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Trapital

Author: Dan Runcie

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Gain insights from the business of music, media, and culture. Trapital founder Dan Runcie and various experts break down the companies and moguls who start the trends that shape the business world. Learn more at https://trapital.co/pod

211 Episodes
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The late Virgil Abloh’s legacy lives on. From luxury rap to high fashion, his influence changed an entire industry, and several other adjacent ones.In this episode of Trapital, I’m joined by friend of the pod Zack O'Malley Greenburg. We broke down Virgil’s early years that shaped his future, his relationship with Kanye West, brands like Pyrex Vision, Off-White, his 3% rule, his open-sourced approach to business, his highs, lows, and so much more.00:00 How Virgil entered the fashion world07:44 Virgil’s influence on hip-hop and ‘luxury rap’15:57 Open-source fashion23:23 The Virgil-Kanye West relationship27:20 Legacy and controversiesEnjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
The rise and fall of the Yeezy brand is a Hollywood screenplay in the making. But this is less like the movie AIR, and more like The Wolf of Wall Street.To break it all down, I'm joined by Zack O'Malley Greenburg, who covered the Yeezy business through his reporting at Forbes. Together, we explore Kanye West's partnerships with Nike, Adidas, and Gap and the highs and lows along the way.Make sure you listen in for our new Chartmetric stat of the week!00:00 Kanye West enters the fashion world08:52 You don’t have the answer, Sway.24:56 Yeezy becomes a billion dollar brand30:28 The downfall37:04 Yeezy’s independent futureEnjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
From gamblers paradise to entertainment mecca, on this episode of Trapital, we take a trip to Las Vegas and how its coveted residencies have evolved over time, the economics of how they work, and predictions for the future.I’m joined by Tati Cirisano from MIDiA Research. We explore the Las Vegas’ origin with mob ties, the ground-breaking 2003 Celine Dion residency, and the changing demographic of Vegas attendees.Want to leave us a question for our upcoming mailbag episode? Leave us a voicemail at memo.fm/trapitalThis episode is brought to you by DICE. Want to learn more about how you and your artists can reach a packed room of your superfans? Learn more at dice.fm/partnersMake sure you listen in for our new Chartmetric stat of the week!2:30 Las Vegas evolution in music14:26 Celine Dion's 2003 residency21:50 The millennial demand29:59 Weekends with Adele41:42 The Sphere48:04 The Future of ResidenciesEnjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
We hear a lot about superfans and how important they are for an artist, but we rarely see any data to quantify how valuable they actually are.In this episode, I'm joined by Will Page, author of Pivot and former chief economist at Spotify, to break down his most recent report, Soundcloud Rockonomics. We discuss the company’s Fan Powered Royalties, the user centric model, how artists like Lil Uzi Vert can measure their fans, and the impact on the industry.Today’s episode is brought to you by Bandzoogle. Build a stunning website today. Start your free 30-day trial and use promo code ‘trapital’ to get 15% off your first year.Make sure you listen in for our new Chartmetric stat of the episode!00:00 SoundCloud’s fan-powered royalties12:17 Lil Uzi Vert’s superfans20:17 Helping artists nurture superfans25:14 Streaming fraud29:09 What the industry can learn from this modelEnjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
This episode is about music's biggest night. But we’re not interested in who should win. This is about the business behind the show and everything surrounding it.We break down how the show makes money for CBS and the Recording Academy despite the viewership decline, the massive For Your Consideration business, the campaigning required to win an award, and major controversies over the years.I'm joined by Zack O'Malley Greenburg, friend of the pod, who covered The Grammys several times while at Forbes.This episode is brought to you by DICE. Want to learn more about how you and your artists can reach a packed room of your superfans? Learn more at dice.fm/partnersMake sure you listen in for our new Chartmetric stat of the week!00:31 Why The Grammys were started08:04 The Grammys cultural impact over time.16:50 How The Grammy elevated the perception of musicians32:03 How The Recording Academy Works52:15 Changes we would make to The GrammysEnjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
It's been over 10 years since State Farm's first Chris Paul - Cliff Paul ad. It's been over 20 years since GEICO first introduced the gecko. These ads from insurance companies have been the biggest ad campaigns and their impact continues to grow.I'm joined by Dr. Marcus Collins, who helped develop the Chris Paul - Cliff Paul campaign during his time at Translation. We talked about why there are so many insurance ads, how Chris Paul - Cliff Paul happened, and how its legacy lives on.This episode is brought to you by Primary Wave, the home for legends. Learn more about how Primary Wave continues to legacy of the biggest artists from yesterday and today at primarywave.com Make sure you listen in for our new Chartmetric stat of the week!Enjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
Why Radio Still Matters

