Alex Guiva’s career arc doesn’t fit that of a typical music impresario. Born in Ukraine, he moved to Arkansas in 1997 to attend Lyon College before settling into a corporate finance job at a Dallas investment boutique. Last year he stumbled across a site called Royalty Exchange and invested a five-figure sum in a catalog of music played on the sitcom Modern Family and in Barbie commercials.
When that first catalog delivered a 15% annualized return, Guiva decided to expand his portfolio and went searching for another piece of intellectual property on the platform. Eventually, he found a new song with double-digit yield potential and won a slice at auction for $110,000, even though he wasn’t familiar with the tune itself, “Bodak Yellow,” or its performer, a rising hip-hop star from the Bronx.
“To be frank, prior to seeing this, I had not heard of Cardi B,” says Guiva, who has now committed about 10% of his overall portfolio to music royalties. “But I felt like [the song] had enough following. The comments on YouTube and everything else—I felt like she’ll continue being popular.”
“Bodak Yellow” is now certified 7x platinum, and the aggregate global value of music copyrights has soared to $28 billion, according to Spotify’s chief economist, Will Page. Along with competitors like SongVest, Royalty Exchange has given entertainment aficionados with a penchant for