Wednesday, December 13The Voice of London

The Ultimate Seminar 2015: The Big Names of the Music Industry For One Day Only

This year’s ‘The Ultimate Seminar’, led by Cre8ting Vision team, brought together the most important names in the music industry under one roof, for just one day. Universal, Capital Records and Spotify were only a few representatives that shared their knowledge during the day-long seminar.

Words: Karolina Zilenaite, Subeditor: Cerys Kenneally

The Ultimate Seminar bringing music industry for one day only
The Ultimate Seminar bringing music industry for one day only. Source: The Ultimate Seminar

Starting at noon sharp, the Ultimate Seminar kicked off with a bang. The Portland Hall at University of Westminster’s Law School, was filled with buzzing young attendees, ready to take on advice and listen to stories from the music industry professionals.

The seminar approached different angles of the industry — starting with business professionals such as Mark Williamson from Spotify, Jo Charrington from Capital Records, and finishing with artists like Diztortion, Iain Archer and Disciples. Everyone, from future managers to singers and songwriters had the opportunity to take something valuable at the end of the day.

The first set of panelists for “Knowing Your Business”, took a strong start as the panelists made it clear they had tackled some serious issues within the music industry. Mark Williamson (Spotify) stressed the positives of digitalisation within the industry, saying that “Spotify has really developed as an antidote for music piracy”, since the users can get all the music legally, without necessarily having to pay for it.

From left to right: Obi Asika, Allan McGrath, Myles Keller, Mark Williamson, Simon Long, Chris Panayi. Photo Credit: Karolina Zilenaite
From left to right: Obi Asika, Allan McGrath, Myles Keller, Mark Williamson, Simon Long, Chris Panayi. Photo Credit: Karolina Zilenaite

Christ Panayi, founder of C.C. Panayi & Co. accountants and business advisors company, picked up on that point and addressed the problems that occur from the ones creating music. With royalties payed out to record labels from Spotify, the artists get a cheap cut. His talk highlighted that there are still unsolved issues with the way musicians receive royalties from the digital environment.

Allan McGrath, label director at Anjunabeats, gave a viewpoint from label’s perspective regarding music streaming: “The fact is, streaming is the future, but for one stream we make less than one download.” He also noted that it’s not an easy work to put your act out there on Spotify, saying that “Spotify will take more than what we get back”, in terms of the number of people involved that have to be paid, to pushing the artist to the top tier of the playlists.

Raw emotions poured out as Obi Asika, director at Echo Location Talent, pinpointed problems regarding the environment the young artists find themselves in today. The “on air on sale” phenomenon brought a lot of controversy within the music industry. The purpose of “on air on sale” policy is to prevent the copyright infringement by making legal digital downloads accessible as soon as recorded music is made available.

“What this does to all our young artists,” Obi Asika passionately explained, “it means that they don’t have fanbases big enough to get in charts anymore. […] We put all these things into place, in order so we can get streaming and not looking at the long-term impact. And that’s the serious problem.”

This was received with a loud cheering from the young attendees, trying to make it in the one of the most competitive industries in the world. The panel left the audience thinking hard about the real struggles with the business aspect of the industry.

From left to right: Abbey Ennis, Char Grant, Lizzie Francis, Jo Charrington, Ian Archer, Paul Spraggon. Photo Credit: Karolina Zilenaite
From left to right: Abbey Ennis, Char Grant, Lizzie Francis, Jo Charrington, Iain Archer, Paul Spraggon. Photo Credit: Karolina Zilenaite

“Be an Astronaut in the Music Business” panelists spoke on a lighter note, bringing laughs and good time to the audience, as they’ve shared stories and tips of their own. The professionals also shared the positives of the music industry.

Jo Charrington, A&R manager (Artists & Repertoire) at Capitol Records, pointed out that the industry still get big artists such as Adele. She also stressed the BBC as one of the perks that only the UK’s Music Industry has. Abbey Ennis, Creative Services manager at Universal, caught onto the fact that the industry is more open now — and how it’s possible to access much more information about the competitive career path.

Char Grant, Lizzie Francis, Jo Charrington and Abbey Ennis, also gave their opinions on women within the Music Industry, which had a positive attitude throughout.

As the day progressed, the attendees got to listen to Glyn Aikins’, A&R director at Virgin EMI Records, amazing stories about his journey into the Music Industry, and all the interesting things that has happened to him.

From left to right: Ali Staton, Diztortion, Melissa Steel, Raleigh Ritchie, Duvall from Desciples. Photo Credit: Karolina Zilenaite
From left to right: Ali Staton, Diztortion, Melissa Steel, Raleigh Ritchie, Duvall from Desciples. Photo Credit: Karolina Zilenaite

Musicians also shared their stories on making in the industry — Diztortion, Melissa Steel, Raleigh Ritchie and Nathan Duvall from Disciples. Filled with positivity, the conversations flowed easily and the audience reacted assuringly.

Nicola Charles, Kwame Kwaten, Andrea Euell, the Cre8ting Vision team, put an amazing day-long seminar with the big dogs of the music industry. Minds were undoubtedly buzzing with ideas as knowledge and insights were shared throughout the day.

If you are one of those people trying to get into the music industry, the Ultimate Seminar is your golden ticket. You can’t catch so many professionals under the same roof in one day, willing to share everything they can in no other place but at the Ultimate Seminar. Don’t miss out the next opportunity to attend this fantastic event for the cheapest price. Free!

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