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 second instalment of answers to the question ‘what was the best thing to happen to the music biz in 2016?’
Jo Dipple, chief executive, UK Music
Changes to planning law, although minor and not quite extensive enough, helped to protect grassroots music venues; stronger political support and understanding of the need for a legislative solution to allow the industry to recoup fair value from digital platforms using safe harbour protection, but the government has to do more than host another roundtable; oh and Matt Hancock helping get Mic Lowry on stage with Justin Bieber in Italy.
Pieter Van Rijn, CEO, FUGA
Growth in the digital space, as well as more people speaking out and offering greater control and transparency for content owners - something we have been fighting for since our inception.
Drew Hill, Managing Director, Proper Music Group
Physical formats continued to prove to be very resilient and we, as an industry, started to stop talking physical down and believe that the choice between physical and digital isn't binary after all.
Richard Davies, founder, Twickets
It has to be the the Culture, Media and Sport Committee holding an evidence session into ticket touts and bots harvesting tickets from primary sellers to the detriment of fans, artists and organisers of events via the secondary market. This is undoubtedly the first sign of politicians from both sides of the fence finally understanding the issue. The subsequent call for a more detailed enquiry bodes well for the future.
Malcolm Dunbar, co-founder, PledgeMusic
Thankfully, lots of good things happening in 2016 and one of the best for me was seeing the emergence of FanFair and the spotlight on some of the worst aspects of secondary ticketing. 2017 will hopefully see positive progress on this topic.
Jon Gisby, head of Europe, Vevo
We’re convinced that 2016 will be seen as a tipping point in many markets. The ongoing growth in smart devices, 4G, growing digital ad budgets and subscription are transforming the way the music business works. Although revenues haven¹t caught up yet, audiences have never had it so good.
Paul Everett, head of music partnerships UK & Ireland, Eventbrite
From a live perspective, the Government starting to pay some attention to what’s going on in the secondary ticketing market was a healthy positive.
Korda Marshall, executive vice president, new recordings, BMG
Some highlights of the year would have to be seeing BMG recording artists storm the UK album charts. With Rick Astley and blink-182 releasing two Number One albums and two more Top 5 albums with James and Jack Savoretti, it was the best year yet for BMG in recordings. Personally it was seeing my grandson’s first set of teeth finally arrive.
Miles Leonard, chairman, Parlophone Records
A new dawn for streaming and positive signs of growth.
Joe Harland, head of visualisation, BBC Radio 1
New albums being at the heart of the excited music debate across generations, platforms and broadcasters; Beyoncé, Nick Cave, Skepta, Drake, Bastille and many more.
Mike Walsh, head of music and deputy programme director, Radio X.
From a Radio X perspective, seeing great British bands that we love and have supported from day one – Catfish, The 1975 and Blossoms – irrefutably step up to arena level status. And the exciting thing is, they are still growing and will be even bigger this time next year with yet another massive summer behind them
Iain Watt, founder, Machine Management
The return of real the growth to recorded music after nearly 15 years of recession.
Jason Rackham, managing director, PIAS UK
The growth of competition in the streaming market is good for the business, and for consumer choice. Although the ‘exclusives’ war that raged could do with calming down to reduce confusion amongst consumers. Witnessing Christina And The Queens break into the mainstream from an independent label was also heart-warming in an environment of doom and gloom when it comes to breaking new artists.
Chris Price, head of music, BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra
Music consumption is exploding everywhere, including the UK, and as a fan it has never felt easier to find and fall in love with new music. Second only to seeing the global recorded music industry return to growth this year after nearly two decades of uninterrupted decline was seeing Skepta collect the Mercury Music Prize. It just felt so right, and so deserved.
Rhys Hughes, head of programmes, BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra
Grime taking over the Reading Festival.
Richard Hinkley, co-MD, UMC
Kim Frankiewicz, MD, Imagem Music UK
Record Companies started making good money from streaming, this gives hope for the business in general.
Dipesh Parmar, managing director, Ministry Of Sound Recordings
Sony buying Ministry of Sound Recordings.
Pete Leggatt, VP sales and business development, Sony Music UK
The continued growth of streaming returning the industry to growth.
Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, president, Columbia UK
There have been some fantastic new artists appearing.
Mark Collen, EVP international operations, Sony Music UK
For the overall industry , a real and sustained return to growth with streaming starting to drive revenue opportunities. More personally, watching the Rag’N’Bone Man story start as a spark in Switzerland back in the summer and turn into a roaring flame across Europe and now spreading into the UK, has been great.
Phil Savill, managing director, Sony Music UK
The launch of Amazon’s Echo is a really exciting development. We have always evolved as consumption patterns have changed from vinyl, cassette, CD, download and streaming on PC and mobile. I see the advent of devices like the Echo as the launch of another new format, that offers the chance for more people to have more music in their lives more of the time. That has to be good for all of us.
Joe Gossa, co-president, Black Butter Records
Skepta, Giggs, Wretch 32 and Kano with albums in the top 10. And of course, the rise of streaming.
Mike O’Keefe, VP of visual creative, Sony Music UK
Things feel more settled and the models of the way the business can operate in the future have really started to become established.
Andy Varley, president, Insanity Records
Streaming has given a much-needed boost in revenues to artists and allowed labels to invest in marketing albums in a more significant and meaningful way. Whilst it has led people to question the future of the traditional chart system, it has certainly kept people on their toes and made things more exciting, which can only be a good thing.
Isabel Garvey, MD, Abbey Road Studios
The long anticipated return to growth for the industry resulting in a vibrant year for all genres and types of music recordings.
Fiona Gillott, studios manager, Abbey Road Studios
Bros Live, dust off your bottle tops and rip those jeans.
Robert Ashcroft, CEO, PRS For Music
The joint venture between PPL and PRS.
Sarah Liversedge Platz, director A&R, Bucks Music Group
The best thing that happened to my business, BDi Music, in 2016 was that my songwriter, Amy Wadge, won Song Of The Year at the Grammys for co-writing Thinking Out Loud with Ed Sheeran. An amazing achievement for a female UK songwriter. I am also a very proud independent publisher. Not much I can add to this I’m afraid – it’s not been a great year for the music biz!
Paul Rodgers, head of BBC Radio 6 Music
A clearer, stronger focus on the value of music originating in the UK. And A Moon Shaped Pool started the Radiohead ball rolling again.
Craig Jennings, CEO, Raw Power Management
The streaming explosion.
Anthony Hippsley, talent manager, Bucks Music Management
Jack Garratt broke the pop mould and brought something innovative to reasonable success at both radio, charts and live with his album Phase.