So Adele wows the Brits once more, gets kicked off to make way for an okay performance from Blur (aside from the drummer who was ace) and the guitarist who played that Song 2 riff well and the other one who was good on backing woo-hoos. Next we hear the TV audience is up to a high of six million, beating 2005's record. The previous morning I was woken to the news that Adele is selling an album once every seven seconds.
What to make of all this? People love music and music on TV is a winner according to viewers. Yet why do we still have so few outlets for music on television and why are they so difficult to get on? I say this as an artist manager who has experience at both ends of the spectrum, having worked with huge international artists such like Dame Shirley Bassey and David Bowie on one end of the scale and my current roster of up and coming artists such as folk band Skinny Lister and fellow HP blogger and artist Peter Grant.
Having managed Dame Shirley's last album project The Performance which I took from a concept in my head to her most successful selling album of her career, I know that the one thing that still sells albums is a TV performance. Online, press, even radio, doesnt really sell records, unless your a pop or dub step act with a teenage fan base. All the other areas of the media only go to support and allow significant profile to justify a TV appearance being booked.
On the upcoming band end of the scale, pickings are slim. Firstly, it's really hard to get on TV, secondly, there are virtually no big TV opportunities for breaking acts and thirdly, it's almost impossible to get the gate keepers of the TV airwaves to come and see new artists.
Long time industry TV plugger and campaigner for more music on TV Dylan White is right... we need a replacement for Top of the Pops, we need a breeder show for the excellent Later and we need more slots like the 4 Play music shorts on Channel 4 and a regular outlet for music videos and music documentaries (which people also love) on mainstream channels.
Daytime TV offers even less. According to some of the leading daytime execs, the reason they rarely book music acts on their couches is because ratings drop off and the kettle goes on as soon as the act breaks into song.
So, what to do? In a few years time, I believe there will be big budget online versions of all the shows that us music lovers are missing, the Tube, TOTP etc as TV and online merges into one.
But what we really need right now is more opportunities on terrestrial TV for young bands to reach an audience, because when they do, as Adele has proved by her 17 million album sales, there's money to be made in advertising revenue and record sales and everybody will be rolling in the deep.
I will be blogging from SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas, from 13-19 March.
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