Which Artist Has The Most Valuable Catalog?

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Today’s podcast episode was based on one question:

Which artist’s back catalogs will generate the most revenue in the next ten years? We did our first-ever music rights draft. Denisha Kuhlor and I played the role of multi-billion dollar fund managers who have acquired dozens of artists’ catalogs and rights in recent years.

But while they choose from those willing to sell, we could choose from anyone, living or dead, to build our portfolios. Here are a few highlights.

the music rights draft

Our goal in the music rights draft was clear: maximize our portfolio over the next ten years. We only looked at the existing catalogs. We made no assumptions about what the artist may release in the future. We also didn’t factor in non-music revenue like touring, apparel, or product sales. This is strictly about music rights (e.g. masters, publishing, etc).

We took several factors into account:

–  Longevity of an artist’s music (the flatter the decay curve, the better)

–  Popularity: across revenue categories like streaming, physical, digital, etc

–  Multimedia: likelihood of syncs, TV/film, and other partnerships that can boost value

–  Ownership: assumed artist’s ownership share of sound recordings (e.g. genres like pop, EDM, and hip-hop are quite collaborative and sample often, so the “pie” is more split)

–  ROI: which artists are over/undervalued by the industry? Where can we get the most bang for our buck?

Denisha had first pick and chose The Queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” generates hundreds of millions of streams every holiday season. Plus, Mariah has more #1 singles than any other artist. Her hits date back to 1990.

I had the second pick and chose Taylor Swift. She dominates on all platforms—streaming, vinyl, CD sales. Many of her albums are still in the top 50 every week. Streaming was an important factor for me because it generates a majority of recorded music revenue today. Millennials are the generation that streams music the most, and Taylor is the generation’s biggest star.

the growth portfolio

Our next six picks are where our strategies differed. Denisha’s picks were the high-risk high reward growth portfolio:

–  Mariah Carey

–  Bad Bunny

–  Burna Boy

–  Lizzo

–  Summer Walker

–  Pharrell

–  DMX

With an eye toward global potential, she chose Bad Bunny and Burna Boy. Both have global and plenty of upside. If anyone is going to reach “Beatlemania” level fame in today’s fractured pop culture, it’s these two.

For picks four and five, she went with two newer artists, Lizzo and Summer Walker. Even though Lizzo doesn’t get many streams, I think her music has strong sync potential. That Royal Caribbean Cruise commercial is stuck in my head. Meanwhile, Summer Walker is one of the few Black women R&B singers (under age 30) that reach a massive audience. Still Over It broke many R&B streaming records and has staying power. She’s in her own category.

Rounding out Denisha’s portfolio are two OG’s in Pharrell and DMX. I like the Pharrell pick because it includes his revenue as an artist and producer. The Neptunes sound was inescapable in the early 2000s, and Pharrell has hits spanning several decades. Meanwhile, DMX is a bet on the late rapper’s music being sampled or turned into a biopic given his popularity with other artists.

the blue chip portfolio

I went much more stable with my portfolio. All but one of my catalog choices are blue-chip assets:

–  Taylor Swift

–  Drake

–  Eminem

–  SZA

–  Bruno Mars

–  Michael Jackson

–  The Weeknd

After T Swift, I went with an obvious pick, Drake. But my third pick, Eminem, may surprise you. I don’t listen to his music much anymore. A lot of it hasn’t aged well. But it still gets streamed a ton.

Two Eminem facts I’m still thinking about:

– “Lose Yourself” is the most-streamed Spotify song from the 2000s and “Till I Collapse” is #3. People love themselves some Slim Shady workout music.

–  Eminem’s 2005 greatest hits album “Curtain Call” was the best-selling rap album in the UK in 2022 (and sixth overall among all genres). This album is 17 years old and it’s still doing numbers.

SZA at four was my bang-for-my-buck choice. She’s only released two albums, CTRL and SOS, but both have staying power. CTRL continues to chart more than five years later, and SOS stayed on top of the charts for almost three months—a rarity in today’s fragmented landscape.

To finish out my picks, I went with Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, and The Weeknd. Jackson’s catalog is probably the most expensive one out there. Rumors flew last month that half the catalog was fetching $800 to $900 million. At that price there are only a handful of buyers who have that money, so we’ll see if it actually trades hands any time soon

honorable mentions

There were too many to name, but we both considered Kendrick Lamar, Celine Dion, Ed Sheeran, and Coldplay. We thought about Beyonce and Adele but thought that the price would be quite high compared to their expected revenue.

We covered a lot more in the episode:

–  why we don’t have more legacy, older artists on the lists

–  which up-and-coming artists we would most pick

–  how some firms maximize value differently

Listen to the full episode here.

[0:01] Draft parameters 

[4:51] First-round picks

[9:42] Second-round picks

[14:21] Third-round picks

[18:49] Fourth-round picks

[21:55] Fifth-round picks

[26:04] Sixth-round picks

[29:20] Seventh-round picks

[37:33] Honorable mentions 

[52:21] Up-and-coming artists


Denisha Kuhlor: We’ve talked about Burna Boy on the podcast before, so don’t necessarily have to go over all of his stats, but I think that in one thing I’m finding with people discovering, music from the continent. Is that when they like the artist or there’s things they like about the artist or the genre, they go back and listen, to the past catalog.

And so I feel like there’s still a lot of untouched ground in terms of people discovering his music and listening to his whole catalog and given how timeless in a lot of ways some of his music feels, I think that we’ll have new fans discovering him over and over for a long time and getting to also benefit from the upside of that catalog is great.

I’ll also say, he’s pretty feature light as well. He’s increased the amount of features that he’s had in some of his more recent albums, but even like him, some of his breakout singles, whether Ye or Last Last, were Independence, or songs that he did independently and didn’t have people featuring.

So I think in terms of some of the big records, there’s solo records, which is exciting and that his catalog has a lot of value for people to discover and wanna to.

Dan Runcie Intro: Hey, welcome to the Trapital Podcast. I’m your host and the founder of Trapital, Dan Runcie. This podcast is your place to gain insights from executives in music, media, entertainment, and more who are taking hip hop culture to the next level. 

Dan Runcie: Today’s episode is one I am really excited for. This is a music rights draft. We are going to be breaking down the artists that we would most wanna have their music rights for. So today’s guest friend of the podcast, Denisha Kuhlor, founder of Stan, her and I are both managers of billion dollar funds and we can acquire the full rights, Masters and publishing to any artist, living or dead.

And our job is to maximize value for our investors for the next 10 years. We each get to pick 10 artists and their full rights of music, and we draft them one by one. Denisha, are you ready? How are you feeling?

Denisha Kuhlor: I am, I’m super excited for this. like keep racking my head, I think till the last minute with each pick. but yeah, I’m ready to get 

Dan Runcie: started.

