Sting Now Seeks $400M For His Catalog
And he’s not the only superstar contemplating a megadeal in 2022.
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“Fields Of Gold” may be Sting’s best-known song, at least as a solo artist. It’s also a fitting metaphor for his exceedingly valuable music copyright collection.
According to my industry sources, the English rocker is now seeking at least $300 million—and possibly as much as $400 million—for his publishing catalog. That’s up from the $250 million he reportedly wanted back in November.
The flurry of recent megadeals has transformed how musicians monetize their work (especially aging rock stars). As I wrote in Rolling Stone last week, the ten top earners banked $2.3 billion in 2021, more than double their tally in the years right before Covid-19. Seven of the top ten—and ten of the top 15 highest-paid musicians—made most of their money from selling catalogs.
Bruce Springsteen topped the rankings with $590 million last year, most of it from a record-setting transaction that changed the music rights landscape—and perhaps Sting’s mind as well.
Over the past couple of years, as the market heated up, big buyers had been paying 20-25 times the amount a catalog generates on an annual basis to buy it outright. That means a catalog throwing off $5 million per year would be worth somewhere between $100 million and $125 million.