Posts Tagged ‘Harvey Goldsmith’

Music industry must take risks to survive, says Harvey Goldsmith

August 15, 2011

Rock impresario says new musical talent has to be nurtured in an era of change

Harvey Goldsmith in his office in Regent Street, London

Harvey Goldsmith in his office. ‘We have got to take risks again. And we have to learn how to take new risks too,’ he says. Photograph: Mike Lawn/Rex Features

Harvey Goldsmith, the veteran concert impresario, is calling for the music industry to get behind young talent and to work together as never before. He believes it is the only way for the business to survive a period of dangerous change.

Goldsmith started out as a student promoter and by the mid-70s was putting on stadium shows featuring the Rolling Stones, the Who and Bruce Springsteen. He helped put together the Live Aid show with Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, and has built up an international reputation for staging high-profile tours and huge public events.

He has, therefore, managed to avoid many of the problems that have beset record labels as sales of CDs have fallen away.

Goldsmith argues that unless music publishers and radio stations join forces to promote emerging artists, there will be a limited commercial future for musicians, even on the concert stage.

“We have got to take risks again. And we have to learn how to take new risks too,” he told the Observer. “I am always looking out for new talent. It is the only way to get through this period and we have to do it collectively.”

The triumph of the internet as a music provider has already wrong-footed the industry, but Goldsmith believes that the singing stars and rock bands of the future will suffer too if there is no concerted effort to bring fresh talent to the public.

“The music industry just watched it all happen without thinking about how it could provide a quality service for people,” he said. “People don’t wake up thinking, ‘What music can I steal today?’ They do it just because they can and it is there. Even young fans don’t mind paying, if they get value.”

Goldsmith is preparing to give a public talk about his career and the significance of his “vintage year”, 1985 – the year of Live Aid – next month and feels that music is still a force that brings young people together.

Although the acquisitive “MTV culture” was blamed last week for inspiring rioters and looting on the streets of English cities, Goldsmith defends youth culture.

“Gangsta rap is not to blame for the riots, and it was more popular five years ago anyway,” he said. “At least the music industry is giving young people some form of hope, rather than just despair and nothing to do.”

In 1973, Goldsmith, who has also worked with the Eagles and Led Zeppelin, started Artist Management Productions to produce and manage music. He set up a concert promotion company, Harvey Goldsmith Entertainment, three years later.

Live Aid raised £140m for famine relief in Africa and Goldsmith went on to produce worldwide tours for Pavarotti. His work with the Prince’s Trust began in 1982, and he produced the trust’s first Rock Gala, going on to join the board. He was honoured with a CBE in the 1996 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and was made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2006. In 2007, he put together the Led Zeppelin reunion show at London’s O2 arena.

While young casualties of the “rock lifestyle”, such as the late Amy Winehouse, are personal tragedies that are impossible for the industry to prevent, Goldsmith believes that new acts with talent and devotion are entitled to receive the same commitment from their managers and promoters.

“Once things go so wrong for a person like that, they don’t really get better,” said Goldsmith of Winehouse. “But this business is going through a very difficult period and we need to support our talent together – music publishing, the live industry and music radio, we all need to help them build careers that can last.”

Goldsmith remains confident about the enduring appeal of live music in the internet age. “You can only stay locked in your room so long – there is nothing better than a live show,” he said.

However, he suspects that technology has confused many promoters and record companies: “There are too many places to go for information now. And people want answers too quickly. Selling music has got harder rather than easier.”


How to break an artist in 2009

January 19, 2009

Does anyone really care if a new CD leaks in advance of its release date??

When Things Leak… Digital Music News 2/20/09 Paul Resnikoff

Remember when a major album leak was a big deal?  A shocking development?  Well, in 2009, it is THE deal – almost everything leaks, often well ahead of the formal release date.  And the net is non-discriminatory – finished versions, unfinished versions, fake versions… anything and everything gets pushed onto the grand stage, ready or not.

Just take U2.  No Line on the Horizon is now saturated across the web, and available at a BitTorrent tracker near you.  Lucky for the band, this is a finished version, instead of rough cuts and half-baked business.  The spill happened this week, ahead of a formal release schedule that starts February 27th in Ireland before rolling into Europe and North American soon thereafter.

But who really cares about formal release dates anymore?  In a post-windowed era, the entire concept of a release date is becoming blurred.  Where should you mark your calendar?  Is it the online leak date, the format in-store, the MySpace Music, Imeem, iLike streaming sneak peek?

