David Bowie catalogue acquired by Warner Chappell Music

David Bowie’s music publishing catalogue has been acquired from his estate by Warner Chappell Music (WCM), a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group. (WMG). The deal, reported by numerous sources to be worth US$250m, encompasses the deceased artist’s entire body of work, including 26 studio albums and hundreds of songs such as Space Oddity, Changes, Life On Mars, Ziggy Stardust and Starman.  

WCM Co-Chair and CEO Guy Moot said: “All of us at Warner Chappell are immensely proud that the David Bowie estate has chosen us to be the caretakers of one of the most groundbreaking, influential, and enduring catalogues in music history. These are not only extraordinary songs, but milestones that have changed the course of modern music forever.” 

“Bowie’s vision and creative genius drove him to push the envelope, lyrically and musically – writing songs that challenged convention, changed the conversation, and have become part of the canon of global culture. His work spanned massive pop hits and experimental adventures that have inspired millions of fans and countless innovators, not only in music, but across all the arts, fashion, and media. We are looking forward to tending his unparalleled body of songs with passion and care as we strive to build on the legacy of this most extraordinary human being.”

The agreement with WCM follows the announcement last year of a global, career-spanning agreement between Warner Music Group (WMG) and the Bowie estate through which Warner Music has licensed worldwide rights to Bowie’s recorded music catalog from 1968. With this new deal, WMG is now home to Bowie’s body of work as both a songwriter and recording artist.

On behalf of the David Bowie Estate and RZO, Allen Grubman added: “We are truly gratified that David Bowie’s body of music will now be in the capable hands of Warner Chappell Music Publishing. We are sure they will cherish it and take care of it with the greatest level of dignity.”

You can read the official announcement on the WMG website here.

Main Image: Iman and David Bowie at the Film Society of Lincoln Center honors for Susan Sarandon, NY 5/5/2003, Shutterstock.


Your first step to joining FIPP's global community of media leaders

Sign up to FIPP World x