October 26, 2016

Sony buys Jackson’s music venture stake

This file photo taken on 5 March, 2009 shows US popstar Michael Jackson addressing a press conference at the O2 arena in London. Photo: AFP

Sony said Tuesday it will pay Michael Jackson’s estate $750 million for the late pop star’s share of a music venture that owns the rights to songs by some of the biggest names in music history.

The deal will see the Japanese firm pick up Jackson’s 50 percent stake in Sony ATV Music Publishing, which has the rights to several million titles including those written by the Beatles, Marvin Gaye and Bob Dylan.

Sony will now own all the of the venture, whose catalogue also includes hits by pop star Taylor Swift, rapper Kanye West, Sam Smith and Lady Gaga.

The company was formed in 1995 by the Japanese electronics giant and the late “King of Pop”, who transformed music with iconic hits including Thriller and Beat it.
Jackson died in 2009 at the age of 50.
His estate said it will still own Jackson’s master recordings and the publishing company that owns all the songs he penned. It will also keep its stake in EMI Music.
Sony said the deal underscored its focus on an entertainment division that includes a music label and Hollywood studio.
The company has been leaning on movies, music, and soaring sales of the PlayStation videogame console in its bid to scrap years of eye-watering losses linked to the consumer electronics that built its global brand.
“The entertainment businesses have long been a core part of Sony and are a key driver of our future growth,” Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai said in a statement.

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