Sting became the latest elder rocker to cash in on his songwriting catalog, selling his output to Universal Music for $300 million.
In doing so, 70-year-old Sting joins several recent artist sales, including Sony buying Bruce Springsteen’s songwriting catalog and recorded music copyrights for an estimated $550 million. in December. Earlier last year, David Bowie’s estate sold its publishing catalog to Warner Chappell Music for $250 million.
Sting’s catalog includes hits like “Roxanne”, “Every Breath You Take” and “Message in a Bottle”, songs written for his solo career and for The Police. Universal Music already has its catalog of recorded music.
Copyrights to over 600 songs and future catalog royalties are included.
“I am thrilled to have Jody and the team at UMPG curating and managing my catalog of songs,” Sting said in a press release, referring to Universal Music Publishing Group CEO Jody Gerson. “It’s absolutely essential to me that all of my career work has a home where it’s valued and respected – not only to connect with long-time fans in new ways, but also to introduce my songs to new ones. audiences, musicians and generations.”
Big music conglomerates are scrambling to buy up artist catalogs as streaming music becomes more mainstream. In December, Sony acquired Bruce Springsteen’s songwriting catalog and recorded music copyrights for an estimated $550 million. Earlier last year, David Bowie’s estate sold its publishing catalog to Warner Chappell Music in a deal worth more than $250 million.
Sting’s music has been sampled by stars like Nas, The Roots, 2Pac and French Montana.
“Shape of My Heart” was sampled on Juice WRLD’s “Lucid Dreams,” which has over 1.8 billion streams on Spotify alone.
“I never could have imagined that one day I would be able to lead a company that would be the steward of Sting’s remarkable songwriting legacy,” Gerson said in a statement. “Every one of us at UMPG looks forward to this work with a sense of honor, responsibility, and tremendous excitement about what we can achieve for his music in the future.”