Panellists at a colloquium on ‘The Future of Music – the Digital Revolution’ noted the growing importance of live experiences to the recording industry.
The event, which took place at Mansion House, London on 7 July, was moderated by Sir Roger Gifford, Master of the Musicians Company 2017, who used his opening speech to predict that a return to quality would be the future of the recordings industry, adding: ‘People will always pay, and it’s better for musicians’.
In his keynote speech, former EMI Classics and Jazz president Richard Lyttelton noted that commercial pop comprised 90% of recordings, with classical 4% and jazz 2%. As a result, he said, classical subsidises pop music, due to there being less tracks available.
He went on to emphasise that classical recordings can still be profitable, largely due to the re-release of archive material subsidising new recordings. Observing a general shift in the industry towards live performance, he predicted that it wouldn’t be long until concert-goers could take away a recording of the performance they had just watched.
Stating that he had no concerns about the future of music, Lyttelton concluded by saying that if treated properly, technology would be as much an opportunity as a threat.
Nicholas Riddle, CEO of Edition Peters, said he viewed connectivity as the way forward, with the combination of audio, video and text helping to create a more holistic experience. He also called on the industry to share resources in order to reach out and find the largest possible audience
Roger Press, former head of video production at Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and Philips and founder of Classical.com, agreed, adding his own prediction that playlisting would also be important in the future.