Music Industry

My interview with Merck Mercuriadis of the Hipgnosis Song Fund

[This was my weekly column for – AC]

HOLLYWOOD—Merck Mercuriadis is pretty relaxed for a guy who just made the biggest deal of his career. Twenty-four hours after acquiring Justin Bieber’s song catalogue for a rumoured US$200 million — his most expensive deal to date — his biggest concern is moving house.

“Business is under control,” he says with a quiet smile. “It’s the move that’s stressing me out.” Top of the list? Wondering how is 100,000 vinyl albums will make the trip.

Sitting poolside at an almost empty house below the Hollywood sign — the movers are about to arrive to take the remaining furniture to a new place in Laurel Canyon — Merck has delayed leaving until we’ve had a chance to talk.

Merck, in case you don’t know, is the Quebec-born former rep for Virgin Records who went on to manage Guns N’ Roses, Elton John, and Morrissey, among others. Today he heads up the Hipgnosis Song Fund, one of about a dozen heavy-hitting companies buying up the rights to songs by the biggest artists in the world. He (and a few others like him) believe that these songs are eternal, an essential part of our culture, and will be enjoyed by people for decades to come. That means this music will generate income — a lot of it.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38293 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “My interview with Merck Mercuriadis of the Hipgnosis Song Fund

  • Wonder what he has to say about AI and how it can affect the value of song assets and master tracks?

  • “great”, let’s celebrate another part of life being turned into an speculative asset for douchebags.


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