Posts tagged with "industry"

guitar, rock, strum, tabs, strings

How Women Can Overcome Music Industry Challenges

By Deborah Fairchild

If someone were to ask me how I managed to thrive in a male-dominated industry and rise to the position of president at VEVA Sound – and how other young women could similarly succeed – here would be my response:

For me, it has always been about focusing on the work and knowing that if you just do that, everything else will take care of itself. When something needs to happen, just get it done. 

Get it done even if it seems like a menial task. Get it done even if there’s no immediate reward being dangled in front of you. And get it done even if there is no clear indication that what you’re doing will result in a promotion, a raise, or other good things happening somewhere down the road.

Putting in the time and effort doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in the music industry (and likely not in any industry). But success can’t happen without that time and effort.

This approach to the working world goes all the way back to my first studio internship. Whatever task was placed before me and needed to be accomplished, I would do it – right down to the unfulfilling but necessary job of cleaning the toilets. (And yes, I actually cleaned toilets. The music industry isn’t always a glamorous world.)

I think that I knew, even at a young age, that if I just kept my attention on the work at hand, and concentrated on what I was doing versus what everyone else was doing, success would find me.

That proved to be true, and this approach continues to pay dividends for me to this day – and maybe could do the same for young women who are probably much like I was several years back, cultivating dreams and ambitions.

In my case, I always loved music and I also had a technical mind. It was a matter of taking those two things and mixing them together, which is why I got my degree in audio engineering. Once I finished college, working as an archival engineer gave me a steady income and allowed me to be around music all day. The rest is history.

Of course, all of this still leaves the question of whether it Is more difficult for a woman than a man to achieve success in the music industry. Certainly, women are underrepresented in our industry, as they are in many others. To give you an idea of that underrepresentation, a study released in 2019 by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative looked at 700 popular songs. What that study found was that women accounted for only 21.7% of artists, 12.5% of songwriters, and 2.7% of producers. 

I also can report that over the years I have encountered situations where a man could do or say one thing, but I know it would be unacceptable for me to do or say the same thing.

So, yes, a young woman with ambitions to enter our industry will face challenges, but those challenges shouldn’t deter you. 

After all, the music business is hard for everyone – male or female. Breaking in is tough. Then navigating the business once you’re in is difficult. Finally, it can be extraordinarily challenging to continue to succeed in the business over time, even after you’ve had your initial success. 

The key is to set aside any negative thoughts about all those challenges and focus on what you can control. Be determined to do the work and strive to learn everything you can from everyone you can. 

People are fond of saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” That’s true only to a degree. Who you know may bring opportunities initially, but what you know gives you staying power in this business. 

Ultimately, knowledge and determination have been the two most important factors in my success. They can be for others as well.

About Deborah Fairchild

Deborah Fairchild, president of VEVA Sound (www.vevasound.com), started her career with the company as an archival engineer in 2004. In the past 16 years, she has risen to lead the company in all facets of the business. She has grown VEVA into a global entity servicing major labels in North America and Europe, establishing offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London in addition to the company’s headquarters in Nashville. Fairchild has kept VEVA at the forefront of technology and continues to evolve and adapt VEVA’s services and technology to assist the needs of their extensive client base. She advises many label executives, producers, engineers and artists seeking archival and asset management solutions. 

Allison Christensen Illustrates a Music Business Article for 360 MAGAZINE

VEVA Sound X Quansic

VEVA Sound announced Tuesday that users of its platform are now able to register for an ISNI number for free.

An ISNI is an International Standard Name Identifier, a number uniquely identifying an individual in the music industry.

VEVA Sound verifies archived projects for clients. By partnering with Quansic, a leader in ISNI services, to facilitate registrations, it is now easier for creators to get credit and payment for their work.

FX Nuttall, the founder of Quansic, said the partnership made perfect sense for the company, as both Quansic and VEVA Sound share a vision that creators should be able to be identified easily and early in the creative process.

“As this partnership continues into the future, we are enthusiastic about introducing VEVA Collect’s users to our products — starting with ISNI registration before addressing the allocation of ISRC for Recordings and BOWI for Works,” Nuttall said. “We at Quansic are focused on enabling 100% identifier coverage for all, and our friends at VEVA provide an unprecedented opportunity for the independent creative community to do just that.”

