Apple discontinues annual London music festival

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited September 2017
Apple's annual UK music festival, most recently rebranded as the Apple Music Festival, is no more. According to a report on Monday, the company said it will no longer host the event that over the past decade has drawn big-name acts in promotion of Apple's digital music services.


Promotion for last year's Apple Music Festival.


Apple confirmed the decision to end its storied concert series to Music Business Worldwide, which speculates the company is focusing on tour sponsorships, one-off shows and smaller gigs featuring "Up Next" artists.

Normally held in September, the Apple Music Festival leveraged Apple's influence as one of the world's largest purveyors of digital music to bring together an eclectic slate of musical acts. The annual fall event, marketed under the iTunes banner until 2015, marked its 10th anniversary last year.

Apple launched the iTunes Festival in 2007 as a month-long series of nightly performances featuring top recording industry artists. The first festival, for example, featured Amy Winehouse at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. KOKO later served as a concert venue before Apple moved its event to the Roundhouse.

Under the auspices of Apple Music, the festival calendar was condensed to under two weeks, with multiple performances squeezed in each day.

From 2007 to 2017, Apple provided free festival access to fans and UK locals. Tickets were doled out to contest winners through iTunes, and later Apple Music, as well as regional radio stations.

Apple's concert series featured a who's who of music over the past ten years, with performers ranging from industry legends like Sir Paul McCartney and Elton John to contemporary stars including Lady Gaga and Pharrell. The event also threw a spotlight on up-and-coming acts.

Last year, for example, headliners included Alicia Keys, Bastille, Britney Spears, Calvin Harris, Chance The Rapper, Elton John, Michael Bubl, OneRepublic, Robbie Williams and The 1975.

Apple's decision is likely in response to recent music buying trends, which over the past two years have shifted away from one-time purchases and toward streaming. Instead of sinking funds into a single massive event, Apple is distributing sponsorship cash to standalone shows like July's Arcade Fire performance, an event live-streamed to Apple Music subscribers.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    They could hold such an event as an Apple TV exclusive instead?
    repressthiscornchiptrashman69
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Wonder if the current state of affairs in the world (I.e., terrorism) influenced their decision?
    allmypeopleglindon1983ravnorodomanton zuykov
  • Reply 3 of 19
    irelandireland Posts: 17,468member
    Wonder if the current state of affairs in the world (I.e., terrorism) influenced their decision?
    Let’s not get into that conversation.
    repressthisjSnivelytrashman69SpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 19
    ireland said:
    Wonder if the current state of affairs in the world (I.e., terrorism) influenced their decision?
    Let’s not get into that conversation.
    Agreed.

    I think Apple will be evolving to other ways of informing music listeners of it's music library and services.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    chiachia Posts: 692member
    Wonder if the current state of affairs in the world (I.e., terrorism) influenced their decision?

    Judging by the thousands of sporting, musical and cultural events people are gathering around globally to enjoy right this moment, definitely not.

    Wonder what influenced your line of thinking and if there's something the FBI or some other security agency should ask you about it.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 6 of 19
    How long before Samsung, Google, or Amazon pick up sponsorship and naming rights?
  • Reply 7 of 19
    Lets face reality: it's not the safest place to do it anymore
    ravnorodomanton zuykov
  • Reply 8 of 19
    chiachia Posts: 692member
    Lets face reality: it's not the safest place to do it anymore
    Provocative nonsense, as others have said earlier in this thread, let's not walk down this route.

    The reality is that fewer people have died from terrorist attacks in London over the past fifteen years than have been murdered in New York City in the past year alone, yet events still carry on in the unsafer reality that is New York.
    repressthisRayz2016robin huberlolliver
  • Reply 9 of 19
    chiachia Posts: 692member
    The move does make sense: The Apple Festival events have helped to establish Apple Music as a brand, as if that were needed with the iPod and iTunes. It's also easier to give money and resource to popular artists, which Apple can determine from analysis of its own iTunes and Apple Music data, than to go through the extra burden of curating, arranging and organizing venues, events and performances.  It's a focus of effort and resource which is limited even for a company like Apple.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    Originally the event brought relevance to iTunes when the online store was up against established brick and mortar chains. Since then numerous other online music providers have copied the iTunes(now Apple Music) festival format, basically every music site now offers a live recorded version next to the official releases.

