Last week, I had some very interesting discussions with a well known UK music consultant Daniel Cross (head of Record-Play), who also runs an East-end indie label called TAPE. He was talking about the shifts he is seeing in the UK music industry and, yes, wait for it: digital is dead. No, not really. But that got my attention too. Rather, the model for revenue generation in music is shifting. TAPE – and indeed, many UK indies and industry heads – don’t even count digital as a serious driver of revenue anymore. And you can hardly blame them when labels make around 0.01p per play on music streaming services like Spotify. TAPE have moved music retail to the periphery of their business model, (they are returning 90% of digital and physical sales royalties to their artists), have set up a publishing division and launched a merchandising division with eco furniture designer Ryan Frank. They are small, they are agile and they are storming. Rather than make money off traditional and new retail platforms, they are using them as places to build, engage and grow communities and fans of their brand. Interesting to see that music businesses are going back to the roots of digital, for what made digital popular in the first place: people.

@nicole_harvey

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