Thursday, 27 February 2014

One Direction top recorded music sales for 2013

One Direction have collected their award after being named the IFPI Global Recording Artist of 2013 last month.  The award, which honours the most popular act globally across downloading, streaming and physical format sales, was presented by IFPI’s chief executive Frances Moore. The Top 10 global recording artists 2013 are:

One Direction
Justin Timberlake
Bruno Mars
Katy Perry
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Michael Bublé
Daft Punk

Source: IFPI

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

EE ties up deal with Wembley Stadium

Digital communications company EE has announced a six-year partnership deal with Wembley Stadium which goes into effect immediately, with the first event scheduled as the Capital One Cup Final on the 2nd March. Announced by EE CEO Olaf Swantee and Wembley National Stadium chair Melvin Benn,  Wembley and EE agreed to the deal to ensure the stadium is among more technologically advanced international venues. Wembley will benefit from a multi-million pound investment in its technological infrastructure and will offer visitors a ‘sofa-to-seat’ experience.  EE will provide mobile ticketing solutions, enhanced mobile network access and Wi-Fi, available to all visitors. A new, bespoke app has also been released, which offers a dynamic feed of event content, as well as stadium and travel information. The free app is now available to download on Apple and Android devices. A new composite logo and title – ‘Wembley Stadium connected by EE’ – was also unveiled today. EE has also become a supplier to the England Men’s Senior Football Team and The FA Cup competition as part of the deal.

Muslims call for Katy Perry video ban

A still from the video
Katy Perry's video for her latest single 'Dark Horse' has been slammed by Muslims who have called for it to be banned from YouTube, accusing it of being 'blasphemous' - the singer is wearing a necklace with the word ‘Allah’ written in Arabic. More than 50,000 people have signed an online petition filed by Shazad Iqbal of Bradford who describes the video as 'highly controversial to its viewers as a result of its portrayal of blasphemy'. It's all set in 'Memphis, Egypt, a crazy long time ago' and features pole dancing, performing miniature dogs, Egyptian gods - and what looks like a very expensive set!

There is a poll on the ban on the Huffington Post here

New Sydney laws threaten night time decline

New licensing laws in Sydney, Australia, have prompted both night club owners and performers to say that that the new regulations will hurt their businesses more than it will prevent alcohol-related lawlessness.  The legislation was announced in January largely as the result of a high profile incident where two young men were assaulted and killed during a late night incident by an intoxicated assailant.  The new legislation requires many venues to close their doors at 01.30 and to stop serving alcohol at 03.00 Small bars-defined as unable to hold more than 60 patrons-are not subject to the new laws. Late night rock and EDM clubs are thought to be particularly hard hit, but the legislation affects more than 1,000 establishments in Sydney's entertainment precinct. The Music Times reports that organizations such as Save Our Nightlife and Keep Sydney Open are opposing the laws, pointing to studies that indicate alcohol-based violence is actually in decline

Photo: Hpeterswald

UMG posts 12% growth in revenues

Universal Music Group has announced positive results for 2013 with  revenues up 12.8% to 4.9 billion euros (£4 billion) year-on-year. The continued decline in physical music sales was offset by a growth in digital revenues, which accounted for over 50% of sales income for the first time. Meanwhile in the digital domain, subscription and streaming revenue also grew by more than 75% in 2013. The company said that its biggest sellers of last year were Eminem, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, Lady Gaga, Drake, Robin Thicke and French-language artist Stromae

SFX snap up React Presents

The ever hungry SFX has bought up yet another independent festival promoter. This time it's Chicago-based live event maker React Presents, behind, amongst other things, the Spring Awakening and Summer Set festivals.

Barbican Just Jam cancelled on Police advice

The March 1st scheduled Just Jam event, which was supposed to take place at the Barbican arts complex  in London, has been called at the recommendation of the City Of London Police, who raised "public safety concerns" with regards to the event's management. The one-off show was due to feature acts including JME, Mount Kimbie, Loefah, Newham Generals and Omar Souleyman and the sets were to be streamed live via JJ's online channel.