President of VEVA Sound Deborah Fairchild said she is excited about the partnership and for the new opportunities for artists and creators who use VEVA Collect for payment for their work.

“FX Nuttall is widely respected in our industry, and we are proud to avail his expertise to our users through Quansic,” Fairchild says. “We believe it is imperative that we empower creatives with every resource available to receive authenticated credit for their work.

VEVA Sound was founded in 2002 and works to spearhead the movement to define, create and implement the standards for how sound is preserved and monetized. They now have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville and London where they work with clients to verify and archive audio and metadata.

To learn more about VEVA Sound, you can click right here. You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

You can learn more about Quansic by clicking right here.

Global AI Spending to surge by 120% and hit $110bn by 2024

By Jastra Kranjec

Recent years have witnessed a swell in the adoption of artificial intelligence solutions, revolutionizing industries, and helping businesses boost growth. The rising volume and complexity of business data are set to continue driving AI adoption in the following years, causing a surge in global AI spending.

According to data presented by BuyShares.co.nz, global artificial intelligence spending is expected to surge by 120% and hit $110bn by 2024.

Global AI Spending Jumped 33% YoY, Despite COVID-19 Crisis

Businesses across the world use AI technology to be innovative and scalable. Using automation, deep learning, and natural language processing can improve their decision-making, efficiency, speed, and help predict trends.

In 2015, companies and organizations worldwide spent $5bn on implementing AI systems in their business, revealed the IDC 2020 Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide. In the next three years, this figure jumped five times to $25bn. Statistics show that 2019 witnessed a $37.5bn worth of investments into AI business solutions, a 650% jump in four years.

Increased investments in AI technology continued in 2020, with organizations expected to invest $50.1bn in AI systems, despite the COVID-19 crisis. The following years are set to witness remarkable growth in global AI spending, with the figure surging by almost 120% to $110bn by 2023. 

Automated customer service, sales process automation, automated threat intelligence and prevention, and IT automation were the leading use cases for AI in 2020, accounting for nearly a third of total AI spending this year. However, the IDC data show that automated human resources, IT automation and pharmaceutical research and discovery are the fastest-growing use cases.

Life Sciences and Retail Lead in Adoption of AI

The IDC data indicate the retail industry and the banking sector are expected to spend the most on AI solutions in 2020. The retail companies primarily focused their AI investments on improving customer experience via chatbots and recommendation engines. Banks are expected to keep investing in AI-driven fraud prevention and program advisors. Discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, and healthcare round out the top five industries for AI spending this year.

The life sciences sector, including biotech, pharma and biomedical companies, has the most significant share of organizations that have adopted AI, revealed the Capgemini`s AI-Powered Enterprise survey.

Statistics show that 67% of organizations operating in this market adopted AI at scale, while another 33% launched AI pilots that are still undeployed in production. The retail industry ranked second, with 51% of companies utilizing artificial intelligence technology. The consumer products sector follows with a 44% share.

The Capgemini data show the automotive industry represents the fourth-leading sector, with 17% of companies successfully using AI in production. Another 49% of automotive companies have deployed a few use cases in production on a limited scale. The telecom industry follows, with a 14% and 57% share, respectively.

The full story can be read here: https://buyshares.co.nz/2020/10/20/global-artificial-intelligence-spending-to-surge-by-120-and-hit-110bn-by-2024/

Wine illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

South African Wine Crisis

Wines of South Africa (WOSA) USA, the industry association that promotes the exports of South African wine, is calling on members of the wine trade, media and consumers to support the South African wine industry by buying and drinking South African wine. The ban on alcohol, currently back in place in South Africa, could be potentially devastating to the wine industry.

The South African wine industry has been hit especially hard by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the country having experienced one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. The country’s lockdown and prohibition on the sale of alcohol began at the end of March, which included a ban on wine exports. Wine industry associations and organizations came together to lobby against the decision, and, thankfully, the ban on exports was lifted effective May 1. 

However, the prohibition of alcohol sales in South Africa remained for over two months, until it was lifted on June 1, for at-home consumption. Restaurants and bars were allowed to reopen in mid-June. Yet with the rationale of the need to free up hospital beds occupied by those suffering from alcohol-related traumas, the South African government reintroduced the latest ban on alcohol on July 13, which is still in effect, with no definitive end date.

