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Publicly funded, world-class institutions such as The National Theatre have a duty of care to uphold the integrity of live performance and in the process ensure a rich and vibrant future for music theatre performance.
There is a seductive myth in the online world that some content is free. There are large commercial interests in perpetuating this myth and much misunderstanding stems from it.
Future-gazing is naturally a pastime for many that are interested in the recordings industry. Is it possible that theorising about what is to come might hinder efforts to address current problems or exploit opportunities in the here and now? Is the media’s obsession with the picture of a digital-only recordings business fuelled by mass subscription to ubiquitous streaming services eroding the confidence of those trying to maximise success using the tools at hand?
On the back of another great year for the live sector that was 2013, and with this year’s festival season waiting in the wings, news of another inquiry into ticketing by another All-Party Group of MPs is unsurprising, and for many working in the live sector and their customers, largely to be welcomed. There is, however, a sense of déjà vu with all this...
If streaming is the future of the recordings business, artists deserve a better explanation of its economics than is currently on offer.
As we’ve embraced digital marketing as a means to promote concerts and gigs, the noise that the consumer deals with has steadily increased.- there is no shortage of sites offering to list a gig, but how many people actually read them?
Let’s not let the successful passing of the Live Music Act fool us into complacency that the UK live music scene is fixed.
Today, MusicTank published Easy Money? The Definitive UK Guide to Funding Music Projects, a no-nonsense report by funding expert Remi Harris that does exactly what it says on the tin.
We’d like to use this, our 100th editorial, to briefly cast an eye over some of the issues that MusicTank tackled in its first 10 years. Several of our think tanks have been highly topical, with points being made by our speakers that challenged commonly held beliefs.
Whether you think Apple has helped or hindered the music industry, it is, of all the tech giants, the company most readily associated with music, thanks to the legacy and success of the iPod and iTunes. In its product updates, religiously watched by millions, the company continues to emphasise the value of music to its ecosystem, no less so with iTunes Radio...
At the end of last year, when asked what was the most important issue that the streaming market had to address in 2013, Spotify’s Daniel Ek replied: “The abundance of choice. How do you make sense out of 20 million songs?” Of course he has a point - how can anyone possibly make sense of 20 million songs? Assuming an average song time of 4:15 minutes, that’s around 1.4 million hours or 160 years of music, roughly 2.5 times the average human lifespan.
Whether it’s the industry-baiting ArtistsVsArtists campaign, spearheaded by US “tropical grit hop” duo Ghost Beach or the primetime-driven success of Ant and Dec, aka PJ & Duncan, rhumbling to number one on the back of their Saturday Night Takeaway performance, debates around the potency of ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ media marketing techniques have found a renewed vigour over recent weeks.
The unbundling of digital formats undoubtedly – and unwittingly - played a major part in contributing to a decade of devaluation in recorded music. In a world of smart devices, as well as expensive headphones, surely it’s now time to re-gather that information and bundle it back in.
The future of music online will not necessarily depend on getting The Beatles onto Spotify; but be built around curation, context and serendipity. For all its instantaneousness, there is still a lack of magic to digital retail. It's in the less tangible aspects to music – surprise, anticipation, the human touch - that true value lies.
According to Pollstar data, in the last decade 40% of the top grossing US tours were headlined by performers over 60 years of age. For many, this parade of nostalgia has become slightly unedifying, with yesterday’s heroes risking accusations of milking their ever-decreasing baby-boomer audience. On the flipside, however, age and pedigree can be a boon to recording artists.
Even before MusicTank announced the subject of its final event of the year, the issues around ticketing were already among 2012’s most contentious. This, of course, was mainly due to an edition of Channel 4’s Dispatches, broadcast in February, that brought to wider public attention what many working in the music industry knew and feared: that the primary and secondary markets for major live events are becoming inherently dysfunctional, and true music fans were being royally ripped off.
The simmering issue of secondary ticketing is firmly back on the media agenda. Certainly, it appears that revelations broadcast by Channel 4’s Dispatches back in February 2012 have failed to dent public confidence in the online secondary market...
Just two days ago, the announcement of the UK’s first 4G network was described by Olaf Swantee, chief executive of EE, as “the communications equivalent of the change the jet engine made over steam”, capable of offering mobile internet five times faster than existing speeds...a timely reminder of our incessant demands on the global network infrastructure that underpins the workings of the Internet.
Some of the problems faced by the live business, such as ticket fraud, could broadly be considered black and white issues, whereas secondary ticketing is fifty shades of grey (ba-boom)...With the Association of Independent Festivals soon to announce its ongoing efforts toward fairer ticketing, we wonder whether black and white or grey, the ticketing issues faced by the live music business might yet get solved in the foreseeable future.
Crowdfunded music artist projects, recently brought into the limelight by Amanda Palmer’s remarkable success through Kickstarter, cannot be made to work for just anyone. There, we said it. And not out of skepticism or dismissiveness either. Here are five things to consider...
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