Publishing is the unheralded part of the music business that may not get the most attention, but can be the most important for songwriters, producers and legacy artists who want to make money from licensing their music for remixes, sampling, advertisement syncs etc. Michael Jackson's estate sits on one of the most valuable piece of publishing in modern music and they just inked a massive deal with Sony to hand over their remaining 50 percent share of Sony/ATV Music Publishing to the label for a hefty sum.
According to a release, Sony will pay the estate $750 million for the remaining 50 percent, which values Sony/ATV at 1.5 billion.
The idea for the sale began in September 2015 and will officially close on March 31, 2016.
"When Sony first partnered with Michael Jackson 21 years ago to create Sony/ATV Music Publishing, we knew that this company had the ability to reach great heights," said Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, Inc in a statement. "This acquisition will enable Sony to more quickly adapt to changes in the music publishing business, while at the same time continuing to be an unparalleled leader in the industry and a treasured home for artists and writers. We want to express our gratitude to the Estate of Michael Jackson and to the Jackson family for their years of partnership. All of us at Sony look forward to continuing to work with the Estate to further Michael Jackson's legacy in many different ways."
The deal will not remove the Michael Jackson estate from the music business. They still have ownership of his master recordings and Mijac Music, the company that owns the songs which he wrote. It also includes songs from other songwriters and artists that were acquired during his lifetime. The estate will continue to retain an ownership interest in EMI Music Publishing.