In light of the recent disruption to the music industry as a result of Covid-19, artists need to find new ways to maintain their connection with audiences around the world, and to help sustain a living, with touring not currently an option. Whilst by no means a new technology, live streaming has become significantly more popular as a result. Music Ally’s ‘Bringing Live Online’ module will cover a range of platforms, case studies and lessons for artists. Besides the big platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube and Twitch, we’ll be looking at newer and/or more-niche platforms like YouNow, and some of the creative ways that artists have been using them to connect and make money.
Date: Thursday 9th July
Time: 3:00pm – 4.30pm
Bookings: FREE Online Seminar | Booking Essential | Email: ei.ormi@stneve to reserve your place.
About Music Ally
Music Ally launched in 2002 with a mission to help the global music industry to thrive from digital disruption rather than fear it. Their original focus was on providing news and analysis of the way technology is impacting the industry and providing strategy and research to enable music companies to navigate the new landscape. Over time they have evolved, now providing more hands-on marketing services and training for music professionals around the world. Music Ally also plays a role connecting different communities by organising regular conferences, including NY:LON Connect and Sandbox Summit in London and New York, and social events with partners including Music Biz, by:Larm, AWAL, Midem and Circulart. They are currently exploring the evolution of the global music business, publishing regular profiles and analysis of expanding markets as well as launching an editorial service in Japan, opening an office in Medellín, Colombia with plans for Music Ally Africa and Music Ally China too. Their clients are across the music and technology sectors, and include all of the major labels, many independents, music publishers, management companies and music platforms like Spotify, Amazon, Facebook and Google.
Over the years, IMRO has consistently pushed for gender balance in the Irish music industry. We take a look at its work with important organisations like Keychange, Sounding The Feminists and Girls Rock Dublin | By Lucy O’Toole, Hot Press
You may be aware of IMRO’s important work collecting and distributing performance royalties, but did you know that the organisation also plays a crucial role in fighting to end inequality in the music industry? Whether sponsoring groundbreaking gender balance initiatives, hosting seminars, or supporting the next generation of young female musicians, IMRO has continuously positioned itself at the forefront of the battle for gender equality in music.
Although female pop stars like Beyoncé and Ariana Grande are headlining some of the biggest stages around the world, it’s important to also recognise that women remain severely underrepresented in numerous roles across the music sector. In January 2019, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in Los Angeles published their second annual report on gender and race in popular music, and found that, across 700 popular songs from 2012 to 2018, only 2.1% of producers were women.
The situation in Ireland and wider Europe is just as challenging. However, IMRO is one of several major organisations looking at ways to address this lack of representation. In December 2018, IMRO announced its sponsorship of PRS Foundation’s Keychange initiative – a project that’s tackling gender inequality at music festivals head-on.
“We have a pledge that festivals can sign up to, so they can target reaching a 50:50 gender balance by the year 2022,” project manager Jess Partridge told Hot Press earlier this year. “Over 150 festivals have signed up since we started a year ago, and it’s constantly growing.”
Keychange is also a talent development programme, investing in the next generation of female talent in music. In the first stage of the programme, Partridge revealed that Keychange brought “a group of 60 women to different festivals, and has put on workshops to give the women an opportunity to network.”
By partnering up with Keychange, IMRO has joined a prestigious list of sponsors that includes the likes of Spotify, Soundcloud, the British Council, Songtrust and various other national performance rights organisations. IMRO’s support is enabling female artists from Ireland to take part in this unique initiative, and to collaborate with artists from a network of 12 countries, as Keychange continues to expand its programme. Ireland’s Hard Working Class Heroes Festival is a participant in the initiative.
Speaking at the announcement of the partnership, IMRO’s Eleanor McEvoy stressed that that “international collaboration is essential to the creative and business development of all artists and the music industry’s future success. Enabling more women access to international networks and new markets at critical stages in their career will help them realise their potential as future leaders of an industry that is ready for and will benefit from change,” she continued. “Right now we have an opportunity to respond and commit to tangible change within the music industry. Our hope is that this will be the start of a more balanced industry which will result in benefits for everyone.”