Citing amongst other issues the fact that alcohol would be on sale at the event, despite it being open to ticket-holders aged 16 and over, City of London Police issued a statement yesterday that read "Additionally, there were worries about the lack of adequate measures in place to address potential issues that might arise, including overcrowding if more people decided to attend than the venue could cater for" continuing "after consultation the decision to cancel the event was taken by the Barbican as the venue".​​​​ It seems the Just Jam organisers were unaware of the moves and commented on the cancellation "with great regret" saying "We're struggling to understand why this has happened and will try to start a dialogue with the police so we can discuss whatever issues they have with Just Jam at the Barbican" and "The workshops we've recently ran with the Barbican in Fellows Court in Hackney have shown how the artists we work with can get young people from all backgrounds excited about making art and music, we hope to continue working on this and on other projects, with the Barbican in the future".

The Barbican said the venue "has taken the decision to cancel the Just Jam concert that was scheduled to take place on 1 March 2014 on the grounds of public safety following dialogue with the City of London Police" on its website. "As a responsible public venue we have to take police advice seriously and consider the safety of audience members, artists and our staff."

Monday, 24 February 2014

Live Nation takes complete ownership of O2 Dublin

Live Nation has acquired complete ownership of the O2-branded arena venue in Dublin in a 35 million euro deal that values the building at 70 million euros. Already an equal partner in the O2, Ireland's biggest indoor arena, LN recently utilised its 'first refusal' right to buy the rest of the equity in the venue venture, which was in the control of the Irish government's National Asset Management Agency following its dealings with the original co-owner of the complex, Dublin Docklands developer Harry Crosbie.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

German Promoters Force Resale Take Down

Secondary ticketing giant Seatwave has removed all tickets for the six upcoming Robbie Williams concerts in Germany after a successful legal challenge by the German Federal Association of Concert Organisers (BDV).

BDV is vociferously fighting a battle against ticket resale platforms in Germany and has already obtained mandatory injunctions against other online exchanges, including the popular website Viagogo.

Johannes Ulbricht, legal advisor for the BDV, insists the association will continue to take action against all unauthorised ticket trading in the country, to protect event visitors and ensure that the prohibition of resale is respected.

”We are moving closer, step by step, to our goal of returning control of ticket prices to promoters and artists,” says BDV president Jens Michow. “For the public, this means protection against inflated prices. For promoters and artists this means that those who create the value embodied in the ticket price, rather than shady freeloaders, will benefit from it.”

Venues Trust Looks to Protect Iconic Clubs

An organisation to prevent some of the UK’s most important live music venues from disappearing is making significant strides to achieve its goal after negotiating a major concession with legislators. The Music Venues Trust has leveraged the existing Community Right to Bid legislation to back its campaign to save as many grass-roots venues as possible, through a three-phase programme.

“The Right to Buy law was introduced to protect the likes of rural pubs and community post offices, but we’ve persuaded government to extend that criteria to live music venues,” explains the Trust’s Mark Davyd. “That’s phase one – once a premises gets Community Right To Bid status, it cannot be sold without the community being consulted and given the chance to put together an equivalent bid to buy.”

Davyd, who owns the Tunbridge Wells Forum, took action after seeing numerous similar venues being redeveloped into housing or other business accommodation.

“The common thing that all smaller venues share is that the bricks and mortar value of the building now outweighs the value of the business that operates there,” he states. “So when the owners are approached by developers, they are obliged to take such offers seriously. And with no young people coming through – yet – who are eager to take over these live music clubs, we are losing many of them forever.”

Phase two will involve compiling a list of clubs that music fans want to see on the protected list. “We’re expecting anywhere between 15 and 70 venues to be nominated – but it could well be 100,” Davyd continues.

“Phase three willbe the campaign to raise funds so the bid to buy can be exercised,” Davyd says.“The final goal is to buy the buildings and their freehold, place them in the Music Venues Trust and lease them back to their management so that they can continue to host live music and are secured permanently for the local community.”

Big Day Out Facing Huge Losses

Promoter AJ Maddah has warned that Australian touring festival Big Day Out faces a financial black hole, predicting losses for this year of at least AUD$8m (€5.3m).

In a frank interview, Maddah, who became a partner in Big Day Out last year, revealed to Australian radio station, Triple J, that the iconic festival had been in danger of being shelved altogether prior to his involvement, “They were on the edge of the abyss, on the edge of cancelling the event,” he told triple J. “It would’ve been very sad to me to watch it die without putting up a fight. That’s why I came on board. I was rowing the lifeboat back to the Titanic, rather than the other way around so to speak.”

