Engage for Engagement

I’ve come across many musicians working in MI, dovetailing their own creativity with the anchor-point of a job in sales or distribution which genuinely interests them.  You may well be reading this and thinking ‘that’s me!’.

We’re all accustomed to streaming being the primary form of music consumption with several platforms (Eg. Spotify, Tidal etc.) having become a feature of daily life.  Even those of us still buying CDs and vinyl often have to look well beneath the surface to discover new independent artists. The one big record chain remaining in the UK highlights the mainstream new releases, but even finding the less well-known artists in the general racks can prove futile.

It would be easy to think this has no relevance to MI, but we are of course part of a 360-degree musical eco-system, wherein every element feeds into each other.  The working viability of musicians and the attractiveness of music as a career has a direct relationship with the development of future musicians – our future customers.

The part of DCMS responsible for data, ethics, and innovation is undertaking research into the impacts of the algorithms that drive listening recommendations.  The Musicians Union originally did significant work from the perspectives of musicians not only on this ‘competition’ element but also on the equity of remuneration – the well-known issue of musicians receiving minuscule amounts per stream compared to other Parties.

The current research by The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation does not include this aspect of the problem, but at least offers the opportunity to address issues around the dominance of major labels over smaller ones in the ‘you may also like’ recommendations.  Many MI customers (and those working within MI) with ambitions to build a profile, self-record and -produce their material, and for a musical career to be viable they need their music to be heard, unhindered by being denied the advantages of a high-profile label and promoter.

The CDEI survey being shared by the Musicians Union is aimed specifically at musical creators – if that’s you, creating music alongside your MI career, take a few minutes to complete it here.

If that isn’t you there’s still something you can do to support your colleagues and customers – shout about this on social media, and if you use the right tags it could have the additional benefit of bringing your brand(s) to the attention of new and future customers.

It’s always good to remind ourselves that anything happening in the music eco-system is relevant to our businesses and where we can make a difference, it can be beneficial to both the MI industry and those we serve.

The more you engage with musicians, current and future, the more they will engage with you.

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