the billionaires are lowering the interest bill as they compete to purchase treasuries. (the money is borrowed from whoever will accept the lowest interest for it. see https://www.treasurydirect.gov/instit/auctfund/work/work.htm under "Bidding".)
The only country in the world that just prints money when they need it is USA. No other country can do it — it'll just cause hyperinflation. China is not an exception. They can't print US dollars. And if they would print more Yuan, it doesn't mean that China billionaires would be able to buy more houses in LA - the exchange rate of Yuan to dollar will simply drop and they will be able to buy exactly the same amount of goods in US as before.
USA can print almost unlimited amount of money because they control almost all the world and bend most of the governments to buy US treasuries. This is why there're US military bases in many countries and if some country decide to stop accepting US dollar for foreign trade, the next day it's invaded by US military.
Although many people predict that this uncontrollable printing of US dollar will cause US economy to collapse sooner or later. You simply can't do that forever.
GDP per capita and even GDP per capita adjusted for PPP is also misleading because it uses the wrong basket of goods: focusing on things that dont matter.
People forget, wealth is not money. Wealth is the things you buy with money. Wealth is when you can afford the essentials of life: Shelter, food, water, medical insurance, education and transportation (with the costliest ones being Shelter and medical insurance). Consider the number of working hours the average person needs to expend to afford shelter and compare that to 500 years ago. I think you'll find that there hasn't been much improvement. In fact, in CA and bay area, I think you'll see that we're working even longer hours to afford basic shelter than 100s of years ago.
Of course we're wealthier. The shelter you get to enjoy today is leagues better than the shelter you got to "enjoy" hundreds of years ago. The net worth of humanity has gone up. Significantly. We have more advanced technology than ever before. Whatever GDP is measuring probably doesn't consider the fact that we have compounded knowledge and given ourselves things our 100 year old ancestors could not even imagine.
I'm so glad I'm alive at a time further into the future. I may not know how glad I am, because I may not be able to fully comprehend the loss of all of the things that I have today that were simply non-existent back then.
Those that argue we're no better off than we were 200 years ago are pretty unpersuasive these days.
I'm more worried about the next 200 years though. It took several thousand years of civilization to create the industrial revolution, and that was quickly followed by the information revolution. Both dramatically improved quality of life.
But what if this is the end of the exponential? What if Moore's law is dead, and breakthrough technologies like quantum computers or new propulsion systems aren't just "5 to 10 years away", but decades or centuries away?
There is a lot of evidence today suggesting that the industrial and communication revolution was a blip, closer to a step function in human development, preceded by slow linear growth and possibly followed by slow linear growth.
I'm not certain that this will indeed happen, but if it does, our entire society and world is in for a complete shock.
The most famous rant on this is Marx & Engel's manifesto. Chapter one explains how history works, making similar comparisons from their day to older days. The second chapter describes communism's aims. It's also (largely) a rant about the bourgeois.
Anyway, like most Marx, it's hard to translate to concrete terms. One unambiguous line stands out though. "..the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property." - Communist Manifesto
In the very next paragraph, ambiguity re-enters. Even in theory, it's very hard to flesh this out. ...It's especially hard in the context he's most interested in: urban industry/society. Replacing all property with a "commons" is easier to imagine in a rural/village context. Rural commons exist.
I think Marx got the idea from a rural context. Formal and informal privatisations of agricultural commons were part of his stated inspiration, iirc.
Anyway, I think the basics are trivial. Property is effectively income generating by definition. If aristocracy is immoral, then property owning is immoral.
To me, this is a reductio ad absurdum for fundamentalist thinking... kind of like the monty python witch trial.
Virtually every company is moving toward this model - Microsoft, Adobe, Disney, etc. That's my main complaint.
Liberal economists use this term the most, they usually mean large companies trying to get goodies from the state. Lefty ones tend to mean something like "profiteering."
X-as-a-service businesses models aren't exactly new in intellectual property. The patent/copyright systems explicitly assume licensing and royalties. But, I agree that subscriptions are pretty new in consumer-land.
But we need a different term rent seeking already has competing usages.
I think here you might be thinking of Regulatory Capture.
No, they don’t. That is neither a correct nor common use of the term.
With regard to intellectual property, "ownership" is effectively monopoly because nobody else has the right to produce the good. There might be "inferior" or replacements goods with pop music, but maybe not even that when it comes to things like patents.
