Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 24.01.2018 | Name days: Krišs, Eglons, Ksenija

Mikrofona ieraksti co-founder: concert business does not always bring profit

(+1 rating, 1 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU, Elita Milgrave

Elita Milgrave

It is misleading to believe concert business brings profit «a priori». It depends on the performance, says Elita Mīlgrāve, Latvian record company Mikrofona ieraksti co-founder, journalist and producer.

What are you most proud of?

Since the company exists, it is 15 years already, we have paid out local, foreign singers and authors over 4.5 million lats in royalties, issued more than 500 Latvian music albums and 17 DVDs. Moreover, we have also launched digital distribution site Of all the albums, 23 have qualified for gold and platinum discs. Similarly, many records and albums have been awarded the highest price in Latvia in the Latvian Annual Music Awards.

We have collaborated with Latvian authors and singers, including Raimonds Pauls, Prāta vētra, Līvi, Laima Vaikule, Credo, Menuets, Labvēlīgais tips, Tumsa, 100.debija, Roberts Gobziņš, Valdis Atāls, Rebel, Arnis Mednis, Liene Šomase, Cosmos, Aisha, Andris Ērglis, Jenny May, Kristīna Zaharova, LieneCandy, Roberts Lejasmeijers, Nikolajs Puzikovs, Evija Sloka, etc. Mikrofona ieraksti uses brands MicRec and Raibā taureņa ieraksti. Similarly, since its establishment, the record company is one of the leading record company’s in the world EMI Records partner in the Baltics. EMI Records represents artists as Depeche Mode, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Robbie Williams.

How is it going with collecting money from radio stations for copyright?

Latvian Association of Performers and Producers LAIPA collects money from radio stations and the dialogue is absolutely normal. I am a Board Member, but it is a part of their daily work. Contracts have been concluded with all radio stations. There are some challenges, of course, as well. Tariffs have been changed slightly. Furthermore, there are also some businessmen good at avoiding laws in a clever manner, but still, the understanding is better. We have done a lot to prove it is not enough to pay authors via AKKA/LAA (Copyright and Communication Consulting Agency/ Latvian Authors’ Association). What LAIPA collects is divided between performers and producers 50:50.

Will Latvia Eurovision representatives Musiqq finally bring Mikrofona ieraksti to the European music market?

We do not need them to bring the company anywhere. The most important thing is that they are recognized internationally. This has always been our aim. We turned 15 on April 17, 2011, we celebrated the day together with our artists and partners. Despite we still have not Latvian Madonna or Lady Gaga, we might as well have them one day. We keep working and believing in that one day we will. This is why we are here.

What is the optimal ticket price for Latvian artists?

I believe those five or seven lats local performers often want already approach the critical mark, when it might be difficult to sell all the tickets. It depends on both objective production costs and listeners expectancies. However, we have never offered cheap performance for high price. We realize that when setting up a concert of the songs from the 80ies, we first have to advertise the event, so that people remember the years and how beautiful they were.

Latvian music group Prāta Vētra (Brain Storm) ranked the 3rd in Eurovision with My Star. Afterwards, they entered Swedish and German markets, but then they slowed down, as if not willing to go further. Why?

They qualified for both gold and platin discs in Poland with the album Among the suns. There were also issues of the management and some more mistakes. UK Singles Top 40 is the priority. If they recognize the artists, many do. We lacked both experience and trust form the part of Brain Storm in what we were doing. And then the audience switched to other performers. Next time it is much more difficult and expensive to break into such huge events. However, I would not like to comment on their reasons.

Is it still possible to qualify for a gold disc with 8 000 CDs sold and platinum – with 15 000? Or is it easier now?

It is 5 000 copies for a gold and 9 000 for a platinum, this has not been changed since the beginning of the crisis in 2008. If it were less, it would already be quite ridiculous. Because this is not only for the pleasure of ourselves, it is for foreign producers to see how many copies one can actually sell here. It is much more in Germany, 50 000 and 100 000, because their market is significantly larger.

How much does it cost to record a studio album?

