Charlie Cook On Air: Putting Good Stock in Country Music

Charlie Cook

Charlie Cook

Joe Queenan wrote a fun article last weekend in the Wall Street Journal about a company called Fantex Holdings. Fantex plans to associate with professional sports figures selling shares to the public. Still you never know how an investment in a celebrity is going to turn out. Fantex is currently concentrating on athletes.

At some point Alex Rodriguez probably looked like a good long term investment. All you fantasy footballers would have lined up to invest in Houston Texan Arian Foster, whom Mr. Queenan mentions in the article. That was obviously written before Mr. Foster announced he would miss the rest of a season with a back issue.

What if we did musicians?

Remember Davie Bowie did this years ago selling shares in his future earnings and receiving a lump sum of money. I remember at the time thinking this was a great idea for Mr. Bowie and not so much for the people willing to pony up money for the shares. I failed to understand just how significant David Bowie was/is to popular culture. He has sold 140 albums, plays about 15 instruments and has starred in scores of movies. He might be one of THE most significant music figures of the last 45 years so I would have missed a real buying opportunity.

Well I thought I would put prices on Country Music Stars. We can be safe to believe they are not going to tear an ACL or go out with a concussion too often. We will have to think about these maladies when pricing Jake Owen and Dierks Bentley, but otherwise we should be okay.

I decided to build a top ten value list. Their stock symbol is also listed. The top act has an IPO of 100.

1. Blake Shelton (BLK) 100. The reigning Male Vocalist of the Year and on a winning streak we all dream of. He is a real life TV star who drives The Voice success each season. I also credit him with being the driver of the format’s growth the last few years. His likability score has to be through the roof.

2. Luke Bryan (BUTT) 90. I over-estimated Luke’s ability to clean up with awards last week. He is an incredible fan favorite, just this week selling out Madison Square Garden for a show next year in the Big Apple. The industry folks are going to let Luke wait another year before bestowing him with awards.

3. Tim McGraw (TMC) 87. Tim is an amazing performer that has had a dream year with the release of his Two Lanes of Freedom CD. He won awards last week on the CMA show. He is going to star with George Clooney in a new movie next year. Like Blake, nobody doesn’t like Tim. Even though he has been around a long time, it does not look like he is anywhere near the end of a great career.

4. Taylor Swift (TSS) 86. You might think Taylor would be at the top of the list. She is the youngest of the group so she has the most future upside. She has sold more CDs and more concert tickets than anyone. She is a real international star and is the most significant music star in the world. But because she has such a huge profile in the pop world, you never know what is going to happen with those fans. By the way, if I really could buy shares in these acts I would load up with TSS stock.

5. George Strait (KING) 85. George is at the end of his touring life (if he really does hang it up) but he is going to continue to release music and the inability to see him perform the music live might drive more people to buy the CDs.

6. Keith Urban (GTR) 80. Keith has recently done a deal with the Home Shopping Network to sell custom guitars and lessons. Plus revenue comes from many sources, like a $20M a picture spouse.

7. Miranda Lambert (TUFF) 79. You gonna tell her she shouldn’t be on the list? You know she’s armed most of the time, right?

8. Carrie Underwood (LEGS) 78. The most natural performer we have in the format. She is at ease in everything she does. The most powerful voice and a GREAT award show host.

9. Eric Church (GOD) 77. When he is on stage you never take your eyes off of him. He simply owns the music.

10. I could go a lot of ways here. If I actually list a 10th stock, I am going to catch major problems for the ten people I left off the list. So I’m just going to say, “Yeah, your right, ____ belongs on the list at this spot.” I might have been born at night. But I wasn’t born last night.

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of MusicRow.)


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