As a former music manager who once counted Elton John, Beyonce and Guns N’ Roses as clients, Merck Mercuriadis has an eye for talent and a knack for identifying trends. As streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music gained mainstream popularity, Mercuriadis formed the Hipgnosis Songs Fund to acquire music rights. The fund, which went public in 2018, has invested $2.5 billion acquiring the publishing rights to 64,000 compositions from such hitmakers as Timbaland, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, Rick James and Neil Young.
As part of the partnership, Blackstone will take an ownership stake in Hipgnosis Song Management, an adviser to the London-listed music catalogues investor Hipgnosis Songs Fund (SONG). The pandemic and lack of live concerts has prompted artists, including Bob Dylan, to monetise some of their older work, at a time streaming services have been garnering listeners.
LONDON, October 12, 2021--Blackstone (NYSE: BX) and Hipgnosis Song Management Ltd ("HSM") today announce a new partnership, backed by funds managed by Blackstone, which will initially deliver c.$1 billion to acquire music rights and manage catalogues.