Masters and Sound Quality

Selling The 'Family Jewels'

So why are so many top artists selling their publishing rights to Major Investors and as we start 2022…[the latest being Bruce Springstein……..WHAT COULD THIS MEAN FOR FRANKIE VALLI AND THE FOUR SEASONS FANS? With the Primary Wave’s acquisition of the Publishing Rights of the group in late 2020 [for a 10 year Strategic Partnership] we awaited their approach while finalizing the WHOLE CATALOGUE Box Set with Snapper Music. Whilst we await the confirmation of a ‘release date’ for that 800+track collection in a limited edition 2500 set we know that is simply the beginning of a strategy that they should want to pursue.

Rolling Stone Magazine did an analysis of this last year and with NEWS of the sale of David Bowie catalogue it is a subject once again in the public eye.

https://www.rollingstone.com/pro/features/famous-musicians-selling-catalog-music-rights-1114580/

An article in the NY Times said of this trend….

“Of course, some artists want to sell their rights and receive an immediate lump-sum payment. That is where outside investors come in. The multiples that entire catalogs are being purchased for are high by any measure of an investment’s future value. That’s good for the artist. But it’s uncertain what it may mean for the investor. Mr. Ball, who competes with the funds that are buying entire catalogs, does not dismiss their strategy.

“Their goal is to grow their portfolio as large and as fast as they can, and when they get above a certain level, that value of all those catalogs is much greater than the sum of the parts,” he said. But he said he had more confidence in the funds run by people with music industry experience than those run by private equity managers. “They’re really smart people, but they don’t understand the nuances,” he said. Mr. Knowles said he considered it good to give the older artist the option of getting a lump-sum payment and be done with trying to manage different royalty streams. He also said he was confident that the music business would continue to perform in a way that justified the amounts being paid.“The growth in streaming has increased,” Mr. Knowles said. “It’s changed the dynamics of the music industry. It’s also reduced our overhead. We’re in a very good place in music.”

“Time is passing,” Neil Young explained to fans after news of his deal broke. “I want to cover my family and my art.… A good father plans on how to take care of his children.”. Many of these deals were put together after the pandemic brought the live music business to a complete stop, meaning many veteran artists were suddenly shut off from their main source of income. “Given our current inability to work live,” David Crosby said about the sales of his songs, who noted that it allowed him to pay off his house, “this deal is a blessing for me and my family.”

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For  Bob and Frankie given their age as the’ Four Seasons Partnership’ it is obviously a smart move for the next 10 years to Partner with PRIMARY WAVE and their children will obviously benefit now and during those years and it appears Shannon Gaudio will be clearly taking an interest in the catalogue management following his involvement in the evaluation and approval of the MOTOWN UNRELEASED in the forthcoming Snapper Music Box Set. Equally with Reid Crewe’s involvement [Bob’s niece]  with Dan Crewe and  the Bob Crewe Foundation  it makes sense to maximize income now and promote and still achieve income in the future after their similar deal with Resevoir.

Again it is said by Forbes Magazine….”This scenario enables artists to participate in the upside growth that inevitably results from “active” management of their songs and recordings by sophisticated buyers who become real “partners” to maximize value in everything the artist does. Respected buyers carry deep expertise and sophisticated teams of specialists who actively promote the artist’s valuable songs and recordings. These are resources that most artists and songwriters simply can't match on their own. Active, significant attention generates real results. Period……So-called financial multiples on these rights and royalty streams (essentially a multiplier placed on current royalty streams) have never been higher. That means that artists can get a big cash payment right now - in one immediate lump sum - rather than wait for royalty checks arriving over many years that may never add up to the lump sum they can enjoy right now. …Buyout compensation (in the above case, the $6-$30 million number) may be treated as long-term capital gains in the U.S., whereas the feds treat continuing royalty checks as ordinary income. So, that gives artists even more money to enjoy right now. This is a significant, yet frequently not appreciated, factor to consider…

Buyers understand that musicians frequently “don’t need the money.” But getting paid top dollar right now is only one reason to sell. Perhaps even more important to many artists, “active” buyers’ deep expertise and resources grow new opportunities for songs, recordings and the artist’s overall "brand" and legacy.

These are resources that artists, bands and songwriters - no matter how “big” - can't match. Resources, that expand a song’s reach and artist’s audience (including to new generations of fans). Some buyers (those who take an “active” approach) have built significant teams of brand experts, marketing experts, digital experts - in addition to traditional synch and licensing experts - who proactively manage catalogs and create important and innovative new opportunities to maximize the artist’s “brand” and extend their legacy.

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Not all buyers are massive nameless, faceless entities. Active buyers listen to the artist’s goals and give real attention and focus to the artist, songs, recordings and overall “brand.”

Sophisticated active buyers think of artists as partners in every sense of the word (and want the artist to feel the same way about them). They develop real strategies together with artists, and frequently share their vision and those strategies early in the deal process. They seek active input. They are receptive to the artist’s wishes. They crave active artist participation. That's why many of the top artists and legends of all time have entered into these kinds of deals. 

For many artists, bands and songwriters, without active management, their "brand" slowly diminishes over time and their songs and recordings lose out on the critical opportunity to be exposed to (and enjoyed by) new generations of fans….For iconic and legacy artists, active management by a dedicated and passionate team of experts is especially critical.

And, don't forget about music reversion rights under U.S. copyright law. So long as songwriters and artists give sufficient notice, ownership of post-1978 music publishing rights - and potentially even master recordings (there is some debate here) - revert back artists after 35 years (assuming the songwriter or recording artist didn't originally own them outright). That means that, in most cases, songwriters should own all of their publishing rights - and recording artists potentially their master recordings - for all works created prior to 1985 (no matter what those deals looked like back then).”

This blog will continue to promote and discuss the forthcoming Snapper Music release…..and not only the research and finds soon coming to a fortunate 2500 fan collectors, but to promote and push for future releases….LIKE…..’The Frankie Valli and The Four Season Motown BOX SET’ which should include a full 5/6 CD Box of the Released/Unreleased/Alternate Versions that we have shown exist. A full analysis of our data will appear this year from us as Bob and Shannon Gaudio now have all the Multi-track Tapes from Universal Motown and a huge claim to their ownership. We will explore the limits of the current 13 ‘approved’ tracks and the barriers to this potential project….and others.

We will continue to create NEW STEREO MASTERS with DES and share these with you via You Tube….and explore the catalogue history in our Seasons on Saturday’ podcasts.

Our policy of openness and transparency will bring our views on what still exists as UNRELEASED TRACKS and where we believe these songs are, so they can be found and released further promoting the ‘brand’ with fans.

Of course all of our aims support and complement the investors and the artists achievements and ultimately their ‘brand’ and future income……but we also want this to happen for ‘surviving’ fan generations and not just ‘future’ ones so our TELL ALL policy re the music will continue. We can’t wait for action….we want it now and so the CAMPAIGN continues….with our own “dedicated and passionate team of experts”

Ken Charmer – Music Historian for the Four Seasons UK Appreciation Society


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Four Seasons UK Appreciation Society

Dr. George Ingram...Newsletter Editor: Ray Nichol—Record Researcher: Lynn Boleyn—Secretary; Ken Charmer—Webmaster/Researcher

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