While he terminates his partnership with Gap, Kanye West is reportedly shopping his song catalog.
Sources tell Billboard that West’s camp has been testing the market for his publishing catalog over the past 10 months. Reps for the billionaire rapper have met with select prospective buyers to explore a valuation.
While no price tag has been put on the catalog, those who’ve expressed interest say that Ye is seeking as much as 35 times net publisher’s share, which exceeds the upper end of current catalog valuation pricing. However, to entice buyers, Ye’s team has offered the opportunity to sign a future publishing deal with the rapper.
Ye reportedly generates $5 million a year from his catalog, and Billboard estimates that the songs in his catalog generate over $13.25 million in publishing royalties annually.
At $5 million in annual income, a 35 times multiple suggests a $175 million valuation. A 30-times multiple has rarely, if ever, been reached with even the highest-profile deals including the Bob Dylan catalog, which is said to have sold to UMG for a 28 to 29 times multiple.
West’s catalog presents several challenges for potential buyers. His catalog hasn’t matured yet and his songs are still enjoying hit status, meaning the amount of revenue they generate annually is likely to “decay.” Secondly, the songwriter splits on some songs in West’s catalog are still in dispute. West’s unpredictable personality is also another risk, potential suitors say.
Back in May, Justin Timberlake sold his song catalog to Hipgnosis Songs Capital for upwards of $100 million, which breaks down to a 28-times multiple. The deal includes around 200 songs he wrote or co-wrote throughout his 20-plus-year career as a solo artist and frontman for *NSYNC.
Efforts to test the market for Ye’s catalog have slowed down in recent months, which could mean one of two things–they landed a bidder or more likely, the catalog failed to generate pricing expectations for West’s camp, resulting in their removal from the auction block.