On September 18, 2023, Deadline reported that the singer signed on the dotted line with Litmus Music, which will now own the rights to five studio albums she released from 2008 to 2020 — “One of the Boys,” “Teenage Dream,” “Prism,” “Witness” and “Smile.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Investors in Katy Perry’s Music Catalog Say Her Songs Are Part of the ‘Global Cultural Fabric’
According to Deadline, Litmus Music is a venture between Capitol Records president Dan McCarroll, whom Perry has known for 13 years, and private equity firm The Carlyle Group.
Launched in the summer of 2022, Litmus’ first major acquisition took place when it purchased country star and former “American Idol” judge Keith Urban’s rights to his master recordings for an undisclosed amount, per Variety.
In a statement, Carlyle said its deal came about because “Litmus Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer Dan McCarroll’s longstanding working relationship” with Perry, which started in 2010 when McCarroll was named President of Capitol Records, her record label.
Representatives for Carlyle announced the deal to acquire Perry’s first five studio albums, including her 16 multi-platinum singles, for a reported $225 million.
Clearly, Litmus thinks Perry’s songs are worth the major investment. In its statement, McCarroll said, “Katy Perry is a creative visionary who has made a major impact across music, TV, film, and philanthropy. I’m so honored to be partnering with her again and to help Litmus manage her incredible repertoire.”
Reflecting on Perry’s catalog of songs — including 2008’s “I Kissed a Girl,” 2010’s “Firework,” and 2013’s “Dark Horse” — Hank Forsyth, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Litmus Music, called them “an essential part of the global cultural fabric.”
Perry’s music is popular worldwide — including with the King of England. In May, she and fellow “Idol” judge Lionel Richie were among the only Americans invited to perform at King Charles’ coronation.
Katy Perry’s Deal is One of the Most Lucrative to Date
If the reported payout of $225 million is accurate, Perry’s deal is one of the largest known investments in a musician’s song catalog to date.
For comparison, according to Variety, Justin Bieber earned a reported $200 million in January for selling his full catalog of 290 songs to Hipgnosis. Justin Timberlake sold his catalog to the same firm in May 2022 for an estimated $100 million.
Larger deals have been negotiated for older artists with decades worth of music. For instance, Sting sold the rights to his catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group in February 2022 for a reported $300 million, Variety said. And Bruce Springsteen sold his song catalog for $500 million to Sony in 2021, according to Billboard.
Perry’s most loyal fans have been pushing for the singer to release new music, since she hasn’t put out a new album in three years. But in August, the singer told “Good Morning America” that she’s trying to savor her time as a mom to two-year-old Daisy, whom she shares with actor Orlando Bloom, while juggling her “American Idol” duties and residency shows in Las Vegas.
Nevertheless, she is writing new material that could make her even more money down the line.
“I haven’t put any new material out since my darling Daisy,” Perry told GMA. “I think that I’m writing a lot and have written a lot from a place of love because I’m feeling so much of it — so much unconditional love, that love you never knew existed.”