Justin Bieber sells his back catalog for $200 million
The Future. Justin Bieber just sold the rights to his music catalog to Hipgnosis Songs Capital for $200 million, the highest sum any artist has ever fetched from the music company for their catalog. Several other artists have taken this route in recent years — we may be seeing the beginning of a new era of catalog sales.
The fine print
Forbes summarizes the details of the deal, which Hipgnosis announced yesterday.
- Hipgnosis now owns all of the publishing rights, masters recordings, and neighboring rights of the 290 songs Bieber released through 2021.
- Universal Music Group will still own Bieber’s recorded music masters.
- Last September, Bieber called off the world tour for his sixth album, Justice, after revealing his struggle with Ramsay-Hunt Syndrome, which caused Bieber partial facial paralysis. It’s possible — though not confirmed — that this deal signals the end of Bieber’s career as a live performer.
Last year, Hipgnosis acquired Justin Timberlake’s catalog for $100 million.
Join the chorus
Though the latest and (financially) greatest to do so, Bieber is just one of many celebrity musicians to sell their catalogs this year. Yes, members of The Doors and Dr. Dre have all either already sold rights or are currently in the selling process.
As music streaming continues to reorganize musicians’ financial incentives, more of them may opt for a catalog sale rather than rely on pittances derived from numbers of listens.