By Ryan Reed
Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood is selling the recorded music rights from his full music catalog to BMG. While a dollar amount for the sale is currently unknown, the company told Rolling Stone that the massive acquisition — which spans 300 songs — is its largest in two years.
Fleetwood, who cofounded the long-running band in 1967 with bassist John McVie and late guitarist Peter Green, is now the third Fleetwood Mac member to sell his catalog rights in recent weeks, following vocalist Stevie Nicks and former singer and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.
In December, Nicks unloaded 80 percent of her publishing copyrights — including both band and solo material — to Primary Wave Music. The Wall Street Journal estimated that she received $100 million with the deal, signed shortly after her Fleetwood Mac song "Dreams" went viral through a TikTok skateboarding video. Buckingham sold his publishing and songwriter's share of 161 songs to Hipgnosis Songs Fund in early January. The company previously owned a 25 percent stake of his work through its recent purchase of Kobalt Music Copyrights. He retained a 50 percent share of as-yet unreleased songs.
But as Rolling Stone notes, Fleetwood's sale differs by focusing on recorded music rights instead of publishing rights. While publishing relates to songwriting and composition, recorded rights concern recorded performance, which is more closely connected to streaming, downloading and album sales. (This is reportedly prompting BMG to expand further into recorded rights acquisition, given that streaming continues to grow worldwide amid the COVID-19 pandemic.)
Fleetwood, in a statement, praised the deal as a "wonderfully inspiring marriage between two creative partners" experienced in all parts of the industry.
"Rockers selling their publishing" has been a major trend of late: Both Bob Dylan and Neil Young made headlines for massive sales in December and January, respectively