The new regulations include both on and off-premise sales, so it is affecting not only wineries, but restaurant workers as well. Those in the wine and hospitality industry have been taking to the streets to protest and put pressure on the government to allow for on-premise sales for sit-down restaurants.

The alcohol ban brings a significant risk to the economic and socioeconomic sustainability of both the South African wine industry and the country as a whole, along with risking the livelihoods of rural communities who are directly affected due to the financial implications from an industry that could quite likely see devastation.

The wine industry creates close to 300,000 jobs directly and indirectly, and is South Africa’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products. As an industry, the contribution to the GDP for the South African economy exceeds more than $2.6 billion annually. The liquor industry as a whole has a deep value chain in the country, employing almost one million people. 

The government’s decision has serious economic consequences, placing hundreds of thousands of livelihoods at risk. Many of South Africa’s wine producers are small and family run. It has been estimated that one in five wineries may not survive.

South African wine exports make up roughly 50% of the total production. Since exports of South African wine are still allowed, support overseas is crucial. The US, and other export markets, can play a vital role and make a difference in keeping the industry alive. We are urging those in the trade and media to spread the word, and to educate and encourage consumers to support the South African wine industry by purchasing and drinking South African wines. Keep the discussion and support going on social media with the hashtag #DrinkSouthAfrican.

WOSA USA has some great resources on its website. For those in the wine trade, a list of importers of South African wine is available. For those looking for local retail shops that carry South African wine, a list of retailers across the country can be accessed on the site.

Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is the organization representing all South African producers of wine who export their products. WOSA, which was established in its current form in 1999, has over 500 exporters on its database, comprising all the major South African wine exporters. It is constituted as a not-for-profit company and is totally independent of any producer, wholesaling company or government department but is recognized by the South African Export Council. WOSA’s mandate is to promote the export of all South African wines in key international markets including the United States.

Caroline Hodge, 360 MAGAZINE, cannabis, unions

Cresco Workers are Fighting for a Union on Legalization Day

Cresco Labs employees who are fighting for a Union alongside Local 881 UFCW will flyer outside of Cresco’s Wrigleyville dispensary on the 1st day of legal recreational sales to waiting customers. They’ll be there to inform those waiting in line about their campaign for a Union in Joliet, IL and Cresco’s retaliation against their own employees who are standing up for better wages, benefits, schedules, and dignity on the job.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 1, 2020 (6:00am-9:00am)

WHERE: Sunnyside Dispensary – Lakeview (3812 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613)

WHY: Anti-Union Cannabis Lab is Growing Disappointment for Workers

Workers at Cresco Labs, one of the largest cannabis companies operating in Illinois, are organizing to be represented by Local 881 United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). Cresco owners rejected the request to recognize Local 881 at their grow facility in Joliet, IL. In response, Local 881 has filed a petition for election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Workers at Cresco in Illinois report that the Company initiated a full anti-Union campaign against them the moment they started their organizing campaign. Local 881 has charged Cresco with committing numerous violations of federal labor laws. The unfair labor practices committed by Cresco are intended to intimidate and coerce the workers from exercising their federal right to organize. Charges filed by Local 881 has filed a petition for election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

⁃ Interrogating workers who are pro-Union

⁃ Unlawful coercion of workers by conferring benefits

⁃ Soliciting workers grievances

“The cannabis industry is about to grow enormously in Illinois,” said Steve Powell, Local 881 President and UFCW International Vice President. “it is very disappointing to see Cresco lowering the standards and expectations of jobs in this industry.” The workers at Cresco Labs in Illinois believe joining the Union will help improve their working conditions. Many of the workers compare the conditions at Cresco to a bad factory. “I would like to unionize Cresco for better pay, a voice at work, better benefits and a better work environment,” said Natajsha, a Cresco employee, “Just because you work in an industry that you are passionate about doesn’t mean you should to be paid less!” Workers will no longer tolerate Cresco’s second-rate working conditions, including:

⁃ Low wages

⁃ Inadequate health plan

⁃ Unpredictable schedules

⁃ Ignored PTO requests

⁃ Lack of respect

“We worked very hard to pass legislation for medical use and worked even harder to pass recreational use,” said Representative Lawrence Walsh Jr. of the Illinois 86th District. “It is a betrayal to all of us that believe in the opportunities of the cannabis industry, when we hear that Cresco has engaged in anti-union activity and refused to recognize the wishes of their workers.” The workers want to address and fix these issues with their employer as the industry grows. Local 881 is committed to helping Cresco workers organize and improve their working conditions. Local 881 will fight to ensure that their rights and dignity are respected.

