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CNBC TURNS TO MESTEL TO GET A HANDLE ON CATALOGS

Primary Wave CEO Larry Mestel took CNBC on a guided tour through the hows and whys of investing in music publishing in an interview published this weekend.

“You’re talking about a low interest rate environment and you can achieve a 7% to 9% [return], Mestel said, “and then increase that through marketing and generate mid-teen returns. That’s a very attractive place for people to put money.”

Goldman Sachs is predicting that global music revenue will top $140b by 2030 with 1.2b users of streaming services. That dwarfs 2019, when the biz brought in $77b. Music publishing  has been the easiest way for investors to get aboard that speeding money train, and the catalogs of more recognizable songs and artists has been the fastest way to recoup.

“I do believe that the icons and legends are worth more than the other artists,” Mestel said, noting there’s plenty more to be mined. “Artists are getting older now so they can use cash, they can estate plan.”

The sudden interest in buying up classic copyrights by investors who never thought of music as anything  other than what comes out of the radio means expertise is still required. The knowledge and connections of Mestel and other longtime publishers remains a valued commodity.  

“It seems like anybody that has a relationship in the music business that knows anybody is trying to raise money. But that doesn’t mean that they can go out an identify assets to sell or even know what they’re doing.”

Read it all here.

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