Sony Music has been constantly working on music catalogue acquisitions for nearly the past year spending up to $911 million. It snapped Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan tunes in recent months and forked out about $500 million for their albums.
Universal Music and Warner Music simultaneously made big deals by signing the tunes of Lionel Richie and David Bowie respectively.
Music Business Worldwide reveals Sony spent about $459 million on music catalogue investments in 2021 to remain ahead of the likes of Universal Music. It is learned that the increased competition among record labels and music funds is driving the prices upward. A huge change has been witnessed lately in the payments made to such assets.
It is being learned that the funds offered in acquiring the music rights are about 15 times the annual revenue received from the assets and this is far more compared to that about a decade ago.
Music fund Hipgnosis became public in 2018 with the issue of IPO and since then has spent $2.5 billion to acquire songs. About 47 of 190 songs have picked up and have been streamed more than 1 billion times on Spotify. It is yet to be understood whether it is a peak or not, but it is expected the world will witness more such deals this year and beyond.
Sony Music or Sony Music Entertainment (SME) was founded in September 1929 as the American Record Corporation (ARC) and is owned by the Sony Group Corporation. In 1938, it became Columbia Recording Corporation after being acquired by the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). Later, it was renamed CBS Records in 1966. Sony Corporation acquired it in 1988. About three years later the company was renamed as it is called today.
The ARC was founded with the merger of several record companies and it grew for several years thereafter. It acquired Columbia Phonograph Company, Okeh Records and several more brands until 1938 when CBS acquired the company. Edward Wallerstein helped in making it the industry leader by introducing LP records. The launching of Epic Records and Date Records in 1953 and 1958 respectively further paved the success path.
Columbia Records expanded internationally in 1962 and was named CBS Records and two years later it started acquiring record companies for its international unit. It acquired Oriole Records to establish its own distribution outfit in the UK market.
In 1968, a Japanese joint venture was formed and became CBS/Sony Records by merging CBS and Sony.