Catalog Appraiser Massarsky Consulting Sells to Citrin Cooperman as Music IP Sales Rush Continues

Goldman Sachs Estimates Global Music Revenue Will Reach $131 Billion
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43-year-old professional-services firm Citrin Cooperman has acquired Massarsky Consulting, which bills itself as a “unique music industry consulting boutique” and has appraised a substantial number of music catalogs.

Citrin Cooperman’s acquisition of 30-year-old Massarsky Consulting came to light in a piece from CPA Practice Advisor, which also specified that Massarsky partners Barry Massarsky and Nari Matsuura are set to join the purchasing company.

It’s hardly a secret that all manner of well-known artists – including but certainly not limited to Bruce Springsteen, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bob Dylan, The Killers, and Madonna – have cashed in on their music IP since 2020’s start. Massarsky Consulting in 2021 valued north of 300 catalogs with a cumulative worth of over $6.5 billion, according to a statement from Citrin Cooperman CEO Alan Badey.

Per Massarsky Consulting’s website, the RIAA kicked off a long professional relationship with the consulting boutique back in 1992, and the valuation-focused business lists as clients the major labels’ publishing divisions, Downtown, Round Hill, Reservoir, BMG, PRS, SESAC, and SoundExchange, to name just some.

As a noteworthy aside, the entity’s client list likewise includes several artists whose catalogs have already been sold (Paul Simon and Hall & Oates) and, interestingly, acts who appear to still possess their song rights (Green Day, The Guess Who, and The Zac Brown Band). Green Day boasts over 19 million monthly Spotify listeners, and the trio’s RIAA certified platinum (and BPI certified gold) Kerplunk effort will celebrate its 31st anniversary this coming December.

Back to the nuances of Citrin Cooperman’s Massarsky Consulting buyout, however, 66-year-old Barry Massarsky (a longtime member of the Association of Independent Music Publishers) and 51-year-old Matsuura (a former concert pianist) will lead Citrin’s just-minted Music Economics and Valuation Services group.

The transaction’s financial terms haven’t been publicly revealed, and in the aforementioned Wall Street Journal interview, Massarsky noted the surging interest in classic tracks (“In the last year or two, older songs became the phenomena of streaming”), and Matsuura pushed back against the idea that there’s a bubble in the catalog-sale space.

“It’s based on real organic growth: 26 percent in streaming,” Matsuura said in part. “And now you’re talking about all this extra revenue coming in from social-media platforms that have deep pockets. Where’s the bubble if there’s strong fundamentals?”

This morning, country star Kenny Chesney became the latest artist to sell his song rights, transferring 80 percent of his recorded catalog (through 2017, specifically) to Blackstone-powered Hipgnosis Song Management (HSM).