Look to the future now: Why UK music will need to raise the bar even higher in 2018

Look to the future now: Why UK music will need to raise the bar even higher in 2018

So there it was, Merry Christmas. Hope everybody had fun?

2017 was a terrible year for the planet, but a great one for the music business, although older readers might like to remind their younger colleagues that it’s not always like that.

For those of us who’ve been in or around this industry for a while, it’s been a refreshing change to have plenty of good news to report.

That looks likely to continue into 2018 but, just as the nation will have to grapple with life outside the EU at some point in the not-too-distant future, so the music business might want to spend a quiet moment or two over the festive season contemplating international matters.

Because, if 2017 taught us anything, it’s that hits can now come from anywhere. Despacito emerged from the Latin market to become a global monster, something that would simply not have happened just a few years ago. Even our Breakthrough Artist Of The Year, Rag’N’Bone Man, initially broke in Europe.

One thing is certain: there will be more of this in the future. As fresh markets buy into music streaming, the likes of India, Russia and China will exert their considerable demographic might and push their artists to the top of global streaming charts.

The question then is whether the UK - with a population ranked only 21st in the world - will be able to continue to punch above its weight as a source of repertoire.

The phenomenal success of our Artist Of the Year, Ed Sheeran, shows what’s possible when all strands of our brilliant business pull together.

But pretty soon sheer weight of numbers might make such achievements an even harder task. So I hope you enjoyed your Christmas. But, as a wise man once said, the future’s only just begun…

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