Thursday, 30 July 2015

Windish ties up with Paradigm

The Windish Agency has announced a new partnership with the Paradigm Talent Agency. As a result of the new alliance, Paradigm and its existing parther agencies AM Only and  Coda and now Windish will all operate under the Paradigm Music Division banner, with Tom Windish, of Windish Agency founding fame, joining that division's leadership team while continuing to lead his own company day to day.

Are the record labels scoffing all of the Digital Pie?

Dr Rolf Budde, President of the German Music Publishers' Association, has called for parity between record labels and music publishers (recording artistes and songwriters) in the split of the digital streaming pie. Comparing the respective royalties received by the record labels and the German publishing sector's collecting society GEMA from key streaming services, he told Billboard: "A comparison shows that the earnings of labels in the ad-supported segment of Spotify are up to as much as eight times as high as the payments made to GEMA, which 61,000 copyright-owners and 4700 music publishers are expected to be content with. This is absolutely disproportionate, and is unfair to the authors and publishers".

The other main criticism aimed at record labels is of course that they take an unfair share of the revenues that do flow for the streaming of sound recordings - leaving artistes with little. Now Frances Moore, head of the IFPI, has tried to answer this saying that the  IFPI's independently verified research "found that while payments to artists have declined over the past five years, the decline was substantially smaller than the reduction in corresponding sales revenue. This means that artist remuneration has actually increased as a proportion of record companies' revenues in the last five years". But is it fair and reasonable? with record labels taking less and less risks, and with the reduction in costs associated with digital downloads and streaming when compared to physical product - it seems unlikely - especially when coupled with the valuable shareholdings gained by the likes of Universal and Sony in services such as Spotify and Vevo.

Sony is facing a landmark royalties lawsuit from Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment. One of 19’s allegations is that Sony’s stake in Spotify (believed to be around 6%) is unfair on artists; essentially, 19 argues, artists are being paid poorly from streaming services, while building the value of Spotify - and thus Sony. and more on the Sony-Spotify leak here and here

State aid for T revealed

T In The Park received £150,000 state funding from the Scottish Government prior to this year's event, it has been revealed.

The festival took place this year at Strathallan Castle in Perthshire, after moving from Balado in Kinross-shire, which had been its host since 1997. The Scottish Government's website reveals that that DF concerts received a one-off grant of £150,000 "to ensure the successful transition of this iconic music festival to their new temporary site at Strathallan in Perthshire."

According to eFestivals, the festival generated more than £15 million for the Scottish economy in 2014.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

News from the recorded music sector!

Independent labels have become the biggest player in the US recorded music market – and their share is growing fast. According to new statistics from Nielsen/Billboard, the independents took 35.4% of the US market by ownership (volume) in the first half of 2015. That was comfortably ahead of Universal (27.6%), Sony (20.9%) and Warner (15.2%), and represented an increase on the 35.1% share the indies claimed across the whole of 2014.
In Japan the RIAJ has yet to yet to announce digital music sales figures but physical sales for the first half of the year are almost exactly the same as 2014: The CD market took 92.123bn Yen (approx $750m) in H1 2015, compared to 92.391bn Yen (approx $750m) posted in the same period a year before. Meanwhile, Japan’s thriving music video market continues to show its strength, actually growing ever-so-slightly from 35.37bn Yen (approx $290m) in H1 2014 to 36.07bn Yen (approx $290m) in the first six months of this year.

The biggest music subscription service on the planet, Amazon Prime has not been licensed by the biggest music company on the planet, Universal - but that hasn't stopped Amazon Prime Music, which officially launched in the UK this week, having a bigger paying customer base than Spotify, Rdio, Deezer and Apple Music combined. But more users ? 

vKontake, the somewhat controversial but leading Russian social networking giant, has signed a 'goodwill agreement' with Sony Music which will seemingly halt the major's legal action against the social network. Sony drop out of an lawsuit filed at the Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Region Arbitration Court, in which Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music demanded countermeasures and compensation for the large scale copyright infringement vKontake allegedly facilitates. The other labels remain as litigants. No further details on the content of the deal have been published, but according to reports, VK will upgrade its current music service.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Pandora hits $1 billlion in annual turnover

Pandora has generated more than $1bn in turnover in a 12-month period for the first time in history, as its listener numbers return to growth. The US-based streaming radio business last night revealed its Q2 fiscal results for the three months to end of June, posting US $230.9m in revenue – up from $177.3m in the same period the year before. However, the company’s net loss widened from $11.7m in Q2 2014 to $16.1m in the same quarter this year. Over the past six months, Pandora has posted $516.3m in revenue, but a $64.1m net loss in total. More here

