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Interesting facts from the future

Well, I say “the future”… that’s based purely on Gerd Leonhard‘s title of “Media Futurist”. I was recently lucky enough to spend a couple of days in the presence of him and Jeremy Silver at Future Music Labs, part of Creative Capital in Canary Wharf, London.

They both gave fascinating talks at the beginning of the first day, and I took lots of notes. I’ve just been looking back over them and thought there were a few snippits that are worth sharing. This will all appear in bullet-point form, as I can’t remember the exact context of each fact and wouldn’t want to misquote Jeremy or Gerd. Also, apologies if some of the facts don’t make that much sense out of context. They obviously don’t have the great slides that Gerd and Jeremy used to illustrate their points, too. You can see the slides for Jeremy’s presentation here, and Gerd’s here.

If they don’t make sense then let me know – I’ll improve my note taking technique!

Also, I’ll be adding news links to back up as much of this information as i can, when I can.

Jeremy Silver

  • The “value” in creative industries tends to be in digital media.
  • In 9 years the music industry has lost 40 percent of its value.
  • 20 – 25 percent of sales across the board are digital.
  • Games companies are making money!
  • Youtube‘s bandwidth costs $1m a day to maintain, and their daily loss exceeds $1m a day.
  • In the UK £357 is spent on advertising per head of population (from memory, this is annually). 19 percent of this is online, the highest percentage in the world.
  • The UK has the highest per capita spend on music. $82 a year.
  • Consumers are very sophisticated and want to interact with music – e.g. see Rockband & Singstar, Radiohead allowing fans to remix tunes etc.


Gerd Leonhard

  • 92 percent of Google’s revenue is from Adwords.
  • Total fragmentation of the market is certain. Very few models work for everyone anymore. We’ll never see anyone having hits on the scale of The Beatles again. In TV Dallas used to get 70 percent of US viewers. Today the top show, American Idol, gets just 7 percent.
  • Physical Media and productised content is the past.
  • 1.7 million new mobile users in India every week.
  • 6.8 billion minutes a day are spent on Facebook. It is a broadcaster, as are all social network.
  • We’re living in an age of “Attention Challenge”. Distribution is now a default setting.
  • Brand magnetism is everything. If you love them, you’ll buy them.
  • “Money is just a type of information” – www.kk.org
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Passion, perseverance, and stuff


I saw the film Anvil a few nights ago. It’s a documentary about a rock band who, thirty years on from being on the verge of greatness, are living in near-obscurity and decide to give it one last push before giving up for good. It’s an absolutely brillant (and hilarious) film and I was incredibly touched by their perseverance, their passion and their lust for life. And it reminded me that perseverance is that rare quality that is usually the one factor that many people are missing out on when looking for success.

I often advise people on small business and creative industries, and tell them to look at the top DJs and producers in the world: Carl Cox, Pete Tong, Sasha, Roger Sanchez, Eric Morillo, The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, The Prodigy etc – I’m fairly certain that not one of them is under 40, and I know that some of them are over 50. (edit – I’m reliably informed by Ian -see comments below- that Liam from the Prodigy is a spritely 37). The average age of the freshest, hottest 3 DJs in the world (Tiesto, Armin van Buuren and Paul van Dyk) is 37.2.

Being a DJ is usually considered to be a youngster’s game. These guys are clear evidence that if you’re good enough you might make it, BUT if you’re good enough AND you’re willing to stick at it long enough then you’ll definitely improve your chances of making it. I suppose it’s a case of having the talent, and using the perseverance to maximise the likelihood of getting your break…

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer”. ~Albert Einstein


A few bits and pieces…

————————

We’ve recently announced details of Ignite Cardiff #2, and with that in mind I thought I’d link to this article explaining how to “Deliver a Presentation like Steve Jobs”.

14 Tools Of Highly Effective Twitter Users
– I particularly like the first tool. I’d be more inclined to find out how annoying I am though, rather than vet others before following….

