If you like following the backroom machinations of the music industry, you’ll know that a number of companies are buying up the back catalogues of big artists for insane amounts. For example, there’s the Hipignosis Songs Fund, led by Canadian Merck Mercuriadis, who has raised more than a billion dollars to purchase the rights to songs from everyone from Beyonce to Justin Bieber to the B-52s and the Pretenders.
Concord Music Publishing is another monster in the space. They paid Imagine Dragons a reported US$100 million for their catalogue. And then just this week, we heard about Shamrock Holdings spending up to US$450 million to pick up the masters for Taylor Swift’s first six albums.
And there was another sale this week. The Killers, a band that’s sold close to 30 million albums, have sold the rights to all albums released prior to 2020 to a company called Eldridge Industries. The purchase price hasn’t been announced yet, but given the Killers’ popularity and track record, it’s gotta be pretty sweet.
Why would an artist sell off their music? To get future royalties upfront without any risk about what might happen to the recorded music industry. They can continue to make music but now they have a big, BIG cushion when it comes to finances.
I’ll have more on this trend soon. Watch this space.