SESAC settles dispute with radio broadcasters

US collection society SESAC has paid the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) $3.5m to settle the antitrust lawsuit which dates back to October 2013. SESAC, which earlier this month acquired US mechanical rights society Harry Fox, says the payment to the commercial radio group includes no damages and simply reimburses RMLC’s legal expenses. The CMO said to the media that “the amount of reimbursed legal expenses is less than the cost SESAC would incur were it to litigate the case to conclusion”. Importantly, RLMC has agreed that SESAC is entitled to be compensated for the full value of works in its repertory, even if SESAC affiliates own less than 100% of the copyright interest.  John Josephson, Chairman and CEO, SESAC, Inc., said “With this settlement, we’ve secured commercial arbitration for the next 22 years as the basis for setting SESAC’s license fees for commercial radio stations represented by the RMLC.More on Music Business Worldwide.

Russian collection societies combine

RAO, which represents Russian authors and songwriters, has announced that it is merging with VOIS, which represents sound recording owners, and RSP, which collects the private copy levy in Russia, to create one big rights body, seemingly to be known as PDK RAO. Collecting societies in Russia need government approval, but the country's culture minister has reportedly backed the new combined rights organisation.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Recording artistes big up musicFIRST's campaign for payment for US radio plays

COPYRIGHT: Elton John, REM, Chuck D, Annie Lennox and Imogen Heap were amongst artistes who took to the social networks last week to express their support for the Fair Play Fair Pay Act which introduce a general performing right within the sound recording copyright in the US. Currently sound recording copyright owners in America have a performing right for digital, meaning that while satellite and online radio services do pay to use recorded music, clubs, public spaces and AM/FM radio do not. This means US artists and labels are deprived a revenue stream enjoyed by their counterparts in more or less every other country in the world (collected in the UK by PPL). It is also thought that the Act would contain an 'performer equitable remuneration' on performing rights income, meaning 50% of revenue is shared with featured artists and session musicians (45% to featured artists, 5% session musicians and vocalists) and 50% to copyright owners, oblivious of their label contracts via Sound Exhange. The Act is being resisted by broadcasters.

musicFIRST Executive Dirctor, Ted Kalo, told reporters: "This movement is built on a simple principle that grabs the imagination of everyone we touch - fair play for all music on all platforms. The basic justice and fairness of this demand explains why so many are moved to speak out. The fact that the United States has aligned its system for compensating artists with regimes like Iran and North Korea is shameful. It is destructive to the future of American music and threatens the art of a new generation of artists" and Kalo added: "Some of the musicians supporting this bill are from countries where radio already pays a performance right and radio is still alive and well in those countries - contradicting the 'sky is falling' claims of big corporate radio in the United States. America's failure to recognise AM/FM performance rights costs our artists dearly. They receive nothing for US airplay, so the royalties they earn overseas are withheld because the United States refuses to reciprocate - over $100 million owed to US artists is stranded overseas as a result".

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Agenda for Yourope's first European Festival Conference announced

Yourope, The European festival association, has revealed the programme for the inaugural European Festival Conference which takes place from December 2-5, 2015 in the Gradonna Mountain Resort, Austria and is dedicated to the interest of festival promoters to meet, exchange, experience and learn. 

The three-day event will include seminars, workshops and discussions and topics include:

- Marketing, sponsorship and communication with four workshops and sessions dedicated to these topics.

- Health and safety: crowd collapse and crowd dynamics, serious weather conditions at festivals and events sustainability at festivals.

- Technical innovation: tools to manage your festival, cashless payments and RFID solutions?.

- Audience and content and booking.

The new event will add to Yourope's ongoing series of events at the ILMC in London, Reeperbahn in Hamburg and EuroSonic in Groningen, In addition to the conference, the event will feature outdoor activities, cocktail receptions and networking dinners and gives "participants the time and space to discuss all the aspects of the festival business in a constructive and positive atmosphe."

Yourope’s Christof Huber said: “There is an increasing number of music conferences, export events and showcase festivals where festival promoters are a target group, but none are fully dedicated to the interest of festival promoters. The EFC is unique as it goes deeper into the topics and it involves the participants in each workshop and session to get the direct knowledge exchange.”