Explaining why the event’s Perth date is being dropped, Maddah stated, “Generally, you lose money in Perth. You’ve got two days to get there, three days to get back, all the trucking, all the production. A hotel room that you would pay $180 for in Sydney is $320 a night in Perth, in the same hotel chain. The price of hiring everything is ridiculous over there, security is two and a half times the rate of the east coast, so it becomes a situation where people struggle to go to Perth.”

That, he added, was a reason for the high ticket prices, but with the remote west coast city now out of the equation, that’s something he hopes to address. “$185 [€123] was ridiculous, but that was [set] long before I came in this year ... I don’t want it to cost any more than $160 [€106] next year, give or take a couple of dollars.”


Update (from Audience): Losses are now confirmed at anything between A8-15 million and that the six BDO festivals attrracted just 135,000 out of the 300,000 needed.

Monkeys snap up two BRITS but Bowie rules

The Arctic Monkeys won two awards, as did One Direction at the annual BRIT Awards at the O2 in London last night but an absent David Bowie stole the show, being named best British male - 30 years after he last won the prize. US superstars Beyoncé and Prince were both at the show - the former performing and the latter giving best British Female award - won by Ellie Goulding. Other performers included The Arctic Monkeys, Bruno Mars (who won best International Male), Bastille (winner of Brtish Breakthrough Act), Rudimental and Katy Perry. 

Host James Corden takes a selfie with Prince

The full list of winners are

British Male Solo Artist: David Bowie
British Female Solo Artist: Ellie Goulding
British Group: Arctic Monkeys
British Breakthrough Act: Bastille
Critics' Choice (already awarded): Sam Smith
British Single: Rudimental featuring Ella Eyre - Waiting All Night
British Album Of The Year: Arctic Monkeys - AM
British Video Of The Year: One Direction - Best Song Ever
International Male Solo Artist: Bruno Mars
International Female Solo Artist: Lorde
International Group: Daft Punk

Global Success Award: One Direction


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

UK recorded sector continues to improve, but the pirates make the real money!

The BPI has announced that recorded music revenues in the UK were up 1.9% year-on-year in 2013 - that's up to £730.4 million from £716.8 million in 2012. This statistics continues a theme that has occurred in a number of markets in the last year: that the decade-plus decline of the record industry is coming to an albeit slow end.  This is largely thanks to the continued increase in digital revenues, which now account for 50% of total income. The largest increase came from streaming, with revenues in that sector up 41% in 2013 to £77 million. The bulk of this, £54.7 million, came from subscriptions, while ad-supported streaming paid out £19 million and locker services (such as Apple's iTunes Match) contributed over £3 million. Digital album sales also showed a strong increase last year, up 19.5% to £160.5m, though single track sales fell 4.4% to £121.7 million.   Revenues from physical sales, fell again last year, coming in 6.4% lower than in 2012 at £365.4 million (compared to a total of £359.2 million for digital income).

Now that's the legal market - but what of piracy I hear you ask? US consumer group the Digital Citizens Alliance, has released a report of research by MediaLink surveying 596 piracy sites and estimates that together those sites are generating about $227 million a year in advertising revenues, with the top 30 sites bringing in around $4.4 million each. And because these sites have relatively few running costs, certainly no royalty payments for either sound recordings or music rights, or payments to film companies or other broadcasters, the DCA calculates that these operations could be operating at an 80% to 94% profit margin.

In the UK, BBC Radio 1 and the Official Charts Company announced plans to include streams on services such as Spotify and Deezer in official charts.

Odd Future banned from NZ again

Odd Future have been stopped from performing in New Zealand for a second time. Immigration authorities in the country blocked the hip hop group from entering the country for their support slot at an Eminem show last weekend, claiming that they are a "threat to public order".

