Future of Music in the Digital World, Dublin, June 2013

This is a guest post by Andrew Dyce, a lecturer in music and music business at Perth College UHI. Andrew is also an artist manager and co-founder of Glasgow based label, Saraseto Records. He liveblogged the Future of Music in the Digital World Conference held in Dublin in June 2013 and captured it all in this Storify.

The Future of Music in the Digital World conference, hosted by the Contemporary Music Centre, explored the opportunities and concerns that the digital music industries have proposed.

Keynote speaker Julie Feeney, articulated her own approach to engaging her audiences through social media, whilst encouraging artists to choose and utilise their own tools carefully. Andrew Dubber, expanded on his concept of ‘Experimental Pragmatism’, asserting that artists should feel free to customise and only use tools that meet their needs.

Perhaps the most frequent concern raised during the conference, was the complicated and often non-existent income streams available to artists, labels and publishers. Artists expressed concerns regarding revenue and the popularity of streaming. Once heralded as the future of the music industry, streaming platforms have yet to generate meaningful income for artists and there is little evidence to suggest that will change anytime soon. There is some evidence of growth in Scandinavian markets, although, for the moment at least, these signs of growth are isolated (IFPI, 2013). Although the expectations the recording industry has of streaming to return significant revenue appear optimistic at best and, at worst, misplaced.

As Frank Oteri acknowledged, new technologies have brought with them significant new opportunities for the music industry. Perhaps the most important opportunity is for the music industry itself; a genuine chance to abandon outdated and often restrictive business models in favour of an open, participative approach which encourages collaboration to face new challenges collectively.

Special thanks to Paul Long and Jez Collins at BCU for their hospitality and banter.