Justin Bieber sells rights to his music for a reported £162 million

Justin Bieber, 28, is one of the world's top-selling artists. Credit: PA

Justin Bieber has become the latest artist to cash out on their back catalogue, selling the rights to his music for a reported US $200 million (£162.2m).

The 28-year-old star, who rates among the top-selling artists of his era with seven number one singles in the UK, has sold his share of the rights to his music to Hipgnosis Songs Capital.

The move means Hipgnosis will get paid each time a song by Bieber they own part of - including his hit track Baby - is played in public.

Merck Mercuriadis, from the Hipgnosis Songs Fund and a former manager of Sir Elton John and Pet Shop Boys, said the singer is “de-risking his future” with the sale.

He said he cannot discuss the price Hipgnosis paid for the rights because of a non-disclosure agreement - though a figure of around $200m has been reported.

Justin Bieber on stage. Credit: Dave Hogan via AP

Mr Mercuriadis said: “If you go back a short six or seven years it would be very difficult to look anyone in the eye and say the best days of the music industry are in front of you.

“But streaming has changed all of that and it has created a complete new economy for the music industry – and the music industry’s best years are in front of it.

“And Justin Bieber just happens to be arguably the definitive soundtrack of that streaming revolution which, as you say, (is) 80-odd million monthly Spotify listeners, 13 songs that have had a billion streams.

“The accolades and the consumption on his catalogue are incredible.”

Hipgnosis has acquired Bieber’s publishing copyrights to his 290-song back catalogue released before December 31, 2021. The artist rights to his master recordings were also acquired.

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Mr Mercuriadis said Bieber’s catalogue has a 50 to 70-year future, adding: “They become part of the fabric of society and they live on forever.

“But obviously, he is being paid a lump sum in advance rather than collecting it over the next 12 or 13 years.

“And that is going to give him an opportunity to put his money to work for himself.

“And he is de-risking his future and giving himself an independence and a cushion that most people in the world would envy.”

Musicians Bob Dylan, Mick Fleetwood, Neil Young, Sting and Blondie singer Debbie Harry have all sold interests in their music in the past three years.

In 2021, pop superstar Taylor Swift began re-recording her first six albums after the master recordings were acquired by talent manager Scooter Braun.

Taylor Swift performing in 2018. Credit: AP

Braun, a prominent talent manager whose client-list has included Bieber and Ariana Grande, acquired the rights to Swift’s first six albums in 2019 when he bought Big Machine records.

Swift was furious and accused Braun of “incessant, manipulative bullying,” as she publicly fought to regain control of her music.

The masters changed hands again in 2020 when a deal with investment firm Shamrock Capital was announced.

Swift signed with Universal Music in 2018 in a deal said to give her control of her master recordings.

She has so far released new versions of her albums, including Fearless and Red.

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