Seasoned rock star Neil Young has sold half of the rights to his song catalog to the Hipgnosis Song Fund
The British publisher is trying to capitalize on the boom in music ratings given the popularity of streaming services.
Under the terms announced on Wednesday, Hipgnosis, listed on the FTSE 250, has a 50% stake in the 75-year-old Canadian singer's portfolio with 1,180 titles, including "Heart of Gold" and "Rockin 'in the Free World" "And "Cinnamon Girl. "
According to Music Business Worldwide, Hipgnosis has not disclosed the value of the deal, which is estimated to be priced at $ 150 million.
The deal comes less than a month after Universal Music Publishing Group signed a historic deal to buy Bob Dylan's entire songwriting catalog, including classics like "Blowin 'in the Wind" and "The Times They Are A -Changin & # 39; " for $ 300 million. Just days earlier, Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks sold an 80% stake in her music to Primary Wave for an estimated $ 80 million.
Read: 5 reasons musicians like Bob Dylan and Stevie Nicks are currently selling their song catalogs
Music consumption has increased significantly thanks to streaming platforms such as Spotify
and Apple Music, which allowed listeners to rediscover and play some of their favorite songs from the past few years. According to The Wall Street Journal, songwriter catalogs fetch 10 to 18 times the annual royalties, compared to 8 to 13 times in previous years.
Hipgnosis was founded by music industry veteran Merck Mercuriadis, who previously directed artists such as Elton John, Beyoncé and Morrissey. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2018 and now has a market capitalization of nearly $ 1.3 billion.
The publisher invests in songs and musical intellectual property rights and generates income by converting music fees into a steady stream of income and making money every time one of its songs is played on the radio or shown in a TV commercial or movie.
"This is a deal that will change Hipgnosis forever," said Mercuriadis when he announced the deal on Wednesday. “I built Hipgnosis as a company that Neil would like to be a part of. We have a common integrity, ethos and passion that come from believing in music and these important songs, ”he added.
Young, who grew in prominence in the 1960s and 1970s, has released nearly 50 studio albums and more than 20 live albums, 18 of which are gold certified, seven are platinum and three are multiplatinum.
In December, Young dropped his lawsuit against US President Donald Trump's campaign to play two of his songs at campaign events without permission.
Read: Artists hit gold by selling their music rights. How investors can make money.
Hipgnosis' shares, which are up nearly 3% this year, traded 0.28% lower in London on Wednesday.
The publisher has been on a buying spree since September after raising £ 250m through a stock placement to fund further acquisitions.
Earlier this week, the company recorded 100% of former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham's 161-song catalog, as well as 50% of all unreleased songs. It also earned worldwide producer royalties from 259 songs by Jimmy Iovine, who produced artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith before starting Beats Electronics, the Apple
Purchased for $ 3 billion in 2014.
Hipgnosis has now spent more than £ 1 billion buying rights to nearly 60,000 songs, including Blondie, Barry Manilow and Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, among others.