There have been talks about the sale of Queen’s music catalog including both music publishing and recorded music rights and the potential price tag might even surpass $1.1 billion, with USD 1 billion all but guaranteed, Music Business Worldide’s reported.
The outlet noted that Universal Music Group is engaged in these discussions, in addition to other music companies and major players in private equity.
It is noted that if the sale is completed then the overwhelming numbers would make it the largest single-artist catalog sale in music history, as it would comfortably surpass the $500 million sale of Bruce Springsteen’s catalog to Sony Music Group in late 2021.
However, the sale of Queen’s catalog will be complicated because Disney Music Group owns the band’s recorded music catalog in North America. Queen guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon, and Freddie Mercury’s estate, all own equal shares in Queen Productions Ltd, which owns the band’s catalog outside the US and Canada, as well as in Queen Music Ltd, which is administered by Sony Music Publishing.
Citing data from UK Companies House, MBW notes that Queen Productions Ltd broke its record for annual revenue in 2019 due to the release of the “Bohemian Rhapsody” biopic, when it earned GBP £72.77 million. Most recently posted data refers to the fiscal year of 2021, when Queen Productions Ltd earned GBP £39.19 million (with royalties making up for £38.92 million).
It is also noted that Queen is currently the 48th most popular artist on Spotify worldwide, with 47.7 million listeners enjoying the band’s songs each month.