Welcome to Ric’s regular musings looking at the current music industry, its challenges and overall why and how Daft Springer’s web3 platform works so well for the independent music industry. Written by Daft Springer Chairman, Ric Yerbury.
2022 – Challenges and Opportunities
Well, how was your 2022? Quite a year for many and for those who have suffered from the previous two years with the pandemic and the consequent challenges of the many restrictions on daily life. And now the economic crisis has hit many of the same in society. And yet it appears that the music industry is in rude health if we believe what we are told. 2022 saw the proper return of live music including the many festivals that were teetering on the edge of destruction. So all well then? If only.
The current economic crisis is one of the problems facing the country. Some of those problems, however, were already present before the pandemic and are either resurfacing as normality sets in or escalating. Specifically, I am referring to the inequality of revenue distribution to artists due to outdated business models and the decreasing numbers of people going to smaller music venues.
Let’s deal with the latter first; the trend for the 18 – 25 demographic away from live music in the smaller venues which was there before Covid and evidenced by the many closures was massively impacted through the period of lockdowns. The valuable work by Music Venue Trust shows how hard it still is. It is clear that while attendances to global acts have returned, they are not reporting the same scale of attendance in the smaller venues. The main reason seems to be that the audience has a wider and more diverse view of what they need in terms of entertainment. I guess what I mean is that demand for seeing live music from the next big hope has decreased. TikTok events and interactions have become more important, and artists are using this platform to promote their careers. To be honest, how likely would it have been for an artist like Sam Ryder to break through without Tiktok? Also, take a look at the number of small festivals that hit the wall this year. Tough times indeed.
Conversely, the growth in recorded music sales is impressive, with perhaps the main beacon of light being the increasing market share for the independent self-releasing artist. Real growth here with Midia reporting a significant increase in numbers. Within this self-releasing space we can spot a detectable trend that, hallelujah, artists are increasingly no longer willing to assign their copyrights in return for some investment either by way of loan, sorry advance, or services provided. In today’s world, the assignment of copyrights is total nonsense. Anyone who has been following what companies like Daft Springer have been saying to all who listen is that the model has to change to reflect the market artists are working in.
So how was 2022 for us at Daft Springer?
Well pretty good, We changed the name from SHOUT4 to Daft Springer as part of our move to Web3 technology. We have developed a very interesting next-generation product we see freeing up artists, labels, managers and music professionals from the traditional legal and financing world and providing a solution fit for 2023.
I am not going to say too much on this because we will be launching this soon with our expanding team headed up by CEO William Vandyk supported by my Co-Founder, Alex Pilkington and the recently joined Jeff Bacon as CMO. Suffice it to say it is pretty f****g cool.
A quick word about Web3, blockchain and of course crypto.
2022 has seen some leading crypto characters seemingly threatened with orange boiler suits in the US, leading many to question the future of this area of technology. My answer is simply this; the future is very exciting, and the technology is already impressive, but perhaps until now the execution and exploitation of it is at times less so. But, let’s be clear it will form a massive part of the economic future of the world. For the music industry, it has enormous potential provided it is not promoted in the manner of the ‘emperor’s new clothes’ which has sadly been both delusional and dangerous for many investors and consumers who bought into the crypto boom of 2021.
Personally, I have reached the point in life where some might be putting up their feet or making Marmalade (I hate Marmalade). Could not be farther away from that. My work with Daft Springer is also one of my greatest passions and to be working with such a great team to deliver a true solution for funding the development of artists for future generations is a privilege. I am finding the power, dynamics, and trustless environments offered by Web3 and DeFi very exciting, opening up creative and innovative solutions that are needed to match the world artists are now growing up in.
On the music front, I started 2020 writing and recording seriously again as a solo neo-classical artist releasing my first album in a number of years. This year saw just one single release as I worked on the next album which is coming out in May next year after a couple more one-off releases. All aided by some great people and the Daft Springer revshare model. I rashly decided to test playing some of this material live this year and have now committed to a number of performances next year. Oh yes, I am also going back to the amazing Rockfield Recording Studio next week to record with my best mate and others in our psych-rock band. A tonic ahead of fighting the battle in 2023…
So let me wish you all a very special Christmas and an inspirational 2023 whatever that means for you.
Work to be done at Daft Springer but looking forward to seeing our team smash it.
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