At risk of stating the obvious, Harvey Goldsmith is one of the most important people in the live music business today; a reputation the recent Led Zeppelin reunion gig at London’s O2 did little to harm. The managing director of Artiste Management Productions (and MidemNet Visionary Chair Committee member) answers Music Week‘s questions right here, right now…
What most excites you about the digital music space at the moment?
How much it’s expanding and opening up new opportunities.
What do you see as the biggest untapped source of value within music, and who is best placed to reap the benefits?
Back catalogues, the catalogue value of all those big record companies, that are still untapped. Everybody can benefit from it; the writers, whoever’s going to record the stuff, the artists and the record companies. With the live industry so healthy and all these people going on tour, I don’t think any of the major record companies, or even the medium-sized companies, have really made the most of their catalogues.
If you could fix one thing in the music industry in 2008, what would it be?
Outlaw the secondary ticket market and take the word ‘ticket’ off ebay’s inventory.
Are the solutions to the music industry’s problems more likely to be found by those within the traditional industry, or by people outside of it?
I think basically the industry is changing a lot, nothing sits still, it’s constantly evolving, so a new breed of people coming to the industry will have new ideas and new ways of doing things with don’t necessarily balance with the traditional. Those traditionalists that are open enough to take into account what’s coming will survive, those that are dyed in the wool won’t survive. Having people that are completely outside of the industry to solve all the problems, I don’t buy that at all. Having accountants and people who can go through a big company staff list and say “you don’t need this, you don’t need that, that’s fine”… but for 99% of companies that’s not a problem. It’s only the four big companies that have that problem. Everybody else is lean and mean in the main. It’s about change and evolution, it’s not about people coming in – consultants and busybodies – telling you how to run your business.
What was your favourite song/album of the past 12 months?
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (Raising Sound, Rounder Music).
Which is the company or executive to watch in 2008?
That’s an interesting one. I’ll have to think about that…