Fri, Aug 24th 2007 11:20am
Rock star involvement in the venture capital industry is old hat (see: Bono), but there aren't many examples of the opposite, VCs getting into rock. The Wall Street Journal reports on one UK VC firm that's taken to financing comeback albums from has-been rock bands, like UB40 and Prodigy. The firm sees itself as filling a funding gap brought on by the tough times facing record labels these days. It also believes that these albums offer steadier, more predictable returns than those from unknown bands. What's funny is that this is exactly the opposite of the typical VC strategy, which typically involves placing bets on lots of losers, with a few winners accounting for all of the profits. So far, it sounds like the fund isn't doing particularly well, though for now it's sticking with the strategy. There is certainly a lot of room for improvement in the record label model as it relates to funding bands, but it seems doubtful that simply replicating the traditional model with washed-up bands will yield great results. From VC guys, you'd hope to see something a bit more innovative, perhaps something along the line of Bowie Bonds. Peter Gabriel Bonds anyone?
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