Creative Warning - Government complacency risks jeopardising the future of the creative industries, a report from the House of Lords has warned, as it called out an "indifference to the sector’s potential". The report from the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee follows an inquiry into the future challenges of the creative industries, which heard evidence from sectors including the performing arts, film, TV, gaming and music.
It warns of missed opportunities among senior government figures to recognise the sector’s commercial potential and makes a series of recommendations to support the future of the creative industries, including that the Department for Education must "address the decline in people taking creative GCSEs". This has been an ongoing concern in the creative sector, which has repeatedly warned that the English Baccalaureate is side-lining the arts.
The report states: "The government’s current approach is complacent and risks jeopardising the sector’s commercial potential. Indeed, the creative industries scarcely featured in the 2022 Autumn Statement and were not included in the government’s five priorities for growth. This lack of focus risks affecting the UK’s future prosperity, especially at a time of rising international competition in the sector and domestic economic challenges." It adds: "To unlock the sector’s full potential, ministers must devote serious attention to fixing a policy landscape characterised by incoherence and barriers to success."
Baroness Tina Stowell, chair of the committee, described the UK’s creative industries as "economic powerhouses" that have been a "huge success story".
In The Courts - Following a 50-year legal battle, John Fogerty, the founding member of Creedence Clearwater Revival now owns the global publishing rights to the rock band's songs. It came after Mr Fogerty, now 77, bought a majority stake in the rights to the band's catalogue from Concord Records, which has owned the rights since 2004. "As of January this year, I own my own songs again," he wrote on Twitter. "This is something I thought would never be a possibility. After 50 years, I am finally reunited with my songs."
Fogerty owns the rights to his solo material, but his new majority interest gives him control - for the first time - over 65 Creedence Clearwater Revival copyrights, including hits like Bad Moon Rising, Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Proud Mary and Fortunate Son. The rocker founded the group in 1968, alongside his older brother Tom, Doug Clifford and Stu Cook, and was its lead singer, lead guitarist and principal songwriter. The California-born quartet notched nine top-10 singles and five top-10 albums on the Billboard charts, reportedly even besting the Beatles in album sales in the year 1969.
Vinyl Revival - A record-pressing plant on Teesside is to double production after a successful first year in business. Press On Vinyl opened in Middlesbrough in early-2022 with the aim of producing 50,000 records a month. Co-founder David Todd said the continued resurgence of vinyl records was due to factors including collectability for fans and profit margins for labels. The firm has 28 full-time employees with plans to add to that number. Todd told BBC Radio Tees the company's first year had been "lots of fun, lots of hard work" with the popularity of vinyl "bouncing back big time". He added, "Streaming is such an important part of how people consume music these days - it's fantastic, you've got every song you could want at your fingertips - but people like collecting things and having something tangible in their hands.
"They like flicking through their collection, picking a record, looking at the sleeve and listening to it from beginning to end in the order planned by the artist. From the artist and label point of view, it's a really good way to generate revenue [compared to streaming]. That's a key to why it's come back, especially for grassroots artists and smaller indie labels." The plant has installed a further two machines as it looks to ramp up production in the coming months.
(Jim Evans)
17 January 2023

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