Just weeks after Bruce Springsteen sold his extensive music catalogue to Sony Music for a reported USD $500 million, Warner Chappell Music has acquired the late David Bowie‘s catalogue for around USD$250 million.
The incredible publishing catalogue of the British icon spans six decades and includes such songs as ‘Heroes,’ ‘Changes,’ ‘Space Oddity,’ ‘Let’s Dance,’ and ‘Rebel Rebel’, among hundreds of others.
According to Variety, “the agreement comprises songs from the 26 David Bowie studio albums released during his lifetime, as well as the posthumous studio album release, Toy, which comes out on Friday (January 7). It also includes the two studio albums from Tin Machine, along with tracks released as singles from soundtracks and other projects.”
Warner Chappell Music Co-Chair and CEO Guy Moot said in a statement, “All of us at Warner Chappell are immensely proud that the David Bowie estate has chosen us to be the caretakers of one of the most groundbreaking, influential, and enduring catalogues in music history.
“These are not only extraordinary songs, but milestones that have changed the course of modern music forever. Bowie’s vision and creative genius drove him to push the envelope, lyrically and musically – writing songs that challenged convention, changed the conversation, and have become part of the canon of global culture.
“His work spanned massive pop hits and experimental adventures that have inspired millions of fans and countless innovators, not only in music, but across all the arts, fashion, and media. We are looking forward to tending his unparalleled body of songs with passion and care as we strive to build on the legacy of this most extraordinary human being.”
Added co-chair and COO Carianne Marshall, “This fantastic pact with the David Bowie estate opens up a universe of opportunities to take his extraordinary music into dynamic new places.”
Those “new places” could refer to film and TV licensing, merchandise, cover versions and performance royalties, which are just some of the opportunities rights-holders have for building new revenue streams when they purchase an artist’s catalogue.
Bowie, who passed away from liver cancer on January 10, 2016, would have been 75 on January 8, 2022. To mark the occasion, a “Bowie 75” celebration will be taking place around the world to celebrate what would have been his birthday with pop-up stores in New York and London and the release of the previously unreleased Toy album — which features re-recorded versions of songs dating from early in his career.
A new film about the iconic singer has been in the works for years from filmmaker Brett Morgen, and could even premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival which takes place in late January. The film is said to be comprised of thousands of hours of rare performance footage, most of it previously unseen by the public.