It depends. If it is piecework with no stress, one can record an album for 4 000 to 5 000 lats. If it is abroad and with a professional producer, the sum is much bigger. The equipment and the location does not matter that much. What counts is the professionalism of the producer who sees what the artist is capable of. The prime cost of a CD disc is 30 to 40 santims, while what makes the real value is the work invested, promotion, styling advice, vocal studies, etc.

How would you comment upon the claim music industry is always living at the expense of other sectors?

This is a tough question, because it is very difficult to make good albums without sponsors. People often mix what is a sponsor and what is an advertiser. Latvian businessmen rarely do mecenatism. Practically, sponsoring albums take the form of advertising with companies also promoting their own brands. To compare, sponsors in Great Britain do not even put their brands on the cover, with the informative booklet including only a small «thank you». So, I believe, music industry in Latvia is, to a large extent, living at the expense of other profitable sectors.

Is it necessary to create such a commercial network with LAIPA’s issued CD and DVDs surcharged only a minimum?

What we sell is of limited edition, so it is exclusive, thus I do not think it is possible. Similalry, also stores would die without considerable surcharges.

When will music industry make profit from downloads from

Digital music sales have stabilized, totalling 10-15% of the whole edition. The rest 85-90% take the form of a CD. Then what’s the benefit? It is that we can sell records before the whole album is launched. Such sales should be as simple as making a phone call. My future vision is that a consumer gets music as if for free, but actually he or she has already paid for it when buying a recorder or Internet connection. Those fighting for the attention of consumers will offer music as an additional service.

Leave a reply

Minister: foreigners find Latvia’s business environment more and more attractive

«Measures were performed last year to improve the business environment and make it more attractive for local and foreign investors, as well as significantly ease everyday work for them,» said Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Number of students in Latvia declined 35% in the past decade

The number of students accounted for 81.6 thousand in the academic year 2017/2018, indicating a decline of 1.6 % over the year. During the past decade, due to the population decline, the number of students has reduced by 43.8 thousand or 35 %.

National Alliance member: small countries cannot afford legal and corruption scandals

«Every resident living in a democratic country finds it difficult to follow political processes and what political interests each party has. More often than not the loudest and more expressive politicians do not have any wisdom to share or a state development plan to offer and fit Latvia’s interests. If the time comes when we conclude that we do not like a newly-elected Saeima...

Italy's leading party drops euro referendum plan

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, leading opinion polls ahead of a March 4 election, has presented a 20-point program which makes no mention of a referendum on Italy’s membership of the euro zone.

Latvia shares experience in civil rights reforms with Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is one of Latvia’s priority countries for development of cooperation. Considering Uzbekistan’s launched reforms for state administration, Latvia is ready to continue offering support and sharing experience, says Foreign Ministry’s special assignment ambassador Igors Apokins.

Estonian state rail cargo company worked with million-euro losses in 2017

Estonian state-owned rail cargo carrier EVR Cargo concluded the year 2017 with net losses of 1.2 million euros, but managed to earn a million euros in from October to December 2017.

Alcohol industry to adopt social responsibility symbols on labels

More than 60% of all labels of wine and other strong alcoholic beverages purchasable in Latvia will be added with a special social responsibility symbols, reminding residents of responsible consumption of alcohol, BNN was informed by Latvian Alcohol Industry Association (LAIA). initiative «On saving Agenskalns market» submitted to Riga City Council

An initiative started by Anda Baidekalna «On saving Agenskalns market» has been submitted to Riga City Council for review. More than 2,000 people signed in favour of this initiative on portal. Now Riga City Council will have to decide on approval of this initiative and develop a plan for development of Agenskalns market to preserve its functionality.

Estonian construction price rise influenced most by higher labour costs

Estonian construction price index grew by 1.5% in 2017 aligned with the average of 2016, Estonian statisticians calculated.

Latvian Economy Ministry proposes self-regulatory measures for postal sector

The problem with postal items lacking addresses can be resolved using self-regulatory measures in the postal industry, as mentioned in Economy Ministry’s prepared report on new measures and proposal for mechanisms to help make the work performed by the postal sector more efficient.

