Newsletter #72 June 2010
THINK ABOUT IT
We’ve often ragged on the music industry for being slow to evolve and adapt to the changing world around it, and whilst there’s certainly a lot of truth to that, it does do a disservice to many of those who work within it. Spend five minutes at any industry gathering and it’s clear that there are plenty of bright and innovative people with ideas that, if given a chance, could clearly benefit the industry.
We all know that there’s a lot that can and should be changed about how we as an industry work. Old certainties are gone and it’s unclear what if anything will replace them. But as the saying goes, a journey of ten thousand miles begins with one small step and we want to provide a forum for people to express their ideas, no matter how radical (or indeed prosaic).
Recently Andrew Dubber posted up a new idea on his blog thirty days of ideas, (http://www.andrewdubber.com/2010/03/30-days-of-ideas-01/) and whilst some, like his proposal to nationalise EMI, are clearly more mischievous, others such as his most recent post on shaking up the way collecting societies operate to benefit grassroots musicians, have more obvious merit.
Even if the original ideas are ultimately shot down, the process of articulating them in a public forum, offering them up for discussion, criticism and debate can lead to something of real practical use.
No one idea will provide a panacea for the recording business’s woes, some will be completely unworkable, but some (especially some of the most radical) will make you think twice about what we accept as standard practice and just maybe change the way we all do business.
We want you to tell us those ideas that you’ve maybe been toying with in the back of your mind for a while now but for whatever reason have kept to yourself. Even if you think they’re silly – and they say all ideas are born drowning – they could provide the inspiration for a genuine game changer.
To kick things off we’ve each suggested something that has been pinging around in our brains for some time – you’ll find them below in the Big Ideas section.
Now we want to hear from you. So send your ideas to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll publish them in the next newsletter and on the MusicTank website where you’ll be able to add your own comments.
Editorial by John Power
BIG IDEAS: Inspiration for an industry game-changer
Even if ultimately shot down, the process of articulating ideas in a public forum, offering them up for discussion, criticism and debate can lead to something of real practical use. No one idea will provide a panacea for the recording business’s woes, some will be completely unworkable, but some (especially some of the most radical) will make you think twice about what we accept as standard practice and just maybe change the way we all do business. To get things started…
Idea 1 – John Power: Instant Music Purchasing By TV
It’s very simple but I would love to see at least trialed on one digital TV station a service that allows you to instantly buy (touch the red button now!) any music currently playing in an advert or programme.
How many times have you heard a song used in a show or advert and then had to hunt around on the internet to find out who it was by or where it could be bought from? Priced in the 50 to 80p band, and without having to go through the bother of reaching for a credit card, how many people would just impulse buy tracks?
Shows like Glee already drive huge sales as people go looking for the music after the show, just imagine how many more units could be sold if the audience were able to purchase the track without moving from their sofas.
For a company like Sky that already has a digital music retail arm (Sky Songs) and the ability to bill people on a monthly basis, this shouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility.
Of course there would need to be a fair bit of work done to set it up and make available as much of the music played as is possible, but this information already exists somewhere, it surely wouldn’t be an impossible ask to join the dots. As I said a simple idea but one that could benefit broadcasters, labels, publishers, artists and even advertisers.
Idea 2 – Sam Shemtob: Bundling Downloads With Vinyl
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). And so I would likely spend a fair bit more money on music.
At our last think tank, Pure Groove and Warp made clear their intentions that vinyl buyers should also get the download, and labels like Eskimo have practised this policy for a couple of years. With Pure Groove moving toward phasing out CDs completely and former HMV MD Steve Knott setting up his own vinyl reissue company, the format is burgeoning, and it would be great to build on this further.
As it currently stands, 2007’s Copyright Tribunal requires a minimum fee per track to be given for publishing, which works out at 30p for a ten track album. If this extra cost could be treated by retail and distribution as a disbursement, so that margin is not made on it, then it would remain a 30p add-on rather than scaling up to around 75p. Parting with an extra 30p on a purchase of at least £10 is something I’d happily do, and of course this cost would be bundled into the price of the album, so I wouldn’t really notice.
If the research suggests I’m not alone, and that labels might sell more records by bundling the download, this would empower them to make an informed commercial decision about growing their businesses by giving fans what they really want.
Longer term it might pave the way for master rights holders and publishers to make an enlightened decision over whether it really is in anyone’s interests for music fans to have to have to pay extra to get the MP3 with their physical purchase.
Now it’s your turn – we want to hear from you! Send your ideas or feedback to mailto:email@example.com and we’ll publish them in the next newsletter and on the MusicTank website where you’ll be able to add your own comments.
