Sting Sells Music Catalog

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Sting Sells Music Catalog

Postby jerseyfan on 18 Feb 2022 23:10

I am sure by now all Stewart fans have read that Sting sold his entire music catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group- Police and solo work. (See links below.)

According to the New York Post:

Financial terms were not given, but sources with knowledge pegged the sale in the ballpark of $250 million. The deal also compensates Police guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland for songs where they share writing credits, according to a UMG spokesperson.


I have to say that my first reaction was disappointment. My beloved band has lost some of its luster. I always loved the fact that the boys controlled their band business, and that Stewart and Andy owned a piece of the action- Stewart and Andy own part of Sting's publishing, according to Sting autobiography, "Broken Music." The Police was true music/business partnership.

I understand, however, that this was likely a difficult business decision based on advice from tax and estate planning professionals. Nevertheless, they will have to pay taxes NOW for the profits from the sale. So it was pay now or pay later.

And there's always the possibility that their children would've had conflict and disagreement regarding the will, estate and future revenue. Marriages without a pre-nup can also create a mess with prolonged fights over assets.

I wonder if Stewart and Andy agreed with Sting's decision, or whether they had a choice to keep their share. Moreover, does Sting's deal impact the songs written by Stewart and Andy? Do they retain ownership of their portion of the songs they wrote for the Police? Who owns Fall Out, Bombs Away, Darkness, Miss Gradenko, etc?

I guess this means that Sting, Stewart and Andy must now pay fees to Universal to perform Police and/or Sting songs? Perhaps those fees were always there? Do artists play their publisher to play their own songs, even when they retain ownership?

Regardless of the facts, it's a downer. There's a sad finality to the news. The end of an era.

Too dramatic? Perhaps.

https://www.universalmusic.com/universa ... g-catalog/

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/10/arts ... ersal.html

https://nypost.com/2022/02/10/sting-sel ... -for-250m/
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Re: Sting Sells Music Catalog

Postby giovanni on 20 Feb 2022 10:17

It's quite a logical move in my opinion, that's what most of the artists of his age are doing right now. Nothing changes actually, as half of his publishing was already in someone else's hands since the Nineties or early 2000. He's simply getting a 'certain amount of money' anticipated, considering an average income of the past earnings out of his publishing. Nothing to worry about.
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Re: Sting Sells Music Catalog

Postby jerseyfan on 07 Mar 2022 03:13

giovanni wrote:It's quite a logical move in my opinion, that's what most of the artists of his age are doing right now. Nothing changes actually, as half of his publishing was already in someone else's hands since the Nineties or early 2000. He's simply getting a 'certain amount of money' anticipated, considering an average income of the past earnings out of his publishing. Nothing to worry about.


It's interesting that you say that. Half the catalog had already been sold? Why in the world did he do that? Sting was enjoying big album sales and concert revenue during that period with the albums, Brand New Day and Sacred Love. I'm not sure that's been in the news.
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Re: Sting Sells Music Catalog

Postby ManWithGoodTaste on 08 Mar 2022 20:30

I just buy the best sounding release, and hold on to it. That way, when the inevitable (2nd, 3rd, etc) remaster comes, I won't care for it, since I won't need it. I already own Message in a Box, which is only missing Truth Hits 83 (which was Sting's demo), and sounds fantastic, and will ALWAYS sound fantastic. No, we do not have magical sound technology now that we did not have in the late 80s. Stereo mixing was figured out long ago.

This sale will give my boys some more money, good for them. It won't affect me.
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Re: Sting Sells Music Catalog

Postby jerseyfan on 16 Jul 2022 14:55

One of the impacts of selling your music catalog is that the new owners need to make money.

Duck Duck Go is the first ad I have seen using Police music post-sale:

https://youtu.be/QWpPyYlZXNI

It's strange to me that not one interviewer has asked any of the boys about the sale. "Journalists" mostly ask questions that have been asked and answered thousands of times.
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