Viacom is getting out of the music publishing business, selling its Famous Music LLC to Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which is co-owned by Sony and trusts formed by Michael Jackson. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the Wall Street Journal tagged it at around 370 million bucks. Sony/ATV already owns or administers over a half million music copyrights, including, among other things, The Beatles catalog.
"This is a milestone event for Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The diverse collection of songs in this catalogue range from timeless classics to contemporary hits, and I am pleased to add the acquisition of Famous Music to Sony/ATV," said Jackson.
Founded in 1928, the Famous Music catalogue includes 125,000 songs and sound cues, including such hits and classics as "Footloose," "Moon River," "Take My Breath Away," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," "Satin Doll," "Silver Bells," and "That's Amore." The catalogue, founded originally to publish music from "talking pictures," also includes the widely recognizable movie themes from Braveheart, The Godfather, Forrest Gump, Mission Impossible and the "Axel F" theme from Beverly Hills Cop. The catalogue includes contemporary hits such as "Bad Day" (Daniel Powter), "Hips Don't Lie" (Shakira), "The Real Slim Shady" (Eminem), and "Beautiful" (written by Linda Perry – performed by Christina Aguilera). The company also owns the Bjork, Duke Ellington, Dave Grusin, Bush and Boyz II Men catalogues, and songs from smash Broadway shows such as A Chorus Line and The Producers.
Famous Music's roster of songwriters includes Shakira, Akon, Linda Perry (who has written for Pink, Gwen Stefani, and Christina Aguilera), 7Aurelius (who has written for LL Cool J and Mariah Carey), Fred Jerkins III (who has written for Destiny's Child and Whitney Houston), Dave Tozer (who has written for John Legend), Mike Mangini (who has written for Joss Stone and Baha Men), Charlie Midnight (who has written for Hilary Duff and James Brown), Darrell Scott (who has written for Dixie Chicks and Faith Hill), Modest Mouse, Jet and Ozomatli.