If there’s one catalog in the music industry that’s worth a billion, it’s Michael Jackson’s. Apparently, the late singer’s estate is working out a deal that would amount to at least $800M. Per Variety, Michael Jackson’s estate is in the middle of selling half of the interest in the singer’s catalog for $800M-$900.
The details surrounding the sale aren’t clear, including the possible financial partner working with Sony Music on the acquisition. However, it’ll undoubtedly pay off big time. The sale possibly includes 50% of MJ’s publishing, revenue from recorded music, MJ: The Musical broadway show, and the upcoming biopic. However, others suggest other assets are involved in the sale. Still, Primary Wave Music reportedly owns Jackson’s stake in his publishing catalog.
You could imagine that Michael Jackson’s catalog would be well worth the price tag attached to it, even for 50%. However, sources close to MJ’s estate told TMZ that they would never sell the catalog outright. The only way a 50/50 deal would work is if his estate retained 100% management and control. Still, working alongside Sony Music on the deal only makes sense. After all, that was Michael’s long-time label throughout his solo career.
Michael Jackson’s catalog is evidently in high demand to this day. 1982’s Thriller, for example, is one of the biggest-selling albums of all time and continues to do massive numbers to this day. That project alone is 30x platinum.
The news comes on the heels of Lionsgate confirming a Michael Jackson biopic is in the works. With Jackson’s estate heavily involved, and his nephew Jaafar Jackson taking on the role of the pop star, the Antoine Fuqua-produced biopic will definitely rely on his biggest hits to convey the story accurately.
At a time when many artists are selling their catalogs for millions of dollars, Michael Jackson’s catalog would undoubtedly top the list. We’ve witnessed legacy acts like Bruce Springsteen agree to the sale of their catalog for half a billion. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber sold his catalog for roughly $200M. Even Lil Wayne sold the Young Money catalog – Drake and Nicki Minaj’s recordings included – to Universal Music Group for $100M.