Hall and Oates lawsuit puts spotlight on secretive industry
Daryl Hall's lawsuit against John Oates could pull back the curtain on the secretive and booming music rights market.
Why it matters: The growth of streaming music — coupled with the increase in licensing opportunities in TV shows, movies and video games — is increasing the value of holding song rights and making them attractive investments.
Catch up quick: Instead of licensing copyrights for a set amount of time, many artists are selling them outright to the highest bidder.
- The benefit for the buyer depends on the deal. But investment firms view music rights as stable assets that likely won't depreciate.
Zoom in: Years ago, Hall and Oates sold part of their catalog. Now it appears that Oates recently agreed to sell at least some of his remaining rights.
- Hall has long bemoaned the original deal and — under seal — sued to stop a new sale. The judge lifted some of it and said more information soon could be publicly disclosed.
- That's of particular interest, given how little we typically learn about these music rights deals.
State of play: Money is flowing back into the industry after a yearlong dry spell and some financial trouble around Hipgnosis, one of its biggest players.
- Last week, Broadcast Music Inc. — a major holder of music rights — was sold in a deal that could be worth $1.7 billion, according to industry trade outlet Music Business Worldwide.
- Morgan Stanley is partnering with a large music publishing company to spend $700 million to acquire song copyrights.
- Katy Perry sold catalog rights to five of her albums for $225 million.