Of course, the fight for gender equality in the music industry is a multifaceted one. Seminars, public meetings and workshops are all crucial steps towards sparking a wider conversation about representation in the music sector. With support from IMRO, Sounding The Feminists (STF), an Irish-based, voluntary-led collective of composers, performers, musicologists, critics and promoters, have organised a series of free music industry seminars for female (cis and trans) and non-binary artists of any age or experience level.
Through these ‘Pitch Perfect’ professional development workshops, STF looks to address the lack of representation across the music sector, while also building a community where gender issues can be readily discussed. Participants are offered instruction in how to best pitch their ideas to organisations, publishers, agents and radio stations. In doing so, the women learn how to carve out a positive space for themselves within the music sector.
Through IMRO’s sponsorship, STF have been able to cover the expenses of participants travelling to the workshop from outside Dublin City Centre – ensuring that the free seminars can be accessed by all.
IMRO are also passionate about building an inclusive world for the next generation of Irish talent, and as such, are nurturing young female musicians through their sponsorship of Girls Rock Dublin. Part of the global Girls Rock movement, the camp provides a unique environment in which 20 teenage girls can express themselves through music tuition and collaborative workshops.
Led by coaches active in the local independent music scene, along with some very special guests, the camp provides an invaluable space for young female artists, many of whom describe feeling intimidated by the male-dominated music world when starting out. “Our aim is to build up self-esteem in girls, but what we’re ultimately trying to do is bring about a new, confident generation of female musicians, and a gender balanced music scene,” Rossella Bottone of Girls Rock Dublin tells IMRO.
“Last year I found out about the IMRO sponsorship, and decided to get in touch with them to see if we matched their criteria,” she continues. “They loved our gender balance focus. This year we’ve applied again and got the same sponsorship, which is great. It’s nice to know that they really care about what a group of volunteers like us are doing.”
Based in the Sound Training College in Temple Bar, Girls Rock Dublin caters for those who identify as female (trans and cis) or gender non-binary, aged between 12 and 17. Since its launch three years ago, the non-profit group has passionately embraced and promoted diversity.
“Half of our 20 places go to applicants from low-income households and direct provision,” Rossella says. “We’ve recruited girls in direct provision through organisations that work with them directly, like MASI [Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland] and RAMSI [Refugee and Migrant Solidarity Ireland]. It’s an issue we’re really passionate about.”
2019 also saw the introduction of a Ladies Camp on the October Bank Holiday for artists over 18, as well as the launch of the Girls Rock Dublin Gear Library, in partnership with Dublin Public Libraries. The programme, which will allow teenagers to loan out music equipment, is sure to become an important resource for up-and-coming, cash-strapped musicians.
With the support of IMRO, Girls Rock Dublin has also hosted the ‘Switched On’ interactive evening workshop, for women over 18. Led by expert coaches, the participants were offered the opportunity to explore one of three key topics: live sound engineering, guitar and bass pedal effects, and vocal looping. The fee for the ‘Switched On’ workshops also went back towards funding the Girls Rock Dublin summer camp – allowing female musicians to support their younger counterparts, while also learning invaluable skills.
IMRO has also reached out to the next generation of emerging female talent by hosting songwriting masterclasses with Grammy nominee Carla Marie Williams. The interactive workshop coincided with Women’s History Month in March this year, and covered the fundamentals of songwriting, while simultaneously serving to empower Ireland’s future female songwriters, producers and artists.
While the struggle for gender equality in the music industry is far from over, the work of groups like Keychange, Sounding The Feminists and Girls Rock Dublin has ensured that the issue is finally coming to the attention of wider society. By working closely with these valuable organisations and initiatives, IMRO has taken significant steps towards making gender balance in the Irish music scene the accepted norm, allowing artists to concentrate on the important stuff – making music.
