Timberlake sold his music to the London-based firm Hipgnosis Song Management, joining a growing trend of musicians selling the rights to their music for millions of dollars. According to Hipgnosis CEO Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis Management purchased all of the singer’s copyrights on tracks he wrote or co-wrote on Thursday, May 26.
Songs purchased include “SexyBack,” “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” and “Mirrors.” According to The Wall Street Journal, the music catalog was purchased for $100 million. Justin Timberlake has been singing for the past two decades, after becoming famous in 1995 as a member of the boy band N-SYNC. Following the group’s success, he launched a solo career that included five studio albums and 40 singles.
“They’re looking to be put in a position where they can make music for pure purposes going forward based on what they want to do, as opposed to what they have to do for money.”
“I am excited to be partnering with Merck and Hipgnosis — he values artists and their creative work and has always been a strong supporter of songwriters and storytelling,” said Timberlake in a press release Thursday. “I look forward to entering this next chapter.”
The agreement only covers Timberlake’s publishing rights, so it only includes songs that he co-wrote. The music catalogue sale, according to Mercuriadis, took over a year to complete. He now joins the ranks of artists such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Stevie Nicks in selling their life’s work for quick cash.
The Chainsmokers, a hit-making electronic music duo, sold their catalog to Hipgnosis in 2019, and Shakira signed a deal with Hipgnosis in January. “In the case of those younger songwriters,” Mercuriadis told CNN Business, “they’re looking to de-risk their future.”