Hipgnosis annual revenue surges as pandemic boosts music streaming

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(Reuters) – Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd’s annual revenue surged 66%, helped by a music-streaming boom during lockdowns as many listeners stuck indoors grooved to “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey and other classics.

The London-listed fund, which invests in songs and intellectual property rights to music, earns royalties every time a song it owns is streamed. Around 60% of its portfolio comprised music released more than a decade ago.

The pandemic has encouraged a growing list of professionals from the music industry to monetise their old work by selling valuable tracks and albums as earnings from live concerts dry up.

“Whilst we never would have wished for a pandemic, it has accelerated the consumption of classic songs through streaming,” Merck Mercuriadis, the fund’s founder and chief executive officer said in a statement.

“Don’t Stop Believin'” had been played 1 billion times on Spotify alone, Mercuriadis added.

Hipgnosis last week had sealed a deal for Taylor Swift songwriter Joel Little, the latest in a run of high-profile deals that has also seen the fund sign with Neil Young and Shakira, as well as Metallica producer Bob Rock.

The company, which acquired 84 new catalogues last year – taking its portfolio to 64,555 songs – said revenue for the year ended March 31 jumped to $138.4 million from $83.3 million year-on-year.

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