The Blackstone-backed music investment and management firm adds to a portfolio that includes Justin Timberlake, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mark Ronson, 50 Cent, and Timbaland.
In December, several outlets including Billboard and The Wall Street Journal reported that Justin Bieber was close to a deal to sell his song catalog to Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital for a massive sum. On Tuesday, we finally got our confirmation.
Hipgnosis confirmed that it is indeed dropping upwards of $200 million for the 28-year-old Canadian superstar’s masters, publishing, and licensing rights for each of his songs released through 2021 — a total of 290 tracks. As Variety reports, the songs “will continue to be administered” by longtime Bieber label Universal Music Group in parallel with the deal, which is understood to be the largest such transaction for an artist from the millennial-or-younger generation to date.
“The impact of Justin Bieber on global culture over the last 14 years has truly been remarkable,” Merck Mercuriadis, founder and CEO of Hipgnosis Song Management, said in an official statement. “This acquisition ranks among the biggest deals ever made for an artist under the age of 70, such is the power of this incredible catalog that has almost 82 million monthly listeners and over 30 billion streams on Spotify alone. Scooter Braun has helped him build a magnificent catalog, and it’s a pleasure to welcome Justin and his incredible songs and recordings to the Hipgnosis family.”
Hipgnosis was founded in 2018 by Mercuriadis and guitarist/producer Nile Rodgers and has since acquired catalogs from artists like Timbaland and Justin Timberlake, as well as producer royalties rights for Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine. In 2021, Blackstone Group acquired a stake in the company as part of a plan to invest $1 billion in music publishing alongside Mercuriadis.
As Bieber’s longtime manager, Scooter Braun, added on the occasion:
“I want to thank Merck and his entire Hipgnosis team and all of our partners involved for working so hard to make this historic deal happen. When Justin made the decision to make a catalog deal, we quickly found the best partner to preserve and grow this amazing legacy was Merck and Hipgnosis. For 15 years I have been grateful to witness this journey and today I am happy for all those involved. Justin’s greatness is just beginning.”
Bieber’s most recent studio album, Justice, dropped on March 19, 2021 and became the artist’s eighth LP to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, moving 154,000 units in its first week. The accompanying Justice World Tour took place over five months in 2022, concluding on Sept. 4.
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