Investments that (literally) perform

Here's one way to really make your TFSA returns sing: Invest in Beyoncé’s next hit song. 

Driving the news: If you’re looking to brag about owning 0.01% of “Single Ladies” at your next dinner party, a startup called JKBX has launched a digital marketplace that will let you buy shares in popular songs from artists including Taylor Swift and Major Lazer.

How it works: Per The Wall Street Journal, investors who buy shares in, let’s say, Taylor Swift’s 2014 track “Welcome to New York” will receive a dividend-like portion of the song’s streaming revenue, album sales, licensing deals, and radio royalties every quarter.

  • While the platform yields 3% to 4% a year compared to the ~5% money market funds bring in, part of the game is investing in older tunes that could one day blow up.

  • That means the well-diversified portfolio of the future could include songs you think could go viral on TikTok and boost your profit. It’s a pop cultural parlay, if you will. 

Why it matters: The boom in music streaming and short video platforms has made song rights more valuable than ever, and this is the first real chance for regular retail investors to get in on the action that has, so far, been restricted to private equity firms and record labels.

  • Warner Music, Sony, and BlackRock have been pouncing on music rights recently, scooping up the catalogues of major artists like Michael Jackson, Justin Beiber, and Bruce Springsteen in nine-figure deals. 

What’s next: JKBX is still in the early stages, but it says it's working to acquire more songs for the platform and adding a selling feature (right now, you can only buy songs). You know, in case you wanted to trade early 2000s pop hits like they’re crypto futures.—LA