Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the Beach Boys have become the latest artists to sell their catalog and other assets: The group announced Thursday that Irving Azoff’s recently launched Iconic Artists Group has purchased a controlling interest in its intellectual property, including their sound recordings, the brand, select musical compositions, and memorabilia. According to the announcement, the members of the Beach Boys and their heirs will retain an interest in their assets to “participate in the upside Iconic expects to create by actively marketing and promoting the Beach Boys.”
Terms of the deal and further details were not immediately available, although much of the group’s classic ’60s catalog is owned by Universal Music Group. “The rights are split — it’s not the end of the world,” says Iconic’s Olivier Chastan. Universal’s Bruce Resnikoff explained, “We have the original recordings, and we have the publishing, but our ability to do the most with this band relies on the ability to work with the band. Iconic will represent the band in a way that will only enhance, I think, the value for everybody.”
While artists from Bob Dylan to Calvin Harris have sold their publishing or recorded-music assets over the past few years, this more-encompassing move seems most similar to recent deals made by Primary Wave, which has not only acquired song-based assets but also artist brands and likenesses, such as their 2017 deal with the Bob Marley estate.
Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, and the Carl Wilson estate commented, “The Beach Boys and our songs have been one of the great joys of our lives. For more than half a century, we’ve witnessed generations of fans from all corners of the world come together to celebrate our music, dancing and singing along to the songs that we have loved and performed for decades. As we look towards the upcoming 60th anniversary of The Beach Boys, we wanted a partner to help expand opportunities for our brand, while continuing to preserve our tradition as a band whose music transcends the test of time. We are confident that Irving and Iconic are the ideal partners and are confident that The Beach Boys’ ongoing legacy is in the best possible hands. We are very proud of what we have achieved as The Beach Boys and how our songs continue to resonate with our fans.”
“The Beach Boys are an American treasure,” added Azoff, Chairman and CEO of The Azoff Company. “I am honored that the Beach Boys have entrusted Iconic to preserve and grow their legacy. And I’m thrilled that the Beach Boys want to stay invested in the growth of the incredible cultural brand they created.”
Olivier Chastan, founder and CEO of Iconic Artists Group continued, “Ever since hearing the opening guitar notes of ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ as a teenager, The Beach Boys have been one of the permanent soundtracks of my musical life. To be entrusted as the custodian of this incredible art and legacy is both humbling and thrilling. I want to thank Brian, Mike, Al, and the Carl Wilson family for their belief in Iconic’s unique mission.”
Quietly launched last year, Iconic Artists Group is “dedicated to acquiring, and actively managing a portfolio of select artists’ assets and preserving the important legacy of these music icons,” the announcement reads in part. “Iconic feels a void in the music business for legendary artists: a trusted steward for an artist’s intellectual property with the expertise to maximize the value of assets and maintain their brand. Iconic provides an alternative for artists who value legacy preservation; Iconic is dedicated to exposing the artistry and music of their artists to new generations. Iconic works in direct partnership with artists, their managers, record labels and publishers, and legal heirs to provide a solution that unites the music with the brand to efficiently drive value in both.”