However I disagree with your assertion that wealth is income generating property. If I store $5mm under my mattress, I have wealth without generating income: the wealth can be used to purchase a large amount of services over a sustained period of time, but it is not generating more wealth.
The argument about "private property" is not hard to understand, it is just confusing for many people because of the way we use the term in modern language. It is not only to be compared with public property, but also personal property: for example, the apartment I live in, or the comb I use to brush my hair. Interestingly, personal property is almost by definition a form of wealth which does not produce income/accumulate value. Here's a good explanation:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_property#Personal_ver...
That $5mm under your mattress is backed by bonds, income yielding bonds. That's why it's worth $5mm. If the country or bank that issues those bonds were defunct, the money would be worthless because the bonds would no longer be income generating.
You could say that gold is nonproductive wealth. Adam Smith sorta argued that gold isn't wealth. You could use a sack of grain as an example..
These examples are theoretical though. IRL, the majority of wealth is equity, bonds, real estate, etc. The value of that property is determined by the income it generates for its owner. If you really had that $5mm, it would probably be in equity, bonds, real estate, and generate a yield... like most wealth in the world.
Much of economics depends on expectation, there is nothing inherently logical about any of it.
This isn’t true. The $5mm is merely representational. The social dynamics that maintain it’s exchange value, i.e. security, is circumstantial. The security is exercised by way of capital.
>personal property is almost by definition a form of wealth which does not produce income/accumulate value.
This is ahistorical. In a capitalist society, personal property is a means to produce value all the same. Capitalism comprises relational circumstances that deem your toothbrush, comb, computer, school supplies, and your quiet home all as means to produce value.
Now I get it.
And yes, the commons may well be becoming more of the world than the private world. interesting idea
I swear, even the Aztecs had a less destructive system.
The other 90% then have to convince the 10% that do the actual work that they are worth the time to produce a surplus for. IP barriers are one way of doing that. Even farmers like pop songs.
Take a close look at that table. It's really important.
Growth areas: Health care and social assistance, educational services, leisure and hospitality, and construction.
And while pop songs artists may deserve compensation, society does not crucially depend on someone collecting royalties for generations after the guy's death.
On the farmer analogy (and inspired by the recent .org tld acquisition), if one really wanted to extract rents, simply acquire the land they work on and set them all to sharecropping.
Most of our efficiency gains are presently being funneled into a glut of overproduction of nonsensical "goods" (eg overfinancialization and overadministration) rather than direct quality of life improvements of everyone being able to work less.
The "Spreading the unemployment" argument is a bit like saying we don't need all those violin players in the orchestra, just ship a few unemployed people in and give those violin players Thursday and Friday off.
And yeah, the "best" orchestra is going to face an insatiable demand for their specific time, and likely enjoys performing as much as humanly possible. But these conditions are exceptional, rather than the situation faced by basically everybody else.
Obviously the long-term goal is ever-more automation. But current economic policy is based around creating full full-time employment, which is fundamentally at-odds with ever-less needing to be done due to automation. Hence the proliferation of anti-productive "bullshit jobs" where people ultimately aren't ultimately helping to produce anything (eg the entire medical billing system), but still need to cling on and go through the motions so they can eat.
I was biased against the guy when I started the article, but if the status quo ante was other execs paying pennies to songwriters for their rights, and then doing little to nothing with them, maybe Mercuriadis is onto something.
Young people hate a lot of music made these days and listen to older music. It's not just a 'when I was young' thing anymore.
There's something very profound that comes from artists who make music, as opposed to a producer who makes some licks, a mediocre singer who belts it out, and a label that brands it.
When the brand/hype/marketing of the 'current flavour' dies down, what is left?
Music older than 4 years has to compete on its own merits, and most of it is forgotten, the better stuff hangs around.
Because music is ever more produced and less created, a lot of the stock today just stand the test of time.
When I was young you'd hear 50's music in the grocery store. Now you hear 80's music. But I think in 30 years we're still going to hear a lot of 80's music (and 60's, 70's and other eras) but the ratio of 'recently contemporary' to older music will be a lot lower.
I heard "Christmas" music in the grocery store that was some traditional song but done in a 90's grunge style.
But it does seem like you have to go out and find music from 2000-2015 these days.
You’re not accounting for the value of nostalgia and cultural significance.
He’s considering launching a songwriter’s union, something akin to the Screenwriters Guild, that would give songwriters more leverage to extract better deals from the industry’s power brokers.
