'Los Angeles is the US music industry': Five things we learned from MUSEXPO 2018

'Los Angeles is the US music industry': Five things we learned from MUSEXPO 2018

Albert Hammond is a goddamn liar. It does rain in Southern California, as Music Week found out while in LA for MUSEXPO. Here's five other things we learned…

1. Los Angeles is the US music industry. Last year, it felt like the whole world was moving here. This year, it feels like everyone’s got over the novelty and is getting on with business. LA fizzes with the sense of stuff happening.

2. The influx means a re-shaping of the city’s infrastructure, sped up by the return of the good times and a desire to intermingle with LA’s tech industry. So a rejuvenated Warner Bros Records is leaving its legendary Burbank HQ to join the rest of Warner in moving downtown to the Arts District, also the site for new Spotify digs. And Apple is heading for Culver City, handy for Sony. LA, the most confusingly vast metropolis of them all, is suddenly feeling smaller.

3. Hollywood still rocks. Everywhere you go, you still hear rock music – but it’s Guns N’Roses or Red Hot Chili Peppers. LA badly needs new rock heroes. Greta Van Fleet seem to be the name on most execs’ lips...

4. It’s not just rock that’s looking for fresh blood. A&R was a key MUSEXPO focus and, while execs are still split on the ‘data vs gut instinct’ conundrum, the ubiquity of streaming means no one can afford to ignore the former.

5. After the recorded music revival, don’t rule out a radio comeback. BBC Radio 1 & 2 held their own in the streaming debates, while the Worldwide Radio Summit that followed MUSEXPO was packed. Plus, until a streaming service can drop Ice Cube’s It Was A Good Day at exactly the right moment in your cab ride, there will always be a place in the sun for radio. Or in the drizzle, for that matter…

 

* Catch up with events at MUSEXPO 2018: For Day 1, click here. For Day 2, click here. For Day 3, click here. For news of BBC Radio 1 & 2's big MUSEXPO award, click here. And for 10 killer quotes from this year's conference, click here.

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