The 6.5 per cent growth in the UK music industry during 2020 was driven mainly by digital streaming services, which accounts for almost 80 per cent of total revenue (Source: Entertainment Retailers Association, UK). At the same time, income from download and physical product sales dropped significantly as a result of restrictions put in place due to the pandemic. Similarly, the live performance sector was hit hard in 2020, with around an 80 per cent revenue drop that saw dozens of freelancers and full-time employees lose their jobs (Source: Live Industry Association).
What will the impact of these shifts be on the future shape of the music industry? What were the success stories behind these increasing numbers in streaming? How did music professionals, artists and musicians manage to stay productive and look after their mental health during a highly stressful environment? How did they stay connected with their audiences? These and other questions were addressed in the fourth online Selector PRO professional music industry forum on 12-14 February 2021.
We were bringing together leading names from the UK music scene to network with other professionals from more than 15 countries (Western Balkans, South Caucasus, Turkey, Ukraine, Israel and Central Asia). This digital event was free to attend and was open to anyone interested in connecting with like-minded professionals. Participants had the opportunity to participate in workshops, networking and matchmaking sessions, and panel discussions. Moreover, our concert series Selector Live, with the support of the VA concert agency, presented Sinead O’Brien broadcasting from the UK.
We were examining some industry successes from 2020. Highlights included Ric Salmon (director at ATC Management, CEO Driift, UK) discussing Laura Marling’s recent stream success and Nick Cave’s Idiot Prayer show at the Alexandra Palace. Yurii Bazaka (kontrabass promo, Ukraine) shared his experience of organising an online festival featuring artists around the world in a matter of weeks and how he attracted a global audience of more than 200,000 viewers. Ashot Danielyan (Ilkhom rock fest, Uzbekistan) shared how he created a cross-cultural collaboration despite the limitations placed on us in 2020.
Among other events taking place during the forum was an open talk by Sally-Anne Gross (course Leader for Music Business Management MA, University of Westminster, UK) on the mental health of musicians, an area she has worked in extensively during her career. Chris Cooke’s (co-founder and managing director of Complete Music Update, UK) also hosted a workshop on building proper revenue streams in the music business, drawing from his acclaimed book on the subject - ‘Dissecting the Digital Dollar’. Elsewhere, we were talking about audience engagement, sync deals, business and the ecological sustainability of the music industry.
The Forum helped participants identify like-minded business partners by focusing on real-life digital networking sessions.
Click on the link for the Forum in its entirety, complete with Ukrainian subtitles.