Era chair Ben Drury: ‘AI and the metaverse are on our agenda’ | Labels

Ora Sawyers

The United kingdom household leisure market place relished its 10th consecutive 12 months of progress in 2022 to arrive at an all-time-history, according to figures published nowadays in the yearly yearbook of digital leisure and retail affiliation Era.

With 14.1% of revenue nonetheless from actual physical formats, new music remains well forward of video games (10.5%) and video (4.9%). Vinyl is supporting to keep physical’s share of songs – the structure nevertheless accounts for 54% of the benefit of the bodily albums current market.

In the meantime, the share of CD revenue taken by catalogue titles has greater each yr due to the fact 2018 from 37% to 49%.

Of system, the effect of new technological know-how will be key in terms of how the current market develops.

Below, Ben Drury, chair of Era and co-founder of children’s audio platform Yoto, shares insights on his appointment previous yr, the enduring energy of bodily tunes and why AI is the upcoming…

You have to go absent to come again, explained fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett, and I guess that is specifically what I have done as I return to Era as chair, seven several years due to the fact I still left the affiliation.

The scale of the progress in the enjoyment business enterprise above that time has been phenomenal. The merged new music, movie and online games firms ended up truly worth just below £6bn in 2015. Updated figures for 2022 present that previous 12 months they have been not significantly off 2 times that – £11.2bn. Perhaps I really should go away far more often!

When my appointment was announced, I recalled that in my to start with stint at Era, I was the association’s initial at any time board member to depict the then new-fangled environment of digital music. There was original resistance on all sides of the sector to this revolution, one thing which appears frankly ridiculous in retrospect.

The history of the leisure organization from the wax disc to the DVD to the games console is that, even far more than written content, it is know-how which drives revenues.

That’s why you can expect me as chair to be an advocate of technology even if at initial look it might feel to threaten proven strategies of accomplishing points. That signifies AI, virtual and augmented realities and the metaverse are surely on our agenda.

We have to have to embrace the possibilities they make possible even while we know that not all of them may perhaps realize success. But I’m not a proverbial technologies magpie, just attracted to the “bright shiny new things” of technological progress. I individually absolutely avoided cryptocurrency owning in no way put in a one penny of real dollars on bitcoin et al. I also have been healthily sceptical of metaverse and Internet3 hoopla.


I urge Era members to educate themselves and try out all these applications to understand the impression of AI


Ben Drury


Embracing the new does not of training course indicate we essentially abandon more mature means of doing factors.

In spite of the increasing presence of electronic audio, vinyl information have experienced a resurgence in modern yrs. More and additional people today are getting data as a way to take pleasure in their favourite tunes in a bodily structure.

Vinyl product sales have developed steadily for the past 10 years, reaching their greatest degrees given that the early 1990s. Audio enthusiasts are attracted to the heat sound, the tangible experience of enjoying a document and the collector’s product mother nature of proudly owning a piece of tunes record.

Even with the proliferation of electronic new music, it is crystal clear there’s continue to a position for vinyl in the fashionable world.

Back again to technological development, the earlier mentioned area [in italics] was written by OpenAI and we can previously see that 2023 will be defined by a “Cambrian Explosion” of AI improvement and instruments.

Lots of of these will guide to enhanced efficiency and the emergence of awesome new items and products and services. There will be a darkish aspect nevertheless, and the creative industries could be specially afflicted.

I urge Era users to educate them selves and consider all these tools to have an understanding of the impression.

Significantly is rather rightly made of ERA’s remarkable reinvention in which this earlier 100% bodily record retail outlet affiliation now signifies pretty much all the key music streaming providers, but the flowering of ERA’s independent membership has also been a noteworthy achievement.

I am proud to head an organisation which signifies the premier multinational streaming services alongside the cream of the UK’s indie record shops.


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