Dee Snider Reveals Why He Sold His Publishing Rights to Twisted Sister Songs
Why did Twisted Sister legend Dee Snider sell off the rights to all of his Twisted Sister songs to Universal Music Publishing Group for "a lot of money" in 2015? In short — taxes.
Speaking with Sirius XM's Eddie Trunk (audio below), the singer explained weighing the long-term benefits of selling song publishing rights -- a potentially huge source of income for songwriters -- which included "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock." After looking at the annual income generated from the catalog, an offer for multiple years (seven, 10 and 14 years were cited by Snider) worth of revenue is negotiated. Looking to drop below the 40 and 50 percent tax bracket, Snider said, "The money that you get each [is factored into your tax bracket]. When you sell it, you sell it as a capital gain, so you're only paying 20 percent instead of 50 percent," he detailed (transcription via Blabbermouth).
"You sort of weigh it up and you look at your life expectancy. Plus, you can say [about] a song, 'Oh, I expect it to do good forever.' But, you know, it may; it may not. You have up years, you have down years. If you take the money, you can invest it. So now you've got an actual almost set income stream coming from your investment, and you're paying much less taxes," Snider offered.
He did caution that there's a "certain point" in an artist's career where a move like this is practical. "The time not to do it is when you're in your 20s. The time to do it is when you're retirement age," Snider advised, but admitted he would have sold his publishing rights for "anything" when he was in financial ruin in the '90s and is thankful heavy metal was an undesirable commodity at the time.
Since selling off most of the Snider Music catalog, Dee Snider has added to his discography, issuing 2016's We Are the Ones and this year's For the Love of Metal.
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