Right. It’s funny because we’re chatting about this yesterday and I almost wonder like if our chat yesterday like shifts anything, it’s like, oh, okay. That’s how you’re thinking about this. Okay. That’s how I’m thinking about this.

Denisha Kuhlor: Exactly, in a funny way, I have some more compassion for venture investors because I can see how societal shift or even group think can shift your perspective even if just a bit. 

Dan Runcie: Yeah, it’s fascinating, and I mean with this, we did try to keep the parameters of it a bit clear because obviously in the real music rights acquisition world, there are many different strategies about how these firms are buying and acquiring these rights. Some of them are sitting and holding on them, but we are putting ourselves in a different bucket.

We are assuming that we have the means to maximize this catalogs and this artist’s value through multimedia, through sync, through other partnerships, and just the revenue that it naturally generates as sound recordings themselves. And we assume that we’re only acquiring what that artist has released up to that point.

Of course, what that artist continues to do in the future may shift the perception of the value of what they’ve done, but we are only looking at what they’ve done up to this point. So we’re saying that just to lay the groundwork, because someone may be like, oh, what about so-and-so and so-and-so may be an artist that blew up in the past five years.

They may not have Steve as a catalog, but who knows? Maybe we’ll both have a few of those picks.

Denisha Kuhlor: Exactly. Super exciting 

Dan Runcie: All right, so we are gonna be so a few things to just keep in mind as well for listeners. So a few of the factors you both considered were expected longevity of the artist music themselves, which is a big piece of this. You’re acquiring these rights, you’re trying to get a sense for what is the music that people are still going to listen to, right?

It’s one thing if you dominate the charts, that you have a song that takes off, but there’s a decay curve. So we’re trying to find those artists that have the value, but have the much less steep decay curve as it goes down year over year. There’s also a mix too. There’s the stable picks, which a lot of the rights go after, which are attractive, but there’s also some higher upside picks or some riskier bets.

Where do those fit in? And then we’re also taken into account the share of the song recordings that the artists actually have given that certain genres such as hip hop or r and b and pop music specifically, there’s a lot more collaboration. There’s a lot more hands being shared in that pot. So, how does that line up with another genre where that artist may have a higher percentage of those things?

All those things get factored into how we pick this. So I’m ready to get started and I wanna give you the first pick so you can go and then I’ll go after that.

Denisha Kuhlor: Oh, thank you, so my first pick is Mariah Carey. for a few reasons. One, Mariah Carey has one of the most amazing songs in her collection, with Christmas, right? Like it’s just being Christmas time, every Christmas, you know, you’re going to get, a spike in revenue. Mariah Carey’s also been very notable, about talking about that.

She writes a lot of her own music, and I don’t think how many people realize how much of a prolific songwriter that she is as well. And with the nature of R and B, much to what you talked about earlier with it being collaborative, Mariah Carey seems to be embraced by a lot of rappers for samples.

So while I definitely think it will be pricey based off literally, all I want for Christmas, if anything, I think that it’s. It’s a bit of a safe, but also Sure. Fire and, and stable. expectation revenue. 

Dan Runcie: That was my number two pick. So we’re definitely aligned there. It makes perfect sense because even if you, all I want for Christmas is a big piece of the pie, I wanna say 300 million streams per year on Spotify was the stat that I heard, and I forget the exact revenue number that it generates. I don’t wanna quote it, but it’s huge.

Almost 20 number one singles that she’s had. So the longevity’s there, and as we know we’re talking about this a little yesterday, but there’s a reason that catalog isn’t one that’s getting acquired because, A, the people that own it, and I know she may own maybe some of the more recent stuff. I don’t know if, Columbia still owns, you know, the stuff from the nineties, especially given the nature of her deal and stuff like that.

But I mean, it’s up there, it’s definitely one of the most valuable ones. So good. Yeah. Good for you on that one. So I’ll take my number one pick here and the number one pick. For this, for me, so much of it was thinking about how millennials and this group are the dominant users of streaming.

Streaming makes up a bulk of the revenue for these streaming services. And who is the biggest artist for millennials overall? Just you look at the sheer numbers and everything like that, it has to be Taylor Swift. Miss 1989 herself, I will take those albums, especially these rerecorded ones, Taylor’s version, because they’re

Denisha Kuhlor: That’s just what I was gonna ask.

Dan Runcie: Yeah. I may not get Scooter bronze version, but I’ll get Taylor’s version and I’ll keep that. I think that it’s rare to find a star that has as much impact as she does that is as recent in this way, I mean, just the pure demand for this Eras tour. She could have done 10 x times the number of shows and been touring for the next five years in a in stadiums and still had plenty of demand left over.

And of course, we’re not counting touring revenue in this, but it just goes to show how big everything else is. The fact that midnights broke records, both in streaming and in hard sales, I think I saw 230 million dollars that album generated in its revenue. Of course. That her entire rights will likely be owned, you know, herself just given the Taylor’s version of everything.

Currently I’m licensed with Republican Universal Music Group. But if in a perfect world you could acquire that, I will take that. She’s able to dominate in all of these multiple platforms and if we’re really trying to say, okay, 10 years from now, each of her albums is still in the top 50 of the billboard, 200, just from like a rankings perspective.

Well, not all of ’em, but a lot of them, and I think it’s harder to come by. So yeah, I’ll take T Swift.

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah, I think it’s definitely a solid pick her music evokes so much nostalgia especially as her fans get older, that they’ll be listening to it for life, right? Because it’s not necessarily attached to a moment or even a recency of today, even though they can appreciate that.

it’s, yeah, it’s music that’s the soundtrack to their lives. So, it makes a ton of sense. And she’s also another prolific songwriter, so I would assume, from an ownership perspective, it’s quite attractive.

Dan Runcie: Yeah. Not as attractive as Mariah though, because I feel like Taylor more recently, especially with the more pop albums, there was a lot of Max Martin production and a lot of other big name folks and you know, Kendrick Lamar, guest verses and stuff like that. And Mariah had some of that, but I still feel like she always had like her single, you know what I mean? It’s like 


fantasy was, they had a remix with ODB or they had a honey remix with the lock, but there was still the core Mariah version that was just

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah, that’s a great point. The breakout has frequently remained just her. Yeah. 

Dan Runcie: so we’ll see. But yeah, who’s your second pick?

Denisha Kuhlor: So my second pick, I thought a lot too about, like world music as we say, or just music that’s global. much to your point as well around streaming. I kind of think that it’s exciting to pick, an artist that can dominate globally that’s, not necessarily a pop artist. And so for that, I went back and forth.

