Music Executives and VCs Meme


What goes around, comes around, at least in the blog world. Today, Paul and Fred have picked up on a post by Rags which compares VCs with music executives. Unfortunately, we had that conversation back on May 11, 2004. Coincidence that rest of the world is picking up on the theme, which actually was started by dear Charlie. Of course, our view is very different from “feel good” comments of 2005. Different times? Perhaps, but PK puts it best – I’m not sure comparing yourself with a broken industry is a great idea


Raghav Gupta

no hard feelings taken! indeed the meme has been around for a while (i think the first time i heard the comparison was actually in ’99 at a webnoize show).

i agree that the (major) label model is broken, and that things will become less hit-driven. still, the functions of a label (A&R, marketing) will need to be played by someone. so i think what we call labels today will morph into what agents/managers do today, but with capital to fund records, touring, etc.

Om Malik

Rags & Fred

both of you basically missed the point – we end up at the same conclusion, some earlier than later. anyway it is not my idea and one of my readers came up with the comparison.

having said that i don’t think the label model can be fixed. i think the model is too inefficent and in many ways the VC model is also inefficent. i think it doesn’t make sense – chris anderson’s model of long tail makes labels and the economics of modern music business irrelevant.

hey guys no hard feelings – difference of opinion is what i say


Rags had some suggestion on how to fix a broken business model by emulating a business model that seems to be still working.

I think it was a great post and that’s why I blogged it.

Raghav Gupta


Wasn’t trying to start a meme so much as put some observations down. Would have credited your post had I known about it (only started reading your blog the last few months). Btw, Gerd Leonhard & Dave Kusek have written a book about the Future of Music where I believe they propagate the meme(s) in question (labels as vcs, music as a service, et al).

I think the crux of it is that I believe labels — yes, in a broken industry/model — should act more like VCs in taking a piece of the entire pie instead of just the recorded music income.


Comments are closed.