Pop juggernaut Justin Bieber has sold his music publishing and recording catalog shares to the Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital for $200 million, the company said Tuesday — marking the industry’s latest blockbuster rights deal.
The sale has been rumored for weeks, and sees the 28-year-old join a who’s who of artists who have cashed out recently on their catalogs.
Hipgnosis did not publicly disclose terms of the deal, but a source close to the matter told AFP it was worth around $200 million.
Contemporary stars including Justin Timberlake and Shakira have sold large stakes in their work — both also struck deals with Hipgnosis — but the move has mostly been seen among legacy artists like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
The staggering sums — Springsteen’s catalog went to Sony for a reported half billion dollars — are considered safe bets both for older artists getting their finances in order and investors who can count on consistent returns from time-tested music and the viability of streaming.
Younger catalogs are seen as riskier territory, but Bieber is among the best-selling artists ever, and now Hipgnosis has his share in some of the 21st century’s biggest hits including “Baby” and “Sorry.”
Hipgnosis Songs Capital is a $1 billion venture between financial giant Blackstone and the British Hipgnosis Song Management.
Hipgnosis said they acquired Bieber’s interest in his publishing copyrights to his 290-song back catalog — all of his music released prior to December 31, 2021.
Bieber’s longtime home Universal will continue to administer the catalog, another source close to the deal said, and still owns the artist’s master recordings. Hipgnosis has acquired the artist’s stake in his masters as well as his neighboring rights — a royalty that sees its owner receive a payment every time a song is played publicly.
– ‘Remarkable’ –
After the Canada native was discovered on YouTube as a teen, Bieber skyrocketed to global fame, selling more than 150 million records.
He has charted eight number-one records on Billboard’s top albums list, and his songs have streamed on Spotify alone more than 32 billion times.
“The impact of Justin Bieber on global culture over the last 14 years has truly been remarkable,” said Hipgnosis chief Merck Mercuriadis, a longtime music industry executive, in a statement.
“At only 28 years of age, he is one of a handful of defining artists of the streaming era that has revitalized the entire music industry, taking a loyal and worldwide audience with him on a journey from teen phenomenon to culturally important artist.”
Bieber’s health has suffered recently, with the star going on an indefinite touring hiatus after he revealed he’d been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, a rare complication of shingles that for him caused partial facial paralysis.