MORE INFO HERE

Top 10 Interesting Facts about Trucks

The trucking industry has over time grown immensely. Today it is almost impossible to imagine life without trucks because industries can hardly operate if trucks owners go on strike for a single day. This industry has had its fair share of challenges as well as good days. Despite these ups and downs, the industry keeps moving. This is a difficult job; however, for those doing it, it is rewarding. Also, it should be known that trucking is fun. Below we have compiled some of the interesting facts about trucks so that you can learn more about this industry and those involved in it.

1. Where the Name Truck Originated From

This may sound weird, but not so many people know how the word “truck” came about. The first-ever documented use of this word goes back to 1611 when it alluded to the heavy-duty wheels used on canon carriages. As time went by, the term became common for carts that ferried heavy items. Today the term truck and lorry have the same meaning.

2. Approximately 6% of Truck Drivers Are Women

When thinking about the truck industry, what a lot of people think is the stereotypical image of a man behind the wheel. They are not so much farfetched because a large percentage of truck drivers are men. Today, however, there is an increasing number of women venturing into this industry. They are increasingly taking the US highways to fend for themselves and their families.

America’s largest retailer, Walmart Store Inc. made a date with its women, in a forum dubbed Women in Trucking Conference, to know what more can be done to increase the number of female truckers on the road.

3. Top 5 Cinematographers That Made Lorries Popular

If it were not for some movie legends who in their movies pointed out trucks, they could still be not known. Some of these legends include Steve Spielberg, in his film called Duel. This is Richard Matheson’s American TV thriller film released in 1971. In the film, a terrified driver is stalked by a crazy truck driver.

Other filmmakers include Kris Kristofferson in Convoy, Chuck Norris in his Breaker! Breaker! Burt Reynolds in his film called Smokey and the Bandit, and Patrick Swayze in the film Black Dog.

4. What Are The Top 5 Hit Songs That Talk About Trucks?

“Roll on eighteen-Wheeler” is a song that was written by Dave Loggins. It was recorded by the American country music band called Alabama and released in January 1984 as a first single and title track by Roll On. This hit song was the group’s 12th straight No. 1 single on the Billboard magazine called Hot Country Singles chart. Other famous songs that hype trucks and brought them to the limelight include Gartha Brooks’ Papa Loved Mama, Convoy, by C.W. McCall, and finally, a song called East Bound and Down by Jerry Reed.

5. The First Female Truck Driver

The first female ever to own a commercial truck driver’s license was Lillie McGee Drennan. She also was the first female to drive a truck.  She was born at John Sealy Hospital Galveston TX in January 1897, and later was given up for adoption when she was barely three weeks old. She became the foster daughter to Fannie (Francis Carolyn). She married William Barley on December 18, 1912, at the age of 15 years, and had a son the following year. She later divorced and married Lillie married Willard Ernest Drennan. Their marriage ended in 1929 when the couple couldn’t bear children. She got her truck driving license that year. Surprisingly, she used to carry a gun in her truck everywhere she went.

6. Origin of Trucks

Peterman was a lumber businessman who in the 1930s was in search of an enhanced way to move logs to the factories from the forests. He had revamped the military trucks, and after that, he developed his first ever truck. He termed the truck as Model 260. Peterbilt was named after this businessman, T.A. Peterman.

7. What Are The Truck Types In Existence Today?

While there are numerous heavy-duty vehicles from world-known manufacturers today, but the main being used today include the Tip Truck, Fire Engines, Refrigerator Lorries, Concrete Truck, and the Semi-Trucks.