After an overwhelmingly positive response to Other Voices ‘Courage’ worldwide – with over 1.15 million views total – it will return with a brand new series on the 23rd of June. Series two of the live streamed concerts will feature an all star lineup of artists performing in a selection of iconic cultural and heritage locations around the country.
The first episode of the second series will feature performances from acclaimed alternative folk musician James Vincent McMorrow, who is just about to release his fifth album and choice prize nominated singer songwriter Maija Sofia. They will be joining us from the beautiful location of Killruddery House and Gardens in Bray Co. Wicklow.
On Thursday 25th of June winners of the 2020 RTÉ Choice Prize LANKUM will perform live from Kilkenny Castle.
Further performances will be streamed from Glenveagh National Park, The Crawford Gallery in Cork City along with the Guildhall in Derry, the Guinness Storehouse and Swords Castle in Fingal.
Once again performances will take place on Tuesday and Thursday nights and will be made available worldwide, free of charge, due to the support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, RTÉ and IMRO. Courage series one is currently being shown on RTÉ 2 Thursdays at 23:30.
Speaking of the project Minister Madigan said: “Building on the phenomenal success of the original Courage programme with a reach of over 2.7m, I am delighted to support this new initiative of live streamed performances from some of our best known heritage sites. The outpouring of wellbeing created by the first series of performances will no doubt be carried through Courage 2 and reminds us that culture lifts us up beyond circumstance and challenges and is vital to the core of our collective humanity.”
IMRO Chief Executive Victor Finn said: “In times of crisis we often turn to music creators and artists for their unique ability to interpret and reflect on the world in which we live. Music is a collective experience which can overcome physical distance and is the perfect antidote to the growing sense of alienation and isolation we have all felt in recent times – even more so, now we are being asked to actively practise social distancing. The Other Voices ‘Courage’ series brings some of our finest Irish music creators to the world stage from a number of unique locations around Ireland in what we hope will be inspiring and unforgettable performances.”
Other Voices founder and director Philip King said: “We are delighted to present this second season of Other Voices Courage as part of the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is about bringing people together through music, and recognising the essential and powerful contribution that artists continue to make to our lives. We are inspired by the response here in Ireland and globally to the first season of Other Voices Courage, and our artists and crews have helped to bring beauty, solace, strength and a sense of belonging to people at this time of national and global crisis – is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine. The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has played a leading and imaginative role in making it possible for our artists and crews to work together to create and present Other Voices Courage.”
ABOUT JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW
Over the last decade, Dublin-born McMorrow has established himself as a multi-faceted songwriter with a vast spectrum of styles. He sings, produces, plays everything, and has a network of collaborators that stretches around the world. He’s crafted a home for himself in the worlds of hip-hop and textured r&b, even worked on Drake’s 2016 album, Views. It’s fair to say his early days of being pigeon-holed as an ‘indie folk singer-songwriter’ are long dead. He’s remained resolutely independent this whole time, self-financing his artistic ambition. But for his new record, Grapefruit Season, he felt it was time to push things up a level. McMorrow’s internal journey of the last ten years underpins the lyrics of the album. “I have more responsibilities, people and expectations around me than ever, and the world is constantly telling me to change and grow as a person,” he explains. “But I don’t feel any more responsible or capable than I did when I was 18 years old. The record is about embracing the idea that it’s okay to not have things figured out. It’s about embracing the chaos and belligerence of life, rather than bending or changing yourself to suit what society expects of you,” he says.
ABOUT MAIJA SOFIA
Maija Sofia Makela is a musician and writer from rural Co. Galway. Her uniquely striking debut album ‘Bathtime’, a collection of songs exploring the female experience throughout art, history and folklore was released in November 2019 through Trapped Animal Records to unanimous praise across Irish and UK media. It was nominated for the prestigious RTE Choice Award Irish Album of the Year and was described in the Sunday Times as “quietly breathtaking […] the arrival of a unique new voice.”
