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The Case to Define our Industry: Fighting for a Better Economy

You may have heard the news spreading regarding the fight for a more equitable music economy with a greater emphasis on the economy of music streaming to artists…

.. aaand another one has been added to the roster. A UK artist, who goes by the name of Kieran Hebden (artist alias of Four Tet) has instigated legal action against his record label, Domino Records for 20 years. Many contracts associated with music artists often precede streaming services and – more importantly, the power role they’ve come into the 21st Century.

According to Hebden’s 2001 contact agreements, Hebden is entitled to an 18% royalty rate from physical sales and a 50% cut from licensing income. However, the music streaming moguls of our Internet bonanza have become ambiguous and less considered to their artists whom they “provide” for and as such, has allowed record labels to apply the same 18% rate as their physical counterparts in sales. But, like many, artists simply don’t believe that physical sales and streaming are one and the same and should be placed in the licensing income bracket – worthy of a 50% cut.

While many other artists before Tet have brought forward the case of music moguls tearing the legalities of artistry independence – the likes of Ye and Taylor Swift to name a few – it may be the first discussion that brings it forward to a full public hearing, which is a huge development in changing the course of royalty revenue on streaming platforms.

As such, after Hebden’s litigation, Domino records have responded. The declaration of what he owes transpires to the albums that Domino own the rights to, which is another 50 years or so. With that in mind, the record label have simply removed three of his most popular albums from streaming services altogether thus giving him no royalties in streams .. and no leg to stand on. Their recent move has solidified what we already know about the monopoly of record label in our industry – callous and greedy.

But it has also widened the scope into the survival of the music industry and whether or we not we can simply do without these record labels with their outdated and out of touch legally-binding contracts: which do nothing but bind the artist to the industry devil.

Hopefully, we’ll hear more about this as news progresses into the Spring of 2022.

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New Year, New Music: What’s in Store for Music in 2022?

As we bypass the festivities of Christmas and chart a course to New Years, it is ample opportunity to think ahead into the new year of 2022 and see where we are at with music and our industry.

WITH NFTS AND TIKTOK ABOUND in amenities and rife pipelines for artist directory and workflow, live music will plan a course back to its 2019 numbers and regain momentum again as we ramp up to the summer season with festivals stretching far and wide across the UK.

With uncertainty among variants emerging in the winter months, time will tell if Glastonbury is going to be held this time at Worthy Farm. With Glastonbury emerging as a necessary funding asset to the funds of our industry and our artists – aswell as our worthy charities, many are hoping that the festivals alike will return next Summer.

As more and more licensing deals are made and more and more artists begin to sell their catalogues in one swift swoop, would you hedge a guess that they know something that us as the general public do not?

If it’s any year to take the plunge and strive forward with your music, it’s this one. With prevalent artists like Arctic Monkeys and Machine Gun Kelly confirming a return to form – but no date set – we look to those artists that should really be on your radar come the first quarter of 2022:

Audacious indie-rock trio of The Wombats return with their sickle album, Fix Yourself, Not The World in January. The likes of Band of Horses and Billy Talent follow shortly after with Things Are Great and Crisis of Faith respectively. Bastille bring up the rear leading the forefront of a electro-synth wave pop cacophony with Give Me The Future and Korn’s Requiem sees the hard metal eyeglass in February. For fans alike, Alt-J‘s The Dream and Frank Turner‘s FTHC sees excitement build as the three-year hiatus for both artists come to a wonderful end.

As we enter the Spring season of March, we see familiar favourites with The Stereophonics and Bryan Adams rekindling old flames and charting history into another year of music. April comes and go with Jack White’s Fear of the Dawn and Bloc Party’s Alpha Games, while we start to see the list become shorter and shorter as we near the start of Summer. Undecided and unannounced, there is certainly more to come that we’ve been waiting for from our favourites. Including Liam Gallagher’s third studio work with C’mon You Know in May.

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Let me know what you’re looking forward to most in 2022!

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Return of the Tale: More concerts are cancelled in amidst COVID surge

From punk-idled Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes cancelling their two intermittent London shows off the back of their ‘Sticky’ tour to Harry Styles’ Pre-Orange Bowl concert being cancelled in Florida overseas due to a variant surge amongst the prevailing pandemic, the live music sector is amongst fears yet again as we enter a ‘new year’ in 2022.

We may very well be venturing into a lockdown in January 2022 too, so a lot of cancelled concerts will more likely return for Spring and Summer seasons next year, which means more months postponed in a music industry – already trying to adjust and amend itself from the 10-month lockdown closure that we saw at the start in 2020.

Should we be expecting to live with these COVID variants moving forward? Even with vaccinations strife among our population, these variants are still running rampant with positive cases throughout Europe and the US. Will we ever evolve to normality again with us attending live music events for a full working annual year? Only time will tell.

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Let’s Talk: Should the music industry be doing MORE to support climate change?

Hello folks. Hope your mid week madness is going well so far. We’re gathering a little bit of political momentum with this talk today.

With the three major labels set to join leading indies in pledging to halve emissions by 2030 before achieving neutrality, it brings about a new conversation into the mix. Should we be doing more amongst it all to help our Earth recover?

The initial thoughts came first when Coldplay announced their eco-friendly world tour – and now it seems more global figures spearheading in the industry are following suit. More and more artists certainly need to get involved and share their feelings in terms of saving the planet cohesively aswell as sharing their best music work.

Should the industry – artists, workers and professionals included – be doing more to support our dying world? Let me know your thoughts.

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UK MUSIC INDUSTRY: Autumn Budget

The big takeaway from Sunak’s plans is the spending increase of £150 billion, a 50% discount on business rates for music venues – as well as pubs, cinemas, theatres, restaurants, hotels and gyms.

COVID halved music’s economic contribution to the UK economy from almost £6 billion a year to £3.1 billion in 2020. If the Government relays their for-told plans and deliver the support we need them to, hopefully, the music industry will strike back bigger than ever before.

However, one key work that they failed to discuss was a tax-relief scheme for music, a bit like those successfully implemented in other entertainment sectors.


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“It is clear that the most effective way for the Government to support the industry’s recovery into 2022 and beyond would be to extend the VAT reduction on tickets, look closely at a permanent cultural VAT rate, and completely remove festivals based on agricultural land from the business rates system.

Unfortunately, none of this was forthcoming today.”
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Independent Festivals CEO, Paul Reed