Fox’s No. 1 Broadcast Drama "Empire"

This offering features royalties generated by a heavily synced commercial catalog, with the most notable placements in the hit Fox series Empire .


closing price

Auction Closed

Top Bid: Warren L

Historic royalty income is no indication of future royalty income. Future royalty income is dependent upon future sales and licensing revenue generated by the sound recordings or compositions associated with this listing.

Starting Price: $53,000
Bidding Increment: $3,500
Closing Price: $53,000
End Date: Sep 20, 2018, 3:00 PM MDT
Last 12 Months' Royalties: $38,569
Investment Term: 10 years*
Distributors: BMI, Sony/ATV
Rights Included:

Public Performance, Mechanical, Sync

Interests Included:

Songwriter (World)

Track List:

Sony/ATV Track List, BMI Track List

First Distribution: September 30, 2018
Distribution Frequency:

ASCAP: Quarterly, Sony: Bi-Annually

Relist-Eligible? Yes
Buyer Fees:


* Please see the FAQ tab for more information on the 10-year investment term.

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What rights are included?

  Musical Composition Sound Recording
Copyrights included? No
Public Performance
Non-Interactive Streaming
Sources: Internet Streaming, AM/FM & Satellite Radio, Digital Downloads, CD Sales, TV/Film/Commercial Placements & Performances, etc. Internet Streaming, Satellite Radio, Digital Downloads, CD Sales, TV/Film/Commercial Placements & Performances, Samples, etc.
Distributors: BMI, Sony/ATV


Up for auction is a unique collection of commercial tracks featured heavily in Fox’s hit series Empire. As the winner of this auction, you will collect the sync, mechanical, and public performance royalties. The unique thing about this catalog is that the largest income source is syncs — royalties paid to songwriters and publishers for use of a song as background music for a movie, TV show, or commercial. Sync fees account for 85% of this collection’s earnings to date

First debuted to the network in 2015, Empire is now on its 4th season, and was renewed for a 5th season set to air September 26th. The show airs exclusively on Fox, with past seasons available for streaming on Hulu (with former episodes also available for purchase through YouTube and iTunes).

According to Forbes, the first two seasons and the first half of the third have ranked as the No.1 broadcast drama for the advertiser-coveted 18-49-year-old demographic. In fact, beyond sports programming, in 2017 alone, the show made more money for the network than did any other series.

Top earners “Mama,” “Dangerous,” and “Crazy Crazy 4 U” contribute collectively to nearly half of this catalog’s earnings in the last 12 months. , These tracks were featured in the series’ 3rd season, and also appear on the Empire Cast Spotify page dedicated to the cast and series soundtracks (with over 600,000 monthly listeners).

This listing also includes the new track “Freedom,” which was featured in the 4th season. Because royalties for this newer placement have not yet been distributed, you as the winning bidder are entitled to all future sync royalties paid by Sony/ATV.

Key Drivers

Sync Licensing. This asset earns primarily from sync royalties: which contribute 85% of its historic earnings. Synchronization royalties are interesting for a couple reasons. First, they are less dependent on popular trends or radio airplay, as the music is not purchased for fans to stream, but to create a mood in a TV show. And second, the amount paid for the license (to use the music in a TV show or promo) is determined either through a negotiated contract (rather than a regulated system as with Internet radio) or through more recent innovations in online licensing.

This catalog is managed by Sony/ATV. This means Sony/ATV will continue to work the songs and look for future placements. Essentially, you will benefit from Sony/ATV’s efforts shopping the catalog and collect the up-front sync fees for future placements.

Income Mix. This auction is for three different royalty streams for the catalog. This means the winner of this auction can receive income in multiple ways:

  • Mechanical: Royalties paid to songwriters and artists when music is sold (think CD or vinyl) but also when music is streamed (streaming mechanicals) “on-demand” (like Spotify).

    • Over 5% of this catalogs earnings came from this source.

  • Performance: Royalties when music is performed publicly. Music played over the radio, in a restaurant or bar, or over a service like Spotify or Pandora is considered a public performance.

    • Nearly a quarter of this catalog’s earnings come from performance earnings.

  • Synchronization: Royalties paid to songwriters and publishers for use of a song as background music for a movie, TV show, or commercial.

Want to learn more about the different royalty types? View our guides on mechanical and performance royalties here and sync royalties here.

About the Royalty Distributor

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) is one of four United States performing rights organizations, along with ASCAP, SESAC & Global Music Rights. It collects license fees from music users on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. For more information on BMI’s distribution schedule, click here.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing is an American music publishing company owned by Sony through Sony Entertainment. It is the world’s largest music publishing company with a network of 37 offices in 29 cities and 22 countries across the globe. Since 2012 Sony/ATV has administered EMI Music Publishing, further extending the reach of the songs, songwriters, and artists it represents. Sony/ATV’s distribution schedule is biannual.

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