Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young has sold 50% of the rights to its catalog to the Hipgnosis investment fund. Following a trend that prevails in the music industry, Young sold his rights for a figure between 40 and 122 million euros a month after Universal Music acquired part of Bob Dylan’s songs for another astronomical figure, between 245 and 406 million euros, according to an estimate by the New York Times.
According to the BBC, Young’s sale of rights, which includes 1,180 songs composed by the 75-year-old musician, would amount to about 122 million euros, about $ 150 million, an amount that has not been confirmed by Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited. Variety magazine, which cites “an industry source”, puts the sale at around 40 million euros. He assures that Young will maintain his ability to authorize the use of his songs in publicity campaigns or political events.
A member of legendary bands such as Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young or Crazy Horse, Neil Young is a chameleon musician who has published over 70 albums and has played many styles, from folk to rock to grunge, country and music. blues. Although he only topped the US charts once with ‘Heart of Gold’ (1972), he exerts a powerful influence on the Anglo-Saxon music scene with songs like ‘Heart of Gold’, ‘Helpless’, ‘Like a Hurricane’, ‘Old Man’ , ‘Ohio’ and ‘Cinnamon Girl’.
In a bag
“We have integrity, a common spirit and passion born of faith in music and these important songs,” Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis said in a statement. Created in early 2018 by Mercuriadis, a former manager of music giants like Elton John and Iron Maiden, the Hipgnosis fund went on the London stock market that same year. Since then he has secured the rights of the American producer Timbaland or the singer Barry Manilow, among many other musicians. It has raised 625 million pounds (about 700 million euros) from investors so far, according to its official website, and controls the rights to hits like Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ or ‘Uptown Funk!’ by Bruno Mars.
Investors’ appetite for music rights is largely due to streaming, a formula that has opened up opportunities for an industry that has been seeking a new business model since the turn of the millennium. Other investment agents such as Concord or Primary Wave, which took 80% of the rights to singer Stevie Nicks for 81 million euros, have joined this race. Companies often use these acquired music funds to sell for use in movies, video games, and advertising.