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Business

Resolution uniquely runs regular business articles to highlight trends and to emphasise the need to ‘take care of business if you want to stay in business’. In competitive times picking up on business intelligence ahead of the curve will give you an edge. Dan Daley’s regular Your Business column looks at business issues that pertain specifically to the Resolution reader.

Understanding how audio fits into the bigger picture of the production and delivery community is also vital because it gives an indication of where the business is going. We run a Business feature in every issue that looks at such diverse areas as downloading, royalty payments, new delivery methods and the reality of sales figures.

  • That the business is changing cannot be denied but opinions differ on the rate of that change. DAN DALEY says it’s time to think ahead, prepare and take advantage of the situation because others will.
  • The altering complexion of the production process has empowered previously ‘lowly’ individuals to rise and make a difference. DAN DALEY says assistants are vital for a successful producer and ‘assistant’ is now a very worthy and important job description that will also broaden as the years unravel.
  • Most people get at least one chance in their lives to branch out on their own, those that take it are changed forever. It’s the stuff of dreams but a lack of diligence makes nightmares. In a series of articles, NEIL HILLMAN documents his progress in planning, financing, equipping and marketing his own new post facility, The Audio Suite, in Birmingham.
  • Last month’s column identified a requirement for management only once there was something to manage. With regard to contracts and money though, you can never be up to speed early enough.
  • Derided for its quality issues and ostracized for its damage to music sales potential, MP3 never went away. It just kept knocking on doors until someone let it in. DAN DALEY proposes a future scenario in which it becomes as important as your mono mix compatibility check.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it sure seems to be tumbling that fast. DAN DALEY won’t say he told you so, but he does look for reasons amid the ruins.
  • A lot of ones and zeros have passed under the digital bridge on the information highway since November 2002, when this column reviewed fledgling legal music download services. Apple has proved there’s money to be made with iTunes music store, street-legal is no longer a novelty, major labels are no longer in the game ... but the Napster name remains.
  • The remix has become an essential tool for label marketing departments, turning top remixers into stars in their own right as they lend cutting-edge cred to artists. But even remixers-of-the-moment face familiar problems: getting a break, maintaining a career after the incendiary phase, and getting paid.
  • Sampling has long since celebrated it’s coming-of-age, and those of us who in 1987 scoffed that the only soul in Eric B & Rakim’s I Know You Got Soul was the animus sliced from Bobby Byrd’s bass line and backbeat have long since sampled our own kicks, snares, breaks and a whole cornucopia of audio we probably shouldn’t have, which still lurks ready for plundering on our hard disks. NIGEL JOPSON looks at the ins and outs of the act.
  • Over the last two issues NIGEL JOPSON has highlighted the A&R policies and under 10% break-even rate that have led to increased short-termism at major labels. Last issue we examined the independent label alternative with a more symbiotic relationship between label and artist yielding reasonable earnings for performers from five figure album sales. There’s also a ‘third way’, neither major nor indie, and one seemingly never more achievable than in an Internet-enabled age: self-release.
  • Live acts are recording gigs themselves, and selling limited edition live discs to fans after the show. It’s a lucrative new opening for the audio production industry. NIGEL JOPSON looks into the mechanics.
  • The change in ownership of the industry’s two biggest traditional brands is a sign of the times but it also heralds the possibility of a return to ‘industry characters’, according to DAN DALEY.
  • Stuff happens and certain sorts of stuff is happening a lot more regularly and a lot more intensely than before. Is it about time that you thought about some type of cover to protect your livelihood and business or do you believe that it never happens to someone like you?
  • New developments in network storage are putting the pedal to the metal for the production workflow. They’re also piling in the data bytes and changing people’s jobs in the process.
  • Despite the virtual collapse of the classical recording industry during the 1990s, real orchestras have never been more popular as the icing on the cake for films and a new generation of computer games employ sweeping scores to dramatic effect. Are the UK’s famous orchestral players benefiting from this, or is the work going to the bargain-basement ensembles of Eastern Europe?
  • The cash and the fun may have been driven out of a lot of music studios some time ago but there are now big investments coming back into the industry from people who you’d think really ought to know better. DAN DALEY suggests that perhaps they’ve spotted something others have missed.
  • Next generation games consoles and new game genres make music and audio more important then ever for the world’s best-selling entertainment medium. NIGEL JOPSON looks at the business of games and identifies a new rich seam of opportunity for the young and adventurous at heart.
  • Dismissed as overpriced and irrelevant dinosaurs by many in the bijou, compact and convenient digital production world, large-scale analogue desks have often outlived their original owners and facilities and gone on to find new lives and purpose elsewhere. DAN DALEY spreads a little history.