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UK Music - A New Strategy for the Music Business?

UK Music is the new umbrella in the storm that is the Commercial Music Business that arrived last year after eons of bickering between the labels, the publishers, the indies, the unions, the managers and a few more about coming to consensus positions  and offering unified arguments to government.  UKM is headed/fronted by Fergal Sharkey, a charismatic talent offering a fearless, consistent and articulate representative voice for the those sectors that rely on Intellectual Property (Copyright) for their revenues.
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The recording industry has not been included in this grouping which, despite being a vital part of the supply chain, is consistently over-looked when holistic consideration is being given to the prospects for the overall music sector.  Nonetheless, all the participants in UK Music would have little to talk about without the role that the recording sector plays in producing their products, irrespective of the complex economic and legal constructs that bind content and production together.

With the likelihood of a new government after the inevitable general election next year, UKM have embarked on a consultation that seeks industry views in the preparation of a report/manifesto/strategy to put before the current and likely new governmental incumbents as they prepare their party manifestos.  The APRS has participated in this consultation highlighting that the fundamental relationship between talent, content and product has changed significantly, largely because of the impact of technologies, not only at the distribution end of the cycle, but just as importantly, at the production end.

The APRS supports (and has always supported) the intrinsic value of secure rights in content and products as well as the development of technical measures that identify products and their content components and which facilitate the management and protection of content contributions – (a vital part of resolving such problems as caused by P2P file sharing).  Whilst much will be made of the need for protectionist measures to safeguard (or recapture) an environment in which secure digital and physical trading can take place – our ability to provide such levels of service cannot be sustained without realistic compensation.


As the variety and extent of digital, bespoke deliverables that have been required by studio clients increase, the downward pressure (in a declining buyers market) on facility costs has increased to a point where the standard traditional business model between the recording sector and music sector is close to being terminally fractured. The studio sector is quickly approaching a minimal mass crisis where demand will so outstrip supply that significant rises in prices will be essential if studio recorded music is to continue.

Let’s hope UK Music can include sufficient vision in its final ‘strategy’ document to at least compensate for its apparent unwillingness to include the recording sector in its copyright club – we are on the same side after all?


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