For this week’s post, I will be analysing lobbyist group UK Music’s 2015 Manifesto. The manifesto addresses both the government at the time and the next government (this was close to the time of the elections). The document focuses primarily on the betterment of the music industries as the country moved into a time of uncertainty. In particular, the highlighted areas within which the government were recommended to focus on to support the music industries were:
- Strong copyright framework
- Access to finance and fiscal incentives
- Skills pipeline
- International growth strategy
- Better regulation based on good evidence
These may seem unconnected, but all are extremely focused on sustaining the industry through legislation. The copyright section protects the logistics side of the industry with regards to making money from music, the incentives are protecting the finances of the industry (due to the variety of working bodies – freelancers to multi-national corporations) whilst the skills pipeline is attempting to ensure a continued stream of trained professionals entering the industry. Plans for international growth were based on the success of the then-current British music industries on a global scale (the achievements of which were lauded several times throughout the manifesto). The final point looks to ensure more collaboration between the government and music industries as they attempt to regulate various aspects of the industries (the secondary ticketing market is an example that is both referred to in the document and regularly in today’s music industry press).
The comments on the secondary ticketing market have seen reaction from the government – a commissioned and independent review of the entire market was published last year (Waterson, 2016), with suggestions for transparency from ticketing agents, acceptance of the internet and its use for innovative purposes within ticketing, and, primarily, an industry-wide shift in perception from several competing agents to a united industry.
This review of the market and the UK Music manifesto are both designed to encourage and ensure. It is arguable that both have been successful, given the current industry focus on the secondary ticketing market (with agents forming that specifically avoid the issues with the secondary ticketing market). Of course, the secondary ticketing market is not the entirety of the music industries, and so UK Music’s manifesto can’t be measured solely by this. Full analysis would require a historiography of the music industries since the new government came in, and a comparison between UK Music’s suggestions and reality.
- Waterson, M. (2016). Independent Review of Consumer Protection Measures concerning Online Secondary Ticketing Facilities. Department of Culture, Media and Sports.