QUEEN Sells Music Rights for a Staggering $1.27 Billion: What Would Be The Future Of Music?

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Legendary rock band Queen has made a monumental deal, selling their music rights to Sony Music for a record-breaking $1.27 billion. This agreement includes not just recordings and publishing rights, but also name and likeness rights, opening doors for future Queen-themed ventures like musicals, merchandise, and even brand endorsements.

This move follows a trend of aging musicians selling their musical catalogs for astronomical sums. Bruce Springsteen and half of Michael Jackson‘s catalogs were recently acquired by Sony for $500 million and $600 million respectively. Financial security seems to be a major motivator, as exemplified by the late David Crosby who explained his own catalog sale in 2021: “Streaming stole my record money…I have to take care of my family, so it’s my only option. I’m sure the others feel the same.”

The Queen deal is particularly interesting because it doesn’t include live performance rights. Founding members Brian May and Roger Taylor will continue to tour with vocalist Adam Lambert, ensuring fans can still experience Queen‘s music live.

The financial windfall for Queen is undeniable, but some questions remain unanswered. Details regarding the involvement of longtime manager Jim Beach and his daughter Matilda, who have been participating in Queen monies for a very long time, are still unclear. Additionally, Sony Music might choose to delay a public announcement. Disney and Universal Music Group will permanently retain the rights to distribute Queen‘s records in North America, the transfer from current owners UMG to Sony Music is expected to be in either 2026 or 2027.

As streaming becomes the dominant form of music consumption, will selling off catalogs become the norm for aging musicians? Only time will tell, but for now, Queen stands as a prime example of the immense value a legendary music career can hold.

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