Sure, labels, bands, managers, and publicists still freak out about an album leak.  Marketing plans are realigned, emergency meetings are held, people are yelled at, radio programmers are called, lawsuits are filed, and FBI agents get involved.  But it turns out that leaks don’t always erase album sales – in fact, they may actually increase sales, depending on the artist, audience, and content involved.

That was part of the learning that emerged last year.  2008 was the year that Lil Wayne sold one million in a week, and Metallica’s Death Magnetic scored half-a-million in its first few days.  Both albums were widely available, gratis, well ahead of their formal release dates.

That is all part of a very complicated music marketplace, one in which paid coexists alongside free, and free often stimulates paid purchasing.  Turns out that some people are willing to pay for the real thing, others are content with the freebie BitTorrent copy, and a third group wants both.

Make sense?  The end of windowing means the beginning of confusion, with more formats, scenarios, purchasing dynamics and demographics than ever before.  More data is needed to really understand the impact of the pre-release leak, and U2 promises to offer the latest learning.

In 2004, U2 released How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, an album that sold 9 million.  Is that the benchmark?  Some of that content slipped prior to the formal release, though a great deal has changed in five years.

And one could easily argue that Atomic is just a stronger album, making the comparison doubly difficult.  Have you heard No Line?  “Get On Your Boots” offers something catchy, and the rest is familiar U2, albeit without the smashing hooks and irresistible magnetism of earlier releases.  Will fans simply tune in, then tune out when purchasing options open up?  Stay tuned, because the story on No Line is just beginning…

Erin McCarley

What it takes to launch a new Bruce Sprinsgsteen Cd in 2009

Bruce 2009

Springsteen’s Four Super Bowl Tunes Rake in 56K in Download Dollars/     Variety

BruceSB2 In the week after Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl, the four songs he performed in the set were downloaded 57,000 times as individual tracks. The leader was the new tune, “Working on a Dream,” with 24,000 downloads, nearly half of its current cume of 54,000. “Glory Days” was No. 2 with 15,000 followed by “Born to Run” (12,000) and “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” (6,000). All the figures were provided by Nielsen Soundscan.
Album sales beyond the Wal-Mart-only “Greatest Hits” were not particularly strong. The two catalog albums on which those songs appear, “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Born to Run,” were up only slightly, to 4,000 and 3,000 respectively.
The new disc took a 55% hit on its second week, selling 102,000 copies.
What is rather cool is thepost Springsteen made on his website regarding his NFL experience.

How does a heritage jazz label survive in 2009?

Uh oh!… Are advertisers the new tastemakers?

From Analog dollars to Digital to make $$ in 2009

Rules of the Music Industry 2009

How to fix the Music Industry in 2009

How to fix the music industry

By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News, in Cannes

Thousands of people from the music world – from struggling singers to superstar managers and record label executives – have been at the annual Midem conference in Cannes, France.

With the music business in upheaval, they have all been talking about how it can adapt and survive. Here, a range of figures pick one thing they wish they could change about the music industry.

DOC MCGEE – Manager of Kiss

If I had to change one thing, I would probably change the corporate structure of record labels. Put them back into the hands of real artists and music people. That’s how we’ll survive.

DONOVAN – Singer and songwriter

What are we going to do about people taking free music on the internet?

If one of those nerd kids could work out something so every time you take a song and you haven’t recognised that a writer wrote it, or somebody really needs a miniscule part of a penny for it, that a banner comes up and says: ‘Just remember, somebody wrote this song and they might not be able to pay their electricity next week.’

RICK REED – Counterpoint Systems, royalty processing, Los Angeles

I would love to see the artists and writers of music get paid quickly and the right way, instead of being paid 12 years after they wrote a song, or not enough, or never. That would be my biggest beef.

SHABS JOBANPUTRA – Head of Relentless Records, home KT Tunstall and Seth Lakeman

I would change the nature of the contracts we sign with the artists. The relationship the record companies have has to change.

We have to look at a new business model and a way of developing creative talent in a different way that isn’t based on an exploitative contract based on a small royalty. It’s based on a partnership and we are helping to build new and exciting talent over a long period of time that we cherish and nurture.

IAIN WATT – Manager of Mika and Alphabeat

I would like people to see much more value in music and change the perception that they think they can get it for free and it’s perfectly acceptable to pay nothing for what ultimately is an incredibly valuable product.

