While the world’s quality newspapers dwell on the subject of Michael Jackson’s dependents, there is the matter of his 50% stake in music publishing giant Sony/ATV. And “giant” isn’t just mediaspeak – that thing is huge: 250 Beatles songs and thousands more by others.
Apart from one notorious example, Jackson was pretty dignified in his use of Beatles songs. His death must have made dozens of advertisers wet themselves, thinking of a song that reaches deep into the hearts of Boomer and Gen X listeners, but hasn’t yet been deflowered. Ooh, what you could do with In My Life. Or Julia, or And I Love Her. Frightening, isn’t it?
Or Eleanor Rigby, or Hey Jude.
Or A Day in the Life.
And with new ways to use these songs popping up every day, the catalogue looks like the impossible dream: an asset that never stops appreciating.
Of course, there might be a fire sale, and maybe some consortium with Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono at the helm will come up with the money.
Or Sony could buy out Jackson’s controlling share. God, I hope not.