What Does My Little Pony Listen To?

Some people might think that some of the things that I’ve been writing of late are, well, rather odd, looking at some of the financial aspects of the music industry, and it is an industry the same way that the airline industry is an industry or the automobile industry is an industry or an. . . .You get it.

But here’s something that I find to be absolutely unusual.


Yes, as in the company that is associated with Play-Doh, Playskool, My Little Pony, Nerf, and more.

A toy company.

But nowadays being a company that makes things like toys (or presumably damn near any other product, be it airliners or automobiles) is completely insufficient.

Turns out that Hasbro is a “content” company, too.

And up until last week, part of its content portfolio included Entertainment One, a.k.a., eOne. Hasbro bought the company in 2019 for $3.8 billion.

eOne Music happens to own the libraries of Artemis Records, Death Row Records and Dualtone Records. And as a result of label or management association, eOne is (or was) involved with Boston, Brandy, Cypress Hill, Shakey Graves, Snoop Dogg, Tegan and Sara, Wu-Tang Clan and more.

Now also in the eOne acquisition was Peppa Pig, which seems to make a whole lot of more sense.

But Hasbro sold eOne Music to a private equity firm, Blackstone, for $385 million. Note that there is more to eOne than just the music portion, so it isn’t like Hasbro took a bath (although there is probably an array of bath toys within its remaining portfolio) on the sale.


Well, according to its boilerplate, “Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms and seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for investors, the companies they invest in, and the communities in which they work. Blackstone does this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Blackstone’s $649 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets, and secondary funds, all on a global basis.”

Surely doesn’t sound a whole lot of rock and roll to me, but then Hasbro didn’t seem like it would be in the music business, either.

This got me to wondering about the wealth of rock and roll, which took me, eventually, to, where else, but CEOWorld magazine, which ran a list last December of what it calculates to be the world’s richest musicians.

Topping the list is Paul McCartney, with a net worth of $1.28 billion. He could have purchased eOne Music with plenty left over. The rest on the top 10 are: Andrew Lloyd Webber ($1.2 billion), Jay Z ($1 billion), Herb Alpert ($850 million), Sean Combs ($825 million), Dr. Dre ($800 million), Madonna ($580 million), Emilio Estefan ($500 million), Elton John ($480 million), and Coldplay ($475 billion [given that there are five members in the band, were it equal, that would be $95 million each, which isn’t eOne money]).

While there are plenty of other lists estimating the net worth of various musicians (presumably this would be great clickbait), the point is that there is a lot of money in music such that every single one of those entities could have purchased eOne Music (although perhaps not Guy Berryman or other individual members of Coldplay).

As for Blackstone, the $385 million is only about 6% of the cash on hand, so it is probably OK.

It is hard to conceive of just what “billions” really means. How much money is how much?

Think of this: according to the most recent figures from IFPI, a global trade association for the music industry, the recorded music market was up 7.4% in 2020, to $21.6 billion.

All of the recorded music revenues—streaming, physical—on the planet, $21.6 billion.

Just think: Blackstone could buy the whole thing and not have its style hobbled in the least bit.

And for another astonishingly big number, know that as of this writing Tesla has a market cap of $655 billion. Blackstone money.

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