You’ve probably received emails from the likes of the New York Times and the Washington Post encouraging you to subscribe in order to support the investigative journalism that the papers perform. Yes, while there’s lots of stuff that you can get for free online, paying people to do the work is not free, so if you want to get that information, you have to support it. (Ironically enough, you are getting this for free and I am getting nothing for it. Go figure.)
I recently received a subscription solicitation in my inbox with the subject line:
Support the journalists speaking truth to power
One of those papers or The New Republic or The Atlantic or National Review or Mother Jones?
No. Rolling Stone.
While I know that the solid work of Matt Taibbi appears in the pages of RS, here’s the question: If the objective is to support solid political reporting (assuming, of course, that speaking truth to power doesn’t mean the heads of record companies or Daniel Ek), is getting a subscription to Rolling Stone the right place to spend?
Well, there is that tote bag.
In 1997 David Bowie created, working with Prudential Financial, “Bowie bonds.” When issued, they had a face value of $1,000 and were a long-term investment, as they had a maturity of 10 years.
The purpose of the bonds was to raise money so that Bowie could buy back the rights to the music on albums released between 1969 and 1990.
There was $55 million raised.
This approach became something like the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) phenomenon that is now all the range especially in tech circles, as variants were created for James Brown and others. (One would have thought that the King of Soul could simply mint is own money, but alas. . . ).
Bowie bonds came to mind as the management company for BTS, Big Hit, went public on the Korean stock exchange and had an immediate valuation of initially $7.6-billion, which then dropped to about $4-billion, and while the number is probably something entirely different right now, odds are that unless something completely unexpected happens to the seven-member band that has been performing since 2010, odds are Big Hit will continue to be a big hit, as the members of the band are undoubtedly fungible.
The thing about music that isn’t often taken into account is the fact that it is the “music industry,” just like, say, the “auto industry.”
The $55-million of Bowie 1997 would be worth about $89 million today.
Or $3,911,000,000 short of Big Hit.