    To make matters worse the live recorded versions were always less popular than the official releases, which are better edited and contain the artist's beautiful videography.

    So Apple made a smart move here: take those funds and direct them into music creation directly with the artists, thus providing exclusive music and video content for the Apple Music platform. The difference is clear: instead of providing live-music recordings of their event, apple now offer stylistic content directly from the artist with favourable exclusivity periods.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    19831983 Posts: 1,125member
    Wonder if the current state of affairs in the world (I.e., terrorism) influenced their decision?
    That's what I was thinking too, there might be something to that. But I don't think it was Apple's main consideration.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 12 of 19
    "You will all watch Carpool Karaoke until morale improves"
    EsquireCatsSpamSandwichalcstarheel
  • Reply 13 of 19
    Wonder if the current state of affairs in the world (I.e., terrorism) influenced their decision?
    Nah. Everything at the end of the day comes down to money.  Probably couldn’t get good enough acts that didn’t want a ton of $$$ to do it. Or they’re redirecting that budget it to shows like Planet of the Apps to try and increased Apple Music subs. I am curious how these shows are doing and if they are actually bringing in new subscribers. Maybe we’ll find out next week though Tim Cook seems to have dispensed with the general updates and just goes right into new products.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    Or maybe the Apple Music Festival will be reborn exclusive of the new Steve Jobs Theatre...
  • Reply 15 of 19
    chia said:
    Lets face reality: it's not the safest place to do it anymore
    Provocative nonsense
    Of course, it is...especially, when you have to hush anyone with "lets not talk about this" because facts became offensive and because trucks of peace became "part and parcel of living in a big city". If you have that, then you have got a huge problem on the hands. And part of that problem is that it is not being addressed.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    Wonder if the current state of affairs in the world (I.e., terrorism) influenced their decision?
    Nah. Everything at the end of the day comes down to money.
    And PR. Being associated with an event that you organized (as a big and well known company) during which a terror attack happens, creates a very bad publicity that will be very hard to counteract. And always with money, bad publicity does not help selling stuff.
    Apple with its 200B dollar cash pile absolute has resources and money itself is not an issue. However, combating bad PR will be MUCH more expensive, in the case of such attack, especially considering how MSM likes to jump into "bash-Apple" mode often.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 17 of 19
    I don't think Apple would be dissuaded from continuing this program due to threats of terror attacks.

    I think it was cancelled after careful deliberation over bottom line benefits against costs. They had a good long run and were able to observe its effects over time.

    Maybe it was also because there seem to be fewer quality live acts available these days.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    chiachia Posts: 692member
    chia said:
    Lets face reality: it's not the safest place to do it anymore
    Provocative nonsense
    Of course, it is...especially, when you have to hush anyone with "lets not talk about this" because facts became offensive and because trucks of peace became "part and parcel of living in a big city". If you have that, then you have got a huge problem on the hands. And part of that problem is that it is not being addressed.
    "Let's not talk about this" was perhaps a kind suggestion: people are still free to post and embarrass themselves to others in this forum.

    Your "trucks of peace" have been an issue in the US long before recent events in London:
    1920 Wall Street Bombing
    1927 Bath School Disaster
    1993 World Trade Center bombing
    1995 Oklahoma City bombing

    yet Americans still go about living their lives attending big sponsored events in their cities.
    When you factor in on top of terrorism the far higher death rates in the USA from traffic accidents and violent crime compared to those of the UK, it is statistically safer for an American to attend an event in London than at home.

    So just where is this huge problem that's not being addressed, the highly successful counter-terrorist operations and measures which prevent the vast majority of attacks in London and major cities around the world, or the ongoing slaughter of hundreds every week by crime and accidents on the streets of America?

    singularity
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