Red Hot Chili Peppers is the latest band to sell their publishing rights in a recent trend of artists doing so. Rolling Stone reports that the band sold their publishing catalog to Hipgnosis Songs Fund for over $140 million.
They’re one of the highest-selling bands of all time, estimated to have sold over 80 million records worldwide. Their biggest album Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991) is certified 7x platinum by the RIAA, Californication (1999) has gone 6x platinum and Stadium Arcadium (2006) went 3x platinum. Red Hot Chili Peppers have reported net publishing revenue of $5 million to $6 million.
Hipgnosis has recently bought rights including Bob Rock’s producer credits on Metallica’s self-titled “black album” and Shakira’s entire publishing catalog, as well as various publishing rights to the works of Neil Young, Lindsey Buckingham and Jimmy Iovine. The investment company, owned by Merck Mercuriadis, also owns rights to works by 10cc, Barry Manilow, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie, The Chainsmokers, Chris Cornell, Jack Antonoff, Journey, Mark Ronson, Nikki Six, Rainbow, Pusha T, Rick James, RZA, Timbaland and Tom DeLonge, among many other artists, writers and producers behind major hits.
Another big music company that has been investing in rights lately is Primary Wave, who most recently purchased master recordings from Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Chicks and many others. Primary Wave also bought and 50% of KT Tunstall’s publishing, Jon Lind’s songwriting catalog, which includes hits by Earth, Wind & Fire, Madonna and Vanessa Williams and Patrick Leonard’s songwriting catalog, which includes other hits by Madonna as well as some of Leonard Cohen’s final pieces of music. Many other artists, producers, songwriters and companies’ rights have also been acquired over the past few months.
Red Hot Chili Peppers is currently working on their first new album with John Frusciante since he left the band in 2009. Their last album together was Stadium Arcadium. In between then and now, they released two albums with Josh Klinghoffer on guitar, called I’m With You (2011) and The Getaway (2016). Klinghoffer had been Frusciante’s bandmate in Ataxia, and was only going to be a member as long as Frusciante stayed away from Red Hot Chili Peppers. Since being kicked out, Klinghoffer has been releasing solo music as Pluralone. Frusciante has continued releasing new music of his own all the while.
Photo credit: Mauricio Alvarado