2 Music Week 18.05.12
Music is Great with an Escape
AIM CONFERENCE SHOWCASES BUSINESSES REAPING REWAR
Who said you can’t m any money from You T
SEYMOUR STEIN doesn’t get a lot wrong.
When the fabled record exec told Music Week that The Great Escape was one of the best shows on earth last week, it was Thursday afternoon. It was drizzly. And it was in a ‘media’ room full of smart headphones and even smarter haircuts.
This was not a promising start. But lo and behold, he got it spot on. Perhaps it’s the sea air, perhaps it’s the local ale, or perhaps it’s the free booze from PRS and PPL – thanks for the hangover, friends – but there’s just something a bit special about the Brighton showcase.
It was my first time sampling TGE’s atmosphere, but even before setting off, one glance at the line-up showed that, at the very least, the live music was going to be ace.
The Music Week team caught acts ranging from straight-up acoustic folk to roaring blues; scorching electronica to bonkers Japanese tribal cacophonies – not forgetting the record label bumfight that was Wild Belle. (Congratulations go to EMI Publishing for snaring the songwriting signature this week.)
“Live summer showcase opportunities for up-andcoming British music artists are shrinking as the indie festivals market gets squeezed. But The Great Escape showed what you can do with great A&R, a smart publicity machine and clever organisation.”
But better than all of that was the overall feel of the thing; an optimistic, non-exclusive hivemind that reminds you just what the UK is capable of musically when it gets its thinking cap on – an accolade I’m sure Liverpool Sound City will also deserve when it finishes up on Friday.
Artists, wannabees, trendies, managers, label folk, publishers, digital gurus; they all mixed and mulled over the biggest industry issues of the day without snootiness or conspicuous seniority. And they all passionately loved the music, together and in great numbers. Turn to the back of the mag and look how happy Michael Eavis is. Yeah - that.
Interesting that such a heart-warming, over-subscribed gettogether was to take place in and around Music Is GREAT week; the Government-backed campaign designed to remind us all of the brilliance of British music. Even the PM’s getting involved, with David Cameron applauding the trade for £1.9 billion UK artist sales abroad in 2011, according to the BPI.
That’s all very well for the Adeles, Florences and Mumfords who make up our top unit shifters abroad; but what of the barelythere raw talents coming through the ranks?
As the Association for Independent Festivals points out on page 23, live summer showcase opportunities for the next wave of British greats are shrinking - no doubt knocking the confidence of those thinking about staging their own musical bills.
TGE shows that it can be done: with great A&R, the right delegates, a smart publicity machine and clever organisation.
Tellingly – and unlike some UK mega-fests - it was energised by a spirit of discovery, rather than the same old megastars headlining for another jaded payday. Bravo. Tim Ingham, Editor
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On board with YouTube: AIM’s panel featured executives from PIAS, YouTube, Music Ally, Cr2 Records and Dramatico
DIGITAL n BY TOM PAKINKIS
There’s good money to be made on YouTube - and the platform is rapidly eclipsing other revenue streams.
That’s according to label reps in attendance at AIM’s Music Connected digital music conference last week.
The endorsement came following a presentation from YouTube’s senior strategist in partner operations Zofia Bajokowska, who cited the 4 billion views and 60 hours of uploads YouTube now boasts on a daily basis.
Bajokowska said that new YouTube rights protection meant that labels and artists can benefit from content lifted and used by consumers. “The system makes a digital fingerprint of your content and searches YouTube’s database to make a match,” she explained. “That means, if I have my own channel and I decide to put some of Katie Melua’s music on my holiday videos, Dramatico records will still generate revenue even though the music is played on a different channel… That’s a huge revenue opportunity for record labels and artists.”
When asked exactly how much revenue could be gained from a YouTube presence, MD of digital & business development at PIAS Adrian Pope said: “Whatever number I put on it today, it’s significantly bigger than it was in the past month, and that trend is the same for the past 18 months… Had we had more resource
[dedicated to YouTube] at PIAS in the past year, we’d have probably picked up an additional half a million.
“It’s eclipsing other revenue streams rapidly – and I think we’re at the thin end of the wedge.”
Cr2 label director Chris Rodwell was also enthusiastic. “Yes, there’s money to be made from YouTube,” he said. “We’re talking thousands of dollars a month – not from chart success but underground, dance music success.”
BEGGARS: IMMEDIATE ONLINE PRESENCE IS CRITICAL
In his own digital marketing campaign presentation titled ‘Adele And Other Interesting Things’, Beggars Group head of marketing David Emery (pictured) emphasised the importance of YouTube and other online avenues, which he suggested should be utilised immediately upon a single’s release.
“YouTube is currently the only legal streaming site that you can listen to tracks through without needing to log in and that’s a very big deal,” he told attendees. “Obviously you can get paid for it as well, which is an even bigger deal.
“For high profile singles the idea of on air/ on sale has gone out of the window. It doesn’t work in terms of getting a singles [chart] position or trying to maximise your radio airplay. You’re doing yourself a disservice.
“It’s critical that at the same time you go to radio, you get things online as well because if you don’t do it, someone else will and you will lose any sort of control,“ he stressed, adding that “the most natural form for music online, confusingly enough, is video.” www.musicweek.com
18.05.12 Music Week 3
EWARDS FROM VIDEO
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“Google has rebuilt YouTube in many respects. They’ve developed tools that enable us to monetise and get paid for promotion. Creatively it’s very exciting and emancipating”
ADRIAN POPE, PIAS
Rodwell emphasised that a pay-per-play mentality from artists, labels and rights-holders would ultimately lead to disappointment. “Everyone needs to understand that it’s the adverts that are making the money,” he said. “If you know people are searching for a video, advertisers are going to want to advertise on that content.”
