Acts May Be Selling Selves Short

Acts that offer good deals to their fans may be selling themselves short, according to one of the opening panels at this year’s The Great Escape.
Tory MP Mike Weatherley speaks about Google’s role in preventing piracy at The Great Escape conference in Brighton, which ran May 8-10.

Music industry economist Chris Carey warned artists about “selling recorded music for nothing in order to sell other stuff, such as T-shirts,” because it devalues what should be the main product.

“I love music and own no T-shirts by bands,” he said.

Sony UK vice president of marketing Fred Bolza wasn’t happy about the music being referred to as product.

He said: “Product is important but to think about our core revenue stream as a product trivialises what we’re trying to do,” he said. “Giving away music to sell the T-shirt comes from such fragmented rights. It comes from everyone wanting to maximise their piece of the pie to make more money rather than generating a bigger pie.”

Carey and Bolza were part of a first morning dedicated to digital music, which also included Tory MP Mike Weatherley – Prime Minister David Cameron’s digital adviser – talking about the role Google should play in policing online piracy.

The May 8-10 conference on the south coast at Brighton sold out its 3,000 delegate passes the day before it started.

TGE spreads itself across 35 of the city’s venues, many of them used to stage showcases for 400 or so artists.

The evening showcases attracted 18,000 music fans for acts including ExampleThe Hold SteadyAlbert Hammond Jr.Baby StrangeKelisJungleChloe Howl, current European Talent Exchange Programme leaders Royal BloodDry The River, and The Subways.