Why are artists selling off song catalogues? For a few reasons. Global music sales hit an all time low in 2013. Then Spotify arrived on the scene that catapulted classic songs to almost a 153% increase. Streaming has accounted for nearly 80% of the music market.
Right now, music publishing is at its peak. It’s the right time for well known established artists to sell their rights when deals are being doing at 20 times value. Also, deals are being done quickly with Joe Biden aiming to significantly raise capital gains tax for composers whose songs sell for more than $1m.
Stevie Nicks, Barry Manilow, Blondie, Chrissie Hynde, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, the Killers and Imagine Dragons have sold their rights. Everyone knows that Bob Dylan sold his songs for hundreds of millions.
It’s also worth mentioning that the pandemic has fueled these deals as live gigs and tours have come to a halt. This is a billion-dollar market that is off the table.
Entertainment is a winner takes all market and the legendary artists are seeing the highest deals.
Other songwriters have a different perspective. Legendary songwriter Diane Warren says she would never sell off her catalogue. She said it would be like selling her soul which is not for sale. Warren notes, “The money being offered is insane but there is no amount of money that could ever make me do that. It’s like selling your kids or something. It’s so weird since someone like Dylan doesn’t need the money.”
Will artist regret selling off their most prized possession? That’s the big unknown.
Check out Broke by Mia Vaile. It’s different, but a cool track. She comes from the Florida-based band Veorra, an electronic duo. After the duo broke up she immediately started a solo career. She made noise with Wildfire that garnered 7 million streams, receiving support from EDM tastemakers including Mr SuicideSheep and Trap Nation. Mia notes, “Everything I right has a piece of me in it.” The new ‘Broke’ is about money vs. love. In recent interview Mia says, “I listen to singers like Sia and Adele. They really inspire me to write songs that are raw and tell a resonating story. I also listen to artists such as Unlike Pluto, AJR, and Twenty One Pilots who are all so different, yet inspire me in a similar way. They have influenced me to bring my songs to life in a unique and refreshing way. I really appreciate that they aren’t restricted by rules and current trends”. Give it a stream on KOAR’s Indie Invaders.
While artists were holding back releasing albums until touring could resume, that seems to be no longer the case. With no end sight of the pandemic, artists have no choice but to release albums. Taylor Swift just dropped another surprise album Evermore. It’s an extension of her previous release Folkore. Like her last album, Evermore had no promotion. But what is promotion nowadays if you can’t tour?
It’s a far cry when Taylor partnered with UPS and had delivery vans drive through the streets of New York, Atlanta and Nashville plastered with posters advertising her new album. She spent months promoting 1989 prior to the release doing multiple interviews, performances and discussing her album on TV shows.
Tay has left a profound message to her Swifties, “I have no idea what will come next. I have no idea about a lot of things these days and so I’ve clung to the one thing that keeps me connected to you all. That thing always has and always will be music. And may it continue, evermore. My new album evermore is out now.
And may I leave with you this: I say truly, through tough times, music shall prevail and ’tis the ultimate connection ‘twixt thyself and the audience.
Check out Bad Attitude by Jen Kalicharan, the 21-year-old Guyanese-Canadian artist. Like Ariana Grande, she has a 4-octave vocal range. She’s working on her debut album that is expected to drop early 2021. Kalaricharan notes, “I wrote this song over zoom, immediately having the whole top line melody in my head within listening through the beat once, I felt like this song wrote itself from that point on. I knew the song would be called Bad Attitude before laying down any parts with lyrics. Bad Attitude is for anyone who found themselves rooting for the bad guy. I find a certain unrelenting confidence from the bad guy, making them seem untouchable. Bad Attitude plays with the idea of what “bad” really means.” Give it a stream on KOAR’s Indie Invaders Playlist.
You may like Thought Bubbles by Teddi Gold if you’re a fan of quirky indie pop. Seriously, the track is well crafted and would sit nicely above Benee’sSupalonely on a quarantine playlist. Originally from Seattle, Teddi ventured to West Hollywood and released her debut, a Vol. 1 EP, in 2019 landing her on Spotify’s Fresh Finds and Pandora’s Top Hits playlist. She cites Gwen Stefani, David Bowie, Patti Smith as some of her influences and would love to collaborate with Charli XCX, Channel Tres, BROCKHAMPTON, Childish Gambino, and Diplo. Give it a listen on KOAR’s Indie Invaders Playlist.