(Bloomberg) – Blackstone Inc. is teaming up with music executive Merck Mercuriadis to invest approximately $1 billion in acquiring music rights and song catalogs.

The alternative asset manager said it would also take a stake in Hipgnosis Song Management, the company founded and run by Mercuriadis, according to a statement that confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report.

The music copyright market is becoming more competitive, in part due to aggressive spending by Hipgnosis Songs Funds Ltd. of Mercuriadis, a listed investment vehicle managed by its management company.

It also became more competitive, music labels Universal Music Group NV and Warner Music Group Corp. also buying catalogs.

Blackstone will lean on Mercuriadis, a former manager for Elton John, Guns N’ Roses and Beyoncé, to use his deep connections in the music industry to land deals with artists.

Under these deals, the companies make upfront cash payments to artists in exchange for the rights to their songs, which they can then monetize for years to come in movies, video games and covers.

In an interview, Mercuriadis likened the songs to finite resources such as gold and oil, though less dependent on the wider economy. With the new funding, he said he would be looking for culturally significant songs and records.

He’s aiming to buy song catalogs outright, but he’s also set to do deals like this this year when he acquired 50% of Neil Young’s catalog. Mercuriadis has spent approximately $1.75 billion to reclaim the copyrights for over 60,800 songs over three years.

Qasim Abbas, senior managing director of Blackstone Tactical Opportunities, said in an interview that $1 billion was just a “starting point”.

“We see music rights as a very interesting asset class,” Abbas said. “We spent a lot of time there.

Mercuriadis said four other companies were interested in partnering with his company, but he ultimately chose Blackstone.

Blackstone was advised by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., FTI, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Deloitte. Hipgnosis was advised by the Royal Bank of Canada, Capstan Capital Partners and Stephenson Harwood.

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