midemblog: What are the best things about your job, and what have been your career highlights to date?
Charlie Biles: Like everyone in music, it’s being close to something you hold dear to you. Being able to discuss music with like-minded people and to help artists create a career from their art is both enjoyable and rewarding. My main highlight has been working with Agnes Obel. I was a huge fan before I joined [PIAS] and have had the pleasure of working on the last two records, helping nurture her audience.
> What advice would you give to people looking to start working in the music industry today?
Have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a curiosity for learning and developing new skills. You’ll also need to put yourself on the line, creating & taking opportunities to meet new people. If you’ve built a strong foundation of knowledge, when the opportunities transpire, you’ll be able to communicate and engage with people who will give you the entry points you need. Knowledge is power.
> What do you predict will be the key trends for music consumption and marketing in 2017?
The livestream area will keep growing and improving, becoming a more prominent part of everyone’s marketing campaigns. As the tech giants are investing heavily to dominate the space, consumers are aware and accustomed to the function. I also think the dismantling of the album will continue and the focus will gravitate further towards shorter form products (EPs, singles).
> What is the one innovation that we should be the most excited about?
There are a few hot topics in the tech world that will have some influence for the music industry, but for me the most prominent is the livestreaming area. There’s a battle going on between the tech giants, and also start-ups, to dominate this space and start to monetise live streams. Companies are already accomplishing this (YouNow, Twitch etc.), but some of the bigger companies are yet to monetise the format. This could potentially open up another revenue stream for the industry, and provide high quality but affordable options for live streams.
> And what do you think are the biggest challenges facing the music industry this year?
I think the biggest challenge will be for the tech companies to provide returns to their investors (or at least satisfy them to some degree). If Spotify’s IPO is unsuccessful, this will create further scepticism for investors when it comes to music related tech. I’d imagine the disaster that was Crowdmix has caused significant damage there.
This is the latest in a series of posts from key industry influencers from the world over, whom you’ll be able to meet at Midem 2017. More soon! Our UK ambassador posts are coordinated by Plan It Music‘s David Riley, in association with Motive Unknown.