Warner Music acquired David Bowie’s collection of songs for approximately $250 million. This is the latest large-scale deal in a music copyright frenzy that has attracted billions of dollars of investors.
The acquisition covers the distribution rights of 26 studio albums in Bowie’s 60-year career, including songs such as “Life on Mars?” And’Let’s Dance’.
This transaction is a coup for Warner, because traditional music companies must compete with private equity giants and professional investors that aim to swallow music copyrights.
According to people familiar with the matter, the financial terms were not disclosed, but Warner paid about $250 million for the catalog. The Financial Times reported in November last year that the two companies are in talks.
“We are really happy that David Bowie’s music system will now be placed in the capable hands of Warner Chapel Music Publishing Company,” said Alan Grumman, a lawyer representing David Bowie’s estate.Bowie Passed away in 2016 He left his legacy to his second wife Iman and two children.
In the past year, legendary musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Nicks, and Bob Dylan have sold their songwriting catalogs for 9-figure prices. With the revival of the music industry, The value of their works continues to grow. Springsteen agreed last month to sell his catalog to Sony Music for $550 million.
As songs continue to be streamed, played on the radio, or used in movies and advertisements, these catalogs have generated revenue for decades.
KKR and Blackstone have pledged to spend billions of dollars to buy music rights, treating it as a credit-like asset that provides predictable returns in a low interest rate environment.
Songs have two copyrights-one for song creation and the other for actual recording or mastering. The value of both copyrights is soaring as streaming media has reinvigorated the industry after a decade of collapse due to piracy.
Bowie’s estate reached a long-term license agreement with Warner Music for its recorded music catalog last year.
Warner, the record company behind Dua Lipa and Cardi B, raised $535 million in debt in December to support the acquisition.
For large music conglomerates like Warner, having a large catalog helps them prove their worth—Warner’s market value is $22 billion—and gain access to streaming services and social media companies that want to use or license their music Influence.
Guy Moot, CEO of Warner Chappell, the company’s publishing division, said: “We look forward to [Bowie’s] As we strive to build on the legacy of this most extraordinary man, an unparalleled song style full of enthusiasm and care. “