Thursday, June 29, 2023

Musicians and Entrepreneurship

Frequent readers of my entreVIEW posts (all three of you) know that I’m also a musical theatre enthusiast. The truth is, I’m just a fan of music in general. I have been known to curate playlists (long before they were known as playlists) for different activities and like to have music playing at every opportunity (even sometimes on the Pickleball court!).

Sometimes, my love for music and musical theatre can even intersect. The jukebox musical has become increasingly prevalent on (and off) Broadway. This genre includes this season’s:
  •  “&Juliet,” a Tony nominated musical which incorporates a bunch of mostly 90’s pop songs written by Swedish songwriter, Max Martin, that were made popular by groups like NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys, Katy Perry, and others;
  •  “Once Upon a One More Time,” a female empowerment “Princess” musical rooted in the catalog of Brittany Spears—I just saw it a couple of weeks ago and it is GREAT!; and
  • "A Beautiful Noise," a musical about the life (and music) of Neil Diamond. I may be biased because Neil was my Dad’s favorite pop artist growing up, but I thought it was really great and I'm not alone!

My love for music got me thinking both about the power of music and about musicians and entrepreneurship.

As to the power of music, some cognitive scientists have postulated that human response to music indicates that we have souls. This is because, unlike the way that virtually all external stimuli have an evolutionary rationale, there is no evolutionary context within which a person’s response to music (tapping your feet, wanting to dance or sing along) makes sense.

As for entrepreneurship, with a little digging, I’ve learned that academic institutions have even begun to offer courses in Music Entrepreneurship to help musicians and others learn how to apply skills and build careers in the music industry.

Of course, you don’t need to earn a degree in Music Entrepreneurship to have success.

While it may not help with survival skills or evolution, the music business can be big money! If you’ve been following the headlines, big music companies have been paying huge sums of money to own the song catalogs of popular artists. Minnesota’s own Bob Dylan recently sold his for about $200 million and Bruce Springsteen sold his for about $500 million. It was also recently reported that the aforementioned Neil Diamond sold his song catalog for north of $250 million!

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