Aggregator faces Russian fine and web blocking

In Russia, the operator of a stream aggregator called TracksFlow facing a fine and possible web-blocking actions over copyright infringement claims. The site, which pulls in streams from a plethora of sources but allows users to listen to and organise tracks through one web-based interface, was targeted with litigation by now Warner affiliate SBA Music Publishing. According to Torrentfreak, the Moscow Arbitration Court has sided with the publisher, ordering TracksFlow and its owner Boris Golikov to pay over $44,000 in damages and ruling that the domain should be "terminated"L given the dotcom registry sits outside the jurisdiction of the Russian courts, judges may issue web-block injunctions against internet service providers in the country, similar to those issued by various other European courts, including in the UK. to enforce the block.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

UK Tax Authorities crack down on unpaid staff

In the UK, HM Revenue and Customs has announced that it is cracking down on unpaid internships at music companies. The government body has announced that it has written to various record labels and live firms to explain the rules regarding unpaid labour and that if they are not paying their interns the minimum wage they may be breaking the law.

Rock n pop top the charts

According to new statistics from the BPI and Official Charts Company, rock and pop albums continue to dominate the charts. The BPI's Gennaro Castaldo told CMU: "While the appeal of pop remains consistent, the popularity of rock music tends to ebb and flow a little more, reflecting as it does the excitement that can quickly build around new acts as they burst through. With Arctic Monkeys now taking on near-iconic status, and the likes of Jake Bugg and Bastille to name a few connecting with a new generation of fans, rock music looks set to enjoy another wonderfully vibrant period".

Shares of album sales by genre:

Rock (33.8%)
Pop (31%)
Dance (8.3%)
MOR/Easy Listening (8.1%)
R&B (5.7%)
Hip hop (3.6%)
Classical (3.2%)
Country (1.7%)
Jazz (1.3%)
Folk (1.2%)
Blues (0.9%)
Reggae (0.7%)
Children's (0.2%)
World (0.2%)
Spoken word (0.1%)
New age (0.1%)

Share of single sales by genre:

Pop (36.2%)
Rock (21.4%)
Dance (16.1%)
R&B (13.5%)
Hip hop (8.6%)
MOR/Easy Listening (1.6%)
Classical (0.7%)
Reggae (0.5%)
Country (0.5%)
Folk (0.3%)
Jazz (0.2%)

Top ten highest selling albums of 2013:

1. Various Artists - Now That's What I Call Music 86
2. Various Artists - Now That's What I Call Music 85
3. Various Artists - Now That's What I Call Music 84
4. One Direction - Midnight Memories
5. Emeli Sandé - Our Version Of Events
6. Michael Bublé - To Be Loved
7. Robbie Williams - Swings Both Ways
8. Olly Murs - Right Place Right Time
9. Bruno Mars - Unorthodox Jukebox
10. Rod Stewart - Time

Ten charged over Love Parade tragedy

Duisburg 2010: Photo by Arne Musler
Ten people have been charged under German law with negligent manslaughter in relation to the to the fatal stampede that occurred at Germany's Love Parade festival in 2010 which left 21 people dead and over five hundred more injured.

The Festival, which began in 1989 as a Berlin-based event, began travelling to different German cities each year in 2007, was taking place in Duisburg in 2010. The free event was always well attended, and though turnouts had fallen in the few years prior to 2010, it was estimated by investigators that almost half a million people had attended that year on the site of a former freight rail yard. The site's capacity, however, was 250,000 and despite the large number of people attending, crowds entering were funnelled through a single underpass, which quickly became crowded on the Saturday morning of the event there was a surge in the crowd, which caused panic in the tunnel followed by a stampede. Six of the event's organisers and four city workers have been charged with negligent manslaughter and bodily harm. If convicted, they face up to five years in prison each. All deny any wrongdoing. The event was permanently cancelled by organisers after the tragedy. Six people had proceedings against them dropped after the investigation by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for lack of evidence. The then mayor of Duisburg, Adolf Sauerland, was forced to step down after a 2012 city referendum, accused of having ignored warnings that the venue was too small. Organisers faced criticism at the time in media reports suggesting that officials and organisers did not heed warnings that there would be problems with such a massive crowd.

Duisburg prosecutor Horst Bien told reporters: "Something happened on 24 July 2010 that should never have happened. We weren't looking to see who was morally or politically responsible but instead focussed only on who was criminally liable". Bien said the entrance was not big enough to handle the numbers of those attending and said those charged should have known that. An interim police report listed a catalogue of crowd management and planning mistakes. The grounds opened nearly two hours later than promised, leading to an initial blockage in the tunnel, and there were no loudspeakers to control the crowd, the report said.  "Mistakes in planning were the main reason for the disaster," Bien said adding thaT "an event where people wanted to party, dance and have fun, turned into a terrible tragedy" aND "The victims, their relatives and the bereaved are still suffering today because of the traumatic events."