The event is one of two new events: The other is the International Festival Forum which will be held in Lndon on Septenber 30th and October 1st  and aims to be a new global hub for the music festival world, bringing festivals and booking agents together with targeted showcases, networking, Q&As, panels and workshops. Stefan Thanscheidt, MD of FKP Scorpio, will chair a frank discussion about the festival booking process, questioning the role of the local promoter and asking whether loyalty is now a lost word and if its time to rewrite the rulebook; Music Industry lawyer Ben Challis will present 'the top five grievances' that festivals face when dealing with agents, and vice versa, in an attempt to built better understanding on both sides of the fence;  There will be a workshop titled 'Social Media for Festivals' where some very special guests will present a 60-minute workshop on how to get the most from the world of social media, both now and over the next two years; and the keynote will be Solo Agency and isle of Wight Festival boss John Giddings. Confirmed agency showscases from The Agency, X Ray Touring, LPO, Primary Talent, ATC, ITB, Pitch & Smith and Coda. 

Streaming opens up more markets for developing artists

According to an article on, a new study by EventBrite says that 51% of concert goers buy tickets to shows of artists they discovered through streaming. The repprt also says that while the average money spent per person on CDs and MP3s has fallen 48% from $35 in 2008 to $18 in 2014, spending on live music grew 65% from $29 to $48. The Report is based on independent research company MusicWatch’s nationwide survey of 1,000 people between the ages of 18-49 who attended at least one concert in the past year - althouhg 29% attended at least two shows a month.



James Horner, the film composer known for his  scores for 'Field of Dreams', 'Braveheart' and 'Titanic', for which he won two Academy Awards, has tragically died a plane crash near Santa Barbara. He was 61.

Joseph Robinson Jr., the oldest son of the founders of the pioneering hip-hop music label Sugar Hill Records and a recording artist himself, has died. His family said he died of cancer. 

Stuart 'Jammer' James, the legendary Manchester music producer who worked with New Order, has died aged 63. The popular musician and DJ was tour manager with the Chemical Brothers for 20 years and worked with Hot Chip, Primal Scream and Johnny Marr among many others

PSA posted this message to us: “It is with our deepest regret that we have to report the loss of Micah Maxwell-Milne. Micah was killed in a car accident in Baku, Azerbaijan whilst working on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for The European Games. There were three other technicians involved in the same accident who have since been air-lifted to Turkey with serious injuries. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all of them and their families and loved ones. In particular Micah’s parents Stuart and Max, his sister Saffron and his girlfriend Ezgi”.

Yes have confirmed that the band's co-founder and bassist Chris Squire has died, a month on from the news that he was receiving treatment for acute erythroid leukaemia. He was the only member to appear on each of their 21 studio albums, released from 1969 to 2014

Jack Landesman,  musician, band member and son of Julie Burchill has died aged 29. He took his own life. Suicide is the UK's leading cause of death of men aged 35-49 . Suicide and injury/poisoning of undetermined intent were the leading cause of death for 20-34 year olds, for 26% of men and 13% of women. Burchill said "My beloved son Jack Landesman killed himself earlier this week. He is at peace now and in pain no longer". 

Irish singer and TV entertainer Val Doonican has died aged 88.His family said he died "peacefully" at a nursing home in Buckinghamshire. He had not been ill, but his daughter said his "batteries had just run out". The performer was a regular fixture on TV with The Val Doonican show which ran on the BBC from 1965 to 1986, featuring his own performances and guest artists. He was also rarely out of the UK charts in the 1960s and '70s with songs like "Walk Tall" and "Elusive Butterfly".

Jerry Weintraub, the Hollywood producer of the Karate Kid and Ocean's Eleven films, has died at the age of 77. According to his publicist, he died of heart failure at his home in Santa Barbara, California. Weintraub, a native New Yorker, was born in Brooklyn in 1937 and raised in the Bronx. As a teenager he served in the Air Force as a radio operator.
He went on to work in the mailroom at MCA Records and rose through the ranks before leaving to form his own management company and promoting tours by the likes of Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.

Tributes have been paid to musician Bob Bellis after the drummer with popular Liverpool band Yachts died. Bellis, who had suffered a heart attack earlier this year, was a much-loved figure in the city's post punk scene centered around Eric's. The band signed to Stiff Records in October 1978. They released one single, 'Suffice To Say' before they departed along with label mates Costello and Nick Lowe for the newly formed RADAR Records. The band recorded their debut LP in New York with Blondie producer Richard Gottehrer and did a few US dates with Joe Jackson on the 'I'm The Man' tour in 1979. Their second LP, 'Without Radar' was recorded by Martin Rushent and they supported The Who in Europe.

Billy Meshel, the songwriter and previously head of BMG Music Publishing with a more than 50-year career  has died after a battle with lymphoma. He was 82..