OUT & ABOUT: MusicTank events
Please remember all MusicTank events MUST be booked and paid for in advance! Become a member of MusicTank for just £30 per year and enjoy privileged discounts on all MusicTank events…
JUL 10-12: APPLE LOGIC COURSE
Based on the authoritative book ‘Logic Pro 9 and Logic Express 9’ by David Nahmani, this three-day, Apple-accredited short course will provide a thorough insight into professional audio production with Apple Logic Express and Apple Logic Pro 9 (101). Taught by Gary Bromham – one of only three Apple-selected Distinguished Professionals (APD) in the UK – this course combines in-depth lessons with accompanying book and DVD material to provide a comprehensive introduction to audio and MIDI production, including setting up a studio and building and mixing a song, as well as preparing the ground for Logic Pro 9 (301) Professional.
Gary has worked with many high profile artists including Sheryl Crowe, George Michael, The Editors and Graham Coxon. He brings a high level of experience, practicality and professionalism to the training – not to mention a 90% student pass success rate – and will guide you through the necessary knowledge needed for attaining Level 1 certification.
DIARY – Date & Time: 10-12 Jul 2010 | 10.00 – 17.00 hrs | Venue: University of Westminster’s Apple Lab, Harrow Campus, Watford Road, Harrow, HA1 3TP
Cost: £449 MusicTank Members | £479 Trade Body | Full price £499 PLUS the following Special Offers…
- OFFER 1: EARLY BIRD £469 (saves £30 on the full price of £499. Use promo code LogicJul10 when booking and ONLY select the full price option). Hurry…ends June 25!
- OFFER 2: BUY 1 AND GET 1 @ 20% OFF! Book with a mate and split the difference for a greater saving!! This offer is based on the full price of £499 only. On this basis, attendance for two people would cost just £449 each– saving £50 per person. Book by Friday 2nd July to take advantage of this offer – please contact mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your promotional code.
- Level 1 certification
- Course book and DVD
- 1 year’s FREE MusicTank Membership (worth £30 – read benefits here: http://www.musictank.co.uk/about/membership-benefits).
Media partner: http://www.soundonsound.com/
A comprehensive and leading recording technology magazine that helps readers gain the most from their studio equipment and recording techniques.
SPECIAL MUSICTANK OFFER: Claim your FREE 3-month Sound On Sound web subscription and access Sound On Sound online at: http://www.soundonsound.com/subsoffer Enter promo code musictank3
MUSICTANK LOUNGE: Event transcript; reports
MusicTank event podcasts and transcripts can be found in both the Podcast section on this site, and on events pages themselves. MusicTank event podcasts and transcripts can be found in both the Podcast section on this site, and at the bottom of the events pages themselves. This premium content is only available to MusicTank Members who pay a small annual fee – £30 – to subscribe. Membership confers other benefits, too. To join or to read more about our Membership offer:
REMEMBER! you must be logged-in to the MusicTank website to read an event transcript or to access a podcast…
Nevermind The Box Set: The Album Post-iTunes
STEVEN HILL: “People interact with music in all sorts of ways. So why does the industry put them into a box? There are benefits in having different formats – the immediacy of digital and the desirability of collectables…If people pay to but an album, we owe it to allow them to listen to it in a way that’s convenient for them.”
PAUL CONROY: “There’s a massive physical market out there and it’s a case of taking product beyond boxed sets.
DAGFINN BACH: “It doesn’t make sense to transport an audio file every time you want to hear it. We know that over a traditional broadband connection, the energy costs per single stream is €1 cent (euro) – stream a track 100 times and you’ve consumed the same amount of energy as downloading a single track.”
SIMON SINGLETON: “Hearing the band, then meeting them and then buying the product which is signed is a very important part of the music experience.”
IFPI Investment in Music Report
This report outlines the role of record companies as the principal investors in music and talent and seeks to debunk one big myth – that artists can easily build a sustainable and successful career in music without the help and support of a record label.
CATCH UP WITH…
Talking Heads founder David Byrne went from playing CBGB to Carnegie Hall. In this just released TED Talk video, recorded earlier this year, Byrne asks: Does the venue make the music? From outdoor drumming to arena rock, he explores how context has pushed musical innovation in an interesting and amusing illustrated talk. Grab a coffee and watch…
MUSICTANK AND CREATIVE FUTURES – FREE CREATIVE BUSINESS SUPPORT PROGRAMME
MusicTank and the Creative Futures group comprising Portobello Business Centre, Julies Bicycle, New Media Knowledge, London Film Connection and Portobello Film Festival and the Paddington Development Trust have formed a London-based support and innovations network for businesses working in the creative sector. We’ve done this in response to the huge changes taking place in the global economy and our need to collectively respond to both threats and opportunities thrown up in the madness.
