The Beach Boys Sell Intellectual Property Rights, Including Masters of ‘Surfin USA’ and ‘Good Vibrations’

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Beach Boys are joining other artists like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Stevie Nicks in selling their intellectual property rights.

According to NME, the group sold their brand to Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group. This means he owns the Beach Boy’s master recordings, their name, their likeness, part of their publishing rights, and memorabilia.

The amount he paid has not yet been disclosed. However, for reference, Bob Dylan recently sold his songwriting catalog for somewhere around $300 million to Universal Music Publishing group. The exact price was never reported, but The New York Times estimated this was the price or worth for the catalog.

The new direction for the Beach Boys will help spread their music and image to newly emerging technology platforms like VR and AR. CEO Olivier Chastan said to Rolling Stone, “The Beach Boys, in a sense, are not just a band. They’re a lifestyle. They’re a consumer brand. And they’ve never really exploited that.”

There was also a suggestion of digitally replicating the band. This is sometimes considered a controversial move for classic groups or artists. The goal of this deal is to really monetize the group’s image in ways they never have before.

Azoff is the manager of the Eagles and Jon Bon Jovi. This deal is likely going to cost him around $100 million to $200 million. For him, though, it’s all worth it. He said in an interview with Bloomberg that, “We think the Beach Boys is an underappreciated trademark. They are just not as important as they could and should be.”

Many people know the Beach Boys for encompassing the California youth culture of surfing and vibing of the ’60s.

However, the band did a lot more than just “Surfin’ U.S.A.” and “Good Vibrations.” The goal in selling their intellectual property rights is continuing to allow more people to deeply discover everything the Beach Boys had and continues to offer.

They were popular without the help of new publishing groups too. In 2004, Rolling Stones ranked them as No. 12 on the list of greatest artists of all time. Their songs still continue to be streamed regularly.

There haven’t always been good vibrations in the group when it comes to different legal issues. For example, according to Billboard, in 2008 there was an issue with Al Jardine using the name “Beach Boys Family & Friends” as a band name.

Mike Love had the rights for the “Beach Boys” name at the time. Everything has been settled since especially now that their rights have been sold.

In November 2006, Jardine and Wilson also put on a series of concert shows for the Beach Boy’s “Pet Sounds” album. The surviving members have still been making an effort to share with fans their rhythmic and soothing music.