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Phil Collins’ Solo and Genesis Catalog May Be Next Big Publishing Sale

Suitors have been waiting for this moment — a package of Collins' income streams that could be worth upwards of $200 million.

Following the blockbuster sale of David Bowie‘s publishing catalog earlier this month, it’s clear that the torrid music asset trading marketplace remains red hot. Next up, according to sources, is the catalog of Phil Collins, who is coming to market with a package of solo and Genesis publishing, along with solo master recording royalties, plus his share of master royalties from a few, but not all, albums from his legendary prog-turned-pop band.

Collins’ solo hits include “In The Air Tonight” (6.46 million song consumption units in the U.S., according to MRC Data); “You’ll Be In My Heart” (2.9 million song consumption units); “Against All Odds” (2.19 million song consumption units); “Another Day In Paradise” and his covers of “A Groovy Kind Of Love” and “You Can’t Hurry Love,” which each have generated song consumption units topping the million-unit mark. From his Genesis career the publishing component of the package includes “That’s All” (nearly 1.26 million song consumption units); and “Invisible Touch,” “Land of Confusion,” “Follow You Follow Me,” “In Too Deep,” and “I Can’t Dance,” all songs in which he shares a co-writer credit and all of which have each generated between 500,000 to 1 million song consumption units.


Those source say that Tony Smith—who manages Collins and Genesis and who is said to be discretely shopping the PC income-stream deal to a few potential music asset buyers—is looking for bids upwards of $200 million. While sources declined to disclose royalty amounts involved in the package of income streams, Billboard estimates that the publishing royalties in question average about $6.2 million annually and the recorded music royalties at about $5.03 million yearly.

Smith says Billboard’s assessment that the catalog is up for sale is “wrong.” In an e-mail responding to a request for comment, Smith wrote, “Over the last three or four years there have been several major deals, with quite a few bidders in the market looking to purchase publishing and recording copyrights, amongst many others we have been approached on several occasions. While we continue to monitor the market activities as managers, this should not be described as shopping or being up for sale… How people describe the fact of us answering the phone is not within our control or concern.”

Sources, however, indicate that a package of financials regarding the catalog have been circulated among a select group of potential suitors.

Using Billboard’s income stream estimates, and looking first at publishing which nowadays has enjoyed multiples in the range of 15 times to 30 times, with the latter multiple dependent on whether the songwriter has a catalog filled with iconic songs, for the Collins catalog a 20 times multiple would bring in $124 million; a 25 times multiple could bring in $155 million; and if Collins were to achieve a 30 times multiple in any contemplated transaction, that would mean a $186 million payday. Collins’ publishing is currently administered by Concord, according to industry song databases.

Moving over to his artist royalties, which nowadays trade on multiples of anywhere from 13 times to 20 times, besides Collins solo recordings, the master recording royalties, sources say, include a few Genesis albums recorded after the 1975 departure of Peter Gabriel when Collins, the band’s drummer, added lead singer duties. At $5 million in royalties, a 15 times multiple would bring in $75 million and a 20 times multiple would hit a $100 million payday. All of Collins’ solo albums and all of Genesis’ albums are on Atlantic in North America, although a sale of the Collins master recording royalty income stream likely would have no impact on the distribution of those albums.

So if current market conditions continue to prevail, the potential sale of Collins’ royalty income streams, if it were to occur, could potentially bring in a combined payday that would range anywhere from $200 million to $285 million, and maybe even as much as $300 million in total.