Venice tourists stunned over 1 100-euro restaurant bill

The leadership of the picturesque Italian town of Venice has pledged to ensure justice after four Japanese tourists complained of having been handed a 1,100-euro bill for steaks, water, service and a plate of fried fish.

Ratification of Istanbul Convention falls through in Latvia

Unity is the only one of the coalition parties in Latvia that has expressed support for the ratification of Istanbul Convention so far, politicians say.

Spain sees Puigdemont's trip to Denmark as provoking his own arrest

A judge of the Spanish Supreme Court has blamed Catalonia's former President Carles Puigdemont of seeking to provoke his own arrest by visiting Denmark from his country of exile, Belgium, as the politician faces charges carrying a possible prison sentence of up to 30 years.

Latvenergo: Latvia is the largest energy exporter in Baltic States

Latvia continues exporting electrical energy produced in the country – as of Monday, 22 January, it was 832 MW. Especially intensive energy production is recorded for Daugava’s hydro-electric power plants and Riga’s CHP plants. The largest import volume is registered for Lithuania, to which the amount of exported energy equals the amount consumed in Latvia, Latvenergo explains.

LALRG secretary general: we have to reduce gap in quality of life for EU citizens

Ever since Latvia joined the European Union, its population has declined 14%. The most significant decline was caused by the departure of residents of working age to other EU member states. Because of that, the population in eastern regions of Latvia has declined 23%.

Czechs up for close race in this week's presidential run-off

As the Czech Republic nears the second round of its presidential election this weekend, sociologists estimate that the pro-Western academic Jiří Drahoš enjoys a somewhat larger support than the incumbent Miloš Zeman, who easily won the first round.

Producer price level in Latvia’s industry up 3.1%

Compared to December 2016, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry rose by 3.1 % in December 2017. Prices of products sold on the domestic market rose by 3.0 %, while prices of exported products went up by 3.3 %. Prices of products exported to euro area countries grew by 3.8 %, whereas prices of products exported to non-euro area countries rose by 2.9 %.

MEP: an even greater UGF dominance would slow down Latvia’s development

If the Union of Greens and Farmers (UGF) gains an even greater presence in the upcoming Saeima elections, Latvia’s continued development would suffer, said member of the European Parliament Artis Pabriks in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Tax reform challenge in January: labour tax recalculation

2018 commenced for Latvia with a historical tax reform and conceptual changes, significantly affecting everyday work performed by businessmen, employers and accountants. One of the changes financial specialists have to remember when calculating wages for January is the one for personal income tax, which also includes changes for state social insurance fees and solidarity tax, BNN was told by accounting experts.

Total tax debts in Latvia reach 1.217 billion euros at beginning of 2018

At the beginning of the year, total tax debts in Latvia, including existing debts, halted debts and debts with extended repayment debts, reached EUR 1.217 billion, which is 3% less when compared with the previous month, as reported by the State Revenue Service.

Estonia emphasises animal welfare as demand for animal food products grows

Although the demand for food products from animals is increasing, attention should be paid both animal welfare and sustainability in agriculture, Estonia's Minister for Rural Affairs Tarmo Tamm has stated.

Latvia hopes to recover its status as a country free of swine fever

There is hope that Latvia may yet recover its status of a country free of swine fever, says Food and Veterinary Service’s (FVS) Animal Infections Monitoring Department lead expert Mārtiņš Seržants.

Estonia prepares to inform population of actions in case of emergency or war

Estonia is preparing a brochure on how its population should act in case of major crisis or war.

De Facto: international lawsuit against Latvia is associated with infamous Winergy case

Norvik Bank’s lawsuit against Latvian state in the international court of arbitration in Washington is associated with Winergy wind park business, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV. The bank has yet to announce the amount of money it wishes to enforce from the state

German Social Democrats vote to U-turn on coalition talks with Merkel's conservatives

In Germany, where four months after its federal parliamentary elections there is still no government, the Social Democrats have voted to enter coalition talks with the conservatives led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Most read

Most commented

Would you be ready to boycott something in your life?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive

Category feed: Feed: