Insights Blog

Insights Blog: Top Ten CMU Insights 2017

By | Published on Sunday 24 December 2017

Dissecting The Digital Dollar

CMU Insights is the consulting side of CMU, providing training and consultancy to music companies and companies working with music.

We offer intelligence and advice on music rights, artist deals, the streaming business, direct-to-fan, ticketing, music PR, social media, and the wider business of music. Plus each year we train hundreds of music industry professionals through our seminars, masterclasses and in-house primer courses, and hundreds more with insight sessions and speed briefings at music conferences around the world.

Through all that work, we publish reports, guides, blog posts, white papers and presentations all of which help music business people better understand their industry. As 2017 comes to a close, here are ten of the things we’ve published this year that you might want to read, check out and download.

Looking ahead to 2018, we have another series of CMU Insights seminars kicking off in February at the London HQ of Lewis Silkin. You will find all the info here.

01: The ever-evolving streaming market
With the streaming market evolving and expanding all the time, the CMU Insights overview of the digital sector has changed quite a bit over the year too, as we’ve presented it as part of our seminars and masterclasses, and at an assortment of music conferences. Here is the most recent set of slides, which we presented as part of the British Council’s Selector Pro event in Kyiv earlier this month. It has a slight Ukrainian slant, but covers all the basics about the streaming market, digital licensing and getting started on YouTube.

02: Understanding digital licensing
For a little more detail on digital licensing, here are the slides from the CMU Insights speed briefing: ‘How Streaming Services Are Licensed’. We debuted our first speed briefings at Slush Music in Helsinki last month. These are concise sixty minute overviews of key music business topics, which we’ll be presenting at various music conferences around the world in 2018. Find out more here.

03: Key challenges for the streaming business
Staying with digital music, here is a post on the CMU Insights blog from back in March considering the top five challenges for the streaming sector, which we published ahead of digital-centric insight sessions at Tallinn Music Week, Canadian Music Week and The Great Escape. The post covers: converting freemium, digital pie, data, sustained licensing and transparency.

04: Transparency
Transparency was identified as one of the key issues in the streaming domain during phase two of the ‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ project we undertook for the Music Managers Forum in 2016. So much so, MMF commissioned us to produce a standalone guide on transparency, identifying the precise data and information artists and managers need from their labels, distributors, publishers and collecting societies, and the streaming platforms themselves. You can download the resulting ‘Transparency Guide’ for free here, plus check out the white paper we produced for MIDEM summarising the music community’s transparency debate to date.

05: Safe harbour
Of course another challenge in streaming is safe harbour, which has remained a big talking point this year as the music industry’s lobbyists sought to close the so called ‘value gap’. But what exactly is safe harbour all about? We ran sessions on safe harbour at both Spot+ and MIDEM this year, plus we have a speed briefing on the topic. And then there’s this post on the CMU Insights blog from back in April: ‘Safe Harbours In Five Steps’.

06: Key trends and developments in music piracy
But what about good old fashioned piracy? CMU Insights has a masterclass and a primer course that we run in house for music companies covering the industry’s long-running battle with online piracy. We also questioned Muso’s Andy Chatterley on the latest piracy trends at Slush Music last month, and premium subscribers can find out more about that in this new CMU Trends article, ‘Online Music Piracy – Past, Present And Future’. Plus here is a recent CMU Insights blog post on the big piracy developments of 2017.

07: MMF Deals Guide
We mentioned the ‘Transparency Guide’ we produced for MMF this year. Well, that wasn’t the only new guide to come out of phase three of the ‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ project. We also produced ‘The Deals Guide’, which identifies the ten label and distribution deals now available to artists. We will be discussing the evolving nature of label deals at Output 2018 in Belfast. Meanwhile, you can download the guide for free here.

08: CMU Insights Journalist Survey
One of our conferences within The Great Escape this year put the focus on music media. And ahead of that, we undertook a new survey of music journalists in the UK, getting their thoughts on the state of their industry in 2017, and asking them how artists, labels and music PRs should be getting in touch. The results of this survey now form part of our popular music PR seminar, plus we unveiled the top line stats at TGE. And you can download the TGE slides here.

09: Getting your photos right
While we are in the music PR domain, here is a very popular post from the CMU Insights blog earlier this year on the importance of great photos in a music PR campaign. Get our top photo tips here.

10: A beginners guide to SEO
And finally, earlier this year the Alliance For Intellectual Property staged an event in London putting the spotlight on search engine optimisation: ie making sure your online activity, your artists and your tracks score highly on Google et al. CMU Insights provided a beginner’s guide to SEO as part of the proceedings, and you can download the slides from that here.

For more details on the CMU Insights seminars and masterclasses click here. For more information on our in-house training services click here.