Invest in the Sticky Staying Power of Music Memories

Jan 21, 2015
Jonathan Hoenig, Capitalistpig Hedge Fund Most Americans, I would venture, could hum a few bars of Carley Rae Jepsen's huge 2012 hit, Call Me Maybe. Yet only 36% can name the three branches of government. What's that worth to an advertiser or filmmaker fifteen years from now? It's worth a lot to have your idea still planted in millions of people's consciousness five, ten or even twenty years after it was initially produced. Herein the attraction: Music as an intellectual property is sticky.  You may have overdosed on Call Me Maybe, but you can remember it, and likely always will. Regardless of the technological platform, be it advertising, streaming, ringtones, film soundtracks or parts of virtual reality simulations, people who were 20 years old when Call Me Maybe came out will be able to hum it instantly when they turn 35 in 2027. You can't erase a memory. Our musical memories invoke uniquely intimate feelings. What filmmaker, content producer or advertiser wouldn't be willing to pay for the marketing advantage of harnessing the power of that music memory for their brand a few years into the future. In 2014, Jump Around by House of Pain was used in a prominent Coke commercial.  Get Outta My Dreams by Billy Ocean helped sell Twix and Billy Idol's Mony Mony sold cars.
Carley Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
These songs were written decades ago, but are still earning revenue for royalty rights holders today, not only because they are catchy songs, but that they're catchy songs people still remember today. Chances are you could hum at least one right now on cue. This is exactly why these songs continue to earn royalty income, for artists and