Here is some stuff I did in November 2023…

Thank you Monkey Week!

My Monkey Week audience were pretty much unanimous in thinking that Spotify’s new pay-out threshold is a bad idea. Although I had just spent five minutes slating Spotify’s new pay-out threshold, so maybe that skewed the vote. If me spending five minutes slating Spotify’s new pay-out threshold sounds like fun, you should listen to this week’s Setlist. Monkey Week was brilliant, thanks so much for inviting me – and what a great conference venue!

I’m in Seville

I am in Seville! Wandered down some streets and soaked up some random history. Recorded a podcast with added hotel room echo. Picked up my Monkey Week pass and the customary tote bag. Found a supermarket to stock up on some snacks and put the tote bag to good use. Now just need to figure out my Monkey Week schedule for tomorrow and finish my slides for Saturday.

Monkey Week 2023

I am off to Seville tomorrow for Monkey Week. On Saturday at 11.45am I’ll be talking about ‘The Diversified Digital Market’, explaining how the streaming business model works, how the streaming business model is changing, and how newer digital platforms fit in. So, good of Spotify to confirm the changes they are making so I can factor that into the proceedings!

Illustrating stories

I’m old enough to remember when downloading a photo from the internet to accompany an article was a big innovation. That was while working on a student union newspaper in the mid-1990s. I think it was an article about the Edinburgh University Sailing Club and we didn’t have any stock photos of boats – and Alan said “you know, we could get a photo from the internet”.

And now, here we are, in a world where – when Andre 3000 releases a flute-based instrumental track all about the time he turned into a panther (after consuming Ayahuasca) – Sam can open up a generative AI tool and generate a magnificent original image to illustrate the story.

And here is the article.

Thank you Belgrade!

I had a great couple of days in Belgrade for RUNDA Digital Day – learning more about recent innovations in digital music and chatting here on stage all about music and AI. Thanks to Kees for taking a photo of the panel without me even asking – I always forget to organise that!

RUNDA Digital Day

I had a great time in both Bilbao and Bergen, and they tell me that all the good things come in sets of three, so I figure I need to head to another B city. So, this week it’s Belgrade. Looking forward to joining a panel on music and AI at the RUNDA Digital Day on Wednesday.

A TGE update

It’s TGE First Fifty this week, which is always exciting, with line-up news and other announcements about this year’s Great Escape incoming. It’s probably also a good time to let everyone know that we’ve retired from putting together the TGE Conference.

After delivering twelve successful editions – not to mention four years of the Elevate professional development programme – we decided it was time to let someone else take on the challenge. Not least because we’re focusing a lot of energy on our all-new CMU Pro offering, which will continue the high level industry defining conversations we programmed at TGE over the years.

We’ll also continue to dissect the music business with CMU sessions at conferences around the world – even more so – and we’ve got some exciting events of our own in the pipeline as part of CMU Pro. Meanwhile, of course, The Great Escape will remain one of our very favourite showcase festivals.

Thanks to everyone who took part in and attended our TGE Conference sessions over those twelve years – and to the TGE teams past and present.

On stage at VVV

Do I look like I’m about to sarcastically say “yeah, right?” on stage at Vill Vill Vest here? But I’d never be sarcastic to one of my brilliant guests. Although this is possibly the bit where we were discussing the chances of a self-published songwriter who is relying on “the system” to get paid actually receiving all the royalties they are due – and there’s definitely room for at least some sarcasm in that particular conversation. Thanks once again to the team of Vill Vill Vest for staging another wonderful event.

VVV thanks!

A great couple of days at Vill Vill Vest – thank you to my brilliant panellists for providing so many fascinating insights in the three CMU sessions. I also delivered a speedy overview of the UK music market as part of a Music Norway hosted session – and got to learn lots about the Danish and German markets in return. Thank you one and all!

More VVV sessions

I am heading to Bergen shortly for this year’s Vill Vill Vest. This is the third of the sessions CMU is presenting this time – it’s on Friday and all about connecting music markets and taking Norwegian artists into the UK. Tomorrow’s sessions are on the impact of dance music and all things music rights. More info here.

VVV sessions

Earlier this year, researchers from the University Of Leeds and University Of Central Lancashire published a report reviewing academic research that demonstrates the depth and value of dance music. This coming week in Bergen I’ll be chatting to the lead author – James Cannon – at Vill Vill Vest, to find about more about his findings and what the wider music industry can learn from the study. There is more information about all three of the sessions CMU is presenting at VVV this year right here.

Dice nonsense

This lovely box of nonsense just arrived from the team at Dice. I now plan to take the rest of the day off to complete the jigsaw which looks particularly tricky. Or, at the very least, could do with colouring in.



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