Lankum have an alchemical ability to combine traditional folk roots with contemporary undercurrents to forge music that is dark, mysterious and transcendental.Comprising brothers Ian Lynch (uillean pipes, tin whistle, vocals), Daragh Lynch (vocals, guitar) alongside Cormac Mac Diarmada (fiddle) and Radie Peat (harmonium, accordion, vocals), Lankum channel a diverse set of influences and histories to create a beautifully rare thing: a songbook from and for the people.Their third full length album The Livelong Day, which was released on Rough Trade Records at the end of 2019 won the band the coveted RTÉ Choice Prize. The album blends alternative folk and psychedelia to cement their reputation as one of the most talked about groups to emerge from Ireland in decades. Born of years criss-crossing Dublin’s folk and experimental scenes, their previous two albums Cold Old Fire (2013, recorded under former name Lynched) and Rough Trade debut Between The Earth and Sky (2017) breathed new life into ancient/modern rituals with urban punk fervour, rural psycho-geography and, underpinning it all, the eternal drone of the uilleann pipes.
As the EU has started discussing the proposed recovery plan, 94 organisations from across Europe’s cultural and creative sectors are uniting their voices to alert EU leaders : our sector needs strong and systemic support measures to recover from this crisis.
As it is now well understood, the cultural and creative world is one of the first and hardest hit by the crisis.
According to the Commission’s own estimates, some parts of our sector – which accounts for €509bn in value added to GDP and over 12 million full-time jobs – are expected to lose up to 80% of their turnover in the 2nd quarter of 2020.
We have a higher than average percentage of self-employed workers, freelancers, micro-businesses and youth employment, which makes us particularly vulnerable in times of crisis.
As the European economy is slowly restarting, it is far from business as usual. Cultural actors are gradually resuming their activities, but all have to implement strict safety rules which means they won’t be operating at full capacity for the foreseeable future and are therefore facing challenging economic decisions. From individual creators and creative workers all the way to big production and media companies, the whole value chain is impacted.
And yet the recovery package announced by the Commission on 27 May does not reflect the reality of the cultural and creative sector, despite the encouraging messages by the Commission and the strong position taken by the European Parliament. The proposal on the table falls way short of our sector’s expectations:
Despite being identified as one of 14 of the hardest hit ecosystems, there is neither a sector specific instrument for culture, nor a clear indication on whether or how we can benefit from different instruments. The section on REACT-EU in the Commission’s Communication refers to culture, but there is no guarantee that we will receive appropriate support.
As for Creative Europe, the EU’s only programme specifically dedicated to the cultural and creative sector, the Commission’s announcement is a missed opportunity and a real disappointment. Along with the budget dedicated to education and youth, the budget dedicated to culture is the only one to decrease compared to the Commission’s own 2018 proposal, and it is a far cry from the European parliament’ .. Quite ironic for a recovery plan named “Next Generation EU”.
To bring the EU’s support for our sector to a level that is commensurate with its contribution to the EU’s economy and its citizens’ wellbeing, we call on Member States and the European Parliament:
• To push for a substantial increase of the Creative Europe budget. We fully support the European Parliament’s proposal for a budget of €2.8bn.
• To guarantee that the entire sector can benefit appropriately from the recovery plan’s various instruments.
Let’s invest in culture to show the EU’s #NextGeneration that we really care about their future!
- AEPO ARTIS – Association of European Performers’ Organisations
- AER – Association of European Radios
- Animation Europe
- BOZAR – Centre for Fine Arts Brussels
- CALLIAS Foundation
- CEDC – European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity
- CEM – Centre Européen de Musique
- CEPI – European Audiovisual Production
- CEPIC – Centre of the Picture Industry
- CICAE – International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas
- CIRCOSTRADA – European Network for Circus & Street Arts
- De Concert!