This looks quite interesting if you’re based near South Wales and are in the creative industries, innovation, enterprise etc. I’ll probably be there.

This link is either the greatest link ever for a procrastinator, or a fascinating archive of the things that amused us over the early years of “the internet age”.

Very interesting take on what’s “killing” the music industry. Not illegal downloads, according to the author. Surprised to see that the value of music being shipped is more today than it was in 1993.

My Dad’s been very ill recently, and I’ve been “hanging out” at an online forum where people exchange experiences and support about the illness that he’s suffering from. One post struck me as absolute gold: A woman has become very housebound and insular in the last year, not wishing to leave the house. But in the recent snow her husband and kids persuaded her to go out and make a snowman with them. The phrase that convinced her to get out there? “Let’s go make some memories“.

Life is short, and all we really have at the end of it is our memories, so go make some.

* The pic at the top is of my girlfriend and I, mid-jump, making some snowy memories a few weeks ago. That blurry shot is the best of about 15 attempts to get a shot of us mid air in the snow, using a self timer!

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bands business creative industries future interesting music Music Industry myspace web 2.0

HMV buys into music venues


Not only is the traditional music retail industry in dire trouble, but there’s a huge global recession squeezing the life out of every high street store. It’s no surprise then that HMV are looking to diversify. It’s probably the only way they’ll survive the next five years and not “do a Zavvi”. They’ll spend almost 20 million quid investing in a string of venues (including the soon to be named HMV Apollo).

More details here.

Categories
bands business creative industries future interesting music Music Industry myspace web 2.0

HMV buys into music venues


Not only is the traditional music retail industry in dire trouble, but there’s a huge global recession squeezing the life out of every high street store. It’s no surprise then that HMV are looking to diversify. It’s probably the only way they’ll survive the next five years and not “do a Zavvi”. They’ll spend almost 20 million quid investing in a string of venues (including the soon to be named HMV Apollo).

More details here.

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Why you should give it away

Andrew Dubber has just written the most concise, brilliant post about why you should give away your music online for free (or more correctly, why you shouldn’t be scared of giving away your music for free). Of course, this applies to almost any creative works, whether it’s music, writing, video etc etc.

Read it here. I’ll certainly be pointing people in its direction constantly for the forseeable future….

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2008 interesting internet music Music Industry silicon valley web 2.0

MP3 Sales: Another nail for the long tail?

Chris Anderson‘s 2006 Long Tail theory states that because the web provides unlimited availability of vast amounts of niche and specialist music/films/books/whatever that there will be perpetual sales for the relevant artists, authors and creators of this content. But in an update to their recent findings, the PRS-MCPS Alliance (the UK’s music royalty collection organisation) has announced that only 173,000 of the 1.23 million albums available online actually made a single sale last year. In other words 85 percent didn’t sell even one copy. This is in addition to their recent announcement that 10 million of the 13 million individual tracks available online didn’t find a single buyer. Anderson is stoutly defending his economic model of the new web-based landscape, but who knows what further data is out there to strengthen or weaken is argument?

Is the Long Tail a dead theory already? Is one year’s data in just one sector enough to kill it off? Or should we see the theory as along term economic model that will take time to develop? Or do we just accept that the web makes those producing niche content a little easier to find – a slightly healthier short tail…?

pic credit: novelr.com

Categories
2008 interesting internet music Music Industry silicon valley web 2.0

MP3 Sales: Another nail for the long tail?

Chris Anderson‘s 2006 Long Tail theory states that because the web provides unlimited availability of vast amounts of niche and specialist music/films/books/whatever that there will be perpetual sales for the relevant artists, authors and creators of this content. But in an update to their recent findings, the PRS-MCPS Alliance (the UK’s music royalty collection organisation) has announced that only 173,000 of the 1.23 million albums available online actually made a single sale last year. In other words 85 percent didn’t sell even one copy. This is in addition to their recent announcement that 10 million of the 13 million individual tracks available online didn’t find a single buyer. Anderson is stoutly defending his economic model of the new web-based landscape, but who knows what further data is out there to strengthen or weaken is argument?

