It’s easy for fans to become emotionally invested in their favourite artists, but now it’s possible to become financially invested too, with shares of the royalites to a slew of Eminem’s biggest hits about to be sold to the highest bidder.
As Rolling Stone reports, Jeff and Mark Bass of FBT Productions (Eminem’s production team between 1999 and 2013) are using a new company named Royalty Flow to auction their share of the royalties to investors, rather than rely on their drip-feed of income.
Everything from the Slim Shady LP through to the Marshall Mathers LP 2 will be up for grabs, including massive hits like ‘The Real Slim Shady’, with the first public filing to the stock exchange happening next Monday. If it’s approved by the SEC, people will be able to buy, sell and trade shares just as they would any other stocks.
“If you own any Apple stocks, for instance, it’s exactly the same,” Matthew Smith (head of Royalty Flow parent company Royalty Exchange) explained to Rolling Stone. “Not only do you potentially get to earn along with Eminem’s catalog, but you also win the ultimate bragging rights to say, ‘Hey, I own that!’ anytime you hear one of his songs.”
People will need to buy in at a minimum of $2,250, and Royalty Exchange has already offered packages based around tracks by artists like Wiz Khalifa, Chris Brown, Ariana Grande and Lil Wayne in packages valued up to $71,000 USD, but this Eminem portfolio is the most substantial collection of songs yet.
For his part, Eminem was “not consulted” about the arrangement, his rep told Rolling Stone, adding that “Eminem is not involved in any deals for the sale of recording royalties and has no connection to this company.”
“The decision to offer the royalty stream for sale or otherwise was made independently by a third party who retains royalties for an early portion of his catalog and Eminem was not consulted.”
Joel Martin, manager of Jeff and Mark Bass and FBT Productions, claims that this arrangement is just a new way for people to make money from their work in the industry, and presented a better alternative than selling the rights to bigger existing companies within the music industry. “They wanted to buy the controlling rights,” he says. “This is way more attractive.”
“You’re going to find a class of artists that will certainly be looking into this,” he believes. “[They’ll] find out the real value of their income streams, as opposed to going to [major labels] Sony or EMI and taking a deal that looks good but may not be the best deal.”
The music industry thrives off selling music to consumers in countless ways, but this may be the most direct method yet – we’ll have to wait and see if Royalty Flow’s vision pays off, and if so, for whom.
A part of this Eminem classic could be yours if you cough up the dough