Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital announced on Tuesday the acquisition of Justin Bieber’s music publishing and recording catalog shares for $200 million, making it the latest major deal in the industry.
Speculation of the sale had been circulating for weeks, and with this deal, the 28-year-old Bieber joins the ranks of renowned artists who have recently sold their catalogs.
Hipgnosis did not publicly disclose terms of the deal, but a source close to the matter told AFP it was worth around $200 million.
Some relatively young contemporary stars including Justin Bieber and Shakira have sold large stakes in their work – both of those celebrities also struck deals with Hipgnosis – but the sales frenzy has primarily taken off with legacy artists like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
The staggering sums – Springsteen’s catalog went to Sony for a reported half a billion dollars – are seen as safe bets both for older artists getting their finances in order and investors who can count on consistent returns from time-tested music.
Younger catalogs are seen as riskier territory, but Bieber is one of the best-selling artists of all time, and now Hipgnosis has his share in some of the 21st century’s biggest hits including Baby, Sorry and Love Yourself.
Hipgnosis Songs Capital is a $1 billion venture between financial giant Blackstone and the British Hipgnosis Song Management.
According to the deal, Hipgnosis has acquired Bieber’s publishing copyrights to his 290-song back catalog – all of his music released prior to 31 December 2021 – including his writer’s share.
It also includes his artist rights to his lucrative master recordings as well as neighbouring rights royalties – a right that sees its owner receive a payment every time a song is played publicly.
But while Hipgnosis will receive the revenues, Bieber’s longtime home Universal will continue to administer the catalog, according to Variety.
Bieber shot to international fame after being discovered as a teenager on YouTube and going on to sell more than 150 million records.
In addition to having 82 million monthly listeners on the streaming platform Spotify, where his songs have been streamed more than 32 billion times alone, he has charted eight number-one albums on Billboard’s top albums list.
“The impact of Justin Bieber on global culture over the last 14 years has truly been remarkable,” said Hipgnosis chief Merck Mercuriadis in a statement.
“At only 28 years of age, he is one of a handful of defining artists of the streaming era that has revitalized the entire music industry, taking a loyal and worldwide audience with him on a journey from teen phenomenon to culturally important artist.”