Terms were not disclosed for the deal, which sees Hipgnosis acquire 100% of the duo’s copyright interest, including ASCAP income, in 32 Chainsmokers’ songs, as well as 10 additional songs written by Andrew Taggart, who co-founded the group alongside Alex Pall in New York in 2012.
Included among the 32 Chainsmokers’ tracks bought by Hipgnosis is “Don’t Let Me Down” featuring Daya, which reached number one on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, won best dance recording at the 2016 Grammys and has been streamed over 1.2 billion times globally, according to its new copyright owners.
Other songs acquired by the Guernsey-registered music IP investment company, founded by former Beyoncé and Guns N' Roses manager Merck Mercuriadis, include “Closer” featuring Halsey, which topped the Hot 100 for 12 consecutive weeks and has racked up 1.6 billion streams, as well as top 10 hits “Paris,” “Roses” and the 2017 Coldplay collaboration “Something Just Like This.”
The Grammy-nominated “1-800-273-8255” by Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid is one of 10 additional songs written or co-written by Andrew Taggart included in the catalog acquisition.
Since first breaking through with their 2014 viral hit #Selfie, The Chainsmokers have become one of the world’s biggest dance pop acts with 41 million monthly listeners on Spotify and more than 50 number ones worldwide.
According to Forbes’ 2019 Highest-Paid DJs/Electronic Cash Kings list, the duo recently overtook Calvin Harris to become the world’s top earning electronic act with pre-tax annual income of $46 million.
“The Chainsmokers are the highest paid duo in the world not only because they know how to spin records better than anyone else but because they have created amongst the very biggest hits in the world for the dance and pop community over the last 7 years,” said Mercuriadis in a statement.
He called the company’s latest catalog acquisition a “set of songs that people can’t stop playing and that will define the lives of so many people that have grown up in the 2010s.” The Chainsmokers were represented in the deal by manager Adam Alpert and attorney Jaimie Roberts.
According to Hipgnosis’ maiden financial results, published in June, the Guernsey-registered company generated revenues of £7.2 million ($9.2 million) from its first 12 catalog holdings between June 8, 2018 to 31 March, 2019.
They included full or partial stakes in catalogs of The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Poo Bear, Chic co-founder Bernard Edwards, songwriting trio TMS, Giorgio Tuinfort, Ari Levine, Sam Hollander, Johnta Austin, Sean Garrett, Rico Love and Itaal Shur, best known for co-writing the Santana and Rob Thomas smash hit "Smooth."
The 12 catalogs — adding up to 3,096 songs in total — were acquired for approximately £120 million ($153 million), equivalent to a blended multiple of 12.75x historical annual net income.
Between April and the end of July, Hipgnosis acquired a further 10 catalogs — including over 1,000 songs by Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart — bringing its total spending to £241 million ($307 million) and total catalog holdings to just under 6,000 songs.
The latest deals with Benny Blanco and now The Chainsmokers brings the total number of catalogs owned by Hipgnosis to 24 with more acquisitions expected to be completed in the months ahead.