neil diamond

In most senses, Universal Music Group’s news yesterday that it has acquired Neil Diamond’s publishing and recording catalogues follows the template of such announcements.

No mention of price – and for once, no sources appear to be gossiping about the amount to trade media – lots of bio and a big stat to celebrate the musician (130m album sales in this case); and quotes sprinkled with words like cherished, monumental, legendary, meteoric and iconic.

Few would argue with those in this case.

But the deal also has some interesting aspects and pointers to wider trends in the catalogue sales market. First, it brings his recordings and song catalogue under one roof – one of the key parts of major labels’ pitches when competing against the new breed of music rights-buyers.

Second, the way it wraps in 110 unreleased tracks, an unreleased album and an archive of concert videos – a sign of the potential for new releases and content, not just stewardship of the hits. Third, a clause that will see UMG record and release any future music from Diamond “should he decide to return to the studio”.

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