In a Music Week cover story earlier this year, Hipgnosis Songs chief Merck Mercuriadis outlined his mission to shake-up the world of music publishing. The music mogul, who manages Chic legend Nile Rodgers, spoke of his ambitions to start the "song management revolution" by building a billion-pound company.
"The songwriter should be rewarded to a greater extent than they are and I believe that the only way to get to that place is to build a £1 billion to £3bn company that has the critical mass to help to bring that change into place," said Mercuriadis (pictured), who has previously managed acts such as Guns N'Roses, Elton John and Morrissey.
Since floating on the stock exchange in July 2018, Mercuriadis has backed his words up with action. Hipgnosis, which has raised almost £350 million from investors since its IPO, has been on a spending spress over the past 12 months, acquiring a plethora of catalogues.
The company's first set of financial results, running from June 2018 to March 2019, were released last week and brought good news, reporting that the value of the 12 catalogues purchased in that period had increased by £8.7m to £128m. Since the period end Hipgnosis has acquired a further 10 Catalogues, bringing the amount invested so far to £387m.
"Hit songs are as predictable and reliable and therefore investible as gold or oil," he said. "We had access to those proven hit songs and the value of them was going to grow significantly inline with the consumption of music thanks to streaming which makes it more convenient for the consumer to pay for music."
Here, we recap the flurry of acquisitions Hipgnosis, which holds its AGM at The Ned in London on September 10, has made since becoming a public company.
The company bought a 75% interest in the catalogue for up to $23.75m (£18.46m). The remaining 25% interest was retained by The-Dream. The catalogue comprises 302 songs, including hits performed by Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, Rihanna and Jay-Z.
Boyd's 214-song catalogue includes songs such as Justin Bieber's What Do You Mean? and the English language version of Despacito, known as "Despacito (Justin Bieber Remix)" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.
Hipgnosis snapped up a 37.5% stake in the Chic co-founder's catalogue, which comprises 290 songs including Everybody Dance, Le Freak, I Want Your Love and Good Times.
UK songwriting and music production team TMS comprises of Thomas 'Froe' Barnes, Benjamin Kohn and Peter "Merf" Keller. The 121-song catalogue includes songs such as Don't Be So Hard On Yourself for Jess Glynne, Wings and DNA for Little Mix and Read All About It (Part 3) for Emeli Sandé.
The multiple Grammy Winner's 121-song catalogue was considered complementary to The-Dream catalogue, as Stewart co-wrote many of the songs in that catalogue including Rihanna's Umbrella, Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) by Beyoncé, Baby by Justin Bieber, Me Against The Music by Britney Spears & Madonna) and Touch My Body by Mariah Carey.
Tuinfort has won the BMI Songwriter Award an unprecedented 30 times and the catalogue contains 182 songs including more than 15 UK Top 10 singles with David Guetta. It also includes songs for Gwen Stefani, Sia, Emeli Sandé, Nicki Minaj, Afrojack, Martin Garrix, Rihanna, Avicii, Usher, Will.i.am, Akon and Lionel Richie.
The catalogue comprises 209 songs including the multi-platinum Smooth, which won the Grammy for Song Of The Year in 1999, and the US Top 10 song Ascension by Maxwell.
Comprising 249 songs, the catalogue includes the hit singles We Belong Together by Mariah Carey, Be Without You by Mary J Blige, Janet Jackson's Call On Me'featuring Nelly, Chris Brown's Yo and Bryson Taylor's Don't.
The 588-song catalogue includes Usher's Yeah, Check On It by Beyoncé, Ciara's breakout single Goodies, the Pussycat Dolls' Buttons, Britney Spears' Toy Soldier, Nicki Minaj's first single Massive Attack and Mario's Break Up.
The American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer has written and produced songs including Sweet Dreams for Beyoncé and Throwback for Usher amongst others. The 245-song catalogue comprises 245 songs and also includes Without You by David Guetta, which was co-written by Giorgio Tuinfort and ws included in the catalogue which Hipgnosis in December 2018.
The purchase related to six songs written by Geiger for Shawn Mendes – Stitches, Treat You Better, Mercy, There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back, In My Blood and Lost In Japan.
Co-writer of Camila Cabello's Havana, the Hazzard catalogue also includes shares in Maroon 5’s Girls Like You, Calvin Harris’ Feels and three songs on Travis Scott’s US No.1 album Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight.
Stewart co-wrote and produced each of Eurythmics’ albums. He has also produced and written songs with artists including Tom Petty on Don’t Come Around Here No More, No Doubt on their US No.1 Underneath It All and Shakespear’s Sister on Stay, which was a UK No.1 for eight consecutive weeks. His catalogue comprises 1,068 songs.
With a catalogue of 144 songs, Scott has co-written multiple platinum-certified singles including Cold Water by Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber, These Days by Rudimental ft. Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen, and Skin by Rag’N’Bone Man, and has co-written 29 songs for One Direction including Drag Me Down and Story Of My Life. He has also co-written songs released by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Jess Glynne, Keith Urban, Callum Scott.
Levine, whose catalogue comprises 76 songs, is best known for his work as a member of the three-piece writing and producing group The Smeezingtons with Bruno Mars and Philip Lawrence and has written multiple Top 10 hits, including Fuck You by Cee Lo Green, Just The Way You Are, Grenade, When I Was You Man and Locked Out Of Heaven by Bruno Mars, and Billionaire by Travie McCoy.
Jackson Jr co-wrote and played on some of Al Green's most successful songs, including I'm Still In Love With You, You Ought To Be With Me, Look What You Done For Me, and Call Me as well as Let's Stay Together. the catalogue includes Al Jackson Jr.'s artist royalties on recordings which he co-produced or featured on as a drummer including Otis Redding's (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay and Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine and Grandma's Hands. The deal included Jackson Jr's writer's, producer's and artist's share of income, comprising of 185 compositions and 199 recordings.
Best known for discovering and producing for Jason Aldean, Knox has produced eight albums for the country music singer. Hipgnosis acquired Knox's producer royalties for the catalogue which will include all of Aldean's recordings for the duration of his agreement with the Broken Bow Records label including his new album due for release later this year.
Hollander has co-written songs for One Direction, Katy Perry, Blink-182, Weezer, Train, Metro Station, Boys Like Girls, Daughtry and Olly Murs. He is perhaps best known, however, for his work with Panic! At The Disco, including nine songs on their 2018 album, Pray for the Wicked and the hit single High Hopes.