We can’t imagine “Baby” by Justin Bieber associated with someone else’s name or “peaches”, which remained on Billboard 100 for a long time. What if these songs are sold, and their rights are transferred to another name? It will be shocking for all fans!
Selling music rights means giving the rights to a piece of music to someone else. In other words, music ownership is shifting to another person or any firm. This can mean copyright, performance rights, technical rights, synchronisation rights, and any other rights that have to do with the music. This allows buyers to choose how and where the music can be used.
According to recent reports, Justin Bieber has sold rights to his songs for $200 million (£162 million). Hipgnosis is said to be the potential buyer of rights to about 290 songs, including several of his more recent tracks, including "Baby" and "Sorry”.
One of the most successful musicians of the twenty-first century, Justin Bieber, who has released several albums and singles in recent years, is now among the growing number of musicians who are earning off their back catalogues.
A significant number of singers have been known to engage in the practice of selling their rights to various entertainment companies. These vocalists include a few of the most successful songwriters in recent music history, such as Bob Dylan, Imagine Dragons, Whitney Houston, and Shakira.
It is reported that Bob Dylan received between $300 and $400 million for selling 100% of his publishing portfolio to Universal Music Publishing. In addition, he has parted ways with the rights to his master recordings by selling them to Sony for an estimated sum of $200 million. Similarly, Imagine Dragons have sold the rights to their songs for $100 million, covering all of them up until 2020. Whitney Houston, on the other hand, did not reveal the price of her music rights; however, she granted Primary Wave Media all of the rights to her songs.
The question remains as to why Justin Bieber sold the rights to his song. A few factors can explain this. The potential for monetary benefit is one of the most compelling drivers behind this transaction.
His concerts and tours generated more than $50 million annually (excluding during the global coronavirus pandemic). He has made significant money from his shows, YouTube, and other online platforms. It is estimated that he has a net worth of approximately $285 million. More than $150 million came from his music, while the rest came from endorsement deals and product sales. He has earned a handsome amount of money from his YouTube views.
He may have noticed that after making so much money from his music, his money from his older songs was now much less than it was. He might have considered how much money he could make from his prior work and chose to take a significant risk by abandoning the rights to half his tracks.
Giving up his rights has not only reaped him cash benefits but also gained him an advantage from the administration of these songs. It is incredibly challenging and time-consuming for the singers to continue creating songs while also keeping a watch on the unlawful usage of their work. For example: In March 2022, Artikal Sound System sued Dua Lipa over her song "Levitating." The reggae band alleges it violates their 2017 song "Live Your Life. Similarly, Lana Del Rey was sued by Radiohead due to some musical elements of ‘Creek’ in her song ‘Get Free’.
Not only are there management issues, but there is also a concern about managing time to have these issues under control while maintaining the day-to-day activities of the artist, from appearing on TV shows to concerts, etc. Therefore, it might have been easier to let go of some burdens.
Several concerns have also been raised regarding Justin Bieber's management while he has a health problem. It has been apparent how his health issue has affected his work. He had cancelled several shows and concerts due to this reason. All these issues have forced him to get himself in a better state of mind by being financially free. However, he doesn’t have to worry about copyrights and his sold music being used without permission anymore and can continue to focus on making new tracks.