Queen’s Catalog Might Sell After All — Sony Music Reportedly in Talks for $1 Billion Deal

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The Queen catalog might be sold after all, as Sony Music is reportedly in talks for a $1 billion purchase agreement. Photo Credit: Koh Hasebe

It turns out the Queen catalog might sell for around $1 billion after all – albeit to Sony Music Entertainment (SME) as opposed to Universal Music Group (UMG).

The latest rumors of a massive transaction for Queen’s music IP came to light in a Bloomberg piece today. Perhaps not coincidentally, it’s now been one year to the day since CNN reported on a possible agreement between UMG and Disney Music Group for Queen’s body of work. (Queen inked a far-reaching pact with Disney Music over three decades ago.)

In that report, the outlet cited an anonymous source who suggested that a deal was “‘expected to close within one month.’” While the inherent complexity of catalog transactions sometimes makes for longer-than-expected processes, the window has, of course, come and gone. Furthermore, Disney Music at the time said it didn’t have plans to sell in any event.

Nevertheless, one year and several high-profile IP sales later, Bloomberg is indicating that Sony Music could be moving to acquire Queen’s catalog.

Citing anonymous and purportedly in-the-know sources, the newer article points to ongoing discussions involving SME and “another investor” for the ultra-valuable song rights. Said rights, encompassing hits such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Another One Bites the Dust,” could fetch upwards of $1 billion, the text reiterates.

With trademarks as well as name and likeness rights factoring into a growing number of music-IP plays – among them Iconoclast’s deal for the Tony Bennett catalog and Pophouse’s KISS tie-up – the potential Queen investment may also cover merch and “other business opportunities,” per Bloomberg.

The relevant parties have yet to comment publicly on the sale rumors, and the appropriate article doesn’t mention Disney Music at all. Especially given the above-described 2023 report on a possible Queen catalog deal, it goes without saying that an agreement might not come to fruition.

Even so, we’ve explored in detail the substantial capital that’s continuing to float around the catalog arena; in spite of the uncertain economic climate, investors have earmarked billions for music IP. Furthermore, Sony Music, far from sitting on the sidelines amid the subsector’s resurgence, wrapped a record-setting investment in Michael Jackson’s catalog in February of 2024.

Though the corresponding financials haven’t been publicly confirmed, sources have attached a $1.2 billion overall valuation to the catalog, in which SME bought a 50 percent interest. Notwithstanding the sizable price tags associated with different song rights, that valuation is seemingly the largest to date for a single body of work.