Six years after his death, David Bowie continues to do business – or, at least, his heirs. On Monday January 3, the company Warner Chappell Music, musical subsidiary of the famous Warner, announced that it had acquired the entire repertoire of the pop icon, who died on January 10, 2016, of cancer. For more than $ 250 million, Warner Music now owns all the rights to David Bowie’s 26 albums, from the very first eponymous album to the posthumous opus, “Toy”, released last November.
“This historic agreement includes all of Bowie’s work,” said the music firm in a statement, citing the cult pieces “Space Oddity”, “Ziggy Stardust”, “Heroes” or “Let’s Dance”. If the press release does not specify the amount of the transaction, it is the specialized site Variety which unveiled the amount.
A precursor of glam-rock, capable of creating unique universes with his characters such as Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie remains one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. The Briton would have celebrated his 75th birthday on January 8 if he had not died almost 6 years ago, on January 10, 2016, of cancer. The deal, with Bowie’s heirs, means Warner now owns the artist’s entire catalog, as both songwriter and singer, while the band already managed their catalog of recorded tracks.
This transaction is the last episode in a long series of repurchases of catalogs of dead or living artists but considered timeless, which have become valuable assets, especially with the streaming revolution. The latest, boss Bruce Springsteen sold his repertoire to Sony in mid-December for an estimated sum of $ 500 million. Before him, Tina Turner, Neil Young or Bob Dylan had concluded similar agreements. These catalogs are now stable stocks and are of interest to major groups in the music industry as well as investment funds.