Thursday, 31 March 2016

Live Nation posts financial results for 2015

Live Nation Entertainment delivered its fifth consecutive year of record revenue, profitability and free cash flow in 2015, but these overwhelmingly positive earnings figures were released on a “constant currency basis,” an approach which eliminates the volatility of exchange rate fluctuations. On a “generally accepted accounting principles” basis, or GAAP, Live Nation reported revenue of $7.24 billion, “which compares to our $7.08 billion estimate,” says analyst Rich Tullo, director of research at Albert Fried & Company. “Operating income [of] $131 million missed our estimate of $180 million, [which] might be an issue with foreign exchange. The company cites on-site advertising as its prime growth driver for the year, with growth in that division at 17 percent for the year. 

More on billboard here 

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Sony inks deal with SoundCloud

Sony Music Entertainment has officially confirmed that it has licensed SoundCloud, ahead of the launch of a subscription service in the US and other markets later this year. MBW broke the news of the deal yesterday, and Sony is the last of the three major record labels to agree terms. Sony will take equity in the streaming platform. 

Ticket fraud up 55% in the UK

Incidents of ticket fraud rose by 55 per cent in the UK last year, costing the British public £5.2 million, according to new research. Figures released by cyber-security awareness initiative Get Safe Online and the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) show that counterfeit or non-existent tickets to gigs and festivals accounted for 15 per cent of all reported ticket scams in 2015, second only to those for major sporting events, which made up over a quarter. More than a fifth of crimes were instigated through Facebook, and around the same amount on Gumtree, with six per cent via Twitter. Get Safe Online urged anyone buying tickets online to be “vigilant”, especially on social media sites, which it says are “increasingly being used by criminals to facilitate ticket fraud”.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Wireless under threat from local residents

A local campaigb group is steeping u its campaign to stop this year’s Wireless Festival after serious security problems in 2015 when the 45,000-capacity festival featured acts such as Drake, David Guetta, Avicii, Kendrick Lamar and Nicki Minaj in 2015. Video footage emerged showing chaotic scenes after a crowd forced open a security door to gain access to the site during a performance by Lethal Bizzle. The Friends Of Finsbury Park group said: “There were serious safety issues when hundreds of gatecrashers stormed the barriers, residents complained of excessive noise, disruption, and antisocial behaviour in streets surrounding the Park” addng “The event also caused severe damage to the fabric of Finsbury Park, destroying the grass areas where Wireless was held, with thousands of pairs of feet turning them into dusty scrubland which stayed ruined for months.”

UPDATE HERE ON IQ A residents' group has threatened legal action against Haringey Council, saying it "does not have the power" to approve the festival for Finsbury Park. Haringey Council gave Live Nation the green light for Wireless 2016 last Friday (16 March). “After reviewing the relevant legislation it is our view that Haringey Council does not have the power to hold Wireless Festival,” said a statement from Friends of Finsbury Park. “We are now working closely with our solicitor, Susan Ring, to discuss the next course of action.”

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Sony buys out Jackson Estate to take control at Sony/ATV

Sony is buying the 50% of Sony/ATV Music Publishing which it doesn't currently own from the Jackson Estate for the reported sum of $750m. Reports say that the Estate will retain its 10% stake in EMI Music Publishing. The sale completes the process that began in September 2015 when Sony exercised a right to buy that has existed since the joint venture was formed by Michael Jackson and Sony in 1995. The transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals. The Jackson Estate will also retain its interest in a number of other music assets, including all of Michael Jackson's master recordings as well as Mijac Music, the publishing company that owns all of the songs written by Michael Jackson.

Monday, 14 March 2016


A Greener Festival (AGF), the not for profit live sector environmental group which is celebrating 10 years since the launch of its ground breaking research to help festivals become more sustainable, has announced that Teresa Moore has become a Director of A Greener Festival. Claire O’Neill Co founder and Director of AGF said “We are extremely happy to be announcing this very natural addition to our Directorship. Teresa will bring her considerable training and research experience to the team which will be a great asset to our future plans.” AGF has also relaunched the Greener Festival Awards this year.

