Sony Music to Acquire Queen’s Back Catalog for £1 Billion

Freddie Mercury in concert with Queen in 1986
Freddie Mercury in concert with Queen in 1986. Photo by Ilpo Musto/REX/Shutterstock (1271607af)

Sony Music acquired back catalogs of several iconic artists over the years, and they’ve just made their biggest bid yet. According to Variety’s recent report, Sony is in the process of acquiring Queen’s back catalog for a record-breaking £1 billion.

Sony rarely comments on their catalog acquisitions, but Variety reports that two sources confirmed they cashed out £1 billion (around $1.27 billion) for Queen’s back catalog. Another bidder came close to securing the rights for Queen’s music but eventually stopped short at $900 million.

Sony’s deal reportedly covers everything from Queen’s music to merchandising, and the only revenue it doesn’t include are live performances by founding members Brian May and Roger Taylor, who still actively tour with singer Adam Lambert as a replacement for Freddie Mercury.

The details of the deal remain murky, given that Disney owns Queen’s recording rights in the US and Canada, while the group’s distribution deal remains under Universal Music Group for the next few years.

This is Sony’s first deal to hit a billion-dollar mark, but we’ve seen them cash out significant sums on their acquisition deals in the past. They paid an estimated $500 million for Bruce Springsteen’s back catalog in 2021, in addition to cashing out $600 million to get a 50% interest in Michael Jackson‘s music catalog.