Blog

MusicTank Entrusted with JazzUK Legacy

14 Nov 2017

MusicTank, University of Westminster is delighted to announce that it is to receive the assets of JazzUK as part of that charity’s formal closure. Central to JazzUK’s work was the provision of online business information with which to further both musicians’ careers and those businesses working in the sector, and it is with that in mind that MusicTank was deemed the most appropriate beneficiary of JazzUKs archive.

Newletter Editorial #133 - Musicians’ Mental Health: No Longer Taboo

19 Oct 2017

MusicTank has published the second part of its ground-breaking research into musicians’ mental health, conducted by Sally Gross and Dr. George Musgrave of University of Westminster. ‘Can Music Make You Sick?’ is an accomplished piece of work, distinguished by it being the world’s largest known academic study into music and mental health, its publication marking the end of this year-long study into anxiety and depression as experienced by both musicians and music industry professionals.

Newsletter Editorial #132 - Fake Artists: Back Door Music Curation Or Just Fake ‘Fake News’?

13 Jul 2017

Accusations and commentary about alleged 'fake' artists on Spotify playlists have intensified recently, with MusicTank itself commenting on this in both The Times, and on Radio 4’s flagship news and current affairs PM programme,

The Record Label Of The Future

02 Mar 2017

Speaking at a recent Music 4.5 event on the subject of the future of the record label, artist lawyer Robert Horsfall delivered a speech which in under ten minutes succinctly and deftly highlighted much that is still seemingly wrong with many artist/ label recording contracts.

Editorial: Are Streaming Services Labels-In-Waiting?

12 Oct 2016

Much has been written over the course of this year about exclusive releases on streaming platforms, with Frank Ocean’s Blond the latest of a number of high profile, profitable exclusives, with Beyoncé, Kanye West and Rihanna, among some of the industry’s biggest-selling artists carving exclusive deals on services such as Tidal and Apple Music...

Keith Harris: Why Are Catalogue Albums Outselling New Releases?

28 Jan 2016

The trend over the last several years towards assuming that just because music is new, that it is good and chiming with a younger audience. The evidence from the live music market place with hugely successful tours from so called Heritage acts, would indicate that older music is very popular with young audiences.

Newsletter Editorial #123 - Truth & Reconciliation: Recalibrating Creators' Share From Digital

16 Dec 2015

The legal instruments created in good faith to protect creators’ digital rights have comprehensively failed to evolve during the rapid development of digital and online distribution. Depressingly, to re-visit and amend WIPO Treaties is a herculean task...

Paul Pacifico: Is Compulsory Licensing The New Next Big Thing (Again?)

18 Sep 2015

Compulsory Licensing (‘CL’) is an option that has historically been seen as anti-competitive and as closing down a free market in favour of some sort of socialist protectionism for artists. In actual fact, it may just be the platform the digital market needs to open up competition and foster the innovation in services and business models so desperately needed.

Music Industry Wins High Court Copyright Case Against Government

19 Jun 2015

The High Court has ruled against the UK Government in a Judicial Review case brought by BASCA, The MU and UK Music. These three bodies challenged the decision to introduce a private copying exception into UK copyright law, arguing that it was unlawful because it failed to provide fair compensation to rightholders...

Newsletter Editorial #118: The Digital Pie - Something's Gotta Give...

21 May 2015

In the race to legitimacy, those crafting the raw material on which licensed digital services depend - the song - face transparency complexities of Gordian Knot proportions, and which show few signs of abating...

Robert Ashcroft's 2015 PRS AGM Speech

20 May 2015

At the 2015 PRS AGM on Tuesday Robert Ashcroft, PRS for Music's Chief Executive delivered a speech where he drew attention to the hurdles faced by songwriters and publishers that preclude them from getting "fair value" for their work...

Paul Pacifico: Reaching For The Stars – Do We Really Think Music Is Worth It?

28 Apr 2015

As a society, we seem to acknowledge that music is a good thing for kids to do and that it is culturally and commercially important with the UK Music sector punching well above its weight globally and generating big numbers for UK plc, but we don’t really believe it. Not deep down. Not enough to invest and get behind it like we do sport or science...

Keith Harris: Got to Give it Up?

01 Apr 2015

In my mind, there is no doubt that the correct conclusion has been reached in the copyright infringement case, at least from a justice point of view. I’m not quite so sure, that in the context of the existing copyright law however that the decision was absolutely correct.

ILLUSTRATIONS: Moneyballing Music: Big Data, Consumers And A&R

23 Mar 2015

Rich graphical summaries of MusicTank's big data event - 'Moneyballing Music: Big Data, Consumers And A&R', 10 March 2015.

Newsletter Editorial #116: Retail Therapy

04 Mar 2015

Retail is indeed a diverse, complex and multi-channel connector between creators and consumers. Innovation in retail needs to be met with similar innovation in music – in particular, music licensing, especially music publishing... licensing content ‘at any cost’ is simply not an option for rights holders, anymore than it is for the historically low-margin music retail sector.

Jeremy Silver: Big Data and Music – Situation Report

03 Mar 2015

Big data often refers to the very large and highly complex data-sets thrown off by global online consumer activity, particularly arising from social media. For the most part, big data is being used to help understand what has happened in the recent past – it also has the potential to be used to predict the future likelihood of success.

Martin Mills: 'Digital Giants', Disaggregation & Global Release Day

27 Feb 2015

We must not allow the dominant players in our supply side industry to use their oligopolostic power misguidedly to pervert the market to what they may see as their short term advantage, at the cost of the diversity and opportunity in the market that we love, and of the album format, which sustains our retail partners, allows artists the form of expression they need, and fans the format they want.

VIDEO - Prithwijit Mukerji: Moneyballing Music

19 Feb 2015

Prithwijit's video introduces you to our March 10th think tank. This event will consider how the recorded music industry is currently collecting and using data to support a historically subjective process of signing new artists, and will go on to look at the potential of smart data for the wider industry...

Newsletter #114: 2015 -The Road Ahead...

15 Jan 2015

With a New Year upon us, there can be no doubt that the pace of innovation and change so evident across large swathes of the music industry landscape in 2014 will continue apace, and necessarily so. With innovation in mind, it’s perhaps fitting for this first MusicTank newsletter of 2015 to highlight plenty of new MusicTank activity scheduled over the next few months...

Keith Harris: Gifting Music - Streaming's Biggest Challenge?

12 Jan 2015

There is little doubt in my mind that the high level of physical consumption is still a factor governed by the need for people to give music at Christmas, which is not adequately catered for in anything other than the physical form.

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