Selector PRO 2021

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.

On the images below you can check some infographics related to the event.

Selector Pro Participants
Selector Pro Speakers
Selector Pro Topics
Selector Pro Performance

UK Speakers

This year, thanks to the forum's all-digital format, we were able to invite over 30 speakers from 15 countries. Here are backgrounds of several of the speakers.

Jon Dunn

Jon began his career as an independent promoter in 1989 working with small venues outside London, booking acts that include Radiohead, Oasis, Pulp, Cranberries and more. In 2003, he moved to London, joining Live Nation (formally known as Clear Channel), where he took on national promotional duties, booking shows in major cities across England. Acts he picked up in this capacity and continues to work with  include Arcade Fire, The National, MIA, Anthony and the Johnsons and more. He began booking and curating festivals with 35,000 capacity including Latitude, The Big Chill and Electric Picnic. Jon left Live Nation in 2013 and started Parallel Lines. Currently, he promotes exclusively in London, working with acts like The National, Arcade Fire, Jungle, Glass Animals, Sharon Van Etten, St.Vincent, Future Islands — all told, more than 140 artists.

Ric Salmon

Ric Salmon is a director at ATC Management, and is the CEO of ticketed live streaming business Driift. ATC has a roster of around 70 management clients including the likes of Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Faithless, Laura Marling, Johnny Marr, Trevor Horn along with a roster of over 400 acts through its live division, ATC-Live. Prior to ATC, Ric founded management company Harvest Entertainment in 2007. Harvest represented globally established artists such as Seal, Morrissey and Joss Stone. Between 1997-2007, Ric held senior roles at various major and independent record labels including Sony Music, Ministry of Sound, and Warner Music International. Ric has continued as a regular senior A+R consultant to several labels including Warner Music where he has made albums with artists such as Rod Stewart, The Corrs, Bette Midler, Boyzone, Beverley Knight and many others.

Chris Cooke

Chris Cooke is co-Founder and MD of Complete Music Update (CMU), a company that helps people navigate and understand the music business. It does this through media like the CMU Daily bulletin, Setlist podcast and CMU Trends library; consultancy unit CMU Insights; and future talent programme CMU:DIY. Via CMU, Chris writes, talks, teaches and consults about the music industry. CMU is part of Chris’s business 3CM UnLimited, through which he also publishes cultural recommendations service ThisWeek London and its sister magazine ThreeWeeks at the Edinburgh Festival.

Rebecca Prochnik 

Rebecca is an agent with nearly twenty years’ experience. She started out booking into clubs and counts herself fortunate to always have been able to work with emerging music cultures and communities. Thematically, Rebecca has maintained a focus on independent and zeitgeist artistry. With time, she has become co-owner of the rapidly expanding Earth Agency and has developed a knack for bringing the music she works with to ever broader platforms. Artists she has represented over the years include Animal Collective, SOPHIE, Omar Souleyman and Wiley. Her current roster includes Skepta, The Black Lips, Pregoblin, Deerhunter, AJ Tracey, Kode 9, Jme and many more. For a glance at Rebecca’s full roster, click:

Sally Anne Gross

Sally is a music industry practitioner, an author and an academic. She is the co-author of ‘Can Music Make You Sick- Measuring the Price of Musical Ambition’. This research which was funded by the charity Help Musicians UK is the largest ever study into mental health in the music industry. In 1993 she was the first women to work in A&R at Mercury Records. In the same year she chaired the first ever panel on gender in the music industries at ‘In The City’ music conference in Manchester. Sally Anne has been working in the music industry for nearly three decades, as an artist manager, record label director and international business affairs consultant. In her current role at the University of Westminster, she is the course leader of the MA Music Business Management. In 2016 she founded ‘Let’s Change the Record’ a project that focuses on bridging the gender divide in music production. Sally Anne has four grown up children and although she always identifies as a ‘native’ Londoner, she actually lives in North Hertfordshire.

International Speakers

This year, thanks to the forum's all-digital format, we were able to invite over 30 speakers from 15 countries. Here are backgrounds of several of the speakers.

Ashot Danielyan

Ashot Danielyan is a graduate of Tashkent University where he majored in Japanese language and literature. Since 2000 he has been the frontman and songwriter for Tashkent-based indie rock band, Origami Wings. Since 2007 he has been the organizer and co-producer of the country’s sole independent rock festival—the Ilkhom Rock Fest—which has drawn more than 50 alternative rock acts from Central Asia Armenia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and the UK to perform in Uzbekistan. An artist, activist and arts-manager, since 2017 Ashot has worked in a multidisciplinary, multinational arts project promoting poetry, music, performative art, video, photography and contemporary art among Central Asian youth—the Man With a Stool Project. 

Olga Udovenko 

Olga is part of Kultura Zvuka team, program manager of the club and school. Working for Kultura Zvuka project from its beginning 4 years ago, when it was a Hi-fi audio and record store. Besides running a club and school she’s also a DJ known as Udda. As an artist Olga mostly performs in Kultura Zvuka club in Kharkiv, but also had gigs in Kyiv, Vienna and Riga. Her main activities related to promotional activities, communication with artists and their agents, formation of events programs in the club and preparation of a curriculum for school courses.

Yurii Bazaka 

Yurii is a founder of kontrabass promo - an underground cultural agency based in Kyiv, Ukraine. The agency works with young local artists, produces concerts, festivals and performances. Co-founder, initiator and executive producer of Intercity Live festival, the biggest Ukrainian online event. Since the pandemic started, more than 150 artists from more than 18 countries had participated within 4 such festivals. After this, Yurii has worked as advisor and executive producer at a few Ukrainian festivals and helped them to go online. Nowadays Yurii is releasing their new YouTube show Zmova as a co-producer. Zmova is a series of live shows of underground Ukrainian bands and artists which perform in famous culture and historical places in Kyiv.

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