Monday, June 17, 2024

Justin Bieber’s Song Catalog For Sale: What Is It Actually Worth With So Many Co-Writers?


There’s news today that Justin Bieber and manager Scooter Braun are jumping on the catalog bandwagon. They’re trying to get a piece of the billion dollar pie in music publishing.

Bieber, they envision, would join everyone from Bob Dylan to Sting to Fleetwood Mac, and so on. Bruce Springsteen got $500 million for his songs, so why not Justin Bieber?

Ok, when the laughing stops, let’s talk. Most Bieber hits have six to twelve co-writers. If they weren’t bought out in perpetuity at the start, then Bieber’s piece might be 50%. Take “Peaches,” a dozen credited collaborators. Some of these songs would require a conference room for a meeting of the writers, or a Zoom call that would fall off the screen. Even the ones with one or two people– the people are Benny Bianco and or Ed Sheeran.

So good luck with this plan. Bieber, of course, is in a financial bind (don’t worry, he’s rich) because he keeps cancelling tour dates. Selling his part of the catalog would be a backstop. Expect a crazy and unverified announcement of a sale — “biggest in history for a performer under 30 and five foot 8” — but take it with a grain of salt. Or a shaker.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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