David Bowie estate in talks to sell catalog for $200m (report)

If 2021 is remembered for anything by the music industry, it might be for the sheer number of blockbuster rights deals we’ve seen this year.

And with just about two months remaining in 2021, there could be at least one more iconic catalog sale on the way.

According to the Financial Times, the estate of David Bowie is negotiating the sale of the legendary artist’s songwriting catalog.

Citing ‘people familiar with the matter’, the FT reports further that negotiations ‘are at an advanced stage’ and that the catalog has ‘attracted bids of around $200 million’.

The FT notes that the ‘deal would span decades of albums’ like The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Let’s Dance and Heroes.

Bowie’s catalog also includes albums like Hunky Dory and Alladin Sane.

As suggested in the FT’s article, this potential deal would be taking place during a ‘gold rush’ for music rights.

This month alone has seen BMG acquire what it called “an extensive portfolio of rights” related to the music and image of Tina Turner, which MBW estimated would have cost the music company in excess of $50 million.

Meanwhile, Primary Wave has swooped for a stake in the assets owned by the estate of the legendary Bing Crosby for a reported $50 million, as well as a stake in the catalog of Luther Vandross as part of a deal with the iconic R&B star’s estate for a reported $40 million.

Plus, the giants of the financial world are getting turned on to the value of music rights.

Blackstone, one of the world’s most powerful financial players, has confirmed that it is investing around $1 billion to acquire music rights via a partnership with Merck Mercuriadis.

Kobalt Capital, meanwhile has confirmed that investment giant KKR has acquired the KMR Music Royalties II portfolio for approximately $1.1 billion.

And,  Apollo Global Management is investing up to $1 billion in the Sherrese Clarke Soares-led music rights and media content-focused firm, HarbourView.Music Business Worldwide