Sony Acquires Michael Jackson's Catalog in Historic Deal

Sony's recent acquisition highlights a significant shift in music rights.

by Nouman Rasool
Sony Acquires Michael Jackson's Catalog in Historic Deal
© Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

The Sony Music Group has confirmed a deal with a rather shocking agreement, regarding a large stake in the music catalog of Michael Jackson. This bid, estimated between $1.2 to $1.5 billion, makes Sony a major stakeholder in the estate of the late pop icon, spending an approximate minimum of $600 million towards its share.

The deal would represent one of the greatest in the history of music asset sales, according to sources in the music business as well as industry experts. The new acquisition covers both publishing and recorded masters. Insiders estimate this could easily amount to the highest sum ever paid for a single deal of an artist's assets in the entertainment sector, which would be even higher than the $1.2 billion price of the Queen catalog.

It will involve Michael Jackson's personal song collection, along with the prestigious Mijac publishing catalog.

Mijac's Musical Riches

Containing 250-plus songs, the Mijac catalog holds a treasure trove of musical history in the Sly & the Family Stone publishing catalog.

On the other hand, the supplementary aspect of it is timelessly classical music from the diverse genre of legendary artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, Jackie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles, Percy Sledge, and Dion. The hysteria for acquiring high-value music catalog has not been untouched by Sony.

On the other hand, the rights to the works of American singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen had already previously been grabbed by the firm in an eye-popping $500 million deal. And as if the year could not be filled with more headline-drawing deals, Sony was in the news for gaining the records catalog of Bob Dylan next to the acquisition of Dylan's publishing rights by Universal Music for close to $400 million.

A new trend has developed, whereby artists are increasingly monetizing their musical rights. Most recently, in a $200 million deal, Canadian superstar Justin Bieber signed a lucrative contract with Hipgnosis Songs Capital.

Hipgnosis has also diversified by buying the catalogs of other well-known performers such as Shakira and Justin Timberlake. This latest move by Sony not only underscores its dominance of the music business but also pays tribute to Michael Jackson's never-to-be-topped legacy.

As the music rights marketplace continues to develop, transactions like these spotlight the timeless and lasting value and appeal of icons in music.

Michael Jackson