The buzz rang across the world. The word was finally out, “Whitney Houston was dead.” On February 12, 2012, Whitney died at the age of 48 years old. It was hard to believe she was gone.
Through the public eyes, the six-time Grammy winner was a beacon of God given talent. Whitney sold more than 170 million albums and singles over her career and received millions from her movies.
Sadly, many experts argue that Whitney will be worth more dead than alive. Forbes writer Zack O’Malley Greenburg said Houston could be looking at as much as $10 million this year in digital sales. Many people attempt to company Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston due to their stardom and international acclaim. Yet, their financial firepower was not the same.
Michael was a musical genius who created lasting content. He sold over 8 million albums in the United States within six months of his death and over 20 million worldwide. On the contrary, Whitney received a much smaller share with artist royalties from her albums.
For example, Whitney’s music has sold over 1 million albums and singles since her death. Additionally, her catalog sales surged with nearly 900,000 individual tracks sold. One of Whitney’s most celebrated songs, “I Will Always Love You,” has also heated up the record charts since her death.
Yet, Dolly Parton, who wrote this song, will receive the greatest benefit from the publishing revenues from the radio play and licensing to commercials and films.
In both situations, the major difference is that Michael wrote many of his songs and obtained publishing royalties as a writer. Therefore, Whitney’s estate won’t be able to soar like other entertainment moguls like Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley.
Consequently, good content has lasting value. This content is called intellectual property. It refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. This content is managed with legal documents such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
Henrik Vejlgaard, author of Anatomy of a Trend, argues the power of creators to set trends. He explains, “The prime movers in any trend process will often go by different names, for instance, inventors, innovators, pioneers, or entrepreneurs. They create new products or invent new styles or begin doing something in a completely new way.” Therefore, intellectual fire power can pay more over time.
State your experience with content creation or intellectual firepower. What do you think about the future of content creation in the future?
© 2012 by Daryl D. Green