The sky is fall­ing – so do some­thing about it

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

Will the record in­dus­try, as we know it, still ex­ist in 2018?

Given that ev­ery sin­gle bul­letin is­sued by the sec­tor con­tin­ues to be full of doom and gloom, the busi­ness it­self doesn’t even ap­pear to hold out much hope for its sur­vival.

It’s not alone in its pes­simism. Acts who have grown au­di­ences on the back of record-la­bel help and sup­port are rapidly cop­ping on that they can now make more cash from live shows.

Es­tab­lished acts are ei­ther do­ing a Ra­dio­head and go­ing it alone or do­ing a 360 deal, such as Jay-Z and Madonna, and putting all their eggs in the Live Na­tion bas­ket.

Fans are also not play­ing ball as they once did and are in­creas­ingly hos­tile to the no­tion of pay­ing over-the-odds for a plas­tic disc. How­ever, the large-scale mi­gra­tion to paid-for down­loads is not pro­vid­ing enough rev­enue for the la­bels to meet their costs. Red has re­placed black on the sec­tor’s bal­ance sheet.

Of course, none of this is news to any­one who has fol­lowed the sad, sorry tale of the death of the record in­dus­try as it has un­folded over the last num­ber of years.

But just as politi­cians like to sug­gest that we have talked our­selves into a re­ces­sion, there’s also a strong sense that the record la­bels are con­tent to whinge and moan rather than take any ac­tion to get them­selves out of the mess.

Af­ter all, any other in­dus­try that found it­self in this kind of pickle would be mak­ing whole­sale changes in an ef­fort to sur­vive.

Yet, as Guy Hands, the ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist who pur­chased EMI Mu­sic for £2.4 (¤3) bil­lion last year, found out when he started ex­am­in­ing the books and deals in-depth, the record in­dus­try op­er­ates to a dif­fer­ent set of rules to ev­ery­one else. Who else would tol­er­ate a sit­u­a­tion where just 5 per cent of re­leases turn a profit? While a recorded-mu­sic in­dus­try of some sort will prob­a­bly still ex­ist 10 years from now, you can take it that it will not look or op­er­ate like the cur­rent clue­less be­he­moth.

Guy Hands reck­ons he can re­verse de­clin­ing sales at EMI Group

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.