Why Radio Still Matters

2024-01-1201:01:07

Radio is the music format with nine lives. Despite all of the new evolutions in AI, streaming, and short-form video, radio continues to live on; and will do so for several more years.In this episode, I’m joined by a friend of the pod, Tati Cirisano from MIDiA Research. We dive into radio’s impact in music over the years, current cutbacks and layoffs, and what the future of radio looks like in today’s era.Today’s episode is brought to you by Bandzoogle. Build a stunning website today. Start your free 30-day trial and use promo code ‘trapital’ to get 15% off your first year.Make sure you listen in for our new Chartmetric stat of the week!09:100 The underestimation of radio’s impact.15:20 Debates for royalty payments22:20 How streaming flipped radio's role in promotion37:15 The Breakfast Club's success48:14 What streaming can learn from radioEnjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
Music has several big new stars with tons of talent, but will they ever have a year as big as Taylor Swift and Beyoncé in 2023. Both women have been commercially successful for decades and continue to dominate the charts even to this day. They came up in a different time, which works to their advantage.But what does this mean for the streaming and TikTok era artists who want to break through all the noise? Can they ever reach the same level of stardom?In this episode, I’m joined by Tati Cirisano from MIDiA Research to discuss what it takes, the impact of streaming and TikTok, and whether artists like Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and others will ever reach the level of superstardom of artists like Beyoncé, Drake, Adele or T Swift.04:16 Breaking through in a saturated industry08:32 Monoculture09:36 The impact of streaming and TikTok14:30 Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Burna Boy, Post Malone33:44 Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, SZA58:29 Morgan Wallen, Bad Bunny01:11:23 The monetization of streaming by genreThis episode is brought to you by Steed, the tax strategy firm built for our industry. Trapital listeners can skip the 1,600 person waitlist and schedule your free tax consultation today.Enjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
It’s been 3.5 years since McDonald’s Travis Scott meal, and we still see new celebrity fast food meals all the time.In this episode, I’m joined by Dr. Marcus Collins, author of “For the Culture,” as we explore how fast food chains like McDonald's bounced back to its partnerships with influential artists and musicians.Marcus and I discuss McDonald’s history in celebrity fast food partnerships, how other fast food chains have had their own meals, what works what doesn’t, and where things are headed.03:20 Why McDonald’s partnered with artists.07:19 McDonald's and the McJordan.16:39 The impact of social media on celebrity fast food meals.27:53 The Travis Scott meal.44:47 How fast food chains partnered with artists.Enjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
Adidas has one of the most insane backstories of any major apparel company. From its ties to the Nazi party, and its turbulent relationship with Kanye West, to its partnerships with Hip-Hop, and its influence in soccer, we cover it all.We also talk about the brands rise, its strongest years, Beyoncé, Ivy Park, and why celestial star power isn't always enough.In this episode I’m joined by friend of the pod Zack O’Malley Greenburg as we break it all down. We examine Adidas’ story history, strategic moves, missteps and more.03:40 Adidas’ history with the Nazi party.20:04 Adidas' turbulent 1990s and missed opportunities.34:12 Adidas’ Yeezy deal with Kanye West.41:07 The Yeezy anti-semitism controversy.47:19 Brands need to reconsider celebrity partnerships strategy.58:20 Why Beyoncé and Ivy Park didn’t work.Enjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.This episode was brought to you by Audiense. Take your marketing strategy to the next level. Trapital listeners can start a free trial of Audiense. Learn more here.This episode was brought to you by Bevel . Get 20% off everything sitewide until 12/22! Visit getbevel.com.
YouTube’s Impact on Music

