How much do you value your favorite musicians? I suppose if you were an economist you might say something like, “by calculating the present day value of future cash flows,” and TuneRights would be just the site for you. Musicians are looking for any way to monetize their works these days, and a Swedish startup is trying to provide them a way to get cash upfront for their songs– by selling part of their songs’ rights to their fans.
It’s a cool concept. TuneRights lets music creators register their works and allow people to buy shares in the future revenue of those songs. The price is negotiable between the fans and musicians, meaning an artist could ask for something like €100 for 10% of the profits, but later agree on selling the same percentage for €90.
The service is only in beta but they’ve already got a good amount of music for sale. Granted, the artists are bands you’ve never heard of, but the concept can easily reach fans of local bands who believe their favorite artists are going to be huge someday. TuneRights tracks the amount of money your song is making and also lets you resell your shares. They’ve really added a lot of features that makes the service function like a pretty solid market.
Reaching critical mass to where people are really selling and buying music rights is going to be a mountain to climb, but its not impossible. Right now the music industry is in a huge transition and looking for new monetization models, which somewhat began with Radiohead’s experimentation with the “pay whatever you want” online distribution system a couple years ago.
TuneRights may need to let Wall Street to get in on this, they love a good gamble. Perhaps one day we’ll see country music indexes being traded, Bob Dylan futures, and collateralized Justin Bieber obligations that will tank the market and dig us into a recession. For TuneRights sake I hope we get there.