Sony Buys QUEEN’s Music Catalog for Over One Billion Dollars

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 01: Photo of QUEEN; Posed group portrait – Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury, Brian May and John Deason (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)

 

Sony Music reportedly paid over $1.27 billion for the music catalog of English rock band Queen, which includes classics such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga, and Another One Bites The Dust. According to Hits, the only cash the band will generate outside of the deal will be from live performances, which founding members Brian May and Roger Taylor, who continue to tour with singer Adam Lambert, will retain.

 

Another interested party was thought to come very close in the auction but fell short at $900 million, with music rights viewed as an appealing investment because songs continue to generate revenue for years. Guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor, bassist John Deacon, and the late singer Freddie Mercury’s estate will all share the revenues evenly.

 

Live Aid (Queen) Full Concert [1985, London, Wembley Stadium]

 

The $1 billion price tag makes it the largest deal of its kind, surpassing the half-billion Sony paid for Bruce Springsteen’s catalogue in 2021. Sony also bought a 50% stake in the late Michael Jackson’s songs from the late singer’s estate for at least $600 million, according to the BBC. Queen is more popular than either of those acts though, with 52 million monthly Spotify listeners versus 41 million for Jackson and 20 million for Springsteen, according to Breitbart.

 

And going by its most current financial statements, Queen Productions Ltd earned $52 million in the fiscal year ended September 2022, also reported by BBC. The success of the 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody also proves that group’s name and likeness rights can be profitable, so the likelihood of a musical on Broadway and beyond is definitely possible.

 

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Jamison Ashley

Comic geek, movie nerd, father, and husband - but not necessarily in that order. Former captain of this ship o' fools secretly training everyone's computers and snarkphone spell-checkers to misspell 'supposebly.'

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