David Bowie’s Estate Sells His Catalog for Upwards of $250 Million
After months of negotiation, Bowie's catalog now belongs to Warner Chappell Music
There have been a slew of massive music publishing deals lately, the majority of which consist of aging classic-rock superstars selling their formidable catalogs for enormous sums of money. Last year, Bruce Springsteen sold his entire body of work to Sony for roughly $550 million. Now, just in time for what would have been his 75th birthday, Variety reports that the estate of David Bowie has sold his catalog in a similar deal.
The estate has reportedly sold Bowie’s publishing catalog to Warner Chappell Music for “upwards of $250 million,” according to the publication. A press release from Warner Chappell about the deal notes that “the agreement comprises songs from the 26 David Bowie studio albums released during his lifetime, as well as the posthumous studio album release, Toy. It also includes the two studio albums from Tin Machine alongside tracks released as singles from soundtracks and other projects.”
The deal is just the latest for Warner Chappell, which has orchestrated similar catalog deals with Bruno Mars, Cardi B, Quincy Jones, Anderson .Paak, Saweetie and the estate of George Michael, among others. But while $250 million will get them decades of Bowie material, including all of his most beloved hits, the deal doesn’t include his entire body of work.
As Variety notes, “While his estate owns his catalog from 1968 forward, his earliest officially released material — a string of singles and one self-titled 1967 album, all of which are vastly inferior to his classic work — is outside of the Warner deal, although ironically, many of the songs from that era appear in new versions on Toy.”
You can read more about why so many classic rock icons are selling their catalogs here.
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