Investing in Music Royalties: How to Buy Shares from Top Artists

Investing in music royalties is becoming a trendsetter in the financial world, merging the allure of the $60 billion music industry with the pursuit of passive income opportunities. As a tangible asset with low market correlation, music royalties offer investors a consistent cash yield, serving as a fortifying diversification element in an investment portfolio. Key to this strategy is understanding what are royalties in the music industry, which span mechanical, performance, and sync royalties generated across recordings and publishing rights.

Platforms and advances in streaming technology have simplified investing in music, making it feasible for investors to buy shares from top artists’ music catalogs. This evolving marketplace allows for varied investment structures, including debt and asset purchases, catering to those looking to invest in music royalties or explore how to buy music royalties, with potential value when seeking under-monetized assets. As the industry navigates regulatory developments, the approach to buying music royalties must take into account the risks and rewards inherent to the music publishing and royalty income streams.

The Concept of Music Royalty Investments

Music royalties represent a unique asset class within the investment landscape, characterized by their ability to generate stable and recurring revenue streams for rights holders. Here’s a breakdown of the key concepts:

  1. Copyright Types and Royalty Streams:
    • Composition Copyright: Protects the written song.
    • Sound Recording Copyright: Protects the actual studio recording.
    • These copyrights give rise to various royalty streams, including:
      • Sales/Streaming Royalties: From music sales and digital streaming.
      • Public Performance Royalties: When music is played publicly, e.g., radio or live venues.
      • Licensing Royalties: From usage in media like films, ads, or video games.
  2. Investment Characteristics:
    • Stable Cash Yield: Music royalties offer consistent returns, often with attractive yields.
    • Low Market Correlation: Royalties tend to be unaffected by broader economic fluctuations.
    • Recurring Revenue: Similar to real estate, royalties provide periodic income.
    • Digital Streaming: A key driver of growth in royalty revenues, offering enhanced stability.
  3. Investment Vehicles and Market Potential:
    • Direct Purchases: Investors can buy music rights directly from marketplaces like Royalty Exchange.
    • Royalty Funds: Entities like Hipgnosis Songs Fund allow investment in diversified music catalogs.
    • Record Labels and Publishers: Investing in shares of companies that own extensive music rights.
    • Market Growth: The streaming market is projected to expand significantly, offering long-term growth potential for royalty investors.

By understanding these foundational elements, investors can navigate the burgeoning field of music royalty investments, tapping into the rhythm of long-term, stable returns.

JKBX Platform Launch

On March 6, 2024, the music investment landscape welcomed a new player with the official launch of JKBX, a platform designed to democratize investing in music royalty assets. JKBX distinguishes itself by offering securities backed by music royalty streams, with an initial catalog featuring hits from global superstars such as Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Adele, and U2. With an aim to generate yields of 3% to 4%, the platform presents an enticing opportunity for investors to tap into the lucrative world of music royalties.

  • Platform Overview:
    • Launched with SEC approval, ensuring compliance and investor protection.
    • Offers shares in 85 music projects, with 69 involving Ryan Tedder.
    • Share prices are structured to yield approximately a 3.5% return based on annual royalties.
  • Founding and Backing:
    • Founded by industry veterans Sam Handel and John Chapman of Dundee Partners.
    • Notable investors include Spotify, Red Light Management, and Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.
    • Raised $16 million in January 2023, with contributions from Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital.
  • Accessibility and Education:
    • Accessible to US-based and international investors compliant with securities regulations.
    • JKBX plans to launch a secondary marketplace in 2024 for increased liquidity.
    • Aims to educate new investors about market operations, adding an educational dimension to investing.

JKBX’s entry into the market is underscored by the SEC’s approval, a critical endorsement for the platform’s business model and a potential harbinger for the future of music royalty investments. With music royalties expected to grow between 6% and 8% over the next decade, JKBX positions itself at the forefront of this emerging asset class, offering both financial and educational benefits to its investors.

