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Future Cashes in on Music Publishing Catalog With 8-figure Deal

A new deal with Influence Media Partners is set to encapsulate the first 16 years of Future’s career, including several of his No. 1 songs, in a reported eight-figure agreement.

Fresh off the chart-topping success of his hit LP I Never Liked You, Future is riding his momentum to new heights — and some major dollar signs.

The prolific artist born Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn came to terms with Influence Media Partners, an investment company focused on music and entertainment and backed by BlackRock and Warner Music Group, to acquire a significant portion of Future’s music publishing catalog, the parties announced Tuesday.

The deal, which is understood to span across the first 16 years of Future’s career — that’s 2004 through 2020, so it doesn’t include I Never Liked You, his most recent album — encompassing approximately 612 songs.

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“Future is a cultural icon,” Influence Media partner and founding advisor Rene McLean said in a press statement. “He continues to be a blueprint for impact and success in the music industry and has reinvented music in ways that no one has ever expected. It is rare to find someone who moves music and culture at the same speed with his distinct vocal and melodic style. His prolific career and continued popularity more than 15 years into the game is a testament to his undeniable influence on the contemporary music and culture landscape.”

Although Influence did not specify exactly just how much Future will be taking home from the deal — they opted to use the phrase “eight-figure acquisition” and leave it at that — Billboard estimates that the catalog is worth somewhere between $65-75 million, particularly when taking into account Future’s collaborations as a songwriter with artists like Drake and Young Thug.

Over the course of the 16-year period this deal covers, Future has recorded:

  • 8 studio albums
  • 4 collaborative projects
  • 1 soundtrack
  • 1 reissued release
  • 4 mixtapes

His milestones therein include:

  • 8 No. 1 entries on the Billboard 200 albums chart
  • 9 entries in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart
  • 2 No. 1s on the Hot 100 (Drake’s “Way 2 Sexy” alongside Young Thug and “Wait For U” featuring Drake and Tems)
  • Over 41 million monthly listeners on Spotify

Poetically enough, the news all comes on the seven-year anniversary of the release of his mixtape with Drake, What a Time to Be Alive.

Notably, there’s some history here — Influence Media Co-managing Partner Lynn Hazen has worked with Future in the past as the former general manager and CFO at his label Epic Records. “It feels like fate to be able to collaborate with him again alongside my dynamic partners to protect his legacy and works,” she said on the occasion.

All told, Future has reached arguably the most intriguing point in his career to date. Billboard’s massive estimated valuation for the deal is based on Future’s own master recording catalog, which the publication pegs at $9.6 million in publishing-related revenue annually over the last three years. Clearly, Influence Media Partners is betting on that number growing massively in the years to come, and they’re moving full steam after having amassed at least $1 billion in funding to date.

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

The plan is clearly to pursue impressive catalog acquisitions from artists old and new, and at speed — the company has engaged in almost $300 million in music asset acquisitions already, according to Billboard, including Tainy (has worked on songs for Bad Bunny, J Balvin and others), the Stereotypes production/songwriting team (Bruno Mars, among many others), Jessie Reyez (co-writer for Dua Lipa); Skyler Stonestreet (co-writer for Dua Lipa, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande).

As Future himself concluded in an official statement:

“I put everything into my music, and I wanted to make sure these were in good hands as I thought about the next chapter of these songs. ’m proud to partner up with Rene and the team at Influence Media and send a signal that this music has timeless value. My music is my art, and these songs represent some of the most precious artwork of my career.”

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