From WMG’s $ 250 million deal with David Bowie to catalog claiming 82% of the U.S. market: this is MBW’s weekly roundup

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Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly roundup – where we make sure you’ve caught the five biggest stories that made the headlines in the past seven days. MBW’s roundup is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s top-selling artists maximize revenue and reduce touring costs.


Warner Music Group wasted no time this year, officially securing the first catalog mega-deal of 2022 on Monday, January 3.

Purchasing David Bowie’s song catalog for around $ 250 million through its Warner Chappell Music division, WMG now owns the rights to hundreds of Bowie songs, including evergreen hits like Space Oddity, Changes, Life on Mars ?, Ziggy Stardust, Starman, Rebel Rebel and more.

The acquisition follows the announcement in 2021 of a career-long global agreement between WMG and Bowie Estate through which Warner Music has licensed worldwide rights to the superstar’s recorded music catalog from 1968.

Bowie’s song collection wasn’t the only set of rights to be re-owned this week, with BMG and KKR purchasing the songwriting catalog from American singer-songwriter and performer John Legend. for an undisclosed amount.

KKR (via subsidiary DL Music IP) and BMG each bought a 50% stake in Legend’s catalog, for songs written between late 2004 and early 2021, in accordance with a US regulatory dossier seen by Bloomberg.

Elsewhere this week, a new annual report released by US market monitor MRC Data showed that the biggest achievement of 2021 in the US was “catalog” music.

Based on the MRC figures, MBW calculates that a huge 82.1% of total recorded music consumption in the United States in the second half of 2021 came from “catalog” records.

Or in other words, the “current” records represented only 17.9% of total music consumption in the United States in the last six months of 2021.

Also this week, new figures confirmed by the UK recorded music trade body BPI showed streaming volume growth slowing in the market, as we learned that rap legend Nas was selling shares. in streaming royalties for two of his singles via an investment platform. , Royal.

Here’s what happened in the first working week of 2022 …


1) WARNER PURCHASES DAVID BOWIE’S SONG CATALOG FOR $ 250M +

The music industry‘s first major acquisition of 2022 is with us: Warner Music Group, through its subsidiary Warner Chappell Music, acquired the worldwide music publishing rights to David Bowie’s catalog of songs.

According to Variety, the price of the deal, long expected to bounce around the $ 200 million mark, was ultimately agreed to over $ 250 million.

This means that Warner has announced two deals covering more than $ 650 million in acquisition costs over the past three weeks, following the $ 400 million acquisition of 300 Entertainment led by Kevin Liles in December …


2) OVER 82% OF THE AMERICAN MUSIC MARKET IS NOW CLAIMED BY CATALOG RECORDS, RATHER THAN NEW RELEASES

We cannot say that 2021 was light on the releases of successful albums.

There was of course Adele, whose 30 rolled off blocks in November to become the top-selling album of 2021 (as in traditional album sales, minus streaming) in the United States.

In January, country artist Morgan Wallen released Dangerous: The Double Album, which was America’s biggest album in 2021, as well as the biggest in terms of streaming (with 3.65 billion audio streams of his own). alone).

There were also, to choose just a few, Sour by Olivia Rodrigo (the biggest American record # 2 in 2021), Certified Lover Boy by Drake (# 3) and Planet Her by Doja Cat ( n ° 6).

We know all this thanks to the figures contained in a new annual report published yesterday (January 6) by the American market monitor, MRC Data.

Yet we also know, thanks to that same report, that the biggest achievement of 2021 in the United States had nothing to do with a new release: it was “catalog” music…


3) NOW JOHN LEGEND SELLS: BMG AND KKR BUY ALL ME HITMAKER CATALOG

Music’s latest big catalog sale has been confirmed: American singer-songwriter and performer John Legend has sold his songwriting catalog for an undisclosed amount to BMG and KKR.

Interestingly, it appears that the sale of Legend to KKR and BMG was finalized before the two companies jointly acquired a catalog from ZZ Top.

In December, this acquisition of ZZ Top became the first officially announced joint acquisition of the business duo …


4) THE BRAKES HAVE BEEN CLOSED ON THE GROWTH OF AUDIO STREAMING IN THE UK. IS THE UNITED STATES NEXT?

Are the world’s largest music markets heading into an era where streaming growth is leveling off, just as it did in the early adopter Scandinavian territories?

The latest data, at least in terms of volume, suggests so.

According to new figures confirmed by the UK’s official recorded music business organization BPI, the UK market recorded a total of 147.2 billion on-demand audio streams in 2021.

That was up $ 7.9 billion – or 5.7% – from the 2020 total ($ 139.3 billion).

That might sound like a lot… but when you compare it to trends from previous years, it really isn’t…


5) NAS WILL ALLOW FANS TO PURCHASE STREAMING ROYALTIES SHARES VIA NFTS ON THE ROYAL MUSICAL INVESTMENT PLATFORM

Blockchain-based music investment platform Royal raised $ 55 million in November and attracted funds 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 funders, 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’ music by purchasing shares in the royalties generated by the streaming of two of his tracks: Ultra Black, the first single from his 2021 Grammy Award-winning album King’s Disease, and Rare, a single from the 2022 Grammy-nominated follow-up album King’s Disease II…


MBW’s Weekly Round-Up is supported by Centtrip, which helps more than 500 of the world’s top-selling artists maximize their income and lower their touring costs.Music trade around the world


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