A popular song is like a stock, or a mutual fund -- its value fluctuates based on market circumstances, and it can even be an investment. Licensing tracks to film, television and commercials has become one of the only ways to make money off of music these days, and you don't actually need to be a musician to do it. You just need to own the rights to some music.
In fact, a company called The Royalty Exchange allows the layperson to buy and sell "royalty assets," including songs, through auction. As we type this, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme has a listed starting price of $60,000; its average yearly royalties, according to the site, are $10,645. Don't ask us if it's worth buying -- we at West Coast Sound aren't exactly in the business of investment advice. But we are darn curious. So the folks at the company were kind enough to estimate what a bunch of songs will sell for at auction. If you've ever wanted to know how much the rights to TLC's "Girl Talk" would set you back, you have come to the right place. (The tracks below are listed from cheapest to most expensive.)
Snoop Dogg "Soul Plane Theme"
Disney (Snow White) "Whistle While You Work"
TLC "Girl Talk"
Earth, Wind & Fire "Be Ever Wonderful"
Eric Benet "Spend My Life With You"