A New Spin on Music Rights: From Selling Catalogs to Creating Public Companies

Legendary rock singer Rod Stewart has recently sold his song catalog to Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group for nearly $100 million, joining the growing list of artists who have cashed in on their life’s work. While this trend reflects the lucrative nature of the music-rights market, it also raises an intriguing question: Instead of selling their catalogs outright, why don’t artists create public companies that allow fans to invest in the music they love?

Stewart’s sale includes his publishing catalog, recorded music, and some name and likeness rights. It’s a trend that has seen iconic artists like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Stevie Nicks sell their catalogs for staggering amounts. These deals offer artists a substantial payout, but they also mean relinquishing control over their life’s work.

An alternative approach could be for artists to form public companies based on their music catalogs. This would allow them to raise capital while still maintaining control over their work. More importantly, it could provide a unique opportunity for fans to invest in the music they love.

This model could revolutionize the way we think about music ownership. Fans wouldn’t just buy albums or concert tickets; they could buy shares in an artist’s company, effectively becoming stakeholders in their success. Imagine being able to invest in the music of your favorite artist, your investment growing as the artist’s popularity rises.

Such a model could also foster a deeper connection between artists and their fans. By owning a piece of an artist’s music, fans would feel a greater sense of involvement and engagement with the artist’s career. This could lead to increased loyalty and support, benefiting both the artist and the fans.

Of course, this approach wouldn’t be without its challenges. Regulatory hurdles, valuation complexities, and potential conflicts of interest between artists and shareholders are just a few of the issues that would need to be addressed.

However, these challenges are not insurmountable. With careful planning and sound legal advice, it’s possible to create a model that balances the interests of artists, fans, and investors.

In conclusion, while selling music catalogs can offer artists a significant financial windfall, it may not be the only option. By creating public companies based on their music, artists could retain control over their work, engage their fans in a new way, and potentially reap even greater financial rewards.


  1. Billboard
  2. Wall Street Journal
  3. Forbes





Silver Creative is about creative pursuits after an uncertain age. Briyan Frederick discusses creative work of all kinds through blog, vlog, podcast and printed zine. If you’re interested in building a business, a following, a legacy… or your muse demands an engaging outlet, Get in touch and share your creativity!

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