Quincy Jones On Investing, ‘Love, Trust & Respect’

January 19, 2018

Quincy JonesQuincy Jones is one the most important figures the entertainment industry has ever had. In more than 60 years, Jones has worn the hats of legendary record producer (Michael Jackson), conductor and arranger (Frank Sinatra), composer and musician, among other roles, which has resulted in winning 26 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend Award in 1991. He has also served in other roles in the entertainment industry: film & TV producer as well as entertainment executive, mentor and philanthropist.

But there is a new path Jones is blazing today: index investing that targets streaming entertainment. The Quincy Jones Streaming Music, Media & Entertainment (QUINCY100) index offers exposure to long-term growth in streaming content and disruption in the industry. Jones will be speaking on “Creativity, Disruption & Investing” on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at Inside ETFs in Hollywood, Florida. ETF.com caught up with him and Donna Nairi, founder and CEO of ICONICBETA, who created the index with Jones, to discuss the index and the entertainment industry.

ETF.com: Tell us about the index bearing your name, the Quincy Jones Streaming Music, Media & Entertainment Index (QUINCY100). What’s the idea behind it?
Quincy Jones: When I was first approached with the idea of building a music, media and entertainment index, I immediately connected with it. Our index represents a theme that touches our lives every day, and a theme that’s offered me my entire career. If we can offer access to it, that’s exciting.

I’ve lived through it all, from audiocassettes to streaming. I know that world and all the transformative changes that’ve been made. I’ve witnessed (and been a part of) the evolution of this industry, and I’m telling you that it’s undoubtedly changing and transforming faster than I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Technology used to be something that enabled piracy, but now, technology—specifically streaming—is the reason that piracy is on the decline. If you really think about it, the way in which people listen to music, watch movies and even discover new artists has completely transformed what we used to know.

Donna Nairi: It's a serious theme, so we decided to develop a strategy to track it. We approached development slightly different than traditional protocol by working together with industry icon Quincy Jones and his team. 

Mr. Jones has over 70 years’ experience and holds 35 honorary doctorate degrees from institutions such as Harvard and Princeton for his contributions to the industry, and this offered us unique insight that ultimately aided in the development of the index theme. 

The QUINCY100™ was engineered to reflect the long-term growth in streaming content and disruption in the content delivery ecosystem. We recognize the global music, media and entertainment industry is changing fast, and it’s “disrupt or dwindle” for traditional businesses. The subscription model is driving a lot of revenue growth in the entertainment space overall, with demand for content anywhere and anytime reshaping the industry.

The QUINCY100™ was published on Dec. 20, 2017. The Bloomberg ticker is "QUINCY.”

ETF.com: An index with a nonfinancial industry name on it is rare. Was it your idea to use your name?

Quincy Jones: It was Donna's idea; it's best she answers this one.

Donna Nairi: It’s never been done like this, but it has been done. If you think about the names of some of the most recognizable stock market benchmarks in the world, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, “The Dow,” for example, published in 1896, it was named after two people, reporters Charles Dow and Edward Jones. We're doing something quite similar with the QUINCY100™.

There is no formal nomenclature or procedure on index naming, with naming convention generally being derived from the index theme. The name “Quincy Jones” being included alongside descriptive language makes sense, since Quincy's name itself could be considered a symbol for the industry. When you look at Quincy’s career, he has been a leader in every part of it.

Identifying the right symbol for the benchmark was an important strategic decision, since the involvement extends beyond just a name. Mr. Jones' monumental achievements, coupled with a career spanning over 70 years, positions him as someone who’s identified with the industry in the broadest possible way, from playing to producing to being a business leader, from live events to TV and movies. “Quincy Jones” as a name is an iconic, respected and elegant mark that’s now the symbol and identifier of the industry benchmark. 

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