Here is some stuff I did in June 2019…

The festival business

With Glastonbury under way once again, yesterday the BBC World Service’s Business Daily put the spotlight on the business of festivals. “Why would you even want to set up a music festival?” they asked. Well, that’s a very good question, isn’t it? Somewhere in the middle of the programme you’ll find me chatting about all the risks and challenges associated with the festival business. You can listen on BBC Sounds here.

Pivotal Music Conference

We’re going to be presenting some sessions as part of the marvellous Pivotal Music Conference in Birmingham this September. That includes a speed briefing on the MMF Fan Data Guide that was published earlier this year and some practical workshops on what to do with all that data. We’ll have lots more info soon. Meanwhile, here’s the basics about CMU House and Pivotal in general from yesterday’s CMU Daily.

Ten years ago today

Ten years ago today I was in line at BBC News – just behind one of Five Star – ready to offer an opinion about the death of Michael Jackson. “What do you want talk about?” asked the presenter as they ran some VT, my short interview following hours of celebrity tributes. “I could talk about the insurance implications of the 50 night O2 residency that just lost its star”, I said. Was it too soon to be focusing on the commercial side? “Oh, thats great!” said the presenter, clearly pleased to finally have a new angle. Whatever your views on Jackson, his death was the biggest story CMU ever covered. Last September we made a Setlist-style recap.

FAC is ten!

I spent last night on Kobalt’s roof for the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Featured Artist Coalition. We’ve been working with FAC for two years now on the Artist:Entrepreneur programme which has seen all these artists dissecting their individual businesses on stage so that other artists can see the inner-workings and learn how they too can make money from their music. So, artists enabling artists. Which FAC at large has now been doing for a decade!

My daily visitor

This is the cat who has started popping by once a day while I’m at my desk working (three storeys up, I should add). I duly update him on all the latest developments in the music business which is – presumably – the reason for the visits. He should just sign up to the CMU Daily like everyone else. Maybe I should give him a promo postcard.

iTunes is dead, right?

Let’s all say it together: it’s the iTunes software that is being phased out, NOT the iTunes Store. Amazing how many people think the latter is closing too. The cynic in me wonders if Apple is allowing the confused messaging around it all so that people think the iTunes Music Store is closed, so they’ll stop downloading music, so they can justify shutting down the iTunes Music Store. Given that conspiracy theory, I might now go and download some music for the first time in two years!

MME 4.5 New Content Formats

I’m on the editorial board of MME 4.5. These are regular events that put the spotlight on issues, trends and debates in the music, media and entertainment sectors, exploring how the different content businesses intersect with each other, and with innovators in the technology and investment communities. The next event is on 10 Jul with lots of fascinating presentations on ‘New Content Formats’. There was more info about it all in today’s CMU Daily.

Edinburgh 2019 is looming

If you look up and gaze at the horizon – that magnificent mayhem rapidly coming into view? – that’s Edinburgh Festival 2019. Yep, it’s nearly Fringe time. Which means I get to talk to lots of comedy and theatre people again. Starting off with the rather marvellous Double Denim. If you’re into all things Fringe do sign up to get our weekly TW bulletin for all the updates. Meanwhile, here is my first Edinburgh Q&A of the year.

Digital Dollars on 6 Music

It was great to talk all things ‘Digital Dollar’ with Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music earlier. I’m glad to see that in this selfie era they are still making DJ promo photos (for R2 at least). There was a time in my life when I would have left with one of each. Thinking about it, if anyone wants Signal Radio and MFM DJ promo photos circa 1989, I’m sure there’s a box of them in my parents’ garage. Meanwhile, back in the digital world, my streaming chat is here.

Inbox traumas

For some reason Google Mail has started putting almost all press releases into my ‘priority inbox’. Now, no offence to all the lovely PR people out there, but press releases are rarely a priority! So that’s annoying. Because, as you can see, I need all the help I can get navigating my busy busy inbox.

Reboot conference

I am at ICMP (that’s the Institute Of Contemporary Music Performance) in London today for the Reboot conference on music business education. At the end of the day I’ll be talking about our Pathways Into Music project and the artist career pathway that goes from classroom to Wembley in ten steps.

On trac in Cardiff!

Thanks to the Musicians’ Union and Trac for being great hosts at the Chapter arts centre in Cardiff this afternoon where I was running a CMU:DIY session on all things copyright and streaming. In other news, can’t quite believe how much the bit of Cardiff around the station has changed since I was last in this part of the world!

All the Setlist specials

We’ve now published all of the special editions of Setlist celebrating CMU’s 20th anniversary. The final one tells the often entertaining story of The Pirate Bay, which somehow managed to out-live Grooveshark, MegaUpload, EMI, MySpace (pretty much), iTunes (kind of), DRM on downloads and the print edition of the NME, all of which are covered in other Setlist specials. You can listen to all of them here.

Views and data

Thanks to Team Warner for organising another great Midem dinner with a view last night. Sorry my brain had a temporary shut down in the middle of it all (well, an intense headache necessitating an impromptu lie down surrounded by priceless artworks). I think it was overloaded with all that music data! Talking of which, here is the speedy speed briefing on music data I presented during the Copyright Summit yesterday.

Music rights data solutions

My mission at Midem this year is to fix the music rights data problem. OK… to talk to the people who are fixing the music rights data problem. I think I’m pretty close to having met them all by now! I’ll report back during the Copyright Summit this afternoon and then in a white paper later this month.

Lots of data chatter

This is me at the International Music Summit in Ibiza last month talking about fan data. Later this week I’ll be at Midem in Cannes talking about music rights data. Still trying to decide what kind of data to discuss at the next conference. (Photo by James Chapman)

My Roundhouse panel

Thanks to my brilliant panel – Ipek Özsoy from META, Raffaella De Santis from Harbottle & Lewis and Sheila Shayegan at Bucks – for joining us at the Roundhouse Music Industry Insights Day on Saturday. And also to the audience, who came with some equally brilliant questions.



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