Katy Perry Sells Catalog to Litmus Music for $225 Million

Litmus Music, a catalog rights company backed by private-equity giant Carlyle Group LP, said on Monday (Sept. 18) it acquired the rights to Katy Perry’s five studio albums released for Capitol Records, including her Grammy-nominated Teenage Dream.  

According to sources, Litmus paid $225 million for Perry’s stake in the master recording royalties and music publishing rights to her five albums released between 2008 and 2020—One of the Boys, Teenage Dream, PRISM, Witness and Smile. Litmus declined to comment on the deal terms.

Perry’s catalog sale, finalized earlier this year, follows other 2023 music rights deals like Justin Bieber’s $200-million sale to Hipgnosis Songs Capital, demonstrating that household name artists can still command top dollar even as high interest rates moderate investors’ appetites for song rights.

From her breakout single “I Kissed A Girl” in July 2008 to the five chart-topping songs from 2010’s Teenage Dream, Perry has notched a total of nine No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100. During a musical era that saw major hits from other female pop stars like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Adele, Perry remains the first woman and only second artist ever (after Michael Jackson) to send five songs from the same album to the summit of the Hot 100. Those songs are “California Gurls,” “Firework,” “E.T.,” “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” and “Teenage Dream.”

In addition to releasing 2017’s Witness and 2020’s Smile, Perry is winding down a blockbuster Las Vegas residency that she started in late 2021.

The “Roar” singer’s professional relationship with Dan McCarroll, Litmus co-founder and chief creative officer, dates back to 2010 when McCarroll was president of Capitol Records, the company said.

“Katy Perry is a creative visionary who has made a major impact across music, TV, film, and philanthropy,” McCarroll said. “I’m so honored to be partnering with her again and to help Litmus manage her incredible repertoire.”

Launched in August 2022 with a $500-million-investment from Carlyle’s Global Credit Platform, Litmus has acquired publishing and recording rights of artists from a range of genres, including Keith Urban‘s master recordings and a package of publishing and performance copyrights from super producer benny blanco.

Hank Forsyth, Litmus co-founder and chief executive officer, called Perry’s “essential” songs “part of the global cultural fabric.”

“We are so grateful to be working together again with such a trusted partner,” said Forsyth, an industry veteran previously of Warner Chappell and Blue Note.

“We believe this is a testament to the team’s ability to partner with the world’s top artists. Katy’s iconic songs have not only achieved outstanding commercial success but have significantly influenced popular culture,” said Matt Settle, managing director at Carlyle.

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