Following the AIM conference, PIAS’ Pope told Music Week why YouTube now deserved serious consideration, despite once being viewed as a platform through which potential revenue was lost.
“There used to be all manner of intellectual property being ignored or otherwise, but Google have rebuilt YouTube in many respects,” he said. “They’ve developed tools that enable us as a company to monetise and get paid for promotion.
“Creatively it’s very exciting and emancipating,” he added. “Niche doesn’t equal small on this scale. If you look at Nuclear Blast, a label that we work worth in various capacities, they’ve got 300,000 subscribers and half a billion views and yet they’re part of a niche genre.”
PIAS has installed a dedicated YouTube team to help ensure rights are protected and that video content is optimised for the platform.
“We’ve appointed staff to support asset management as well as rights and monetisation,” said Pope. “We’ve also just hired a channel manager who supports our label partners and tells them how to get the best out of their channels.”
CARRIE UNDERWOOD PRIME EXAMPLE OF ‘LEGITIMATE, AUTHENTIC TALENT’
Fuller: American Idol isn’t a reality show TALENTnBYTIMINGHAM
XIXEntertainment boss Simon Fuller has told Music Week that he has never considered American Idol as a reality TV show.
Fuller, who founded the show, also manages US country star Carrie Underwood - whose fourth album Blown Away debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart last week.
Former American Idol winner Underwood’s team are now looking to break her in the UK.
Other stars on Fuller’s music management roster include Steven Tyler, Annie Lennox, Will Young and the Spice Girls. He recently formed a new company with Island founder Chris Blackwell.
“I have never seen American Idol as a reality show,”he said. “I created the show with the purpose of discovering legitimate and authentic talent. This is reflected in the massive success of the many artists who have emerged, from Kelly Clarkson to Daughtry, Carrie, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin
Fuller: American Idol founder hopes to break winner Carrie Underwood in the UK
Sparks to Scotty McCreery; each has had platinum albums and collectively they’ve sold tens of millions of albums in the US.”
The show’s stars don’t always win over the British audience – something Fuller hopes to change.
“Carrie’s latest album is her strongest yet and with a song like Blown Away, there is an opportunity to have a hit single plus we have allowed the time in her schedule to promote it internationally,” he added. “I don't believe that Carrie is seen to be simply aTV competition winner. She is one of the finest female singers ever to come out of America with five Grammy award wins, six AMA wins, four number one albums and over 15 million albums sold. Hopefully the strength of her music will allow her to enjoy some international success.”
Fuller is hopeful that the UK’s lack of a mainstream country scene won’t be a barrier to Underwood.
“Now more than ever there seems to be an audience for every kind of genre to some degree,”he said. “I am hopeful that with Carrie we have a chance to crossover and have a mainstream hit.”
Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away album is due for release in the UK on June 18. She plays a soldout date at the Royal Albert Hall three days later.
“She has everything to be a superstar in the UK,” added SJM Concerts MD Simon Moran. “To sell out the Royal Albert Hall in a couple of hours shows the huge appetite there is for her visit."
Outside Organisation will handle UK media for Underwood. Said CEO Alan Edwards: “Carrie Underwood is the type of artist a PR dreams of. A great live artist writes her own material; fantastic looking; works incredibly hard; strong personality; great voice. How can she not be a superstar? She has everything.”
Sonys success ‘is a real landmark for 6Music’
6Music’s UK Station of the Year win at this year’s Sony Radio Academy Awards has proven a digital service can stand its ground against analogue competition.
That is according to controller Bob Shennan who hailed his station’s victory at Monday’s ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel as “quite significant”.
“It won on its own right against all the other big stations and that is really special and I’m particularly proud of that,” said Shennan who found himself in the unprecedented position of two of his stations competing for the Sony national prize with 6 joined by Radio 2 in the shortlist alongside Bauer’s
“6Music won on its own right against all the other big stations and that is really special and I’m particularly proud of that”
BOB SHENNAN, BBC
“To be honest it was very weird and I was on a table of people from 6 and 2, which made it doubly weird, but I’m so pleased for 6 because it ’s a real landmark for 6Music. Radio 2 has won this many times and will win it again,” he added.
Radio 2 picked up four golds on the night with wins for breakfast host Chris Evans, Jools Holland, David Rodigan (Somethin’ Else produced) and Sue Clark Productions’ Nina Simone documentary for the station. Meanwhile, Tom Robinson’s Now Playing@6Music added to 6’s successful night, winning Best Use of Multiplatform/Social Media.
Radio 1’s Fearne Cotton won Best Music Programme as Best Station Imaging went to 1Xtra.
Bauer station Radio City 96.7’s Station of the Year in the 1 million plus category win followed golds for the group’s Kiss brand through breakfast presenters Rickie, Melvin and Charlie and group programme director Andy Roberts. Other commercial radio winners included Absolute Radio’s Geoff Lloyd, Global Radioowned Xfm’s Danny Wallace and GMG Radio’s Real Radio Breakfast with Gary and Lisa.
Live music acts featured in this year’s ceremony for the first time with performances from Alexandra Burke, Jessie J and Gary Barlow.