Music Industry

What makes Queen’s catalogue worth $US1.27 billion? I will explain.

[This was my weekend column for – AC]

After a pause when interest rates spiked, another act has decided to sell its catalogue of songs — and this sale is a doozy.

After a long period of negotiations, Sony Music Entertainment has agreed to take all of Queen’s songs off their hands for a cool £1 billion (US$1.27 billion or C$1.74 billion). The deal is expected to close in a few weeks.

That’s … a lot. No one has ever paid more for a song catalogue in the history of the known universe. The previous record holder, Bruce Springsteen’s sale of his music for US$500 million, seems like a bargain in comparison. Other big sales over the past couple of years include KISS, Bob Dylan, Sting, and Phil Collins (US$300 million each) and David Bowie (US$250 million). Even Sony’s purchase of half of the Michael Jackson catalogue (US$600 million) is dwarfed by this purchase.

The deal reported includes all Queen’s songs through 15 studio albums, 10 live albums, 16 compilations, 73 singles, 11 box sets and more. Sony also gets all related intellectual property such as logos, music videos, image and likeness rights, merch, publishing, and other parts of Queen’s empire. The only thing not covered is any revenue derived from live performances of the group’s current iteration which features original members Brian May and Roger Taylor.

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 38542 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “What makes Queen’s catalogue worth $US1.27 billion? I will explain.

  • Earlier you stated Bob Dylan’s deal as $600 million, 400 m+200 m. In this new article, the deal is worth $300 million. Why the change?


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