Michael Jackson's estate has generated at least
Through interviews with industry experts and some number-crunching, Billboard examines the various music-based revenue streams flowing into the estate.
MUSIC SALES -- VALUE:
Since his death, Jackson has sold about 9 million albums in the United States, while the Jackson 5 and the Jacksons have sold about 800,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Outside the States, Jackson's album sales for the past year stand at around 24 million units. Based on a blended worldwide retail sales price of
On the digital side, Jackson's songs have generated 12.9 million track downloads in the United States in the past 12 months, according to SoundScan. Based on those figures, Billboard estimates that the total number of worldwide downloads is about 26.5 million units, with a value of
Jackson's ringtone sales totaled 1.5 million last year in the States, with the bulk coming after his death. Digital ringtones sales worldwide are about twice that stateside, which brings Jackson's global ringtone tally to 3 million. At
Monies generated from subscription services and digital performance royalties typically amount to about one-third that of mobile revenue, so Jackson's catalog probably generated about
U.S. digital performance royalties represent about 13% of the revenue generated by single track downloads. Applying that rate to global track sales, Jackson's recording catalog generated another
FILM/TV -- VALUE:
Sony Pictures bought Jackson's rehearsal footage from AEG for
Overseas, the film earned
On the home video front, the "This Is It" DVD has earned
In Japan -- where the film was also sold as part of a special "This Is It" bundle for the PlayStation 3 -- DVD sales topped
In terms of TV, the industry standard is that exclusive rights for ad-supported TV costs 12% of the domestic box office for a four-year window; this rule of thumb is in flux, however, as the length of exclusive windows extend and the number of outlets involved in the deals increase. In November 2009, Viacom purchased the exclusive U.S. TV rights to air "This Is It" on its MTV and BET family of networks -- including VH1 and Palladia, as well as MTV and BET -- for six years. Given the additional years in the contract and the film's box-office tally, the deal could be worth upwards of
With its family-friendly rating, "This Is It" can be shown in all distribution media outside of traditional theaters, including airplanes, cruise ships and hotel chains. Licensing fees for nontheatrical performances vary based on the movie and its potential reach and how long it will air after it debuts in theaters, but it's generally forecast to be about 7% of total revenue for a film. For "This Is It," that puts the number at
MUSIC PUBLISHING -- VALUE:
Jackson's music publishing company, Mijac, is administered by Warner/Chappell. Based on a reported value for Mijac of at least
Jackson also owns half of Sony/ATV, formed in 1995 when Sony paid Jackson
LICENSING/TOURING -- VALUE:
Despite being canceled, the 50-show This Is It tour at London's O2 paid big dividends. Revenue from tickets retained by fans as souvenirs and not refunded brought in an estimated
An AEG-produced Jackson memorabilia exhibit is showing in Japan and has brought in another estimated
Last August, Bravado followed its AEG/This Is It merch deal with a new pact with the Jackson estate that included a
Based on conversations with insiders, Billboard estimates licensing royalties and retail sales accounted for another
This week, gaming company Ubisoft announced it will release a dance-oriented Jackson videogame in time for the holiday season. Licensing fees weren't disclosed.
Finally, sources say there wasn't any advance on royalties and no guarantees paid for the estate's two-pronged deal with Cirque du Soleil for a tour and a Las Vegas residency, a deal structure in line with past Cirque tributes to the Beatles and Elvis Presley. After startup costs are shared by the estate and Cirque, revenue will come from box-office receipts and other ancillaries associated with the projects.
The financial tragedy here is what might have been. Billboard reported before Jackson's death that the O2 shows would gross up to
RECORDING CONTRACT -- VALUE:
In March, Sony Music Entertainment reached a deal with Jackson's estate to release 10 albums of the singer's music through 2017. The albums' content will vary -- a collection of previously unreleased tracks is expected in November and a reissue of 1979's "Off the Wall" is expected next year. All told, the estate is guaranteed between
At the time of the deal, John Branca, who serves as special administrator for the estate alongside John McClain, said that Elvis is the model for Jackson's legacy. "To this day, there's interest in Elvis," he said. "And I think there will be enduring interest in Michael. It's our job to continue to expose Michael to new generations".