Prior to selling his music catalogue, Justin Timberlake had come a long way from being the ramen-headed lead singer of NSYNC. From conquering the screen in such acclaimed flicks as David Fincher’s The Social Network and The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis to his numerous business ventures, the man has pretty much done it all while maintaining those rakish good looks. The only thing that’s really changed since inking his deal with Hipgnosis Song Management? In exchange for signing over the rights to his entire library of bangers, he’s now $100 million richer.
From here onwards, Hipgnosis will have full control and ownership over Timberlake’s interest in the 200 songs he’s written and co-written during his tenure with the classic 2000s boyband, plus anything he crafted as a solo artist. For reference, NSYNC’s albums have reportedly sold 70 million copies worldwide, while JT’s solo work has moved an even more impressive 88 million copies. Hence why HSM are so willing to invest.
“I am excited to be partnering with [Hipgnosis CEO & Founder Merck Mercuriadis] and Hipgnosis Song Management – he values artists and their creative work and has always been a strong supporter of songwriters and storytelling,” Justin Timberlake expressed via statement.
“I look forward to entering this next chapter.”
“Justin Timberlake is not only one of the most influential artists of the last 20 years but he’s also one of the greatest songwriters of all time,” adds Merck Mercuriadis.
“His hit songs including: ‘Cry Me a River,’ ‘Rock Your Body,’ ‘SexyBack,’ ‘My Love,’ ‘What Goes Around… Comes Around,’ ‘Suit & Tie,’ ‘Mirrors,’ and ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ are amongst the most iconic of the period.”
“We look forward to a great partnership between Justin and Hipgnosis.”
The Justin Timberlake catalogue deal is part of a $1 billion fund partnership between Hipgnosis and private equity firm Blackstone Inc which was established last year. Offering investors the opportunity to cash in from the royalties of popular songs from big-name artists such as JT, other acquisitions made by the private vehicle dubbed Hipgnosis Songs Captial include the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Neil Young, and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham — the latter of whom has been ousted from the iconic outfit.
Beyond the transactions between the aforementioned artists and Hipgnosis Songs Capital, a broader trend of catalogue acquisitions has been at play recently.
Last year, both Calvin Harris and David Guetta signed over their respective tracks for over $100 million each. Universal Music Publishing broke out the piggy bank to snap up the publishing catalogue of Bob Dylan for $400 million, while Sony purchased his master recording for another $200 million. And less than a month ago, it was revealed Drake has a monstrous $500 million contract with Universal as well.