The nu-metal band have began investing in start-ups
Linkin Park recently hired a creative business executive to help expand their band into a business.
The nu-metal group, who released their latest album ‘The Hunting Party’ in 2014, are the subject on a new feature in the Harvard Business Review. In the piece, Kiel Berry – who works for the band’s Machine Shop company – explains their aspirations.
Berry writes: “The most successful artists in this new landscape have begun to look at new business models and new industries to strengthen their existing brands. They’re extending their brand into areas like technology, gaming, fashion, and lifestyle content — essentially becoming entertainment platforms.”
“By 2013, Linkin Park and Machine Shop had to address the fact that digital music (first downloads and then streaming) had changed the business dramatically… When I looked at the global reach of Linkin Park, and the potential business opportunities outside the narrow category of music, I could see plenty of ‘blue ocean’.”
Berry, who is the Executive Vice President of Machine Shop, describes how the company eventually became a venture capital firm, investing in new start-ups.
He continues: “We restructured Machine Shop to focus on innovation through non-traditional business partnerships and creative design thinking. Over the course of a year, we built strong case studies in fashion, design, and technology. Once this groundwork was laid, we realised that the traditional music management model would have to evolve to support these innovation activities.”
“We launched Machine Shop Ventures, our venture capital firm, which will focus on investing in early-to-growth-stage consumer-focused companies that align with the band’s ethos of connecting people and innovation through tech and design. We want to share with our portfolio companies what we know about maintaining a brand in the cultural zeitgeist; we look forward to learning from them about internal company culture, vision, and creating new business”.
“We are still in the music business, but creating and selling music now plays more of a supporting role in our overall business mix. As we get ready to headline a five-city stadium tour of China this summer, we are also planning to meet with technology companies, consumer brands, and venture capital firms to discuss opportunities for partnership. Of course we’ll play the shows and meet with fans, as we’ve always done. But along with continuing to make great music, today’s Linkin Park is now better positioned to operate in the ever-evolving cultural and business landscape.”
The band have so far invested in a number of start-ups, including the delivery app Shyp and carshare app Lyft.
Linkin Park last toured the UK during November 2014, playing shows in London and Manchester.
Bennington recently claimed that outdoor festivals are ruining live gigs. Watch the video below. Speaking to NME, the singer said that he prefers playing indoors at the band’s own shows as opposed to bigger, open-air gigs.