Josh Greenberg, co-founder of Grooveshark has been found dead at his home in Gainesville, Florida. He was 28. According to local reports, police have told Greenberg's family that they have found no immediate evidence of 'foul play, injuries or drugs'. He co-founded Escape media in 2007. 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Ticketfly raises $50 milllion, and Amazon eyes up tickets

Software company Ticketfly has closed a new financing round, raising $50 million. The round was led by Riverwood Capital, Ticketfly plans to use the funds to accelerate development of its cloud-based live events platform, including new products and services for its existing client base. The financing will also fuel the company's move upstream into larger facilities, its expansion globally and into adjacent verticals, and a reimagined event-going experience for fans. The company's total funding to date is now $85m.

And it seems Amazon is moving into concert and festival ticketing, having started selling tickets to London West End theatre shows earlier this year via its Amazon Local platform. Among the music events seemingly headed to the Amazon no-booking-fee tickets store are a Tom Jones concert, Bestival and Camp Bestival. Geraldine Wilson, GM for Amazon Local in the UK said: "We wanted to offer a convenient way for Amazon customers to book tickets to a wide selection of music, theatre and comedy events around the UK in a few clicks".

and two former AOL executives have raised $20 million in investment for a new app, Bkstg, that aims to provide a one-stop shop for any one artist's fans, offering ticketing, video, merch and social networking all in one place. Among the investors that Erika Nardini and Ran Harnevo have recruited are Live Nation, Scooter Braun Projects, Modest! Management and the Three Six Zero Group

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Amazon tops Apple in UK music retail market

Amazon’s share of total spend on the category overtook Apple’s for the first time, according to freshly published BPI statistics. Across physical and digital sales, Amazon took 27% of all spending in the UK in 2014, with iTunes on 26.7%. The Kantar Worldpanel data, published in the BPI Music Market Yearbook 2015 shows that Amazon took a 9% share of total revenue through its digital store in 2014. However, Amazon also took a 17.1% share of the value market (across albums and singles) through its home delivery offering – bringing its total above iTunes. HMV has a 15.4% market share

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

UMG launch Latin music festival

Universal Music Group is launching a Latin music-themed festival in Los Angeles called " L Festival" or Feria Cultural Latinoamericana. The new event will take place on October 24-25 this year at the OC Fair & Event Center. Enrique Iglesias (pictured right), Juan Gabriel, La Arrolladora Banda El Limon and Julion Alvarez are the first stars announced to headline the four main stages at the event. Two day access passes will be priced from $99, while VIP upgrade opportunities will be on sale ‘to bring fans even closer to their passion for music, food and art’.

Created by Universal in partnership with promoter CMN Events, L Festival is sponsored by Bud Light, Pepsi and Verizon.

Good news for the German, Italian and Swedish recorded music markets

The income of Germany's recorded music market grew 4.4% year-on-year in the first half of 2015. That was mainly driven by a whopping 87% rise in streaming subscription revenues, which easily offset a decline in CD album sales. Download sales also increased.  Germany’s record industry, the world’s third-biggest music territory behind the US and Japan, accrued €686m in the first half of 2015.

The income of Sweden's recorded music market rose 4.2% in the first six months of 2015 - with streaming growing once again to claim 83.9% of revenues. According to new data from IFPI Sweden analysed by MBW, the market's recorded music turnover in Jan-June this year stood at 507.5m SEK (€54.6m), up from 486.9m SEK in H1 2014 (€52.4m).

The income of the Italian recorded music market jumped up 22% in the first half of 2015, according to new figures published by Deloitte. The total revenues of the region stood at €65.55m, compared to €53.61m in H1 2014. A strong release schedule by local pop artists helped lift the total physical market by 22% to €37.3 million. Digital revenues increased 37% to €21.18m, with download sales up by 6% to €10.82m. Streaming, increased its year-on-year H1 income by 37%, up to €17.36m.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015


Cécile Rap-Veber has been named Director of International Collections at French collection society SACEM – which represents over 153,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in the region.

TIDAL has lost its second CEO in two months as Peter Tonstad RESIGNED FROM the HD streaming company. Tonstad becAme interim CEO of TIDAL in April after ex-boss Andy Chen parted ways with the company.

ATC Live, the booking agency that is a sister business to the ATC artist management group, has announced that Clementine Bunel and Cecile Communal of 2 For The Road Events are joining the company. They bring to the ATV agency their roster of acts that includes Benjamin Clementine, Songhoy Blues, Stromae, Mulatu Astatke and Francois & The Atlas Mountains.

Bestival promoters Josie da Bank and Ziggy Gilsenan have launched House of Bestival, offering event consultancy, creative production and prop hire. 

Former AEG Live UK boss Rob Hallett has announced an alliance between his new business Robomagic and the Standon Calling festival, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Confirming he had now taken a role on the Hertfordshire festival's management team, Hallet told reporters last week: "I am thrilled about Robomagic's first festival connection and look forward to working with the existing management team towards the growth of one of the UK's most exciting and innovative events".

