Chrysalis records a surge in Jackson's music sales

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The Independent Online

Chrysalis is set for a windfall from Michael Jackson's death, with the "extraordinary surge in the sale of his work" set to lift royalty revenues at the music publisher later this year.

The UK company yesterday posted solid results for trading between April and June, lifted by the success of artists including Bat for Lashes, The Gossip and The Horrors.

The finance director, Andy Mollett, said Chrysalis had benefited from groups that were "both artistically and commercially well received". These had built on the successes of White Lies, Fleet Foxes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in the first half of its financial year, he added.

Mr Mollett said revenue from royalties would increase following the explosion of airplay for Michael Jackson's hits in the wake of his death. Chrysalis owns the rights to songs including "Thriller", "Off the Wall" and "Rock with You".

"There will definitely be some benefit for Chrysalis," Mr Mollet said, adding: "We don't know how much, as we would also have benefited from his performances at the O2 had he lived."

The company has a bullish outlook for the rest of the calendar year. It is preparing for the release of a new Robbie Williams album, the digital re-release of the Beatles back catalogue. The writer of Tinchy Stryder's current No 1 hit "Never Leave You" is also on Chrysalis's roster.

Mr Mollett said: "We are still on track and hopefully going to grow our net publisher share. It was really tough last year and the environment is a lot tougher this year. It's encouraging to see our publishing assets holding up."

Chrysalis makes money from the sales of CDs and downloads of work by the artists it sign up, as well as songs played on the radio and live performances. The time lag on rights payments means the revenue does not come through for about three months.

Another revenue stream is with computer games such as Guitar Hero, and Chrysalis is set to benefit from the forthcoming The Beatles: Rock Band game. "Five years ago this just didn't exist for our industry," Mr Mollett said.

Two months ago, the group bought the entire Richard Marx back catalogue – including the song "Right Here Waiting" – for $8m (£4.8m), saying it provided "a valuable addition to Chrysalis's existing catalogue of more than 65,000 copyrights". However, the deal sent the group's net debt up by £5.3m, to £12.1m.

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