Music Week – Music Week

Kim Bayley has been recognised by the music industry for her 20 years in charge of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).  

And, even better than that, she received a personal video tribute from Jack Savoretti (Bayley is a fan, the girl revealed to Songs Week ).

Membership of the Amusement Retailers Organization (ERA) has more compared to doubled since Bayley took charge two decades ago this month. In the latest issue of Music Week , we quiz the chief exec about her achievements.

Here, in a bonus online Q& A, she celebrates triumphs such as Record Store Day, and looks back on some of the sector’s more challenging episodes…

Congratulations on two decades as CEO. How do you reflect on ERA’s evolution?

“The trade body has changed so much over those 20 years. When I joined ERA, it was very a lot High Street retailers like Woolworths and Virgin. Now it’s a completely different beast with Spotify, Amazon and Google. So there’s been the lot to grapple along with over the years to bring ERA in order to where it is now. Record Shop Day is obviously a massive high point, with ERA taking that from a fledgling event when it started to probably the particular biggest new music promotion that there’s been for the last decade. Growing that with regard to our independent vendors continues to be huge. And launching other promotions like National Album Day together with the BPI. We’ve changed PERIOD in the way it approaches things. It’s become much more commercial regarding our members, and the particular insights that will we’ve delivered over the years have completely reset ERA within terms associated with our members’ expectations of what we perform. We have a consumer tracking study that’s run for over 10 years now in terms associated with tracking the changing market. So we’ve launched brand new services plus new promotions, which have been great for our members. ”

How did you reinvent the organisation?

“I was hired because they wanted someone to change the particular organisation. Luckily for me, they realised that they didn’t want the retailer within charge; these people wanted someone who came from a commercial background, who came from a background of launching new businesses and understanding where the industry was going. So I had the support associated with my board from the very beginning to change it into an company that represented not just music, but video plus games and was moving into the particular digital space. When all of us started introducing companies such as Amazon to the table, there has been nervousness that will they were a big beast and they wouldn’t get music. But I think that’s changed over the years. I’ve been lucky to have some really great board users through the particular years that have supported my vision in terms of turning ERA into the voice intended for entertainment, both physical plus digital. ”

How do you manage a few of the big issues over the many years like digital-first releases and cover-mount CDs free with newspapers?

“Cover-mount CDs had been a much bigger problem than digital. Where merchants have always seen a lot more tension is when the particular supply side from the business tries to be a retailer rather than when some other retailers come into the market. They accept that competition is good, they take that innovation is good. Whenever digital arrived, [the view was that] it was going to hopefully grow the marketplace overall, plus that will be where coming from ended up . If you look at all the graphs of the music market over the last 2 decades that Seems here, this only started going up when electronic retailers entered the marketplace. ”

We often hear about the particular role of catalogue when it comes to streaming, yet it’s also important to get vinyl sales, isn’t it?

“In some ways, dividing things up between catalogue and frontline release is nonsensical. Because a lot of catalogue sales are people discovering that songs for the first time, and so pertaining to them it’s no various. Having the particular huge amount associated with music available on streaming services means that people are usually discovering list more, plus that then drives them to buy this on vinyl as well. So it’s the massively positive thing meant for the sector that we all offer people more and more music. ”

Are you keeping an eye on any brand new or revived formats designed for music suppliers??

“The thing with the music industry is that it constantly innovates. That’s what’s great about it — it finds gaps in the market. I believe if you want a fan product, CD single might be a good thing to use at the particular moment because you can’t get the vinyl through the plants. Likewise, NFTs will appeal in order to a certain number of consumers. If we stop innovating, that’s whenever it’s likely to be bad for the songs industry. I’d hate to predict what’s going in order to win out in 10 years’ period. Ten years ago, I might nicely have said streaming will certainly win away. It’s hard to pick winners and losers. It’s just good that all of us have as many formats as possible for different customers. ”

Within the loading era, does Q4 still matter?