Bertelsmann-owned Arvato has a new CEO, Fernando Carro, after Achim Berg left the German company. Bertelsmann said it "regretted" Berg's departure.

The new live music wing of Global Entertainment has taken a "significant strategic stake" in UK promoter Broadwick Live, best known for its festivals Snowbombing and Festival No.6.

And staying with Global, the UK radio major, and growing artist management and live music business has appointed a new Chief Financial Officer, Darren Singer, who joins the media and entertainment firm from the Guardian Media Group.

And ..... The Radio Academy has appointed a new Managing Director, Roger Cutsforth, who has had a long career in commercial radio, most recently at Global Radio.

Musician and manager Ben Ward has joined The Agency Group (TAG) as a live booking agent. Ward, frontman of heavy metal act Orange Goblin, has previously worked in music management at One Fifteen, where he looked after artists such as David Gilmour, Pink Floyd, Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Mick Ralphs, Ian Hunter and the Syd Barrett estate. He has also worked as a tour manager. He will become part of TAG’s UK rock department, headed by Paul Ryan. And Chris Richards is joining TAG as an agent in its Los Angeles office. Richards founded Autonomous Music, a boutique booking agency and management firm based in Portland, Oregon, US, that has been integral in transitioning a growing community of electronic artists out of a soft ticket environment and into hard ticket headline touring acts. Industry veteran Bruce Solar has left TAG, joining Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) as executive vice president for worldwide music, taking Eels, The Monkees, Pyschedelic Furs and Bootsy Collins with him.  He follows in the path of Steve Martin, Andy Somers, Va Wolfe and Set Rappaport who also switched from TAG to APA.

Universal Music Publishing has promoted its VP of Income Tracking, Randi Olsen, to the role of Senior VP Of Income Tracking and Analytics. 

Shamal Ranasinghe - best known as co-founder of direct-to-fan platform Topspin - has been appointed Pandora's VP Of Product Management, Artists And Music Makers.

The MD of rock music media firm TeamRock, Chris Ingham, is leaving the company, nearly two decades after first joining one of its flagship titles Metal Hammer.

Sony Music Entertainment Australia has appointed Ryan Wilson to the role of Director, Electronic Music. Wilson is responsible for identifying new electronic music artists and tracks for both recording and broader rights arrangements with Sony Music, as well as marketing those artists in Australia and Asia.

Sony Music Nashville have confirmed the hiring of Randy Goodman as the company’s new Chairman/CEO, effective immediately.

Ticketmaster has announced a series of appointments in the US relating to digital media and technology. Jeff Somers is the new chief product officer and joins from from eBay North America Marketplaces; Kat Frederick is SVP, product strategy, joining from PriceGrabber; Catherine Martin is the new VP, communications, and joins from Edelman; and Ismail Elshareef, VP, open platform and innovation, from

John Berry, the Artistic Director of the English National Opera, has resigned after 10 years with the ENO. He is the third senior member of staff to leave joining Chairman Martyn Rose and executive director Henriette Gotz who both left in January. 

Distiller Music Group has appointed Chloe Gold as its new Head Of Marketing. She joins from [PIAS] Co-operative, where she was UK Product Manager.

The UK Government has selected a panel of eight industry specialists to advise on a “root and branch” fundamental review of the BBC’s mission and operations and its Royal Charter which governs its scope and operations - including the future of the much criticised BBC Trust and most importantly the Licence Fee: The industry advisory group - the so called 'gang of eight' includes Dawn Airey, senior vp of Yahoo’s business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, who is also a former chairman and CEO of U.K. broadcaster Channel 5, and Andrew Fisher, executive chairman of Shazam. The other members are former Shine Group CEO Alex Mahon, Colette Bowe, chairman of the Banking Standards Board, President of the Voice of the Listener and Viewer and former chair of U.K. media regulator Ofcom, Darren Henley, the CEO of the Arts Council England, Ashley Highfield, CEO of newspaper company Johnston Press and former director at the BBC, founder/CEO of and Diversity UK Lopa Patel and Stewart Purvis, a British broadcaster and academic who was formerly editor-in-chief and CEO of ITN.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Foos cancel in Canada but new UK shows announced

Foo Fighters have been forced to cancel a show at the Québec City Summer Festival just four songs in (on Saturday night) due to safety risks posed by an ongoing storm. According to ICI Radio Canada, the band arrived on stage at 9pm, With Dave Grohl telling the audience that after breaking his leg earlier in the tour, a little rain wasn't going to scare him off. But after 20 minutes the band were forced to stop, with festival organiser Daniel Gélinas appearing shortly afterwards to tell the disappointed audience that they would not be returning. The band have promised that they would be back to play again - and indeed the shows at Wembley Stadium and Murrayfield which were cancelled in the UK after Grohl broke his leg have now been rescheduled with two new dates at Milton Keynes Bowl and a re-scheduled show at Murrayfield.