- EAS – European Association for Music in Schools
- ECSA – European Composer and Songwriter Alliance
- EDN – European Dancehouse Network
- EFA – European Festivals Association
- EFFORTS – The European Federation of Fortified Sites
- EFJ – The European Federation of Journalists
- EFNYO – European Federation of National Youth Orchestras
- EFP – European Film Promotion
- EGDF – European Games Developer Federation
- EHTTA – European Historic Thermal Towns Association
- EIBF – European and International Booksellers Federation
- EJN – Europe Jazz Network
- ELIA – Globally Connected European Network of Higher Arts Education
- EMC – European Music Council
- EMCY – European Union of Music Competitions for Youth
- EMEE – European Music Exporters Exchange
- EMMA – European Magazine Media Association
- EMMA – European Music Managers Alliance
- EMU – The European Music School Union
- ENCATC – European network on cultural management and cultural policy
- ENCC – European Network of Cultural Centres
- ENPA – European Newspaper Publishers Association
- EOFed – European Orchestra Federation
- EPC – European Publishers Council
- ERIH – The European Route of Industrial Heritage
- ESNS – Eurosonic Noorderslag
- ETC – European Theatre Convention
- Europa Distribution – The European Network of Independent Film Publishers and Distributors
- Europa International – the network of European sales agents
- Europavox : music online media & festivals
- ECA – European Choral Association – Europa Cantat
- EVA – European Visual Artists
- EWC – European Writers’ Council
- FEDEC – European Federation for Professional Circus Schools
- FERA – Federation of European Film Directors
- FEP – Federation of European Publishers
- FIA – International Federation of Actors
- FIAD – The International Federation of Film Distributors’ Associations
- FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers Associations
- FIM – International Federation of Musicians
- FSE – Federation of Screenwriters in Europe
- GESAC – European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers
- IAMIC – International Association of Music Information Centres
- IAML – International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres, member of EMC
- IAO – International Artist Organisation of Music
- ICMP – The Global Voice of Music Publishing
- IETM – International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts
- IFJ – International Federation of Journalists
- IFPI – International Federation of the Phonographic Industry
- IFRRO – International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations
- IGCAT – International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism
- IMMF – International Music Managers Forum
- IMPALA – The Independent Music Companies Association
- IMPF – The Independent Music Publishers International Forum
- IMZ – IMZ International Music + Media Centre
- In-Situ – European Platform for Artistic Creation in Public Space
- INES – Innovation Network of European Showcases
- ISCM – International Society for Contemporary Music on behalf of the
- ISFE – The Interactive Software Federation of Europe
- IVF – International Video Federation
- Live DMA – European network for live music venues & festivals
- Liveurope – The live music platform for new European talent
- KEA European Affairs
- MCA – Michael Culture Association
- NAMM – National Association of Music Merchants
- NEMO – The Network of European Museum Organisations
- News Media Europe
- On the Move
- Pearle* – Live Performance Europe
- REMA – European Early Music Network
- Res Artis – Worldwide Network of Arts Residencies
- SAA – Society of Audiovisual Authors
- SEEHN – South East European Heritage Network
- SHAPE – Sound, Heterogeneous Art and Performance in Europe
- Sistema Europe – The Sistema Europe Association
- Tenso Network Europe
- UNI MEI – UNI global union – media, entertainment & arts
- UNIC – International Union of Cinemas
- We Are Europe
- Yourope – The European Festival Association
Björn Ulvaeus has been appointed President of CISAC, the global confederation of authors’ societies and the largest network of creators worldwide. Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson are one of the most successful songwriting duos of all time.
Ulvaeus, co-founder of ABBA and prolific writer of over 150 hit songs and shows, has created music that has inspired the world and spanned the globe. He is also a vocal campaigner for the rights of creators. He brings a deep understanding of the creative industries and the systems that help authors get fair payment for their works.
As CISAC President, which has a three-year term, Björn will support the confederation’s work to secure stronger rights, more royalties, better systems, and improved conditions for creators across five repertoires – music, audiovisual, visual arts, drama and literature.
CISAC – the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – represents more than 230 authors societies in over 120 countries. Through this community, CISAC supports the global network of collective management of rights. The CISAC community ensures the livelihood of more than four million creators and is responsible for collecting €9.6 billion of licensing income and royalties worldwide.