Is that such a bad thing?
I'm a musician but I've never gotten paid for making music and don't want to be. This way, songwriting and playing music can remain something I do purely for the intrinsic joy of it. And it's not really so long ago that, if you wanted music in your house, you had to play it yourself.
I have nothing against recorded music or professional musicians, but it's interesting how much we seem to collectively forget that buying music isn't the only way to have access to it. Not everything we need has to be obtained as a commodity (still less through a monthly subscription).
But I think there's a significant difference: with music, as you play it, you are also experiencing ("consuming") it. And that's what also brings a lot of the pleasure to it.
With writing and videography, meanwhile, the act of production is usually a lot more decoupled from the experience of consumption. I happen to think that producing writing and producing video are also fun activities in their own right. But they don't fit into social life in the way that playing someone a song does.
I perform Bach terribly. But I consume Bach wonderfully when I play. I call it “Listening to the music with my hands.”
I have experienced this with many other physical activities. To ride a twisting descent engages your brain more deeply than to look at the same road or trail. To climb a boulder engages your brain more deeply than to look at the line.
Climbers pantomime the moves before climbing just as aerobatic pilots pantomime their routine before flying. Physical motion engages the brain a certain way that simply thinking, listening, or watching does not.
The pleasure of listening to music with your hands begins when you first make a single satisfying note happen. It is not necessary to be able to play what you would like to hear.
I'm not sure it's enough to keep me going by itself (honestly, I still like to think someone else may be able to enjoy it, eventually, even if this is probably unrealistic). But it's definitely a factor.
Normally enjoyment of the art making process for amateurs is just that, enjoyment of the process. If I want to enjoy literature, I’ll read the work of professional writers. If I want to enjoy the task of writing, I’ll write myself.
For most people, art making as a hobby is occasional, simply by the time & resource limits of regular jobs, family obligations, etc. While consuming art is much more accessible.
Some other things can be closer to a gray middle area. For me, that is cooking. I expect myself to be able to make really world class food even in my crappy apartment kitchen with limited time and a normal grocery budget. So when I can’t do that, due to time constraints generally, I won’t whip together something quick just ‘cause.. I’d rather simply transfer the grocery budget to restaurant budget and eat better made things.
Thankfully, since most of the very best food is found at cheap or medium end restaurants, and not too much at five star expensive places, this is fairly easy without changing my budget. But compromising to make a mediocre thing myself, either purely for the sake of cooking or to allegedly save money, is not interesting or useful to me.
I could imagine people feel that way about a lot of things.
The simple answer is that it completely ignores how the world works. Things don't decide to be world class. They are labeled world class after they have existed and were compared with other things that are not world class. If you decide to remove the non world class things from the ranking (because they were not worth doing) you will realize that the number of non world class things has increased.
You and only you decide if a thing is worth doing. If you want to learn Mandarin, so what? You will probably never be a best-selling or critically acclaimed author of Mandarin books. You are unlikely to be the next star in a Mandarin-singing boy-or girl-band. You will not be a TV host reading the news in Mandarin.
What of it? Does learning even a little Mandarin give you pleasure? Do it!
It’s insane to judge everything in your life by whether you are going to be in the top one tenth of one percentile. That is a recipe for constant stress an unhappiness, for forever judging yourself by impossible standards and coming up short.
I don't see what "marketization" has to do with things.
There have been plenty of "busy beavers" over the years organizing all the music recordings on various non-commercial services at a scale that surpasses most similar commercial services. If anything, "marketization" has prevented them from making these collections even bigger than they have been.
Those collections are thus better seen as a resource for people who want to play music themselves, rather than as a consumer substitute for musicianship.
It's never going to say "our business model requires you pay 20% more to keep listening to me", or "we're going to stop working on your favourite playback device because we changed the DRM and expect you to buy a new one."
No service-based model can match those claims.
There’s a market. Not what it once was, because what was once the recording market was born out of necessity as much as anything else.
I, like a lot of other people, am definitely interested in the ephemera. I like owning records. There’s a tangible ritual to putting a record on, and there’s really something to be said for the sound. Even dirty records with their occasional pops and scratches. It’s a visceral appreciation for the medium, to be sure. That said I also buy a lot of paper books.
There’s also something to owning a copy. I use Apple Music these days when I’m commuting or on the road and it’s great. I can hear most anything I want for the price I pay each month, but I even still buy copies of albums I really love because they’re mine. It won’t go away if Apple decides to kill the streaming service, or if I decide to unsubscribe (which will be the case at some point because the stacking up of subscriptions wears on me).