Queen top advertising sync licences

New figures show that the UK record industry's sync income was up 6.4% in 2014, generating revenues of £20 million: Queen had the most syncs in 2014 according to adbreakanthems, including  Tesco, Furniture Village and Thomson holidays. Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' was the most synced individual song, it was used by Innocent Drinks, Toyota and Cadbury's. The BPI's Geoff Taylor said: "Clinching a sync deal in the entertainment capital of the world can transform an artist's career literally overnight and launch them to a new global audience. Through the BPI's annual trade mission with the Music Publishers Association and UKTI, we can help artists and the labels and managers who invest in them by introducing them first-hand to Hollywood royalty at media giants such as NBC Universal, CBS and Walt Disney".

NME launches in Japan

NME has launched in Japan, boosted by a a new deal with concert promoter Kyodo Tokyo Inc. The flagship UK new music magazine,  which recently announced it would scrap its £2.50 cover price and become free, has launched a localised website in Japan,, and is plotting a series of live NME-branded music events in the territory – kicking off with the Jesus & Mary Chain in November. will feature interviews and news with local artists, as well as translated content from the main site.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

DEAG’s MyTicket Expands into UK Market

UK promoters have yet another ticketing service to consider after DEAG launched its MyTicket platform in London, recently. In partnership with its subsidiary, Kilimanjaro Live, launched on 30 June becoming a purchase hub for all events in the UK with ties to the DEAG group. has been running in Germany for six months and in the first quarter of DEAG’s current business year processed 5% of the group’s tickets sold online. The UK operation will sell tickets for both Kilimanjaro and Raymond Gubbay Ltd (another subsidiary of the German live entertainment conglomerate). Kilimanjaro stages around 350 events a year, including Ed Sheeran’s record-breaking three sold-out nights at Wembley Stadium; and arena tours by Peter Gabriel, Wet Wet Wet, Nitro Circus and Andrea Bocelli.

Raymond Gubbay, meanwhile, is recognised as one of the UK’s leading promoters of classical events, staging in excess of 500 performances annually, with its Christmas season at the Royal Albert Hall among its best known.

DEAG states that its UK affiliates sell about 1.2 million tickets per year. The launch of will now merge those companies’ sales activities, ahead of plans to open the platform to third party providers next year.

Hinting at even greater ambitions for the ticketing division, DEAG founder Peter Schwenkow adds, “With MyTicket we are considerably expanding our value chain and are equally successful in the United Kingdom as in the G/S/A countries. With the attractive content within DEAG group, we can rely on excellent conditions for an ongoing rapid growth for our ticketing platform.”

Ageing Artists top the bill

Still Young
Universal concerns about the lack of new headline acts to take the place of the music industry’s ageing A-listers have been graphically underlined by research carried out by IQ Magazine. Analysing the age of frontmen (and women) who headlined the UK’s nine biggest festivals over the past 20 years, the average age has crept northward almost year-on-year.

In the mid 90s, the average age was 32, while this year the average age was 50. Taking IQ’s data a step further, Spotify director of economics, Will Page, and financial publication, The Economist, included some younger demographic dance music events in their calculations. But despite the help of the youthful DJs topping those bills, the average headliner age still increased to 42 over the last two decades. The research will no doubt be the subject of further debate at the International Festival Forum this September.

French Economic Crisis Takes its Toll

With Europe holding its breath to find out the future for Greece, the economic crisis is having some serious repercussions in even some of the continent’s major financial powerhouse states, with record unemployment numbers and cuts to government subsidies in France being blamed for the cancellation of hundreds of events throughout the country, where in June, the unemployment rate reached a record high of 10.4%. 

According to the Cartocrise-Culture-Francaise (CCF – an online interactive map containing up-to-date nformation on the cancellation or failure of festivals, venues and cultural projects across all sectors of the creative industries in France), 48 events had already disappeared by January this year, a number that had skyrocketed to 215 by the end of June.

Government funding for music festivals and concert venues has been a certainty in France for over two decades but such subsidies have now dried up hitting hard those events who have until now relied on public funding. In addition, the CCF illustrates that more than 40 music festivals have been cancelled, including such high profile events as Crazy Week à Nice, where acts like 30 Seconds to Mars, Mika and Simple Minds have previously played; and the world music festival Résonances in Roquefort, which has fallen victim to France’s recession despite 20 years of success and annual audiences of up to 20,000.