Probably two of the biggest artists. but landed on Bad Bunny, Bad Bunny to me is one just an amazing and exciting artist. He also has a great amount of volume, but much to the point we just made about Mariah Carey’s, Taylor Swifts, I think he’s really optimized a lot of his catalog, for music that he makes and that music that he solely makes.

Additionally, and I know we’re not counting touring, but the sheer amount of numbers he’s done touring, I think has not only earned him new fans, but earned him kind of the same type of fan appetite that Taylor Swift has in which the music will evoke a certain nostalgia, whether they saw him perform it on top of a gas station or when he was driving through the Bronx, that leads them to want to continue to listen to this music for the rest of their lives, which hopefully will be financially lucrative.

Dan Runcie: He was on my list as well. You can’t ignore just the huge, massive success of this last album, UN Varano Centi. We saw that album dominate week after week after week, and it, the songs are still on Spotify’s Top 50 and they’re still having traction there. And in an era where there’s just so much more music, if you can get a song like that that comes out in 2022 that’s still coming out or just an album, it’s rare and I know we talk a lot about how monoculture itself is just harder to come by from a artist that is in the US or UK just because those markets are so much more saturated. But the closest we get to anyone reaching Beatlemania is someone like Bad Bunny. So that’s a great.

Denisha Kuhlor: Exactly, exactly. I also think a lot both, Drake’s wrapped about Bad Bunny numbers and Kanye’s reference Bad Bunny’s, success. And so I feel like even if his peers in the industry are kind of in some ways either looking at him aspirationally or like he’s one that could potentially, hit my success, is also a great indicator.

Dan Runcie: All right, so the next pick I have here is, you mentioned him a second ago, the streaming king himself, 70 million streams. Drake, it’s hard to think about the streaming era and not think about him. Just the massive hits that he’s had and every time that he releases an album, it still creates this moment that few have the ability to be able to reach moving forward.

I know Birdman will never give up those rights, and Young Money extensively will never give up those rights, but if I had the choice, I would take it. I think the knock against Drake potentially though I will acknowledge is that one. Just the high number of features and samples with all that, there’s a high, there’s a less likelihood that he may own all or just have a higher percentage of the revenue coming in for this stuff.

But just the sheer volume of whether it’s the mixtapes, the playlist, the little two packs that he puts out, the albums, especially some of the ones from like, especially the cash money albums, honestly, from, when was that? So I guess you had 2010, it was official first album, but you had so far gone oh nine and then everything up to Scorpion.

Yeah, those are the biggest albums of the last decade. So I’ll take Drake

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah. Yeah. super solid pick. As someone who has seen Drake in concert 10 times, there’s a few things recently. Yeah. 10 times.

 Yeah. So a few things that stuck out to me with Trigg specifically, The Serious Show. So the serious show was a lot of like deep cuts or songs that he hasn’t recently performed on some of his tours. And you could just see that fans loved it, right?

A lot of people wanted access to tickets and really loved the music. And then, lastly in part of, in going to these tours, there were so many times that I saw, that he would like go off of stage and to keep the crowd like engaged. They would do a whole set of his music that he wasn’t going to perform, and the crowd literally went just as crazy as if he was on, if he was on stage so much to just like the emotional factor that his catalog has.

I feel like Drake has provided the music of a generation. And so, regardless volume wise, they’ll be continuing to listen for a long time.

Dan Runcie: Who’s your number two?

Denisha Kuhlor: So next I’m going with Burna Boy. one, we’ve talked about Burna Boy on the podcast before, so don’t necessarily have to go over all of his stats, but I think that in one thing I’m finding with people discovering, music from the continent. Is that when they like the artist or there’s things they like about the artist or the genre, they go back and listen, to the past catalog.

And so I feel like there’s still a lot of untouched ground in terms of people discovering his music and listening to his whole catalog and given how timeless in a lot of ways some of his music feels, I think that we’ll have new fans discovering him over and over for a long time and getting to also benefit from the upside of that catalog is great.

I’ll also say, he’s pretty feature light as well. He’s increased the amount of features that he’s had in some of his more recent albums, but even like him, some of his breakout singles, whether Ye or Last Last, were Independence, or songs that he did independently and didn’t have people featuring.

So I think in terms of some of the big records, there’s solo records, which is exciting and that his catalog has a lot of value for people to discover and wanna to. 

Dan Runcie: Yeah, he was on the list as well, and I think the attractive thing with him is similar to the bad Bunny perspective where almost more so because if you are one of the signature artists that is on this entire continent, well, I think for him, obviously more West Africa, but if you’re one of the signature artists that’s on this entire continent, you have the closer thing to that Beattlemania effect.

And as more people there have access to streaming as more of that just grows and develops, you’re going to get that curve too that just grows naturally with what’s already there. And you can’t undersell that. And I think given an artist like that too, there’s probably huge sync opportunities as multimedia and entertainment starts to grow from that, from, from those parts of the worlds too.

So there’s a lot of value there. Yeah.

Denisha Kuhlor: exactly.

 Who do you 


Dan Runcie: pick, this is a pick with the mind and not necessarily with the heart, but I am a, in the role of a asset manager or not the role of a fan. And my pick here is Eminem and my pick for Eminem, and the reason I pick him is because his music is still some of the most streamed music across the board.

And his Curtains Call album was the bestselling rap album in the UK in 2022. His greatest hits album from 2005 was the best selling rap album 17 years later. And I remember seeing that stat and I was just like, wow. And then you just think about the nature of his music. And even though he’s someone that I feel, if you’re someone that lives in the Twitter circles that you and I live in, Eminem is someone that I think has largely fallen out of

popular discourse.

And people do look at him a bit more, distinctly in a way that they did in 20 years ago. But if you don’t live in those circles, which the majority of people don’t, they still listen to his music and still revere him. And just on a sheer number perspective, there’s probably more people that listen to hip hop that have an artist like Eminem and their top three and they’re top two and not two.

And you look at some of the numbers as well for songs like Till I Collapse and Lose Yourself, that just get played over and over for people working out and all of these things. Those songs have a timelessness to them. I mean, on stats, he was the bestselling like recorded artist of the two thousands. He was up there for the 2010s.

He still tours massively, and even though a lot of his albums that probably generate the most revenue are songs that I’m no longer listening to, I can acknowledge that this has huge value. And as an asset manager, as a fund manager, I would do quite well with that, with his rights.

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah. No, I don’t know if that’s where I would have went, but after hearing your explanation, it makes a ton of sense. Eminem fans are, independent in the sense that they’re fans regardless of whether he’s the top of a pop culture, relevancy or not. yeah, I think, that’s really, really interesting.

And the Stan’s side, he literally pioneered the word we all use today, so I think in some ways too, people forget just, how impactful culturally he’s been. so yeah, that makes a 

Dan Runcie: Nice. All right. who’s your.

