David Guetta Sells Catalog to Warner Music in Partnership Deal Worth ‘Around $100 Million’

Popular on Variety

UPDATED: Veteran artist-producer DJ David Guetta has entered into a career- agreement with Warner Music that sees the company acquiring his recorded-music catalog from the last two decades, as well as striking a new deal for future recordings. Terms of the deal were not disclosed and a rep for Warner Music steadfastly declined comment.

Initial reports on the price of the deal were all over the map — with Financial Times citing a source as saying $100 million and Music Business Worldwide citing a source claiming more than that but less than $150 million —  sources tell Variety that the sum is “definitely” less than $100 million but “around” that amount. The forward-looking nature of the deal also could make a definitive sum difficult to calculate.

Either way, it’s a sizable amount for the recorded works of Guetta and who has sold 50 million record sales and racked up more than 14 billion streams, according to the announcement, and has worked with some of the most popular artists in the world, including Rihanna, Bruno Mars, J Balvin, Justin Bieber, Jason Derulo, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Saweetie, Sia, and many more. His award-winning career includes two Grammy Awards. As of today, Guetta is the eighth most listened to artist in the world (by monthly listeners on Spotify).

The deal is also unlike other recent blockbuster catalog acquisitions in that is apparently involves only recorded music, which actually makes sense given Guetta’s primary status as a producer-DJ (thus making his sound more valuable than that of many other, more-conventional songwriters), although his songwriting catalog is quite valuable as well.

In total, Guetta has unveiled eight new tracks in the first five months of 2021. There is much more new music to come, including a new single in July. With his team, he also set up some massive live streams. These “United At Home” performances from Dubai, Miami, New York, and Paris were viewed by more than 125 million people across the globe and raised more than US$1.6 million for various charities.

David Guetta says: “I’m super excited about the new music I’m working on. And even more excited that I have started to play all this new music live to my fans again and they are loving it. This is the right time to renew my creative partnership with my trusted team at Warner Music. This deal is about having the best people around me to ensure I can keep innovating with exciting new projects, while also working my extensive catalogue and continuing to build my career.”

Jean-Charles Carré, David Guetta’s business partner and manager, adds: “A lot of people approached us to express interest in David’s catalogue. We decided to continue our partnership with Warner because they have a knowledge of and passion for David’s music, with a global team that’s constantly working to place it in new contexts. We’re super-excited about some of the deals they’re striking with new partners and their expansion into new territories. This is about proactively working David’s catalogue and new music together.”

Max Lousada, CEO, Warner Recorded Music, says, “It’s rare for an artist to not only define a genre, but transform it. David has been doing that for over two decades – igniting worldwide audiences and influencing whole generations of talent. He continues to have an extraordinary impact on the evolution of dance music, while innovating and collaborating with new voices in dynamic ways. For all he’s achieved so far, there’s so much great music, creativity, and originality still to come. All of us at Warner are very happy to expand our partnership with this global icon.” 

Bart Cools, EVP, Global A&R and Marketing, Dance Music, Warner Recorded Music, says: “I’m deeply honoured that David has decided to renew our collaboration. He’s a genre-shaping, era-defining artist whose music touches billions of people around the world. I’ve heard some of his new music, and I know it’ll blow people away. David is a creative spirit who never rests on his laurels. Frankly, he never rests at all. We’ve released eight tracks in the first five months of 2021, and he’s not slowing down.” 

Guetta released his debut album, Just A Little More Love, in 2002, followed by influential works such as Guetta Blaster (2004) and Pop Life (2007). It was his 2009 album, One Love, that really took him from the clubs to a mainstream audience, with its hit singles ‘When Love Takes Over’, ‘Gettin’ Over You’, ‘Sexy Bitch’, and ‘Memories’.