• Matt Errington

End of Year Message From SMB: The School of Music Business


This year, our industry continued its unrelenting pace of change and innovation. We entered a fourth consecutive year of growth. Streaming revenue has increased 34% year on year, and at the start of 2019 it already accounted for over half of global recording revenues, with 220 million users of paid streaming services. The live music sector also reported record highs, now worth £1.1 billion to the UK economy alone. Couple exciting new platforms that connect us with millions of music listeners, with technological advances from VR, AR, blockchain and 5G; the future of the music industry has never been brighter.


There have been some major industry news stories, debates and events throughout the year. Taylor Swift discussed male privilege, brought issues of master ownership and copyright to a mainstream public consciousness, and of course, released a new record, becoming Forbes highest earning celebrity of the year. Ariana Grande became the first artist since The Beatles to occupy numbers one, two and three on the Billboard Hot 100. Lil Nas X made chart history, taking ‘Old Town Road’ to the top of the US charts for 17 weeks. Lizzo and Billie Eilish led the wins at The Grammy Awards, which were dominated by incredible female talent. I spoke, mentored and joined panels at music business conventions in 8 countries throughout 2019, and was encouraged by the prominence and candidness of discussions around mental health and environmental sustainability from within the music industry.


Here at SMB: The School of Music Business, we were again privileged to be joined by hundreds of talented and passionate students who studied courses such as Music Business Fundamentals, Artist Management, Music Publishing, The Record Label Business and Music Marketing. As I rapidly approach 20 years in the music industry, I’m continuously invigorated by the amazing skills and dedication our students show to their work. I try to impress upon all of them, that the work they are doing, or that they are about to start, is hugely important. Because music is important. We see the global impact of music every day – helping people to process their emotions, enabling others to make sense of their own, creating meaningful interactions with a community, and influencing genuine and authentic changes across society.


All of those that work in creating, promoting, releasing, protecting, managing or administrating music, become the guardians of it. It’s a responsibility, but one that I feel could not be in safer hands, based on the alumni that I’ve been so proud to work with and get to know this year. Their achievements in 2019 have been truly inspiring – from securing six figure recording contracts for their clients, setting up management companies with people they met on their course, accepting their dream jobs in music supervision, live agencies, record labels and more.


Thank you to our tutors, staff, friends and especially, to the alumni that have made 2019 such an exciting time. As the year, indeed the decade, comes to an end, we remain as passionate as ever to ensure SMB: The School of Music Business continues to support, mentor, guide and celebrate the music industry professionals of today and tomorrow.


Happy Holidays everyone!


Matt Errington | Co-Director of SMB: The School of Music Business

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