Justin Bieber has sold all his peaches.
The 28 year old pop star becomes the youngest of all music performers to sell the entire rights to his songs. The buyer is Hipgnosis, the very hot firm that has bought out catalogs of much older stars for more money and with more material. Universal Music Group will own Bieber’s master recordings. But all the songs like “Peaches” and “”Love Yourself” will be owned by Hipgnosis, including parts of songs he wrote with other people.
The price is $200 million, which after taxes and paying all the lawyers involved, and maintaining Bieber’s lifestyle, is not a lot.
This deal is surprising because it suggests a couple of things: that Bieber’s touring and recording future are question marks. The singer has cancelled many tours and pieces of tours because of exhaustion, and also because of medical issues like face paralysis. He’s conceded that he suffers from depression.
The recording part is unusual for his age, as well. Most of the artists who’ve sold their catalogs are over 60 or more, are past their sales prime and are working on estate planning. They’re not in the chart game anymore and make their money from lucrative tours or residencies in Las Vegas.
But record sales are in decline for everyone. Bieber’s fans are aging out of their bubblegum stage while his music has remained the same. He doesn’t release a lot of albums, either. There may be some worry about his recording future, like when the next album will come, if it will sell, and how he will promote it.
The wording of manager Scooter Braun’s statement accompanying this news is important because he says that he and Bieber went looking for a catalog deal. Hipgnosis, led the by the estimable Merck Mercuriadis, didn’t approach them.
Whatever Bieber’s future is in the music industry, his financial future should now be safe. Let’s hope is health is good, too. He turns 29 on March 1st.