Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.
Warner Music Group wasted no time this year, officially securing the first catalog mega-deal of 2022 on Monday (January 3).
Buying David Bowie’s song catalog for around $250 million via its Warner Chappell Music division, WMG now owns rights in hundreds of Bowie songs, including evergreen hits like Space Oddity, Changes, Life on Mars?, Ziggy Stardust, Starman, Rebel Rebel and a lot more.
The acquisition followed the announcement in 2021 of a global, career-spanning deal between WMG and the Bowie Estate through which Warner Music has licensed worldwide rights to the superstar’s recorded music catalog from 1968.
The Bowie song collection wasn’t the only body of rights to come under new ownership this week, with BMG and KKR buying US songwriter and performer John Legend’s songwriting catalog for an undisclosed fee.
KKR (via affiliate DL Music IP) and BMG have each purchased a 50% stake in Legend’s catalog, for songs written between late 2004 and early 2021, as per a US regulatory filing seen by Bloomberg.
Elsewhere this week, a new annual report published by US market monitor MRC Data showed that 2021’s biggest success story in the US was ‘catalog’ music.
Based on MRC’s numbers, MBW calculates that a whopping 82.1% of total recorded music consumption in the US in the second half of 2021 came from ‘catalog’ records.
Or in other words, ‘current’ records accounted for just 17.9% of total US music consumption in the last six months of 2021.
Also this week, new figures confirmed by the UK’s recorded music trade body, the BPI, showed that streaming volume growth is slowing in the market, while we learned that rap legend Nas is selling shares in streaming royalties for two of his singles via investment platform, Royal.
Here’s what happened in the first working week of 2022…
The first big music industry acquisition of 2022 is with us: Warner Music Group, via its Warner Chappell Music subsidiary, has acquired the global music publishing rights to David Bowie’s song catalog.
The price of the deal, long mooted to be bouncing around the $200 million mark, was eventually agreed at upwards of $250 million, according to Variety.
This means Warner has announced two deals spanning over $650 million in acquisition fees in the past three weeks, following the $400 million acquisition of the Kevin Liles-led 300 Entertainment in December…
You couldn’t say that 2021 was light on blockbuster album releases.
There was Adele, of course, whose 30 raced out of the blocks in November to become 2021’s biggest-selling (as in, traditional album sales, not including streaming) album in the US.
In January, country artist Morgan Wallen released Dangerous: The Double Album, which was the US’s biggest album overall in 2021, as well as being its biggest in terms of streaming (with 3.65 billion audio streams alone).
There was also, to pick a few, Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour (the US’s No.2 biggest record in 2021), Drake’s Certified Lover Boy (No.3), and Doja Cat’s Planet Her (No.6).
We know all of this because of numbers contained in a new annual report released yesterday (January 6) by US market monitor, MRC Data.
Yet we also know, thanks to that same report, that 2021’s biggest success story in the US had nothing to do with a new release: it was ‘catalog’ music…
Music’s latest big catalog sale has been confirmed: US songwriter and performer, John Legend, has sold his songwriting catalog for an undisclosed fee to BMG and KKR.
Interestingly, it appears that the Legend sale to KKR and BMG was finalized before the two companies jointly acquired a catalog from ZZ Top.
In December, that ZZ Top acquisition became the first officially announced joint acquisition from the duo of firms…
Are the world’s biggest music markets headed towards an era where streaming growth plateaus, in the same way it has in the ‘early adopter’ Scandinavian territories?
The latest data, at least on a volume basis, suggests so.
According to new figures confirmed by the UK’s official recorded music trade org, the BPI, the British market saw 147.2 billion total on-demand audio streams in 2021.
That was up by 7.9 billion – or 5.7% – on 2020’s total haul (139.3 billion).
This might sound like a lot… but when you compare it to the trends of previous years, it’s really not…
Blockchain-based music investment platform Royal raised $55 million in November and attracted funding from artists like The Chainsmokers, Nas, Logic, Stefflon Don, Kygo, Joyner Lucas and Disclosure.
Yesterday (January 6), Royal, co-founded by Justin Blau, aka musician and producer 3LAU, revealed that one of those backers, hip-hop legend Nas, will be the first artist to let fans invest in his music on the platform.
On January 11, fans will be able to invest in Nas’s music by buying shares in the royalties earned from streaming for two of his tracks: Ultra Black, the lead single from his 2021 Grammy Award winning-album King’s Disease, and Rare, a single from follow-up 2022 Grammy Award-nominated album, King’s Disease II…