Sting Sells Entire Songwriting Catalog to Universal


Sting has sold his songwriting catalog — including solo works as well as hits with The Police like “Roxanne” — to Universal Music Group, the company said Thursday, the industry’s latest such blockbuster transaction.

The company did not disclose financial terms of the deal, but U.S. media estimated it was worth some $250 million. It covers Sting’s entire body of songwriting work, including songs written for The Police.

Sting’s sale reunites his publishing catalog with his recorded music rights, which are already controlled by Universal, according to the company’s statement.

Universal now stands to receive all future income related to Sting’s song copyrights and songwriter royalties, for hits including “Every Breath You Take” and “Fields of Gold.”

In a statement, the 70-year-old British-born artist said he is “delighted” for Universal’s publishing division to manage his catalog, saying “it is absolutely essential to me that my career’s body of work have a home where it is valued and respected — not only to connect with longtime fans in new ways but also to introduce my songs to new audiences, musicians and generations.”

It’s the latest high-profile deal of the recent music rights purchasing rush, which has seen artists including Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen sell off their catalogs for astronomical sums.

The trend is driven in large part by the anticipated stability of streaming growth combined with low interest rates and dependable earning projections for time-tested hits.

It’s also useful for artists focused on estate planning, and those whose touring income has been stymied by the pandemic.

Companies have acquired a number of major catalogs including from David Bowie’s estate, Stevie Nicks, Paul Simon, Motley Crue, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Shakira.

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