Denisha Kuhlor: So for my next one, I kind of wanted to go in a direction of some newer artists that are still proving themselves out of it, but I think have a lot of potential. but keeping in mind to what they’ve done so far, I wanna go with Lizzo. I. think of Lizzo, you know, a lot of us were actually introduced, to her in because of a sync, in one of the, in a movie on Netflix.

I’m blanking on the name of the movie, but that sync actually introduced me, to her. I think that Lizzo’s music is just like the perfect type of music for a movie trailer, in the sense of some of her upbeat, more like pop, pop records. It’s like the perfect songs to usher in like a romcom.

So from a sing perspective, I think it has a lot of potential. She’s also known as, pretty talented on the songwriting side, so I think the ownership would be, I think the ownership would be attractive. and in her last tours, she’s done pretty well while also there were smaller venues, the fan base and her having an engaged fan base is definitely there as well.

Obviously and from an asset manager perspective, definitely wouldn’t be looking to pick it up. But the numbers I’ve picked up, some of my earlier bets, but I think it would be a fun bet to have and see how it does in the future.

Dan Runcie: It’s funny because she’s someone that I think she has a very high diehard fan to fan ratio, if that makes sense. And I say that because she’s someone who. Does quite well. She sells out arenas and she does multiple shows in some cities, in arenas, in an era where it’s very hard to get artists that are topping the charts with their streaming to sell out the same venues.

The knock against her though is that she doesn’t stream necessarily as well. Like she hasn’t had an album that’s like top the charts. I don’t think she’s had, you know, a 100K in the first week necessarily. But those fans do show up. so there’s something to be said there. I think the other thing too, when you’re mentioning the sync, I was thinking about, you know, that car, I think it’s Carnival Cruise, that commercial, and it has that song that’s like Hands to the Sky.

Show me that your mind, like, I didn’t even realize that was a Lizzo song until I just looked it up because it was stuck in my head and I’m like, oh, that’s a Lizzo song from like 2016, like Pret Truth. So I think you’re right with the sync piece of it. I mean, a song like Truth Hurts Itself, juice, literally anything from whether it’s special or the album before this, I think that there is strong potential there.

So I think Lizzo is definitely a good multimedia play. Assuming like we are in this role, you have the ability to maximize the asset.

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah, exactly, exactly. It definitely comes down to maximization of the asset on her part, and in a way. I don’t see streaming continuing to go up. I think her engage fans like her, they listen to her, and they keep it at, and they keep it at that. So without kind of very targeted, like a targeted approach to maximizing her syncs, the asset becomes less attractive.

Dan Runcie: So the next pick, and this is a bit strategic because I wanna take this artist before you take them, is SZA and. picking SZA because she obviously doesn’t have a huge catalog. We’re talking two studio albums really, that have came out. But if I could get those studio albums for a good price, I’m getting an album in control that is literally stayed on the charts for five years.

People are listening, streaming and buying the hell out of that thing, and it hasn’t really stopped. And this album is setting all these records and every time you see what the 10, 11 weeks that SSA’s SOS has been at the top of the charts, that’s in the territory with like Adele, Beyonce and all these other artists because first here’s breaking records for female R and B artists then is just, you know, female artists.

Now it’s artists in general, like how many people are at those levels. So sure. I don’t think I’m necessarily gonna have to pay Taylor Swift, Drake or Eminem numbers to get SZA rights, but this is a hits game, and if I can get two of her hits, certified hits albums, that could be worth more than 10 of someone else’s mediocre ones.

Denisha Kuhlor: I completely agree. SZA is it makes so much sense. It makes so much sense. I’d also say what’s so exciting about CSA when you think about it is two studio albums and being able to maintain that relevancy and the sheer amount of time that those albums have lived, is so exciting and you can continue to maximize those two albums even for years to come.

Because for everyone, it still feels very relevant.

Dan Runcie: All right. Who’s your, you’ve picked five, right? Okay, so last two picks. who’s your sixth pick?

Denisha Kuhlor: Yes. So I’m gonna keep the S theme here with SZA. and this one was somewhat a big streaming play. but Summer Walker, summer Walker was one that initially when I first made this list, didn’t come to mind to be honest. But as I thought about it, and I will probably mention this more in some of my honorable mentions, but I was going for Usher, and I thought about the record that they had together and thought about a lot of the records that Summer Walker has broken.

 and shout out to the folks that love Renaissance, I think that people don’t even realize or truly understand how big of an artist she’s been, from a streaming perspective. she’s had some really impressive numbers when she releases the album, she’s done great numbers. and People continue to listen to her. I also think, you know, she’s toyed around with retiring as well as not doing, as well as not doing tours, creating less opportunities for fans to be able to interact with her, which, fortunately or unfortunately leads them back to her music as that’s one of the only sources of ways that they can interact with her.

So, I don’t know if I see as much sync potential with an artist like her as I would maybe a Lizzo, but I think she can continue to generate solid, solid streaming numbers, for years, for


Dan Runcie: a good pick. It’s funny, she’s someone that’s not on my list, but when you mentioned her I was like, I can’t believe I’d even think of the think of her. But you’re absolutely right. She has, especially from a streaming perspective, she has numbers that rival some of the artists that we mentioned before when it comes to streaming and on average, streaming is making up 70 to 80% often of the revenue that comes in from these music rights.

So, it makes sense to be able to have that. And I think that just given how much she’s been able to speak to an audience that doesn’t really have as many people speaking directly to them as well in this way of, okay, who is making music for black women, who is making like doing that? And I think when you think about it that way, that list does become slim.

Especially when we’re talking about artists at this level, obviously, you know, touring and some of the more personal things of just like being out there that isn’t her style, that isn’t her vibe or her personality necessarily. But we don’t necessarily need that and I think that there’s clearly value in over it, still over it.

And, you know, the small features and things that she’s done here and there since then. 

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah. 

Dan Runcie: All right. So mine, I have two picks left. this is where it does get tough because, looking through some of these names and there’s some ones that I like and, okay, so I am going to take Bruno Mars and I’m gonna take Mars because the fact that he has music that I think honestly can transcend in terms of the versatility of the music.

Songs like 24K Magic or Uptown Funk, or.

Denisha Kuhlor: Very intergenerational as well. 

Dan Runcie: Yeah. You hear, could hear it in the supermarket, you could hear it being out, like you could hear it in syncs or different types of things, even the more recent stuff with Silk Sonic and getting his chair of that with with Anderson .Paak there, I think there’s a huge potential there.

I can’t speak as much to the hard numbers, but I do think that the multimedia opportunities are there. He’s a pit maker and I think it would be valuable to have his stuff in there.

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah, so from kind of a multimedia or even multidisciplinary perspective, my next one is Pharrell.