8. Truckers Pay Approximately 36% of Taxes and Fee

Yes, truckers pay up to 36% of taxes and fees relating to the Highway Trust Fund, (HTF). Even as they pay this much, they only make for a paltry 7% of the whole traffic on the highway. The Telegraph reports that the average driver spends approximately 32 hours in traffic jams every year. The amount of money spent on tax can be attributed to the type of car- it could either worsen or ease traffic jams.

Trucks, therefore, due to their design and speed are known to spend far too much time on the road and in traffic, since they cannot very well maneuver these jams. In the end, these drivers spend more on gas and other related fees on the highway.

9. The US Statistics on Trucks

The trucking industry has about 15.5 million trucks. However, the number is expected to escalate 21% more in the next ten years.

10. The First Ever Built Truck

The first ever manufactured truck was built by a German manufacturer Gottlieb Daimler in 1896. Years after passing on, he is still being celebrated for inventing the taxi as well as the motorbike.

Conclusion

While it seems like this industry is given a wanting awareness, without it, it would prove difficult to deliver goods to consumers. Trucks are also responsible for the supply of raw materials to the industries for manufacturing purposes. It therefore right to say that the trucking industry supports the global economy. When you are only driving to get to a place, truck drivers are working, and you happen to be in their workplace. Therefore, give them a break and understand that they play an important role in facilitating a smooth flow of operations in the trucking industry.

AQUAhydrate Partners With Wounded Warrior Project

AQUAHYDRATE LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP TO SUPPORT WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT WITH LIMITED-EDITION CAMO-GALLON

AQUAhydrate® has initiated a new partnership with Wounded Warrior Project®(WWP) and is donating $10,000 this summer to help honor and empower wounded warriors. AQUAhydrate is promoting the partnership with a co-branded camouflage edition of their Gallon package, the fastest-growing SKU in the high pH water segment. Available now through the 4th of July, the AQUAhydrate Camo-Gallon can be purchased at CVS, GNC and other fine retailers.

WWP is focused on supporting injured veterans, which includes providing free services in mental health, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care. Through its partnership with WWP, AQUAhydrate is helping to make sure warriors are supported on their journey to recovery.

“We’re excited to join forces with Wounded Warrior Project,” said AQUAhydrate investor/board member, Mark Wahlberg. “AQUAhydrate is proud to support their mission to impact and empower the lives of wounded veterans.”

“I’m thrilled to be working with the Wounded Warrior Project team,“ said AQUAhydrate Brand Director, Raz Inserra. “This is such an important partnership for us. All of Team AQUAhydrate is proud to be promoting this program and helping Wounded Warrior Project meet the growing needs of warriors, their families and caregivers.”

About AQUAhydrate

AQUAhydrate, Inc. is a Southern California-based performance lifestyle beverage geared towards the new generation of millennial consumers. Through a proprietary process, its water is purified to some of the most rigorous standards in the industry, supplemented with electrolytes and natural trace minerals and then elevated to an alkaline pH of over 9. It is this powerful synergy between alkalinity, electrolytes and minerals which fuels ultimate hydration, balance and performance.  AQUAhydrate is the water of choice of health/fitness authorities, professional athletes, and sports teams. Leading health and wellness expert, Jillian Michaels, spearheads all health and fitness efforts as AQUAhydrate’s Chief Wellness Officer. AQUAhydrate also boasts active investors and board members Mark Wahlberg and Sean “Diddy” Combs as owners. AQUAhydrate is available at retail locations across the U.S. as well as Amazon.com and GNC.com. Follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

About Wounded Warrior Project

Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Every journey is different, and Wounded Warrior Project meets warriors wherever they are on their journeys to recovery. Learn more at woundedwarriorproject.org.

Why it’s safe to stake your career on a People1st approach for RPA

When you’re a C-level executive, every decision counts. When the business isn’t hitting its performance goals, you can’t just shrug your shoulders and pass the buck to your boss. The company’s future success depends on your ability to find a solution.

That’s why robotic process automation (RPA) has become such a hot topic in boardrooms across the world. It promises to solve one of the most long-standing problems in business: the fact that as a company grows, the scale and complexity of its administrative processes tend to increase. The larger the company, the more time people spend on routine tasks, such as manual data entry and reporting. Employees spend countless hours fiddling with spreadsheets and copy-pasting numbers from one system into another, instead of focusing on value creation. RPA offers the potential to eliminate whole swathes of this busywork by using automated bots or digital assistants to handle all the heavy lifting. As a result, your employees only have to manage the complex tasks and exceptions manually, increasing their productivity by orders of magnitude. If you’re managing an admin-heavy area of the business, such as operations, finance or HR, you’ll know this is a tantalising prospect.