“There’s definitely a Q4 within physical terms. If you are wanting to gift something to someone in Q4, you’re not going in order to gift them a Spotify subscription because they probably already possess it. You’re going to gift all of them an Arctic Monkeys vinyl fabric or whatever you choose. So for  High Street retail, supermarkets and Amazon . com, there is definitely still the Q4 plus product is nevertheless lined up just for Q4. Plus that obviously drives streaming consumption as well, if people are creating new music to satisfy that Q4 demand that will drive overall product sales. ”

How is National Recording Day becoming established?

“We’re in year five and it has become quite established. Certainly all of the services and retailers are aware it happens. Which retailers engage may depend on who the ambassadors are and what the particular product is usually, but it can definitely established. I think the whole industry has got behind it within terms associated with its importance to keep talking about the album : to make sure that will people do discover albums rather than simply tracks. We’re very happy really with National Album Day . ”

And you must be proud of Record Store Day, which has become firmly established given that its launch in 2008?

“Yes, hugely proud of Record Shop Day and massively proud of Megan [Page, ERA coordinator] , who will a huge amount of work for Record Store Day time in the particular UK. But it’s the retailers that really drove it. It can owned from the shops, they will saw the particular potential for vinyl at a time where maybe the industry did not see that potential. ERA offers been able to help the shops bring that in order to fruition. ”

The whole industry needs to focus on the fan

Kim Bayley

What are usually the key issues for members right now?

“There’s a lot of work around music loading, making sure that our own members can continue to innovate , making certain that they are definitely perceived as part associated with the business. We’re incredibly proud of our DSPs too, in terms associated with what they’ve done in bringing fans together with music and being a really proactive part of the market. So we all work hard upon their behalf. There’s lots of new research projects to help the members capitalise on the points that they can innovate on. And after that working with our indies, to continue to drive promotions plus music through National Record Day or Record Store Day, is in many ways business as usual. ”

What do you believe gaming provides got right in the particular last few years? What are the lessons for songs?

“The connection with the fans – their fans are really engaged. They furthermore innovate and are capable to innovate in a way that maybe music can’t, due to the fact it’s a newer sector. It’s not constrained by a few of the licensing problems that digital services within music have got. They are usually able in order to create brand new things, they’re at the particular forefront associated with virtual reality and at the forefront of artificial intelligence. I think they could just develop all of all those things, plus they seem to be able to command the massive price point from their fans. ”

Is the power from the lover a crucial consideration?

“In ERA’s world, the particular fan is definitely first. It’s about creators and customers, but consumers are ultimately followers and that is the role of our members – to provide fans with each other with the particular music, the films or even the games that they really love. So the entire industry needs to focus upon the enthusiast, and not on the complications that the particular industry has. It’s regarding what the fans would like and trying to deliver that will to them. ”

How is membership of PERIOD at this particular point now that you’ve been in charge for two decades?

“It’s at the particular highest level it’s ever been considering that I’ve looked after ERA . When We joined, we had about 110 people and all of us have regarding 270 associates now, so it’s more than doubled. It represents pretty much every independent shop that sells new songs to any degree, most of the large digital solutions, and the grocery stores and High Street merchants in the middle. Therefore while there are a few gaps, it’s a fairly comprehensive membership. ”

We have one music chain left, how do you feel about HMV’s continued presence upon the High-street?

“I believe it’s really important for songs generally to have a large chain on the particular High Street . The fact that they are one of the few shops that sells music and video on the High Street is actually positive with regard to the industry as a whole. They’re doing all of the right items, they’re mixing up their own product base, they’re catering to enthusiasts, you’ll see that they have the lot associated with fan merchandise in their stores now. I actually think all of our members would acknowledge that they are pivotal for the industry. ”

It was such a tumultuous time regarding a while with regards to suppliers closing down…

“We had a few years exactly where, almost every Christmas, I required a call from several retailer that was going to be no longer. ”

Are you confident that will music retail has now settled down since that period of closures?

“I think it has since it’s a very different world. So on the one hand you have big digital providers. On the other hand, you have impartial High Road retailers and HMV. You don’t really have a large number of chains that are exiting the marketplace. Obviously supermarkets have transformed their position a little bit in stocking less entertainment. Yet I think the particular market is within a fairly steady place at the moment. ”

Subscribers can read our own magazine interview here for more from Betty Bayley upon physical songs, vinyl as well as the impact of the economic downturn.  

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