No, I’m not talking about some shady character in a dark alley hawking bootleg CDs. It’s all about a new way for artists to make money from their music.
There has been a lot of debate in recent years over the effect of the internet on the music industry. With numerous methods of downloading just about any song you can think of for free, some artists consider it theft, while others consider it a good way for them to get more exposure.
Recently, Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell has stated that he thinks music piracy, as it is often called, is a benefit to groups like Def Leppard since it creates an opportunity for a new generation of fans to discover their music.
If artists are losing as much revenue as some claim, it would seem that touring might be the one way for some artists to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. With word of multi-million dollar revenues from recent tours by Van Halen ($36.8 millions), Bruce Springsteen ($40.8 million) and Bon Jovi ($56.3 million), I don’t think there’s cause to worry about these classic groups resorting to Raman Noodles or macaroni and cheese for dinner three times a week anytime soon.
There is, however, a brand new idea that will come to fruition beginning next month that may help artists recoup some of the reported losses due to all the free downloading going on.
A new company called SongVest is actually auctioning a portion of the ownership rights to some songs from artists you may have heard of. Groups like Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and The Monkees as well as solo artists such as Ringo Starr, Ozzy Osbourne and Carrie Underwood.
There are no real details about how substantial the ownership percentage of the auctions tunes will be, but SongVest’s co-founder calls the opportunity "the ultimate memorabilia," and is probably not intended as a bona fide investment. The new venture is counting on the dedication of a few fans with deep enough pockets who are willing to shell out over $200,000 for some of the songs that are planned for the auction block.
The song’s publisher will still control how it is used, whether it be for radio airtime or advertising use as part of TV and radio commercials, and SongVest will retain 25% to 40% of the sale price for their services when a song is successfully auctioned off.