However, once executives start looking into the realities of RPA, a tiny voice of doubt often pipes up. “Will the benefits outweigh the up-front investment? How do we actually implement a successful RPA initiative? How will it look if the project fails to deliver? Is it really worth staking your career on this?”

Are these doubts justified? To a certain extent, these doubts are understandable. Many companies find that their RPA projects start successfully, but soon lose momentum or go off the rails. As a result, there’s an undercurrent of opinion that RPA is not the silver bullet it initially seems to be.

However, these problems aren’t inherent to the concept of RPA. There’s no doubt that the technology works, as successful RPA adopters like Technicolor and Scanlog will testify. The problem is that the approach to implementation that most RPA vendors recommend is only part of the answer. The traditional RPA strategy is big-bang, top-down, and heavily front-loaded with investment in new software and related infrastructure. This can be a sensible option if companies know where to start and are confident they will be able to maintain momentum—but all too often this is not the case. As a result, after the first and most obvious use cases have been covered, a centralised RPA initiative often runs out of steam. That’s because RPA isn’t given a chance to grow into an organic part of the business: instead, it’s transplanted into users’ workflows from outside. And like any transplant, there is always a high risk of rejection. Unless the business knows exactly what it’s doing, and has previous experience of successful automation projects, it’s very difficult to guarantee success with a top-down approach. That’s why it’s quite natural—and sensible—for executives to think twice before potentially gambling their career on this type of RPA strategy. Sowing the seeds of successful RPA. Fortunately, there’s a better way. Softomotive’s People1st approach for RPA emphasises the importance of starting small, learning quickly, and scaling seamlessly. Instead of driving everything from an RPA Centre of Excellence from the start, you instead begin by empowering your line-of-business teams to automate simple tasks for themselves. Instead of investing in an enterprise-scale automation platform, you start with intuitive automation tools that users can run on their own desktop PCs. These tools—like Softomotive’s. WinAutomation—make it possible to develop digital assistants and automated workflows without writing a single line of code: users can simply record and replay their own actions, or access a library of prebuilt actions and drag-and-drop them into a custom workflow using our visual process designer. The benefits of this bottom-up, grassroots approach are twofold.

First, it builds engagement with the line-of-business, making them advocates for automation instead of resisters. This is critical to help the business develop an automation mindset, where RPA becomes second nature: every existing process is seen as a potential candidate for automation, and all new processes are designed with automation in mind. Second, it keeps your automation initiative focused on meeting users’ real-world business needs. This dramatically reduces the risk of failure and increases the time to value—and helps to dispel any doubts about whether RPA is the right path forward.

Of course, there’s more to the People1st approach than this. Once you’ve embedded RPA into the line-of-business, there’s still the question of how you scale, manage and govern automation at the organisational level. That’s where your RPA Centre of Excellence comes in—their role is to identify and incubate the most successful grassroots projects, connect them together into larger-scale processes, and productionise them for wider deployment across the business. But that’s a topic that we’ll dive into in more depth in a later blog post. The main takeaway for today is that championing an RPA initiative at your next board meeting doesn’t have to be a make-or-break career move. With a People1st approach, the initial investment is lower, the potential benefits are huge, and the risk of failure is easy to mitigate.

To learn more about how the Softomotive People1st approach can guide you to a successful RPA strategy, or help you get your existing RPA initiatives back on course, download one of our new guides today:

People1st Executive Guide

People1st Practitioner Guide

Cultivating Company Culture

TRAVEL JOURNALIST THOMAS WILMER INTERVIEWS 360 MAGAZINE PUBLISHER VAUGHN LOWERY

Small to medium sized business often fall short due to high turnover. Vaughn Lowery, Publisher of 360 Magazine, provides listeners with first-hand knowledge on the ever-shifting world of digital publishing and content creation through a youthful lens. Likewise with his innate ability to be accessible, he speaks to working in tandem with emerging generations and how their input could be detrimental to the survival of a brand.

