Copyright and music publishers in Nashville have for years adopted and exercised a business model that was created decades ago. That model includes hiring songwriters, or buying the composition right to songs (as opposed to the sound recording right), and marketing those rights to record labels and artists for inclusion in an upcoming album (and the payment of performance and mechanical rights). Transactions in this business have been controlled and channeled by those companies that have been doing it for a long time (Sony ATV, etc.).
A new business method has entered the scene, maybe not to replace the old model, but certainly to supplement it. Nashville-based Copyright Exchange calls itself a “marketplace for the new intellectual property economy”. Specifically, they provide “comprehensive marketing, negotiating, accounting and administrative services to buyers, sellers, brokers, dealers and others interested in the buying and selling of music-related copyright catalogs,” according to their website. More notable, however, is their Copyright Listing Service. Essentially, this is a public stage for packaging and selling catalogs of copyrights (mostly owned by songwriters), instead of the usual sale of individual copyrights or songs. The idea serves an investment purpose nicely, and therefore the ideal buyer is probably one with an investment strategy in mind instead of an operational one. In other words, investors are more likely to buy these catalogs rather than artists or record labels looking to use these songs. To this date, catalogs have been sold by songwriters such as John Rich, Brian McKnight, Brett James, and more. Hopefully, this idea will spread to other sectors than just country music songwriters. This model could be used for prominent authors with multiple books . . .