Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

No one has ever earned this much. Queen one step away from the deal of all time

Queen is a British rock band formed in 1970 in London by Brian May, Roger Taylor and Freddie Mercury. A year later the bassist joined John Deacon, a lineup was formed that lasted for 20 years. Queen’s diverse sound, inspired by glam rock, pop and hard rock, won the hearts of millions of listeners around the world. Their biggest hits include: “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Somebody to Love”but also “Another One Bites The Dust” or “The Show Must Go On”.

As we read in the Daily Mail, there are talks about selling the catalogue Queen are already very advanced. The quoted experts say that after the last crisis in the industry, the sale of the band’s achievements for the highest amount so far – USD 1.2 billion (approx. PLN 4.8 billion!) – it would make other artists feel that catalogs are still very valuable, and some companies can even pay such huge amounts of money.

I will sell music for dear life, or how songs became more valuable than gold

Queen’s catalog includes proprietary copyrights to recordings and publishing rights to music and lyrics. The daily reminds that in South America the rights to the recordings are held by Disney Music Group, but globally they are retained by Queen Productions Ltd., which earned approximately USD 48 million in royalties in 2021 alone. As Guy Blake, a lawyer specializing in the music industry, says, the deal with Queen is unique because the band has so many hits that one of the investors will definitely want to pay the proposed PLN 1.2 billion for the songs.

“Although I don’t think it’s exactly that number ($1.2 billion – note), I think there’s probably some truth in it,” the expert said. “There aren’t many catalogs like Queen,” he said.

In recent years, they have sold their catalogs, among others: Justin Bieber, Neil Young, Bob Dylan Whether Bruce Springsteen (the largest sale so far – the entire catalog for USD 500 million), and half of the catalog fell into the hands of the heirs Michael Jackson for $600 million. “I think the market has peaked and now it’s starting to decline a little bit,” he says. Despite the market crisis, the sale of Queen’s catalog, according to Blake, would encourage other artists that they can still earn a lot from sales.

Universal Music Group is said to be the main favorite to buy the catalog. The buyer of the catalog will most likely become the owner of the copyright to the publication, mastering, and will also be able to earn money from other additional “income streams”, i.e. band-signed merchandise, licensing deals and other upcoming projects.

The renaissance of Queen’s work occurred after the premiere of the film “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 2018. Then, the group founded in 1971 gained new, young fans, thanks to which they lead in digital sources among other rock legends. According to the Luminate organization, between 1991 and 2017, Queen’s albums were sold to 25.9 million people in the US, and a year after the film’s premiere, this number increased by another 3.58 million. This is why the catalog is valued so highly. “Queen has found a much younger audience. And this is unique for their catalog,” says Guy Blake to the newspaper.

“I don’t know if there are many rock bands that could say they’re as popular with people under 30 as Queen is now. There’s something special about so many of their songs that they just keep coming back, generation after generation.” “- he adds.