YouTube’s Impact on Music

2023-12-0101:10:59

It’s hard to imagine what music would be like today without YouTube. The platform has done more to lower the entry barriers to music creation and distribution than any other platform.From the early days when acts like Soulja Boy harnessed the raw power of YouTube to drive their careers, to modern narratives like NBA YoungBoy mastering Creator culture, in this episode we delve into how YouTube's become an essential player in the music industry.In this episode, I’m joined by Tati Cirisano from MIDiA Research to discuss the origins of YouTube entering the space, the rocky relationships with music rights holders, the importance of UGC (User Generated Content), and so much more.[00:01:23] YouTube Enters The Music Industry[00:08:37] Google Acquires YouTube, DMCA[00:21:12] The Monetization-Exposure Trade Off[00:28:36] YouTube’s “Value Gap”[00:44:48] Improving Relationships With The Music Industry[00:49:49] Content ID[00:56:44] YouTube and AIThis episode is brought to you by Downtown Music, the world leader in music services with over 2 million clients. Visit Downtown today to learn more.Enjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
How much money does the music industry really make on an annual basis? The answer is not as straightforward as you think. Most of the outlets that publish figures only report on one side of the business. But since 2014, former Spotify chief economist and author Will Page has made it his job to answer this question in his annual report on global music copyright. This year the global value is at $41.5 billion.In this episode, I’m joined by Will and friend of the show, Tati Cirisano from MIDiA Research. We dive deep into the key findings of the report, the growth of publishing, vinyl sales, why “back catalog” is a dated term, AI’s disruption, and a whole lot more.[00:04:06] The need for data transparency[00:30:51] The rise of vinyl[00:46:43] How music relates to gaming[00:54:42] Streaming price increasesThis episode is brought to you by DICE. Want to learn more about how you and your artists can reach a packed room of your superfans? Learn more at dice.fm/partnersWant to write a guest post while I’m on paternity leave in 2024? Here’s the form to fill outEnjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
It wasn’t that long ago that Reebok was head-to-head with the biggest athletic apparel companies in the world. In 1989, Reebok sales had exceeded Nike. In 2001, Reebok’s two biggest stars, MVPs Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson, faced off in the NBA Finals. In 2003, two of hip-hop’s biggest stars, 50 Cent and Jay Z, had their own Reebok sneakers.But less then a decade later, the brand was a… struggling CrossFit brand under the Adidas umbrella. What happened?In this week’s episode of Trapital, Zack O’Malley Greenburg and I take a trip down memory lane. We examine Reebok’s rise, challenges faced, big partnerships, failed acquisitions, and missed opportunities.[00:03:35] Reebok vs. Nike[00;15;34] Allen Iverson and hip-hop[00;19;59] Jay Z’s S. Dots, 50 Cent’s G-Unit sneakers[00;34;39] Adidas acquires Reebok[00;51;03] ABG acquires Reebok[01;02;11] AI and Shaq now Reebok execsThis episode is brought to you by Bevel. Beat the holiday rush and get 20% off the device of your choice. Offer ends Sun Nov 19. Get your device today.Want to write a guest post while I’m on paternity leave in 2024? Here’s the form to fill outEnjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
The Trapital Report 2023

