This month’s issue •
Come Write Me Down
Minutes Of The 3rd 'World Music' Meeting at the Empress Of Russia, On 27 July 1987
Present: Roger Armstrong (chair), Ben Mandelson (acting sec.), GlobeStyle / Nick Carnac, CarnacDiscs / Grant, PR / Iain Scott, Scott Lund, Stern's Triple Earth / Robert Urbanus, Stern's / Klaus Frederking, freelance journalist / Lucy Duran, Rogue Records & National Sound Archive / Joe Boyd, Hannibal / Mark Stratford, New Routes Distribution / Philip Sweeney, freelance journalist / Amanda Jones, WOMAD / Suzanne Parkes, media officer / Nick Gold, World Circuit / Trevor Herman, Earthworks / Simon Coe, central buyer, Virgin Retail.
Absent, apologies: Ian Anderson, Rogue / Charlie Gillett, Oval / Mark Kidel, Channel 4 / Tony, Dave and John, Topic.
The meeting was devoted to resolving practical things: costings per record / per label; drawing up a chart; selecting artwork for browser, letter head etc.; discussing distribution with special reference to joint proposal from Sterns / New Routes (copy attached).
We accepted that the minimum acceptable costing for our October campaign should be around £3000. This was based on a costing supplied by GlobeStyle (slightly amended version attached). Most of the smaller labels would find their contribution acceptable, however the burden to some extent falls on GlobeStyle and Sterns. Although Sterns nominally have around 19 records in the catalogue, practically not all of those are still available and so the amount of records available from them for this campaign will probably drop, thus changing the individual contributions slightly. However, Trevor offered to up the number of records available for the campaign from Earthworks, and today (28th) Lucy offered an extra £100 funding on behalf of the National Sound Archives (the NSA will be working with Rogue on joint release project). There was a general agreement on the financial breakdown and likewise a feeling that we should not skimp: practically this would mean a contribution of £50 per record. Were there to be any excess cash at end of campaign, this would be carried forward to the next one! Lucy thought that it might be possible to find a grant from the Arts Council - or at least a marketing grant. Probably too late for this campaign; however, Lucy to look into this.
It wouldn't be possible to plough back money earned on NME cassette directly (if at all) - various different contractual obligations to pay royalties. (re NME cassette: I'm aiming for an equal distribution of tracks per label - if possible. Obviously we need to present a strong and well balanced cassette on behalf of all - Ben)
Media Officer: Suzanne Parkes was present and we discussed a brief with her / targeting. We should prepare a specific media 'hitlist' e.g. Up-market nationals, Sunday supps, radio inc. locals, music papers. Suzanne would try for coverage in these targeted areas, but in the case of specific requests for particular product would refer the journalists back to record companies who would then do the promo-record mailout, although we should also provide her with promo records (and good info about each album). Re interviews: record companies will also do specific interviews when required, hopefully promoting 'World Music' rather than own products. Also, if possible, 'World Music' artists would do interviews / features - the glossies and supps would certainly appreciate good and exciting pix of artists (? rather than pix of boring dull record company people).
There are journalists who are already 'pre-sold' on what we do who work within the music press - we need to reach out to the 'straight' press and radio. Our strength (for editors, copy) is our unity in taking this direction. We should point out that we are adding a new type of music to that which is current, and that we are reacting to a demand made by the general public. Press releases should contain lists of all World Music gigs / events... so that World Music is seen to be happening on stage and on radio, and that it isn't an abstraction.
We must prepare our media hit lists individually and send them to Suzanne ASAP! She can then collate these and prepare a master list which she can use; also we can each have a copy for backup promotion.
It was also mentioned whether we should have a launch for the beginning of the campaign. What do you think?
Roger wondered whether it might be possible to prepare a syndicatable tape for local radio: we would provide pre-recorded answers and music and the local DJ would ask the (supplied) questions himself. This works in the USA. We agreed on the necessity of having headed paper - this will use the same banner headline 'World Music' with our logos below as will the browsers (and any other joint promo items) (this also emphasises collaborative nature of venture).