On the whole? I don’t know. I’m curious about the data, too. But who is buying music? A lot of people! There is still a lot of people who don’t just see it as a commodity.
On that last note I’m not a great trend-chaser, so I probably have a certain lens I see the whole thing through—but I’m not the only one.
The main problem with streaming off Youtube is that, unless you stick to popular songs (>100M views), it's just a matter of time before some songs in your playlists become unavailable ("video is not available in your country", or unofficial upload gets deleted). I've been using NewPipe (Android) and Ivory (iOS) to play YT videos in background, so I'm not as annoyed with that as I would've been if I had been paying for Youtube Music, but it's still a deal breaker. Meanwhile on Bandcamp, some songs I bought have been deleted since that time, but I still have them in my library and can stream them in the app (I can't share link to these, though, as it's 404 unless you're logged into an account that has these in the library). Of course I could have been downloading YT videos to my PC, and stream them via Subsonic, and I was doing exactly this for many years, but I kept having weird issues with that (and it's metadata hell).
If I were to switch to Spotify, I would have to leave my music collection behind, as the songs I have on Bandcamp are not on Spotify, and vice versa. But I don't see a reason to, as Spotify would also be more expensive option vs buying 1-2 $2 albums per month. And the money I would be paying to Spotify wouldn't even go to the artist I listen to afaik, since the only thing that matters when it comes to Spotify payouts is the total number of times your songs have been played, which is determined in a large part by what the recommendation algorithm has been recommending to hairdressers and drivers, as well as what the current mainstream trends are.
Organizing data is a problem music freaks have.
I guess the other way is to play at home, in isolation, so you don't need a license like you would need when playing for a group?
I look at it as an alternate bond like investment that is not corelated with traditional bonds - target yield is 5% I think
I think the goal is to launch the next ASCAP/BMI/SESAC and basically charge astronomical rates for songs people want to hear. Songwriters will love it and artists will have no choice.
This is pretty much a confirmation: "Along with owning a bigger chunk of the publishing market, he wants to continue altering it. He’s considering launching a songwriter’s union, something akin to the Screenwriters Guild, that would give songwriters more leverage to extract better deals from the industry’s power brokers."
It's a public company. I might want to buy some stock in it when I can.
So it might look that the composer or artist themselves are somehow unbelievably special.
The talent shows for example have produced quite many popular artists here. One could see that as "see, anyone can be successful!". Or one can see that the machinery can choose which talented and hard working people they make "successful".
The journalism around music is especially naive. They constantly mix up people, phenomena, music, promotion and popularity happily.
People to a surprising degree like what they think they are supposed to like.
In US, for mechanical royalties, the rates are set by government. So yes, they could charge whatever they want for live and synch, but that would have much smaller impact on the general population.
This may be less true in the digital streaming realm, but it's hard to tell through all the rhetoric.
There was a leaked Sony memo that showed that most of profits come from back catalog and most of their losses are from new artist development.
What have the labels got to compete with talented artists with a few grand of equipment in their bedroom? A bunch of commercially-minded manufactured acts pumping out me-too crap while countless layers of expensive executives and expensive "experts" polish away anything human from the art? Labels used to be successful because making recordings was expensive. Then it was because they held the keys to distribution and radio. Now it's... what?
1) Vulfpeck slid through the YouTube music window about 2010-2012 that has since closed (that also produced Beiber, Jepsen, Psy with "Gangnam Style" etc.).
2) Vulfpeck were the backing musicians for Darren Criss who was very much a product of the standard system.
3) They are probably the antithesis that making new music is easier. They save a LOT of money because they can get away with doing minimal production because they are SOOO smoking good.
If you have to be at the level of Vulfpeck to make a living making music, then basically nobody is going to be able to do so.
But it's also true that traditional marketing is becoming increasingly less relevant for new acts. New music discovery used to be driven by radio, media and advertising. Those gatekeepers are now being challenged by algorithms and social media—and there's no sign of that trend slowing down yet.
To my original point: making music is now an order of magnitude cheaper than it was just a few decades ago. And venues where an act to break out are more accessible than ever. I'm not saying the industry is now or ever will be perfectly egalitarian, but the distance travelled is monumental.
Why, what’s the information advantage you have over the market?
