Sony Music Group has reportedly secured a deal worth at least $600 million (£475 million) for a 50% stake in the legendary Michael Jackson musical catalogue. If confirmed, this would value the late King of Pop’s musical assets at an astounding $1.2 billion (£950 million), making it the largest-ever deal for the work of a single musician.
Michael Jackson, who left an indelible mark on the world of pop music, passed away in 2009 at the age of 50. Renowned as one of the most successful artists in history, Jackson’s global record sales exceed 400 million, a figure hotly contested and speculated to be even higher. His 1982 magnum opus, “Thriller,” still holds the Guinness World Record as the best-selling album of all time.
Beyond physical and digital sales, Michael Jackson’s timeless hits continue to resonate with audiences on streaming platforms. With nearly 40 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, his tracks like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” have each surpassed the one billion play mark, underscoring his enduring popularity across generations.
The upcoming biopic featuring Jackson’s nephew in the lead role is poised to add another layer of fascination to the late pop icon’s legacy, undoubtedly fueling interest in his extensive musical catalogue.
This monumental back catalogue deal, negotiated with the Estate of Michael Jackson, not only encompasses the King of Pop’s solo works but also includes tracks by various artists acquired by Jackson’s Mijac publishing group. This eclectic mix reportedly features hits by legends such as Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, and Aretha Franklin.
The sale follows a trend in the music industry, where artists strategically monetize their back catalogues. Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan made headlines with deals reaching $500 million (£396 million) and up to $450 million (£356 million), respectively. Reports also suggest that the iconic rock band Queen is contemplating a similar strategic move.