Investor Set to Earn from Rock Band Yellowcard's Royalties

Buyer purchased part of the band's publishing royalties for $156,000 in February 2024.
April 19, 2024

Today, investing in music publishing royalties allows anyone – whether a newbie or a seasoned investor – to realize earnings generated from the use of music of an artist across a variety of platforms. Participating in the open market for royalties doesn't require substantial capital, which distinguishes it from other assets that often need significant investment.

In music publishing, an investor's return is directly tied to the song's popularity and usage across these platforms. The royalties are categorized into mechanical royalties (derived from physical and digital sales), performance royalties (taken from radio, live performances, and public play), and synchronization fees (from music used in TV, movies, and commercials).

One of the recent investing success stories on Royalty Exchange, an open marketplace where buyers and sellers meet to benefit music creators and investors, is the royalty sale of 2000s alternative rock band Yellowcard. The catalog includes chart toppers including "Ocean Avenue," "Only One," and "Lights and Sounds" plus 67 more tracks. 

In February 2024, a winning bidder paid $156,000 for the band's publishing royalties. As of January 2024, it has been earning $62,512 since 2017 with a three-year average of $12,321. In the last 12 months (LTM), it registered higher earnings at $14,548.

Yellowcard: Still Rocking the Stage After Two Decades

Yellowcard received considerable attention in the music industry in the early 2000s. The Jacksonville, Florida band became popular with the MTV generation that easily connected with their emo-punk and alternative rock influence. With the release of RIAA-certified double platinum single, "Ocean Avenue," in 2004, the band enjoyed heavy airplay and soon went on national and international tours.

They released more albums like "Paper Walls" and "Lift a Sail," until taking a hiatus in 2008. In 2016, the band announced their tenth and final album before revealing that they were parting ways after their world tour. 

Speaking to Rolling Stone in 2023, frontman Ryan Key revealed that despite their efforts, they were unable to achieve the same level of success with "Ocean Avenue." This contributed to their decision to permanently disband.

However, with renewed interest in their music, thanks to TikTok and Spotify, Yellowcard reunited in 2022 when they performed at a music event in Chicago. The following year, they released the "Childhood Eyes" EP and later a collaboration project.

Key admits that the band is now experiencing unprecedented success in live performances with more tickets sold than ever before despite the lack of traditional commercial drivers that catapulted them to fame in the mid-2000s.


Offers for the royalties started at $60,000 in January 2024, with succeeding bids reaching above $140,000. For a final bid of $152,500, the seller made a successful counteroffer of $156,000, selling 10.72 times more than what it earned in the LTM.

The catalog's dollar age, a weighted metric representing the duration over which the songs have been generating royalties, stands at 19.55 years. This suggests that the royalty earnings have a low likelihood of unexpected variation in earnings.


Domestic sales continue to drive up the catalog's total earnings, reaching almost $13,000 in 2022, up by 12.15% year over year. In the first half of 2023, total earnings registered $7,613 – showing continued growth in recent periods. 

Top 5 Tracks

"Ocean Avenue" continues to be the top track earner in the catalog in the last five years. The LTM put the track on top of the list with 53% share of earnings, followed by other hits such as "Only One" (10%), "Lights and Sounds" (5%), "Breathing" (5%), and "Way Away" (4%).

Top 5 Income Types

Streaming Mechanical royalties captured the bulk of earnings with a 64% share over the LTM. This is followed by Performance (21%), Print (5%), Mechanical (4%), and Download Mechanical (2%). This is expected to grow this year with the contribution of streaming activities (see below) and more than 40 concerts slated from June to July 2024 as announced in the band's official website.

Top 5 Sources

As stated, Streaming continues to dominate the sources of earnings category, earning 51% of the total share in the LTM. This is followed by International Sources (25%) in which majority of the earnings come from Streaming. Other sources such as Music Rights Org (3%), Satellite Radio (1%) and Sync (1%) provided a modest boost to the earnings. 

Top 5 Music Users

Fans of the band contribute more earnings through Spotify with a 29% share over the LTM. Yellowcard's official Spotify page lists more than 4 million monthly listeners as of April 2024, with "Ocean Avenue" already hitting more than 363.5 million streams.

Other listeners can be found on Apple Music (17%), and Youtube (9%) where they have 182,000 subscribers.

Streaming activities are expected to grow for the band thanks to their rediscovered success in social media, live tours, and the release of their new album which hit digital platforms in February 2024.

Music Royalties Investing

Yellowcard's Publishing Royalties are just one of the many successful sales on Royalty Exchange. Social media platforms and streaming apps that curate playlists and recommendations offer nostalgic avenues for users. When past hits are reintroduced to their original audience and discovered by a new generation of listeners, not only artists benefit but investors in music royalties as well. For bands like Yellowcard that have an enduring appeal, this can be boosted by digital platforms and can lead to a more stable and predictable stream of royalty earnings. 

If you’re interested in earning from music royalties, Royalty Exchange offers artists a way to earn a lump sum from investors for rights to their work and the ability for investors to earn money from music over time.

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