Music Trading In Stock

A financial services firm is working on a novel idea – trading futures in the movie business. And it’s not denying it might look at the same for the music world.

Cantor Fitzgerald has filed an application with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to launch Cantor Exchange, a platform based on movie box office revenue. Basically, traders can hedge and speculate on the next George Clooney vehicle and hope for a big opening weekend. If so, it’s a trip to Easy Street.

The model is based on a Web site Cantor Fitzgerald created called Hollywood Stock Exchange where movie lovers have been able to bet on the win/loss factor of upcoming launches. Participants use play money and the site includes celebrity news. Now Cantor is ready to do it for real.

It’s certainly an interesting idea. When asked if Cantor was contemplating a similar model where traders could speculate on the music industry, spokeswoman Melanie Gordon-Felsman gave Pollstar an open-ended reply.

“Cantor Exchange will develop over time, adding new futures,” she responded.

Again, it may be an interesting concept but not necessarily a good one. Hollywood insider Nikki Finke thinks it’s the “worst idea ever” and “beyond ridiculous.”

“This could lead to another source of revenue for studios who can make their own bets on movies they are releasing to increase total revenue take or hedge losses,” one financial insider told Finke. “Who knows if it will take off but interesting nonetheless.”