Is the Long Tail a dead theory already? Is one year’s data in just one sector enough to kill it off? Or should we see the theory as along term economic model that will take time to develop? Or do we just accept that the web makes those producing niche content a little easier to find – a slightly healthier short tail…?

pic credit: novelr.com

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Pollen is dead. Long live Nocci.

I’m really proud and pleased to announce the “re-launch” of Nocci, the network for the creative industries. It started in a small way in Cardiff last year, but now we’re rolling it out across the UK and beyond. It used to be called Pollen. But now it’s not!

The site is still a little bit of a work in progress, but I’m so chuffed with it as it stands. I have to thank the brilliant Marc and Milen for putting in such great work on it. I can’t recommend both of them highly enough.

Please check out the new site, sign up and get involved with the forum. We’re also looking for people to run Pollen events in their part of the UK/world.

Also, I have to say that I am *stupidly* excited by the news that Stevie Wonder is doing some dates in the UK in September. I’ll do whatever it takes to get tickets!

p.s. If you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “nocky”.

(This blog’s picture was taken at The Big Chill festival a few years ago, by the side of one of the ponds)

Categories
business chamber of commerce creative creative industries entrepreneur Entrepreneurship free geek interesting internet marketing media music Music Industry startup web 2.0

Pollen is dead. Long live Nocci.

I’m really proud and pleased to announce the “re-launch” of Nocci, the network for the creative industries. It started in a small way in Cardiff last year, but now we’re rolling it out across the UK and beyond. It used to be called Pollen. But now it’s not!

The site is still a little bit of a work in progress, but I’m so chuffed with it as it stands. I have to thank the brilliant Marc and Milen for putting in such great work on it. I can’t recommend both of them highly enough.

Please check out the new site, sign up and get involved with the forum. We’re also looking for people to run Pollen events in their part of the UK/world.

Also, I have to say that I am *stupidly* excited by the news that Stevie Wonder is doing some dates in the UK in September. I’ll do whatever it takes to get tickets!

p.s. If you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “nocky”.

(This blog’s picture was taken at The Big Chill festival a few years ago, by the side of one of the ponds)

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2008 creative entrepreneur Entrepreneurship home working interesting internet marketing music Music Industry planning startup wales web 2.0 working from home

Knowing what’s good for you…

I’ve been incredibly busy and stressed of late. I tend to deal with it pretty well as a rule, but the lack of sleep, added to the travel and poor diet, has resulted in me being pretty wiped at all times for the last week or so.

So at the beginning of this week I committed to being in bed by 10pm for three consecutive nights, gorged on vegetables, and went out for a couple of long runs. Result? Bags of energy and feeling like a new man.

It’s so important when you’re working on several projects to manage your time effectively, but most of us (me included) never seem to schedule in time for “self-maintenance”. Schedule an hour of your day to looking after yourself (swimming, running, tai-chi, meditation, press-ups or all of the above) and your productivity and energy levels will sky-rocket.

News in brief –

– I wrote and produced a documentary about Prince, a childhood hero of mine, a few weeks ago for an ace internet radio station. You can download it here. Nudge me if the link has expired and I’ll upload it again.

– I’ve been working with Milen from MTR Design and Marc from The Undercard to get a new Pollen website up and running. It’ll be going live within about 24 hours, I hope. So keep checking back to www.pollenhq.com to see the utterly brilliant site they’ve put together. It’s been a genuine pleasure working with both of them and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

– I’ve decided to make my blog a bit more attractive by using some of my photos in it. They won’t necessarily relate to the blog (this week features a shot I took in Lyon when I was there doing a gig a few years ago), but they should make it a bit more colourful around here….