Saturday, 28 February 2015

SFX to go back to private hands?

Entertainment industry veteran Robert FX Sillerman has revealed plans to take his latest venture SFX - the EDM-focused company with a core business in dance music festivals - back into private ownership, having only floated the firm in 2013. Sillerman has asked the SFX board to appoint a committee to consider his proposals, which would see the firm attempt to buy back as much of the company as possible at $4.75 a share, while offering those keen to retain equity in the business the option to do so as shareholders in a privately held concern. One investor told Forbes that Sillerman's offer was "a way low-ball bid", suggesting that it would expect an offer more than double the one currently on the table. Meanwhile an analyst called the proposal "an insult to investors"

Kobalts collects $60 million for growth

Kobalt has announced that it had raised another $60 million to fund the growth for the firm. A long-term player in publishing rights administration, Kobalt has been growing rapidly in recent years, and says that through its online rights management platform it offers "the most transparent, efficient and accurate royalty collection and reporting solutions". The company has also moved into managing the record industry's neighbouring rights and offering distribution and label services to artists. Adding to the $66 million already raised by the company, Kobalt says that the new money will be used to support its "commitment to serving artists and songwriters with unparalleled creative services and to further develop and scale Kobalt's suite of technology solutions that efficiently collect and report music royalties in today's complex digital world".  Kobalt now has technology to track the billions of songs that are being broadcast and streamed and pass accurate information and payments back to those making the music. Confirming the new finance, Kobalt boss Willard Ahdritz told reporters: "We take great pride in the fact that Google Ventures and MSD Capital both share our vision of technology and transparency working together to create a new industry structure in today's complex digital world. We are relentless in our mission to increase trust between the music and technology industries in order to build a new infrastructure that benefits fans, creators, rights owners and DSPs, all together".

Thursday, 26 February 2015

UK to regulate ticket re-sales

In a policy U-turn, the UK Government is set to regulate ticket touting, with those breaching the new laws face fines of up to £5,000. The onus on stopping it is to be shifted onto venues, however. The move came from the UK Government who had previously rejected attempts to amend legislation. The amedment now stands a much better chance of passing into law.  Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood recently criticised the “ever-increasing plague of ‘secondary ticketing’ excess” as a “blight on live music and sports events and much to the detriment of fans”.

A spokesman for the Government said: “The provisions agreed today will allow them [venues] to flourish, whilst ensuring consumers are better informed when buying second-hand tickets.” Tory peer Baroness Neville-Rolfe said that “light-touch regulation” was needed

Global release day confirmed

Following consultation with artists, musicians unions, record companies and retailers, the recordlabels global trade bidy IFPI have confirmed that the release day for new music will be aligned internationally on a Friday. Release days currently vary from one country to another, causing "frustration for consumers when music fans in other parts of the world can access new releases before them.  As well as helping music fans, the move will benefit artists who want to harness social media to promote their new music.   It also creates the opportunity to re-ignite excitement and a sense of occasion around the release of new music."

The move to an aligned global release day will also reduce the risk of piracy by narrowing the gap between release days in different countries. Retailers internationally are committed to working with the labels and artist communities to ensure the successful implementation of the move to Friday.

From summer 2015, new albums and singles will be released at 00:01 local time on Fridays. Music consumers everywhere will know to look for new releases on Fridays regardless of where they are.  Consumer research by TNS across seven markets showed Friday and Saturday as the most preferred days for new music release among consumers who expressed an opinion.  More than two thirds of those with a preference (68%) chose Friday or Saturday.  The move to a global release day follows several months of discussions between group representing retailers, record companies, artists and musicians unions.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

BRIT Award winners 2015

With live performamces from George Ezra, Madonna, Ed Sheerhan, Take That, Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Paloma Faith amongst othersm those BRIT winners are:

