Category: Music

Ranked: Top 10 Highest-Paid Celebrities

This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist

The Top paid celebrities in 2021

Ranked: Top 10 Highest-Paid Celebrities

It can be hard to make money in media—but for those lucky enough to make it to the big leagues, the payoff can be astronomical .

In 2021, the world’s 10 highest-paid celebrities earned a combined $2.7 billion. Who are these high-earning entertainers, and how do they make their hundreds of millions?

Using data from Forbes, this graphic by Athul Alexander highlights the top paid entertainers around the world, based on 2021 pre-tax earnings (minus business expenses such as management fees, agent costs, etc).

The Highest-Paid Celebrities in 2021

The world’s celebrities may be well known for the media they produce, but the bulk of their earnings are made through business dealings.

First on the list is New Zealand director Peter Jackson, best known for directing, producing, and writing the screenplays for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.

RankNameNationality2021 pre-tax earnings
1Peter Jackson🇳🇿​ New Zealander$580 million
2Bruce Springsteen🇺🇸​ American$435 million
3Jay-Z🇺🇸​ American$340 million
4Dwanye "The Rock" Johnson🇨🇦🇺🇸​ American/Canadian$270 million
5Kanye West🇺🇸​ American$235 million
6Trey Parker and Matt Stone🇺🇸​ American$210 million
7Paul Simon🇺🇸​ American$200 million
8Tyler Perry🇺🇸​ American$165 million
9Ryan Tedder🇺🇸​ American$160 million
10Bob Dylan🇺🇸​ American$130 million

In addition to creating and directing blockbuster hits, Jackson is also the founder of the VFX studio Weta Digital, (Read more...)

Lata Mangeshkar, RIP

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

I fell asleep quite early last evening, and not surprisingly. I woke up at an ungodly hour. And that’s when I found out the sad news. Lata Mangeshkar, the Nightingale of India, has died. While most in the west are familiar with the classical genius of late Pandit Ravi Shankar, for Indians of rank & file, she was the voice of the nation.

“Music is my life and God. My prayer is music — it is like a father and mother to me,” she noted in her book.  

Her songs, through decades, have been the soundtrack of a nation. Along with now late male singers like Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi & Mukesh, she created emotional mile markers in life’s journey for one and all. Her passing brings down the curtain on a more innocent time in Indian society. 

As an immigrant, most of my life has been against the faint strains of her melodious voice. Even today, her songs bring tears and smiles. Whenever I feel nostalgic and reflective, I put on some of her classics — and there are many. Thanks to modern technology, we will always have Lata’s voice to cherish and enjoy for eternity.

“Happiness is for sharing with the world, and sorrow is for keeping to yourself,” Mangeshkar once noted. What a great way to live your life. 

Obituaries: New York TimesBBC 

February 6, 2022. San Francisco

Splitting Ownership and Display/Consumption

This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC

I wrote about NFTs last week and said this in that post:

But when a party emerges online that anyone is invited to attend and the 500 person group picks up a punk with a party hat and they all change their social network avatar to this, well that got my attention.

Fractional/collective ownership is something we have been interested in at USV for a while. It fits well with our thesis about expanding access. We have an investment in Otis that is providing fractional ownership for collectibles and NFTs.

But there is an important difference between fractional/collective ownership of physical and digital goods.

When you purchase a share of a 1985 Air Jordan collection, as I did, you can’t showcase it in your home or office. It is shared ownership with many others. So it goes to a gallery or somewhere it can be shown publicly. That’s fine but somehow less satisfying than having it in your home or office for everyone who comes to visit you to see.

Contrast that to what happened with the punk. Everyone who bought it put it on their Twitter avatar. They collectively displayed it on their own digital property.

That is because of an important point my partner Albert made in this post a few months ago.

The underlying misconception here is to think that in the digital world copies are indistinguishable from originals. In a trivial sense this is true. Let’s say you copy a digital (Read more...)

Nitin Sawhney

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

For a long time, Nitin Sawhney has occupied a prime slot on my very short bucket list of people to interview. I first encountered his music in the early 1990s, and to a great extent, he has provided the soundtrack to my adult life. Perhaps that was inevitable. After all, we are part of the same generation, and his albums capture the reality of the world as seen through the eyes of an immigrant. I had once described him as the Dylan of the connected, wired, post-globalization world. Sadly, that world is fast becoming a faded memory.

Born and raised in Kent, England, Sawhney is British of Asian origin. Early on, he studied law and worked in a boring day job, which he eventually quit to work on the seminal show, “Goodness Gracious Me.” Accomplished in disciplines, he is particularly known as a musical renaissance man. Unpredictable and difficult to pigeonhole, he can play multiple instruments and create music in different genres. His ever-expanding body of work includes multiple solo albums, as well as the scores for many television shows, video games, and movies.

His new album, “Immigrants,” will be released on March 19, 2021. It comes more than two decades after his big breakthrough with “Beyond Skin.” So much has changed in that span of time. The world that promised a bright collective future has given way to the dark clouds of tribalism, distrust, and a crippling sense of nostalgia for the status quo.

Influences: A Wide Palette of (Read more...)

Fan Powered Royalties

This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC

Our portfolio company SoundCloud is introducing fan powered royalties to share revenues more equitably with musicians.

The streaming music business pools its revenues and pays out based on a mathematical formula. There is no direct connection between a fan and artist. This graphic explains the existing model:

What SoundCloud is offering is that direct connection, explained here.

If you are an artist and you want to get fan powered royalties you can monetize directly on SoundCloud or via SoundCloud’s Repost service which allows you to monetize on SoundCloud and all of the other streaming platforms:

Artists can participate automatically in fan-powered royalties in three ways:

SoundCloud Premier: Premier is our monetization program for Pro Unlimited subscribers. Artists will be notified and prompted to join once they become eligible to monetize. Click here for Premier eligibility requirements. 

Repost by SoundCloud: Repost by SoundCloud is for artists who want to reach fans everywhere by distributing their music to every major music service. There are no eligibility requirements to monetize with Repost by SoundCloud. You can subscribe to Repost by SoundCloud here.

Repost Select: While there are no eligibility requirements to monetize with Repost Select, it’s a program open to select Repost by SoundCloud subscribers via application or invitation only. Click here to apply or learn more.

While the pooling model has worked well to scale the streaming industry, it has not worked well for independent and emerging artists. This bit from SoundCloud’s Fan Powered Royalties page explains it well:

With (Read more...)