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Opinion September 27, 2023

Music Fans Will Profit from Their Favourite Artists: Op-Ed

Music Fans Will Profit from Their Favourite Artists: Op-Ed

The music industry is on the brink of a groundbreaking transformation that promises to redefine the relationship between artists and their fans.

This isn’t mere speculation; it’s an impending reality. I sat with The Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen to talk about his new company JKBX, and the revolution that will turn fans from mere consumers into genuine stakeholders, fans who not only support their favourite artists, but profit from them.

WATCH: Fear At The Top with Scott Cohen

The Passionate Fan: More Than Just a Consumer

Consider the fervent dedication of die-hard music fans.

Utter a disparaging word about Taylor Swift to the wrong person, and you die. Swift is on track to become the first artist ever to rake in US$1 billion from a single tour. Her fans are elevating Taylor to a place no artist has been to before.

However, the Taylor Swift fandom is not an anomaly; it’s simply more visible due to its sheer scale. Artists of all sizes have fiercely loyal fans. An artist only needs about 1,000 dedicated followers, each spending a $100 per year, to make a full-time living from music. And now, there are more artists living off their music than ever before.

The irrationality of fandom lies in its one-sided investment. Fans pour their time, energy, and money into supporting their favourite artists, often without any tangible return. I recall my younger days in Sydney, hustling to sell mixtapes in my local area for local rappers I loved. My reward? The sheer joy of spreading the music to the world that I felt was important. It’s an irrational yet powerful motivator.

Now, imagine a world where Taylor Swift fans could financially invest in her next single. The next level of fandom this could unlock is beyond comprehension.

The Kid with an Ear: The Unrecognized Talent Scout

Every classroom and university lecture room has that one kid whose finger is firmly on the cultural pulse.

They’re the trendsetters, the influencers, the ones who know what artist is cool long before industry executives catch on.

These kids are unwittingly performing the roles of artist managers or A&R scouts. I had my own epiphany at 19, diving headfirst into artist management the moment I realised what I was doing by burning CDs for my friends to get them onto the next big thing.

The democratization of music investment, facilitated by platforms like JKBX, will be a game-changer for these kids. Instead of dabbling in volatile cryptocurrencies, they’ll be investing in something they genuinely understand: music, and if they’re good, they’ll profit from it.

Note: JKBX is only available for users 18+ and older

The Future of Music Investment Platforms: A New Frontier

Platforms like JKBX are pioneering this monumental shift, allowing fans to invest in songs, albums, and artists.

The return on investment is tied to the music’s success, creating a win-win scenario for both the industry and the fan experience.

Fans and can reserve a percentage of  the royalty income of their favourite songs. Right now, you can jump onto JKBX and invest in songs performed by Beyoncé, Adele, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, and the catalogue this will only grow overtime.

As Billboard explains, like dividend-paying stocks, royalty shares acquired on JKBX’s platform will give investors the right to a slice of the income a specific song generates. The types of royalty streams offered ­— for example, publishing, recording and whether there are geographic boundaries attached — will vary by song and be disclosed in each offering.

The rising tide of the Music Industry

The financial implications are staggering. A Goldman Sachs report projects the music industry to reach a valuation of $142 billion by 2030 which means investing in a portfolio of songs today, even if nothing changes, will be worth far more in 2030 as the value of music as a whole asset class increases over time.

Pick a few winners that outperform the market and that growth will be multiplied.

Listen to Scott Cohen on Fear At The Top

Scott Cohen tells his story of founding The Orchard and how his experience has lead him to founding JKBX.

Democratisation of music investment is obvious to me. People will be buying and selling their favourite music as often as they are buying and selling stocks, crypto and art.

It promises a landscape where fans are not just consumers but stakeholders, where young kids with their fingers on the pulse can monetise their skills, and where artists gain more control over their financial destiny.


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