal will continue to manage the singer’s catalog, whose albums have been certified platinum (one million sold) or multi-platinum (several million), from “My World 2.0” in 2010 to “Justice” in 2021.
“Justin Bieber’s influence on global culture over the past 14 years has been phenomenal,” said Hipgnosis founder and CEO Merck Mercuriadis and former manager of Elton John.
Justin Bieber has over 30 billion streams on Spotify.
Hipgnosis implemented the operation thanks to funds from the financial management company Blackstone, which promised at the end of 2021 to bring Hipgnosis $ 1 billion for these investments.
Justin Bieber is the latest and one of the youngest to sell out his catalog, following a now well-established trend. With the broadcasting revolution, the rights to the songs of artists who are dead or alive but considered immortal have become valuable assets.
In addition to streaming music, companies like Hipgnosis are also monetizing their catalog on newer platforms like TikTok or Roblox.
Among the most important deals that took place during the past two years was the sale of the catalogs of Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen, for which Sony put more than $ 550 million on the table, according to figures reported by the media.
Before them, such operations were carried out by Tina Turner, Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others.
For Justin Bieber, the sale comes as he has had a difficult 2022 due to health issues. He had to cancel part of his June tour due to rare Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which paralyzes one side of his face. After returning to the stage, he again announced that he would be taking a hiatus in September.
“I’ll be fine, but I need time to rest and get better,” he said in September.
This wave of catalog sales and corporate equity giveaways lured by speculation is not unanimous.
One of America’s most popular singers, Taylor Swift, has had such huge success with new releases from her old albums that she has re-recorded to control her rights.
She had a heated argument with artist manager Scooter Braun, who had gotten her hands on her repertoire by buying the Big Machine Records label, then selling it to another label. Brown is also the manager of Justin Bieber who represented him in the deal with Hipgnosis.
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