While Jay-Z has had significant press from his $150 million Live Nation deal, 50 cent has been accumulating his own pool of hip-hop cash. According to a recent Forbes hip-hop package, Fiddy has raked in over $150 million in the last 12 months, with at least $100 million of it coming from his stake in Glacéau, the parent company of VitaminWater, which was sold to to Coca-Cola. He also has the G-Unit clothing line and a record label, films, video games and a stack of platinum albums, but perhaps most intriguing is a rumored partnership with South African mining billionaire Patrice Motsepe, who has been in discussions with 50 about a JV that will create 50-branded platinum for the necks and fingers of the bling crowd.
Whatever one thinks about the real value of these properties, the fact is these types of 360-degree business models play to the strengths of the artist-brand and deliver products, services and content that is bang-on what the target audience wants. While many traditional labels are talking a good 360 game, none have really managed to move beyond record sales, concert tickets and merchandising as a way of generating more revenue.
To quote from Paul Resnikoff's recent "Parting Shot" in Digital Music News, "the moneymaking possibilities are only limited by the creativity of the entrepreneurs involved."