Each week, Music Week profiles the most exciting rising talent in the business. This week, we meet Mich Mellard, licensing coordinator at Universal Music Group...
How did you break into the biz?
In 2012, my twin brother and I set up a music channel on YouTube called Fhinq Music. We used it as an outlet for broadcasting music that we love. Over time, the channel began to attract a wider audience, so we decided to promote more upcoming artists. We have featured names such as Kaytranada, Mura Masa and Tom Misch. This became a major turning point because of the attention the channel was attracting from industry people, such as major label A&Rs. Our channel now has over 100,000 subscribers. I then got a job in licensing, and I have learned so much about the technical and logistical sides of the industry, such as contracts and systems. I have a great team around me which is so crucial.
Why is video so important?
Video consumption is rising: four million hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every day and one billion hours of video are watched every day. Major labels evidently see the value in this, with recent Facebook partnerships. What I also think is interesting is majors essentially transitioning into content houses, with the focus on creating multimedia content and advancing new forms of storytelling.
Why is the licensing sector so vibrant at the moment?
There’s a lot of disruption happening in and around licensing, involving royalties, publishing and monetisation. The business is shifting towards more transparency with technologies such as blockchain on the horizon.
Do young people in the industry need to be versatile?
The tools exist for a younger generation to forge their own path, building businesses from the ground up in a way that suits their needs. I think it’s just about living with a ‘no rules’ mentality towards everything. The industry is an ever-changing and often volatile landscape, adaptability and creativity are more crucial than ever. On the flipside, we’re living in a time of instant gratification, my generation wants everything now. Patience and gratitude are two things I remind myself of on a daily basis.
What does the future of the industry look like?
If we look at recent breakthrough acts such as J Hus, Not3s and Ramz, they have all risen through channels such as GRM Daily and Link Up TV. These acts have broken with no budget or major push, and that just makes us question who the real gatekeepers are.
What’s the biggest myth about the music industry?
That everyone has it all clued up. Everyone is still learning and developing.
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