Oh my gosh. Thesis-wise I think this is still an opportunity, though I am now uncertain how long it will take for it to become true — I think there's going to be a marketplace for experiences which are not concerts, movies, [but] interactive experiences where I can both create content and consume content at the same time.
In Paris, there is L'Atelier des Lumières
. You buy a ticket and it's a bunch of projection mount classic artworks, high resolution images, scans, and sets of music, and you go in and you're totally surrounded by it: it's like a giant warehouse full of cool projection mounts. Very other-wordly in the way it makes you feel. In New Mexico, there's Meow Wolf
, which is like a crazy museum, where you crawl through the artwork and you end up feeling like a little ant. Modern art museums around the world have created infinity rooms — you see a bunch of Instagram influencers taking their picture and it's nothing but stars and mirrors behind them — that create these experiences. [This] is an incredible opportunity to have them be very music centric, because music and visuals combined together is such a powerful thing.
I also really like the way Splice is working: the marketplace for parts of songs or sounds is really interesting, [although] I think it's kind of temporary. Something like the Popgun engine grows up and the whole planet has the ability to make whole songs anytime they want, parts of songs and those assets individually become less valuable. But right now, a good portion of the top 100 songs on the planet have parts in them and samples that were purchased in the Splice marketplace. The pre-market components of songs as [a] marketplace is super fascinating to me.
The other thing, [and] we've already made a couple of investments about [it], is the marketplace for partial ownership of rights. There are more copyrights being created today than ever before. There are more people getting a little of YouTube ad-share revenue, getting some SoundCloud money, or getting some Spotify income, where there's enough attention to these pieces of artwork [and] not enough capital necessarily for them to have a liquidity event where they get a loathsome of a large amount of capital to go onto the next level. [At the same time], there's a predictable amount of attention where you could make advances against that, or sell a portion of that income upfront for a larger amount of capital that you could reinvest in your business and grow forward.
I think there are going to be pretty vibrant marketplaces for future earnings. If you were to win a lottery, and be paid $1 million dollars a year for the next fifty years of your life, someone would come along and say: "You just won $50 million, but that's going to take you fifty years to collect it. We'll give you $35 million in cash right now in exchange for your $50 million. We're going to make a return of $15 million on our deal, but now you have $35 million all at once rather than a million dollars a year." That's going to be a vibrant marketplace that doesn't involve lawyers, managers, and paperwork. That will all be automated and musicians are going to have access to that capital in a pretty incredible way.
That'll change the way copyright deals work, too, because right now you have songwriters doing really bad publishing deals just so that they can get a $25,000 advance. Optimistically, I think that the marketplace [would] create a better and more just economy for musicians. Musicians do better with that as their capital source than they do as record labels and publishers.
We'll see. I'll probably be wrong and there will be something else, and that's how it goes. (laughs)