Queen Sells Catalog for $1.27 Billion

Queen has sold their catalog to Sony Music for the whopping price tag of $1.27 billion.This news was first reported by Hits, with two sources confirming the blockbuster deal to Variety. The Queen/Sony catalog deal omits revenue rights for live performances, which will be retained by Brian May and Roger Taylor.Variety notes there is a slight complication with the Queen catalog since the U.S. and Canada rights were acquired by Disney in the early 2000s. Also, Queen has a distribution deal with Universal that runs through as late as 2027. However, distribution will likely transfer to Sony once the Universal deal expires. Previous Reports of a Queen Catalog Sale [inlink id="queen-catalog-rumored-to-be-sold-for-over-1-billion" text="In May 2023"], reports surfaced via CNN that Universal Music Group was in discussion to acquire the Queen catalog from Disney Music Group for over $1 billion. At the time, Disney Music Group denied the news of the sale and told CNN they have "no plans to sell the catalog."CNN noted, "That sum remains arguably the highest amount a music catalog has sold for, but if the Queen sale goes through, a new record will be set."[inlink id="queen-catalog-sale-1-2-billion" text="In May 2024"], Billboard reported a catalog sale was "finally getting close" to the tune of $1.2 billion. The outlet also reported that the deal included "publishing and ancillary income streams," which included the revenue from the 2018 hit biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. As of publishing, there has not been confirmation about that detail. So far, in 2024, there have been few major catalog sales in the rock world. [inlink id="kiss-catalog-name-logo-makeup-sold" text="In April"], KISS sold its catalog, name, logo and makeup rights to Pophouse for a reported $300 million. Pophouse, a Swedish entertainment and music investment firm, already had a relationship with the band and is the creative force behind the creation of the KISS Avatars. [inlink id="rod-stewart-sells-catalog-in-9-figure-deal" text="In February"], Rod Stewart sold his catalog to Irving Azoff's Iconic Artists Group for $100 million. In June 2023, [inlink id="rod-stewart-backs-out-of-deal-to-sell-his-catalog-experts-think-hell-still-sell" text="Billboard"]reported Stewart was close to a catalog deal with Hipgnosis. Sale talks went on for two years, only for Stewart to back out. The Big Business of the Queen Catalog Since the release of the hit Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody in 2018, there has been a renewed interest in the Queen catalog. In fact, [inlink id="queen-catalog-18-million-bohemian-rhapsody" text="Billboard reported back in May 2019"] the Queen catalog generated $18 million in revenue in the six months following the film's release. Streams of Queen's music more than tripled during that time going from "588 million to 1.9 billion." Track sales and downloads increased from "527,000 to 1.9 million units," and album sales rose 483% from "184,000 to 1.1 million units."

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