Pharrell’s been a part of a lot of really big records, records that feel intergenerational. I would say, and I don’t know the numbers of this. I would say his streaming probably isn’t in the highest percentile, but it’s also not in the lowest percentile.

Like it’s somewhere probably in the media, in the middle, given all the records he’s been a part of. That makes it kind just a steady asset and also transcends multiple decades in a way that if something does come back in style, You can benefit from that upside. He also has a few records, I think about a record like Happy, that sync wise I think will continue to be used for years and years to come, in a host of ways.

So Pharrell is one that could be a really safe bet or maybe a really unsafe bet, just dependent on how, things go. But I think there’s enough factors, in, which he falls kind of nicely in to justify the bet. But I will say I don’t think it will be, I don’t think it will be cheap

 but I do think it can have a big upside.

Dan Runcie: The upside smart thing about that pick, he’s someone else I didn’t think of, but I think it was a really good pick because you get the artist Pharrell and you get the producer Pharrell, so you get everything from, I forget that Sta but when was it? In 2002 or 2003, the Neptunes were responsible for 43% of the music that was on top 40 radio that was on, you know, pop So you get all those songs and then you get any of the stuff you did with NERD, you get any of like the Child Rebel Soldier stuff. I mean it makes a lot of sense. And then even songs like, Get Lucky was huge as well. I know that there’s been a bunch of controversy around blurred lines, but I’m still sure that the revenue from that song continues to be massive.

So I think that’s a smart pick.

Denisha Kuhlor: Exactly. And I think in the future we’ll see kind of that doubling, right? artists like a Pharrell will continue to be super valuable when it comes to being able to capture the peak of their rights because they just have them.

Dan Runcie: Definitely, definitely. so then with the last pick, it’s funny, I hesitated with this one a bit, but I’m gonna go ahead and pick it anyway. It’s probably the catalog or the rights that would go for the most money if anyone’s was on the table at all right now. And it’s Michael Jackson and I’m going to take his, because the fact that Thriller is now over 40 years old and I think that the baseline for streams from that song and streams from everything else is quite high.

It is strong and there’s value there. This is another one where I think I’m separating a bit of the personal versus the, you know, actual like business asset aspect of it, because I do think that the multimedia aspect of it. Yeah. You know, that would be difficult, and even me as an asset manager would probably be finding ways to create multimedia opportunities for that asset continuing forward.

But on the other hand, there’s still Broadway musicals, there’s still Vegas intimate shows that they are creating off of this person’s music. I think Variety had released that report a couple of months ago that said that they were in talks of a 900 million sale for half of the rights. I forget like exactly what the terms would be and including a few things, but I felt like that was too big not to ignore from an asset management perspective.

So it would be the Michael Jackson rights for the final pick.

Denisha Kuhlor: Wow. That’s a really strong, a really strong final pick and makes my last pick even harder. 

Dan Runcie: You had seven though, right? 

Denisha Kuhlor: Yes, I did. I did. My seventh one is just a different caliber

Dan Runcie: Wait, wait. You, oh, oh, oh. With Pharrell you mean?

Denisha Kuhlor: no, no, no, no. So my seventh one actually is, 

Dan Runcie: Wait, wait. Did we miss one? Hold on. Let me just run through it real quick. You had Mariah, Bad Bunny, Burna Boy, Lizzo, Summer Walker, Pharrell 

Denisha Kuhlor: Yes

Dan Runcie: Oh, oh. We both have one more. Oh, okay. I missed up. Okay. You’re right, you’re

right. Yeah. okay. 

All one?

Denisha Kuhlor: Yes. So my last pick is DMX. One, I think in a lot of ways DMX has a very unique style of music. It has a very unique style of rap. Talking to a lot of, or not talking to, but I guess watching their interviews. A lot of rappers are very inspired by DMX and he still gets credited, for, you know, rap styles or little lines that, artists borrow or throw in their music and he has a bit of a high sample potential.

I think we’ll see some of his music sampled more and oddly enough, whether it’s like a movie, like a Creed or something like that, this sheer like BPM of some of his music, is definitely attractive from like a sync perspective. For, upbeat movies that wanna like, leverage a rap song or leverage hip hop.

and I also think, and he’s done very well in getting quite a few syncs when it comes to video games, I’m thinking about sings so often this podcast from a movie perspective, but gaming syncs are huge as well. and DMX’s music is quite huge in the gaming community. So if anything, from an, optimizing the asset perspective, I would focus on optimizing his syncs for gaming, because of the BPM of his music.

And I think I would get it at a favorable rate.

Dan Runcie: Yeah, I couldn’t imagine there might be some high ROI potential there, I would say and just given how dominant that run was, and I think some people forget. Yeah. Each of those first albums was just like, you know, topping the charts and everything. Especially from like 98 to 03′. it was, on, I mean, there were other rappers who may have had like, you know, bigger commercial success at that time from whether it was someone like Eminem or some others. But in terms of like relevance, that still matters to a lot of people and how that can continue. X is up there. Do you think we’ll see an X movie at some point?

Denisha Kuhlor: You know, I hope we do. and that’s how I reference, how a lot of rappers like, feel about him because musicians appreciating another artist are probably our most likely way. You see obviously 50 cent, 50 cent in TV and film production, Drake with Euphoria, even Childish Gambino, right?

So him being revered by other artists I think puts him on the best path for us to see that. which also would be 

Dan Runcie: Yeah. That’s a good pick. So I think so. I actually, but now my seventh pick, because I’m like re-looking at these. I had Taylor, Drake, Eminem, SZA, Bruno Mars, Michael, and then now the seventh pick. this is tough, but, I’m gonna take the Weeknd and I’m gonna take him because 

Denisha Kuhlor: Oh, amazing. 

Dan Runcie: I think it’s really hard to have a song that’s been released like in the pandemic era of music that still tops the charts, but everything from After Hours is still getting so much radio play.

He just did a remix with Ariana Grande, Die For You, a song that came out now, what, seven years ago. And that song had topped the charts. He has this ability to just, I think it’s him and a handful of other artists that just have this ability to make music that can continue to like pierce through. I mean, we didn’t get as much of that from Don FM but I think even he himself, like that album didn’t get as much, you know, focus the same way that everything from After Hours did.


he has this way of just kind of capturing, a generation just with like the feel and the vibe, I think sync potential, especially as he’s gonna be in more movies now himself and what that could look like. So, yeah definitely.

Denisha Kuhlor: That’s super strong. He makes hits.

Dan Runcie: Another pop artist, so I know, you know, there’s a bunch of Max Martin and other producers that’ll get their share, but I’ll take his, so, Yeah. No, super. Right. So yeah, so let’s just round out the lists here. and then let’s share. So with the first pick, and then in order you took Mariah Carey, then Bad Bunny, then Burna Boy, then Lizzo, Summer Walker, then Pharrell Williams and DMX. And then I took Taylor Swift, Drake, Eminem, SZA, Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, and the Weeknd.

