The deal includes a 100% share of Blanco’s copyright ownership in hits including Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’ and Major Lazer’s ‘Cold Water.’
Hipgnosis Songs, the music IP investment company set up by former Beyoncé and Guns N' Roses manager Merck Mercuriadis, has made another substantial catalog acquisition, picking up 93 songs by Benny Blanco, one of the most successful pop producers and songwriters of the past 10 years.
Included in the catalog acquisition is 100% of Blanco’s copyright ownership share of multiple global hits he wrote or co-wrote including the massive Hot 100 number one “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber; equally ubiquitous “Cold Water” by Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber and MØ; “Fire and the Flood” by Vance Joy; “Same Old Love” by Selena Gomez; “LUV” by Tory Lanez and “Don't Wanna Know” by Maroon 5 featuring Kendrick Lamar.
Financial terms were not disclosed for the deal, which also covers Blanco’s writer’s share of hits “Freaky Friday” by Lil Dicky featuring Chris Brown; “2002” by Anne-Marie and “Lonely Together” by Avicii featuring Rita Ora, as well as the huge worldwide smash “Castle on the Hill,” which Blanco co-wrote and co-produced with Ed Sheeran.
That song alone has been streamed over 750 million times on Spotify and been certified 3x platinum in the U.S., while the total 93 song catalog has amassed over 10 billion streams and contains 65 number ones globally, according to Hipgnosis.
Benny Blanco, who is a five-time BMI Songwriter of the Year winner and whose real name is Benjamin Levin, was represented in the deal by Doug Mark, Andrew Luftman and Zvi Edelman.
Hipgnosis’ announcement of its latest catalog acquisition — its 23rd to date — comes in the same week as another song co-written by Blanco, “Senorita” by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, sits atop the U.K. singles chart and at No. 3 in the Hot 100.
Although Blanco’s share of “Senorita” is not included in the Hipgnosis deal, company founder Merck Mercuriadis said the track’s global chart success illustrates the songwriter’s lasting ability to craft hits.
“That longevity, to be able to write Number 1 songs consistently for more than a decade and to have made incomparable contributions to establishing the most important artists of our time, is an almost impossible feat,” said Mercuriadis. He went on to say that Blanco “has literally defined the modern pop era in a way that very few others can lay claim to.”
According to Hipgnosis’ maiden financial results, published in June, the Guernsey-registered company generated revenues of £7.2 million ($9.2 million) from its first 12 catalog holdings between June 8, 2018 to 31 March, 2019.
They included full or partial stakes in catalogs of The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Poo Bear, Chic co-founder Bernard Edwards, songwriting trio TMS, Giorgio Tuinfort, Ari Levine, Sam Hollander, Johnta Austin, Sean Garrett, Rico Love and Itaal Shur, best known for co-writing the Santana and Rob Thomas smash hit "Smooth."
The 12 catalogs — adding up to 3,096 songs in total — were acquired for approximately £120 million ($153 million), equivalent to a blended multiple of 12.75x historical annual net income.
Between April and the end of July, Hipgnosis acquired a further 10 catalogs — including over 1,000 songs by Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart — bringing its total spending to £241 million ($307 million) and total catalog holdings to just under 6,000 songs.
The latest addition of Benny Blanco’s 93 song catalog is one of a number of “significant” new acquisitions the company expects to close in the coming months.