Queen's Catalogue Acquired for More Than $1 Billion in Most Expensive Music Sale to Date

Another one cashes the cheque

Photo via Queen's Facebook page

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jun 20, 2024

In this economy, the trend of legacy acts (and Tame Impala) selling their music catalogues doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon — but, as they initially declared back in 1977, Queen are the champions.

In the most expensive deal of the sort, Sony Music is in the process of acquiring the quartet's catalogue for £1 billion, equivalent to about $1.27 billion USD, as first reported by HITS Daily Double and confirmed by Variety. Another unnamed player was also reportedly close in the bidding but tapped out at $900 million.

Beyond just the band's recordings and publishing rights, Queen's name, image, and likeness rights are also reportedly part of the agreement; however, the revenue from live performances is not included and will be retained by Brian May and Roger Taylor, who still actively tour with Adam Lambert.

Disney owns the rights to Queen's recorded music in the US and Canada, and will now redirect the royalty payments from May and Taylor to Sony. The band also has a distribution deal with Universal through 2026 or 2027, so it won't be until after that contract ends that distribution rights outside North America will be diverted to Sony.

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