With music legends like Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie joining other superstar artists to sell the rights to their iconic catalogs, longtime industry professional Rick Krim recently appeared on Questionable with Alan Light and Mark Goodman on VOLUME (chap. 106) at explain what is driving the trend.
Krim, who was co-president of Sony / ATV Music Publishing for four years and whose resume also includes a 12-year stint at MTV (including VP of Talent and Artist Relations), turned to interviewed with Light and Goodman to shed light on Springsteen’s decision to sell its extensive catalog to Sony (billed as the biggest deal of its kind to date, including both masters and publishing), as well as the selling phenomenon rights as a whole. This also follows Warner Chappell Music’s purchase of David Bowie’s catalog, but the act has been popularized in recent years and features artists like Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, Shakira, Paul Simon, Neil Young, ZZ Top, Tina Turner, MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e and others.
What attracts artists to this trend?
“There are so many players in space now, so valuations are at an all time high; there was a time there, every week someone else was putting a billion dollars in space. , many of them being motivated by financial reasons. financial institutions or institutions partnering with labels or publishers, âKrim explained of the attractiveness of selling now.â I think there are tax advantages. , capital gainsâ¦ last year a lot of people rushed to the finish line to try and close deals before the end of the year thinking the rates might change, which never happened. not produced And I also think some of these artists who are going into their sixties, if somebody’s going to pay them 20, 30 years of income now, that’s pretty appealing; I think when you do estate planning it’s a lot easier to allocate money than it is to allocate assets. ”
What makes these offers so special?
For Bruce Springsteen in particular, his previous possession of his masters played a big part in making the sale so monumental. Krim also believes the deal suggests Sony’s greater willingness to use Springsteen’s music on a larger scale for additional monetary gain.
“For an artist like Bruce, if there has to be more openness to synchronize the licensing of his music, I have to believe that even though he has approvals, there is a willingness to put music in commercials. , to take advantage of the catalog that hasn’t been done, âKrim said.â I think in general they rely on streaming to keep going up and the royalty rates to go up. So there’s a natural increase that comes with the business, and then there’s what a company like Sony can actually bring to that and work the catalog and find money that maybe wouldn’t have been distributed otherwise. . ”
These moves also mean that megastar artists trust major industry players to make strategic moves with their music libraries.
“There are people who go and look for the highest bidder and say, ‘I went out, I finished, I took my time, [give me] the biggest check, I don’t care who it is, do whatever you want with my music; ‘ others who are still active or who still care are going to be a bit more specific about who they go with, âKrim noted.
What drives interest in the label?
The recent deals also mark the action of major labels in a space they previously sat in, which Krim attributes to the threat of losing the catalogs of iconic heritage artists. And does Krim think the Springsteen sale will be the last of its kind for a while? Not necessarily.
âI think there are other great artists out there, if you want to think of the iconic 70s rock bands that Mark played thousands and thousands of times in his shows. There are always rumors. that are circulating on who could potentially sell, âKrim says. “For example, if Pink Floyd decided to sell, a catalog like this – or a Zeppelin catalog, or an AC / DC catalog – could potentially order this or even larger numbers.”
Ultimately, Krim says it’s too early to say whether such investments will pay off or if the trend will continue, but when it comes to your favorite music icons selling their catalogs, never say never. Listen to his full thoughts below.