Phil Collins and Genesis are the latest classic rock acts to cash-in on their back catalogue.

The Wall Street Journal reports they’ve attracted more than $US300 million ($AU466m) from Concord Music Group for the rights to their songs together as Genesis and as solo artists.

Music credited to former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel isn’t part of the sale.

Earlier this year, Billboard estimated that Collins’ publishing royalties alone averaged roughly $US6.2 million ($AU9.65m) annually.

The sale reportedly includes:

  • Genesis has released 15 studio albums, including a run of four Top 10 multiplatinum albums beginning in 1981.
  • Collins added eight solo LPs, winning eight Grammys as well as an Oscar for “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Disney’s 1999 film Tarzan.
  • Mike Rutherford has issued nine albums as part of Mike + the Mechanics and two solo projects.
  • Tony Banks has six solo LPs, too.

Last year, Bruce Springsteen sold his music rights, speculated to be more than $US500 million ($AU698m). It’s considered to be the biggest deal ever for a single artist’s body of work.

Over the last couple of years, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Paul Simon, the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and many others have made millions (hundreds of millions in Dylan’s case) by turning over their publishing.

Ageing artists look to sell their music rights as a means of retirement or estate planning, especially as competition among record companies and other music investment companies have sent catalogue prices skyrocketing.

While music catalogues are valuable assets, managing them is challenging, cumbersome and time-consuming. Rather than burden heirs with the responsibility of managing decades worth of music, many legacy artists are opting to take the cash now with the knowledge that their new partners will have the expertise and incentive to optimise the value of the music over time.