LISTEN HERE

An Additional Conversation with 360 Magazine’s Publisher Vaughn Lowery

By Tara McDonough

If Vaughn Lowery was asked what his idea of success was 10 years ago, his answer would be very different from what it is today. He may have said that success means doing what he loves to do, being accomplished, or having a certain amount of material things.

“Success to me now is having a purpose in life and feeling passionate and fulfilled by it,” says Lowery.

Lowery got his first taste of the industry while interning for Vibe Magazine while on Summer vacation from Cornell University. His sister drove him into New York City every morning to drop him off and always advised him to be the first one at the office. One morning Lowery found himself alone with the publisher of the magazine at the time, Keith Clinkscales, which gave him the opportunity to speak with him one-on-one. It was due to his sister’s advice that he got the chance to do what no other intern would normally get to do.

After finishing up at Cornell in just three years, Lowery became an executive trainee with Saks Fifth Avenue. He was able to get along with everyone in the office and was doing great when he was called into his boss’s office one afternoon.

“She told me I was in the wrong business; that I was very charismatic and should try acting,” Lowery says, “but, I liked the path I was on at that time.”

It wasn’t until Lowery was asked by someone connected to the talent industry if he was a model that he truly considered breaking into the talent industry. Shortly after taking professional photos and getting them out to agencies, Lowery ended up with Ford Models. From there he did photoshoots, tv commercials, and ad campaigns, all while still working in outside sales at Aetna US Healthcare. Once he began modelling full time his face was in the pages of GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Gap. By being around people of all different positions, primarily in the magazine publishing industry, Lowery came to understand how content was produced. It was right before the recession hit while he was living in LA that Lowery made the transition from modelling to the publishing industry.

It was his experience in modelling that inspired Lowery’s creation of the 360 Magazine. While working on any given shoot, Lowery was often one of just three or less black men. Often times he was the only black man on a set which drew his attention to the lack of representation in the media industry. Lowery’s goal for the 360 Magazine was that it would fill this niche and promote diversity across the publishing world, specifically the covers of its magazines.

For those wanting to work in the media industry, specifically in the publishing world, Lowery suggests starting from the ground up.

“Being self taught and learning as you go is something you need to be open to,” says Lowery, “Ask tons of questions, and learn everything you can from every position.”

Lowery warns that it’s important to be open and cordial to everyone, because you don’t know when your paths will cross again. Making connections and using them is how most people gain opportunities. He also adds that just by hanging out with people you’ll always learn something that you can apply to aspects of your work.  

Things in the industry have been changing and becoming more digitally focused since the beginning of 360 Magazine’s launch. The magazine was started during a time of e-zines, so it’s not a surprise that the website came first. Lowery had experience with creating websites from a young age so the move from print to digital was natural for him. It was clear to him where the industry was going.

“Print was getting costly, bookstores were looking dilapidated and even Barnes and Noble was focusing on their version of the tablet, the Nook,” says Lowery, “All the magazines were looking alike anyway.”

Print was still important though. Besides the fact that advertising agencies want to see a physical copy of a magazine before working with them, print is taken more seriously due to its cost. Other companies will be aware that a certain magazine has the funds to support itself if they have a print copy to show for it.

360 Magazine printed their first issue in 2009, but it was costly. Lowery began thinking that there had to be some other way to work with print. It was then that he decided to do print on demand publications. 360 Magazine linked with Blurb, which allowed anyone to order a print copy of the magazine right from our website. They’ve been distributing to them for 9 years now.

The magazine’s estimated circulation, which is based on print, is 110,000 from print on demand. This number doesn’t tend to move much, but most people end up reading 360 Magazine’s online articles through WordPress.

When asked what makes a media contributor most marketable, Lowery says that in this industry you need a social following and the ability to network. Being accessible and having a portfolio of published work is a great place to start as well.

Do it all,” Lowery says, “monetize, write, take photos, be on time, and take initiatives.”

The hardest thing about the industry in Lowery’s opinion is breaking into it and surviving on freelance jobs along the way. Writers should be prepared to sacrifice mentally, physically and financially. While working for a publication, Lowery says that writers need to do what they can to become a valuable asset to them. That way, a publication will be more likely to keep you on board and help you in the future.