British Male Solo Artist: Ed Sheeran 
British Group: Royal Blood 
International Female Solo Artist: Taylor Swift 
British Female Solo Artist: Paloma Faith 
Global Success Award: Sam Smith
International Male Solo Artist: Pharrell Williams 
British Single: Mark Ronson ft Bruno Marrs  Uptown Funk
International Group: Foo Fighters 
British Breakthrough: Sam Smith
British Artist Video Of The Year: One Direction 
British Album Of The Year: Ed Sheeran for Multiply
Critics Choice award  James Bay
Best Producer  Paul Epsom

All in all - an odd show now really: the three majot record labels still carve up spoils. Ant and Dec did a credible job of presenting the awards, Kanye didn't object to any awards, Mark and the other one in Take That have fully fledged beards now with Mark, in a skirt, lookingmore and more like a real London hipster as he stummed the guitar whilst the other one banged a drum and Gary sang and played keyboards, Madonna looked like she had a very nasty fall early on in the grand finale which sort of made the rather lack lustre song more challenging, not least as the tumble sort of fitted the lyrics - maybe it was scripted - and Sam Smith and Ed sort of stole the show. 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Barry Dickins, co-director of ITB, presented with the Primavera Award 2015

Barry Dickins, founder of the prestigious artist booking agency International Talent Booking, will be awarded the Primavera Award 2015, a prize given by Primavera Sound in recognition of the professional career and the contribution of one of the key figures in the live music industry in the last fifty years. The prize will be awarded within the framework of PrimaveraPro 2015, the meeting for professionals in the industry that takes place in parallel to the festival, at the end of May.

Son of the founder of the New Musical Express, Barry Dickins’s life has been marked by music since the word go. At 17, he asked The Who’s managers if he could be their booking agent and got the job. That precocious training only lasted a year but laid the foundations of an unparalleled career in the profession: his work with artists such as Neil Young started soon after and is still on going 50 years later.

ESA Steps Up International Presence

The Event Safety Alliance is ramping up its international activities through its first symposium on safety standards, later this month.

The organisation is co-hosting the first Event Safety Symposium with the Event & Entertainment Association of Turkey between 26 and 28 February. The event will be hosted by the Istanbul Congress Centre in the Turkish capital and is being heralded as the first global conference specifically examining event safety preparation, standards development and event production.

Explaining that the slogan for the conference is ‘gravity works everywhere’, Jon Corbishley, chairman of the Australian branch of the Event Safety Alliance, told IQ magazine “The intention of the symposium will be to arrive at an accepted list of global best practices that can, and should be, implemented regardless of an event’s latitude and longitude. We are making great steps forward with considerable interest from all sectors of the industry who are keen to improve safety standards and are frustrated by inappropriate regulation and woefully inadequate government guidance.”

And talking specifically of his work down under, Corbishley continues, “We will adapt existing European guidance to match Australian standards, which will complement the excellent work done by the American team. Our overall objective is to have truly global guidance written by our industry for our industry.”

Corbishley and his colleagues will report on the symposium’s progress at the ILMC Production Meeting in London on 5 March.

SGAE Misses Crucial Tariffs Deadline

Promoters in Spain are considering putting on concerts without signing – or paying – licence agreements with performing rights society SGAE, after the organisation missed a government imposed deadline to change its “abusive” 10% tariff.

The Spanish competition watchdog (CNMC) had ordered SGAE to propose a new tariff for concerts by 6 February. Instead the collection society filed an appeal with the High Court, Audiencia Nacional, and requested that the CNMC decision be suspended, despite the fact that the court had already ruled, in April 2009, in favour of promoters association, Asociación de Promotores Musicales – a decision confirmed by Spain’s supreme court in December 2012.

However, if the suspension is granted, the High Court would be required to secure a banking bond from SGAE to cover any possible damages – a complicated process as it would involve the court deciding what a fair tariff would be.

In the meantime, Spain’s promoters consider that they can legitimately organise shows without paying any licence fees, or paying just a provisional amount that they deem fair, because there is no longer a legal tariff.

