Meet the alum behind some of music's biggest rights deals

What do rapper Tone Loc’s platinum hit “Wild Thing,” the soulful tune “Time After Time” by ’80s pop queen Cyndi Lauper, and the soundtrack to the musical South Pacific have in common? They’re among the hundreds of thousands of songs whose rights now reside with a company helmed by a Cornellian.

Steve Salm ’93 has spearheaded the massive, headline-grabbing acquisitions of the rights to some of pop culture’s most recognizable hits and collections on behalf of Concord, the firm where he serves as a founding partner and chief business development officer.

In 2022, Concord purchased the entire catalogs of Phil Collins and Genesis for a whopping $300 million. Two years earlier, Salm led the nine-figure acquisition of Imagine Dragons’ back catalog, including smash hits like “Believer.”

As recently as September 2023, Concord added more than 30,000 songs to its portfolio, among them the catalogs of KISS, REO Speedwagon, and Cheap Trick—as well as hits by Duran Duran and Pat Benatar.

“Some people know what commercial buildings are worth, or what a stock is worth,” Salm observes. “My skillset is determining the economic and financial value of songs.”

Read the story on the Cornellians website.

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Steve Salm