Justin Timberlake, one of the most successful pop singers of the past 20 years, has sold a song catalog to Hipgnosis Song Management, the company has announced.
Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of all of Justin Timberlake’s copyright, ownership and financial interests of the writer and publisher’s share of public performance income, and the catalog of musical compositions written by Justin Timberlake, according to the announcement. Also included in the sale to Hipgnosis are the worldwide administration rights to the compositions, subject to the remaining term of Universal Music’s administration rights, which expire in 2025.
Further terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the Wall Street Journal cites unnamed sources as saying it was valued at “just above $100 million,” and does not include future works. To put that in perspective, that is the amount sources say Hipgnosis paid for 50% of the worldwide copyright and income interests on Neil Young’s 1,180-song catalog last year.
The acquisition has been made on behalf of Hipgnosis Songs Capital, a partnership between Hipgnosis Song Management and funds managed by Blackstone.
Timberlake has sold more than 150 million records – 88 million as a solo artist and 70 million with ‘Nsync – and won 10 Grammy Awards out of 39 nominations, 11 MTV Video Music Awards, 20 ASCAP Pop Music Awards, 10 Teen Choice Awards, the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Contemporary Icon Award, four Primetime Emmy Awards, an Academy Award nomination for “Best Original Song,” and an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, among many other honors.
Timberlake is represented by managers Rick Yorn, Josh Dembling at LBI Entertainment and Johnny Wright at Wright Entertainment Group and lawyers David Lande and Mitch Tenzer at Ziffren Brittenham LLP.
Timberlake said, “I am excited to be partnering with Merck and Hipgnosis – he values artists and their creative work and has always been a strong supporter of songwriters and storytelling. I look forward to entering this next chapter.”
Merck Mercuriadis, CEO of Hipgnosis Song Management, said: “Justin Timberlake is not only one of the most influential artists of the last 20 years but he’s also one of the greatest songwriters of all time. His hit songs including Cry Me A River, Rock Your Body, SexyBack, My Love, What Goes Around . . . Comes Around, Suit & Tie, Mirrors and Can’t Stop The Feeling are amongst the most iconic of the period. Putting this deal together has been a complete labour of love for Justin, Rick, David and myself and I’m delighted to welcome them all to the Hipgnosis Family.”
Hipgnosis is just four years old but has significantly disrupted the business not just by driving up the value of catalogs by paying a jaw-dropping $2 billion-plus to acquire recent hit catalogs from Neil Young, Shakira, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Leonard Cohen, Barry Manilow, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx, the Chainsmokers, Jack Antonoff and others, as well as lesser-known but highly lucrative songwriters and producers.