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Saturday, 19 December 2015

DECEMBER GUEST BLOG :Broadway Studios | Mark Richards | Mill Hill

Published with permission from UK LIVE | further to previous article in 2011


We interviewed musician, producer and writer Mark R Richards from Broadway Studios in Mill Hill at the end of 2011 when he was riding a wave of publicity for his best selling book "How to make it in Music" which remains the best selling guide to the Music Industry this century and is now only available as a digital download on Amazon because it has sold out its print runs and second editions.(Note shortly after this article was published it went back to Number 1 on the Amazon Best Selling List for Music Industry Books on Amazon UK in Jan 2016!)

Since then Mark has seen massive changes in the way in which the music industry carries out its business and we asked him about a few of them here :

What are your views on the current state of live music in London ?

I think that all small venues are under threat because the property prices have rocketed in the last 5 years.  We have seen 50% of the main small venues close in the last 5 years.  That has prompted a Save London Live Music campaign launched in November 2015 by Mill Hill Music Complex and championed by local radio. There is still alot of live music taking place in London but audiences are noticeably smaller than they were 10 years ago.  This could be seen as cyclical but digital platforms have played a part.

So how do you see the future of music in a digital media age ? 

Several groups on Facebook have been discussing this issue over the last couple of years.  There is no easy answer.  It is easy to blame venues or promoters or poor quality bands.  The answer is probably for bands and musicians to use digital platforms to stream live performances with small audiences from studios and rehearsal spaces and then build from there if they have good songs.  Getting in a van and going to London is now a very expensive option if you do not have a fanbase.  

How does your new company that you set up in 2013 help bands and musicians ?

Broadway Studios have been studios since the 1930s.  They have changed from Photographic spaces to music spaces and in 2013 we decided to utilise them to shoot video and create graphics as well as write and recording music.   This has allowed us to expand into a digital footprint with the artists and companies that we work alongside. I am also involved in a completely new version of  "How to Make it in Music" which will come out in the Summer of 2016 in digital formats with advice to take into account the massive changes since we wrote the first two editions over 5 years ago.

Arc Media Group was set up in 2013 and brought all our digital media under one umbrella company. We are providing Digital services from Web Design to Graphics to Content and animation.  We have a large presence on Social Media having been on You Tube since it started and having adopted Twitter in 2012 and Instagram and Periscope in 2015.  With over 1 million impressions and views per year and many high quality engagements on our own accounts we are followed in the digital media hotspots of San Francisco and Silicon Roundabout here in London. We have beta tested new applications and have provided feedback at live conferences on such platforms as TWITCH. Working with Adobe - Google - You Tube  and many other content providers to create solutions for musicians and brands.

In terms of web design we are using responsive bootstrap designs in HTML5 and CSS3 built in Dreamweaver or Muse and hosted on our servers. We already have musicians and studios and companies in the UK and USA using our services in this respect. In 2016 - 20 we intend to expand this hugely.

We shoot video live in up to 4K and have live streaming apps for both You Tube and Periscope. In addition we are editing in several platforms including Adobe Premiere and Animate CC ( formerly Flash).

In 2016 we will be working on some live music models for Social Media utilising Periscope and You Tube live. We see this as the future.

So what do you see 2016 bringing to the London music scene and live music in particular ?

Hopefully the festivals that have established themselves including the larger ones like the Country2Country at the O2 and the 80s festivals and those in Hyde Park can go from strength to strength.  Bands like The Shires and Ward Thomas have used the larger events to expand their fanbases.  The main small venues like The Garage, Borderline and Barfly should be able to continue to attract quality bands and survive this downturn in attendances at small venues. 

With the way in which Digital Media is improving interactivity between bands and brands and audiences we believe the next 5 years will be awesome.  Things must get better from now on in my view.

Mark R Richards can be contacted at the Arc Media Group on
and the new website will be up and running for 2016 at

"Arc Media through its various companies can provide WEB DESIGN - BRANDING - GRAPHICS - FLYERS - POSTERS - ALBUM/SINGLE DESIGNS - ANIMATIONS - VIDEOS - ADVERTISING FILMS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA - VECTOR GRAPHICS - UX and UI DESIGNS - and we have the ability to resource designers and producers worldwide to work on your project and to meet all budgets from the smallest budget to the biggest."


Link to Book on Amazon: How to Make it in Music

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