On the Beat

You could own a piece of Wiz Khalifa’s No. 1 hit

This file photo taken on December 31, 2015 shows singers Charlie Puth, left, and Wiz Khalifa performing during a New Year’s Eve event in Times Square in New York. “Gangnam Style,” the quirky South Korean video that spawned a global dance craze and went so viral it nearly broke YouTube, has been dethroned as the most watched video. After four and a half years as YouTube’s most seen video, “Gangnam Style” slipped late July 10, 2017, to number two, replaced by “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth.
This file photo taken on December 31, 2015 shows singers Charlie Puth, left, and Wiz Khalifa performing during a New Year’s Eve event in Times Square in New York. “Gangnam Style,” the quirky South Korean video that spawned a global dance craze and went so viral it nearly broke YouTube, has been dethroned as the most watched video. After four and a half years as YouTube’s most seen video, “Gangnam Style” slipped late July 10, 2017, to number two, replaced by “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. AFP/Getty Images

If you’ve ever wanted to “own” a No. 1 single, here’s your chance: A royalty interest in Wiz Khalifa’s hugely popular 2015 hit “See You Again” is up for sale, with bidding set to close at 5 p.m. Eastern Time Aug. 7.

What’s for sale is a share of the copyright revenue stream for “See You Again,” which also features Charlie Puth. The song spent a dozen weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart in 2015 after appearing in the soundtrack for the movie “Furious 7”; it’s a tribute to Paul Walker, the actor who died in a car wreck during filming.

Along with registering 20.9 million sales and track-equivalent streams, the “See You Again” video has amassed more than 3 billion views on YouTube and recently surpassed “Gangnam Style” as the most viewed YouTube video ever (though the feat was short-lived as “Despacito” broke the 3 billion view mark Friday).

Bidding started last week at $30,000. As of Monday morning, 28 bidders had pushed the price up to $57,000 with seven hours still to go.

The seller, who is remaining anonymous, was one of the track’s background singers, according to a news release. The auction is for 100 percent of the seller’s interest in domestic sound recording performance royalties and 30 percent of international royalties. While there is no guarantee of future performance, that share of “See You Again” came to $11,732 in payments over the last 12 months.

The auctioneer is Royalty Exchange, a Denver-based company that first began in the Triangle in 2011 as SongVest. Auctioning off future royalties has emerged as a growing revenue stream in the music industry in recent years. Other recent auctions on Royalty Exchange include music from Black Eyed Peas, Ginuwine, Chris Brown and various soundtracks, some at prices into six figures.

For details on the “See You Again” auction, go here.

UPDATE: After a last-minute flurry of bidding, the final winning price was $102,000.

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi

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