Monday, 8 June 2009

Sky News Business : ‘Music Biz Should Mirror The Apprentice’

New feature on the Sky News Business homepage;

"The music industry's trade magazine Music Week published some more shocking statistics this week. These weren't the usual figures about the number of illegal downloads, or the decline in album sales, but a study from Creative & Cultural Skills reporting on the age, ethnic background and skills set in the music business.

The modern business environment is not mirrored in the music industry, where the gender imbalance is 66% men to 34% women, and the glass ceiling does exist in promotion and management for women who total 23% to 77% men in the higher level jobs. Also the ethnic split in an industry that has so many high profile and successful non-white artists is surprisingly low, only 8% of the total employed.

Our company is dedicated to equal opportunities, we employ an even split, 50% white to 50% British Asian, 50% male to 50% female, and we both take it turns to make the tea. At the time of writing this, and monitoring Gordon Brown's Cabinet reshuffle, we've noted that it is currently 100% male, and 100% white.

A popular image of the music industry is that everyone is fantastically rich and enjoys the life of riley, but the reality is quite the opposite. Nearly 40% of those employed in the industry earn less than £10,000 a year, and only 5% earned more than £41,000. Surprisingly, a third of the workforce is classed as part-time, which goes someway to justifying the low wages, it could also start to show how reliant the music business is on work experience and internships nowadays.

As an avid watcher of The Apprentice, Bally was happy to see that four out of the last five candidates were women, and the two best women are in the final. This series has seen the great skills set, confidence and business acumen of the women, as the males egos got in the way and were fired one by one. It's time the music industry, which has been through massive shift in the way it operates, turns it's attention to actually training up and maintaining the talented and gifted people who are being overlooked. Someone needs to tell the industry that women can lead, manage and multi skill very well, even after they've had kids.

Other news this week: Kayne West blogs about Archangel's "Do It Again" video, September launches her new single "Until I Die", Cicada release their brilliant new album "Roulette" and give away a free mini mix download of it, and Headless Heroes featuring Alela Diane on vocals do the same, with a remix from Coldplay producer Jon Hopkins on "Hey, Who Really Cares". Also, leading urban producer DaVinChe launches a competition for fans to add their own raps and vocals to his new single "Rider", the winner will get to spend a day in the studio recording with DaVinChe. Also, The Beatles virtually reform for Rock Band, Britney Spears returns to London, but will Michael Jackson ever do the same?

See the feature in full here