The Red Hot Chili Peppers are selling their song catalog to Hipgnosis Songs for upwards of $140 million, sources confirm to Variety, making them the latest heritage artist to benefit from the intellectual property gold rush that has seen Bob Dylan sell his songwriting catalog to Universal Music Publishing for more than $300 million and Stevie Nicks sell hers to Primary Wave for $100 million.
The band, which formed in 1982, has a solid catalog of hits including “Under the Bridge,” “Give It Away,” “Dani California,” “Knock Me Down” and others, and drummer Chad Smith recently confirmed that the group has been working on a new album. The news was first teased by Music Business Worldwide and reported by Billboard; at the time of this article’s publication, it was unclear whether the deal had fully closed.
The Chili Peppers’ catalog was largely written by the band’s key members since 1989 —singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith and guitarist John Frusciante, who recently returned for his third stint with the group. As reported by Billboard, the catalog is administered by Moebetoblame Music, under the guidance of lawyer Eric Greenspan, managing partner of the law firm Myman, Greenspan, Fox, Rosenberg Mobasser, Younger & Light LLP. Sources say Greenspan shopped the deal for the band. It also reported that the group’s catalog generates $5 million to $6 million in net publishers’ share.
Reps for Hipgnosis and the band did not immediately respond to Variety‘s requests for comment; Greenspan could not be reached for comment.
Change is in the air for the group, which left Q Prime, its managers for more than 20 years, last fall, and recently confirmed that they have signed with Madonna/U2 manager Guy Oseary.
Hipgnosis, of course, has been on a catalog-acquisition binge that is unparalleled in music industry history and has driven up the price of song catalogs exponentially. In just two weeks early this year it acquired half of Neil Young’s catalog, as well as those of Fleetwood Mac veteran Lindsey Buckingham, producer/executive Jimmy Iovine amd Shakira. In just under three years, Hipgnosis has acquired catalogs by such hitmakers as Timbaland, Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, Blondie, Barry Manilow, Jeff Bhasker and many more.