UPDATED: Royalty Exchange has signed a letter of intent to purchase at least 15 percent of an income stream of royalties derived from Eminem’s music, with plans to buy other musical assets and take the company public, according to media reports published Monday morning.
The Exchange has formed a new company for the endeavor, Royalty Flow, which is expected to file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to raise between $11 million and $50 million via a Regulation A+ crowdfunding effort. The basis of the initial deal will come from brothers Jeff and Mark Bass, who invested in Eminem’s catalog early in his career. They have agreed to sell up to 25 percent of their interest to Royalty Flow, which will buy the stake with money raised an IPO. If the enterprise meets its minimum funding target, it will then file to list list with NASDAQ.
However, the arrangement has no involvement from the rapper himself. A rep for Eminem sent Variety the following statement: “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.”
That being said, the company will allow fans and smaller investors the opportunity to invest directly in Eminem’s business, and could set a model for future endeavors.
“If you’re a fan and wanna bet on that artist, you’ve got some skin in the game,” Joel Martin, a business partner of the Bass brothers, told Bloomberg. “It takes the average investor and puts them in a position they wouldn’t be in before.” Royalty Flow’s Matt Smith and Jeff Schneider said the company is seeking to raise $11 million to $50 million. The Bass brothers agreed to sell 15 percent of their interest and can receive the first $9.75 million from the stock sale, or $18.8 million if they agree to sell 25 percent. Earnings from the brothers’ Eminem holdings grew 43 percent to $5.07 million last year, Bloomberg said; a press release claims that Eminem’s catalog has sold some 172 million albums worldwide.
The deal comes in the wake of a wildly optimistic report from Goldman Sachs, which in August predicted that worldwide revenues from streaming will reach a whopping $28 billion in revenue and paid streaming users worldwide will reach 847 million by 2030. By contrast, earlier this year IFPI reported global recorded music revenues of $15.7 billion — of which half are from digital — and 112 million users of paid streaming services worldwide.