For Sale: 1/2 of the Largest Music Publisher In the World

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Sony/ATV Music Publishing is easily the largest music publisher in the world, with a 50/50 ownership split between the estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Corp.  Now, Sony is exercising its right to sell its stake, according to preliminary details from the Wall Street Journal, with the Jackson estate granted the right of first refusal.

Apparently, word is leaking from Jackson estate lenders, with the Sony/ATV holding carrying a $2 billion valuation.  Jackson famously purchased his stake in 1985 for $47.5 million after getting a tutorial on publishing from Paul McCartney; ironically, Sony/ATV carries a bulk of the Beatles’ publishing catalog.  Jackson sold the half-stake to Sony in 1995 for roughly $100 million.

Beyond the Beatles, Sony/ATV also houses a swath of other high-value copyrights, including those tied to the Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, Taylor Swift, and Calvin Harris.  In total, Sony/ATV counts roughly 3.6 million songs, with an astounding 30 percent music publishing marketshare according to a research estimate by Ovum Ltd.


More as the situation unfolds…

Image: Benoit Cars, licensed and transformed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).

5 Responses

  1. T. Cooke

    Nice. The “Sony Leaks” illuminated an interest by the Japanese multinational conglomerate to alleviate itself of the growing risk of the music industry by selling their music publishing business earlier this year. This should be interesting to follow.

  2. Remi Swierczek

    Valueless proposition unless industry will unite and new fair use act.

    Only then Google, Shazam, SpotifySpotify, Pandora, YouTube and similar cookoos will STOP venting music goodwill

  3. Remi Swierczek

    Valueless and risky proposition to the buyer unless industry will unite and get new fair use act.

    Only then Google, Shazam, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube and similar cookoos will STOP venting music goodwill and actual music to freeloaders.

  4. BP

    Why would Sony/ATV sell the biggest music publishing company if they have spent more than $3bn on buying various music catalogs???

    Michael Jackson IS THE ONLY ONE ARTIST AND MUSIC BIZ MAN who completely owned/owns his whole music catalogs – from the very beginning (1968) to the very end (2009) of his career, all the songs he ever sang, composed or produced through Motown, Epic/Sony and MJJ Production.

    The MJ Estate released a statement that clearly stated – they do not sell it.

    Anyway, this is the exact proof that MICHAEL JACKSON was the real, and probably the biggest music mogul, the businessman.

    NOW his estate co-owns the publishing rights to the whole music biz including The beatles, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Gaga, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Eminem….

    The Estate has at least the $2bn share….

    MICHAEL JACKSON HAS NEVER BEEN BROKE (that was just tabloid BS), but cash poor at the end of his years…, but was mega rich in having assets like those at Sony/ATV.