Blog

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.

LIVE SCRIBE: Is Technology The New Beatles?

19 Sep 2014

Rich graphical summaries of MusicTank's music and technology event - 'Is Technology The New Beatles', 16 Sept 2014.

Newsletter #110: The Politics Of Regulation

10 Sep 2014

If we are going to get a coherent policy that doesn’t change with each new Secretary of State, let’s hope the roll call of past and current policy contradictions spanning music education, noise abatement, the licensing act and the digital economy become less about being pawns in the electioneering game and more about a robust and fully considered music industry policy fit for a connected 21st Century.

Tony Wadsworth: Farewell Speech - BPI AGM, 2014

04 Sep 2014

"In the recent past, government advisers have sometimes fallen into the trap of seeing the protection of intellectual property and content as a barrier to the growth of technology. I think that perception is changing for the better - creative content drives technology growth, but without support, investment and protection, it will suffer, and the industries that depend on it will suffer, and that includes technology."

Keith Harris: Technology Can Enhance, Not Kill The Album Format

19 Aug 2014

There is tendency to always assume that new technology will kill things - radio, movies, television, albums - the truth is that it isn’t necessarily so. Perhaps for the current mass-market consumer the album is not popular, but I think that there are still many artists who are able to put together a body of work, which demands to be heard in the form in which it was conceived.

Jazz Services: Onwards And Upwards

23 Jul 2014

Jazz Services are willing and able to keep providing for and supporting the UK’s jazz scene. Instead of despairing, the support from the people at the heart of the jazz scene has helped inspire us to come back better than ever, and we’re eager to live up to the faith they’ve shown in us. Onwards and upwards…

Newsletter #109: Conscious Coupling

16 Jul 2014

Technology and music - historically, it’s been a difficult marriage. The rapid growth of digital represents an evolutionary leap, impacting creation and production through to distribution and consumption and it feels like we’re now at a cross roads, with one direction signposting incredibly exciting, viable and sustainable new opportunities; the other pointing to a single track road dominated by the on-coming tech-orientated juggernauts of Google, Apple and co. who show little sign of giving way.

Streaming Debate: Billy Bragg's Response To Byrne's 'How Will The Wolf Survive…'

08 Apr 2014

Byrne’s recent post, ‘How Will The Wolf Survive: Can Musicians Make A Living In The Streaming Era’ is a very welcome intervention in the streaming debate. He not only takes time to respond to critics of his earlier comments, he also makes some helpful suggestions as to how we might move forward. And his comments couldn’t be timelier...

Newsletter #106: A Bird In The Hand

28 Mar 2014

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?

Crispin Hunt - Creators’ Rights In A Digital World

17 Mar 2014

The opportunities for musical innovation in the digital environment are countless...the digital world is our oyster…the only downside is that you seem have to do it all ‘on spec’..."The Internet somehow confused the right to the free movement of ideas (a concept which I adhere to strongly) with the free movement of work."

David Emery - The Music Industry Didn't Die

26 Sep 2013

I've been watching books. Or rather, not. For the last week or so on my daily zig-zag across the capital I've been trying to spot people reading books. I think for the purposes of informal but informative data collection..

Newsletter #100 July: We Came, We Debated, We Challenged...

09 Jul 2013

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.

Newsletter #99 June: Get With The Programme Apple

13 Jun 2013

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...

Newsletter #98 May: How To Solve A Problem Like Music Discovery?

14 May 2013

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?”

10 @ 10: What A 10 Years It's Been..!

12 Mar 2013

It’s been 10 years since MusicTank started. That might not seem to be all that long on the face of it, however when you consider that this tumultuous period has seen the arrival of Apple’s iTunes Store and creation of a licensed digital music market; EMI being sold (twice); Virgin, Our Price and Woolworths disappear from the High Street; HMV enter administration; Live Nation and AEG dominate live music; Top of the Pops pulled from...

Newsletter #95 February: Curation, Anticipation And Surprise...

14 Feb 2013

Will recorded music’s future be about access? Or will it be about ownership? That’s already a well-debated question, of course, and one that will occupy conference speakers for the immediate future, fuelled no doubt by recent trade figures from Sweden and Norway...

Keith Harris: Let's Pet Physical

21 Jan 2013

I noticed this morning an article highlighting the fact out that record sales in Sweden rose last year, as they had the year before. Spotify has a remarkably high uptake in its native Sweden, with more that 1 million paying subscribers from a population of about 9 million people, with 80% of users saying that they have stopped file-sharing...

How Google Play Can Forge A New Music Industry

13 Nov 2012

Yesterday Google Play launched in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The music industry will be overjoyed to see a player of Google's size enter the market, hoping they’ll sell music to a whole new demographic just as iTunes did a decade ago. However, this will be a different beast entirely, with new lessons to learn at a far faster rate...

Keith Harris: Has The Record Industry Gone Full Circle?

23 Oct 2012

The confirmation of the sale of EMI Records to Universal reinforces my long held belief that the record industry, at least on this side of the Atlantic, has gone nearly full circle. In the late 1950's there were just two sizeable major labels - EMI and Decca...

Digital Sustainability?

19 Sep 2012

The recordings business has at times been an uneasy bedfellow with technology, never more so than during the last decade which has been dominated by the disruptive and transformative power of the Internet and developments in digital distribution...

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