Easy ways to spruce up your local SEO and listing management

29 Mar 2023

If you want to raise awareness of your commercial offering to your audiences, there are some simple things you can do to your website to help achieve your goals, writes Ell Powell.

Voice-over jobs at risk from AI, union warns

28 Mar 2023

Artificial intelligence is a threat to the livelihoods of voice-over artists, performers' union Equity has said.

Liam Budd, Equity’s Audio and New Media Official, told The Stage that the development of automated digital voice technology is "a real concern for our audio artist members". 

He said areas most at risk are entry and low-level work, such as eLearning, interactive voice response and call-waiting work, which can make up a large portion of income for many voice-over actors.

Budd added: "We conducted a survey and 93% of audio artists who responded thought the development of AI technology posed a threat to employment opportunities in the performing arts sector."

He also said that the quality of contracts used to our engage members for AI work was "a huge problem". 

"Provisions are often very unclear about usage and simply request that the performer signs away their rights in perpetuity without explaining where or how their professional contribution may be exploited."

Equity has launched a campaign to lobby for legislative changes that will provide better protections for those working in the sector.

Libraries provide a much-needed home for digital culture

Two schoolchildren using VR
23 Mar 2023

Linda Cockburn shares how bringing digital culture into Coventry’s libraries is building communities and helping to bridge a digital divide.

Immersive art space to open at Wembley Park

Members of the Punchdrunk Enrichment team at the site of the new space (left to right) Alice Kitty Devlin, Peter Higgin, and Mia Jerome
21 Mar 2023

Performing arts charity sets out plans to launch new immersive arts space in London with the help of local artists and community groups.

Museum's artefact database 'inaccessible' after cyber attack

16 Mar 2023

A cyber attack linked to Russian hackers that took place more than a year ago is continuing to prevent a museum from accessing its artefact database.

The BBC reports that benefit payments, planning applications and house sales were all delayed when Gloucester City Council was hit by hackers in December 2021.

A new council report has revealed that the Museum of Gloucester is still being affected by the cyber incident.

"It is very worrying that in a council report it was mentioned that the museum services had not had access to its collections database, hindering important investigation into the city's historic monuments," Jeremy Hilton, Leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group at the council, said.

"I hope this important information isn't lost forever or that officers will not have to spend their valuable time inputting data all over again."

Andy Lewis, Portfolio holder for Culture and Leisure at the council, said he believed no records had been lost.

Partner Pod: Surviving permacrisis

On stage at Conway Hall, London, are Robin Cantrill-Fenwick, Iain Christie, Penny Hansen and Katie Moffat
15 Mar 2023

Are the arts locked in a permacrisis? How do we survive it if so? How long until we get back to 'normal'? Join Robin Cantrill-Fenwick and his panel of guests in Arts Professional's first Partner Pod.

ACE vows to prevent 'commercial exploitation' of audience data

14 Mar 2023

Arts Council England says platform developers PwC will not be allowed to benefit commercially from data provided to it, as it publishes new guidance for organisations making up its 2023-26 portfolio.

Changing fast and slow

A Black man is standing in a workspace room, laughing with four other people who are sat down. They all have laptops and there are water bottles, mugs, and bags on the desk in front of them.
08 Mar 2023

Research repeatedly highlights that the cultural sector has a capacity issue to address before it can fully realise the benefits of digital working, writes Ash Mann.

BBC moves ahead with Introducing cuts

02 Mar 2023

The BBC has confirmed it will cut back its BBC Introducing programme, which profiles up-and-coming grassroots musicians.

The plans will see the loss of 12 BBC Introducing shows, with 20 of the BBC’s 39 local radio stations retaining their own editions.

In January, a coalition of music groups wrote to the BBC expressing “grave concern” the plans to streamline BBC Introducing shows would have an adverse effect on grassroots music in the UK.

In a statement released earlier this week, the broadcaster said the remaining BBC Introducing shows will be broadcast twice as often, to “give up-and-coming musicians a bigger platform and audiences than ever before”.

Each station will also “retain music expertise on site to support the production of the programmes and bring in new talent”, the statement adds.

The Guardian reports the cuts form a wider plan for the BBC’s regional stations to share more shows, in order to modernise local services and save money.

Call for transparency on music streaming algorithm 'bias'

A music streaming app on a mobile phone
23 Feb 2023

Study commissioned by DCMS calls for more transparency on recommendation algorithms used by music streaming platforms amid concerns they may be biased against People of Colour.

Classical streaming service pledges fair remuneration for artists

21 Feb 2023

A new streaming service for classical and jazz music has said it is putting the fair remuneration of artists at the heart of its business.

Leamington Spa-based Presto Music's new service uses a 'pay-per-second model' rather than paying by track.

The ecommerce site said that classical artists in particular are disadvantaged by the per-track approach, due to the much longer length of individual pieces.

Chris O'Reilly, Chief Executive of Presto Music, said: "Recently there has been much discussion in the media about how poorly streaming services remunerate artists, and the regularly used track-play system certainly doesn’t favour the often much longer classical music tracks.