Greencopper offers white-label solution for festival apps

Festival app maker Greencopper have launched a new platform called Golive, which it says will allow promoters to manage and publish apps for their events in a more affordable way by offering ticket-buyers bespoke "interactive maps, performance schedules, ticketing, music streaming and discovery tools".  The end-product app will carry the festival's branding, and there is room for sponsor banners too. Greencopper will continue to make more sophisticated tailor made apps for bigger events, Greencopper founder and CEO Gwenaël Le Bodic told reporters: "Golive will empower music festivals of all sizes to easily build their own branded mobile apps and web widgets based on Greencopper's proven core technology, previously reserved only for major events".

Monday, 23 February 2015

Taylor Swift IFPI Global Recording Artist of 2014

Taylor Swift has been named the IFPI Global Recording Artist of 2014, receiving the annual award honouring the most popular recording artist across music downloads, streaming and physical format sales worldwide.

Taylor Swift released her fifth studio album, 1989, in October 2014 and it sold more than 1.2 million copies in its first week of release in the US alone, the highest debut sales week since Eminem’s The Eminem Show in 2002.  1989 also sold well worldwide, becoming a top five hit in Germany, Japan and the UK, the next largest recorded music markets.  The album’s lead single, Shake It Off, was a top five hit in more than 20 countries, from Canada to Japan, and its accompanying video was viewed more than 350 million times on YouTube. 

The second position on the chart was taken by One Direction, the UK/Irish band who topped the inaugural IFPI Global Recording Artist Chart last year.  The band released their fourth studio album FOUR in November 2014, which topped the Billboard 200 chart, meaning One Direction became the first group to have all their first four studio albums debut at the top of the US charts.  FOUR, which contained the hit singles Steal My Girl and Night Changes, also topped the charts internationally in markets from Argentina to the UK.   

Third place was claimed by singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who released his second studio album x in June 2014 and which topped the chart in 12 countries and reached the top five in a further 11 markets.  The album contained the hit singles SingDon’t and Thinking Out Loud.  Streaming service Spotify announced that x was its most streamed album in the world in 2014.

Music Business Worldwide pointed out that the average age of the ten best-selling recorded music artists of 2014 was 38-years-old.

Top 10 Global Recording Artists 2014

Taylor Swift
One Direction
Ed Sheeran
Michael Jackson
Pink Floyd
Sam Smith
Katy Perry

Top 10 Global Recording Artists 2013

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

Source: IFPI.  

Pollstar Concert Industry Awards

Here are winners of the 26th annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards hosted by comedian Ralphie May at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Saturday 21st February 2015
Major Tour Of The Year – Paul McCartney
Most Creative Stage Production – Katy Perry
Comedy Tour Of The Year – Dave Chappelle
Best New Touring Artist – Sam Smith
Major Music Festival Of The Year – Austin City Limits Austin, Texas
Music Festival Of The Year – Telluride Bluegrass Festival Telluride, Colo.
International Music Festival Of The Year – Glastonbury Festival United Kingdom
Nightclub Of The Year – 9:30 Club Washington, D.C.
Theatre Of The Year – Ryman Auditorium Nashville, Tenn.
Arena Of The Year – Bridgestone Arena Nashville, Tenn.
Red Rocks Award Best Small Outdoor Venue – Greek Theatre Los Angeles, Calif.
Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue – Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles, Calif.
Best New Major Concert Venue – Forum Inglewood, Calif.
International Venue Of The Year – The O2 London, United Kingdom
Facility Executive Of The Year – Sally Williams Ryman Auditorium - Nashville, Tenn.
Nightclub Talent Buyer Of The Year – Roger LeBlanc Canyon Club / The Coach House / So. Calif.
Talent Buyer Of The Year – Brian O'Connell Live Nation Nashville
Bill Graham Award Promoter Of The Year – Charles Attal C3 Presents
International Promoter Of The Year – Barrie Marshall Marshall Arts
Third Coast Agent Of The Year – Kevin Neal WME
Bobby Brooks Award Agent Of The Year – John Huie Creative Artists Agency
Independent Booking Agency Of The Year – The Windish Agency
Booking Agency Of The Year – WME
United Kingdom Booking Agent Of The Year – Emma Banks Creative Artists Agency UK
Personal Manager Of The Year – John Silva Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age
Road Warrior Of The Year – Gus Brandt Foo Fighters, Pharrell Williams
Lighting Company Of The Year – Bandit Lites
Sound Company Of The Year – Clair
Staging / Equipment Company Of The Year – Stageco
Transportation Company Of The Year – Rock-It Cargo
Video Company Of The Year – Moo TV

Saturday, 21 February 2015

TPI Awards - the winners!