If you’re a developing or an existing business model, seeking new markets, wanting to improve existing performance, looking for investment capital, designing new products or services, analysing energy consumption or designing a green base into your business, the Creative Futures programme is here to help.
Costing only your time, membership is FREE and includes complimentary access to consultancy, seminars and workshops spanning everything from social networking to product development and technology, through to opportunities to participate in pitch camps designed to attract investors and angels, specialist business advisors, customised business planning support and opportunities to develop growth potential.
Starting in the summer, MusicTank will deliver a series of events throughout this three-year project that will facilitate higher-level debate, provide incisive music industry intelligence and opportunities to engage with a rapidly changing industry.
Throughout this initiative, participants are encouraged to sign-up to a tailored itinerary of business support and related activity including workshops and seminars from a range of specialist providers, facilitators and advisors. Creative Futures is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Can you afford to miss out?
MUSICTANK’S PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMME
MusicTank is encouraging FE and He institutions to join its University Partnership Programme that’s been established with the aim of bringing UK music business closer to all colleges and universities with relevance reaching beyond those teaching or studying core music subjects. Media, law, computer science, technology and business courses potentially have much to gain from engagement with MusicTank, too.
It is our intention that this initiative will become an important component of MusicTank’s longer-term mission: to improve access to music industry knowledge for all in further and higher education, irrespective of status.
The University Partnership Programme is designed to provide its member organisations with secure, privileged access to relevant music industry information and valuable resources, as well as providing advanced and exclusive access to MusicTank’s own content pool, research outputs and event outcomes and discounts for all MusicTank events. Institutional membership also provides a unique opportunity to become a partner in MusicTank’s work, too.
Interested? For information and pricing, please contact mailto:email@example.com
Commercial partners are sought for our think tank events with a range of packages available, to suit all budgets – we’re also inviting sponsorship enquries for our newsletter, too.
If you or your company are interested in helping sustain the network in this way we’d be pleased to hear from you, in which case, please contact mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
MUSICTANK POSTS & TWITTERS
MusicTank has a facebook Group and a Twitter feed. Visit us at:
IFPI Investment in Music report
INDUSTRY DIARY: other music industry events
29 JUN: MUSIC 4.5 LICENSING WORKSHOP
A series of events that bring together music tech start-ups, serial entrepreneurs, investors, artists, band managers and key industry players to share knowledge, discuss strategies for business success, debate market trends and evolution, as well as network.
The Music 4.5 Licensing Workshop is created to stimulate a new productive dialogue between music-tech startups and the regulatory industry, helping startups to navigate and develop new mutually beneficial models, as well as learn from each other’s experiences. Topics include copyright law & publishing; licensing strategy & licensing models; and case studies from We7 and record companies; delivered by Eric Mackay (CELAS), along with representatives from PRS for Music, record companies and Clive Gardiner (We7).
DIARY – Date & Time: Tue 29 Jun | 13.30 – 18.30 hrs | Venue: PRS for Music Basement, 29-33 Berners St, London W1T 34LR
Cost: from £85 + VAT. 10% DISCOUNT for MusicTank subscribers! Quote promo code PRSLIC10 when booking.
30 JUN: MMF – HOT SYNC!
Sync (or synchronization to give it its full title) is the hot topic of the moment. Seen by many up and coming bands and managers as the answer to their funding prayers. But how does it all work? What is the process? Why is one piece of music a TV producers dream and another not at all suitable? This seminar will answer all your questions and will equip you with the knowledge and contacts you need.
Confirmed speakers incl: Jacquie Perryman (Synch Consultant); Becca Gatrell (Universal Music Publishing); Andy Harrower (PRS for Music).
DIARY – Date & Time: Wed 30 Jun | 17.00 hrs for 17.30 start. End 19.30 hrs. (there is no football on!) | Venue: PRS for Music Basement, 29-33 Berners St, London W1T 34LR
30 JUN: AIM – MUSIC CONNECTED
This year the event returns to historic Glaziers Hall in London Bridge. The format will be based around three main spaces, one – the ‘Digital Market Place’ – with space for 15 stands to be hosted by digital companies. Go round the various stands and meet the industry’s key digital music companies, find out more about their services, and maybe even do some deals…
The second space, the ‘Conference Zone’, will offer a programme of seminars, workshops and presentations on digital music issues, including market research presentations, case studies of digital marketing campaigns and lively panel discussions on current issues.
The final room offers space for informal meeting and chatting, as well as a bar and the day’s networking lunch, which is included in the event’s ticket price.
DIARY – Date & Time: Wed 30 Jun | 10.00 – 17.00 hrs. Venue: Glaziers Hall, 9 Montague Close, London Bridge, London., SE1 9DD
7 JUL: MUSIC 4.5 GOES PRACTICAL
A half-day seminar discussing different business strategies for music and music tech companies, and what their implications are from a legal, financial and international point of view. The aim is to help music and music tech startups evaluate growth strategies and navigate the regulatory landscape in a practical way.