Investment Potential and Risks

Investors eyeing the music royalties market can anticipate a blend of potential gains and inherent risks. Here’s a closer look at what to expect:

Potential Gains:

  • Income Generation: With pre-vetted listings, music royalties offer an average ROI of 10% or more, providing a lucrative income-generating asset.
  • Market Resilience: During economic downturns, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, music royalties have demonstrated low correlation to economic activity, maintaining their value better than many industries.
  • Diversification and Inflation Hedge: The addition of music royalties to an investment portfolio can offer diversification and act as a hedge against inflation, with long-term residual income streams and growth potential.

Inherent Risks:

  • Speculative Nature: Investments are speculative and illiquid, carrying a high risk, including the potential loss of the entire investment.
  • Valuation and Legal Complexities: Challenges include uncertainty in future revenue streams, complex valuation, and an evolving legal landscape that may affect the monetization of music rights.
  • Market Accessibility: For many US retail investors, the minimum capital required to invest in music royalties is prohibitive, limiting direct access to this asset class.

Investors must weigh these aspects and adopt a disciplined approach, considering factors like music IP evaluation, asset management, catalog diversity, and regulatory environment to navigate the investment landscape successfully.

The Process of Investing in Music Royalties

Investing in music royalties has become more accessible with the advent of online platforms. Here’s how potential investors can start:

Direct Investment:

  • Initial Steps:
    1. Research online marketplaces like Royalty Exchange or SongVest.
    2. Review pre-vetted listings of available music rights, including life-of-rights or term-based royalties.
    3. Assess the potential yield of different music rights, considering factors such as artist popularity and streaming statistics.
  • Transaction Process:
    1. Place bids or make offers on selected music rights.
    2. Upon winning a bid, finalize the purchase to acquire a stake in the royalties.
    3. As a rights holder, receive periodic royalty payments, typically every six months.

Music Royalty Funds and Trusts:

  • Participation Method:
    1. Identify funds like Hipgnosis Songs Fund or Mills Music Trust that own and manage song royalties.
    2. Invest in these funds to gain exposure to a diversified portfolio of music royalties.
    3. Collect dividends as the fund distributes the royalties it earns to its investors.

Innovative Platforms and NFTs:

  • Emerging Opportunities:
    1. Explore platforms such as for buying tokens representing streaming rights, coupled with exclusive artist perks.
    2. Consider Music NFTs that provide automatic allocation of royalty earnings to token holders.
    3. Stay informed about Regulation A+ SEC Qualified Offerings like SongShares for fractional ownership opportunities.

By following these steps and utilizing the platforms available, investors can align their portfolios with the music industry’s growth, while supporting artists and enjoying the benefits of royalty income streams.

Regulatory Landscape and Future Developments

The regulatory environment plays a pivotal role in shaping the investment landscape for music royalties. In the United States, the 2018 Music Modernization Act (MMA) marked a significant step forward, streamlining licensing and royalty payments in the digital age, and the 2022 adjustment to mechanical royalties for streaming and digital sales further enhanced this framework. These developments underscore a trend towards more equitable compensation for artists and rights holders, which in turn affects the attractiveness of music royalties as an investment.

  • Key Regulatory Enhancements:
    • The 2018 Music Modernization Act (MMA) modernizes the process of licensing music and ensures rights holders are paid more fairly.
    • 2022 adjustments to mechanical royalties reflect the evolving nature of streaming and digital sales, impacting the valuation of music royalties.

The Music Royalties Management Solution Market Insights report (2024-2031) delves into the market’s size, shares, revenues, and growth drivers, providing a thorough analysis of the sector’s present state and future potential. It segments the market by type and application, highlighting the different ways in which music royalties are managed and monetized.

  • Market Insights Report (2024-2031):
    • Segmentation by Type: Service and Software.
    • Segmentation by Application: Individuals & Music Groups, Enterprises & Institution.
    • Addresses technology advancements, supply chain challenges, and investment scenarios.

