Artists, don’t sell catalogs

Beau Benoit, Circulation & Marketing Director

Artists change the world with their music. Because of that, it pains me when they sell their catalogs to make a quick buck. Lately, musicians began a trend of handing over the rights to their art to the highest bidder, but profit is not the meaning behind music. Art means creating objects of passion and inspiration while putting revenue second. Companies that have purchased an artist’s catalog have all rights to the released songs. Although the deal may look good on paper, it eliminates the authenticity of an artist. Songs can be altered without the musician’s permission. Prices of released albums may drastically increase. By selling their music catalogs, artists have prioritized making money over controlling the music they created. According to Billboard, Justin Bieber’s recent sale of his music catalog totaled $200 million. Now I never favored the pop icon, but I don’t think that much money captures the impact he and his songs had on the world. Songs like “Never Say Never,” “Boyfriend” and “Baby” ingrained themselves in my memory thanks to growing up in the 2010s. I can’t imagine my childhood
without Bieber’s music. The sale of catalogs is not limited to artists of this generation. According to CNN, Bruce Springsteen sold his catalog to Sony Music for $500 million. The Boss lied when he sang “lay down your money and play your part.” With $500 million more in his bank account, he doesn’t have a hungry heart—he has a hungry wallet. It saddens me to see artists choose dollar signs over keeping their music. Notable musicians recently showed they’ll sooner chase a check than protect the songs that they wrote with their hearts. Dollars over dreams makes one wonder if they ever did it for the music in the first place.