Logos: As WOMAD were the only label to produce a selection for viewing, we chose one of their designs. Please send a good PMT of your logo design to Amanda at WOMAD. If you don't send it, you won't be on it! - WOMAD / Suzanne can then liase with the artist.
Charts: Grant will help to prepare this and will give us his very reasonable costing for the job. Ian A can help him with 'a system', Sterns / New Routes with a shoplist. Grant pointed out the minefield lying around the criteria for chart selection: what to leave in, what to leave out... how would it differ from the Folk Roots chart... It was suggested that we go to distributors for monthly sales figures to use as a basis for chart compilation - this was considered impractical, and in any case our aim is to establish stronger links with the retailers. We discussed the chartmaking parameters for a while, but agreed that realistically we'll just have to try one and see what happens, and adjust the chartmaking process accordingly later if it seems artificial or goes haywire. We all have great confidence in Grant.
We then turned to the Sterns - Triple Earth / New Routes proposal. (enclosed). Iain felt strongly that the browser itself should have only 'World Music' on it, but that there should be a provision for a further in-rack album size board containing detailed info about campaign / checklist etc. etc. However, the general feeling was that it was most important to have our individual logos presented under the banner of World Music and thus printed on the browser that stands above the albums in the racks. We were also aware of the extra cost involved. However it should be possible to place each browser in a PVC LP cover which would give us a transparent pocket in front of the browser in which we could place all sorts of info, our checklist, leaflet, and so on. Constant updating of this rack pocket packet racket will stress the ongoing nature of the campaign. This will also obviate the necessity to print lists of records involved in the actual browser which easily become outdated. Scott was worried that that concept would end when campaign over - so very important to keep browser in racks. The longevity of the section would depend on how well shops are serviced by the distributor.
Simon Coe said that there were no problems with World Music header boards in Virgin. Virgin are currently computerising their stock with category designations: at the moment, they use I.E. (International/Ethnic) but could change to W.M. instead.
Scott promised to let us have a copy of the proposed cover letter for inspection ASAP (see item 1D in proposal).
We discussed the most practical way that we could use our printed material. Ideally we need something that will be used as a catalogue, can be enclosed with the NME cassette, can be used in a mail out, used as a counter leaflet and anything else possible. We're likely to need minimum 25,000 of these (for example an average NME cassette sales figure is 15,000). We looked at a leaflet based on A4 with a 3-way fold, one colour printing on both sides, cut laterally across to give two items per sheet. Suzanne will see what we'll get for £400! There's a deadline for info to go onto this - please supply Suzanne with your info ASAP.
Generally all in agreement with proposal: label breakdown - might be specific difficulties for Hannibal / Earthworks. We await Oval's comments. Item 4C: SOR agreements. Still awaiting confirmation from New Routes on this - their experience is 60 days only.
That seems to be it: We now have all necessary cassettes in for the NME cassette - I'll be working on the compilation and I'll let you know the master tape requirements.
PLEASE SEND YOUR MEDIA HIT LIST AND PMTS OF YOUR LOGO TO SUZANNE (REACH HER C/O WOMAD IN BRISTOL). PLEASE SEND HER AS MUCH INFO AS POSSIBLE ABOUT THE ITEMS IN YOUR CATALOGUE.
We didn't decide on a date for the next meeting.
NEW ROUTES / STERNS-TRIPLE EARTH WORLD MUSIC PROPOSALS
1) PACKAGE TO SEND TO SHOPS
A) Browser Card (plastic preferably)
Title: World Music (distinctive type face)
B) Separate hardboard insert (possibly to place with browser card in attached PVC pocket). This should be printed up with list of all available records pertinent to campaign and laid out thus:
1) Alphabetical by country.
2) Artist / Title / Cat. No. / Label or Label logo.
3) Asterix against titles w/ track featured on NME cassette.
Mention of this somewhere on board.
Having this separate board has two advantages over having titles printed on browser card.
1) Browser card will not be made redundant.
