Decoding The Music Industry: Adapting to the Ever-Evolving Landscape of Clubs

Revisit the first installment of Beatport’s new three-part panel series, “Decoding The Music Industry.”

6 min
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Aug 16, 2023
Vincent Morris

Last week on August 11th, Beatport launched its new live panel series ‘Decoding The Music Industry’. Initiated by Beatport’s Chief Community Officer Sofia Ilyas, the series brings together experts from various corners of the industry for themed panel discussions and Q&A sessions.

Spread across three dates in London this month, ‘Decoding the Music Industry’ is aimed at providing aspiring producers and DJs invaluable insights and career-oriented advice amidst a highly competitive and always evolving industry.

Hosted at Beatport’s brand new London HQ in Farringdon, the first session – ‘Adapting to the Ever-Evolving Landscape of Clubs’ – invited some of the city’s leading personalities in club culture: Karolina Magnusson Murray (head of arts, FOLD nightclub), Jacob Husley (head of Sunday programming and marketing, fabric nightclub), and Tris Rothschild (talent booker, E1 nightclub).

The discussion covered some key areas – including how to break through as an artist, the impact of COVID on the industry, and the meaning and importance of community.

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“As a new DJ, especially, you have to have a USP here to make yourself known to the market, and make yourself known to the club.” – Tris Rothschild

Rothschild highlighted the importance of standing out, where having a unique selling point will bring you into the exposure of key venues and promoters. Magnusson elaborated on this, claiming that “it’s not necessarily just about clubbing or partying, it’s also about just performance […] and I feel like there is potentially more of an appetite for that.”

In light of our current era of social media, Rothschild went on to express the importance of having a strong profile, and how that may influence whether an artist gets booked or not: “In a marketing sense, for us sometimes a bigger follower count is better. We use a lot of Facebook and Instagram ads to attract people to the club. If the audience isn’t there, it’s very, very hard to try and get the word out there.”

Although the reality of social media’s influence on the success of an artist may seem overbearing, the panel shared other tried and tested avenues – including raising your profile through releasing quality music as opposed to creating a community, or delivering something unique through performance and the various possible spaces that exist outside of the usual club-night context.

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“Building a community is one approach, but not everyone might have that ability, some people are just really gifted musicians and introverted, and don’t know how to do all those other things. Instead you can release music and be discovered that way – and it does happen. So, whatever you aspire to, I think it’s just focus. Focussing on yourself, and having a clear idea of exactly where you want to go and what your aims are.” – Jacob Husley

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It became clear in the discussion that ‘community’ can be a powerful tool to generate opportunities for artists. Husley and Rothschild both made points on how building a community gives an impression on an artist’s influence and impact, and why such things are important when it comes to getting booked at the club. Magnusson emphasized another angle, that calls for a more collaborative environment where artists feel supported and communication channels are open.

All speakers agreed that community plays a key role in the health and success of an artist, as well as clubs and promoters. With the rise of technology and social media, it has become an integral aspect to marketing and getting in front of the right people.

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However, community can also be used as a way to support one another in what could be perceived as a competitive industry. Magnusson’s response ultimately champions diversity, equanimity and communication in the name of a more prosperous music and arts industry:

“I feel like in an ideal world it would be better to have a more collaborative way of being able to understand the community and each other, and kind of work together to build up the industry and support and talk to each other more about what we’re doing. Ideally that would be amazing.” – Karolina Magnusson

The discussion and Q&A was followed by a DJ set from Jenn Getz & Alfie.

Join us on Thursday 17th August for our second session ‘The Shifting Landscape of Releasing Music’, with Kitty Amor, Sarah Wilson, Stephanie Adamou, hosted by Alex Branson.

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