So, yeah. How are you feeling about your picks? Did you feel like you got the artist that you wanted? Do you feel like you, you know, got the ones that you wanted to like, lighten everything up?

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah, I do. I think that some of those artists are bets that would hopefully, positively surprise me. but there’s enough artists, within those picks that I know revenue will be generated and will have a positive upside regardless. If anything, we can continue to crown on Mariah Carey and some of Pharrell’s records and even just the dominance Bad Bunny continues to have for a very long time while also seeing, how dominant, for decades to come an artist like a Summer Walker.

Dan Runcie: Yeah, I think if we were to look at these catalogs like, or look at both of our portfolios, I think you would have like the Vanguard Growth Fund and I would have like the Vanguard Blue Chip Fund if that makes sense. Right?

Denisha Kuhlor: Exactly. Exactly, exactly. 

Dan Runcie: You know, you may generate some higher returns, but with that, you know, there’s more risk that comes with it as well.

but yeah, mine, think it’s probably assumed that you would generate higher returns because I feel like SZA’s probably the, not even like, oh, it’s probably the pick of mine that is the least blue chip relative to the rest of them. And yeah. enough, even someone like Bruno Mars is probably more skewed towards less of that certified pick on mine just because of how much of a more, strong base the other artists do have.

Denisha Kuhlor: Totally. If I had to, compare thinking about venture, I would say you definitely took like a series C, series D, growth fund, with a few, maybe more Series A, like a series A pick. I think maybe this is to my roots, I took more of a series B potentially with a good opportunity fund and skewed heavily ine and seed, with a few of those artists as well. 

Dan Runcie: No, that makes sense. That makes sense. What were some of your honorable mentions? Yeah, maybe you can name like three, maybe first I wanna do honorable mentions, and then second, I wanna talk about some rising folks. Maybe some people that you would’ve picked, but maybe you didn’t pick, because it’s like, no, it’s too early.

It’s too early, right? But yeah,

Denisha Kuhlor: let yeah, no, 

Dan Runcie: with the honorable mentions like who are one or two that you had considered?

Denisha Kuhlor: For sure. So the biggest honorable mention for me is 


Dan Runcie: yep. He 

Denisha Kuhlor: um 

Dan Runcie: mine too.

Denisha Kuhlor: usher,

 the Vegas residency, the, tiny desk Usher’s been having a phenomenal few last years. and I think people don’t even realize the residency really brought it back for a lot of people. The breadth of his catalog’s so talented, his music is intergenerational or continues to transcend generations. Usher was one that I thought a lot about. I was kind of going back and forth between Usher and Pharrell, and I picked Pharrell because of the exposure to so many other artists that he has. but Usher was a really, really big one.

Dan Runcie: Yeah, he was on my list too, because I think similarly, this Vegas residency has created a moment and it’s hard to be able to do that. I can’t speak to, I haven’t looked at his stream numbers and I mean, I really even like back when I feel like Usher’s music was at like the top of pop culture and stuff. I don’t, I wasn’t tracking, oh, how high Confessions on the Billboard 200. That’s just not something that I thought or cared about time, but I think that he’s won. He was on my list as well. Someone else that was on my list too was, Kendrick Lamar was on my list too, because good kid, m.A.A.d city’s been on the charts for a decade plus.

People are still listening to that, and that’s higher charts now than what the last album is. Mr. Morale, the big step was, I know that album was more controversial but the fact that Damn and, good kid, m.A.A.d city are still on the charts. You have still Pimp A Butterfly. You never know what type of multimedia opportunities that can turn into.

I think if you’re talking at least in my opinion, like pure like bar for bar, like the best like rapper lyricist of the past decade plus, I think it is him and there’s something to be said for what value have. So yeah, he was who I was going back and forth with him and the Weeknd, for that seventh pick.

But yeah, he was my honor, audible mention.

Denisha Kuhlor: Kendrick pick is strong. my rap honorable mention is actually J. Cole 

Dan Runcie: Yep. I had him on the list. 

Denisha Kuhlor: As someone that gets mentioned in, a lot of the conversations with Kendrick and I think for Cole, a few reasons. one, the whispers of retiring are looming and we know that he has the desire to retire sometime in the near future.

So I think people will cherish the records that he has even more, the fan base of the Dreamville built is super engaged. super active, and I think we’ll be that way for a long time to come. And J. Cole, you know, picked up a lot of good features when he was coming up. Maybe it’s the Rock Nation effect or whatever, but he has some amazing features, whether it’s, party with Beyonce or just like, he has some really great features that he’s gotten as well.

 So yeah, that’s one I would be super excited to have.

Dan Runcie: Every time I look at hits, daily double stats, just seeing who’s trending. No role models is always on that chart somewhere. and it’s now been, eight and a half, nine years since that song came out. So it’s a hits game. If I can get one of the biggest rap songs of the decade and one of the more popular rap albums of the decade too, then you take that obviously so many other hits as you mentioned Party, and a lot of the other ones that he’s then.

But that song, I think itself is worth at least bringing the conversation up. A few people that I didn’t mention, but I’m curious if they came up for you. We can just keep these kind of rapid fire before we get to the Rising But did you consider Ed Sheeran?

Denisha Kuhlor: You know, I did, I thought a lot about like having UK representation, . and he came up for me there. He’s also done a lot of like features with, African artists, whether it’s Stormzy, Burna Boy, but I ultimately shied away from him. I don’t even know if I have the right things to point to it, but something didn’t feel right.

Dan Runcie: Okay. He was on the list I had as well. I just preferred the other ones more.

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah. Like it’s not even fully like quantitative, like no. Yeah, It just, yeah, like he was compelling, but not compelling enough to make you wanna get excited. 

Dan Runcie: Yeah, it’s like I know that Divide was a huge album. I know that Shape of You is probably one of the biggest hits of the past 15 years if we’re going back that far. But yeah, you know, it’s just kind of tough cuts. I mean, yeah, I’m sure that al that catalog will probably generate more revenue overall, maybe then like scissors, like someone that I took.

But I that Ed Sheeran’s catalog isn’t gonna come at, you know, a cheap cost, but who knows? So he’s at least someone I thought about. Did you consider, this is going back a little bit further, but did you consider Celine Dion?

Denisha Kuhlor: Oh, no, I didn’t. But Celine Deion makes so much sense for so many reasons, but I didn’t, you know, I’m thinking about my picks, probably Mariah Carey and DMX were as far back as went and that’s because I was thinking about the streaming optimization as well, with the number you said. And IFPI’s latest report streaming is just taking so much of the conversation.

