Hipgnosis has success during the midst of music streaming boom

Image credit: Llias Chebbi

Songs fund reports that Hipgnosis has seen a 66% revenue rise after buying 84 catalogues last year, including Neil Young and Beyoncé.

If you’ve been keeping your eye on the music industry then there is no doubt you’ve heard or seen the name Hipgnosis being thrown around. They’re one of the companies that are snapping up punishing rights and catalogues of artists for large sums of money. So far they have acquired the catalogues of Neil Young, Beyoncé, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and countless others. Hipgnosis has invested a staggering $1bn in music catalogue acquisitions and now the company is seeing a jump in annual revenues. 

The London-listed company, which earns royalties over time of its 65,000 songs is played, said that revenues climbed 66% from $83m (£59m)to $138m in the year to the end of March. The company cited that the increase was due to the live sector being shut down due to the ongoing pandemic.

Founder and Chief Executive Merck Mercuriadis said: “Whilst we would never have wished for a pandemic, it has accelerated the consumption of classic songs through streaming.” Adding: “With all our catalogues chosen due to their extraordinary success and cultural importance, extra high levels of streaming demand are a natural feature.”

An example the company used was the band Journey’s catalogue, which has seen the number of songs streamed each week grow by 48% to 3.7m in the last four months. Their biggest hit ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ recently passed the 1bn stream mark on Spotify. 

The company claimed that streaming income rose 18.4% in the second half of its financial year, compared with the first six months.

Hipgnosis is focused on what is known as evergreen classic hits, with the proportion of songs that are older than 10 years accounting for 60% of its total portfolio. Under half of their portfolio is pop music (46%), and the second biggest genre being rock at 27%. 

Hipgnosis has already acquired the rights to many classic hits, including music from Neil Young, Shakira, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, Metallica producer Bob Rock and countless others. It’s likely that they will continue snapping up catalogues throughout the year, especially as profits surge. 

Music journalist and photojournalist based in Cornwall.

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