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World of Music Licensing: Field Visit to London

Trepidation, fascination and in-depth insight, field visits for work within the realms of music licensing is certainly no easy feat – but they are exciting.

By fully understanding who we’re working with as venue owners, what we’re working with in terms of venue scale, allocation of music events and spaces, it is a marvellous idea to visit venues in-person. Not only for maximum efficiency in terms of client reports but maximum accuracy in terms of music licensing the venue to the best of our knowledge. All because we’ve seen the venue with our own eyes!

Quite simply, it puts a face, a name and an icon to the black and white data-entry accounts. Above all, it makes it personal, natural and far more enjoyable enjoyable in terms of what we do for music licensing – which really, is all about for the working musician.

For my first field trip as a Live Music New Business Advisor, it was extremely insightful. When we travelled past Knebworth and it’s mighty park – which was put on the map from Oasis’s iconic performance in ‘96 – before we headed into Central London, I knew I would be in for a treat. If such a staple in musical history is dotted just outside the capital of London, what cultural significance is tucked away in the centre of the capital?

First, we headed down within the shadow of the Shard via Amazing Grace, a newly refurbished church-now-turned bar nightclub, it had all the qualities of a fantastic and elusive venue for underplays and musical vibes perfect for a relaxing Friday evening. After that swell visit and a talk with the owners about everything to do with the music licence, we swiftly headed west to Hammersmith. An often quaint but equally illustrious as the glorious amphitheatre of Apollo greets you in the vast stretch of culture, as you step out of the underground station. At Hammersmith, we had the privilege of attending a tour at one Riverside Studios, a circular space for multi-art performances, theatre shows, cinema screenings and a magnitude of musical events. First popularised for its feature filming of Doctor Who during the first couple of series (and the use of stage doors as the noise for EXTERMINATE) it is now a Jack-of-all-trades swivelling circus of party tricks. If you’re around London between Christmas and New Year, I recommend diving in to check out the 360 AllStars variety show they have coming in.

Grabbing a mocha to go, we headed back to the realms of underground during dreaded rush hour. Fortunately, with working from home a viable option for many commuters, it didn’t necessarily seem that bad for a Friday.

Now here I am, lodging notes in my phone as the train heads back to familiar territory. My familiar territory.

It would be an advantageous decision to do more field visits in the future. Covering the scope of the UK, live music new business is ripe for the taking. Especially after the horrors of a pandemic, the opportunity for growth in live music and the entertainment sector is colossal. With ample drip-feedings being delivered from the Government, establishing the premise of music licensing via a friendly face is all-the-more-important for maximum efficiency and accuracy in today’s current industry.

More to come I hope. As always, thanks London.

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podcasts you should listen to …

  1. George Ezra & Friends

Despite being unable to record and share delightful music stories during this year because of the pandemic, the tales they have sought on this podcast so far has been unmeasurable. A delightfully convulsive and insightful listen to the world of the music industry, it portrays amazing music stories (and ramblings, I should mention) of some of the music greats: Elton John, Tom Jones, Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi to name a few.


I hope you find it as interesting and fun to listen to, as it was to make.


Most recent:

2. Soundcheck

Showcasing themselves as the ultimate platform for fans of all music, Soundcheck is under new management, under new names and rigging up a highly attainable podcast that is worthy of a listen. Formulating interviews with past and present music artists, and keeping you up to date on all music news including festival line-ups, new album reviews and personal thoughts and ever-present industry standards that come out.


Featuring interviews with your favourite artists, this is the place to hear it first.


Most recent:

3. Load-In Podcast

From the unheard music tales and talks, the Load-In has the best works to date for being not the road in the music industry. Charming and rustic interviews within the music industry brings episodes every two weeks of the same greats and legends in the world of classic rock. Driven straight from the inspiration of using Zoom during lockdown, ambition has created a brand new podcasts for us to listen to on our commutes.


From tales from the road to upcoming projects …


Most recent:

4. Music and Life Podcast

After highly anticipated followings from the Music and Life blog, its original format and discussions are turning to the form of listening as opposed to reading. Enjoy insightful and topical discussions in the world of music from all aspects of industry genres. Drawing more so on particular concepts within African-American culture and communities and their music styles, Music and Life brings a fresh take on what’s beating on all things music.


Remember the motto: Music IS Life!


Most recent:

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I Need Your Help: What’s in store for Man v Music?

Hey folks. A little bit of a personal one, today. With Hidden Gems losing traction and not working out quite the way I’d hoped, I am looking for some inspiration or insight into what you would like to see on Man v Music.


