Few music genres rely on songwriters more than country. Nashville’s Music Row is not the center of songwriter advocacy, community, and activity for no reason after all.
But songwriting can be a hard living. Those behind the perennial hits played year after year continue to enjoy a healthy revenue stream. Most songs, however, seek that initial spike in activity after their releases only to see royalties flatten after the retail lifespan begins to ebb.
Take Travis Jerome Goff. He co-wrote the country smash hit “What We Ain’t Got” with performing artists Jake Owen back in 2013. It captured heavy radio rotation and made an appearance on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Hot 100 charts as far after as January 2015.
The future of these royalties was no longer in radio, but online--streaming on Spotify, viewing on YouTube, inclusion on Internet Radio like Pandora, and so on. While his radio-based royalties were earning over $80,000 in the 12 months prior to the auction, his BMI songwriter share was just under $10,000 for the same timeframe.
So he listed it on Royalty Exchange at a respectable $20,000, a little more than twice its last year’s earnings. It drew over 75 bidders, and the action was fierce. It sold for over $50,000… more than five times the last year’s earnings and 150% more than the asking price.
Rather than waiting for his $9,000/year to build up into more meaningful amounts, Goff instead walked away with five times the annual income for that song and put it to use immediately.
If you’re interested in learning more about what your back catalog can generate for you,