Streaming giant Spotify said streams of Bowie’s music were up 2,700% on Monday, while the Official Charts Company in the UK said Bowie’s Blackstar album was headed to the top spot on the charts with sales of 43,000 since its Friday release.
Bowie, who produced hits such as Ziggy Stardust during a career featuring daringly androgynous displays of sexuality and glittering costumes, died at age 69 on Sunday.
He was the first recording artist to sell bonds, known as Bowie Bonds, against his intellectual property and backed by future earnings of his music.
The bonds, which are now paid off, were bought by Prudential Insurance in 1997 for $55 million, and let Bowie retain ownership of his work rather than selling the copyright.
The model, constructed by investor David Pullman, was later adopted by artists such as James Brown and the Isley Brothers.
In an interview on Monday, Pullman estimated that Bowie’s estate could be valued upward of $100 million, in part because Bowie owned 100% of his music.
“He was smart enough to have confidence in himself. Most artists sell themselves short, and they don’t hold out for the rights,” Pullman said. “He was able to retain his legacy. His songs were his babies.”
The move also spared Bowie taxes he would have faced had he sold the rights, Pullman said. “The real annuity for an artist is copyrights and catalog. That’s the revenue stream,” said Bill Werde, chief executive of entertainment agency Fenton and former editor of music trade publication Billboard.
Still, he said, Bowie bonds were not all about money. “This was more about Bowie’s blood, sweat and tears, and the idea that someone else owned part of it never sat right with him,” Werde added.
The critically acclaimed Blackstar was the top-selling album on iTunes, US and UK platforms on Monday morning. Bowie’s long time producer, Tony Visconti, called the album the singer’s “parting gift.”
The 2002 Best of Bowie compilation album was the second most popular on the US site, outpacing Adele’s blockbuster album 25.
Bowie’s 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was in fourth place on the US iTunes platform, according to the site. Apple does not generally release iTunes sales or download figures.
On Amazon’s US and UK websites, Blackstar was the No. 1 “best seller” on Monday.
In a music video accompanying the album’s first single, Lazarus, the singer is shown in a hospital bed with bandages around his eyes.
“Look up here, I’m in heaven,” Bowie sings. “I’ve got scars that can’t be seen. I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen. Everybody knows me now. Look up here, man, I’m in danger. I’ve got nothing left to lose.”
Source : REUTERS