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

BMG acquires EDM leaders Talpa Music

DigitalMusicNews reports that BMG will acquire 100% of music publisher Talpa Music. According to the report, BMG and Talpa Music Holding have signed the deal, which is expected to close later this month. Talpa music specializes in EDM and owns 37,000 songs, including ones by Tiësto, Afrojack, Fedde Le Grand, Nicky Romero, and Laidback Luke. Overall, Talpa’s catalog includes more than 500,000 songs. “This is a very significant acquisition of one of Europe’s leading music publishers. At one stroke it not only further builds our position in the Benelux, making us the leading publisher of local repertoire, it gives us access to leading international songwriters, particularly in the EDM category,” said Hartwig Masuch, CEO of BMG.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Queen's Greatest Hits top 6 million in the UK

Queen's 1981 'Greatest Hits' release has become the first album ever to sell six million copies in the UK. Martin Talbot from the Official Charts Company said "Becoming the first album to pass six million sales is a quite incredible achievement by Queen and their iconic 'Greatest Hits' album. Ever since it was first released in 1981, this package of classic pop and rock tracks has been an indispensable item in every music fan's record collection - perhaps THE definitive greatest hits album!"

The top five biggest sellers in the UK to date are:

1 Queen - Greatest Hits (6m)
2 Abba - Gold (5.1m)
3 The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (5.1m)
4 Adele - 21 (4.7m)

5 Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory? (4.6m)

Monday, 10 February 2014

Warner losses narrow, Sony post 14% growth

Warner Music saw revenues grow and losses narrow in the final quarter of 2013. Revenues were up from $769 million in the same quarter a year earlier to $815 million, while net loss was down from $80 million to $37 million. Warnerr's 2013 acquisition of the Parlophone Records business in Europe aided the revenue hike. WMG CEO Stephen Cooper told reporters: "There were a number of bright spots this quarter, including strong growth in steaming revenue for our recorded music business and solid performance from our music publishing business. While we had a light release schedule this quarter, we are enthusiastic about our release schedule for the second half of the fiscal year".

Global releases from One Direction, Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus helped Sony Music (both the record label and sony/ATV music publishing) post revenues up 14.4% year-on-year in the last quarter of 2013 resulting in an operating profit rise of 32.5% -  $1.38 billion in revenue and $207 million in profit. Record sales in Japan, however, were down a little year-on-year, though that was blamed on a light release schedule compared to late 2012. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Second UK investigation into touting announced

In the UK, Westminster's All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music has announced it will be holding an inquiry into ticket touting later this year, with a view to reporting in 2015. The investigation will specifically focus on the impact of the booming secondary ticketing market on the music business, the artist community and music consumers. The separate and newly formed APPG on Ticket Abuse had already said it too would investigate secondary ticketing and hat group held its first evidence session on Wednesday with representatives from the sport, theatre and music sectors contributing, including Kilimanjaro Live CEO Stuart Galbraith.

Sillerman and SFX face legal suit

EDM events firm SFX Entertainment is being sued by three apparent co-founders, who claim they were "frozen out" of the company by CEO Robert Sillerman, reports Bloomberg. Paolo Moreno, Lawrence Vavra and Gabriel Moreno claim that entertainment industry veteran Sillerman approached them in early 2012 to discuss his plans for an electronic music-focussed company. Having no experience in that side of the business, they say Sillerman used the three men's expertise to identify and purchase seven of the eight companies listed as SFX's "principal assets" in its IPO filing last year.