Commenting on the new role, Björn said: “I have made a great living as a songwriter and an artist, and I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a lot of success. Now, as President of CISAC, I am happy to have a different kind of opportunity, to try and help the next generation of creators in their working lives. CISAC has a unique international authority, and I believe passionately in its mission to secure better, fairer terms for creators. I am also interested in how the technologies we use can work better, earning creators fairer rewards for their work and more royalties. I am therefore very excited about the opportunities ahead and looking forward to our collaboration”.
CISAC Director General Gadi Oron said: “Björn Ulvaeus has moved us, inspired us and lit up our lives with his songs and creations. I am absolutely thrilled that he has decided to take on the role of CISAC President, to support us in our mission to serve creators internationally. Björn has an extraordinary track record – as a creator himself, as a champion for creators’ rights, and as an expert in the systems which ensure creators are fairly paid. These qualities will be invaluable to CISAC’s work and we look forward immensely to collaborating with him”.
Björn Ulvaeus was elected President by CISAC’s General Assembly, which took place in a virtual meeting yesterday. He succeeds French electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, who held the
CISAC Presidency role for seven years.
CISAC – the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – is the world’s leading network of authors’ societies. With 232 member societies in 120 countries, CISAC represents over four million creators from all geographic regions and artistic repertoires including music, audiovisual, drama, literature, and visual arts. CISAC protects the rights and represents the interests of creators worldwide. Founded in 1926, it is a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organisation with headquarters in France and regional offices in Africa, Latin America (Chile), Asia-Pacific (China) and Europe (Hungary).
Photo Credit: TT News Agency, Zap PR.
IFPI, the organisation that represents the recorded music industry worldwide, today issued its annual Global Music Report.
Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, said: “The Global Music Report we issued today covers results for 2019 and reflects the successful work and investment of music creators – from record companies to artists and beyond. Importantly, the strong foundation we built over the past several years helped deliver growth in 2019.
“While the numbers we are reporting are a snapshot of the business last year, the COVID-19 pandemic presents challenges unimaginable just months ago. In the face of a global tragedy, the music community has united behind efforts to support those affected. This is a critical and ongoing priority as our member record companies work to continue to support the careers of artists, musicians and employees around the world.”
2019 Global Results:
For the full year 2019, total revenues for the global recorded music market grew by 8.2% to US$20.2 billion.
Streaming revenue grew by 22.9% to US$11.4 billion and for the first time accounted for more than half (56.1%) of global recorded music revenue. Growth in streaming more than offset a -5.3% decline in physical revenue, a slower rate than 2018.
This growth was driven by a 24.1% increase in paid subscription streaming with nearly all markets reporting growth in this area. There were 341 million users of paid streaming services at the end of 2019 (+33.5%), with paid streaming accounting for 42% of total recorded music revenue.
The work and investment from record companies continued to drive dynamic growth in diverse music markets in 2019; their global networks supporting artists and their music communities, enabling them to engage with and influence others in exciting ways around the world.
2019 Regional Highlights:
For the fifth consecutive year, Latin America was the fastest-growing region (+18.9%) with its three largest markets growing strongly: Brazil (+13.1%); Mexico (+17.1%); and Argentina (+40.9%).
Europe, the world’s second-largest region, grew 7.2% – after being almost flat in 2018 – with UK (+7.2%), Germany (+5.1%), Italy (+8.2%) and Spain (+16.3%) reporting strong growth.
Asia saw overall growth of 3.4%, a slower rate of growth than 2018, but this was largely due to Japan (-0.9%), which saw a decline in physical sales (-4.8%), its dominant format. Elsewhere in the region, South Korea, China and India all experienced strong growth, (8.2% 16.0% and 18.7% respectively).
Australasia grew by 7.1% with overall digital revenues rising 11.6% and physical format revenues falling 20.4%. Australia, a top 10 market, recorded growth of 6.0% with neighbouring New Zealand posting an increase of 13.7%.
