Justin Timberlake has sold his song catalogue to Hipgnosis Song Management, in a deal that gives the company all the rights to the artist’s previously released music.
Hipgnosis Song Management have bought 100 per cent of Timberlake’s rights, including to tracks like ‘SexyBack’, ‘Rock Your Body’, and ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’. The deal pertains to Timberlake’s publishing rights but not his recording rights, which means songs that he either wrote or co-wrote.
As he wasn’t a songwriter on some of NSYNC’s best-known hits such as ‘Bye Bye Bye’ and ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’, these are not included in the sale but the majority of his solo work will be included. The financial details of the sale have not been disclosed.
In a statement (via Rolling Stone), Timberlake said: “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. I look forward to entering this next chapter.”
“Justin’s incredible catalogue will join other amazing works at Hipgnosis which we know will serve as a great steward of his work,” Mercuriadis added. “We look forward to a great partnership between Justin and Hipgnosis.”
Timberlake is the latest artist to get involved in the growing music acquisition market, following fellow pop acts like Bruno Mars, who sold a portion of his catalogue last year to Warner Chappell.
The same label has struck catalogue deals with Cardi B, Quincy Jones, Anderson .Paak and Saweetie, alongside the estates of George Michael and David Bowie. Other artists who have sold their rights elsewhere include Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
Earlier this year, Leonard Cohen‘s estate reached a deal with the Hipgnosis Songs Fund for an undisclosed sum.
According to Rolling Stone, the deal included all 278 songs that Cohen wrote, including his most popular songs ‘Hallelujah’, ‘Suzanne’, ‘So Long, Marianne’, ‘First We Take Manhattan’ and more.
On the whole, Hipgnosis has spent more than $2billion (£1.4billion) buying the rights to hits from iconic artists such as Neil Young, Blondie, Shakira, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, producer Bob Rock and many more.
Last year, Mercuriadis said that cultural importance is key when it comes to the artists whose back catalogues they have acquired.
“So, with over £1bn invested, we only own 57,000 songs. But 10,000 of them are Top 10 songs, almost 3,000 of them are No.1 songs. So it’s a very small catalogue, relative to Universal, Warner or Sony. But the ratio of success within that catalogue is very high, there are very few songs that are not successes.”
According to Bloomberg, the band have reportedly begun talks with several potential buyers for the rights to the entirety of their back catalogue. If successful, the bid could be worth hundreds of millions.