It’s inevitable that we’ll continue to see more artists (or their estates) sell their music catalogues for big money. The first big deal of 2022 involves David Bowie.
If you’ve been following these sorts of financial transactions, you’ll know of Bowie Bonds which were issued in 1997. Bonds totalling ly US$55 million were sold, backed by the revenue generated by Bowie’s songs from 25 albums recorded prior to 1990. Bowie then used a portion of that cash to buy older recordings of his music. Ten years later, those bonds matured and the rights to all the songs reverted to Bowie. It was a shrewd, risky, and ultimately successful financial ploy–at least for Bowie.
Today (January 3) we learned that Warmer Music Group has acquired the global music publishing rights to Bowie’s entire catalogue. The price? A rumoured US$250 million.
This includes hundreds of songs, ranging all the way back to the mid-60s. That means 26 studio albums as well as Toy, the “lost” album that was released late last year. Two Tin Machine albums are included as well.