Spirit Music Group buys Jason Aldean masters in $100m+ deal

Jason Aldean

Two weeks ago on MBW’s Talking Trends podcast, we predicted that country music – for various reasons – could be set to become the big noise in catalog acquisitions in 2022. That forecast just took a big step towards becoming true.

Spirit Music Group has today (February 24) announced the acquisition of the recorded music catalog of multi-Platinum country superstar, Jason Aldean.

The acquisition includes 90% of Aldean’s recorded music catalog and encompasses nine albums in total, including twenty-four No.1 songs, thirty-four Top 10 songs, and six RIAA certified Platinum albums.

The acquisition also includes neighbouring rights and SoundExchange royalties.

MBW understands that Aldean is retaining the remaining 10% ownership in the catalog, and that the deal cost Spirit more than $100 million.

The deal covers Aldean’s discography starting from his self-titled debut album in 2005 through his ninth album, 9, released in 2019.

All of these albums have historically been released via Broken Bow Records, which BMG acquired in 2017 for $103 million.

UPDATE: BMG/Broken Bow has confirmed it will continue to be the exclusive licensed label partner for Aldean’s records until at least 2030.

This isn’t Spirit’s first rodeo in buying lucrative country music masters: In 2019, the company acquired a recorded music rights catalog from country star Tim McGraw, including three hit albums originally released via Big Machine.

For its Jason Aldean acquisition, Spirit is using funds from its parent company, Lyric Capital. In October last year, Lyric struck a $500 million strategic alliance with Northleaf Capital.

Since that deal, Toronto-based Northleaf has used Spirit’s music assets to support the raise of a $303.8 million bond offering.

Discussing his sale to Spirit, Jason Aldean said:  “It’s cool that a company like Spirit, that’s been around so long, has taken on my music catalog. It’s something really important to me, so I’m glad it’ll be looked after.”

Frank Rogers, CEO, Spirit Music Nashville, said: “Jason Aldean has been a consistent hitmaker and trailblazer in country music for nearly two decades. His recordings have helped define the sound of modern country music.

“Spirit Music Group is excited to partner with Jason and we look forward to further championing these important recordings to the world.”

Jon Singer, Chairman, Spirit Music Group, said: “Jason Aldean is one of country music’s elite headliners and the breadth and depth of his work is undeniable.

“We welcome Jason’s impressive collection of works to the Spirit Music Group catalog and are committed to being an active partner in safeguarding and building upon the success of these recordings.”

Aldean was represented in the deal by Kent Marcus from Marcus & Colvin LLP. Spirit was represented by Reed Smith.

Seven of Aldean’s previous studio albums have been certified Platinum or more in the US, while bolstering 15 billion streams and more than 20 million albums sold.

Aldean has registered the most Top 10 songs on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, more than any other artist, since making his chart debut in 2005.Music Business Worldwide