Kim Bayley’s CEO Address – ERA AGM 2017

“Good morning and welcome to the 28th Annual General Meeting of the Entertainment Retailers Association.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am Kim Bayley, CEO of ERA, and I am going to be your guide through this morning’s proceedings.

Thank you very much to Dolby for once again providing us with this great venue.

There are four distinct parts to today’s meeting.

I will take you through a review of our activities over the past year and then I will try and bring it to life by briefly interviewing our chairmen, Rudy Osorio (representing Multiples and this morning standing in for Kevin Brown to represent Digital too) and Paul Quirk for the indies.

Then we will get into the formal business of the AGM, kicking off with a report from our treasurer, and moving on to our formal AGM business and including the hotly anticipated results of elections to our board.

Moving on, I’m delighted to say we have three great guest speakers who will give us a supplier’s view of the entertainment market.

They are, in order: Tim Woodley representing the games industry, John Stanley of Warner Home Entertainment, and Rebecca Allen of Decca.

Finally, we will end with a series of quick-fire retail presentations – from Julian Monaghan at Amazon Video, Paul O’Sullivan from Game, Mark Green from Tesco, Tony from Vinyl Tap and Ed Kershaw from 7digital.

This will culminate in a short panel discussion led by CMU’s Chris Cooke.

But before we go through that review in detail I’d like you to take a look at these numbers. [reference to AGM Slides]

The first reflects the success you all achieved in 2016, registering a 3% increase in sales over 2015.

The second figure is the growth you generated in the first half of this year, 6% up on the same period of 2016.

For those of us who have lived through more than 10 years of decline – that is an incredible achievement - give yourselves a big round of applause.

I’m going to ask the ERA Chairmen a bit about where that growth is coming from later but as these graphs illustrate all three of our sectors are in growth with that growth being fuelled by both established formats such as vinyl as well as newer digital and access based services.

That growth provided the backdrop to all of ERA’s activities over the past year.

To use a cliché, it is clear that the entertainment retail sector has got its mojo back - and that positivity has in turn helped power ERA’s efforts to support you.

We are successfully delivering promotions such as Record Store day and Must See Movies which are generating real sales.

We are delivering more and better insight.

And we are continuing to building on the themes outlined in the ERA manifesto – with collaboration at the heart of all we do.

This has also been reflected in dynamic growth in the number of ERA members.

To all of those people who declared that the internet somehow spelled the end for retailing, we can say they were comprehensively wrong.

The fashionable word a few years ago to describe this process was “disintermediation”. The idea was that content owners would go direct to consumers, they would cut out the middleman and the retail sector would effectively disappear.

It didn’t happen. Instead the retail sector innovated, evolved and has become more important than ever.

Here are just some of the companies who have joined our ranks in the past year. [Reference to AGM Slides]

Welcome to you all – and thank you very much for helping increase ERA’s membership to a new high.

Yes, that’s right. In 2016, approaching 30 years since the creation of this organisation, ERA’s membership reached an all-time-high of 241 companies.

That’s an increase of 75% from the low point of 2008.

Far from sounding the death-knell for entertainment retailing, the rise of digital has created a bigger, more successful and more diverse ERA.

The more observant of you will have noticed that a substantial number of those new members are in the independent record store sector.

The reason for that has overwhelmingly been ERA’s key role in facilitating Record Store Day which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. 

I’m going to ask Paul Quirk more about this in a few minutes but congratulations to everyone involved not least our Independent Chair Paul Quirk , Natasha Youngs and Phil Barton our Record Store Day leads and our very own Megan Page.

Building upon our Record Store Day experience, I mentioned the ERA Manifesto earlier and its core message of collaboration.

A direct outcome of collaboration with suppliers in the video industry was our latest promotion, Must See Movies which ran through the early summer. 

I’m going to ask Rudy about this in a little while but this has been an incredible example of how by working together we can reverse the decline in a whole category.

Congratulations to everyone involved including HMV’s Rudy Osorio, Sainsbury’s Andy Chatburn and ERA’s own Lynn Li and Robyn Milner who pretty much moved mountains to make it happen.

While promotions like Record Store Day and Must See Movies have become an increasing part of ERA’s service to members, we have also increased the quality and quantity of our research and insight.

Notable highlights over the past year include:

-              our quarterly consumer tracking study which is now in its fourth year.

-              A collaboration with the BPI to attempt to better understand Generation Z and

-              our latest initiative to isolate the preferences of music consumers for different kinds of subscription services

In a world changing as rapidly as the entertainment market, insight is vital and ERA is committed to delivering real actionable information under the guidance of our research guru Luke Butler.

I have already mentioned the ‘C’ word twice today – Collaboration – and this continues to be our watchword across so many of our activities.

This slide shows just a selection of the organisations with which ERA works on a daily basis. [reference to AGM Slides]

They range from supplier organisations like the BPI, BASE and UKIE to anti-piracy organisations like Get It Right, the Alliance and the Industry Trust to our joint venture the Official Charts Company.

So much of our work is done in collaboration with these organisations so thank you to you all.

Of course our most important partner is our joint venture the Official Charts Company which has had an exceptionally challenging but successful year.

The singles chart was revamped to deliver a faster moving chart which enables the industry to better highlight new music.

The video EST chart has become standard currency within the video industry.

However there are still changes afoot which the business needs to address not least:

-              the need to reflect all forms of music and video consumption -

-              consumer awareness of digital video charts and

-              the need for global analysis as we enter an increasingly global market

ERA will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the industry continues to benefit from best in class analysis 

And finally of course I need to thank the ERA team.

I’ve mentioned Megan already who continues to champion indie retail and steer Record Store day and I’ve mentioned Lynn and Robyn too who tirelessly steered Must See Movies to success.

But I also need to thank Steve Redmond, who has been advising me and ERA now for 10 years and Beth my PA who has also supported me for more than a decade, Luke and Laura our two research analysts and last but by no means least the newest addition to our family Carole, who has the unenviable job of managing the ERA team and all our events - Thank you all."


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