Sponsored by Chauvet Professional
The KT Fellowship presents
Before The Dawn

Sponsored by Medialease
LH2 Studios

Sponsored by VER
Emma Edgar

Sponsored by Brilliant Stages
Helen ‘Hels Bells’ Smith

Sponsored by EFM
Dick Tee

UK Rigging

Sponsored by Yamaha Commercial Audio
Ant Carr

Sponsored by Harman Professional
Britannia Row Productions


Sponsored by Festival Insights
Beat The Street

Sponsored by Perry Scenic
Oli Metcalfe

Sponsored by uTRAC
Stage Miracles

Sponsored by Rigging Services
Yose Lawson

Sponsored by d3 Technologies
XL Video

Sponsored by Martin Audio
Derrick Zieba

Sponsored by VME
Eat To The Beat

Sponsored by SES
Power Logistics

The O2, London

Sponsored by Sunbaba
All Access Staging & Productions

Sponsored by TPi Magazine
Global Motion

Mike Grove

Sponsored by Green Hippo
Blue Leach

Sponsored by Robe
Neg Earth

Sponsored by Martin by Harman
Tim Routledge

Sponsored by J&C Joel
Brilliant Stages

The Appointment Group

Sponsored by PSA
Bryan Grant & Mike Lowe
Britannia Row Productions

Friday, 20 February 2015


Global Entertainment - the music publishing and talent management side of London-based media firm Global Radio - has launched a US division based out of LA, and has appointed Randy Phillips, previously head of AEG Live Stateside, to head up the business. Global is the biggest commercial radio station operator in the UK, owning the likes of Capital, Heart, Classic FM, LBC and Xfm.

DJ Semtex has been announced as Sony Music UK's new Director Of Artist Development, a role he will formally take up next month.

Warner Music UK has appointed Mel Fox as its SVP of Communications & Strategy Development who moves over from her corporate communications post in Warner Music International. She will report into Warner UK CEO Max Lousada.  And Elektra Records has appointed Gregg Nadel as General Manager. He'll report into LA-based Elektra President Jeff Castelaz, though will continue to be New York based.

Indian streaming service Saavn, which signed the final of its licensing deals with the three majors last August, has appointed a former Google India executive Mahesh Narayanan as its COO.

CueSongs, the licensing company launched by Ed Averdieck and Peter Gabriel in 2012, has a new CEO, Christina Vaughan. Previous CEO Averdieck will take on the role of Chairman.

Guitarist Tom DeLonge has left Blink 182 - or he may have been thrown out by the band's other two members  Bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker who issued a press statement telling fans that the guitarist was now out of the band "indefinitely"  because week before the band were scheduled to go in to the studio to record a new album they "got an email from [DeLonge's] manager explaining that he didn't want to participate in any Blink-182 projects indefinitely, but would rather work on his other non-musical endeavours". The band are continuing with Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba as guitarist and barker and Hoppus say there were "no hard feelings" and the statement said this had simply been a necessary and mutual decision between bandmates. DeLonge told fans "I never quit the band" adding "The ONLY truth here is that I have commitments that limit my availability this year. I love Blink 182 and I'm not leaving".

Bullet For My Valentine's bassist Jay James has left the band with the band saying "It is with regret that Bullet For My Valentine has to announce that Jay James is no longer a member of the band. Jay has been a part of this band for well over twelve years and part of our lives forever, and we're gonna miss him as much as we know you guys are too".

