The Nashville startup company, TweelX, plans to sell shares of songs, in the form of a percentage of publishing royalties, to individuals, record labels and anyone else willing to part with $100 or more per investment. In its most basic sense, the company operates much like a crowd funding service. Songwriters upload their songs to a website, and people who like the work give them money.
Unique to the TweelX model, is that when a song is uploaded, songwriters agree to a nonexclusive, “song-by-song” publishing contract that requires them to relinquish exclusive publishing rights for a particular song in favor of the TweelX shared model, which gives a cut of any royalties earned by the song to the songwriter, along with TweelX and investors. The money invested by individuals is split between the songwriter and TweelX. The idea is to raise $500 to $1,000 per song.
Songwriters maintain rights to master recordings and are not required to sign an exclusive agreement giving TweelX the rights to all of the songs they write. About 150 songs by 25 artists have been uploaded to the site since its launch. The startup company has received one investor so far. A fan paid $250 for a share in a song called “Jim Beam, Nicotine” by Justice Adams Band. See http://tweelx.com.