|WEDNESDAY 3 APRIL 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: So, 2018 was the fourth consecutive year of growth for the global recorded music industry. The fourth year! Of growth! For the global recorded music industry! It's better with exclamation marks isn't it?... [READ MORE]|
Streaming boom and emerging markets drive fourth year of growth for global recorded music industry
Of course we already knew that 2018 was the fourth consecutive year of growth for the global recorded music industry, but now the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry has done all the counting for all of the world and confirmed it in a glossy brochure. Worldwide revenues for the record industry were up 9.7% in 2018 so that total revenues checked in at $19.1 billion. Let's have a fucking party!
The streaming boom is behind most of that growth. We knew that already too. Income from streaming services now accounts for nearly half of the record industry's revenue at 47%. But its paid-for streaming that is really turning things round, it alone accounting for 37% of total income. So well done to those 255 million premium subscribers around the world. You did it! You transformed the global record industry's fortunes and now everybody's happy, happy.
You tedious fuckers! Reporting on the record industry was so much more fun when it was all doom and gloom and nothing's working and piracy, piracy, piracy. Oh for the days of file-sharing this and three strikes that and how will labels ever be able to invest in all that new talent if we can't fix the collapsing record industry? That's all over now though. There's no doom any more. And no gloom either. None whatsoever.
I mean, that whole streaming boom is entirely led by a very small number of mainly loss-making digital music providers with unproven business models which are increasingly flexing their muscles and might one day seek to cut the record companies entirely out of their supply chain while prioritising non-Anglo American music in markets outside of Europe and North America. But, like I say, no doom and no gloom, it's all brilliant.
Don't be thinking the record companies are getting all complacent and haemorrhaging all of that new cash on exorbitant executive bonuses, plush new offices and an endless supply of fruit and flowers though. Oh no. They are investing. Investing in artists. In new talent. In content. In content platforms. In new marketing strategies. In data. In the future. A glorious future! Of exorbitant executive bonuses, plush new offices and an endless supply of fruit and flowers. And I, for one, can't wait.
But for now, some other interesting if unsurprising stats. Physical product income continues to slide, but is still 25% of the global market, mainly thanks to Japan where physical revenues actually went up last year. Monies from broadcast and public performance continue to rise, that being the third biggest revenue stream and still the side of the business no one ever wants to talk about. Meanwhile sync - despite rising 5.2% in 2018 - is still a tiny part of the recorded music sector (2%) and still the side of the business everybody wants to talk about.
Perhaps the most interesting - if again not entirely surprising - stats put out by IFPI yesterday relate to the relative performance of different markets. Latin America saw the most growth in 2018 at 16.8%, while Europe was pretty much static overall (albeit that figure being slightly affected by a one-off boost in performing rights income in Germany in 2017). Meanwhile - although US, Japan, UK, Germany and France remain the big five recorded music markets - China continues to shoot up the rankings and is now in seventh place.
So there you go. Stats galore. Smiles all round. No room for doom or gloom. Not even a mention of the bloody value gap. OK, one mention of the bloody value gap. But only in the context of the soon to be fully approved European Copyright Directive and how it's going to close the bloody value gap. Onwards! Upwards! More fucking exclamation marks!
And now the customary quote from IFPI boss Frances Moore. "Last year represented the fourth consecutive year of growth, driven by great music from incredible artists in partnership with talented, passionate people in record companies around the world", says she. "Record companies continue their investment in artists, people and innovation both in established markets and developing regions that are increasingly benefitting from being part of today's global music landscape".
Want a doom and gloom free PDF filled with IFPI counting, glorious pie charts, inspiring optimism, major label bragging and photos of pop stars? Then fucking click here!
Dispute over Tom Petty estate goes legal
Dana Petty has filed a petition with the LA County Court arguing that her late husband's two adult daughters - Adria and Annakim - are making the management of the musician's estate impossible, including scuppering deals with labels over posthumous releases.
In her legal filing, Dana requests that the court appoint an independent manager to coordinate any "significant decisions" that need to be made in relation to the estate, and also rule that any such decisions need approval from her, Adria and Annakim, so that the two sisters can't overrule her.
