Investors spent $5.29bn buying music catalogues in 2021… and that’s just the deals that were publicly announced. The figure comes from consultancy firm Midia Research’s latest report, which has been digging into the booming catalogue sales market.

It estimates that the $5.29bn spent last year was up 180% on 2020’s figure of $1.89bn, but this is just the start of the spending. The 2021 number also excludes $6.7bn invested into music companies or music acquisition funds last year – that’s money that will be used for deals in 2022 and beyond.

Some other stats from the report: 76% of deals include publishing rights, while 49% include masters and 4% name, image and likeness rights. Rock music accounted for 35% of catalogue deals last year, and hip-hop just 3%, despite the latter genre’s popularity on streaming services.

Meanwhile, Midia analysed 100 ‘classic acts’ who topped the Billboard albums chart between 1970 and 1999, and found that nearly a third of them have already sold a portion of their rights.

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