It would be the biggest music catalog acquisition to date
Universal Music Group (UMG) could acquire Queen’s music catalog for over $1 billion, according to CNN. The news outlet reports that a source familiar with the music acquisition says discussions are “well underway” for UMG to purchase the band’s US and Canadian rights from Disney Music Group (DMG). The source also claims the deal could close within a month.
On the contrary, a spokesperson for DMG says it has no plans to sell the British band’s popular catalog.
If the deal does happen, it would be the largest music acquisition cost in history, surpassing Bruce Springsteen’s $500 million catalog sale in 2021. The group owns its own catalog outside of the US and Canada, thus is not part of the deal.
The deal is likely led by the success of the band’s 2019 biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, which earned almost $1 billion at the international box office. The No. 1 music film of all time in the United States won four Oscars for “Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Rami Malek,” “Achievement in Film Editing,” “Achievement in Sound Editing” and “Achievement in Sound Mixing.” The film took home two Golden Globe awards for “Best Motion Picture (Drama),” and Rami Malek for “Best Actor Motion Picture” for his portrayal of their flamboyant frontman Freddie Mercury.
In 2018, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was named the world’s most-streamed song from the 20th century, as well as the most-streamed classic rock song of all time. Universal Music Group’s teams around the world have actively promoted discovery across streaming platforms, physical reissues, merchandise, and experiential programs to introduce “Bohemian Rhapsody” to new fans more than 40 years after it was first recorded. In December 2018, the original song and official video for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” taken from Queen’s seminal 1975 album A Night At The Opera, surpassed 1.6 billion streams globally across all major streaming services.