The court papers particularly criticise Adria who, they say, has been abusive towards the people and companies working on her father's legacy, including management and label. This "erratic behaviour", it's alleged, held up the release of a greatest hits record and stopped entirely a 25th anniversary reissue of Petty's 1994 solo album 'Wildflowers'.
Adria has responded with her own petition laying into Dana, who she says has sought to push her and her sister out of key decisions. She also says Dana has failed to place assets into a limited company established in Petty's will, which was meant to be done within six months of his death. Failure to do this has cut Adria and Annakim out of the management of their father's repertoire and legacy, the second court filing argues.
It remains to be seen whether the court is willing to intervene, one way or the other.
Royal Albert Hall unveils £2 million sound system upgrade
Comprising 465 new speakers and nearly a mile of cable, the new set up is the largest single-room speaker system in the world and took six months of overnight shifts to install. It's the first update to the venue's sound system since acoustic 'mushrooms' were placed over the ceiling of the dome in 1969 to combat echo.
"Regardless of how much you paid for a ticket, you deserve to hear a great performance", says Steve Jones of audio company D&B Audiotechnik, which built the new system. "These changes really democratise the sound".
Although the new sound system was first heard in action at the recent Teenage Cancer Trust shows, the final bits of work on it all were completed yesterday. It will now be officially unveiled at this Sunday's Olivier Awards.
Blink 182's Mark Hoppus recalls slow realisation the Fyre Festival was falling apart
Shortly before the festival was due to begin, the band put out a statement saying that they were "not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give to fans".
Now, speaking to the NME, Hoppus explains: "We had indications kind of early on that there were problems. Our production crew was having problems getting even the most basic of answers as to staging, power and things that you would normally have well in advance of the show. That being said, us and our crew have always prided ourselves on being able to put on a good show".
"If you give us electricity and a stage then we will do our best to put on a great show", he continues. "We continued in good faith, the show got closer and closer. Travis [Barker, drums] doesn't fly so he was going to have to get on a boat for several days to get there, then our production crew just said, 'I don't think that this is going to happen, I think we should pull out now'. That's when we issued our statement".
Still, the full extent of the disaster that Fyre Festival was always going to be only became apparent to Hoppus when he watched the Netflix documentary about the event when it came out earlier this year. "It was pretty shocking", he says of watching that film, although based on his experience, he adds that it was also "not entirely surprising".
So now you know how Blink 182 forged ahead with plans to play Fyre Festival, despite all the warning signs, and how they ultimately made the decision to pull out. Of course, this isn't the first time a member of the band has spoken about this. You could, if you want, continue to believe that Matt Skiba brought the whole event to its knees using witchcraft.
Troy Carter unveils new artist services business
The new business will be called Q&A and sees Carter partner again with the Co-President of his former company Atom Factory, J Erving. He brings to the venture a distribution and label services company he set up last year called Human Re Sources.
Also on board to run the new company is Suzy Ryoo, who has previously worked with Carter at both Atom Factory and the venture capital fund they are both involved in. And Tim Luckow, who previously worked at label/management firm GHouse and is a co-founder of Stem, the finance management platform for music makers.
"My time spent at Spotify allowed me the opportunity to see gaps that still exists between the music business and technology", says Carter of the new venture. "Modern artists have to be more entrepreneurial than ever before. They're looking for a lot more than music distribution, they want experienced teams that can help build long-lasting careers. We designed the company to allow artists of any size to have a shot at success. Whether you choose to stay independent or continue on to major label, our goal is to help creators through the process with a high level of service and intuitive software".
Meanwhile your main man Erving adds: "Troy is one of the smartest and forward-thinking people I know. This industry is ever-changing and creators are more proactive today than I've ever seen. Troy and I have always taken an artist-forward approach to the music business and we believe that artists and their needs should always be put first".
Irish PM wrote fan letter to Kylie Minogue on official letterhead
Following two attempts by the Irish government to block it, The Irish Mail has published a fan letter written by the country's top politician - Taoiseach Leo Varadkar - to Kylie Minogue on official headed notepaper.
"Dear Kylie", wrote Varadkar ahead of a planned show by the singer in Dublin last year. "Just wanted to drop you a short note in advance of the concert in Dublin. I am really looking forward to it. Am a huge fan! I understand you are staying in the Merrion Hotel which is just across the street from my office in Government Buildings. If you like, I'd love to welcome you to Ireland personally".
