Ongoing History of New Music

The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 982: A guide to buying song catalogues

There’s a new gold rush going. It has nothing to do with minerals or oil or any other traditional commodity. It’s not what we’ve seen with cryptocurrency. It may have to do with stock markets, but not necessarily. And yet it’s a form of investment, one that could continue to pay off for decades to come.

I’m talking about the rush to buy up song catalogues, the rights to material created by some of the biggest artists the planet has ever seen. Maybe you’ve heard about some of these transactions.

Everyone from The Killers to Barry Manilow to Silverchair to The Beach Boys to members of Alice in Chains have cashed out. Imagine Dragons netted US$100 million. The Red Hot Chili Peppers became US$140 richer. Justin Bieber: US$200 million. And then there’s Bruce Springsteen who grossed over US$500 million for his life’s work.

There are about a dozen well-capitalized companies in this game. They’re spending billions of dollars to acquire the rights to hundreds of thousands of songs. Who are they? Where’s the money coming from?

If someone is buying, who’s selling? Who sets the prices? Why are so many artists willing to do deals? How long has this been going on? And what do these big catalogue sales say for the future?

Let’s find out: This is a guide to the stampede to buy and own the greatest music of all time.

Songs heard on this show:

  • Killers, Mr. Brightside
  • Imagine Dragons, Radioactive
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, Under the Bridge
  • Sum 41, Fat Lip
  • David Bowie, Ashes to Ashes
  • Eurhythmics, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
  • Soundgarden, Fell on Black Days
  • Blondie, Heart of Glass

And this is Eric Wilhite’s playlist:

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s, and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38550 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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