Christmas tracks bring cheer to music catalogue investor Hipgnosis

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Pop stars Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé's popular Christmas songs are bolstering Hipgnosis Songs Fund (SONG.L) in the run up to the holidays, as the London-listed music catalogues investor continues to capitalise on the boom in music streaming.

The company's portfolio has more than 65,000 songs, and includes "Queen of Christmas" Carey's 1994 song "All I Want for Christmas Is You", which is a popular Christmas standard and has been topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart during the holidays every year since 2019.

Hipgnosis has co-owned the song since 2020, with founder and Chief Executive Officer Merck Mercuriadis' steadily pushing to build the company's roster as the pandemic drove people to listen to records online, making streaming more lucrative.

Last year, private equity firm Blackstone Inc (BX.N) agreed to deploy around $1 billion in partnership with Hipgnosis in a bet on the streaming boom, which the latter says in not going away anytime soon.

"In the wider music market, people continue to listen to and pay for music irrespective of today's cost of living challenges," Mercuriadis said on Thursday.

Hipgnosis, which owns rights to catalogues of artists including Neil Young and Shakira, added it also benefited from popular UK retail chain John Lewis using a track from its collection by the rock band Blink-182 for its seasonal ad.

"Strong streaming growth from traditional sources, together with price rises, and revenues from new emerging platforms, are also tailwinds," analysts at JPMorgan wrote in a note.

Hipgnosis said underlying net revenue grew 5.8% year-on-year to $65.1 million in the six months to September.

Stock was up 3% by 1515 GMT.

Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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