US & Canada grew by 10.4%, remaining the largest region for recorded music revenues, accounting for 39.1% of the global market. The US grew by 10.5%, its fifth consecutive year of growth. Canada, which was largely flat the prior year, increased by 8.1%.
Global Music Report: The Industry in 2019 The state of the industry report is available for free here
Global Music Report: Full Report – with Data and Analysis Purchase the full data and analysis report here.
As lockdown continues in Ireland, the threat to the future of independent record shops grows, but here’s something you can do right now to help.
Physical stores may have closed, but indie retailers are encouraging customers to become virtual crate-diggers by bringing the local record shop experience to them with home delivery during lockdown.
To make it even easier, OfficialCharts.com/Ireland in collaboration with IRMA has launched The Official Indie Record Store Finder – an interactive map linking to the independent record shops across Ireland that will deliver direct to your door.
From Tower Records in Dublin to Music Zone in Cork, several stores across the country are available to take your orders, so why not add another record to your collection and support your go-to high street shop.
Enter the name of your favourite shop on the map, search by area, or look up alphabetically in the listings, double tap, then hit ‘SHOP AT THIS STORE’.
“Retail shops everywhere are suffering and that includes the venerable independent record shops across Ireland. However, many are sitting on stock – hot new releases and classic albums – and you may not have known that you can have them delivered to your door. Streaming is great but, in the absence of this year’s Record Store Day, IRMA wants you to know that you can continue to get your music fix on vinyl and CD from a number of great Irish record shops”. – IRMA
A new fund to support Irish music creators has been set up by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) and First Music Contact (FMC), who will administer the fund.
In addition to the financial contributions by IMRO and IRMA, Spotify is making a donation and is also matching donations made to the Irish Music Industry Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund via its Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief page, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total Spotify contribution of $10 million for the collective verified organizations worldwide.
Companies and individuals who are in a position to do so and who want to help sustain the music ecosystem will have an opportunity to make private donations to boost the fund.
The live music sector, from which many music creators make their living has paused globally. The livelihoods of music creators, many of whom are freelancers or small businesses themselves, are at significant risk during this crisis, as traditional revenue streams dry up.
The audio-visual sector is currently on hold and with many businesses now closed indefinitely, music creators will see a dramatic decrease in their royalty income in the weeks and months ahead.
While the government has provided much needed assistance to businesses and some measures for freelancers, many music creators are experiencing great hardship right now. This crisis will have a detrimental impact on creators’ careers and incomes for many months to come, long after the current crisis has passed.
The fund has been created to assist Irish music creators who are currently experiencing the most financial need. It is open to songwriters, composers, performers, session musicians and arrangers who are currently trying to navigate through this challenging time.
Successful applicants will receive a once-off emergency relief payment to the value of €750. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of music industry professionals from a wide spectrum of industry sectors and organisations.
Eleanor McEvoy, chair of IMRO, said: “Many talented and beloved members of the Irish creative community are struggling financially due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that this fund can help to ease some of their worries and fears. We are also appealing to anyone who is passionate about Irish music to donate to the fund to ensure we can help as many people as possible. It is essential that the Irish music industry survives this crisis, not just for the benefit of music creators, but for the benefit of our country. Music unites us and is fundamental to who we are. Losing it would be detrimental to our society and culture.”
Willie Kavanagh, Chairman of IRMA said: “the Irish Recorded Music Association are pleased to be involved in funding this very worthwhile initiative, which is designed to reduce the financial suffering of music industry professionals, and bring relief to deserving musicians and creative songwriters, in this time of uncertainty.”
Angela Dorgan, chief executive of FMC, said: “We are delighted with the response of the music industry bodies to this fund to support artists who have lost livelihood opportunities as a result of the crisis. We could see from our surveys the amount of people affected immediately and although this fund won’t go anywhere near entirely bridging those gaps, we hope it will help sustain the most vulnerable in our sector during the crisis, the makers, the artists.”