By investing in a public company, you are saying “I think the market is wrong about the potential for this company”, and I’m curious to know why you think that having read this public piece, you think the company is currently undervalued? The shares are at £109 — what price do you think they should be really?
This sounds like some religious creed, with dogmatic status. You do realise that The Market, hallowed be its name, is just people, and people are (often) wrong. The recent high profile news about wework should be a great example of this, or indeed any regular observation of our world.
He just thinks the stock is going to go up in the future, based on his observations. What's so strange about that?
I can buy, forget and auto-reinvest the dividends. Stock price swings are not particularly interesting if you never plan to sell.
That's a pretty sophomoric way to look at investing. Many companies provide no dividends. Many give large dividends, but their stock value decreases.
Obviously, when considering an investment, one considers both the dividends and potential growth of the underlying asset together.
The S&P 500 has pretty consistently had yields of 10-15% over the last 100 years. It makes more sense to invest in a "boring" ETF that follows the market making 10% than a "boring" stock that yields 5%.
Termination rights. In the 1970s, a new copyright bill was enacted that said that 35 years after the creation of a work, the ownership of that work automatically reverts back to the original creator. The idea behind the proposal was to give artists control of their works later in their career, when they may no longer be a pop sensation, kind of like a retirement account.
For example, Lady Gaga may be super popular right now, but roughly around 2050, she will automatically regain the rights to her original recordings. She can then resell those rights to someone else, generating an additional bit of income later in life.
So as an investor, if you buy up the rights to a bunch of works, you need to know that your ownership has an expiration date.
Lady Gaga almost certainly sold all of her rights to her label, a corporate entity, when she was signed. However, because of termination rights, 30 years later, that contract will lapse, reverting the rights back to the original artists. If 20 people created the Lady Gaga song, then it will revert back to all 20 of them jointly, and if a label wants to buy the rights, it will need to make deals with each one individually.
So by buying up the rights he has the incentive to push hard to sell licenses to that music and can build up teams of salespeople to do only that. What songwriter wouldn't want to sign up if they don't like the burden of managing those opportunities themselves and don't trust that labels will put the effort in.
And you retain all rights to your creation.
With Hipgnosis Songs Fund, Mercuriadis bypassed all of them. Songwriters are able to generate revenue from three sources: mechanical royalties (the sale or legal download of a song), performance royalties (paid every time a song is heard in public, whether it’s a live performance, on TV, or in a movie; played in a bar or restaurant; or streamed), and synch fees (song licensing for use in movies, video games, and commercials). Mechanical royalties are the only stream with a set rate; performance and synch royalties are negotiated percentages. Synchs are often more lucrative for the songwriter, since they generally split 50% for the writer and the artist, with the label taking its cut from the artist’s piece of the pie.
Synch is where Hipgnosis Song Fund could make them money, as Mercuriadis explained to the 177 hedge fund and private investors he pitched between 2015 and 2018.
Of course every case is unique.
Heck, the record labels might do it at this point - after all, they'll still have the rights to the actual performed audio ("the master").
"In the music industry, paying for assets at a 10x multiple is considered top dollar. Mercuriadis is reportedly paying up to 20x, making it impossible for others to compete."
Could end up exiting through the launch of a Music Royalties REIT. Liquid assets that trade always get a premium over illiquid limited partnerships. Could be an interesting asset class for diversification that's relatively uncorrelated...
Anyway, full investment prospectus for his fund is here:
They're effectively treating each song as an artist with its own manager, so naturally that manager is gonna be much better able to see how and where to place "their" songs.
His investors take all the risk on trying to make a return on that investment, the songwriter gets paid double up front.
Historically, content creation and distribution were bundled. Distribution further bundled the content per se and performances. This was all an artefact of the up-front cost of manufacturing and distributing physical media.
With digitization, there is no reason a content creator shouldn't be able to essentially freelance. Make good content. Get paid for it. No requirement to promote yourself on social media, no need to perform for audiences. One could still do that. But it would be a vertical play, not the default.
A financial vector such as this one, which identifies good content, buys it, and then works out distribution, is one way to solve this problem.
Spotify is a multi-billion dollar company. I’m not sure what it does is trivial.
On buying proven content, that still increases competition on the buy side for that content. The decoupling of distribution and content acquisition still happens, and makes the top end of the market pricier. That, in turn, means more money to the lower end, et cetera.
Acquiring the rights to distribute profitably is non trivial, of course.
