Justin Bieber has sold the rights to his entire music catalog. It was announced on Jan. 24 that Bieber had sold the rights to six albums, including his most recent, “Justice,” to the Hipgnosis Songs Fund. The deal was valued at $200 million by The Wall Street Journal.
“This acquisition ranks among the biggest deals ever for an artist under 70,” Merck Mercuriadis, managing director of Hipgnosis Songs Fund, told People Magazine. “At just 28, he is one of a handful of defining artists in the streaming era that revitalized the entire music industry.”
Hipgnosis now owns Bieber’s publishing copyright, writer’s share, neighboring rights, and a share of master recording royalties. Every time a song is played publicly, the company will earn money.
Justin Bieber has many reasons to sell his rights at such a young age.
Bieber said in an Instagram video on June 10, 2022 that he has Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. According to the Mayo Clinic, this happens when shingles invades a nerve near your ears, causing facial paralysis in half of your face and hearing loss.
The artist was unable to complete the North American leg of the “Justice” tour. Due to his condition, he will take a break from his performances. In the video, he said he plans to take this time to rest and work on recovery.
Bieber’s deal is unique as he is only 28 years old. It’s a common trend for artists to sell the rights to their music catalogs when they’re older and have fewer performances like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Stevie Nicks.
“Every investment has its risk, and here they invest in a catalog of intellectual property but it is linked to a person. I think it’s really unique,” said Chaz Celaya, director of Commercial Music and assistant professor of music at Point Loma Nazarene University.
Several younger artists have recently joined the trend such as Imagine Dragons and Shakira.
Celaya said he thinks more artists are selling their catalogs because the market isn’t guaranteed to stay high. He thinks Bieber’s advisers thought it was a good time to sell the property they have the rights to as soon as possible.
It can also be a risk for the artist to take the lump sum payment instead of keeping their rights because they could have made more money from their royalty payments. Celaya said that even with the risk, a lump sum payment has a lot of value because it can keep artists safe.
“You transfer the risk to the investors. I think there is security and freedom with the lump sum because you can do other things that you might want to do,” Celaya said.
Believers need not worry. Bieber still has a future as an artist. All of the music he produces from January 2022 will earn him royalties if he chooses to retain his rights.
“It’s going to be okay, and I’m hopeful. I trust God and hope this is all for a reason,” Bieber said in his Instagram post.
Written by: Isabel Cheeseman