More MUSIC PLAYLISTS to create?

Or .. keeping up to date with the INDUSTRY NEWS?

Do let me know if you’d feel comfortable enough to share your thoughts or what you like about Man v Music!

For myself, I typically enjoy writing up music playlists, artistic reviews and keeping everyone up to date on the current music industry topicals we have in our hands. Music has many plethoras of opportunity, discussions and controversies – we’ve seen rife here as well as on our own blog and social media feeds.

It’s a marvel this music thing, and let’s keep talking!

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Are Spotify Taking Over The World?

In an elegant rebuttal to their neighbouring competitors, Spotify have declared their plans for world domination within the music industry via their On Stream event.

What are they planning by 2025?


1. Market Expansion: they plan to expand to 80 new markets – resulting in more than 1 billion Spotify users

2. Spotify and Social Media: they plan to include Spotify ‘clips’- which will harness social media and music consumption into one app.

3. Visual with Audio: they plan to include visual content when we listen to our music; including music videos and the visual side of podcasts. This will undoubtedly cause competition between themselves and YouTube.

4. Artists Marketing: in an attempt to earn more money, Spotify are also planning and providing marketing strategies for artists and labels to feature more prominently on playlists and next shuffle songs. The more you spend, the more you feature, right?


What does this mean for artists and consumers?

With the fact that Spotify royalty payments do not pay artists enough – a fact that was glossed over this charade – is their response to it? Artists having to pay for listens? It seems that Spotify are planning to be on the same par as the conglomerates of Facebook and Instagram, with the features of social media, the use of marketing yourself as an artist distributor and the use of social media via ‘clips’, promoting a stronger desire to not only play music and listen to podcasts, but to do everything else we do on the Internet, too. All via one company.

Soon they won’t have to rely on others for the sharing of our stories, eh?

Cornering the market and becoming the number one streaming service, is certainly a clever idea and would undoubtedly increase their worldwide profits. The evils within Spotify are gleaming with glee at this prospect. And as ever, the creators who make the industry – who actually power Spotify to keep trudging on – are kept at the bottom of the pile again.

But, will these plans in place spark change and:

provide greater chances for artists to make a name for themselves in an ever-growing and ever-consumed industry?

What are your thoughts on this one?

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Easy Listening: Why are Podcasts so Popular?

How many audio blogs have you listened to in the past year?

In fact, how many people are actively listening to one right now while they read this?

Allowing listeners to multi-task, making it convenient around their time, while grafting at becoming an expert in their field, the demand of podcasts among listeners have sky-rocketed in demand – with streaming services, ad agencies and sponsorships diving in head-first to get a slice of the pie.

Ever since lockdown first hit, many consumers and avid learners were keen to explore new skills and thrive more in a learning environment, but were undoubtedly restricted within the confines of their own spaces. And so, podcasts soon entered the fold.

Streaming giants Spotify have claimed their stake in it already, in an attempt to corner the market all for themselves as they see the potential in podcasts. Already purchasing some of the major podcast titles to obtaining it exclusively on their site, they hope to be the biggest provider of podcasts in the next 5 to 10 years or so.

And despite claims of disgruntled premium payers still having to hear sponsored podcast ads, it has been well-received among consumers and listeners alike. When Spotify shelled out millions to bring in The Joe Rogan Experience to the platform, you can certainly class this as a pivotal moment for Spotify reaching their end-goals, as it went on to becoming the most popular podcasts in 2020 for them. Which actually allowed them to reach 24% growth in subscribers too. And that was just for podcasts alone.

But why are they so popular? So yeah, podcasts reflect the empowering and important for sure, but I think they also give someone else to listen to, a voice. And in a time when loneliness and depression is swelling the headlines, a voice is what anyone needs to take their mind off the horrors of the real world. Even if it’s just for an hour. It also allows listeners to multi-task, and will undoubtedly progress how productive we are – even if it’s just doing our daily household chores or brainstorming the next creative steps to your business.

Prior to 2020, I had never found the time or patience to listen to a podcast, but now? With all the time in the world it seems, podcasts have become a necessity in my daily life. Personally, true crimes are instant favourite of mine. During work, after hours going for a jog or when I’m settling into bed, these audio blogs are nothing but a comfort blanket we so desperately need right now. So, pick up your best pair, tune into the favourites and get cracking. Because whether you are a fan of them or not, they’re here to stay.

Don’t know where to look and need a jump-start in the world of podcasting? No worries, I’ve got you covered:

Catch up on a few popular ones from the BBC too: