Justin Timberlake has sold his song catalog to Hipgnosis Song Management, the company announced on Thursday, marking the latest superstar to sell the rights to their songs in the ever-hot music acquisition market.
Hypgnosis bought 100 percent of Timberlake’s copyrights on musical compositions he wrote, which includes hits such as “SexyBack,” “Rock Your Body,” “Suit and Tie,” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Representatives for Hypgnosis declined to share financial details regarding the sale.
Timberlake is one of the best-selling artists in pop music history, first as a member of NSYNC then afterward as a solo artist. The catalog deal is for Timberlake’s publishing rights, not recording rights, meaning it only pertains to songs he wrote or co-wrote. He wasn’t a songwriter on some of NSYNC’s biggest hits such as “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me,” but he wrote or co-wrote most of his hits as a solo artist.
“I am excited to be partnering with [Hipgnosis’s CEO and founder] Merck [Mercuriadis] and Hipgnosis – he values artists and their creative work and has always been a strong supporter of songwriters and storytelling,” Timberlake said in a statement. ” I look forward to entering this next chapter.”
Timberlake is one of many artists who’ve sold their song catalogs over the past few years. Fellow pop hitmakers like Ryan Tedder and Bruno Mars have also sold their publishing rights, but the trend has been particularly popular among older acts who left their musical legacies in the hands of music companies while taking huge sums of cash for themselves and their families instead. Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen both sold their publishing and recorded rights for hundreds of millions of dollars in the past year, while Pink Floyd is reportedly shopping their catalog around and would likely fetch similar figures.
While the artists get an immediate payout, buyers like Hipgnosis hope to get songs in more TV shows, films and video games, benefit from the passive income from a bona fide hit, or even get the song in other artists’ hands to make new potential hits out of them.
Hypgnosis, founded by former music manager Mercuriadis, has been a key force in pushing the current catalog boom, giving artists, songwriters and producers previously unheard-of offers for the rights to their music. Hipgnosis previously closed deals with artists including Neil Young, Lindsay Buckingham and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Timberlake deal is part of a $1 billion fund partnership between Hipgnosis and investment giant Blackstone Inc.
“Justin’s incredible catalogue will join other amazing works at Hipgnosis which we know will serve as a great steward of his work,” Mercuriadis said in a statement. “We look forward to a great partnership between Justin and Hipgnosis.”