Sunday, August 03, 2014

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: One Direction sell a lot of records

It's been a while since we've heard from Gennaro Castaldo, former HMV think-speaker, in his new role as BPI thought-pronouncer. But the Internation Business Times has secured a few words from the great man on the occasion of One Direction selling records:

Gennaro Castaldo, a spokesman for the music industry trade body BPI, said: "For home-grown talent to have recorded the world's biggest selling album six out of the last seven years is a phenomenal achievement that says a great deal about the popularity of British music around the world.

"Aside from the obvious contribution to British exports, this success underlines the vital role our music and artists play in promoting the appeal of British culture around the world."
I'm not sure the contribution to British exports is that obvious. Isn't most of the One Direction crap sold in shops made overseas and, thus, the band's success is actually harming - rather than helping - the UK's balance of payments? And the CDs sold overseas aren't made in the UK; nor are the downloads normally housed on British servers. There's the intellectual property, of course, but the songwriting and production credits on One Direction are drawn from an admirably wide range of territories, so at best represent money flowing through, but expressly out, of the UK economy.

But, regardless, suggesting that One Direction are - narrowly - a British success is a bit of a fib.