Though exact financial details have not been disclosed, the sale, announced by UMG, is estimated to be worth around $250 million. Included in the deal are multiple Police hits like “Every Breath You Take” and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” as well as several successful solo singles like “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” and “Fields of Gold.”
“It is absolutely essential to me that my career’s body of work have a home where it is valued and respected,” Sting said in a statement (via The New York Times.) “Not only to connect with longtime fans in new ways but also to introduce my songs to new audiences, musicians and generations.”
The new agreement includes copyrights for Sting’s songs plus his royalties as a songwriter, meaning that UMG will now receive all future music publishing income.
“So many memories from my youth are tied to the great songs written by Sting — whether it was first seeing the Police perform in Philadelphia or hearing his music on the radio or playing those albums until I wore them out,” Universal Music chairman and CEO Jody Gerson said in a statement (via Rolling Stone.) “I could never have imagined that someday I would get to lead a company that will be the guardian of Sting’s remarkable songwriting legacy. Every one of us at UMPG looks forward to this work with a sense of honor, responsibility, and enormous excitement about what we can achieve for his music in the future.”
The sale marks another addition to the list of artists who have recently agreed to similar lucrative deals, including Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, David Coverdale, Stevie Nicks and the estate of David Bowie.
Rockers Who Have Sold Their Publishing Rights
As song placement has become commonplace and sales have decreased due to streaming, many classic rockers have offloaded their publishing rights.