2) List of available titles can be updated on insert on regular basis.
Our feeling is that all generic campaign advertising, i.e. company logos and possibly a campaign subtitle to distinguish participants (suggestion: U.K. labels look to the World) should be printed on this LP size hardboard and not on browser card.
C) Counter leaflet doubling as checklist.
Possibly with sleeves of records featured on NME cassette front / Joint labels catalogue back. Layout by label.
D) Cover letter explaining: (Collaborative effort New Routes / Sterns Triple Earth.
1) Idea of campaign.
2) Promotional moves.
3) Distribution / Label breakdown.
4) SOR possibilities.
F) List of live dates tying into campaign.
2) TIMING AND MAILOUT OF PACKAGE
1) All above ready and in place at distributors by last week of August.
2) New Routes / Sterns will collaborate on co-ordinated mailout to minimise duplication. Mailout will start 1st week September. Follow up to begin 2nd week Sept.
A) Label Breakdown.
|Sterns / Triple Earth ||New Routes
|Earthworks (EMW / ELP) |
Topic / Tangent
B) Shop follow up.
1) Indies - Once packages received follow up by each distributor with nudge to get in touch with the other if not already approached.
2) Virgin / HMV - Collaborative presentation to head buyers by New Routes / Sterns / Triple Earth.
3) OPR - New Routes to make overtures to head office. If they bite then, as Sterns / Triple Earth have not been granted an account with O.P., then provision will have to be made to make all campaign labels available to New Routes (excepting GlobeStyle which Pinnacle can supply). Sterns / Triple Earth are willing to supply the balance of the titles to New Routes on a sub-distribution basis to this end. This begs a few questions:
What of Earthworks relationship with the Cartel?
Are participating labels willing to comply with such a scheme?
What happens to ensure the continuity of supply to those shops once campaign ended?
The sub-distribution basis of supply can only be maintained if New Routes sell those titles only to Our Price.
4) SOR arrangements for stock packages.
A) Consensus has it that any SOR arrangement be given with the first order of the campaign. The difficulties of monitoring SOR re-orders are immense but within limits, can be left to the discretion of the supplier.
B) A minimum of 15 LPs must be ordered to qualify for SOR terms.
C) Sterns / Triple Earth would like the SOR agreement to run from 1/10/87 to 31/1/88. Any unsold stock placed on an SOR basis to be returned by end of second week February '88. Awaiting confirmation from New Routes.
A) New Routes and Sterns / Triple Earth will compile separate prime shop lists for Grant to cross reference and contact re chart compilation.
Here are the final figures giving the number of albums that each company wishes to put into the campaign and the cost to each company on a £50 per album basis. I think that the figure falls a little short of what we need, but will be able to confirm this when final costings are in. There is also the matter of running costs pertaining to Grant's work on the charts and the cost of any further meetings. This should work out at a relatively nominal sum each and I would hope that everyone could stretch a little further to meet this cost. One word of explanation, the N.S.A. / ROGUE figure is included at £100 but the number of albums column is not added since these two albums are already included in the 4 Rogue albums. Lucy has arranged for N.S.A. to contribute an additional £100, which is where this figure comes in.
As to paying for the campaign I would like to open a separate account when the first invoices become due and have the money deposited by everyone at that point. I further suggest that 2 people be nominated as signatories for the cheques. Please let me know your feelings on this.
|LABEL ||NO. OF RECORDS ||@ £50 PER REC.
|TRIPLE EARTH ||004 ||£200
|WORLD CIRCUIT ||005 ||£250
|EARTHWORKS ||007 ||£350
|WOMAD ||006 ||£300
|ROGUE RECORDS ||004 ||£200
|N.S.A. / ROGUE ||(002) ||£100
|OVAL ||002 ||£100
|HANNIBAL ||008 ||£400
|COOKING VINYL ||002 ||£100
|GLOBESTYLE 022 ||£1100
|STERNS ||008 ||£400
|TOTALS ||068 ||£3500
This month’s issue •
Come Write Me Down