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Katy Perry Selling Her Music Catalog Rights Has People Divided Over The Reported Payout

Katy Perry's bank account is reportedly roaring.

Katy Perry poses on the red carpet with her hand on her hip.Shes'd wearing a sheer dress with cutouts and flowers down the front
Stewart Cook / ABC via Getty Images

The singer — known for her hits like "I Kissed a Girl," "Teenage Dream," and "Roar" — is the latest musician to sell their stake in the rights to their music catalog, and she's believed to have made quite a buck in the transaction.

Katy Perry singing on stage in a metallic outfit
Chris Jackson / POOL/AFP via Getty Images

On Monday, the music rights management company Litmus Music announced in a press release that they've begun "a creative partnership" with Katy for her five studio albums (One of the Boys, Teenage Dream, Prism, Witness, and Smile), all of which were released between 2008 and 2020.

  Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for Tiffany & Co.
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for Tiffany & Co.

Teenage Dream, in particular, was a record-breaking success. The 2010 record spawned five No. 1 singles: "California Gurls," "Teenage Dream," "Firework," "E.T.," and "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)." She tied with Michael Jackson as the only artist to achieve this feat. MJ did so with his 1987 record Bad. Katy was also the first woman to reach this accomplishment.

Katy performing onstage surrounded by a fluffy substance made to look like clouds
Kevin Mazur / WireImage

“Katy’s songs are an essential part of the global cultural fabric. We are so grateful to be working together again with such a trusted partner whose integrity shines in everything that she does," Litmus's cofounder and CEO Hank Forsyth said in the press release.

Katy Perry dances onstage in a multicolored sequin dress and gloves and dancers behind her
John Shearer / Getty Images for Katy Perry

As for how much Katy sold her stake in the catalog, which also includes hits like "Hot n Cold," "Wide Awake," and "Dark Horse," the reported amount is no joke.

  John Shearer / Getty Images for Katy Perry
John Shearer / Getty Images for Katy Perry

Billboard and Deadline both reported Katy sold her music rights to Litmus for $225 million. This would put her in the same range as Justin Bieber, who reportedly sold his shares of his music rights in January for over $200 million.

  Joseph Okpako / WireImage
Joseph Okpako / WireImage

They're not the only stars to do so. The Wall Street Journal reported in May of last year that Justin Timberlake sold his song catalog in a deal valued around $100 million.

  Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Bruce Springsteen also recently sold his music rights. The New York Times reported in 2021 that he did so for around $550 million.

Bruce Springsteen holds his guitar as he stands on stage
Sergione Infuso - Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images

Notably, Katy's deal with Litmus doesn't include her masters. According to Deadline, her masters remain with Universal Music Group. Katy has been signed to Universal's Capitol Records label since 2007.

  Daniele Venturelli / Daniele Venturelli / Getty Images for Luisaviaroma
Daniele Venturelli / Daniele Venturelli / Getty Images for Luisaviaroma

Of course, given just how many blockbuster hit songs Katy has had over the years, the reactions to her selling her shares for $225 million were feverish.

  John Shearer / Getty Images for Katy Perry
John Shearer / Getty Images for Katy Perry

Some felt she deserved so much more:

One person said, "girl the teenage dream album ALONE is worth more than that
@lidolmix/Twitter / Via Twitter: @lidolmix
streets saying "$200M was for walking on air alone"
@fkajack/Twitter / Via Twitter: @fkajack

@YSLONIKA/Pop Tingz/Twitter/Disney Channel/About You / Via Twitter: @YSLONIKA

While others theorized the price likely made sense, all things considered:

this is actually better for her..the people who bought the music. would want to make money from it, and they'd do so by promoting it. way more than capitol because they invested 225M in it
@katysprism/Twitter / Via Twitter: @katysprism

@strawberrryboy/Pop Tingz/Twitter/About You / Via Twitter: @strawberrryboy

@ThisIsMeTanking/Pop Base/Twitter/About You/UMG / Via Twitter: @ThisIsMeTanking

Thankfully, musician Hoodie Allen stepped in to provide some much-needed context about how the music industry actually works, i.e. artists don't usually have complete ownership over all aspects of their music:

when news like this drops it becomes very obvious most people don't understand how money works in the music industry gets split and how label and publisher-signed artist only control a certain percentage of their equity. either way big congrats to katy
@hoddieallen/Twitter / Via Twitter: @HoodieAllen