Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why The SFX IPO Is Bad For EDM

SFX Buys Beatport image
SFX Entertainment’s recent IPO (Initial Public Offering) seems to have met both some backlash and bad timing, as it’s stock continues to struggle to come back to its original IPO price of $13 per share. Part of this is due to the stock market having a case of the yips over our boys in Washington being unable to come together to fund the government, so there’s your bad timing. The other part is due to the IPO stock offering being on the high side to begin with, much like the Facebook IPO last year.

But the fact that we’re even talking about the stock price rather than the company’s impact on music is the problem here, and it’s a symptom of a larger malady that pertains uniquely to the entertainment business. Once a company goes public, it becomes beholden to the stockholder and not the customer, and that’s bad for a company based around a totally creative product. In this case its music, more specifically electronic dance music (EDM), where SFX has made its big play.

Just a refresher on SFX - it’s the brainchild of chief executive and chairman Robert Sillerman, who saw how EDM was becoming the next big trend in music and wanted to cash in on its popularity. The company went on a buying spree, rolling up several event producers as well as online music store Beatport, and was planning on using the IPO money for additional acquisitions of other major EDM events.

It’s great when someone has so much confidence in a part of the music industry that he invests heavily in it, and then convinces Wall Street to invest as well, but that also brings about a self-fulfilling prophecy, meaning that when big money comes into something artistic, the art inevitably gets squeezed out in favor of something safer and more likely to result in a profit. Read more on Forbes.

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