Catalog cover

David Bowie’s estate sells its entire publishing catalog

The estate of David Bowie has sold worldwide publishing rights to the late rocker’s robust catalog to Warner Chappell Music in a deal believed to be worth more than $250 million.

The deal includes songs from Bowie’s 26 studio albums, from his self-titled debut in 1967 to his 2016 album. Black Star, released two days before his death. It also includes the posthumous studio album Toyout Friday, the two studio albums released by hard rock front band Bowie Tin Machine and various singles from soundtracks and other projects.

Warner Chappell, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, did not disclose details of the deal, but sources said Variety that Bowie’s publishing rights made “over $250 million”. Last year, Warner Music secured worldwide licensing rights to Bowie’s catalog of recorded music from 1968 to 2016, a deal that will take effect in 2023. The company now owns all of Bowie’s work in as a songwriter and recording artist.

FinancialTimes reported in October that Bowie’s catalog had sparked a bidding war, as several companies bought up legacy artists’ publishing catalogs in recent years. Last month, ZZ Top sold “its entire music interests” to BMG and KKR for an estimated $50 million. Almost exactly a year ago, Hipgnosis Songs Fund scooped up half of Neil Young’s catalog for $150 million.

Other recent publishing sales include Motley Crue ($150 million), Stevie Nicks ($100 million), Bob Dylan (estimated at $300-400 million), and Bruce Springsteen, who sold his masters and its publishing catalog for a staggering $500 million last month.

Bowie developed a reputation as one of rock’s greatest shape-shifters over the course of his roughly five-decade career. Its catalog includes canonical hits such as “Space Oddity”, “Changes”, “Rebel Rebel”, “Ziggy Stardust”, “Fame”, “Golden Years”, “Let’s Dance”, “Modern Love” and many more. . The sale of the edition is another victory for Warner Chappell, which has also acquired the catalogs of Bruno Mars, Cardi B, Quincy Jones and the estate of George Michael, among others.

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