"Musicians are the lifeblood of our industry. We are proud that we are launching this model here in the UK which will pay artists and composers fairly."

O'Reilly added that the new service features over 200,000 classical and jazz albums available in CD-quality sound, plus more than 34,000 albums in Hi-Res Audio (up to 24-bit, 192kHz).

Subscribers to the service can also download albums to listen to offline.

Journey to IPSO status

Person wearing fishnet gloves. We can see the individuals side profile. Their fists are clenched and they're holding them towards their face. They have their eyes close and head down. They're wearing bold makeup and large hoop earrings.
15 Feb 2023

In April, The Space will formally join ACE’s National Portfolio as an IPSO (or Investment Principles Support Organisation). Fiona Morris explains what this will mean for the organisation over the next three years.

Online ABRSM music assessment reaches new milestone

13 Feb 2023

Over 500,000 music performance grades assessed by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) have been completed remotely since the board launched online examinations two and a half years ago.

The online music assessment, which was introduced during the pandemic to meet demand from music learners unable to take traditional face-to-face exams, is assessed entirely digitally via video recordings.

Since its launch, ABRSM examiners have assessed more than 8m minutes of videoed submissions performed on 42 different instruments, with Grade 5 piano being the most popular online exam.

Students from 82 countries have completed this method of music examination.

ABRSM’s Deputy Chief Executive Penny Milsom said while face-to-face exam bookings continue to “build strongly” following the pandemic, appetite for online music assessment remains.

“It is fantastic that teachers and learners are taking advantage of the choice now available between digital and face-to-face, and practical and performance grades,” she said.

“Many candidates benefit from recording their exam in familiar surroundings. We also know that these exams work well for adult learners who are either returning to exams or learning for the first time.”

When hearts beat together: Measuring immersion in live theatre

08 Feb 2023

Filmed theatre is still a relatively new medium - between film and live theatre. So how do we develop the visual language to take it to the next level? asks Mike Richardson.

Government backtracks on controversial copyright changes

02 Feb 2023

Plans to amend copyright law to allow artificial intelligence developers to exploit protected works without the permission of creators and rightsholders have been ditched by government.

During a debate in the House of Commons today Intellectual Property Minister George Freeman said he and DCMS Minister Julia Lopez felt that the proposals were not correct and that they would “not be proceeding" with them.

The changes of policy follows opposition to the proposals from the music industry.

“We are looking to stop them and to return to office to have a rather deeper conversation with the All Party Parliamentary Group who I met yesterday, with experts in both Houses and with the industry,” Freeman said.

Commenting on the announcement, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, Chief Executive of UK Music, said: “UK Music warmly welcomes the minister’s decision to scrap plans for a catastrophic blanket copyright exception.

“The whole music industry has been united in its opposition to these proposals, which would have paved the way for music laundering and opened up our brilliant creators and rights holders to gross exploitation.

“We are delighted to see the back of a policy that risked irreparable damage to the global success story that is the UK music industry."

2023: A year for squeezing your digital assets

People in an office on computers and laptops. The office is surrounded by artworks placed on the walls. There is a large window in the background.
31 Jan 2023

In the fast-changing world of digital, people love to forecast. But rather than focus on the future, Katie Moffat thinks you should look at what you already have to squeeze the best from your most important digital asset: your website. 

Music project to make 50 years of recordings publicly available

31 Jan 2023

A new archive project will see thousands of music recordings dating back to 1973 digitised and made publicly available online.

The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester will be delving into its vast archive of recordings for its Throwing Open the Concert Doors project.

The RNCM plans to conserve and digitise performances spanning a 50-year period, including everything from student recitals to full-scale opera productions.

As well as being available online, there are also plans to install a public listening booth at the college’s Oxford Road site.

Heather Roberts, RNCM Archivist, said: “The RNCM’s story is of great significance to Manchester’s cultural heritage, but it is ultimately a ‘hidden gem’ in terms of public awareness.”

She added that many of the older recordings are in danger of being lost due their deterioration over time.

“Due to the ravages of time, these [older recordings] are steadily and irreversibly degrading and, without conservation and digitations, will soon be lost forever.

Throwing Open the Concert Doors is supported by a £206,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

It will be delivered in partnership with Manchester Digital Music Archive – a volunteer-run online community archive – and Manchester Central Library’s Unlocking Our Sound Heritage initiative.

Music leaders call for rethink on BBC Introducing cuts

Florence + The Machine performing at a music concert
19 Jan 2023

Proposed shake-up of BBC radio programmes will see a reduction in music shows that have provided a platform for emerging artists such as Florence + The Machine, Ed Sheeran, Little Simz and Lewis Capaldi.

Government complacency 'jeopardising creative industries'

A seated woman using a VR headset
17 Jan 2023

Inquiry into the future of UK's creative industries calls for government to place sector at the heart of its growth agenda and fix 'incoherent' policies.

Banks blamed after venues experience secure payment issues

Exterior of a ticket office. A black and white building with three windows that have the word 'tickets' printed over
16 Jan 2023

Arts venues report failed payments after an updated online verification process was made mandatory, due to banks being unprepared to facilitate the switchover.


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