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How Does the Music Business Compare To Film And TV?

How Does the Music Business Compare To Film And TV?

Update: 2022-07-29


Best-selling author Zack O’Malley Greenburg and I took a break for a new Dad-girl duties to talk about the latest headlines in the music industry — namely Irv Gotti selling a 50-percent ownership stake in Murder Inc.’s past music recordings. He got $100 million from Iconoclast for the deal, plus another $200-million credit line to fund future media endeavors Irv has planned. 

After the sale, Irv did an interview with Billboard and quipped that monetary-wise, the music industry is the “lowest form” in entertainment compared to film and television. Zack and I debated that during our episode comparing top-line revenues for each entertainment vertical, plus how Irv’s deal compares to other splashy catalog sales in the past two years. 

We also dived into a guest post on Zack’s Substack about how “moods” has become the new classification for music, not genres anymore. Discovery algorithms deployed by streaming services have pushed listeners toward moods — and away from regionalism (e.g. Houston-style “chopped and screwed”) and loyalty to particular record labels. It’s also another tell-tale sign that Gen Z is more fluid, less rigid than prior generations with their labels. 

Below are all the music-industry topics Zack and I covered throughout the episode, plus a special segment on becoming Dad’s in the past two months:

[0:55 ] Baby Duties For Zack & Dan

[4:11 ] Irv Gotti Calls Music Industry “Lowest Form” In Entertainment 

[6:09 ] Zack Still Gets Royalties for “Lorenzo’s Oil”

[7:52 ] Top-Line Revenues: Music vs. Movie Industry

[8:59 ] New Artist Perspective Skewing Perception Of Music Business

[11:04 ] Did Irv Gotti’s Deal Get Made Before Market Correction? 

[13:08 ] Irv’s Deal Was For Masters, Not Publishing

[13:50 ] Crowning Jewel of Murder Inc’s Catalog

[18:23 ] Why Mood Is The New Musical Genre

[19:26 ] Gen Z Uses Labels Less Than Prior Generations

[25:53 ] Post Malone The Genre-Agnostic Artist

[27:10 ] Did Streaming End Regionalism In Music? 

[29:53 ] Fan Attachment To Record Labels Has Disappeared

[32:30 ] Stories From Two New Girl Dads

[38:21 ] First Music Show For The New Babies?

Tiffany Ng’s article on music being categorized by moods, not genre:

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud | Stitcher | Overcast | Amazon | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | RSS

Host: Dan Runcie, @RuncieDan,

Guests: Zack O’Malley Greenburg, @zogblog




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[00:00:00 ] Zack O'Malley Greenburg: Our generation, in general, is pretty hung up on labels. You know, everything from music to sexuality, to whatever, you know, it's like things have to be classified and, you know, there's kind of an obsession over putting things in buckets. Whereas I think Gen Z has a lot more about fluidity and sort of like, you know, questioning why we need these labels at all to begin with, or at least, like, maybe we should just loosen up a little bit about them, which I think makes a ton of sense, you know? 

[00:00:34 ] Dan Runcie: 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.

[00:00:55 ] Dan Runcie: This episode is the first one I'd done in a little bit, took a quick break from recording. My wife and I welcomed our first child into the world last month, so took some time, focused on family, and finally, ready to get back into the swing of things. And there's no better person to do it with than my friend, Zack O'Malley Greenburg, who recently is coming back from paternity to leave himself. Him and his wife just had a kid in May, and the past couple of months, Zack and I have been talking about our journeys, both leading up to this moment and after. So, and given what we cover in both music and entertainment, it was a good time to catch up on a few recent headlines. First, we talked about Irv Gotti and the $300 million deal he did for selling his Murder Inc. Catalog, doing a deal with Iconoclast for further stuff in media, TV, and film. And this statement that Irv Gotti made about music being the lowest-monetized form of entertainment. Zack and I had some thoughts, so we broke that down. We also talked about one of the articles that was a guest post in Zack's ZOGBLOG that he had published that was about moods in music and how moods and music are definitely taking over genres, especially in streaming, and how that may shape the future of how music's released and monetized. We're getting away from these genre legacy terms like country, rap, and pop and moving more so into chill vibes, or other things that are named by hyperspecific Spotify playlists. And Zack and I saves a little bit of time at the end for Girl Dad Life, where we chatted about some of our mutual experiences and some funny moments that we've experienced so far with having kids and what's that's been like with newborns specifically, so hope you enjoy this episode. Here's my chat with Zack. 

[00:02:42 ] Dan Runcie: All right. We're back with another episode. And I'm joined by my guy who is also probably with limited sleep, fresh off of paternity leave himself, Zack, how are you holding up these days, man?

[00:02:54 ] Zack O'Malley Greenburg: Not too bad. I think we got eight hours last night out of Riley, little Riley. So life is definitely getting a little bit more normal but it's, it's all good. sleep or no sleep. It's just a blast. 

[00:03:06 ] Dan Runcie: Ah, love to hear it. I'll hopefully be at that eight-hour stretch soon, a couple of weeks behind you with a newborn, but we'll save some time at the end to catch up on Girl Dad Life. 

[00:03:16 ] Zack O'Malley Greenburg: All right.

[00:03:17 ] Dan Runcie: Let's start things at the top though. We got some big topics we want to dive into, but this first one that caught my eye, and it sounds like it caught your eye, too. This quote is from Irv Gotti, who just did this huge deal. Of course, Irv Gotti, CEO, one of the founders of Murder Inc. He was able to do a $300 million deal recently with Iconoclast, where he was able to sell his share, his 50% share of Murder Inc.'s masters for $100 million. And plus he also got a $200 million line of credit. That's going to be specifically used for future TV and film projects that are likely going to be based off of some of the Murder Inc. IP or other things. But in an interview that he did talking about this deal with Billboard, he said this quote, and I've been thinking a lot about it.

[00:04:11 ] Dan Runcie: He said, "Entertainment industry is music, TV, and film," right? "The music business is the lowest form, and I just bagged a hundred million dollars for some shit I did 20 years ago." And the interviewer then follows up and it's like, you know, can you say more? And he says, "It's just the facts. More money is made in TV and with movies than music. It’s a non-disputable fact. We love the music industry and I love the music industry. There’s money to be made. But [it’s dwarfed by] the money made from TV and film. If I have 100 episodes of television and I own it, they’ll probably put a worth on it at $300 or $400 million. With $300 or $400 million, I could sell it at a 10 to 20 multiple. That’s three to six billion. This is why Tyler Perry is a billionaire. That’s why I sold my masters and did this deal with Iconoclast." So I pause and, although I get what he's saying and I think there is some interesting discussion there, I think there's a lot of nuances there. And I'm not quite sure if I'm completely on board with him on this. That said, I think Irv Gotti is great. I always loved what Murder Inc. did, but I think that this particular statement is a bit more nuanced, especially with what we've seen happening in music the past few years. 

[00:05:29 ] Zack O'Malley Greenburg: Yeah, I absolutely agree with that. I mean, you know, and I think he got into some fuzzy mat

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How Does the Music Business Compare To Film And TV?

How Does the Music Business Compare To Film And TV?

Dan Runcie