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6/20/24-Queen Catalogue: 1 Billion!

todayJune 20, 2024

Background

Source: music-news.com

Queen has reportedly agreed a £1 billion deal to sell its music catalogue to Sony Music.

The ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ band – which still includes founding members Sir Brian May and Roger Taylor – has been in talks with for years about a sale for their enviable catalogue of songs and albums, and now it’s believed a deal is imminent.

As reported by Variety, the music catalogue and other rights is “in the process of being acquired” by Sony for the huge sum.

It’s thought the deal will close over the next few weeks, while Hits reports that the only revenue not included in the agreement is those earned by live performances.

Since Freddie Mercury’s death aged 45 in 1991, John Deacon has stepped back from the limelight, while Brian and Roger still tour with singer Adam Lambert.

Queen’s recorded music rights in the US and Canada were bought by Disney for an undisclosed price in the 2000s following an initial $10 million licensing deal reached in 1991.

The House of Mouse will keep hold of those rights in perpetuity, although for certain bandmembers, the remaining royalties from those will go to Sony when the deal is finalised.

The group’s distribution deal with Universal will move to Sony in all territories outside the US and Canada, but not until that agreement expires in 2026 or 2027.

Earlier this year, it was suggested that Deacon – who has not taken part in any public work for the group since the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992, following the frontman’s death the previous year – will not include his share of the assets in a potential deal.

Classic tracks in the catalogue include the likes of ‘Radio Gaga’, ‘We Are The Champions’, ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘Somebody To Love’, while the group released 15 studio albums, including 1995’s final LP ‘Made In Heaven’, which features recordings Mercury made before his death.

An agreement comes as a number of high-profile songwriting catalogues have been sold in recent years, with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and David Bowie’s collections being acquired for hundreds of millions of dollars.

They have proven to be an attractive investment for labels, with the prospect of repeated royalties through usage in films and TV, as well as radio play or adverts.

Written by: Barry Scott

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