A dangerous or ingenious musical precedent?

The Wu-Tang Clan are releasing just one copy of their latest “secret” album in the hope of sparking a shift in the way music is funded and distributed.

The general premise is that the art of music has been devalued by cheap modern distribution techniques and it makes sense to revive the…

“400 year old Renaissance-style approach to music, offering it as a commissioned commodity and allowing it to take a similar trajectory from creation to exhibition to sale, as any other contemporary art piece, we hope to inspire and intensify urgent debates about the future of music…”

The Wu Tang Clan appear to be miffed, basically, that music isn’t being treated the same way high value art is. Read more

The growing scarcity of scarce markets

As we’ve reported, a classic car bubble is potentially in the making — something which has got us thinking (over three posts) about what really goes into determining the value of rare objects more generally.

From our vantage point — and it certainly is a lay vantage point when it comes to classic cars — there seem to be three core attributes associated with vintage automobiles.

The first is uniqueness.

Value related to uniqueness is understandable since it relates to how easily an object or item can be sourced, replicated or mass produced. For now, there is little chance that a classic Bentley will be perfectly replicated. Value applied on these grounds seems rational enough. Read more

The art of myth-making

The classic car market is bubbling, which has got FT Alphaville wondering about what really goes into determining the value of rare objects. More specifically why certain objects, despite their ability to be cheaply reproduced, retain value regardless.

In this post, we consider the roles of narrative and myth in value creation.

We’ll start with the argument that a powerful enough narrative or myth can turn even abundant commodities into stores of value in their own right. Read more

A classic car bubble?

Wonkblog and Reuters draw our attention to a potential bubble arising in classic cars.

Both cite research from Knight Frank’s Q2, 2013, luxury investment index.

As KF’s research noted:

Continued price growth in the classic car sector and an upturn in the performance of investment-grade wines helped to boost the value of KFLII by 7% in the 12 months to the end of June 2013. This matches the increase in the value of residential property in prime central London over the same period and is in stark contrast to the 23% fall in the price of gold since June 2012. The FTSE 100 index of UK listed equities performed slightly better, rising by 12%. Over a 10-year period, however, KFLII (+174%), has significantly outperformed the FTSE 100 (+55%), although gold still remains the top mainstream-asset performer (+273%).

 Read more