The next time the Church of England asks for a donation, Brits should just pull out their phones and play Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack.”
File this under “Who Knew?”: The staid Church of England is a co-owner of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies,” Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack.”
The Church — whose head is the notoriously unhip Queen of England — has been bolstering its coffers by investing in companies like Hipgnosis, which, according to the BBC, has been buying up rights to mega songs for the past three years.
The company spent over $1 billion gobbling up rights to music that also includes LA Reid’s song catalog (which has shares in Boyz II Men’s “End Of The Road”, Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel”), as well as music by Blondie, Barry Manilow and Mark Ronson.
Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis claims the music he’s bought is “more valuable than gold or oil” as “ their revenue isn’t affected by fluctuations in the economy” he tells the BBC.
“These great, proven songs are very predictable and reliable in their income streams. … If you take a song like the Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’ or Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer,’ you’re talking three to four decades of reliable income. … If people are living their best lives, they’re doing it to a soundtrack of songs. But equally, if they’re experiencing the sort of challenges we’ve experienced over the last six months, they’re taking comfort and escaping in great songs.”
And every time someone plays those beloved songs, investors in Hipgnosis, like the Church of England, benefit financially.
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