Billy Joel might be the next high-profile musician to sell their catalog for a massive price tag if the latest reports are true.
Per Billboard, Joel has received offers for his catalog, which he turned down. However, following those offers, The Piano Man’s reps then “tested to see what the market was willing to bear, with a pricing suggestion described by a number of music asset buyers as quite possibly the highest valuation ever for a song catalog — at least on a multiple basis.”
While Joel’s agent Dennis Arfa told Billboard in an email that the catalog wasn’t currently for sale, other sources say Arfa, himself, was involved in shopping the catalog around recently to see what it could net.
Joel joked in an October 2021 interview with Howard Stern that if someone offered him $1 billion for the catalog, “What am I gonna say, no? I’m from Levittown.” However, Billboard noted, “Joel’s song catalog averaged $8.915 million in annual music publishing royalties over the three-year period of 2019-2021…While Joel’s representatives didn’t ask for $1 billion, sources say they instead asked potential suitors to sign a non-binding offer sheet that they would be willing to pay a 50-times-NPS multiple or $400 million; and then a second go-round where a 40-times-NPS multiple was the ask.”
The biggest point of not selling the Joel catalog, besides the matter of price, is the fact that Joel owns the publishing rights to his catalog, which means he has final say on whether a song gets licensed for a commercial or use in a television show or movie. If Joel were to sell his catalog, he would lose that control.
So, what does all of this mean? If Joel does sell his catalog, expect an absolutely huge price tag likely biggest than the $400 million figure that was recently shopped around.