Just two years ago (according to a joint study by Sacem, CNV and IRMA) the total number of music festivals in France, per annum was 1,972. A spokesman for venue association Fedelima (which represents the interests of 140 concert clubs) has described the situation as “fragile”. Many of Fedelima’s members are small concert clubs and promoters who rely on financial backing via cultural funds from local or regional bodies.

The situation for them has become much more difficult since the cuts were imposed. The MJC – L’Escale, located in Aubagne, for example, has had to significantly reduce its number of bookings since the local council slashed financial backing for the club. Elsewhere, Figures Libres (an association that also promotes the festival Rockomotives), had to shelve plans to launch a concert club in Vendôme after grants it had been promised were withdrawn following the election of a new city government in March.

Underlining the severity of the budget cuts in France, cultural organisation Fondation La Borie-en-Limousin went out of business earlier this year, citing economic reasons.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Lionel is Glastonbury's Number one

Lionel Richie & The Commodores 2003 release "The Definitive Collection" which  previously made it to number 10 in the UK charts when it was released, has re-entered the album charts at Number One after Richie's epic Pyramid Stage performance in the 'legends' slot at the Glastonbury Festival - its first Top 40 re-entry in six years and a jump of over 100 places.   Nearly half of this week's Top Album 40 consists of Glastonbury acts, with  Florence And The Machine  at Number Two and  James Bay  at Number Three basking in the 'Glastonbury Effect'.   This was the UK's last ever Sunday charts countdown, with the Official UK charts moving to Fridays in line with the new Global Release Day, which will see albums and singles released on Fridays worldwide, instead of on Mondays previously in the UK. 

Image: Bea Gibson (c) 2015

Monday, 6 July 2015

Grateful Dead expire

The Grateful Dead have performed their final shows, three concerts at Soldier Field stadium in Chicago, Illinois July 3rd, 4th and 5th 2015.

Taiwan paint fire prompts panic

More than 200 people were set on fire after an explosion at a water park in Taiwan caused a fireball to tear through a huge crowd today. Coloured powder sprayed onto hundreds of people suddenly ignited, with flames engulfing people as they tried to flee.  Shocking footage of the accident shows chaotic scenes as victims try to escape from the flames while screaming in agony.

Read more on the Mail Online here

Barclaycard say spending on live events up 8.5%

Barclaycard say that spending on live entertainment is up. The credit card giant says that consumers have spent 8.5% more on live entertainment (including sport) in the first half of this year compared to 2014, with three months in 2015 seeing double digit growth on last year.  Barclaycard also reckons that, while people are spending more often on live entertainment, individual transactions across the board are down, suggesting less big festival or high-end events and more cost effective forms of entertainment. The average live entertainment transaction this year is £37.62 compared to £40.37 for the same period in 2014. Barclaycard Chief Marketing Officer Katherine Whitton told reporters last week: "As the country enjoys a rise in spending power, people are keen to indulge their love affair with live music and entertainment. The impressive growth so far this year shows no sign of slowing down, and we expect live entertainment to ride the wave of the economic recovery over the coming months".

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Wireless gates stormed

Angry and opportunistic ticketless fans breached gates at the 2015 Wireless Festival at London's Finsbury Park, with one video showing a lone police officer and a group of Showsec security guards being attacked by a mob trying to gatecrash the event during Lethal Bizzle's performance.

A spokesperson for Wireless later told "This was an isolated incident that was dealt with quickly where no-one was hurt and the perpetrators were removed on an otherwise hugely successful first day."

"Organisers of Wireless Festival take security very seriously and work closely with ShowSec Security, Local Police and other agencies to put procedures in place to ensure the event maintains an enjoyable and secure environment for all its customers."

Friday’s Wireless saw Lethal Bizzle joining a line-up which also included A$AP Rocky, Labrinth, Nero, Duke Dumont and Major Lazer, as well as headline act Drake.

Avicii, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J Blige and Childish Gambino are among Saturday’s acts, while David Guetta and Nicki Minaj will be among those taking to the stage on Sunday.

A Wireless spokesperson has told that security has been increased for the final day.


Chief superintendent Victor Olisa, borough commander for Haringey, said: “The Wireless Festival has been held in Haringey for a number of years and is enjoyed by thousands of people. Unfortunately, this weekend we saw a number of people act in an unacceptable manner by trying to barge their way into the festival without paying. While the number of arrests over the three days was low – and mainly for minor offences – we will review footage of this incident and decide whether any action should be taken against those involved.

