Confirmed: Justin Bieber Cashes Out

Justin Bieber

In the largest single music rights deal by Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital, Bieber’s sale is the largest for any artist of his generation to date.

On January 24, Hipgnosis Songs Capital announced that it has acquired, “Justin Bieber’s 100% interest in his Publishing Copyrights (including the Writer’s Share of Performance), Master Recordings and Neighboring Rights for Bieber’s entire back catalog, comprising over 290 titles released before December 31, 2021″. 

Hipgnosis did not state the value of the deal, but the Wall Street Journal reported in December that the Hipgnosis-Bieber deal would be worth an estimated US$200 million.  This was confirmed in a press release on January 27th by Cooley LLP, the global law firm advising Justin Bieber on the transaction.  Partners Michael Rhodes and Matt Hallinan led the Cooley team advising Bieber.

It is understood by the Media C-Suite that Universal Music Publishing Group will continue to own the master recordings of Bieber’s back catalogue and that Hipgnosis Songs Capital will now receive Bieber’s artist royalty stream on those masters.

Bieber’s current music catalogue includes six studio albums released between 2010 and 2021, as well as several remixes and compilation albums.  The artist has released dozens of singles and is a prolific collaborator.  Bieber (age: 29) has, so far, racked up eight No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and eight No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200.  He has garnered critical acclaim with two Grammy awards and more than 20 Grammy nominations across a wide variety of genres, in addition to other awards.

Hipgnosis was founded by Merck Mercuriadis, who had previously managed numerous music artists including Elton John, Iron Maiden, Morrissey, Beyonce and Nile Rodgers.  Mercuriadis’ investment thesis is that the contract rights to music from artists with hit songs generate long-term predictable revenue streams with intellectual property rights as assets.  Revenues are generated by management of playlists, cover, interpolation and synchronization of this IP.  The aggregated revenue streams can also be securitised or leveraged to increase capital available for further acquisitions or to release portfolio performance to investors. 

Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis Songs Fund listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2018.  In 2021, Hipgnosis partnered with Blackstone to form Hipgnosis Songs Capital with a commitment of US$1 billion from the private equity house.  Hipgnosis Songs Management advises both investment vehicles with an estimated US$2.5 billion in AUM between them.

News of Bieber’s deal comes eight months after another pop superstar, Justin Timberlake, sold his song catalogue to Hipgnosis Songs Capital in a deal reportedly worth US$100 million.

Many of the biggest catalogue deals to date have been achieved by so-called ‘heritage’ artists.

Universal Music Group acquired the publishing rights to Bob Dylan’s song writing catalogue in December 2020, for a price estimated between US$300 million and US$400 million.

In December 2021, Sony Music Group acquired two sets of rights from Bruce Springsteen – both recordings and music publishing – covering the entirety of Springsteen’s catalogue, in a deal estimated at US$500 million.

Sting, meanwhile, sold his entire song catalogue to Universal Music Publishing Group in February 2022 for an estimated US$300 million.

As Justin Bieber sits back and considers the decades ahead of him, Rapper Dr. Dre is reported to be inking a deal for the sale of his music catalogue to Shamrock Holdings and Universal Music Group in two separate transactions estimated to be worth a combined US$200 million.

Source:  Music Business Worldwide & Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute

1 Comment

  1. The title is great. I remember when everyone thought he would crash out. He’s laughing. Must be. $200 million. My daughter is a big fan and thinks this is only the first Act for him. That would be legendary.

Leave a Reply

Previous Story

Media Execs Continue to Drive Private Equity Investors into Media & Entertainment

Next Story

Why is Private Equity Betting Big on Film Libraries and Music Catalogues?