March 7, 2020 ☼ Links
“Though valuations of the major labels are currently at an all-time high […] the past 20 years have been volatile[…]. Royalties, however, have been the one constant, viewed as the safe long-term play: No songs, no hits, no money. Now private equity firms, institutional investors, and high-profile managers want in on it, too. In recent years, billions of dollars have flooded the music business to invest in the catalogs of songwriters. […]“In less than three years, Hipgnosis has purchased nearly 7,500 songs, more than 1,000 of which have been number one hits. Mercuriadis has done eight-figure catalog deals with the writers of five of the songs in Billboard’s Top 10 of the Decade: Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” co-written by Jeff Bhasker; Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” co-written by Johnny McDaid (also the song with the most streams in Spotify history); the Chainsmokers’ “Closer”; Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You,” co-written by Starrah; and the Latin crossover smash “Despacito” from Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber, co-written by Poo Bear."
Provocative/polemic, not entirely correct, fun, deeply unsatisfying. “The millennial aesthetic promises a kind of teleology of taste: as if we have only now, finally, thanks to innovation and refinement, arrived at the objectively correct way for things to look.
“If you simultaneously can’t afford any frills and can’t afford any failure, you end up with millennial design: crowd-pleasing, risk-averse, calling just enough attention to itself to make it clear that you tried.“