Music venues take cut of merch sales

19 Apr 2022

Academy Music Group (AMG) venues are taking a 25% cut from merchandise sales at live events, according to an investigation by The Guardian.

An undisclosed amount then goes to Universal Music Group (UMG), owners of the world’s three largest record labels, even if the artist in question is not signed to UMG.

In March, post-punk band Dry Cleaning hosted a pop-up merch store away from their gig at London’s O2 Forum, owned by AMG, to retain their profits.

“We probably sold the same number of units, but as we were able to retain 25% it worked out better for us financially,” Band Manager Helena Watmuff said.

Over 380 venues nationwide are included in the Featured Artists Coalition's (FAC) 100% Venues directory, a public database of venues that charge zero commission on artists' merchandise sales.

FAC CEO David Martin said these venues are making selling merchandise at gigs worthwile for artists: “[This creates] a fairer and more sustainable touring circuit, particularly for grassroots and emerging talent.”

Queen art to be 'minted' for jubilee

11 Apr 2022

Artistic portrayals of the Queen will be "minted" as NFTs following an exhibition on London's South Bank.

Ad Lib Gallery are seeking digital depictions of the monarch to display at The OXO Gallery and along platforms at Victoria Station for 'Art Save the Queen'.

Chosen works will be showcased on NFT marketplace OpenSea.

Submissions to the "unique creative challenge" should be made to by May 2 and be no larger than 2 meg each.


IPO eyes 'social contract' around creators' rights

11 Apr 2022

A new research project and campaign aims to improve compliance with intellectual property rights.

IPO Chief Executive Tim Moss said the office will this year investigate "how society considers intellectual property" and hopefully build a new "social contract" that better protects creators' rights.

"We need to reassess the balance of return on investment and social return," Moss told attendees at a Westminster Media Forum on Friday (April 8).

Campaigns to prevent counterfeit and illegal downloads are planned.

Moss added: "It's a massive challenge but we really do need to change attitudes around IP."

Instrument dealers banned from trading

31 Aug 2021

Two owners of a London flute shop have been banned from trading for the rest of the decade.

Fred Patrick Onn and Andrew Thomson admitted to allowing Top Wind to sell over 20 musical instruments owned by third parties after the retailer went bust in July 2019.

An Insolvency Service investigation found proceeds worth more than £33,000 were not passed onto the owners.

Top Wind entered into liquidation in March 2020 after its accountant was jailed for malpractice.

The Insolveny Service's ruling determined Onn and Thomson cannot become involved with the promotion, formation or management of a company for nine years.

DCMS Minister voices support for CMA to investigate music streaming

24 Mar 2021

Inquiry offers little hope of a copyright regime change to ensure equitable remuneration for artists any time soon.

What the Romans did for us…

Photo of a Roman Bath
04 Jul 2019

Visitor attractions are embracing innovative approaches to maximising sales and income. Debbie Richards explains the approach recently introduced at The Roman Baths, a leading heritage attraction.

Grassroots venues face discrimination on business rates, says UK Music

Close up photo of a microphone
24 May 2019

The industry body says 124 venues would save more than £4,000 each a year if they were offered the same discounts as pubs and bars.

Wheelchair users barred from online bookings

A photo of an empty theatre auditorium
24 May 2019

New research finds only 4% of bookings that included wheelchair access needs were made online, compared to 60% of all transactions.

Essential viewing

Woman using ticketing system on screen
06 Dec 2018

Venues need a better understanding of customer spending habits for purchases like pre-show meals and interval drinks. James McClure explains how a ticketing solution is providing a comprehensive view.

How Bristol Culture turned its retail operation around

Photo of interior of shop
14 Feb 2018

Three years ago Bristol’s museum and gallery shops were running without a plan and losing money, but now they are on track to increase revenue by 60%. Zak Mensah tells the story.

Making collections pay

Photo of silk dresses
03 Mar 2016

Many museums and galleries struggle to manage the costs of storing and conserving their collections. Emma Sumner introduces two innovative organisations that are making their collections pay their own way.  

High-street strategies

Photo of museum shop
11 Feb 2016

Gallery and theatre shops can learn a lot from high-street retailers. Corin Birchall shares his tips.

Setting up shop

Photo of a visitor in the Soane Shop
28 May 2015

Since opening its museum shop two years ago, the Sir John Soane Museum has seen it go from strength to strength, developing a valuable new income stream. Xanthe Arvanitakis explains how.

A second production line

Image of set for Marriage
12 Mar 2014

Ten years ago Belgrade Theatre Coventry had to find new sources of income. Joanna Reid tells how its production services subsidiary is now contributing £400,000 a year.

Writing in a hidden world

Image of writers in a workshop
19 Feb 2014

Lucas Stewart reports on the difficulties involved in ‘Hidden Words, Hidden Worlds’, a British Council project in Burma seeking to develop ethnic minority language literature.

The magnitude of marketing

The Culture Hive website
29 Oct 2013

How much has the arts marketing role changed in the last twenty years? Strikingly, says Sarah Chambers, who examines what is now required to market culture.

A land of adventure and discovery

Image of performance of 'Passion'
13 Jun 2013

David Alston recognises that Wales’ physical attractions pull in most tourists but believes that exciting and innovative cultural work is well worth discovering too.

The art of merchandising

Image of the William Morris Gallery shop
13 May 2013

Linda Weston tells how the William Morris Gallery has recorded increased shop sales since its recent refurbishment.

Charity shop fundraising

Ribbon cutting ceremony
16 Oct 2012

Beckie Smith tells how a charity shop is contributing to funding Tewkesbury’s theatre, The Roses.


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