Why the biz needs longevity — for artists and executives

Why the biz needs longevity — for artists and executives

The latest edition of Music Week is unofficially sponsored by that most elusive of words: ‘longevity’.

Of course, becoming a permanent fixture in the ever-changing music industry’s firmament is no easy task, but fortunately there are shining lights out there to follow.

Our cover star Neil Warnock would be one: currently celebrating 50 years in the music business. The Damned are another: still going strong some 42 years after first leaving ears ringing.

What’s clear from these two examples is that longevity is not simply the process of sticking around for a long time, but rather what you achieve while you do. Warnock and The Damned’s impact on the inner-workings of the biz and successive generations of rock bands respectively could not be overestimated.

But what of the next generation of execs and artists? Two potential obstacles to career longevity could be spotted lurking on the underbelly of some of the biggest headlines last week.

Amid all the news involving Spotify’s IPO, once again opinions were raised about whether streaming platforms are putting enough money back into artists’ pockets to make being a recording artist a financially viable career.

Likewise, the depressing disparity of the music industry’s gender pay gap problem provided another acute example of how the very foundations of careers, let alone their longevity, are being threatened by the status quo.
   
They are but two examples of how the music industry may not only lose the talent that is its lifeblood, but also the kind of business or artistic innovations that so often are only made possible by experience. Or put another way: longevity.
   
George Garner, Deputy Editor
ggarner@nbmedia.com

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