ZZ Top is the latest artist to sell their catalogue

BMG and KKR had been saying that they have US$1 billion to invest in copyrights. After a few acquisitions over the last 10 months, they’ve pulled the trigger together on a deal for ZZ Top’s music. All of it and everything to do with it.

The deal announced today (December 21), includes “the entire music interests” of the band. That means the band’s publishing, income from recordings (the band has sold 50 million records and still sells 300,000 records a year), and all performance royalties (radio airplay, streaming, etc.)

The price? The best estimate is US$50 million at the low end, although everyone is being cagey about it. I can’t see it being that low. I’m guessing the real price is over $100 million.

Who’s next? I’ll bet on Sting and Bob Seger.

Read more here. And here’s a running list of all the catalogue purchases so far.

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.

2 thoughts on “ZZ Top is the latest artist to sell their catalogue

  • December 21, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    You may not know the answer, but in general are these valuations paid in a lump sum to the artists? Or like an annuity paying an annual figure in perpetuity? All cash or in some other form of securities? Just curious as it would be pretty amazing to get paid those kinds of dollars in a one time lump sum (aside from the taxes of course).

    • December 21, 2021 at 9:08 pm

      A great question. For tax reasons, I’m guessing it’ll be some form of a lump sum.


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