MPG session considers DIY record company practicalities

Reaching audiences and distributing music in the online era were among the topics addressed during the Music Producers Guild’s second DIY event, which took place at Metropolis Studios in London on 30 March.
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Reaching audiences and distributing music in the online era were among the topics addressed during the Music Producers Guild’s second DIY event, which took place at Metropolis Studios in London on 30 March.

A panel including Karen Emanuel (Key Production), Jonathan Quarmby (AWAL), Michael Fuller (AIM), James McGuinness (Absolute Marketing and Distribution) and record producer/MPG director Tommy D discussed a wealth of issues surrounding record company start-ups.

Following an initial presentation from Tommy D about emerging industry panels, Michael Fuller addressed the independent labels market. Karen Emanuel explained the process of manufacture and the value of merchandise, while Jonathan Quarmby explored the method by which AWAL uploads/encodes music into stores and then accounts to and pays its clients. James McGuinness, meanwhile, gave several examples of the process of running a DIY label.

The importance of the CD, the role of the major record companies, the benefits of using aggregators, and the continuing debate around illegal downloading were among the many issues to arise during the evening, which concluded with a busy Q&A session.

A workshop day for DIY is currently under consideration, while a third DIY event will take place during the summer. More details to be posted on the MPG website (www.mpg.org.uk) as and when they are available.

“DIY is about empowering artists to take control of their musical output, allowing the public the option of finding and judging it for themselves, which helps to define where your market may ultimately be. It gives artists the best possible start because it helps them get their music out there in front of a new audience,” said Tommy D. “We hope that these useful sessions – of which there will be more – will give people the tools and understanding they need for success in the changing landscape of the music industry.”

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