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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

219 Episodes
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On April 11, Taylor Swift’s songs reappeared on TikTok despite the platform's ongoing dispute with her record label, Universal Music Group. This move was made in advance of the release of Taylor’s 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department.On this episode of Trapital, Tatiana Cirisano and I discuss why Swift and UMG don’t see eye-to-eye, competing incentives, who’s in charge at UMG, and more.00:00 Why we’re not surprised Taylor Swift made this move07:52 Why Swift and UMG have competing incentives13:37 What it means for UMG and TikTok moving forward24:27 Who’s the most powerful person in the music industry?This episode is brought to you by EVEN, where you buy the art from the artist. Learn more at https://get.even.biz/trapitalMake sure you listen in for our new Chartmetric stat of the week!Trapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
We've had plenty of conversations on Trapital about Diddy's business success, so we have to keep that same energy when outlook changes.On this episode, Zack O'Malley Greenburg and I talk about our initial reactions to the allegations surrounding Sean Combs, and we talk about the present state and future of the biggest businesses in his portfolio.Make sure you listen for our Chartmetric stat of the episode
Despite the all-time record highs for the live music industry, music festivals haven't quite had the same post-pandemic recovery. Several well-known festivals have closed up shop, and others have had slower than usual demand (even Coachella!)To break it all down, I'm joined by Tati Cirisano from MIDiA Research. Hope you enjoy!Make sure you check out our Chartmetric stat of the episode!
Back in the day, each record label had a distinct consumer identity. In the 90s, you knew what to expect from an Interscope album. Def Jam, Jive, Uptown, Cash Money. They all had their own vibe, their own identity, their own brand.So... what the hell happened?In the episode, we talk about how music's landscape shifted, and took the consumer brands with it. Strong brands still exist today among today's music companies, but they operate more like B2B brands than B2C brands.I'm joined by Justin Hunte, music journalist, startup advisor, and former Editor-in-Chief of HipHopDX, and we break it all down.04:20 Def Jam's fight for legitimacy and innovation.06:59 Federal Communications Act - media consolidation impact12:08 Media success relies on standing on giants' shoulders.16:36 Hybe's Weverse maximizes label and artist reach.18:21 Maximizing super fans to boost revenue. Consolidation.23:07 Shift in entertainment from pandemic to 2024.25:41 Changing music industry, companies adapting to trends.28:37 Brand identity crucial; industry accolades have limits.31:31 Share, rate, and spread the word.Make sure you listen in for our new Chartmetric stat of the week!Trapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.
It's time to dig into the mailbag again. I asked Trapital listeners to send me their most burning questions about the music industry. But this time we’re doing things a bit differently: you’ll be hearing the questions directly from our listeners.We dug into the TikTok vs. UMGc dispute, children’s entertainment media, and the Beyoncé - Verizon relationship leading to album ‘Act II: Cowboy Carter.”00:00 UMG vs TikTok 15:17 Kids’ music 19:55 Beyoncé, Verizon, and Cowboy CarterMake 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.
2023 was a big year for concert films. Taylor Swift's “Eras Tour” film became the highest grossing concert film of all time with nearly $270M in worldwide box office gross. Beyonce’s Renaissance film grossed over $44M. Was this just a Beyonce and Taylor thing, or will this continue?In this episode, I’m joined by Jimmy Stone, Founder of Alderbrook Companies, to dive deep into the rise of concert films, the economics behind them, the highest grossing concert films of all time, and so much more.At the end of our conversation, we also included an audio segment of the guest essay that Jimmy wrote for Trapital: “What Is Driving The Rise Of Concert Films?”00:00 Why are concert films becoming so popular? 06:50 Transmedia storytelling in music 12:48 The economics of concert films 21:11 Which artist could make a successful concert film in 2024? 31:22 Jimmy’s essay: What Is Driving The Rise Of Concert Films?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.
There’s been a lot of discussion (and concern) about the impact of generative AI on music and whether the industry is on the verge of another Napster moment. But according to Jessica Powell, CEO of AudioShake, it’s going to take a lot more than a text prompt to kill music as we know it.On today’s episode, Jessica and I did a dive deep into the rise of generative music, its actual opportunities, and what it means for the industry moving forward.At the end of our conversation, we also included an audio version of the essay that Jessica wrote for Trapital: “Is Generative Music Really the Next Napster?”00:00 Will AI music have a Napster moment?08:07 The rise of generative music12:14 Main challenges and opportunities20:26 Audio essay: “Is Generative Music Really the Next Napster?”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.
This episode is about Hollywood's biggest night, the Academy Awards. I’m joined by friend of the pod Zack O'Malley Greenburg to dive deep into the Oscars, how it compares to the Grammys, its relationship with music, the money spent on campaigns, the dramas, the major controversies, and some wild theories.00:00 The money behind the Oscars06:30 Why the Grammys gets worse ratings than the Oscars22:05 What happened to big movie soundtracks?31:36 Controversies over the years40:02 Biggest snubs of all time44:39 How to improve the showMake 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.
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.
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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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