“I would like to take this opportunity to praise the actions of the officer, and the security team, who managed to control the situation without it spiralling out of control. This is yet another example of the difficulties faced by officers performing their duty.

Officers made 23 arrests between Friday, 3 and Sunday, 5 July for a number of offences including possession of an offensive weapon, breach of bail and drugs offences.

Buma-Stemra 'kickbacks' evidence to be heard

Parties involved in the BUMA Stemra performance royalty “kickbacks” dispute are due to give evidence at supervisory board hearing in Amsterdam. Not only does BUMA have no current collection agreement with Dutch promoters and venues – it expired on 1 January, but the managers of artistes such as Mark Knopfler and Nick Cave have bypassed the body to collect royalties direct from the promoter.

SFX's Silelrman sued over share sale

SFX Entertainment founder and CEO Robert FX Sillerman is being sued by SFX shareholders over his bid to buy all remaining shares and take the company private. Sillerman has filed a proposal worth $774 million with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), offering to buy shares through his affiliate business, Sillerman Investment Company (SIC), for $5.25 per share. Shareholders say the offer undervalues the company - its less than half the value the company floated for in 2013 ($13 a share). The Company said price negotiations were still 'tentative' and would not be closed until July 10th.  Eight other directors are named in the lawsuit: Mitch Slater (VP), Jospeh Rascoff, Geoff Armstrong, John Miller, Michael Meyer, Edward Simon, Pasquale Manocchia and Andrew Bazos. Audience Issue 185 June 2015.

Slight decrease in CD and download album sales in the US and UK

The BPI says that album sales in the UK fel by 5.25% in in the first half of 2015 (38.1m down to 36.1m). Sales of downloaded LPs actually declined faster than their physical rivals: In the first half of 2015, CD album sales in the UK fell 5.7% from 22.68m to 21.38m. In the same period, sales of digital albums dropped 6.6% to 13.86m. 

Anbd overall album sales in the US – real album sales, not counting ‘track/streaming equivalents’ – were down 4% year-on-year in the first six months of 2015… as streaming continued to soar. According to new data from Nielsen/Billboard, 116.1 million album unit sales were clocked up versus 120.9 million units in H1 2014. The growth of vinyl album sales continued: the format grew 38.4% to 5.6 million in H1 2015, taking a 5% share of CD/digital/vinyl formats in the US. In the UK, vinyl album sales shot up once again in the Jan-June period, up 56.3% to 833,137 sales in H1 2015.

19 UK artistes get government money

Another 19 artistes and performers have received funding from UK Trade & Investment under the scheme aimed to boost Britsh Music Exports including 65daysofstatic and metal band While She Sleeps. the BPI says that 89 acts have now benefitted from the scheme which includes funding for touring, and for promoting radio and TV exposure. 

Up-and-coming bands dominate the list, including two nominated for the BBC Sound of 2015 prize – Lapsley from Merseyside and SOAK, aka 18-year-old Northern Irelander Bridie Monds-Watson. MEGS is an inexpensive schemes that was launched last year by the coalition Government, which slashed grants to arts organisations between 2010-15

Full list of bands awarded grants

65daysofstatic (Sheffield)

Ciaran Lavery (Belfast)

Dr Meaker (Bristol)

Eska (London)

Fearless Vampire Killers (Suffolk)

Låpsley (Merseyside)

Lonelady (Manchester)

Maribou State (Hertfordshire / Leeds)

Marika Hackman (London)

MONEY (Manchester)

Oh Wonder (London)

Songwriters Paul Drew (Croydon), Pete Barringer (Isleworth), and Pete Boyes (Essex)

Sam Lee (London)

SOAK (Derry, Northern Ireland)

The Temperance Movement (London)

Until The Ribbon Breaks (Cardiff)

While She Sleeps (Sheffield)

Friday, 3 July 2015

UK sees 500 ticket frauds reported in a month

UK Action Fraud has revealed it received more than 500 reports of ticket fraud within the last month. The fraud and internet crime reporting centre said the high figure was largely attributed to the number of UK festivals and high-profile concerts taking place over the summer. Of the 533 reports Action Fraud has received so far in June, 228 mentioned a company called Circle Tickets, which was advertising tickets for shows including Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and AC/DC at inflated prices, and recently ceased trading online. The reports are now with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). NFIB said one third of crime reports related to ticket fraud in 2014 happened in the May-July period.

Kilimanjaro launch ticketing platform

Kilimanjaro has launched its own ticketing site called The new site will sell tickets for all of the shows and festivals promoted by the company, as well as concerts presented by classical music promoter Raymond Gubbay, which is now a sister company to Kilimanjaro. There are plans to open up the platform to other promoters.