Update: 2:23 p.m. ET September 21, 2022: West has addressed reports of his catalog potentially being up for sale on Instagram, writing, “JUST LIKE TAYLOR SWIFT MY PUBLISHING IS BEING PUT UP FOR SALE WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE NOT FOR SALE.”
He then shared an alleged text message receiving confirmation that while his publishing was not put up for sale, “every publisher wants to pitch there [sic] hardest to buy.”
Original story below…
Kanye West is reportedly seeking a buyer for his song catalog, with an estimated asking price of $175 million.
According to Billboard, sources say that West’s team has been testing the waters to see how much the rapper and producer’s publishing could yield on the open market. West is said to be looking to rake in as much as 35 times the net publisher’s share, or gross profit, from the sale. West’s share of his publishing nets him an estimated $5 million per year, hence the $175 million figure that’s been attached to the deal.
Overall, Ye’s publishing generates around $13.25 million in royalties annually, however, since many of his songs have multiple songwriters, it’s difficult to access how what percentages are allotted to him for any given song. According to Billboard, West owns a larger percentage of the publishing royalties on his first four studio albums (35%) than his latter catalog (20%).
Being that many of his hits are still in circulation, it can be difficult to determine or evaluate how newer songs in his catalog will perform over time. Still, West’s desired price-tag is all but unprecedented, even for musical megastars of his stature.
Another issue stems from ongoing litigation regarding the songwriter splits on certain songs in West’s catalog, which have yet to be settled. Without knowledge of what percentage of the publishing that West will ultimately own of those songs in question, it’s hard to determine a concrete valuation.
West’s representatives have scaled back communication and their test of the market in recent months, with sources speculating that the decision could be due to failure to secure their asking price. They could also be in quiet negotiations with a potential buyer.
Others have argued that West’s catalog was never officially shopped and that he and his representatives have simply entertained offers for his catalog, which is common practice in the industry.
Sony Music Publishing, which currently administers his catalog, has yet to release a statement on the reports. A rep for West did not immediately return our request for comment.