Eminem Fans Will Be Able to Invest in Royalties from His Catalog
Eminem’s former producers, the Funky Bass Team (aka FBT Productions), are planning to auction portions of his future song royalties in October as part of a new company, Royalty Flow.
For Slim Shady fans this means that they will be able to purchase shares of the Detroit rapper's music catalog (songs released from 1999 to 2013) like in the stock market for a minimum investment of $2,250 for 150 shares, which works out to $15 a share.
"If you own any Apple stocks, for instance, it's exactly the same," Matthew Smith, head of Royalty Exchange, the Denver company running the auction, told 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."
According to Smith, the Eminem catalog is among the first of a new opportunity for fans to invest in musicians and songs. With streaming revenues expected to skyrocket over the next few years, the returns on this could be substantial.
However, there is one small problem. Eminem is not directly involved in this venture and has not be consulted about it. "Eminem is not involved in any deals for the sale of recording royalties and has no connection to this company," a rep tells Rolling Stone.
A music industry insider said that breaking up an artist's music catalog so it can be sold as stock is disrespectful to the artist. "It starts to look like human slavery," said Aram Sinnreich, a professor of media at the American University. "For Joe Investor, sure, it's no more or less meaningful than any other kind of commodity traded on exchanges — but we need to think about what kind of commodity we want human expression to be. It's very different than iron ore or rare earths or something like that."
Royalty Flow will file for its initial public offering on Monday (Sept. 25). After three weeks, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will decide whether to approve the filing.
“We believe Royalty Exchange is the new model for music financing,” FBT manager Joel Martin told Billboard. “We’ve supported increased transparency for artists our entire career, and Royalty Exchange is no different. They give investors simple, direct access to royalty opportunities that previously were available only to industry insiders. This changes everything.”