Paul Brindley, co-founder Music Ally and consultant to IC tomorrow
IFPI’s Investing in Music report highlights how the global recorded music industry’s overall marketing spend is estimated to have gone down from $2.4bn in 2008 to $1.7bn in 2011, a drop of nearly 30% in just three years (nma.co.uk 13 Nov 2012).
This reflects the continued pressure on marketing budgets driven by the continued drop in physical sales and piracy but the increased use of digital channels also enables more cost effective targeting and segmenting of audiences by itself.
Overall digital now represents over 50% of recorded music income in the world’s most advanced markets, namely the US and indeed here in the UK. But worldwide it’s still just 30% according to IFPI.
Progress has been slower than might have been hoped and a lot could still be done to make the licensing of music for digital use much easier.
But, whether through force of circumstance or not, at least today’s music business seems much more comfortable with experimenting with digital.
From music hack days to initiatives like EMI’s Open EMI partnership with Echonest, the labels know that it’s the digital entrepreneurs who represent the best opportunity for future growth in their business. For instance, last week the Wall Street Journal claimed that one of the greatest digital music success stories to date, Spotify, is now worth $3bn.
Perhaps that’s why we found we were knocking at an open door when we reached out for music partners for an innovation contest we helped to put together for the government-backed Technology Strategy Board digital programme, IC tomorrow.
The contest includes six very open challenges set by music industry partners from across the value chain including Universal Music – in the guise of Decca Classics, Warner/Chappell Music, HMV, the BBC (BBC Proms), Rocket Management and prominent South London live music venue the Bedford (nma.co.uk 11 Oct 2012).
There are six pots of £24,000 on offer for the best ideas that will then be developed in partnership with each six of the challenge partners.
The contest is open to any UK-based individual or company and you don’t need either an existing product or service or a background in music to apply.
The application process involves filling in a simple webform and submitting a two-minute YouTube video outlining the idea and it’s not too late to apply.