I would probably go for a lookalike audience to Celine Dion, so maybe more like an Adele, which also wouldn’t come cheap. but audience that is a little more, well, didn’t I take Adele? I think that Adele almost, in a way like Ed Sheeran, for all the right reasons. It’s like, no, I wouldn’t get pushback if I was thinking about my LPs comment saying, I don’t get pushback in any way for picking Adele, but in a lot of ways Adele feels safe. And while her music is easily recognizable and does well, her type of music in a lot of ways, doesn’t really feel like something that you play and stream over and over almost in the way that Taylor Swift’s music does.

and so while ballads are great, and I think people really, really love them from a replay value on streaming, I just didn’t get as excited as I wanted to.

Dan Runcie: I think you’re right because I think that the reason that I didn’t take her is because I thought that it could have easily been a catalog and rights that you would overpay for because of the name and everything that she’s done. But when you look at the pure streaming numbers, yeah, I know that Easy on me had like broken records at the time, but still those records I believe got broken like a week later or a month later by BTS or whoever else, it was Bad Bunny and since then Taylor Swift, right? So yeah, I questioned the replay value and I do think that because, yeah, I thought that it would’ve been high compared to some of these other artists. Going back to the Celine point, I think you were right, because I also shifted a bit just thinking about how big the streaming error is and how that generates so much cattle revenue for this.

And one of the big thesis that I’ve had overall with music rights sales and acquisition is that a lot of these deals have overvalued the artists from the seventies and eighties and undervalued the from the nineties and two thousands. Because if you thinking about the dominant we’re streaming as and who are the dominant generation of those consumers, as great as you know, Celine and others were, the songs that are most likely to resonate are like Taylor Swift and Drake, you know, are gonna be more relevant to this generation than Madonna or Celine Dion or some of the others.

And I did consider. Madonna as well, just thinking about it. I know this next tour she’s gonna do on is gonna be big, but I held back then for the same Celine thing. It’s like, yeah, maybe if this was 20 years ago when we were doing this draft in 2003, then maybe I would’ve taken Celine Dion or Madonna but I think that decay curve is definitely, you know, flattened a bit where maybe the upside, not just the upside potential, but the consistency just may not be, or not the consistency.

Obviously it’s consistent, but it just didn’t seem to valuable as some of these other picks.

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah. No, I agree. And I think, you know, in like working the music or working the records, so you can optimize your catalog. You have to kind of think about who’s making the decisions now or who’s coming into power now. and some of those executives are younger. and so, thinking about how they might place value, even though they’re familiar, obviously with the brand and the artists, on a premium for that music, I think it would be a much longer conversation much to what you said, which is probably why some of these artists were willing to sell, and kind of let the asset manager deal with the headache of justifying the value while they’ve extracted the value from the asset manager who’s excited to go out and 

Dan Runcie: Yeah. Did you consider Beyonce?

Denisha Kuhlor: I did consider Beyonce. I just, it’s expensive very, very, very expensive. it would be, I think, you know, Beyonce is an interesting one. She’s actually one of my favorites in the sense that I think uses her catalog really well with all kind of the moments that she’s had, whether it’s the Super Bowl or, her Coachella performance.

She reworks her music in a way that continues to feel new. Like as an artist, almost to the point of where I also had trepidation with Adele, how Adele navigates her artistry. while I respect, and obviously we want artists that set boundaries. I don’t know if it’s in my best interest as an artist, right?

She kind of drops her music and waits long stretches before going back her choice to cancel her tour and do a Las Vegas residency, means there’ll be a lot of places untouched unless she decides to, venture out. Whereas someone like Beyonce is exciting because her music is always being brought back, right?

I did consider, interestingly enough, Destiny’s child, because I feel like I, it would get the upside of every time a Beyonce performs or has a big, moment on the world stage, at a price point. And maybe Beyonce’s part wouldn’t be up for grabs, but other people’s would at a price point that would be attractive.

Dan Runcie: The other thing about Beyonce too is that she’s kind of like Lizzo, but magnified in this sense that very high touring to streaming output, if that makes sense. But I don’t get to collect tour revenue. I’m collecting the music rights and a lot of the songs from Renaissance. So if you compare the streaming of SZA’s SOS to Beyonce’s Renaissance, like it isn’t even close. SZA’s is much more popular there and the same way that I’m seeing good kid, m.A.A.d city and 2014 Forest Hill drives and Eminem’s Greatest hits albums like still at the top of that charts. I’m not seeing the same thing for Lemonade or Beyonce in a way that’s almost surprising because you feel like, okay, the generational impact, those records are huge.

Everyone revered them, but this is a game and they just aren’t at that And I know you’d have to pay a premium because of it’s Beyonce.

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah. Beyonce is one of the biggest, and probably most vocal invisible fan bases in the world. but that doesn’t also in some ways, show for the parts that we just talked about, right? Some of these younger fan bases or these fan bases for other artists, They care very much about streaming.

They were a digital native or streaming first, and they’re going to continue to optimize for that. whereas, like you said, I think because Beyonce’s fan base is so engaged, so passionate, you see the power of the fan base come out really in touring, whether they listen to Beyonce every day for the past year, I think the conversion and amount probably of minutes listened, for a Beyonce to, in terms of needing to then feeling compelled to buy a ticket is much lower than the minutes needed to be listened for a SZA or some of these other artists to then lead to that conversion of buying, buying tickets and so she has a fan base that’s gonna support, like regardless way. and like you said, that’s not well great. Not in our best interest.

Dan Runcie: Right. Yeah. Because it’s 

like she’s been making music for over 25 years now as a high profile public recording artist, and in that way, because of the touring and amount, amount times, you got to see her. It’s almost like her touring business is closer to Elton John or Billy Joel than it is SZA in that way.

Denisha Kuhlor: Exactly. Beyonce is a touring artist who has the ability to use that fan base to parlay into super financially lucrative deals. But as you mentioned in the beginning of this criteria, unfortunately we’d not be seeing a lot of that. 

Dan Runcie: Right. And yeah, if you acquire the rights to Alien Superstar, you gotta split that with 24 different writers, so

Denisha Kuhlor: Yes. Another great point. Beyonce’s been highly collaborative,and very good about giving people opportunities and also giving them credit. but when it comes to the piece of the pie, which I’m sure she could do based off her ability to get extreme amounts of touring revenue, high leverage, brand partnerships, but when it comes to the part that we can control as asset managers, we’d definitely be paying a high premium, and hoping for the best in someone. 

Dan Runcie: Got it. Yep. I agree. All right, so a few rising stars that I had had and considered, but didn’t. So, I look at someone like, so it’s funny, neither of us picked any country or rock artists, but I look at the popularity of someone like Luke Combs and even though I don’t listen to that genre of music or as much, he’s dominated the charts.

