Merck Mercuriadis at his home in London. Photography: Sandra Seaton

The Man Who’s Spending $1 Billion to Own Every Pop Song

Music mogul Merck Mercuriadis raised hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the rights to hits by Taylor Swift, Timbaland, and Bruno Mars. Is he insane?

The eye-popping dollar amounts Mercuriadis is paying have caused much consternation in the C-suites of major labels and publishing houses. “Fuck that guy. What he’s paying is obscene,” says one publishing exec.

Mercuriadis launched Hipgnosis Songs Fund in 2017, which raised nearly $1 billion to snap up the publishing rights of some of the biggest songwriters in music today.

In 2018, he launched Hipgnosis Songs Fund with a head-turning acquisition: $23.75 million for a 75% stake in The Dream’s catalog — the songwriter behind hits like Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”

“He told me I could be the next Quincy Jones and laid out the plan. How can you not listen to him?”

Mercuriadis and Nile Rodgers celebrate the upgrade of Hipgnosis’ stock to a premium listing at the London Stock Exchange. Photos: Dan Wilton

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