A Fool And His Money

NEW YORK CITY- Last night, the nation tuned in to watch start-up music streaming company PurpleThrone, pedestrian attempt to win over investors with its stock and virtual coin offering. The ad hoped to excite Americans by showcasing its “farm to door” investment opportunity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sadly, that’s not what they got. 

The spot was dull, confusing and came off more like a Kay’s jewelry commercial than an investment pitch.  Upon further investigation, It’s hard to imagine what they were thinking. PurpleThrone’s business model uses a virtual currency entitled, PurpleCoin, to offer stock options to all artists who subscribe.  Like stocks, artists can take money out or cash it in at any time, minus a 5% commission fee.  Whilst the streaming company deriving its revenue from ads and subscription fees isn’t new, what is new, is it allowing artists to partake in the upside of institutional investments.  Subsequently, none of this came across in the ad.   Why would Americans invest their savings into such a volatile industry?  PurpleThrone inappropriately assumes that Americans would marvel at their ethical approach and sympathize with artists, who have been marginally compensated since the phonograph.

PurpleThrone has grossly missed the mark.  For decades, we’ve watched rock stars travel from penthouse to penthouse, yacht to yacht, jet to jet, Maybach to Maybach without any reflection on the fans who support them.   

But suddenly we should empathize over how exceedingly underpaid they are? We should recognize their potential value? Bet on the rising star?  Even the most ardent artist activist would concede that best part of this PurpleThrone ad was its brass optimism and adorable lead actress. Whoever is backing this company should quit.  It’s a novice idea, but trying to persuade investors to buy-in to this unproven business model is dangerously brazen and borderline Machiavellian.

If PurpleThrone wants to help artists gain higher wages, perhaps they should consider restructuring into a not-for-profit and offer free contract negotiation services.  For the rest of us, I suggest putting your money into Disney or Amazon.  Having to endure another PurpleThrone ad will make even the strongest hospice patient sprint for the off switch.  

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