As we look to the future, the report anticipates diversification in royalty streams and the integration of emerging technologies such as blockchain and NFTs. With streaming revenue projected to hit $52 billion by 2030, growing at approximately 6% annually, the potential for music royalty investments is significant. However, investors must navigate various factors, from industry trends to macroeconomic conditions, to assess the potential performance of these investments.

  • Future Outlook and Considerations:
    • Diversification across royalty streams and expansion into emerging markets.
    • The integration of blockchain technology and NFTs for royalty management and distribution.
    • Streaming revenue’s projected growth, emphasizing the steady expansion of the market.

Alternatives to Direct Royalty Investment

While direct investment in music royalties offers a unique opportunity for income generation, investors seeking diversification might consider alternative options within the realm of alternative investments. Here are some of the alternatives to direct royalty investment:

  • Public and Private Music Royalty Funds:
    • Publicly traded funds like Hipgnosis Songs Fund and Mills Music Trust allow individuals to invest in music royalties and receive dividends without direct asset ownership.
    • Private music royalty funds, such as Shamrock Capital, cater to institutional and high-net-worth investors with tailored investment opportunities in music rights.
  • Market Comparison – Music Royalties vs. Contemporary Art:
    • Both music royalties and Contemporary Art offer alternative investment avenues, with distinct market dynamics and valuation methods.
    • Contemporary Art, available for investment through platforms like Masterworks, offers potential for long-term capital appreciation and has historically outperformed the S&P 500, even during economic downturns.
  • Broader Alternative Investment Landscape:
    • Film and Broadway: Investing in movies and Broadway shows presents high-risk, high-reward opportunities, influenced by the unpredictable nature of film financing.
    • A wide array of alternative investments spans various categories including artwork, billboards, and collectibles like coins, cars, and wine, offering diverse options for portfolio diversification.
    • Larger companies entering the music royalty space highlight the sector’s growth, with high-profile artists selling catalogs for substantial sums, reinforcing music royalties as a viable component within private debt and diversified portfolios.

These alternatives present varying degrees of risk and potential return, and like all investments, require due diligence and consideration of one’s financial goals and risk tolerance.

End Lines

The surge in popularity of investing in music royalties manifests a compelling synergy between avid music fandom and astute financial strategy, offering a unique blend of stable income and portfolio diversification against an ever-fluctuating economic backdrop. By diving into the various aspects of royalties, investors can leverage the innate resilience and long-term growth potential inherent in the music industry’s assets. The evolving landscape, underscored by platforms like JKBX, promises ongoing enhancements in accessibility, ensuring that music royalties remain an intriguing option for both seasoned and nascent investors alike.

In light of these considerations, engaging in the music royalties market requires a harmonic balance between passion and prudence. For those inspired to echo the success of investing in the rhythmic returns of the music industry, options abound to explore the vibrant symphony of sound investments. With informed decisions and strategic partnerships, the right investment could be a note that resonates well into your financial future.


How can I purchase shares in music royalties?

To invest in music royalties, you can acquire a portion of the rights to a single song or a collection of songs. This investment can be made through a private sale or a public offering, but it often requires a substantial initial investment.

Are music royalties a wise investment choice?

Music royalties are considered to be a strong investment due to their low correlation with other asset classes, steady returns, and resilience to market volatility. CJ Wei from Northleaf Capital Partners explains that music royalties are becoming an appealing asset class for investors.

Is it possible to invest in stocks related to individual musicians?

Yes, platforms like JKBX enable rights holders of music to create securities based on their music royalties and sell these securities to investors. JKBX profits from facilitating these transactions.

Can music royalties be purchased by anyone?

Indeed, music royalties can be bought by anyone interested. Song rights are typically traded on the private market, and you can find and purchase rights to songs, films, and even trademarks on online marketplaces such as Royalty Exchange.


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