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145,000 Music Copyrights Just Got Sold to a New Home

In a massive deal with Downtown Music, Concord Music Publishing has acquired partial rights to songs from Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Eric Clapton, Jay-Z, and Adele

Beyonce performs onstage during The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

The copyright bonanza in the music business continues. On Monday morning, Concord Music Publishing announced the purchase of Downtown Music Holdings’ entire portfolio of 145,000 owned and co-published music copyrights.

Here are just some of the stars with songs included in the deal: Adele, Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, Blake Shelton, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, the Grateful Dead, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Maroon 5, Marvin Gaye, Mary J. Blige, Mos Def, Mötley Crüe, New Order, Rage Against the Machine, Ray Charles, Santigold, Sam Smith, Stevie Wonder, and The 1975.

To be clear, the aforementioned artists didn’t sell their whole catalogs directly — as the likes of Steve Nicks and Bob Dylan have recently done. Downtown owns specific copyrights and also represents songwriters. Ryan Tedder, who co-wrote Beyonce’s “Halo,” and Anthony Rossomando, who co-wrote Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow,” are signed to Downtown’s publishing arm. So the company would have sold those rights to both of those songs to Concord.

Other hits highlighted in a press release include Booker T. & the M.G.’s “Green Onions,” Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Streets,” Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” Eric Clapton’s “Change the World,” Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” and Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me.” Financials of the deal were not disclosed, but Music Business Worldwide estimates the transaction in the realm of $400 million.

“Concord is an excellent home for this extraordinary catalog that we’ve had the unique privilege to build over the past 14 years,” said Downtown Founder and CEO Justin Kalifowitz. “Not only does Concord recognize the value of these works, but this transaction further demonstrates the true strength of the modern independent music sector.”

By selling its copyrights, Downtown hopes to have the means and bandwidth to focus more intensely on its core music publishing services, sync licensing capabilities, and its songwriter admin service Songtrust, according to the press release.

Also unaffected by the transaction is Downtown’s complete roster of publishing administration clients, including the estate of George Gershwin, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Miles Davis, John Prine, Wu-Tang Clan, and Ryan Tedder/OneRepublic.

From Rolling Stone US