Want to Buy a ‘Piece’ of Your Favourite Singer?

Friday, October 10th, 2014

If you fancy buying a little bit of your favourite band or singer, that is not as mad an idea as it sounds.

We’re guessing you don’t spend your days drumming your fingers on piles of cash, wondering how to maximise your investments.

But if you are that person (lucky you), instead of buying old-fashioned stuff like bars of gold or classic cars you might soon be buying a “piece” of a celebrity.

It’s an idea from a company in the US.

Fantex has created a way you can purchase and sell interests tied to the income of a celebrity.

At the moment it’s all focused around sports stars like NFL footballer Alshon Jeffery of the Chicago Bulls.

The way it works is the celebrity gets a lump sum of cash (in Alshon’s case nearly $8m, that’s around £5m) from the investors, who in return get a stake in that person’s future earnings.

It means whatever money Alshon makes from future contracts and endorsements, his investors – you – get a slice of the money.

So could we see Sam Smith or Paloma Faith floated on the stock market one day?

Tom Pakinkis, from Music Week, told Newsbeat that artists are increasingly looking for new ways to make money from “multiple aspects of both their music and brand”.

“When it comes to artists selling more of themselves, some companies already allow fans to give money to artists for an album before recording has even begun,” he said.

“In return they get more insight into the whole process – whether it’s through exclusive lyric sheets, early recordings, band meets, video diaries.

“It means that a lot of the costs can be covered ahead of time rather than hoping that sales at the end of the chain will bring in enough revenue.”

Of course rock stars and rappers are not exactly noted for their careful and quiet lifestyles, so there’s a chance your star may disappear from the spotlight, develop an addiction or lose a record deal. Amy Winehouse is the obvious example of how it could all go wrong.

The people behind Fantex warn: “As with most investments, there are certain risks. An investment is highly speculative and should only be considered by persons who can afford the loss of their entire investment.”

But it’s also true that today’s megastars are increasingly business-orientated.

Pakinkis said the evidence is already there that musicians can’t just wait for people to buy their songs anymore.

“Examples of new approaches include the likes of Jay Z’s deal with Samsung,” he explained.

“It saw him effectively sell a large number of copies of his album directly to the tech company for it to distribute to its customers.”


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