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.

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.

Guest Editorial #107: The Digital Age And The Myth Of Free Content, Paul Pacifico

15 May 2014

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...

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."

Newsletter #105: Ticketing - We're All In This Together...

19 Feb 2014

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...

Newsletter #104 January: The Artist Economics Of Streaming

16 Jan 2014

Streaming is already a red hot topic for 2014, with the format having grown over 2013 and a high profile publicity campaign warming up for Beats Music, which launches on Tuesday...

Keith Harris: The Future Of The BBC

17 Dec 2013

So the BBC is under scrutiny again. The House of Commons Select Committee on The Future of the BBC is meeting to answer questions, which include “what should the BBC be for, and what should be the purpose of public service broadcasting?”...

Newsletter #103 November: Noise vs Music: The Real Loudness War

21 Nov 2013

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?

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.

Martyn Ware - The Future Of Music As Immersive Art And Entertainment

09 Jul 2013

Creativity in music and the arts is what makes our lives worth living…immersive public experiences, daringly and passionately curated, will make our lives more liveable in a more enjoyable future.

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...

10 @ 10: Jude Rogers - The Future Of Journalism

14 May 2013

The future of music journalism? Ahhhh. It’s a subject I’m asked to speak about so much these days, and, to my mind, for two reasons. The first: people think music journalism is dead or soon will be, so I’m being wheeled out for the obituaries. The second, which I prefer, and isn’t unrelated to the first: people really care about it, and don’t want it to disappear.

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?”

Newsletter #97 April: #NewMediaVsTradMedia

09 Apr 2013

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...

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 #96 March - 2013: Time To Re-Bundle?

12 Mar 2013

The unbundling of digital formats undoubtedly - & 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 & bundle it back in?

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...

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