In what's been a hugely challenging year for humanity our focus for 2020 has been on steadily and calmly navigating the pandemic and adapting to a constantly changing landscape. Most of our supply chain processes and timescales have had to be adapted, product has been stuck in warehouses on the continent and fulfilment processes have had to be rethought.
But paradoxically it's also felt like a 'coming of age' moment for Blood, with some massively notable releases such as the zoetrope edition of Biffy Clyro’s ‘A Celebration Of Endings’, which scored a UK Number One for the band, a picture disc reissue of Fat White Family’s 2014 debut ‘Champagne Holocaust’ which re-entered the Top 20, sell-out variants of The Cribs ‘Night Network’, Pale Waves ‘Who Am I?’ and a live record with Courtney Barnett to name just a few.
It’s always been my personal belief that the modern consumer should have a higher expectation of the modern enterprise than simply just the delivery of the products they offer. I want to be able to say that this company both creates great products and also is committed to positively benefitting the society it inhabits.
This year was an exceptional opportunity for us to help as the pandemic began to escalate. Most notably we were proud to join a collective of incredible artists including Wolf Alice, Foals, Alfie Templeman, The Vaccines, Spector and more to release Songs For The National Health Service,
The release of the record paid for vital PAPR ventilation equipment for seven hospitals across the UK allowing life-saving surgery to restart having been paused for months. In effect, the production of that record saved lives and is continuing to do so. We also ran a joint campaign with our friends at Close-Up to add to the Music Venue Trust’s ‘Save Our Venues’ campaign, which has managed to keep afloat almost all of the UK’s grassroots venues.
I now believe that this structure of giving should be built into the fabric of this community and we will be announcing a new record shortly with several partners aimed at adding funding to the BLM movement.
Social media has seen somewhat of an upheaval this year also, with increasing restrictions and plummeting organic reach. Thus, this year we launched an SMS system that gives customers alerts when new campaigns launch. The results of this have been astounding, with around 94% engagement within 15 minutes. As a result, during Q1 of 2021 we’ll be rolling this technology out into a standalone company called AREA that will allow artists to opt-fans into SMS communication in a GDPR-compliant way and send them bespoke offer and alerts.
Thankfully, cautious optimism seems the best view of 2021. The roll-out of various vaccines against coronavirus brings hope that the live sector should be able to stage events next summer.
Amidst all of the chaos this community has shone through, all of the support and patience of our customers has made a difficult year much easier to work through, so thank you to all of our supporters both for continuing to be part of what we’re creating here and allowing a bit of fluidity when it comes to release dates and shipping times. We’ve had to announce the delay of a few releases and I’m always astounded to receive hundreds of replies to these emails of support and encouragement, it really does mean the world.
We’ll continue to press-on in 2021 and keep collaborating with the best artists out there to bring you more incredible exclusives.
Happy New Year.