Red Hot Chili Peppers sell rights to songs for $187m: Report

NEW YORK The Red Hot Chili Peppers are the latest high-profile act to sell their music publishing rights, in a deal reportedly worth US$140 million (S$187 million) to US$150 million with the British investment company Hipgnosis.

Industry tracker Billboard cited anonymous sources in first reporting the sale of the catalogue that includes hits such as Under The Bridge, Californication and Snow (Hey Oh).As most of the songs were written collectively by band members Flea, Anthony Kiedis, John Frusciante and Chad Smith, the purchase required joint approval.

Hipgnosis, headed by music magnate Merck Mercuriadis, has dropped well over US$1 billion on catalogue acquisitions including from Neil Young, Blondie, Shakira and RZA.

The latest sale is part of a song rights purchasing boom as financial markets increasingly are drawn to the lucrative portfolios as an asset class. In many cases, the transactions have come at staggering prices. Bob Dylan sold his full publishing catalogue for a reported sum of US$300 million to Universal Music Publishing Group.

The owners of a song's publishing rights receive a cut in a number of scenarios, including radio play and streaming, album sales and use in advertising and movies.

The sales allow musicians to receive immediate payouts rather than wait for those earnings - necessary for some as the pandemic has thwarted performances. - AFP