The Netherlands’ Pythagoras Music Fund has officially announced the acquisition of Barton Music’s publishing catalog, which includes the rights to songs popularized by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Nat King Cole, and several others.
Pythagoras, which arrived on the scene in 2021 and has emphasized that it invests “in songs with a proven cash flow,” just recently announced the Barton Music catalog buyout. Headquartered in Laren, the former company says that it’s “financed by private and institutional investors.”
On the executive front, Pythagoras counts as managing partners/higher-ups former Buma/Stemra CEO Hein van der Ree, financial professional Michiel Boere, songwriter and producer John Ewbank, attorney Rob Hendriks, and former UMPG Europe managing director (and Brands Music founder) John Brands.
Additionally, Pythagoras owns interests in north of 35,000 songs at present, per the entity’s website, and according to Amsterdam’s Het Financieele Dagblad, the relatively obscure music-IP investor has already injected somewhere around €100 million ($107.25 million at the current exchange rate) into song rights.
But the Barton Music deal itself reportedly set Pythagoras back €10 million ($10.72 million) or so, the European outlet communicated, though neither of the involved companies has publicly confirmed the transaction’s precise price tag.
Established by the namesake Ben Barton (who passed away in 1989), original Sinatra manager Hank Sanicola (who passed away in 1974; the businessman’s heirs are said to have set the Pythagoras deal in motion), and “Ol’ Blue Eyes” himself, Barton Music reportedly possesses the rights to approximately 360 compositions as well as 19 Sinatra masters.
Works made famous by Dean Martin (whose estate closed a rights deal with Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group in late 2022), “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” and “Everybody Loves Somebody” among them, are likewise part of the sale, Pythagoras indicated. Also included are multiple tracks performed by Sinatra (and covered by an array of others), such as “Come Fly With Me” and “Time After Time,” Pythagoras relayed.
Addressing his company’s investment in a brief statement, Hein van der Ree said: “These beautiful songs will forever be part of popular music culture around the world. Pythagoras is building a collection of music rights of the highest quality and we are delighted with the acquisition of Barton Music and affiliated catalogues.”
Amid the continued popularity of catalog music – or songs that debuted at least 18 months back – the past four weeks have seen the likes of Reservoir Media and Mojo Music & Media purchase the rights to classics. However, relatively young professionals including Metro Boomin, Justin Bieber, and 37-year-old Tobias Jesso Jr. have to this point in 2023 cashed in on their respective bodies of work as well.