Publishing Royalties: 80s-90s Hip-Hop/Electronica

Collect publishing royalties from iconic samples from history, with multiple tracks by the revolutionary English electronic band The Prodigy, including their 1997 smash hit “Smack My Bitch Up.”


closing price

Auction Closed

Top Bid: Clayton T

The Theoretical IRR is a formulaic guideline based on an extrapolation of the normalized, historical earnings trend of the catalog. The Theoretical IRR is not a guarantee of future performance. It should be used for comparison purposes only. Each catalog has its own risk factors and the Theoretical IRR is not based upon a specific analysis of this catalog. Click here to view the basis for all Theoretical IRR calculations.

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: $16,500
Bidding Increment: $500
Closing Price: $27,000
End Date: Apr 23, 2019, 3:20 PM MDT
Dollar Age:

25.52 Years

Last 12 Months' Royalties: $5,513
Investment Term: 10 years*
Distributors: Warner/Chappell Music
Rights Included:

Publisher (World)

Interests Included:

Sync and Mechanical

Track List:

Track List

First Distribution: May 15, 2019
Distribution Frequency:


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
Sources: Internet Streaming, Digital Downloads, CD Sales, TV/Film/Commercial Placements etc. Internet Streaming, Satellite Radio, Digital Downloads, CD Sales, TV/Film/Commercial Placements & Performances, Samples, etc.
Distributors: Warner/Chappell Music


Up for auction is the publishers share of sync and mechanical royalties for a unique group of early hip-hop and electronic music dating back to the 1980s. This catalog ranges from the revolutionary and iconic English 1990s electronic band The Prodigy to the 1980s New York hip-hop group, Ultramagnetic MCs and much more. It boasts a Dollar Age of 25.52 years.

The highest earning track is The Prodigy’s “Out of Space” which contributes 33% of earnings in the last 12 months. “Out of Space” samples an additional Ultramagnetic MCs track, “Critical Beatdown.” Released in 1992, “Out of Space” shows an impressive recent growth rate at 84% in the last 12 months.

Featuring a hook from Ultramagnetic MCs as the chorus, The Prodigy track “Smack My Bitch Up” owes it’s iconic choral hook to the 1988 hip-hop track, “Give The Drummer Some.” What’s good news for the winning investor is both works are included in this auction. Widely recognized as one of The Prodigy’s most popular releases, the track contributes to 27% of earnings in the last 12 months. Released in 1997, what’s even more interesting is its continued growth over the two decades since its release. In fact, in the last 12 months, the work has seen a 46% increase over the prior period.

This collection also includes one of the tracks that put Ultramagnetic MCs on the map, the 1988 release “Ease Back” from the album Critical Breakdown. Collecting over 18% of earnings in the last 12 months, “Ease Back” is one of many 80s hip-hop tracks that make up the foundation of the royalties. What’s interesting is this collection also includes a more recent release, Nas’s “Take It In Blood” which samples “Ease Back.” Both tracks show recent growth in the last 12 months.

Key Drivers

Song Age. This catalog contains music with release dates dating back through the mid-1980s, resulting in a Dollar Age of 25.52 years. This provides a diverse income mix between new(er) releases and more mature works. Industrywide, "Deep Catalog" titles (those released more than three years ago) accounted for 55% of all album sales in 2018, up from 51% in 2017

This collection of songs aligns with this trend. The highest-earning tracks — “Smack My Bitch Up” and “Out of Space” — were released in 1997 and 1992, respectively. A catalog containing more mature works is something worth noting as an investor.

Income Mix. The winner of this auction can receive income from two different royalty streams:

  • 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).

    • This catalog’s mechanical royalties account for 73% of last year’s income and these earnings are on the rise — up 65% year-over-year.

  • Synchronization: Royalties paid to songwriters and publishers for the licensing of a song in music for a movie, TV show, or commercial.

    • Sync brought in 26% of royalties last year. The catalog has received a variety of syncs over its lifetime. In the last 12 months, sync earnings have shown significant growth, further evidence of this catalog’s continued relevance multiple decades after it’s release.

Mechanical Rate Increase. The US Copyright Royalty Board recently raised the rates digital music services must pay for mechanical royalties by nearly 44% over the next 5 years. Historically, this catalog has earned 79% of its royalties from mechanical royalties. What's more, in the last 12 months, these royalties have increased 65% over the previous period. As the winner of this auction, you will benefit from the mechanical rate increases as you collect mechanical royalties.

About the Royalty Distributor

Warner/Chappell Music, the global music publishing company of Warner Music Group, is home to a wide array of legendary songwriters and a rich catalog of contemporary hits and influential standards. With offices in more than 40 countries, Warner/Chappell provides deep expertise across a range of creative services and the most innovative opportunities for songwriters and copyright holders.

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