每日英語跟讀 Ep.989: Paul McCartney's Tip to Michael Jackson Pays Off
It is one of the twice-told tales of the music business: Decades ago, Michael Jackson received some sound investment advice from Paul McCartney.
Back in the early 1980s, McCartney showed his friend a notebook full of songs he owned, by artists like Buddy Holly. The real money, McCartney suggested, was in music publishing, the side of the business that deals with the songwriting rights for big catalogs of songs. As McCartney himself has told it, Jackson perked up and said, "I'm gonna buy your songs."
He did. And it was the smartest deal Jackson ever made.
In 1985, Jackson bought the ATV catalog, which included 251 Beatles songs, along with a few thousand others, for $47.5 million. It proved to be Jackson's most valuable asset, helping to finance a lavish lifestyle even as Jackson's own musical career reached a low point in the years before his death in 2009.
Now those songs have helped provide a windfall for his estate. On Monday, Sony said it had agreed to pay $750 million for the Jackson estate's share of what is now Sony/ATV — a collection of more than 1 million songs, with hits by Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, chestnuts like "Moon River" and "Mona Lisa," and of course the Beatles songs.
Sony's buyout caps an extraordinary turnaround in Jackson's finances that began after his death. Jackson died more than $500 million in debt, having drawn on his share of Sony/ATV as a lifeline through a $270 million loan in 2006, years after his last hit but shortly after he was acquitted of child molestation in a trial that damaged his public image around the world.
The Jackson estate has long since paid off most of Jackson's personal debts. But the latest deal will allow it to clear its last obligation, a $250 million debt that was tied to Jackson's holdings in Sony/ATV.
The deal for the song catalog could now push those earnings above $1 billion, a big return for a financial move that began as a simple conversation between two music legends.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/295664/web/