My Media: Dean Cunning, manager, Glasvegas

DEAN Cunning is manager of the band, Glasvegas, which has just released its third album,¬†‘Later…When The TV Turns To Static’.

What are your media habits?

The BBC News website is one website I check every single day via my Mac or iPhone. I also regularly listen to the local community radio station, Sunny Govan Radio, as well as BBC Radio Scotland when I am in the car. I rarely watch TV nowadays. I am also a massive fan of Spotify. For the price of a few beers per month I get access to more music I ever owned or could ever own. I also subscribe to a blogger called Bob Lefsetz. His insights (especially on the music industry) give me food for thought and make me look at things very differently.

Any particularly favourite journalists, and why?

I am in regular contact with many journalists and it makes me realise what a wealth of talent we have up here in Scotland.

From a music perspective, Mickey McMonagle of the Sunday Mail is one to watch. He has a passion for what he does and when he truly believes in something he has a way of making you believe it too through his features and reviews. Another journalist that comes to mind is Alan Morrison of The Herald. I enjoy reading his features and in my mind he is one of the few journalists that has developed his own style of writing a critique on something (or someone) and you can truly tell he has done his homework.

Melanie Harvey of the Daily Record and Fiona Shepherd of The Scotsman… I enjoy reading any articles or features they are involved in.

To what extent has the media become an increasing or decreasing part of your professional life?

I would have to say that at some point in the day, every day, I deal with media in all its many forms; both with ‘old’ media and ‘new’ media. It’s massive part of my job and can also be extremely time-consuming, hence the reason we still employ TV and Radio Pluggers and we also have national and regional Press people looking after things for Glasvegas.

To what extent is New Media (websites, social networking, etc) part of your media world?

Massive. In fact, it was key to ‘breaking’ Glasvegas. Before Facebook became the de facto standard for social networking, MySpace was the king. We started our MySpace site in 2005 and we kept it lean and mean, deliberately posting very few photos and images.

It keep the band mysterious. In early 2007, the band decided to post some demos on the site for free download and, very soon after, we noticed that all of our gigs started to sell out and the kids were singing the songs back to the band.

This momentum then spilled over into ‘old media’, which also helped the band jump their demographic. By the end of 2007, we had three major record companies in for Glasvegas. Suffice it to say, that no band will ever again sign a deal like Glasvegas did in early 2008. It was so heavily weighted in our favour that I suspect that we were on the ‘drop’ list the day after we signed.

How would you rate the media understanding, and coverage, of your sector?

As far as ‘old’ media goes, it’s still very focused on the old metrics of sales and chart positions and those figures are then used to place value on a product or a band. For me, this paints a slightly false picture. When Glasvegas brought out their second album, it was viewed as ‘less successful’ than their debut – which, from a sales perspective, was correct. However, add in illegal downloads, and, well, it was downloaded over a million times. Was that because it was ‘free’ or because the album was sought-after? I’d like to think the latter. Maybe, with the rise of Spotify, we can start to measure ‘success’ in different ways, in addition to sales or chart positions.

If you were an editor (newspaper, television, etc. state which) for a day, what would you do?

I would love to be an editor for one of the top golfing magazines. I would make sure that my ‘day’ was a visit to the US Masters at Augusta. That’s the only way I can ever see myself walking its hallowed turf.