As for internship positions at 360 Magazine, Lowery aims to teach interns everything that he didn’t learn. He’s assigns articles for interns to write, pushes them to network, has them do coverage and teaches them how to get published or to self-publish.

“We teach interns how to be resourceful and find themselves in the organization,” says Lowery.

When interns can bring business to the magazine, the magazine will bring business to them. Special assignment opportunities are available for interns who finish their program and are still looking to remain involved. Lowery says that while the magazine is specifically looking to groom editors, that if a publication wants to really pop, then they have to have a revolving door.

When asked what goals he has for the future of 360 Magazine, Lowery responded that he aims to keep it three dimensional with podcasts and web series.

“I want to be able to put the brand out to different countries and places in America,” says Lowery, Local presences would strengthen us.”

He also says that he’s interested in the possibility of a reality spin off or docu-series, as well as introducing more formal programs for educational purposes.

VAUGHN LOWERY:
360 Magazine
LinkedIn
Joe boxer TV Appearance
America’s Next Top Model Appearance
Sundance Film Trailer Appearance

Vaughn Lowery, art, 360 magazine, design, entertainer, Male model

Azuri Technologies X Energise Africa Launch UK Crowd Campaign

Azuri Technologies, a leader in pay-as-you-go solar in Africa and crowdfunding platform Energise Africa today announced the latest phase of debt financing from UK impact investors to deliver affordable, clean energy and help solve the energy crisis in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Azuri and Energise Africa collaboration plans to raise £2.5 million for pay-as-you-go-solar and help more than 100,000 off-grid people in Sub-Saharan Africa access clean, affordable energy.

The investment will support low-income families in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania.

More than 600 million people across Africa live without access to electricity – limiting their life chances of achieving economic prosperity and improved quality of life. Universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services is one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and can only be met with access to sufficient investment.

Crowdfunding has emerged as a powerful way of financing the off-grid solar industry and is leading the way in increasing investor interest in the market.

Through Energise Africa, individuals in the UK can invest from as little as £50 in bonds, issued by solar businesses, to provide clean and affordable energy access, while targeting annual returns of 6%. Capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.

Azuri is a leader in pay-as-you-go solar technology and since 2012 has been supplying affordable solar home systems and products to the millions across Africa living off-grid without access to mains electricity.

In 2018, Azuri and Energise Africa raised £1.7 million from hundreds of UK investors to deliver clean, affordable energy products to more than 16,000 families in sub-Saharan Africa.

Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri said: “Azuri is delighted to extend our partnership with Energise Africa and their community of UK-based retail investors to finance off-grid solar projects. With this innovative financing, thousands more households will be able to access modern solar energy for the first time.”

Lisa Ashford, Managing Director Energise Africa said: “Through Energise Africa, we are committed to providing UK based people with easily accessible opportunities to invest directly in sustainable businesses that can tackle climate change, create long-term social and environmental impact, and also deliver a potential financial return. We’re looking forward to the prospect of working with Azuri Technologies again to help accelerate the achievement of UN SDG 7.

Energise Africa has been developed by Ethex and Lendahand – two of Europe’s leading impact investing companies and is also supported by UK aid, Virgin Unite, Good Energies Foundation and P4G.

Over the past 20 months the Energise Africa community of investors has generated over £7.57 million for 12 solar businesses to provide 312,000 people in 10 African countries with access to clean energy, which has prevented almost 70,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions entering the atmosphere annually and also repaid almost £1.8 million back to investors.

Investing in Energise Africa projects via the www.energiseafrica.co.uk site involves risk, including the loss of all of your invested capital, illiquidity (the inability to sell assets quickly or without substantial loss in value), and it should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio.

The investment opportunities on www.energiseafrica.co.uk are not an offer to the public in any jurisdiction and are available only to registered members of the platform who have certified that they are eligible to invest. Any person who is not resident in the United Kingdom who wishes to view these investment opportunities must first satisfy themselves that they are eligible to do so under the securities laws and regulations applicable to them. This site does not constitute an offer of, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or subscribe for, any securities to any person in any jurisdiction to whom or in which such offer or solicitation would be unlawful.

In respect of its regulated activities, Lendahand Ethex Ltd is an appointed representative of Share In Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 603332).