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...
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...
#91 Newsletter Editorial: The Dark Side Of The Tune - The Hidden Energy Cost Of Digital Music Consumption
13 Sep 2012
The Dark Side of the Tune reviews current research on the costs of data traffic and highlights some of the energy costs inherent in a range of existing digital music services. These costs are both startling and surprising...
12 Jul 2012
In the last of this series on music formats innovation I want to briefly look at physical formats. That’s the CD, I suppose. Though luxury Box Sets and Vinyl – both in the ascendancy – are much more the objects of desire that play to the strengths of the word ‘physical’...
10 May 2012
The last fortnight has seen developments in the digital music world that, at first glance, appear to pull in different directions in terms of answering the challenge of growing the digital music market. The stick approach: with the impending block of the Pirate Bay, traffic (and by extension infringement)...
02 Apr 2012
It may just be the warmer weather, but there’s definitely a spring in the recording business’ step; people are making money. The latest IFPI figures don’t quite bear this out: despite digital growing to over 30% of recordings revenues, physical is still in greater decline. That decline is slowing however, and it looks like the worst of the bad weather will pass within the next one or two editions of the IFPI’s annual stats tome.
08 Dec 2011
Where to begin? Let’s start with the lack of transparency; services and labels remaining tight lipped about the royalty rates they pay or receive for streams...These are difficult times for a sector trying to reinvent itself in digital while curating a declining physical business, and a lack of transparency will lead to rumour and misreporting, creating a knowledge vacuum for many, with ignorance creating fear.
01 Nov 2011
The world is in the midst of a global financial and economic crisis. Last week European leaders arguably saved a faltering Euro by agreeing to write off 50% of Greek debt and set aside 1 trillion Euros to promote financial stability. Closer to home, protesters at St. Paul’s argue that capitalism is broken, and banking and political systems are to blame...
29 Jun 2011
So a late afternoon spent in the Boardroom of PRS discussing five key themes to emerge from Tony Wadsworth’s recent label report. Artist development, changing media, the health of the label, digital vs. physical and the alternatives for artists – what did we learn?
21 Jun 2011
The recent furore surrounding Apple’s iCloud announcement started well before the launch, as the media train rumbled along, gaining momentum, pundits speculating wildly until its final perfectly timed explosion on 7th June into vlogs, blogs and broadsheets the world over...
16 May 2011
MusicTank's 4th Industry Report, written by BPI Chairman and former Chairman & CEO, EMI Music UK & Ireland Tony Wadsworth, draws from the quarter century Tony has spent on the frontline of the record business - including the most tumultuous decade in its history. It defies much of the accepted wisdom and reveals the latest thinking on the evolution and future of the record company through conversations with some of the sector's top executives.
10 May 2011
"The music industry continues to evolve and record companies are at the heart of that change - nurturing the latest talent, forging new ways to reach fans and creating exciting music experiences. Tony's knowledge and insight means he is well-placed to explore these themes and articulate emerging trends too." John Reid, Warner Music Europe & International Marketing, Warner Music Group.
21 Mar 2011
With a new budget just a couple of days away, it seems a good time to draw together some growing issues around the levying of VAT on music...is the time right for the industry to lobby for a Europe-wide VAT exemption on music?
10 Feb 2011
04 Feb 2011
That such a rich, vibrant and culturally significant music brand is to be dropped from the TV schedules is truly disappointing...what other TV platform produces such treats as Elton John teaming up with Plan B, an exclusive Robbie Williams night with a special string and horn section, Dizzee Rascal performing with an orchestra for 1Xtra or Oasis on stage with the Crouch End Festival Chorus?
04 Feb 2011
Regarding this newsletter editorial and 'front-loaded' releases...could the record companies not set up a system allowing reviewers, DJs, etc. to stream pre-release versions of any future-single or album? This would solve the issue of p2p sharing as no 'tangible' version would have been available prior to official release.
20 Jan 2011
The radio-to-release window has effectively been closed, meaning that for the majority of new releases, fans will be able to buy tracks as soon as they hear them on radio. The move offers a legitimate solution for people unwilling to wait weeks to buy a track they like who might otherwise be tempted to piracy. It will also see the chart return to being a meaningful signpost of popularity, where tracks enter and climb rather than chart high then immediately plummet.
10 Jan 2011
In answer to your request for ideas, 'kooky' or otherwise...why not set up a radio station publicly previewing material not yet commercially released by publishers and producers? (material that's been filtered for quality, genre relevance, etc.)
22 Jun 2010
...a service that allows you to instantly buy (touch the red button now!) any music currently playing in an advert or programme...
22 Jun 2010
I’d like to see some consumer research on the likely effect of bundling downloads with vinyl. As a vinyl fan, I’d doubtless buy plenty more if I didn’t have to make a pressurised and often random extrapolation at point of purchase over whether I’m more likely to play the music at home (vinyl) or in the car/at work (CD/download).
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