Dee Snider Answers Why Musicians Are Selling Their Catalogs
via SiriusXM / Youtube
Dee Snider provided an explanation for his choice to sell his publishing rights in 2015, stating that many other artists have made similar decisions for comparable reasons.
Lately, there has been a surge in the commercial value of acquiring music catalogs, as demonstrated by notable figures like Bruce Springsteen and members of Fleetwood Mac who have sold their catalogs for substantial sums. Furthermore, discussions are reportedly ongoing regarding the potential sale of catalogs belonging to Queen and Pink Floyd.
In a recent episode of the New Theory Podcast, Snider stated, “It’s math!” then he joked:
“And I was told there’d be no math in rock ’n’ roll! … But when you’re getting your royalty checks every year, and they’re big – I’m in the 50% tax bracket between state [and federal laws] – they’re chopping off 50%.”
The leader of Twisted Sister pointed out that a catalog sale is considered a property transaction, highlighting a distinction. “Capital gains on a sale of property is like 15, 20%.” The replacement transaction is known as a “multiple.” Then he added:
“They give you 10 years’ worth of royalties in advance, or whatever that number is. When you do the math, you look at it and you go, ‘OK, I’m gonna save 30% on taxes.’”
Another factor to take into account was the inability to anticipate the future value of an artist’s body of work. “I believe these songs will still have value,” Snider said, adding that the corporation that bought the rights was “taking a chance.”
He added that he “can take this chunk of change and I can invest it and secure it and make it my retirement fund – which I did. So it goes from being a thing that comes in, and you’re getting half of it taken away by the government every six months, to a [deal that’s] guaranteed. ‘OK, I know I can work with this.’ So a lot of people are doing it for just that reason.”