The Rolling Stones, currently celebrating their 50th year as a band with a massive world tour that just wrapped up its North American leg, have just signed their first new song publishing agreement in over 40 years. The retirement-age band members have inked a deal with the behemoth BMG.
The signing places BMG in control of the entirety of the Rolling Stones’ post-1971, catalogue, controlling how and when the songs are licensed for film, television, and advertising, according to Rolling Stone. The deal also places BMG in a position to handle the royalties those songs and albums generate from online services such as iTunes and Spotify. It’s no small deal, as the band’s 1970s output alone forms one of the crucial cornerstones of rock and roll, and the songs are frequently licensed—rather expensively—to film, television, and advertisements.
No information is available on how pricey the deal was for BMG, and how much the Stones stand to gain from such an agreement; however, given that BMG just bought the rights to some of the greatest rock music ever written, and did so during the band’s 50th anniversary resurgence, well… let’s just say the Stones likely just got bumped into an even more dizzyingly high tax bracket.
The band had previously made a deal in 1971 with EMI, which lasted until 1983, at which point the band controlled the rights to its post-1971 output. All pre-1971 Stones music is owned by their original label, ABCKO.
What do you think of the Rolling Stones news?