Between 1999 and 2013, Eminem released some of his most famous work, including 1999's The Slim Shady LP, 2000's The Marshall Mathers LP, and 2002's The Eminem Show. Now a new company has formed to nab the royalties income stream from his songs from that period, and fans may eventually be able to fatten their wallets by investing via a rather unusual opportunity. Per Billboard, Royalty Exchange has created a new business called Royalty Flow and inked a letter of intent to buy either a 15% or 25% portion of the performer's income stream (depending on how much money it raises via crowdfunding efforts) and then allow fans and investors to share in income from those royalties via dividends if and when the company becomes listed on NASDAQ—a template that Billboard says may prove to be "new business model for other superstar artists."
Variety notes the deal comes via brothers Jeff and Mark Bass of FBT Productions, who invested in Eminem's catalog early and are now said to be estranged from him. Although Royalty Exchange's CEO says in a statement the plan offers "a powerful new financing option with a level of transparency seldom found in the music industry," one industry expert tells Rolling Stone that selling an artist's catalog piece by piece "starts to look like human slavery." Meanwhile, Eminem's statement, via a rep: "Eminem is not involved in any deals for the sale of recording royalties and has no connection to this company. The decision to offer the royalty stream for sale or otherwise was made independently by a third party who retains royalties for an early portion of his catalog and Eminem was not consulted." Billboard dives deeper into the financial and legal complexities of this setup. (Read more Eminem stories.)