Confirmed speakers incl: Michael Breidenbrucker (RjDj and Last.fm); Grant Murgatroyd (Corporate Financier Magazine); Gregor Pryor (Digital Media).
DIARY – Date & Time: Wed 7 Jul | 13.30 – 17.30 hrs | Venue: tbc
Cost: from £125 + VAT. 10% DISCOUNT for MusicTank subscribers! Quote promo code MP45J10 when booking.
14 JUL: MUSIC ALLY – CLOUD MODELS DEBATE
A high-level evening seminar taking place at Deloitte’s central London office looking at cloud music services. What are they? Is ownership over? How will rightsowners get paid? And what are the opportunities and threats for labels, publishers, collecting societies, managers and artists? Key sponsors for the event are music law heavyweights Greenberg Traurig Maher, and Mediahedge – a partnership between Gracenote and Philips spin-off Civolution. Food and drink will be provided and all Music Ally subscribers get a 30% discount on tickets.
14 JUL: FILESHARING, COPYRIGHT & THE DIGITAL CONSUMER
A Westminster eForum seminar that will look at: Options for change to UK copyright legislation to meet the rapidly changing and evolving digital era; how consumers could be better informed about exactly what they can and cannot do with their music, movies and photographs; measurers employed by media organisations to secure their content and their effect on user rights and Whether technical measures, such as throttling, may be used as an alternative to disconnection to deter file-sharers.
Confirmed speakers incl. Alison Wenham (AIM), Will Page (PRS for Music), Peter Jenner (IMMF); Jill Johnstone(Consumer Focus), Andrew Heaney (Talk Talk) and many others.
DIARY – Date & Time: 09.00 – 13.30 hrs | Venue: central London tbc
MERRY-GO-ROUND: Industry announcements
UK MUSIC: SKILLS GAP SURVEY
Have you got 10 minutes to help grow your business or your career? If the answer is yes, UK Music needs your help to understand where the skills gaps are in the music business.
It takes just 10 minutes of your time to complete the online survey. If you can’t answer all of the questions, just answer the ones you can. All responses count.
The results will help show to potential funders the importance of a skills and learning package that could be put in place for the music industry. The more businesses and people who get involved, the more useful the results will be.
NEW COMMISSION RATES IN 2011 FOR INDEPENDENT WRITERS
The MCPS Board recently agreed policies to implement a new MCPS membership framework designed to allow for a new way of operating under the existing MCPS Membership Agreement (‘MA2’), which will continue to apply.
The new framework applies to all members (except library publishers), whilst recognising the value that larger rights holders bring to the overall collective. Collective licensing will be maintained where appropriate but all MCPS members will be given the flexibility to manage their rights directly and to ‘opt-out’ of certain licensing areas.
The main policy changes are:
- More flexibility for MCPS members to opt out of certain types of ‘non-core’ licences or licensing schemes;
- Specific new controls and representation on committees for ‘Larger Rightsholders’ – this includes having approval of certain types of licensing schemes/blanket licences and having representation on committees;
- Ability for members to audit MCPS (subject to certain qualifying criteria);
- On-going commitment to manage costs rigorously.
- Introduction of more ‘cost-reflective’ commission rates, with some increases in minor licensing areas to take effect from January 2011
Government agency, The Technology Strategy Board, is launching a major multi-million pound initiative in October this year called ‘The Digital Testbed’. The idea is to create a platform and infrastructure to enable the creation and market testing of new digital content based business models.
The initiative is aimed at all kinds of digital content including music, film, TV, games, publishing, images and educational and cultural content. The trial infrastructure is designed to facilitate all kinds of consumer facing trials and rightsowners are being encouraged to license content for these trials.
There are also match funding grants available for some of the trials. Paul Brindley @ Music Ally is working with rightsowners on this project. You are encouraged to contact him directly at mailto:email@example.com
That's all for this issue - 'til next time...
If you have any queries regarding any of our events or activities, please call us on +44 (0) 20 8357 7317, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily condoned or shared by MusicTank. MusicTank is a non-profit organisation owned and operated by University of Westminster. University of Westminster is a charity and a company limited by guarantee. Reg Number: 977818, England. Registered Office: 309 Regent Street, London, W1. MusicTank is based at University of Westminster, Watford Road, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3TP
Sections Below:BIG IDEAS: Inspiration for an industry game-changer
OUT & ABOUT: MusicTank events
MUSICTANK LOUNGE: Event transcript; reports
INDUSTRY DIARY: other music industry events
MERRY-GO-ROUND: Industry announcements
That's all for this issue - 'til next time...
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