And The Subways have announced that drummer Josh Morgan is stepping down from the band's current tour, due to stage fright related to his diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome.

Natasha Guiotto has joined the booking agency side of MN2S. she joins from The Industry Group where she spent two years booking acts into the UK club and college circuit.

Following the news that he was leading one of the bids to run the UK's second national digital radio DAB multiplex, the boss of Midlands-based radio firm Orion Media, Phil Riley, has stood down as CEO of the company and will become its Chairman instead. Orion's Commercial Director takes over as CEO.

Gianluca Marcianò, the highly rated young Italian conductor, has left the State Opera in Tbilisi, Georgia. More on why he left here.

The Cooking Vinyl Group has announced an alliance with artist manager John Black to launch a new management agency to be called Black Gold Music Management. The new venture will operate autonomously from the Cooking Vinyl label, though will have access to A&R and marketing expertise within the rest of the group if and when it needs it.

Jan Sikorski, a 39 year veteran at The Agency Group where he was Chief Operating Officer, has left the agency to pursue new opportunities in the live music sector.

US agent Kevin Daly has left Montery International to open Northstar Artists. And also in the US, agent Andrew Colvin has joined the Billionaires Corporation in Nashville.

Heather Kokler, manager of Icelandic folk-rock types Of Monsters And Men and formerly a booking agent at US agency Paradigm, has joined New York-based management firm Mick Management

Live Nation has formed a joint venture with Thailand's BEC-Tero Entertainment to stage concerts in the country.

Former AEG Live UK boss Rob Hallett has announced the first hire at his previously reported new business Robomagic. Bonita McKinney, who joins the new venture from DHP Family, will work in the live division of Hallett's firm with a specific remit to "seek out and sign up the music stars of the future and develop the careers of artists at the start of their musical journey".

Music publicity firm Inside/Out has recruited Frazer Lawton to the role of Senior Publicist. He joins the company from Murray Chalmers PR. And Murray Chalmers PR has announced the hiring of two new members of staff, following the departure of: Michael Cleary joins from Sony Music as Senior Publicist, and Lottie Lander comes in as Publicist.

Vice magazine has a new Editor In Chief in the form of Ellis Jones, who joined the youth media firm as an intern in 2009, rising through the ranks to become Managing Editor in 2012. Meanwhile Alex Miller, previously Vice's UK Editor In Chief, becomes Global Head Of Content.

Jay-Z's Live Nation joint venture Roc Nation, and it's London-headquartered business partner Three Six Zero Group, have announced the launch of a new business called Three Six Zero Entertainment, which will move beyond music to manage actors, directors and writers in the film, television and digital industries. The new business will led by Three Six Zero's Mark Gillespie and new recruit David Unger, previously with the Resolution talent agency.

SoundExchange, the collective licensing body that administers the compulsory licence that covers the use of sound recordings on satellite and internet radio in the US has appointed a new VP Strategic Initiatives, Mark Eisenberg,  and a new VP Communications, Jacqueline Peterson, who joins from the live side of the music industry, most recently working for Live Nation.

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) have announced that Ann Sweeney has been named Senior Vice President of Global Policy, effective immediately. She reports to Mike O'Neill, President and CEO, BMI, and is based in BMI's New York office.

Darren Vickery has left insurance brokers Towergate to set up Entertainment Vision Spound.

Matt Ephgrave has been appointed CEO at Ticketscript, joining from YPlan. He was previously a Seatwave.

The O2 have appointed Becci Thomson as business development manager in the corporate sales and events team. she joins from Harbour & Jones Events.

Gillian Henderson has joined Ticketmaster as business development director, focussing on Scotland.

Sage Gateshead has appointed Abigail Pogson as its new MD, replacng founding director Anthony Sargent. She joins from Sptafields Music.

Proper Music Distribution has announced the appointment of Ginny Cooper as its new Classical Label Manager.

Classical music publisher and sheet music maker Schott Music announced the appointment of Richard Dinnadge to the new role of International Business Development Director last week.