Beats and Merlin tie the knot

Beats, the streaming services, has agreed a deal with indie label digital negotiator Merlin, confirming that the new streaming platform was offering the 600 labels and distributors it represents (which together represent over 20,000 indies) the same deal as the three major record companies. That deal applies from the day the Beats service went live in the USA last month, 

100 plus treated at DJ Hardwell show

More than 100 young people were treated by paramedics for the effects of alcohol and, in some cases, drugs, during a sell out concert in Belfast featuring DJ Hardwell gig at the 15,000 capacity Odyssey Arena, The show was attended by five ambulances, was on Thursday 6th February and a charity worker who helped to treat people at the scene told the BBC it was "like a disaster zone". Today (Friday) the DJ Hardwell gig in Edinburgh has been cancelled when its licence was withdrawn in the wake of the Belfast incident. 3 of the 19 people who were hospitalised came from inside the Odyssey Arena. Police are investigating, and are to meet Odyssey management. They arrested three people and seized a small quantity of drugs outside the venue. Police said about 300 young people were refused entry to the venue because they were either underage or intoxicated and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service declared the event a 'major incident' at 20.00. Seventeen people were taken to hospital. Three of them have since been discharged and the remaining 14 are in a stable condition. 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Glastonbury top of the TV music programmes

The BBC's coverage of Glastonbury 2013 picked up a prestigious Broadcast Award at a ceremony hosted by Alexander Armstrong at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London last night. The judges commented that the BBC's coverage on TV, radio, red button, on demand and live web streaming made it "feel as if you were right there" and was "ambitious in scale and executed brilliantly".  The Glastonbury coverage beat off strong challenges from The Mercury Music Prize Sessions (Channel 4), Later With Jools (BBC2) and Bollywood Carmen Live (BBC/Asian Network). Other winners in the night included Mr Stink (Best Children's programme), Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (Best Entertainment Programme), Coronation Street (Best Soap), The Ryder Cup (Best Sports Programmes), Educating Yorkshire (Best Documentary Series),  Broadchurch (Best Drama Series) and Googlebox (Best Original Programmes).

NCASS to talk about changes to food and water provisions for events at the Event Production Show

The launch of the new Event Safety Guide (Purple Guide) will revolutionise catering at events and radically change the way organisers will have to approach food & water provisions at their shows.

Bob Fox, NCASS’ managing director and the Chair of the Food and Water Section of the Guide will be presenting a 30 minute seminar - The Event Food Revolution - with a Q&A session, outlining how the changes will affect organisers. It will discuss how it will play out for them on the ground and what tools are available to them to ensure compliance, providing expert advice so you know what you need to do to make sure you have a safe, compliant and well catered event.

The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) work closely with EHOs and the Government and last year became one of only six Primary Authority Partners who are accredited and endorsed by the Government. They are currently campaigning to ensure event organisers have and understand the correct protocol for selecting caterers.

It's all at Earls Court - 11th and 12th February 2014 - register here

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Bristol Arena gets green light

The Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, has approved a three-year financial plan for Bristol City Council to fund the building of a £91 million indoor arena. Ferguson has also backed the process of selecting an arena operator and negotiating the terms of lease. The proposed plans for the 12,000-seat arena would see it built next to Temple Meads station, and to be completed by the summer of 2017.

YouTube payments top $1 billion - but is that enough?

YouTube has paid out over $1 billion to the music industry "over the last few years", Vice President of YouTube Content Tom Pickett announced during a panel at MIDEM. According to The Guardian, the BPI's Geoff Taylor, sitting on the same panel, suggested that YouTube should be looking into going the same route as its audio rivals, ie with a premium as well as freemium level. Said Taylor: "I think YouTube has lacked [a mix of free and premium tiers], and that has been a problem for the industry. When I looked at the billions of streams there were in music videos, and the pounds and pence coming in to the industry from that, it was a very small number".

And Media firm Tribune has completed  its $170 million acquisition of Gracenote from Sony Corporation of America - Gracenote is a key provider of music data.

Showsec awarded three-year contract at Bloodstock

Crowd management, venue and event security specialist Showsec has been awarded a three-year contract to play a key role at Derbyshire’s Bloodstock Open Air Festival.This year’s festival will be the 5th year that Showsec has provided its services at the event. The heavy metal festival has seen strong growth year-on-year, winning Best Medium Sized Festival at the UK Festival Awards in 2012, and claimed a similar accolade at the 2013 Live UK Music Awards. More at AAA

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Survivor join digital royalty battle

