Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Justin Bieber Youngest Pop Star to Sell Song Rights, Indicates Possible Need for Money As He Keeps Canceling Tours


The Wall Street Journal says Justin Bieber is in a deal to sell his songwriting catalog to Hipgnosis Music, an aggressive player in this market.

If so, Bieber, at 28, would be the youngest star to cash in his chips. The usual sellers of catalog rights are legacy artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Sting, Fleetwood Mac, and so on. These are people all older than 60, with huge catalogs and estates to plan.

One reason this has become so popular is that records are no longer selling in huge quantities, and these older artists otherwise depend on touring to make big money. But the pandemic cut into touring. making the monetization of song publishing even more important.

Bieber has a touring problem: he keeps cancelling tours, and not because of the pandemic. In one instance he cut a tour short because he wasn’t into it. This year he cut a world tour first because he had an illness, and then because he still wasn’t feeling well.

With tens of millions of dollars on the table, Bieber may be needing a cash infusion. At 28, he lives a pretty high lifestyle. Plus he undoubtedly has a large payroll to meet that includes family, friends, and various hangers on.

The Journal says the deal is worth $200 million but that would have to be divided among all of Bieber’s collaborators. Unlike the legacy artists named above, Bieber rarely has a solo writing credit. From “Love Yourself” to “Peaches,” the songs have many co-writers. Also, these songs have not proven lucrative with the test of time. They’re too new. Until we hear “Peaches” in a Dole commercial, we won’t know where this stands.

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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