Katy Perry sells music catalog to Litmus Music for €210 million

The booming music rights aquisition business shows no signs of slowing down, as American pop singer Katy Perry joins artists like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber in selling future song royalties.

Litmus Music, a catalog rights company and a subsidiary of private-equity giant Carlyle Group LP, has acquired the rights to Katy Perry’s five studio albums released for Capitol Records.

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Litmus, which launched in August 2022, paid $225 million (approx. €210 million) for Perry’s stake in the master recording royalties and music publishing rights to her five albums released between 2008 and 2020, and will now collect any future royalties the music earns.

The albums, ‘One of the Boys’ (2008), the Grammy-nominated ‘Teenage Dream’ (2010), ‘Prism’ (2013), ‘Witness’ (2017) and ‘Smile’ (2020), collectively include 16 multi-platinum singles that include hits like ‘I Kissed A Girl’, ‘Hot ‘n’ Cold’, ‘Teenage Dream’, ‘California Gurls’, ‘Firework’ and ‘Roar’. 

The artist is only second artist ever (after Michael Jackson) to send five songs (‘California Gurls’, ‘Firework’, ‘E.T.’, ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’ and ‘Teenage Dream’) from the same album to the Billboard Hot 100.

The sale is the biggest catalogue deal for a single artist this year.

According to a press release, the singer’s “longlasting professional relationship” with Litmus co-founder Dan McCarroll dates back to 2010 when McCarroll was president of Capitol Records.

“Katy Perry is a creative visionary who has made a major impact across music, TV, film, and philanthropy,” McCarroll said. “I’m so honored to be partnering with her again and to help Litmus manage her incredible repertoire.”

Litmus co-founder and CEO Hank Forsyth said: “Katy’s songs are an essential part of the global cultural fabric. We are so grateful to be working together again with such a trusted partner whose integrity shines in everything that she does.”

Previously, Litmus has acquired publishing and recording rights of Keith Urban’s master recordings and a “portfolio” of tracks by songwriter and producer Benny Blanco, who has worked with The Weeknd, Britney Spears and Ed Sheeran.

Perry has not released an album since 2020’s ‘Smile’ and has teased an upcoming release after the end of her Las Vegas residency, due to end this November. She will also return for her seventh season as a judge on American Idol next year.

The artist joins artists like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber in selling all or part of their song catalogues in recent years.

In 2021, Bruce Springsteen reportedly sold his catalogue to Sony for more than $500 million(approx. €467 million).Others capitalizing on the trend include Justin Bieber, who reportedly sold his catalogue for $200 million (circa. €187 million).

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