Queen might promote their catalogue to Sony for $1bn | EUROtoday

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Mark Savage,Music Correspondent

Getty Images Freddie Mercury performs in ConcertGetty Images

Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991, was Queen’s dynamic and charismatic frontman

Sony Music is reportedly in talks to purchase the music catalogue of the rock band Queen, together with hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga and Another One Bites The Dust.

According to BloombergSony is working with one other investor on the transaction, which “could potentially total $1 billion” (£790 million).

The BBC understands that negotiations are nonetheless underneath means and will not end in a sale.

If it goes forward, the deal would cowl Queen’s songs and all associated mental property – together with the rights to logos, music movies, merchandise, publishing and different enterprise alternatives.

Discussions over the sale have been going down since final yr.

Universal Music can be stated to have been concerned, owing to the corporate’s longstanding relationship with the band, who signed with the British label EMI in 1972 and remained with the corporate after it was purchased by Universal in 2011.

If the group obtain the $1 billion price ticket, will probably be the most important deal of its form, surpassing the $500 million (£393 million) that Sony paid to amass Bruce Springsteen’s catalogue in late 2021.

Earlier this yr, Sony additionally acquired a 50% curiosity in Michael Jackson’s music from the late singer’s property – at a value of a minimum of $600 million (£472 million).

Queen perform on Top Of The Pops

Queen have scored six primary singles and 10 primary albums within the UK

Queen are extra in style than both of these artists, with 52 million month-to-month listeners on Spotify – in comparison with 41 million for Jackson and 20 million for Springsteen.

That’s partly because of the success of the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and the band’s ongoing excursions with singer Adam Lambert, however primarily as a result of songs like Crazy Little Thing Called Love and We Will Rock You stay globally in style and very profitable.

In the UK, the primary quantity of Queen’s Greatest Hits is the preferred album of all time, with gross sales in extra of seven million copies.

It was even the Twentieth-biggest vendor of 2023, beating new releases by Ed Sheeran and the Rolling Stones.

According to its most up-to-date monetary statements, Queen Productions Ltd made $52 million (£42 million) within the yr ending September 2022.

The proceeds are shared equally between guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor, bass participant John Deacon and the property of late singer Freddie Mercury.

Multi-million greenback offers

The sale of music catalogues has change into an enormous enterprise during the last eight years, with file labels and personal fairness corporations snapping up the rights to music by David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Justin Bieber, Shakira, Neil Young, Blondie and Fleetwood Mac for multi-million greenback sums.

The offers present fast monetary safety to the artists and their estates, whereas the rights holders hope to revenue by constructing new income streams for the music through movie and TV licensing, merchandise, cowl variations and efficiency royalties.

Music rights are seen as a sexy funding as a result of songs proceed to generate cash for many years.

However, the enterprise has seen some turmoil as rising rates of interest undercut the long-term valuation of hit songs.

The funding fund Hipgnosis, which owns the rights to music by artists from Beyoncé to Barry Manilow, lately agreed to a $1.6bn takeover by the non-public fairness agency Blackstone, after months of turmoil over the corporate’s governance and administration construction.

Getty Images Shakira at the 2024 Coachella music festivalGetty Images

Shakira is likely one of the artists to profit from promoting their music catalogue

Despite that, Queen’s catalogue is very wanted, merely due to the longevity of their music.

Complicating the band’s potential deal is the truth that Disney Music Group owns Queen’s recorded music catalogue in North America.

The band personal the rights for the remainder of the world, and likewise retain the worldwide publishing rights – the copyright for the music and lyrics.

The BBC has contacted Sony Music and representatives of Queen for remark.