Music sounds like money on Wall Street

The love affair between Wall Street and music has reached its climax.

Why is this important: Artists and investors find it mutually beneficial to trade song rights in return for large payments.

Catch up fast: John Legend is the latest example.

  • A subsidiary of private equity firm KKR bought a 50% of capital in Legend’s copyright and royalty rights, according to a regulatory filing.
  • At 43, Legend is younger than many artists like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan who recently struck mega-deals as part of estate planning — a signal younger artists will follow.

The backdrop: The value of music catalogs has exploded alongside the consumption of digital media.

  • The combination makes it a win-win for musicians who want to cash in just as investors are hungry to turn songwriters and their tunes into predictable returns.
  • COVID has added another reason to sell: Seasoned musicians whose live music earning opportunities are limited due to a lack of touring have turned to sales as a way to plan for their future.

What they say : “Artists [are increasingly] are looking for ways to diversify their wealth,” Sherrese Clarke Soares, founder and CEO of HarbourView Equity Partners, told Axios.

The bottom line: There’s never been a better time to sell musicians who have reached a certain point in their career, NYU Steinhardt music business manager Larry Miller told Axios.