top of page
  • Capital Culture

Sony Music In Discussions To Purchase Queen Catalog For $1 Billion

As reported by Music Business Worldwide, Sony Music is reportedly engaging in discussions to purchase the catalog of legendary British rock band Queen. Bloomberg revealed on Wednesday (May 29) that Sony is currently "working with another investor" on a potential deal that "could potentially total $1 billion." The negotiations are ongoing and may not lead to an agreement, but if a deal is reached, it would include "merchandising and other business opportunities."

The iconic band's catalog boasts chart-toppers like "Killer Queen," "Bohemian Rhapsody," and "Another One Bites the Dust."

Reports of Sony's interest in Queen's catalog come a year after discussions between Queen's representatives and various companies regarding a potential $1 billion-plus catalog sale were brought to light by Music Business Worldwide in May 2023. The catalog, which includes publishing and recorded music rights, is co-owned by the band's surviving 'classic' members (Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon) and the estate of Freddie Mercury.

Last year, sources disclosed that major music companies such as Universal Music Group and private equity groups were involved in talks for a potential acquisition. The complexity of the deal was highlighted by the fact that Disney Music Group, through its ownership of Hollywood Records, holds Queen's recorded music rights in North America, while the band owns them in the rest of the world.

Queen: Roger Taylor, Brian May, Freddie Mercury and John Deacon 'fought mercilessly' (Image: GETTY)

Queen members Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon, along with the Freddie Mercury estate, each own equal shares in Queen Productions Ltd., which possesses the group's recording catalog outside the US and Canada. Additionally, they hold the global rights to Queen's music publishing catalog through their company Queen Music Ltd., which is administered by Sony Music Publishing.

The band's financial success was evident in their annual report for FY 2022, published in June 2023. Queen Productions Ltd. reported a turnover of £40.89 million (USD $50.41m at average annual exchange rates as per the IRS), a 4.3% increase from the previous year.

The report also revealed that the company's pre-tax profit experienced a significant rise, reaching £22.16 million ($27.41 million), signifying Queen's enduring popularity following the release of the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic in 2018.

The potential sale of Queen's catalog could potentially make history as one of the most significant single-artist music catalog sales, surpassing Sony Music Group's acquisition of Bruce Springsteen's recorded music and music publishing catalogs for over $500 million in late 2021.

In recent years, Sony Music Group has demonstrated its strategic expansion by acquiring half of Michael Jackson's catalog for at least $600 million and securing Bob Dylan's catalog of recorded music.

2 views0 comments


bottom of page