BOHBI FM – Reggae singer, songwriter, producer, promoter

If I could change something in the music industry, it would be to invest in new acts. Put the money in unknown artists. Because for the last 20 years, we are hearing the same acts all the time. We need a change.

BRIAN MESSAGE – Co-manager of Radiohead, Faithless, Kate Nash

One thing I would change in the music business is a mindset. It’s about being optimistic about the opportunities we have in front of us. We have to accept the principle that a product-based model is under severe stress.

There are two primary sets of people in this business that matter – artists and fans – and we should all focus on them. And the internet gives us a real opportunity to develop long term careers between artists and fans, and that’s a huge challenge but a huge opportunity for us all.

HARVEY GOLDSMITH – Concert promoter and manager

For the people working in the industry, it’s about communicating more with each other. And from a public’s point of view, it’s to realise that music isn’t really free, and if you don’t help to pay for the music, then artists can’t create it.

TOM FINDLAY – Groove Armada & Lovebox festival organiser

There’s a stranglehold that very few promoters have got over the major music events in the UK. My great frustration is the inability to ever book the headliners we want [for Lovebox] because they’re always stuck at the same three or four festivals.

There’s a dearth of headliners around this year for different reasons and the two or three bands I’d like to book are sadly cup-tied and out of our financial league. A band like MGMT would be perfect for Lovebox but they’re already miles away, sadly.

PANOS PANAY – Chief executive of gig booking website Sonicbids

I think this is a great time for the industry. It’s just shifting and the way people are making money is changing. And if I were to change one thing, it would be the obsession with hits.

I think too many people are way too depressed about the absence of hits, but they’re missing out on the greater opportunity, which is this fundamental shift away from music for the masses to music for the niches. I think there’s a new class of artist emerging, an artistic middle class.

MARIA BUTTERLY – Irish singer and songwriter

I would like to encourage people to come out to live performances to support live acts more. Make more of an effort. Don’t take it so for granted because it’s on your doorstep. Feel the live music. Let it touch you. Let it bring up your mood for a good day, for some high energy, and make that part of a social network for yourself.

Uh oh.. whats going on @ Sony with Rick Rubin??

Profiles of machers who made or make it happen……

November 26, 2008

Guys that matter in 2009

Lyor Cohen Profile 2009

Sony Music’s Rob Stringer

Profile: Cherry Red Records UK

Q&A with Courtney Holt of My Space

Profile: Vector Managment’s Ken Levitan

Al Bell/Stax profile 2009

Record Producer: Tom Werman

Neil Bogart:  History of Casablanca Records

Profile of the Orchard founder Richard Gottherer

Is he the most pwerful man in rock n roll today??

Ole Skool Profile of Lyor Cohen from 2002

Profile of hip hop producer/songwriter—The Dream

Q&A with Damon Dash

The CEO  of Vivendi discusses the state of the  business 2009

This guy is a happy camper….

The most powerful music executive ex USA

Its 2009..what does WMG’s Lyor Cohen have to say?

Raye Cosbert: A Profile of Amy Winehouse’s manager

Steve Jobs is a music visionary ?

Jimmy Iovine discusses Q4

This is the guy who runs MySpace

Seymour Stein Profile

Profile of Atlantic Records’ Craig Kallman

Producer Steve Aliamo

Rounder Records co founder: Bill Nowlin

GM of Hollywood Records: Abbey Konowitch

If you attend concerts–you gotta know this guy….

Harvey Goldsmith is the man in the UK who runs the live business

Profile of the top 2 managers in Canada

Dr Dre


This guy is gonna try and operate EMI….

Jermaine Dupri Q&A (Forbes)

Record Producer Don Gehman

Subpop Records: profile

Henry Stone: Profile

Profile of Bob Frank: Koch Music

A profile of Columbia Records executive Rick Rubin (Sunday NYTimes magazine)

Profile of UK Record Executive: Martin Mills

Joe-Galkin (legendary promo guy)

Former Sony heavy Donnie Ienner is doin’ what now?

More on Don Ienner….

Profile of producer Phil Gernhard

EMI-Execs Q&A

Who is  Simon Napier Bell?

Interview with Irving Azoff

Interview with Warners’  Tom Whalley


Lyor Cohen of WMG interview

Another interview with WMG’s Lyor Cohen

Doug-Morris more

Profile of indie label: Secretly Canadian