It essentially allows the distribution channel to dictate terms both ways. If you’re an artist, you can accept a pittance to produce things the distribution channel approves of (through algorithmic selection or explicit curation), or else you can make all your money from concerts and merch.
But if you “make good content” that the actual end users actually monetarily value, it won’t succeed except for the concert and fame cultivation route. Because the distribution channel is going to be a buzzsaw mowing down your created content on the way to whatever it decides to force feed the masses. It takes free will entirely out of content selection on the part of the ultimate paying customer. They pay for what they have been manipulated to think they chose.
The alternative is something like Bandcamp where the artist just posts music and the world decides to buy it or not. But through license & regulatory capture, catalog hoarding, etc., big distribution channels can easily use non-market forces to crush these things, and what’s left is such a low volume so as to not matter at all.
It’s a certain kind of irrational exuberance / maniac grab for stock returns that we lavish ridiculous overvaluations on media delivery businesses that empower them to build these types of moats, essentially de-risking themselves from having to participate in a market by delivering a market valued product by algorithmically manipulating the consumer to eat what they’re given so the distribution channel can have all of the negotiation power.
Frankly the same is true for app store distribution and tv distribution, delivery food distribution and many other things.
Just such destructive behavior by investors (both VC and everyday) who are bidding up these kinds of “delivery capture” businesses.
The big question though is why does he think he'll be better at this than others? Or rather, for his investors, why will it be better after his fees?
He's got a first mover advantage by the looks of it. It takes some balls to buy a team with music experience to do this new thing. Of course you have the issue that some other guy will just do the same and compete with you, just like umpteen financial businesses (eg Private Equity).
I’m sure there is some correlation to general GDP growth, and you would actually want that. It’s the specific stock market correlation that you tend to not want.
If that is really what it would cost, then for 0.1% of the cost of the Iraq war, we could have had free culture, unencumbered by copyrights. I guess for 1%, the whole century's music production released in the public domain?
Surely, it would have made more for everyone's life comfort than the operation Iraq Freedom did?
Although doing nothing at all would also be much better than invading a country and causing the deaths of more than a million people.
> “We turn down 70% of what’s offered to us, and oftentimes we make the first move in finding writers whose catalogs aren’t publicly for sale,” he says.
> Ultimately, his goal with Hipgnosis — which went public on the London Stock Exchange in June 2018 — is to own 15% to 20% of the overall publishing market.
That's more like someone buying up the silver mining rights across large but carefully picked swathes of land. Then he rents those rights to miners for a fee he can use to buy even more mining rights.
How, exactly? I'm fairly certain most of a songs revenue is made by the first year. To go beyond that, you've got to get your song back in the public mind.
> Silver doesn't do that.
You can certainly borrow against the value of the silver to fund low risk investments.
Bass player with a 70s pop star who's still working and making music here.... I know that his hit songs still generate a significant amount of income for him (I'm not giving figures, but I would be more than happy if I had that much coming in for a full time income, let alone as passive income 50 years later). The songs get airplay, and get used in adverts and so on, and that generates income that I'd certainly be very happy to have. (I don't, I'm just a hired hand, very late to the party!)
He didn't start out 8 figures in the hole, but he has spent a LOT of time getting the money he was owed due to being ripped off by managers doing dodgy deals - every story he tells me is jaw-dropping and you just can't believe people would act like that, but they do. Repeatedly!
That's literally what passive income is. For example, if I rent out farmland to someone, most of it's value will probably come from the fact it can be farmed. It still requires effort to farm that land, but not my effort. For me, it's passive income.
Same thing with music, whoever rents the rights must put in the effort to make it worth renting.
But once he gets renting, it's passive income. The problem is, can he make it to that point or did he buy houses that weren't sufficently rentable?
Wants to own everything musical and starts up a billion dollar fund to do so.
I think if you are not an overly literal person it makes more sense though. It's social posturing which is meant to mean "I don't like the most extreme elements of consumer culture like designer belt buckles and luxury automobiles". To many people "believing in material things" means that and not what they are literally saying.
It seems like many people find this type of exaggerated speech to be really charismatic which I find really annoying.
Essentially, the summary of this article is that this dude thinks he can leverage these song catalogs better than other investors. He's literally a music fund manager for music.
His firm is "overpaying" for these back catalogs because he's essentially putting together a collection that might command more revenue than other "fund" managers, and possibly set up something of a targeted monopoly, and he's betting that they can extract more value than less competent managers and record labels.
