185. Barry Massarsky of Citrin Cooperman: Valuing the Stairway to Heaven – Putting a Price on Music

Barry Massarsky is a partner and co-practice leader – music economics and valuation services at Citrin Cooperman,  and was the founder of Massarksy Consulting, which he sold to Citrin Cooperman early in 2022. He is credited with pioneering the economics of royalty cash flows in the early 1990s. And together with his business partner Nari Matsuura developed a model to guide banks lending to music investors. Last year Massarksy Consulting valued over 400 catalogs totaling more than $9 billion.

We start with Barry’s path into this somewhat esoteric area of finance, his experience studying at Cornell and how he first developed an interest in valuing music cash flows.  The rather unusual place for this to start was an internship on Capitol Hill and an anti-trust case.  Since then, his career has had ups and downs and we talk about one such “down” which required him to start again, and how he used his network to do so.

We dive in then to the dynamics of the music industry today, the impact of streaming and the innovation that essentially saved the industry from cannibalization.  We speak about recent music deals, such as the valuation of prominent music catalogs and the different dynamics that is driving demand today – such as the abundant production of content. We end with paying homage to some of the extraordinary artists and leaders that Barry has worked with and distill some of their wisdom into some takeaways from the podcast.

Series 2 of 2023 is kindly sponsored by Beach Point Capital Advisors, an investment manager that believes in investment beyond the traditional.  It specializes in credit investments and employs a flexible, value-oriented, risk-controlled focusing on complex and less well-followed opportunities.

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