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The State of the UK Music Industry in 2017

In October, we looked at options for study at Higher Education for those interested in studying music. This month, we look at the Music Industry in the UK thanks to UK Music and their Measuring Music 2017 and Wish You Were Here 2017 reports.

Each year, UK Music produce a report giving an overview of the UK Music Industry, exploring factors such as the value of the Music Industry and where revenues are being generated. It’s an exciting time for the UK Music Industry with a 6% growth in Total Gross Value Added (GVA) contribution in 2016, a total of £4.4 billion. This breaks down as £2bn from musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists, £1bn from live music (including festival organisers, ticketing agencies and venues), £640m from recorded music (including music labels and online music distribution), £474m from music publishing, £121m from music producers, recording studios and staff and £96m from music representatives (including collection societies, music managers and trade bodies).

Alongside the contribution to the UK, £2.5 billion was made in export revenue in 2016, with £946m generated by musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists.

For those thinking of entering the Music Industry, the report shows good news. Employment was up 19% in the sector in 2016 with 142,208 people employed within the UK Music Industry (up from 119,020 in 2015). This includes 89,800 musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists from big name artists to lesser known musicians. Other large areas of employment include 28,538 people working in live music, 11,300 music producers, recording studios and staff and 9,100 working in recorded music. This really highlights the range of career opportunities across the sector.

The Live Music sector is a very important growth area for the UK Music Industry with a total audience of 30.9 million attending live music events in 2016, up 12% from 2015. This includes 27 million attending concerts and 3.9 million attending festivals in 2016. Of the attendees, 12.5 million people were music tourists in 2016, of these 823,000 were from overseas. The popularity of live music and music tourism in the UK means that 47,445 people are employed full time in music tourism.

While we might think of major festivals being key to music tourism, small venues are also vitally important to the music economy in the UK. 6.2 million people attended events at smaller music venues in 2016 with 107,000 of these being overseas music tourists. Sadly, numbers attending events at smaller venues are declining with a 13% drop in total audience for smaller venues in London last year leading to a 16% drop in spend at smaller venues.

This challenge is being address by the Music Venues Trust – http://www.musicvenuetrust.com, a registered charity, which was formed in January 2014 to protect the UK live music network by securing the long-term future of iconic grassroots music venues such as Hull Adelphi, Exeter Cavern, Southampton Joiners, The 100 Club, Band on the Wall and Tunbridge Wells Forum. However, Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of the Music Venues Trust emphasised

For the first time in ten years, the number of GMVs operating in London stabilised; the capital finished the year with the same number of spaces for new and emerging talent as at the start of the year, halting a 15-year decline in the number of spaces. This picture of a more stable sector was reflected across the UK, with regions reporting small but significant increases in audiences in the grassroots and small music venue sector.

The Measuring Music report also explores how people are accessing music. Drawing on findings by AudienceNet’s June 2017 survey, the report highlights the different ways various generations are accessing music. For example, radio accounted for just a tenth of 16-19 year old listening time, while on-demand streaming accounted for 62% of their total listening time 2017. However, for over 65s, more than 65% of their listening is via Radio, with 4% utilising on-demand streaming.

The report also highlights the importance of online access to music, with 31% of people using YouTube to listen to music and only 16% using Spotify and 15% CD. YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and the combination of Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited hold 87% of the streaming market, according to the AudienceNet survey.

When exploring how people access music online, there are again inter-generational differences, with 59% of 16 to 19-year-olds using for Spotify or Apple Music against 33% who used YouTube for on-demand music with just 34% of the over-45s listening to the two most popular subscription services (Spotify and Apple Music) compared to 39% who get their music from YouTube.

Key highlights for the UK Music Industry include 20 million cumulative track streams in week one for the release of Stormzy ‘s Gang Signs and Prayer. Stormzy is the first grime artist to reach number 1 in the UK Album Charts.

Music is a vital part of the UK’s Economy and it’s continued development is vital. The UK really are world-leaders when it comes to music – did you know, one in every eight albums sold worldwide is by a British artist?


The Music Workshop Company team is passionate about music and music education. If you have any questions for us, would like to pick our brains about a career in music or are interested in booking a workshop, contact us today!

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Looking Forward to 2017

david_bowie_-_toppop_1974_10As the year draws to a close, it’s a time to reflect on 2016 and to look forward to the New Year. 2016 has seen the deaths of many true music legends – popular musicians including Prince, Leonard Cohen and David Bowie, and over Christmas, George Michael and Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt. It has been a tough year in music education and the music industry too, with the ISM struggling to get a response to its Bacc for the Future Campaign and the anxiety caused by the Brexit vote.

Anniversaries

To start 2017 on a positive note there are opportunities to look back at the contributions of musicians over the centuries. The New Year marks the centenaries of Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie, two monumentally influential jazz musicians. Both Monk and Gillespie were born in October 2017. Monk was the most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington while Gillespie is recognised as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, and teacher to other great musicians including Miles Davis. An October celebration of these two kings of jazz could make a great focus for Black History Month. Look out for our blog about these great musicians later in the year…

Another renowned African American musician, Scott Joplin was born 150 years ago this year, and 2017 also marks the centenary of his death. Joplin died in tragic circumstances aged only 49, but his reputation as a pianist and his role in popularising Ragtime music mean he is still well known today.

department_store_ukulele_adIt is 350 years since the birth of Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi. Monteverdi was a key figure in the transition between the Renaissance and Baroque periods in music history. His opera, L’Orfeo, is the oldest surviving opera still regularly performed.