The concert in question was later cancelled as Minogue had a throat infection, although she reportedly called Varadkar personally to apologise for the no show. They then met backstage at a rescheduled performance in December. That meeting also sparked scandal, after it was reported that the prime minister had been bought dinner, which he denied.
"I've been made aware of a post on social media saying I had a free meal at a concert the other night", he wrote at the time. "This is not true. There was no meal, we only had drinks and I paid. I have the receipt to prove it too".
We should note that it's very important to eat dinner. You really shouldn't have drinks on an empty stomach, even when meeting a pop star. I think Varadkar's failure to do so is the real scandal in this whole story. While we know he didn't get any free food, it's not clear whether Varadkar saw the actual show for free. But at least he asked to go, rather than just sneaking in without a ticket like our deceitful former PM.
The Chills, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Raconteurs, more
Other notable announcements and developments today...
• A new film about cult New Zealand indie band The Chills will be out later this year, titled 'The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps'. Here's the trailer.
• Carly Rae Jepsen is set to release new album 'Dedicated' on 17 May. Then on 29 May she'll play XOYO in London. Tickets for that will go on general sale this Friday, if you want to try your luck.
• The Raconteurs have announced that they will release their first album for more than a decade, 'Help Us Stranger', on 21 Jun.
• Blood Orange has released the video for 'Hope', from his 2018 album 'Negro Swan'.
• Heather Woods Broderick has released new single 'White Tail'. Her new album, 'Invitation', is out on 19 Apr.
• Emika has released a video for 'Eternity (Earth Version)', a reworking of a track from her 'Falling In Love With Sadness' album.
• Amon Tobin has released new track 'Fooling Alright'. His new album, 'Fear In A Handful Of Dust', is out at the end of the month.
• Pete Doherty And The Puta Madres have released new single 'Paradise Is Under Your Nose'. Their debut album is out on 26 Apr.
• The Boy Least Likely To's Pete Hobbs has released a new single as Driving At Dawn, titled 'The Humbling Of A Good Man'.
• Pat Dam Smyth has released new single 'Dancing'. His second album is set for release in July.
• Producer duo DJ Scratch And Sniff released a track to mark the UK's exit from the EU last week. Obviously I'm a bit late to it, but fuck it, we're still in the EU, so here's 'Disco-Nect'.
• Advance Base - aka Owen Ashworth, formerly known as Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - will be in the UK for tour dates in July to promote new album 'Animal Companionship'. "There was a while last year when a bunch of different friends of mine were having problems with their dogs", he says of the album's title.
• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Idles' Joe Talbot labels Sleaford Mods' Jason Williamson "a fucking bully"
What the fuck indeed? I think this calls for a recap. Back in February, Williamson accused Talbot of "appropriating a working class voice". This was more based on his original assumption about who Talbot was, and subsequent realisation that his assumption was wrong, rather than anything Talbot himself had actually claimed. Still, Williamson said he reckoned that Idles' take on UK politics and social issues was "cliched, patronising, insulting and mediocre".
Initially choosing not to respond, Idles are now back on the interview circuit and it's basically the only thing they're being asked about. So, responses ahoy! Talbot already spoke briefly to The Guardian about it, but now he's gone into more detail in a new interview with The Independent about what it's like when someone you've previously called a hero starts badmouthing you.
"He's a fucking bully", says Talbot of Williamson. "I've never once claimed to be working class and for him to misrepresent me like that - it was disembowelling ... He attacked me personally, and suddenly everyone was questioning my authenticity. But I was more annoyed by my own reaction: like, why the fuck am I letting someone who doesn't know me affect me? So, yeah, he's not a hero anymore".
As for Williamson's policing of who can speak on certain subjects, Talbot continues: "This idea that I can't speak out against austerity or food banks - that I can't think one of the richest economies in the world having fucking food banks is wrong - I can't say that because I'm fortunate enough to be able to feed my child? What the fuck is wrong with the guy?"
Well, I guess it's fun to have your position challenged by someone who's supposed to be on your side. Builds character. Jason Williamson is the 1950s schoolmaster of early 21st century punk.