Tom Connaughton, UK and Ireland Managing Director of Spotify said: “Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spotify has engaged partners across the industry to discuss how we can support artists and the creative community who have been deeply impacted by the effects of the virus. Though streaming continues to play a key role in connecting creators with their fans, numerous other sources of revenue have been interrupted or stopped altogether by this crisis. That is why we’re supporting the Irish Music Industry Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund as part of our wider Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project, which recommends verified organizations that offer financial relief to those in the music community most in need around the world.”
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Providing a vital insight into the music industry featuring Ireland’s top music industry professionals.
Series 2 of The Irish Music Industry Podcast has launched providing a vital insight into the music industry. Produced by Mark G of King Kong Company, The Irish Music Industry Podcast is a must listen for both people who want to break into the industry and seasoned professionals who want to learn more about other areas of the music sector.
Check out the latest episodes here:
Putting Your Body and Soul on the Line – https://open.spotify.com/episode/2PuH8La8OagN4WBrUIWk8I?si=xnbhMHxJTz-2ZQDklSg2dA
Nothing Splendid About Isolation – https://open.spotify.com/episode/3fISRU2sEas5jKB7jLDylD?si=-RyT3YynRjCAXHfEbDI-dg
The first series of the podcast was hugely successful, occasionally hitting the top spot on the Irish Podcast Charts. Series two seeks to build on that, seeking out professionals from a multitude of disciplines to offer some advice and discuss how they carve out their own space within the sector. Each episode of The Irish Music Industry Podcast will see Mark G interviewing some of Ireland’s top music industry professionals, as they pick apart the mechanism of the Irish music sector in an effort to understand what makes it tick. From well-worn road warriors to eager newbies, all stories, advice, wisdom and occasional tales of woe come straight from the horse’s mouth.
The first handful of episodes are available now and feature top music professionals John Spillane (singer songwriter), Leo Abrahams (musician/producer for Brian Eno, Paul Simon and David Byrne) Alex Gough (songwriter/performer), Eleanor McEvoy (singer/songwriter and Chair of IMRO), Avril Stanley (Director of Body&Soul), Tara Thomas (gig photographer) and Jim Fielder (bass player with Blood Sweat and Tears/Frank Zappa/Jefferson Airplane. Jim played at Woodstock).
Speaking about the podcast Mark G said: “The success that series one enjoyed was more shocking to me than anyone else. I thought there would a very niche audience for this. Already, just a short way into series two, we’ve been topping the Irish podcast charts. It seems that there are more people than I imagined interested in sussing out what goes on behind and around music in Ireland today, and the guests I’m talking to are really getting’ stuck in to it”.
The spark that lit the touchpaper on this podcast came from Mark’s experience within third level education and from working within the music sector itself. “There was a slow burning realisation that many prospective music industry professionals aren’t privy to a full and frank picture of what to expect from their chosen career”. Given where the industry stands right now, having a resource where professionals can share information, advice and proactive pointers is invaluable. In one recent episode The Mary Wallopers shared how they successfully streamed a Paddy’s Day gig to thousands of people, raising some much needed funds for themselves. Drummer Johnny Daly talked about signing on for the first time to avail of the Covid-19 emergency payment. John Spillane and Síomha discussed successful crowd funding campaigns that saw them raising thousands of euros to fund their next albums. All of those positive and proactive solutions were in just one episode. Imagine what’s in a whole series?
The first episodes of series two of The Irish Music Industry Podcasts are available now on iTunes, Android and the usual digital sources or you can visit timi.ie to download/stream the podcasts. The Irish Music Industry Podcast is supported by IMRO.
The Arts Council has announced a €1 million fund to enable artists to make new and original art during the COVID-19 crisis. The scheme, called the Arts Council COVID-19 Crisis Response Award, is designed to support the creation of new artistic work and its dissemination online for the public benefit: http://www.artscouncil.ie/Funds/Arts-Council-COVID-19-Crisis-Response-Award/