Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 19.09.2018 | Name days: Verners, Muntis

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

Montenegro to join NATO battalion stationed in Latvia

According to NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe James Everard, Montenegro plans to join the multi-national battalion currently stationed in Latvia.

U.S. looking seriously at Poland's request for American base on its soil

U.S President Donald Trump has noted the country was looking seriously at a request from Poland for a permanent U.S. military base in the fellow NATO member state and agreed that Polish concerns about possible Russian aggression were shared.

Russian plane near Syria shot down by ally targeting Israeli planes

The Russian military plane, which went missing on Monday, has been shot down by its ally Syria targeting Israel's war planes and the number of servicemen lost in the event has been corrected from 14 to 15, the Russian government stated.

Latvian border guards find more than 140 kg of hashish in a car

On 16 September, Latvian State Border Guard detained a 1991-born man and his car at Grebnev border checkpoint. A secret compartment containing 145.3 kg of narcotic substances was found in his car during a routine inspection, as reported by State Border Guard.

EU suspects German car-makers of colluding against cleaner technology

EU competition watchdogs are probing if German automotive giants have colluded to restrict the development of clean emission technology.

Number of job vacancies in Latvia up 7.8 thousand in Q2 2018

In Q2 2018 there were 24.5 thousand job vacancies in Latvia, which is 7.8 thousand vacancies or 46.6 % more than in Q2 2017. In public sector there were 7.2 thousand and in private sector 17.3 thousand job vacancies.

Latvian government desperate to resolve the growing piles of used tires problem

Latvian government has supported Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s prepared report ‘On maintenance of used tires’. This report includes proposals for measures to help resolve the matter regarding speeding up recycling and regeneration rates, as well as the no less important matter of maintenance of used tires.

Cargo volumes handled by Latvian ports remain stable in first half-year of 2018

Latvian ports transshipped 43.468 million tonnes of cargoes in the first eight months of 2018, which is 0.9% more than in the same period of last year. According to data from Transport Ministry, cargo turnover’s negative balance continues declining at Ventspils port, where 13.274 million tonnes of cargoes were transshipped in the first eight months, which is a drop of 11.9%.

airBaltic carried 18% more passengers in summer

Latvian airline airBaltic has carried 2,770,047 more passengers to destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East in the first eight months of 2018, BNN was told by the company.

Ukrainian workers in Lithuania gradually fill gap left by Lithuanian exodus

Companies in Lithuania, in particular operating in construction, logistics and retail chains, are increasingly inviting workers from Ukraine and Belarus to fill the worker shortage of Lithuanians moving to richer countries.

ABLV Bank assets worth EUR 47.14 million recovered in August

Assets worth EUR 47.13 million were recovered from the liquidated ABLV Bank in August, which is 2.2 times more than a month prior, according to the account published in Latvian Herald.

Estonia bank watchdog points to Denmark's responsibility over Danske

As to the allegations of doubtful billions flowing via the Estonia branch of Danske Bank, the Estonian watchdog of financial institutions has noted that the Danish supervisory authority was responsible for the lender's risk control.

Liepaja City Council vice-chairman steps down

On Monday, 17 September, Liepaja City Council vice-chairman for tourism and investment affairs Ģirts Kronbergs announced his resignation.

Sixteen contenders apply for Rundale Castle Museum director’s post

A total of sixteen contenders have applied for participation in Latvian Culture Ministry’s announced open personnel selection process to find the next director of Rundale Castle Museum.

Russia: Military plane with 14 Russian soldiers has been lost near Syria

A Russian war plane with 14 servicemen on board has disappeared while over the Mediterranean Sea near the coast of Syria, Russia's Defence Ministry has stated.

Unity decides not to support UGF’s initiative for people’s elected president

Unity political party has no plans to support the amendments submitted by the Union of Greens and Farmers on people’s elected president, says Unity’s chairman Arvils Ašeradens.

U.S. to introduce more import tariffs on China produce

The U.S. government has announced imposing import duty tariffs on Chinese products worth USD 200 billion (EUR 171 billion), in a trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

Latvian parties’ pre-election promotion costs reach EUR 1.64 million

Three weeks prior to Saeima elections, expenses of Latvian political parties on promotion have reached EUR 1,638,393. Concord remains in the least expense-wise, according to information from Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

Internal Security Bureau criticizes State Police for insufficient corruption prevention

Internal Security Bureau has detained several police officers under suspicion of bribery. Because of that, the bureau has voiced criticism to the management of Latvia’s State Bureau for insufficient corruption prevention measures.

Full transition to electronic documents in construction sector planned for 2019

During a meeting on 17 September, Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers supported the amendments to Construction Law developed by Economy Ministry. These amendments provide for a full transition to electronic document handling in the country’s construction sector starting from 2019. This includes submission, decision-making processes and coordination – all of these processes will be performed using Construction Information System, as confirmed by Economy Ministry.

MPC permit revoked for liquidated Jurmala-based M7 Energy

Latvia’s Economy Ministry has made a decision to revoke the permit that allows selling produced electrical energy within mandatory procurement component system from SIA M7 Energy (previous name SIA KSER) CHP plant in Jurmala.

U.S. looking into Danske Bank operations in Estonia

Danske Bank, the leading bank in Denmark, is being investigated by U.S. authorities in relation to alleged money laundering from Russia involving Danske's Estonia branch, American media report.

Nearly 80,000 people have left Riga to live elsewhere in last seven years

In the past seven years, 78,692 people have left Riga to live in other countries or elsewhere in Latvia, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Estonia's free rural bus rides result in passenger boom

Rural bus lines in the majority of Estonian counties have been offering free trips since early July, and in August an increase of 10,000 more rides was observed, resulting in frequently overcrowded buses.

NP: Riga municipality plans to adopt EUR 5 entry fee to city’s centre

A EUR 5 entry fee to Riga’s centre may be a solution Riga municipality has picked to help solve possible traffic congestion problem that is expected to appear in 2020, when it is planned commence construction of Rail Baltica railway. Because of that, several major streets will be closed down for traffic, according to information from Nekā personīga programme.

Most read

Most commented