It is 50 years since the death of Hungarian composer and music edu
cator, Zoltán Kodály, who popularised the sol-fa method of vocal training, making music learning accessible to children of all backgrounds. Read more about the use of sol-fa in our blog Sol-Fa – Singing Through the Ages.

And it’s 100 years since that most popular of instruments, the ukulele, was patented by the Honolulu Ad Club!

Events

The Youth Music Give a Gig extravaganza will take place in March 2017. The Give a Gig Week will run from March 24 to 31, aiming to raise funds for Youth Music. Youth Music is asking musicians to organise concerts and events to raise money with artists including Liam Gallagher and Tom Odell already on board.

The UK’s biggest music education event, Rhinegold Music and Drama Education Expo, will take place in London on the 9th and 10th of February 2017. The Expo is a chance to network and get up to date with other music education professionals, and to take part in workshops, conference talks and CPD. Registration is already open online. And Rhinegold is launching an exciting new event in Manchester on October 4th, the Music and Drama Education Expo, for teachers of music and performing arts.

And finally, the 10th International Conference for Research in Music Education will be held at Bath Spa University between April 18th and 22nd, 2017.

The Conference website states:

The aim of the conference is to gather together researchers, teachers and practitioners to share and discuss research that is concerned with all aspects of teaching and learning in music: musical development, perception & understanding, creativity, learning theory, pedagogy, curriculum design, informal settings, music for special needs, technologies, instrumental teaching, teacher education, gender and culture. Music education is also viewed in the context of arts education, the whole curriculum and its sociocultural contexts.

Whatever your area of music education there are many exciting events taking place next year. If you’d like to let us know about an event, or to feature your event in a guest blog for the Music Workshop Company, feel free to contact us or to tell us about it in the comments below. The Music Workshop Company team wish you a happy, successful and musical New Year.

 

Making an Album – Advice from the Studio

photoThe music industry has centred around recordings for a long time. The album, which was originally a tool designed to promote the concert tour of an artist, has become the most important aspect for many musicians. But the process of making a record is complex and requires many considerations. Martin Lumsden, head of the Cream Room Recording Studio, talks to the Music Workshop Company about life on the other side of the microphone, and offers invaluable advice for any music students who are developing their own sound.

If you play music the chances are that at some point you will get involved in recording what you play. Whether you are working with a home studio or are engaging professional help, there are a few things you can take care of that will hugely enhance your chances of getting a great result.

Step One – Writing

It’s all too common to make the mistake of wasting a lot of money on trying to create a fully produced, mixed and mastered recording from incomplete or underdeveloped material, rather than spend some quality time (rather than money) on writing and composition and then choosing the pieces that work best.

Step Two – Preparation

Rehearsals

Now it’s really important that you get practising. By the time you get to the studio you want to know arrangements for your songs – the intro, verse, chorus, bridge etc structure – so use your practice time to make sure everyone knows their parts.. Studio time is normally charged by the hour and it will be your time and money that you are wasting if you use your paid for time to figure out or remember how your song or your part goes.

This could also be the point where you may want to start discussing your project with a producer as they have experience and expertise that can assist you with suggestions and guidance to finalise your ideas.

That’s not to say there is no room for creativity during recording – but that really only works if you’ve got a solid foundation laid down first.

Instruments and Gear

If you have instruments, make sure that you have them checked and fixed before heading off to your session. If there is an instrument you need but don’t have, look into renting or borrowing. Often your chosen studio will be able to help but they need to know in advance – don’t just turn up expecting everything to be provided for you. Use the best gear that you can get your hands on, make sure it’s in good condition and that know how to use it.

Step Three – Production

The Team

You are almost ready to get into the studio but first make sure you’ve got a good idea of who is involved and what they are going to be doing. You might be bringing in outside help – a producer, an engineer, session musicians for example – or doing the whole project yourselves, but it’s still a great idea to decide on some responsibilities.

The most important role at this stage is the producer – either someone that you’ve appointed or one of your band members but it really helps to identify who this will be from the start. Remember that a typical studio engineer is not a producer – their function is to set up mics and capture recordings – not help you make creative production decisions. If you’ve appointed a producer to make creative decisions it should be clear that that’s what they are being paid to do.

The Budget

Of course you’ll need to get an idea of how much will it cost to record. Normally it helps to provide as much detail as possible about your project so that the studio can get a clear idea of what is is you want to achieve. Then they should help you manage your time and the money in order to get the best result.

As a rough rule bear in mind that there are three areas that you can negotiate

  • Price
  • Time
  • Quality

Generally speaking you can choose two at the expense of the other one.

For example

  • if you want it cheap and quick you should be anticipating low quality.
  • if you want it quick and good quality, it will almost certainly cost more
  • if you want the highest quality, it will take time and a bigger budget.

Try to work out everything that you will need to spend money on

  • Studio Time
  • Engineer
  • Producer
  • Travel
  • Food
  • Strings etc
  • Don’t forget what about duplication / artwork design & printing / distribution costs

For any studio project your main expense is going to be time. Most studios charge by the hour or by the day – so Steps 1 & 2 are important as they will help you avoid wasting your precious budget.

It’s a really good idea to consider your budget at the start rather than realise you’ve spent lots of money and not got the result that you want. Remember this is going to be the way the world gets to hear your music so it’s better to record a small amount really well than a lot of tracks badly!

And if you’d like to see inside the studio, here’s a short video from the Cream Room…

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