Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Now Merck Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis is buying master rights, as it swoops for Kaiser Chiefs catalog | Music Business Worldwide

The global music business has become accustomed to reading about Hipgnosis Songs Fund buying writer/publisher rights and/or income streams to hit music from across the decades.

For example, the UK-based company, led by Merck Mercuriadis, recently acquired the writer’s share of performance income from Fraser T Smith’s catalog, including hits by Adele and Stormzy. And in August, Hipgnosis snapped up catalogs by both Benny Blanco and The Chainsmokers, ahead of raising $295m two months later.

Today (December 11) represents something of a new direction for the company: it’s now also getting into master rights.

Hipgnosis has announced that it has acquired a recordings catalog by British indie rock band Kaiser Chiefs, from London-based company B-Unique.

The catalog consists of 100% of the worldwide ownership of the master rights to the Kaiser Chiefs’ first four studio albums, ‘Employment’, ‘Yours Truly, Angry Mob’, ‘Off With Their Heads’ and The Future is Medieval’, as well as their greatest hits album ‘Souvenir’ and their live audiovisual release ‘Live at Elland Road’.

The Kaiser Chiefs’ 2005 debut album ‘Employment’, which won the Ivor Novello Award for “Best Album”, is certified 6x platinum in the UK and includes the platinum-certified ‘I Predict a Riot’, ‘Oh My God’ which reached the Top 10 on the UK Singles Chart and the UK Top 10 ‘Everyday I Love You Less and Less’.

The band’s second album ‘Yours Truly Angry Mob’ released in 2007 reached No. 1 in the UK Album Charts and is certified as 2x platinum in the UK and included the UK No.1 and platinum certified lead single ‘Ruby’.

The catalog also includes the UK Top 5 single ‘Never Miss a Beat’ off the band’s 2008 No.2 album ‘Off With Their Heads’.

Merck Mercuriadis, Founder of The Family (Music) Limited and Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, said: “The Kaiser Chiefs have been one of the most successful English bands of the last 15 years and it’s no secret that it’s down to great songs, great albums and a terrific live show. They follow the very English tradition of The Who and Madness and incredible hits like I Predict a Riot and Ruby just get better with time. I’m delighted that Mark, Martin, James, Nick, Ricky and the band have entrusted us with this special catalogue.”

Mark Lewis & Martin Toher of B-Unique said: “We are delighted to be part of the Hipgnosis story, Merck managed the first band signed to B-Unique, we know he is a proper music man. This deal will allow us to continue working with the Kaisers and James to keep this great catalogue growing.

“Martin and I shared such a commonality with the band, we both had a real underdog spirit and the fact that they are still having top 3 albums and selling more tickets than ever is a testament to their continued hunger.”

James Sandom at Red Light Management said: “It’s great to be in business with Merck and Hipgnosis. We’re excited by the potential and fresh focus on Kaiser Chiefs classic catalogue in this new chapter, Hipgnosis’ modern thinking and resource will add value and presence to a catalogue that’s ingrained in British culture.”Music Business Worldwide

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