Hipgnosis Songs Capital has purchased the publication and recording rights from Justin Bieber, signifying yet another massive addition to the music industry.
The agreement, which was made public on Jan. 24, includes all 290 of Bieber’s previous singles that were published until the end of 2021. Hipgnosis Songs Capital acquired Justin Bieber’s publishing copyrights, including his writer’s share, the lucrative master recording rights, and even a more specific royalty known as neighboring rights (which are paid to the owner of the recording whenever a song is played in public, such as at a coffee shop).
Hipgnosis withheld specific financial information on the sale, but The Wall Street Journal was the first to disclose last month that the transaction was valued at roughly $200 million. The trend has been much more pronounced among legacy acts, such as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, whose catalogs are often seen as a safer bet among investors given that they’ve proven themselves over decades and may not lose as much money on radio and streaming play. Bieber joins a slate of more contemporary high-profile artists, such as Justin Timberlake (who also sold to Hipgnosis) and Ryan Tedder, in selling their catalogs.
Even though, the agreement grants Hipgnosis rights to some of the biggest songs of a certain musical era, such as “Baby,” “What Do You Mean,” “Sorry,” and “Love Yourself.” One of the best-selling music artists of all time, Justin Bieber has sold more than 150 million albums. A purchase the size of Justin Bieber’s library demonstrates that there are still deals to be had in the music acquisition market even though the buying spree of the previous few years appears to have subsided in 2022.
Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s longtime manager, said in a statement: “When Justin made the choice to sign a catalogue agreement, we discovered Merck [Mercuriadis] and Hipgnosis to be the right partner to maintain and expand this incredible heritage. Justin Bieber has been entrancing and inspiring us with some of the biggest songs in the world for more than ten years. I’m really proud of him and everyone who has contributed throughout the years to building up this outstanding body of work. The enormity of this agreement reflects and acknowledges Justin’s status as a really unique artist.
Through their $1 billion joint venture with private equity behemoth Blackstone, Hipgnosis and its creator Merck Mercuriadis signed a contract with Justin Bieber. Mercuriadis has played a significant role in the trend of music acquisition, giving previously unheard-of deals for the libraries of songwriters and producers, and afterwards signing contracts with recording artists like Neil Young and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“The effect of Justin Bieber on worldwide culture over the previous 14 years has certainly been astounding,” Mercuriadis continued. He is one of a select group of streaming-era musicians who, at just 28 years old, have rejuvenated the whole music business. He has led a devoted global audience on a path from teen sensation to culturally significant artist. Such is the impact of this extraordinary archive, which has approximately 82 million monthly listeners and over 30 billion listens on Spotify alone, that this acquisition ranks among the greatest agreements ever made for an artist under the age of 70.