The music industry may be witnessing a groundbreaking moment in the sale of music rights. The individuals managing the estate of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, are reportedly in talks to sell a 50% stake in Jackson’s holdings, valued at approximately $800 million to $900 million. This includes his musical catalog, publishing rights, the popular Broadway show “MJ: The Musical,” and the upcoming biopic, “Michael.”
Sony, along with a potential financial partner, is said to be in negotiations to acquire this stake. This move comes as no surprise as the company has been an active participant in acquiring music catalogs in recent years, having bought Bruce Springsteen’s catalog and publishing rights for $500 million and Bob Dylan’s catalog for around $200 million.
Sony has a long-standing relationship with Jackson, having served as his record label during his solo career. In 1995, the company formed a joint venture with the artist, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which included Jackson’s share of The Beatles’ publishing rights. After Jackson’s passing in 2009, Sony acquired sole ownership of Sony/ATV, a deal that was finalized in late 2019.
Primary Wave Music already holds a stake in Jackson’s publishing, but Sony’s push for a share of the pie is understandable given the company’s history of acquiring music catalogs. This potential sale could set a new precedent for the music industry and shape the future of how music rights are bought and sold.
The music industry is eagerly waiting to see the outcome of these negotiations and the impact it will have on the music rights market. Whether it’s Sony or another company, the sale of a stake in Michael Jackson’s discography is set to be a significant moment in music history.