Sony Reportedly in Talks to Purchase Queen Music Catalog for $1 Billion

Queen is reportedly close to selling their entire music catalog to Sony Music for $1 billion. Brian MayRoger TaylorJohn Deacon, and the estate of Freddie Mercury were previously in talks to sell their catalog and music assets in 2023.

Sony is working on a deal with an investor, according to a Bloomberg report, which would be the largest sale of its kind, including merchandising and other business opportunities tied to the band’s 50-plus year catalog and other assets.

The three surviving band members and Mercury’s estate are equal shareholders in Queen Productions Ltd, which reported revenues of $52m in the year ended September 2022, according to the company filings. The band’s music assets include its publishing, recorded music, and ancillary streams of income—including merchandise and licensing, revenue from the 2018 Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, and more—along with royalties from the band’s North American master recordings catalog, which was sold to Hollywood Records at some point in the 1990s.

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British rock band Queen (clockwise from top: Brian May, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon pose for an Electra Records publicity still to promote their album ‘A Night at the Opera’ in 1975. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

A catalog sale would include everything from Queen’s 1973 self-titled debut through their 1995 album Made in Heaven—the band’s 15th and final album following the death of Mercury in 1991. The catalog also includes Queen hits “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “You’re My Best Friend, “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “Somebody to Love,” and more, along with the band’s 10 live albums and two soundtracks (Flash Gordon, Highlander).

[RELATED: On This Day: Queen Scored Their First No. 1 Album with ‘A Night at the Opera’]

Sales Queen’s albums saw an uptick following the release of the 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek as Mercury, which became the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time and won four Academy Awards, including the Oscar for Best Actor, two Golden Globes, and two BAFTA Awards.

Bohemian Rhapsody grossed more than $910 million worldwide. By 2019, Queen’s catalog surged to more than 3.5 million units sold and may expand even further with another film.

In 2023, May hinted at working on a sequel to the Queen biopic. “We’ve been talking about it,” said May. “I felt proud of it, and the people who played us were just phenomenal. It’s so tempting to do the sequel. It would be worth it just to work with those boys again.”

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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