It wasn't directly addressed in the article but I suspect that the general strategy is to own the majority the sorts of songs that are more suitable for generating Synch fees. A big corporation is going to look around for a collection of songs that tend to do well in a TV commercial, for example. Perhaps they find that Hipgnosis happens to own all of them, and now they have to pay a higher rate, and all of a sudden the high price paid for this catalog doesn't seem like overpaying.
Didn't Spotify do that already?
If you can license music for distribution or inclusion in TV/film scores from Spotify, I am not aware of that.
I now split my time between good old classic heavy metal (Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden)(anything after 7nth son is junk imho), Metallica (up to Justice..), everything Sepultura, basically eveything rock/metal up-to-early-1990.
I get it that for new musicians it's hard to find their place in the world/market, but go start your own cafe/bakery/what-have-you and face competition.
Porter's five forces to the max!
> new songs ans creativity destroys value of old songs […] new songs have no incentive at all to emerge
and though it's probably not the most popular genre today, there's plenty of post rock being made these days: https://www.reddit.com/r/postrock/wiki/albums/2019
This is a short, two-part doc about a small music venue I was fortunate enough to spend my late teens and early twenties frequenting. It was the closest thing to my small town that brought me a lot of music from the generation you’re listing. Searching YouTube will unearth performances from the place. I’m in one of the group photos they put up somewhere in this. I miss the place.
Some of Tim and Scott's stories are entertaining and worth the listen.
those are fighting words, my friend. Fear of the Dark and Paschendale are just two examples that came after Seventh Son and are rightly played often by the band at their concerts and immensely popular.
Although you probably didn't mean https://youtu.be/Cz6FOyTmFUA it's what jumped to my mind, it's a really beautiful song for sure.
Maybe Pissed Jeans and Envy, but that might be a bit too punk rock.
Unless they're seeing a live symphony or literally sitting in the recording studio with an artist, the vast majority of people (99.999%) aren't hearing music performed by the named artist. They're hearing music recordings generated by teams of people and performed by a computer.
Local musicians (the main source of music for people earlier than about 150 years ago) just cannot compete with the supranormal stimulus of pop/rock/soul written and performed and mastered by students of psychology and music and distributed by capitalists.
A billion dollars seems a bit low though, no? Surely he's gonna miss a lot.
Taylor Swift, Timbaland, and Bruno Mars are all arguably homogenous music made by marketing groups for middle American focus groups. They are endlessly replaceable, rather forgettable, artists and will be lost to history by the 'next big thing' that sounds just like it or very similar in a year or two. It has more in common with pop fashion than originally expressive art.
Music made by marketers for middle America focus groups commodifies music so that the next thing can easily replace the current thing.
Who remembers blaque, or 3LW, or All-4-One or the train is boy and girl bands from the past?
This is just the music business cannibalizing itself.
Truly expressive, original, personal, music will always be timeless in my opinion, because its irreplaceable, the style is non reproducible, and it's pretty much unexplainable how it's created.even by the artist...see led zepp, Beatles, Billy Corgan, Mozart, etc. etc.
That's my thoughts and what music I think what he should be focusing on.
This company is often buying songwriter's catalogs, not just specific public-facing artists that come and go.
And while you may not remember the artists names, these songs often end up in commercials and other adaptations that generate revenue, even if they're not actually the original recording.
If a commercial plays the song "Whip It," do you remember that it was performed by Devo? I sure didn't, but I've seen it in a heck of a lot of commercials, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqnPciNhQXU
The rights holder to that song undoubtedly made money from that commercial, even though the lyrics have been changed.
The importance of the songwriter over the artist has been growing, all of this was mentioned in the article.
That has always been the case in the USA.
The band's songwriter buys a mansion, and the rest rent apartments.
The Go-gos (writer Jane Wiedlin), Twisted Sister (writer Dee Snyder) and Smashing Pumpkins (writer Billy Corrigan) broke up over that, and prolly a majority of other bands.
Songwriter Diane Warren is prolly a billionaire:
What's interesting is that above even that is owning publishing rights, pioneered by Frank Sinatra. He produced his own albums, then after he mastered he shopped for a distributor.
Almost no US musicians bothered to retain publishing rights, aside from Steve Vai, Frank Zappa and a few other hard-asses. I tell Youtubers to "own your publishing."
Source: in the biz.