The wave of big-name artists selling the rights to their back catalogues has a new name to add to the ever-growing list: former Mouseketeer and current Trolls voice actor Justin Timberlake.
Timberlake, according to The Wall Street Journal, has just sold the rights to his current back catalogue to Hipgnosis Song Management for a whopping $100 million dollars. Hipgnosis is the same investment company that has recently extended deals to Neil Young, Linsday Buckingham, Christine McVie, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
This is just the latest in a long list of artists who are cashing out on the rights to their music, which recently has included everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Pink Floyd to ZZ Top. In the age of reduced profits thanks to the proliferation of streaming, artists with extensive discographies are opting to take nine-figure paydays while relinquishing the rights to their potential future monetary value.
That just makes Timberlake the latest, but he’s also one of the more relatively young artists to be putting his output up for sale, along with similar new millennium cash outs like Shakira, The Chainsmokers, and Imagine Dragons.
Timberlake’s agreement comes with an interesting twist – the deal only pertains to Timberlake’s current batch of former songs. Whenever the singer decides to put out new music, the rights to his songs will remain with him. Timberlake hasn’t put out any new music since 2018’s Man of the Woods, and his days as the premier male pop star in America are most assuredly in the past, but it still seems like a smart move should Timberlake suddenly want to return to the musical limelight.
It’s hard not to see Hipgnosis as the winner here, though: with the rights to ‘SexyBack’, ‘Cry Me A River’, and ‘Rock Your Body’, the company will probably make its money back on those three tracks alone. Timberlake doesn’t actually have that deep of a back catalogue, with only four solo studio albums to his name (five if you separate the two parts of The 20/20 Experience). Those albums do have some of the biggest hits of the last 20 years though, so it seems like a smart investment.