Universal Music Group, one of the leading music companies in the world, is currently engaged in advanced negotiations to acquire the iconic rock band Queen‘s catalog for a staggering sum of over $1 billion. This potential sale has caught the attention of the industry, hinting at the immense value and popularity of the legendary British group’s music. The acquisition, if completed, would mark one of the largest single-artist music catalog sales in history. While details of the deal remain undisclosed, insiders anticipate that the record label’s purchase of the catalog will be finalized within the coming months. 

The Rising Value of Queen’s Catalog 

Over the past few years, Queen’s music has continued to generate substantial revenue, capturing the interest of major players in the industry. Discussions surrounding the sale of their catalog, which encompasses both music publishing and recorded music rights, have attracted the attention of renowned music companies, including Universal Music Group and private equity firms. The potential sale price is expected to exceed $1 billion, with estimates ranging from $1.1 billion to even higher figures. Such a valuation would surpass the record-breaking $500 million Sony Music Group paid for Bruce Springsteen’s music catalogs in late 2021. 

The Complexities of the Sale

The sale of Queen’s catalog is further complicated by the existing ownership structure. In North America, Disney Music Group (DMG) owns the recorded music catalog, while Queen Productions Ltd, co-owned by Queen band members Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon, along with the Freddie Mercury estate, holds the recording catalog rights outside the US and Canada. The band members and the estate own the global rights to Queen’s music publishing catalog through Queen Music Ltd, which is administered by Sony Music Publishing

Queen’s Financial Performance

Queen Productions Ltd, the company that manages the band’s recording catalog, reported impressive annual revenues of GBP £39.19 million in FY 2021, primarily generated through royalties. Notably, in FY 2019, following the release of the Oscar-nominated biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, the company achieved a record-high annual revenue of GBP £72.77 million. On platforms like Spotify, Queen continues to maintain a strong presence, ranking as the 48th most popular artist globally with an impressive 47.7 million monthly listeners. 

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