As 2016 draws to a close, Music Week speaks to some of the biggest names from across the industry to find out their favourite moments from the past 12 months.
In what has been one of the most eventful years for the music industry in recent memory, there’s been plenty to mull over. Whether it’s the rise of grime, the streaming boom or the industry’s fight back over secondary ticketing, our execs have picked out plenty of memorable moments. So many, in fact, that we can’t squeeze them all into one piece.
Throughout the week we’ll be providing snapshots of what the industry cited as its best moments, and you can read our full review of the year in our bumper Christmas edition, which is out now.
See below for the first instalment of answers to the question ‘what was the best thing to happen to the music biz in 2016?’
Martin Bandier, chairman/CEO, Sony/ATV
The best and worst thing is streaming. Streaming has surpassed physical and digital download sales and its growth seems endless. However, the bad news is that our songwriters are not being fairly paid in the streaming world, which is undermining what they do and threatening their livelihoods.
Anton Lockwood, Director DHP Family Live
Some progress across the world in the battle against secondary ticketing, and good engagement from people like FanFair leading to it being visible on political agendas.
Paul Reed, general manager, AIM
That despite challenging market conditions and uncertainty, especially following Brexit, UK festivals continued to innovate, find new formats and craft unforgettable, vital experiences for fans.
Kim Bayley, CEO, ERA
The emergence of a new, more pragmatic and constructive relationship between record companies and their partners in retail and digital. The fact is that we need labels to deliver hit acts which excite the public, and labels, publishers and artists need the innovation and investment in the distribution of music which only retailers and digital services can deliver. It is good to see a growing recognition of that mutual self-interest.
Vanessa Higgins, director, Regent Street Records
The BPI Innovation Hub of course! I would say that though – I’ve been working on it for best part of a year and the reaction so far has been ace. Also, Skepta’s mum dancing on stage at the Mercury Prize - that win was so important for so many reasons, and was exemplified in her grooving on stage.
Jane Dyball, CEO, MPA Group of Companies
The creation of a fantastic new young dynamic hardworking and, most of all, fun team at the MPA Group companies who were able to rise to the occasion with anything I threw at them. And I threw a lot! They will be the CEOs of the future.
David Bianchi, global CEO, Various Artists Management
The continued rise of Spotify and Apple Music.
Mike Smith, managing director, Warner/Chappell Music
The fact that more music fans have embraced subscription streaming, driving overall revenue growth, is great for the biz. For many years, even the campaigns with the best A&R and promotion behind them were running up a down escalator in business terms as CD sales fell and download revenue didn’t make up the loss. The environment is now much healthier and that means more opportunities for our songwriters.
Nick Raphael, Capitol Records UK, president
Personally, Sam [Smith] and Jimmy [Napes] winning the Oscar. Industry-wide, the growth of streaming.
Colin Lester, chair/CEO, JEM Music Group
Getting clarity about the future. Having seen a huge incline in streaming and the effect radio is having directly on the album charts gives us an opportunity to build on actual consumer trends and line our ducks up for next year with some amount of certainty and vision.
Simon Barnabas, managing director, Universal Music On Demand
The forward-thinking creation of a new company called Universal Music On Demand, built to fuel consumers’ insatiable requirement for curated music across their platform of choice.
Martin Goldschmidt, chairman, Cooking Vinyl
Donald Trump - he will inspire some great music. There's too much bland shit. Can't wait to hear what Killer Mike has to say on the subject.
Ben Mortimer, co-president, Polydor
Streaming revolutionising the way we can break artists.
Geoff Taylor, CEO, BPI
Skepta winning the Mercury Prize. To succeed, the industry must champion all of our musical and executive talent, and this moment felt like a breakthrough.
Annette Barrett, managing director, Reservoir/Reverb Music
What was the best thing that happened to the music biz in 2016? Gema (the German Society) finally agreed a deal with You-Tube after a lengthy dispute of seven years. On 1st Nov 2016, Gema and You-Tube signed a licensing agreement, which also covers the contractual gap since 2009. 70,000 music authors and publishers represented by Gema are now going to receive remuneration for the exploitation of their musical works protected by copyright.
Guy Moot, managing director, Sony/ATV UK
It’s an obvious answer, but an increase in streaming revenues and the launch of more streaming services. Also, while I voted Remain, Brexit may end up becoming an opportunity for the industry if the Government focuses on making the UK a creative capital of the world.
Sammy Andrews, artist manager
The formation of OMI (Open Music Initiative) is a huge step forward. For too long our industry has insisted on playing a new game by old rules and our current systems are unthinkably archaic. OMI has gathered support from all corners of the industry for the development of a decentralized global platform to ensure we can efficiently manage creative rights and royalties. I urge companies not familiar with the initiative to check it out.
Ted Cockle, president, Virgin EMI
Strangely, in amongst the horror of losing so many incredible artists this year, I do believe it did serve to remind people just quite how big a contribution music can actually makes to people's lives.
Peter Leathem, chief executive, PPL
From a PPL perspective, we are pleased that we have been able to agree terms with PRS to build a Joint Venture company to deliver a more streamlined one-stop licensing process to our public performance customers (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices, factories, etc.) and an even more cost effective service to our members. We are now well into the building of the Joint Venture which will launch in Leicester in the second half of 2017, while all of PPL’s other operations will continue in London.
Diane Wagg, co-chair MMF/Deluxxe Management
Aside from recorded music growing again, the mental health and welfare of artists and our industry personnel is finally being addressed and brought to the forefront. Extraordinary that over decades of tragic losses in the entertainment world, we’ve never developed proper support systems for our artists and our music business teams.
Simon Pursehouse, director of music services, Sentric Music
For me, it’s the beginning of the shift in the change of chart king-making power moving from the clutches of radio playlists to curated streaming playlists. Granted, the main beneficiary for that this year was Drake’s One Dance, but ultimately I believe it’ll result in a much more even playing field between major, indie & unsigned artists in terms of chart placement.
Mark Dowling, director, Absolute Label Services
The continued growth of streaming across the industry.
Dan Chalmers, President, Rhino, East West and ADA UK
The accelerated growth of streaming platforms.
Phil Christie, president, Warner Bros. Records UK
Streaming revenues delivering true growth.
Peter Breeden, CFO, Warner Music UK
With the increase in subscribers on Spotify and Apple Music, as well as the launch of a new service from Amazon, some encouraging signs of revenue growth in our market for the first time in more than a decade.
Derek Allen, SVP Commercial, Warner Music UK
The prospect of the UK market moving into an era of genuine growth.
Mark Meharry, CEO, Music Glue
The Culture Media & Sport Committee meeting on the 16th November regarding the distortion of the ticketing markets caused by the use of technology (bots and software) to ‘harvest’ large numbers of tickets. The meeting, however, has shed a light on much more far-ranging and disturbing factors in the market, including clear indications of too close relationships between those selling tickets on the primary market and sellers on the secondary market, leading the committee to conclude that a full investigation of the whole area of ticketing is needed.