The Trapital Report 2023

2023-10-3001:03:54

The Trapital Report 2023 is here! In this episode we break down a few big takeaways from the report on streaming, live music, the state of hip-hop, and the most valuable songs in the world. I’m joined by David Boyle from Audience Strategies, who first reached out to me about working on this report and we’ve been working together ever since.We have two report versions. You can download the free preview of the report here.We also have a premium version of the report available with insights on engaging superfans, emerging technology, country music’s moment, the impact of TikTok and short-form video, generational preferences, and more.You can buy the premium report here.[00:04:36] Hip hop outshines electronic music.[00:05:51] Hip Hop's growth was tapering off.[00:16:21] Headlines without context can impact decisions.[00:23:32] Fans want identity, self-expression, and memories.[00:33:11] Leaning in to generative AI.[00:35:24] How best to split the pie[00:42:55] Different worlds for artists on different tours.[00:46:00] Historical bias and price influence hip hop tours.[00:51:19] YouTube active users prefer pop audience.Thanks again to the report’s presenting sponsor, DICE, and our presenting sponsors, Downtown Music and Audiense for making this report possible. Thanks to Luminate and Pollstar for sharing your data with us, and thanks again to Simon Jacobs and David Boyle from Audience Strategies.Enjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
Apple has been the most influential company in music in the 21st century, and music was the major driver behind Apple’s comeback. Join us for a deep dive on where Apple was before its music journey, the impact of iTunes, Steve Jobs, iPod, U2, iPhone, Apple Music, Drake, Taylor Swift, Frank Ocean, and a whole lot more.I’m joined by friend of the pod, Zack O’Malley Greenburg. We discuss how music helped Apple exceed the value of the entire music industry. We also discuss the company’s strategy with software, hardware, and how it all worked together. Hope you enjoy it.[00:03:55] Steve Jobs returns to Apple[00:10:13] iTunes, iPod, iTunes Music Store[00:34:48] How U2 got their own iPod[00:44:20] Why Jobs was against subscription-based music streaming[00:51:27] Apple buys Beats Electronics[00:56:48] How U2’s album got on every iPhone[01:07:54] Apple Music launch[01:14:04] What would Jobs say about Apple’s current music strategy?[01:21:54] Apple Music’s old exclusives strategyEnjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
No new episode this week. We’re working hard on this year’s Trapital Report, which is out at the end of October! Make sure you’re signed up for our email newsletter to get the report once it’s live.Next week we’re back with another deep dive episode. Listen to this brief episode for a few hints! Talk to you next week.
This episode is all about Pandora Music. In the post-iPhone era, Pandora was the early favorite in music streaming. We break down its decade-long journey to get there, its rise in popularity, IPO, SiriusXM, and how and why it got beat by other competitors.I’m joined by friend of the show, Tati Cirisano from MIDiA Research. Here’s what we discussed:[00:05:50] The Music Genome Project[00:09:37] Rejected by 300 VCs[00:14:44] Pandora’s legal battles[00:18:22] Pandora vs Spotify[00:40:50] The SiriusXM era[00:54:15] Changing cultureEnjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
In May 2023, I gave a talk at the Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business - Black Leadership Conference. I explored the future of music, industry trends, and its impact on Black artists. Hip-hop culture sets the trends that society follows. I explore all that and more.[00:06:18] Beyond the vanity metrics[00:08:06] Whitney Houston estate[00:13:16] The OutKast Edge[00:19:51] Q&A: Leveling up at each stage of growthEnjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
You can't tell the story about hip-hop without telling the story of Def Jam. We break down the business behind of one of the most iconic record labels of all time. Join me, Dan Runcie, and friend of the pod, Zack Greenburg, as we discuss the triumphs and challenges that shape Def Jam and its legacy.[00:04:44] Def Jam influence on modern hip hop[00:08:59] How Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin met[00:18:18] Simmons and Rubin part ways[00:26:23] Lyor Cohen takes over, Polygram deal[00:34:24] Def Comedy Jam and Def Poetry Jam[00:42:59] Late 90s run: DMX, Jay Z, and the UMG sale[00:52:11] Def Jam Vendetta[00:58:27] Jay Z becomes CEO[01:12:09] LA Reid, Def Jam in the 2010s[01:21:54] Most effective Def Jam CEO?[01:28:31] Dark horse move?[01:38:05] Missed opportunitiesEnjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
This is a solo episode! I break down four important topics:Saudi Arabia investing in musicThe “Song of the Summer” is no morePop star decline: winners, losers, and trendsSpotify’s podcast strategy and the creator economy[00:04:22] Saudi investors exploring entertainment and tech, except music.[00:07:50] Music festivals present opportunity for strategic investment.[00:08:47] Investment activity in acquiring back catalog.[00:13:12] Songs of summer: fragmented, subjective, lost meaning.[00:16:52] Song anticipates spring/summer, dominates airwaves, summer-themed video.[00:20:51] Pop star decline: articles highlight big changes.[00:24:22] Limited inventory shifted to infinite digital options.[00:28:20] Music industry shifts in less than a decade.[00:32:12] Valuable data for advertisers and podcasters.[00:36:05] ConvertKit founder rejects Spotify acquisition attempt; insights on equity sharing for bootstrap businesses. Podcasters' success rate low but valuable. Creator economy companies seek capital for growth.[00:38:27] Unicorn-like success stories, underestimated expectations.[00:41:27] Personalized services to artists, potentially disrupting the traditional role of major record labels.Enjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapitalTrapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
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Comments (3)

Precious Udegbue

loved this interview!

Apr 17th
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Kyle Zeigler

this podcast is extra dope.

Jul 16th
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