Survivor are the latest band to go legal over the payment of royalties for downloads, mainly in relation to their 1982 'Rocky III' soundtrack epic hit 'Eye Of The Tiger'. Founding Survivor members Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan, the latter still performing with the band, have sued Sony Music for a 'licensing' cut of the revenue generated by their recordings, which they say should be 50% of the income. The  lawsuit also claims that the major still owes the duo money stemming from settlements the American record industry reached with the big file-sharing platforms of old like Kazaa, and also alleges a number if other accounting irregularities including improper deductions. According to Billboard: "A Sony representative threatened that in the event Survivor persisted in its objection, Sony would exercise what it termed 'the nuclear option' - removal of the Survivor masters from the songs licensed to iTunes for download by consumers, thereby wiping out that revenue stream altogether. By threatening 'the nuclear option', Sony has conceded that its transaction with iTunes is a license subject to termination, and not a sale of the Survivor masters to iTunes. If it was a sale, Sony would have no right to demand return of the songs".


Monday, 3 February 2014

The Revolving Door

The BBC have announced the appointment of Isabel Begg to the rather wordy role of Head Of Commercial & Business Development, Rights And Business Affairs within its radio and music division. Begg replaces BBC radio’s previous business affairs head John Moran, who is departing for a new role at Channel 4.

Indie music publisher Spirit Music have announced the appointment of former Universal Music Publishing Group CEO David Renzer to the role of Chairman. 

Artist manager Mike Martinovich, who manages the likes of My Morning Jacket, Flight Of The Conchords and Preservation Hall Jazz Band through his Flatiron Management business, is allying with management powerhouse Red Light.

CMU Daily reports that former Machine Head bassist Adam Duce, fired in February last year, has sued his former bandmates and manager, accusing them of firing him to get a larger cut of band income. He also claims that frontman Robb Flynn was already taking a larger cut of the money earned than had been agreed under their partnership.

BMG has confirmed the appointment of former EMI executive Joe Gillen to the role of CFO for its North American business, overseeing finance, accounting, income tracking and royalty audits.

And another ex-EMI bod, the former Chairman of EMI in Australia, Mark Poston, is returning to the record industry after a year away from the business by joining Warner Music down under, reporting in to the mini-major's Aussie MD Tony Harlow, who originally recruited Poston into EMI.

MAMA have confirmed that co-founder Dean James is leaving the business "to focus on his outside interests. MAMA continues to run a network of venues around the UK, as well as operating a tour and festival promotion business, which stages or has interests in events like Wilderness, Lovebox, Global Gathering and The Great Escape and owns the monthly music magazine The Fly. Rory Bett had been appointed as the company's new CEO. Bett has been with MAMA since 2008, launching first the company's brand partnerships business and then its event production agency, 

Mötley Crüe have announced that they will retire the band a final 72 date tour of the US and Canada.

North American streaming service Slacker Radio announced the appointment of a new CEO, former Disney and Nintendo executive Duncan Orrell-Jones.

After the current members of UB40 hit out at three of their ex-bandmembers for announcing plans to release new music under the same name, one of the three, former frontman Ali Campbell, has defended his intentions. Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Campbell, who quit the band in acrimonious circumstances in 2008, says that the remaining members of his former group, which include his brothers Duncan and Robin, have been destroying the UB40 former legacy. The matter is, as they say, in the hands of the lawyers but the 'new' but old 'UB40' with Ali, Astro and Mickey Virtue have been signed to Cooking Vinyl.

Independent music publisher Imagem has announced the appointment of Jason Jordan, the former Columbia and Hollywood Records A&R chief who also co-founded the SynchTank platform, to the role of President at Imagem Music US.

Sony Music last week further expanded its EDM team in London with the appointment of Toby Andrews to the role of Senior Manager, International Electronic Music Marketing. He joins the major from PR firm Get In.

Warner Music's label services business ADA announced two more appointments in its New York office on Friday, with Brandon Squar being promoted to the role of SVP Digital Strategy & Revenue for ADA Worldwide and former Universal exec Tatia Adams Fox becoming SVP Marketing.

Four  UK music PR companies - Guesty PR, Wilful Publicity, Great Northern PR and Electric Shores - have announced a new alliance, called the Chapel Collective, which will see them collaborate and share resources on certain projects.

Direct-to-fan firm Topspin has finalised a set of redundancies that sees fourteen staff lose their jobs.