Super producer Benny Blanco sold a package of publishing and performance copyrights to Litmus Music, the private equity-backed music rights company run by industry veterans Hank Forsyth and Dan McCarroll, both groups said on Wednesday (June 28).
Litmus said the acquisition includes Billboard Hot 100 No. 1’s like “Diamonds,” recorded by Rihanna, “Moves Like Jagger” recorded by Maroon 5, “Love Yourself” recorded by Justin Bieber, and “Señorita,” recorded by Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello, plus “Eastside”, recorded by Blanco, Halsey & Khalid, “Roses”, recorded by Blanco and the late Juice WRLD featuring Brendon Urie, and others.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Investor interest in music copyrights remains at an all-time high, and while career-spanning catalogs from artists like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan have fetched among the highest reported sums, Blanco, 35, is among a growing cadre of younger producers, artists and songwriters who are electing to sell some of their copyrights while they are still actively making music.
This is the second rights sale Blanco, whose full name is Benjamin Joseph Levin, has done in recent years. In 2019, he sold Hipgnosis partial rights to some 90 songs, including his writer’s share in “Castle on the Hill,” which Blanco co-wrote and co-produced with Ed Sheeran.
A 2013 winner of the Hal David Starlight Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame and multi-time recipient of BMI‘s songwriter of the year award, Blanco said his longstanding relationship with Litmus’s Dan McCarroll was the reason he chose them to handle these rights.
McCarroll, Litmus co-founder and chief creative officer, and Blanco met when the creative was 17 and McCarroll was running east coast creative for EMI Publishing. The pair have since worked together on projects involving Keith Urban, Gym Class Heroes and Katy Perry, among others.
“I first crossed paths with Dan as a young teenager,” Blanco said in a statement. “I feel like we’ve had so many dinners and conversations that have gone beyond music and they really helped guide and shape me into the person I am today. There’s no better home I could imagine for such a meaningful part of my catalog.”
McCarroll speaks of the pride of watching him become the “incredible writer and producer he is today. We at Litmus are honored to work with him now to support part of his incredible catalog.”
Launched in August 2022, Litmus has $500 million in backing from Carlyle Global Credit, and aims to buy the publishing and recording rights of artists from a range of genres. In December, Litmus announced it bought Keith Urban‘s master recordings for an undisclosed sum. Forsyth previously held positions as executive vp at Warner Chappell and GM of Blue Note, while McCarroll served as president of both Warner Brothers Records and Capitol Records.