You Can Own “Friends In Low Places” (Sort Of)

Sep 12th, 2008 // 2 Comments

youshouldseehowchrisgaineslooks.jpgAnother day, another startup company trying to find a revenue source in the current music economy. However, all you really need to know about SongVest and what the company offers can be summed up by songwriter Mark Hudson: “No one is buying records. This to me is just another angle.”

Tired of representing your affection for a musical act with T-shirts, wall calendars, and cruises? Want to get back to what it was all about in the first place–the music (and the accompanying profits)? SongVest has a deal for you!

Starting next month, Madison, Wis.-based SongVest plans to auction on its Web site portions of the rights to 18 songs recorded by Garth Brooks, Aerosmith, Cher and others…

One of SongVest’s co-founders, David Prohaska, says his company is pitching the songs as the ultimate memorabilia, rather than as money-making investments. Among the tunes SongVest is selling rights in are the “(Theme from) The Monkees” and “Friends in Low Places,” which has long served as the signature anthem of Mr. Brooks. Some titles are expected to fetch more than $250,000 on the auction market.

It’ll be somewhat like when Michael Jackson bought the Beatles publishing, except on a vastly smaller scale. The only catch: You won’t have any control over how the song is used and where. Basically, you’ll get a certificate, and, if you’re lucky, a semi-regular royalty check. Just like the stars do!

The idea was partially inspired by Christian rock act Stryper, who auctioned off half of their interest in “Always There For You” and another song last year for $25,000–ten times what the songs would theoretically be worth via a traditional sale. (You can judge for yourself.) Frankly, I think whatever church is paying the pastor who purchased the tracks might want to reconsider their salary structures.

The song list isn’t terribly exciting at the moment (country songwriter Trey Bruce, who has written a number of Randy Travis tracks, dominates what’s available), but if anyone wants to chip in and purchase “I Swear” as a collective, I’m in for $20.

Dream On: Own Part of a Hit Song [Wall Street Journal]


  1. Dead Air ummm Dead Air

    Step 1: Auction

    Step 2:

    Step 3: Profit!

  2. revmatty

    Um, Bowie did this about 15 years ago.

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