Lorde and Taylor Swift songwriter Joel Little sells back catalogue to Hipgnosis


Joel Little, who has written hits for artists including Lorde and Taylor Swift, has become the latest songwriter to sell his back catalogue to the Hipgnosis Song Fund.

The London-listed songs investment fund has purchased his entire back catalogue of hits, which includes Lorde’s ‘Royals’ and Swifts ‘Me’. The songwriter’s works have already been streamed more than 15 billion times.

Merck Mercuriadis, CEO and founder of Hipgnosis, said: “Joel is one of the most important songwriters in the world today. His songs are amongst the most streamed songs of the last 10 years amassing more than 15 billion streams globally. It’s wonderful to welcome Joel and Ashley [his manager].”


Little added that he feels “incredibly grateful” for his career to date and that it is “really nice to know that these songs will be so well taken care of by Merck and his team of passionate music people”.

Lorde. CREDIT: Burak Cingi/Redferns.

The investment company has made waves in recent months after purchasing the catalogues of artists including Lindsey Buckingham and Blondie, as well as Jimmy Iovine’s worldwide producer royalties and half of Neil Young’s songs in a deal thought to be worth an estimated $150 million (£110 million).

Shakira also sold all 145 of her songs, including ‘Hips Don’t Lie’, ‘She Wolf’ and ‘Whenever, Wherever’, all part of the deal.

Hipgnosis are known for turning royalties into a steady income stream – with the firm making money every time one of its songs is played on the radio or featured in a film/TV show.


Earlier this year, Mercuriadis said that cultural importance is key when it comes to the artists whose back catalogues they have acquired.

Speaking to MusicWeek, Mercuriadis explained how he set about purchasing the back catalogues after securing a staggering $1bn in investments.

“So, with over £1bn invested, we only own 57,000 songs. But 10,000 of them are Top 10 songs, almost 3,000 of them are No.1 songs. So it’s a very small catalogue, relative to Universal, Warner or Sony. But the ratio of success within that catalogue is very high, there are very few songs that are not successes.

“For me, the criteria is not just predictable and reliable income, but it’s cultural importance as well. Everything that I buy is proven, it’s successful, but it’s also culturally important.”

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