Business

David Guetta Sells Catalog to Warner Music, Signs Deal for Future Releases

David Guetta
Dan Reid*

David Guetta

Warner Music Group has acquired David Guetta's catalog for about $100 million in a deal that includes a going-forward agreement, a source familiar with the matter confirms. The deal, first reported on by the Financial Times, encompasses Guetta’s entire catalog, which according to the announcement has accumulated 50 million record sales and more than 14 billion streams.

The two-time Grammy-winning artist and producer has shaped modern electronic music and dance culture, helping bring the genre into the mainstream through his work with artists like Bruno Mars, Jason Derulo, J Balvin, Justin Bieber, Sia, Martin Garrix, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. Beginning with Guetta's 2002 debut album Just A Little More Love, the catalog includes such fist-pumping hits as "When Love Takes Over," "Gettin' Over You," "Sexy Bitch," "Memories," "Where Them Girls At," "Titanium" and "Turn Me On."

"This is the right time to renew my creative partnership with my trusted team at Warner Music," Guetta said in a statement. "This deal is about having the best people around me to ensure I can keep innovating with exciting new projects, while also working my extensive catalogue and continuing to build my career."

Guetta, 53, is continuing to release music at a rapid-fire pace -- eight new tracks in the first five months of 2021 -- and will unveil a new single in July.

"It's rare for an artist to not only define a genre, but transform it," Warner Recorded Music CEO Max Lousada added. "David has been doing that for over two decades -- igniting worldwide audiences and influencing whole generations of talent. He continues to have an extraordinary impact on the evolution of dance music, while innovating and collaborating with new voices in dynamic ways."

Amid the booming market for catalog sales, investment firms like Hipgnosis have typically snapped up the catalogs of legacy artists , which are seen as a safer bet. But Guetta's deal reflects the potential value of contemporary catalogs as well. Last October, another dance music great -- Calvin Harris -- sold the publishing rights to his more than 150-song catalog to Vine Alternative Investments for an estimated $90 million to $110 million, according to a source. However, most artists do not own their recorded music rights, making Guetta's sale all the more notable.

"A lot of people approached us to express interest in David’s catalogue," Guetta's business partner and manager, Jean-Charles Carré, said. "We decided to continue our partnership with Warner because they have a knowledge of and passion for David’s music, with a global team that’s constantly working to place it in new contexts. We’re super-excited about some of the deals they’re striking with new partners and their expansion into new territories. This is about proactively working David’s catalogue and new music together."

Added Warner Recorded Music executive vp, global A&R and marketing, dance music Bart Cools: "I’m deeply honoured that David has decided to renew our collaboration. He’s a genre-shaping, era-defining artist whose music touches billions of people around the world. I’ve heard some of his new music, and I know it’ll blow people away. David is a creative spirit who never rests on his laurels. Frankly, he never rests at all."

Ed Christman contributed reporting