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You can bid on the rights to these classic ‘Sesame Street’ songs
If you’re an independently wealthy internet user, it’s time to get your bidding fingers ready.
The estate of longtime Sesame Street writer Tony Geiss is auctioning off songwriting and publishing royalties to some of the show’s most recognizable songs and donating the proceeds to charity. Geiss started his Sesame Street tenure in 1978 and is responsible for co-creating popular characters like Abby Cadabby and the Honkers. He amassed a pretty sizable catalog over the decades, and the residuals his songs rake in are no joke. In 2016, “Elmo’s World” alone made more than $25,000 and “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” made more than $10,000.
Everything from AM/FM radio to streaming and live performances are subject to residual rights. In other words, every time someone hits play on a YouTube video featuring one of Geiss’ songs, his estate makes a little bit of money. And now it could be you!
The bidding starts at $430,000 and also includes screenwriting residuals for the animated films An American Tail and The Land Before Time. They require a $10,000 increase per bid, so no one will be winning this eBay-style by adding $1 to the total at the last minute, but if you have a spare hundred-thousand dollars lying around the house (or know someone who does), this might not be a bad investment.
The auction closes June 9 at 1pm MT.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.