Questions over music royalty trusts following Neil Young's Spotify row

Hipgnosis on 8.4% discount

Kathleen Gallagher
clock • 3 min read
CEO of Hipgnosis Merck Mercuriadis, who purchased 50% of Neil Young's publishing rights a year before the misinformation row exploded
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CEO of Hipgnosis Merck Mercuriadis, who purchased 50% of Neil Young's publishing rights a year before the misinformation row exploded

Investors are raising questions about music royalty trusts that have been firm favourites as a diversifier, as the Neil Young row with Spotify throws into question the control and valuation of music rights.

In January last year, the Hipgnosis Songs Fund announced it acquired 50% of the worldwide copyright and income interests of Neil Young's entire catalogue. At the time, Merck Mercuriadis, founder of trust, revealed just how exciting the acquisition was for him personally, saying: "I bought my first Neil Young album aged seven. Harvest was my companion and I know every note, every word, every pause and silence intimately. Neil Young, or at least his music, has been my friend and constant ever since." However, as Neil Young pulled his songs from Spotify, investors in the trust scratched ...

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