Leonard Cohen Estate Sells Song Catalog

The sale includes the rights to all 278 songs and derivatives written by the legendary songwriter

Photo of Leonard Cohen
Rama, CC BY-SA 2.0 FR, via Wikimedia Commons

The estate of Leonard Cohen has sold the publishing rights to the legendary songwriter’s entire catalog for an undisclosed sum, according to Reuters. In a press release, the buyer, Hipgnosis Songs Fund, said the sale includes the rights to “all 278 songs and derivatives” written by Cohen, including “Hallelujah” and “First We Take Manhattan.” Cohen died in 2016.

Hipgnosis, a UK-based investment company founded in 2018 by a former music manager and label executive, has been one of the most active prospectors in a booming song acquisition market that’s taken on a gold-rush feel of late. The company has purchased the rights to the music of Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, among others. Meanwhile, Bob Dylan sold his catalog for a reported $400 million to Universal Music Publishing Group. Sony Music Group spent an estimated $1.5 billion on music acquisitions last year, including $500 million on Bruce Springsteen’s back catalog.

Read about what the booming song acquisition market means for the music industry in our feature Buckets of (Making it Rain) from last year.

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