He has continued to just, you know, put out and, you know, someone that’s still pretty young, I wanna say, I don’t know, he is like late twenties, early thirties, 10 years from now, could we look back 

Denisha Kuhlor: and could 

Dan Runcie: this person have like, you know, impact level of like your, whether it’s your Garth Brooks or Blake Shelton or like one of these other artists that like people just come to time and time again and they put up strong numbers both in streaming and in pure album sales.

Someone like that could be interesting. I feel like Morgan Wallen is someone else that fits in this category where he is also just high on the charts 

Denisha Kuhlor: and 

Dan Runcie: stuff. I mean, obviously his incidents and everything else that he’s been notorious for would cast a shadow on that. And I don’t know if I’d be willing that necessarily, but he’s one that came to mind too.

And I think there’s other artists too, like whether it’s like, you know, Billy Eilish or Olivia Rodrigo it must have been like, okay, I could see them continuing, but we’ll see.

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah, I thought like a Rosalia, on my end, for example. the other two that came to mind, and this one I don’t know how to feel, but something in me was like considerate. NBA Youngboy, he has a fan base that’s passionate right? And is digitally native and they stream and they don’t really need, the opinions of the outside world when it comes to music.

He was one probably not a category for Verizon stores and more honorable mentions, but I’ll mention it. Anyway, Frank Ocean. I feel like there’s value there, in Frank Ocean, for sure. And then, Rema, I feel like Rema is the next step, when it comes to music from the continent.

The folks at Maven have continued to do an amazing job, and you look at Calm down, it’s one of the biggest records in the world. And not only, within Africa or the United States, but also within India, which I thought was just super interesting. So definitely a really, really global artist. He’s had records, calm Down, is doing well before this Selena Gomez remix.

Dume B has been cited even on present Barack Obama’s playlist. So I think he can hold his own, for sure. And feature wise he’s very exciting as well. And he’s still young enough, but with enough volume where I feel like I could get a competitive rate.

Yeah, I think so too. Yeah, those are good picks there. let’s see, another group I thought of, or not group, but where were they on this list? Let’s see. So I did consider some K-pop in the mix. I was like, okay, what would that BTS catalog look like, right? I mean, because I feel like in

the same rationale that you had about Bad Bunny and Burna boy, I was considering them as well.

I think what made me pause, I was. The fact that at least some of the group members now need to join the military, or at least on their like what does that look like? How does that impact the longevity of their music as opposed to them being able to kind of like ride the waves themselves?

So it’ll be interesting, right? It’s because I think especially now, it’s like, I feel like, I don’t know, in, earlier days when it was more common for popular figures, whether it’s in sports or entertainment to be drafted, there was less pop culture. Things saturating their mind. So when they came back, it’s like, oh, okay.

I don’t know, this might be a bad analogy, but like, oh, Muhammad Ali’s back still relevant. Okay. him, you know, he’s doing opposed to a way where I hope by the time that BTS is like back in full effect again, that they still can command that same power that they once did. So,

Dan Runcie: Yeah. So that dynamic is also why I kept them off. I thought a lot about like boy bands, interestingly enough. So when you look at the Jonas Brothers or even One Direction, and it’s almost like the, at their peak like level of fandom, that their audience like gives them, I almost feel like it can’t be topped again, for so many reasons, right?

Like falls off in a way that you’re really excited to embrace maybe when you’re younger or them having a younger fan. Interestingly enough, the only person in, it’s not a boy band, but that I feel like has captured that audience and has truly, really been able to maintain it, is the artist who did end up picking, which is Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift was able to successfully, like, grow with her fan base from this like teen era. to now we see that the upside is there for her because her fans just have more disposable income that they can spend on something that was so important to them for so long in their. Did you consider Harry Styles?

Denisha Kuhlor: I did. but interestingly enough, I just go back and forth so much with, it feels still like a moment. I don’t, I would like to see more catalog growth or more catalog volume before fully wanting to, before fully wanting to commit. It’s one that I’d have on my radar, but I don’t think, I’d be ready to start negotiating just yet.

Dan Runcie: That’s fair. Even if you got the one direction stuff, his chair of the One Direction stuff.

Denisha Kuhlor: Now if I did that, that would make it, that would make it more attractive because it gives a bit of both worlds, the nostalgia from one direction as well as the bet on him as a solo artist but one kind of at least makes, whatever amount you spend, it gives a justification for it being stable to some some extent.

Dan Runcie: Yeah, I don’t know. That might not have been the best hypothetical to pose at you though, because like when Justin Timberlake sold his catalog, that was just him as a solo artist that had nothing to do with NSYNC or Yeah. like that.

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah. Yeah. 

and I think it’s harder than we realize. And looking at a sync perspective, we would still need, even if we brought really valuable syncs sync opportunities, with their music, we would still need the permission of so many other people. So the sheer, operational output that would be required to truly maximize it, or at least that part of it, couldn’t be taken lightly as well.

Especially when you have so many other artists in your catalog in which the sign off to get a sync could be much

Dan Runcie: Yeah, that’s a good point. All right, well I know you and I could talk for hours about this topic and could probably draft seven more if we wanted to. I feel like we almost kind of did the, last part of the conversation. 

Denisha Kuhlor: We might need to have few more maybe pre-seed edition opportunity fund 


Dan Runcie: Yeah, I feel like there’s a few ways we could like set parameters around it where it’s like, okay, only, you know, people under 30 years old. And then how does that change the or over 50 or people that longer with us or in a particular genre. I think there’s so many others like that we didn’t even mention.

But yeah. any last words before we wrap this up?

Denisha Kuhlor: Yeah, I mean, if anything, I have a lot of respect for the people that are doing this every day. I know, and you’ve interviewed some of the amazing firms that have really set out to, to do this work. but this is a fun one and I’m curious to hear everyone else’s pick. So definitely tweet Dan and I.

Dan Runcie: Yeah. Please respond with the ones you like, the ones you didn’t like, and let’s, let’s keep the conversation going. Denisha, it’s pleasure as always.

Awesome. Thanks for having me. 

Dan Runcie Outro: If you enjoyed this podcast, go ahead and share it with a friend. Copy the link, text it to a friend, post it in your group chat. Post it in your Slack groups. Wherever you and your people talk, spread the word. That’s how capital continues to grow and continues to reach the right people. And while you’re at it, if you use Apple Podcast, Go ahead.

Rate the podcast, give it a high rating, and leave a review. Tell people why you like the podcast. That helps more people discover the show. Thank you in advance. Talk to you next week.

Dan Runcie

Dan Runcie

Founder of Trapital

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Former CEO, SoundCloud
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Steve Stoute
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