It appears that TIDAL's CFO Chris Hart has been fired or 'terminated':  Hart has held the CFO position since 2014, and has worked at Jay Z's company since 2012 Meanwhile, Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reports that TIDAL COO Nils Juell was removed from his position in the past week.

Jeffrey Azoff is leaving CAA after three-and-half years with the firm, Billboard has confirmed.  The son of music industry veteran Irving Azoff, 30-year-old Jeffrey Azoff, an ILMC New Business Talent nominee in 2016, is launching a new company called Full Stop Management. He brings with him fellow CAA agent Tommy Bruce with whom he worked on such clients as Meghan Trainor and Lukas Graham and Harry styles is rumoured to be joining the roster too. 

Paul Hutton has left Metropolis Music. The leading British concert promoter was a long-serving director of Metropolis, where he had worked for 28 years. Hutton ihas joined the start-up Crosstown Concerts.

Universal Music Group (UMG)’s global boss of merchandising, Tom Bennett, is leaving the business. Bennett has been Chief Executive Officer of Bravado for eight years, being promoted to the role in May 2008. Mat Vlasic is succeeding Bennett as Bravado CEO.

The Managing Director of Universal Music South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, Randall Abrahams, is also leaving the major - at least the fourth top-level global exec to part ways with UMG in the last month. Last month also saw the shock exit of long-term Universal Music France boss Pascal Negre from UMG, as well as the major's global head of D2C, Russel Coultart. Other recent high-profile news of exec exits from UMG have included the boss of Polydor in the UK, Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, who is believed to be leaving the company later this year to establish a JV with Sony Music UK, and the exit of long-time marketing and A&R Director of Universal Music Austria, Peter Draxl, who reportedly left his post at the end of last year (MBW).  Jamie Hole, Int. Director of Universal Music Group, is leaving the major today after more than a decade. He is the son of Max Hole, who left UMG last year. However  Universal Music Group has appointed Sipho Dlamini as Managing Director of Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa (English-speaking). And finally the GM of UMG owned Mowtown and one Universal Music Group’s longest-serving executives, Pat Monaco, has left the major after more than two decades. Monaco began his career at Polygram, the company which would later become UMG, after he sold his own Landmark Distribution company to the firm in 1989.

SMG Europe has appointed Andrew Bolt as CEO of The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. And SMG has announced that Eduardo Cajina Díaz will take over as GM for Puerto Rico’s largest venue, the 18,100-capacity Coliseo de Puerto Rico. 

After three and a half years, Paul Sergeant has stepped down as CEO of Melbourne’s 53,359-capacity Etihad Stadium in Australia.   He is replaced in the interim by Michael Green, director of operations at the venue’s operator, Melbourne Stadiums Limited. Green joined the stadium in 1998 when it was still under construction.

UK marketing exec Lisa Ward has joined Red Light Management as EVP Artist Strategy, a global role based at the firm’s London offices. Red Light Management represents 250 Artists with 8 offices globally and the company’s current roster spans Artists including Alabama Shakes, Lionel Richie, Bastille, Interpol, R Kelly, Lady Antebellum, Kaiser Chiefs, Oh Wonder, Enrique Iglesias, The Vaccines, Luke Bryan, Belle & Sebastian, Cedric Gervais, Kelis, My Morning Jacket, Sam Hunt, Corinne Bailey Rae and Herbie Hancock.

BMG has appointed Steve Redmond to run its communications worldwide. Redmond will be responsible for all areas of BMG’s communications internally and externally from the company’s artist and songwriter clients and liaison with its shareholder Bertelsmann through to its 500-strong worldwide team, the media, music industry and the wider world.

Phil Savill has been promoted to the new role of Managing Director of the Commercial Music Group at Sony Music UK.  And Ken Marshall has also been promoted, to new position of Senior Marketing Director, Sony Music UK.

Justin Eshak has been named Senior Vice President of A&R At Columbia Records  stepping up from Vice President of A&R at the label. Imran Majid has also been promoted to Senior Vice President of A&R. 

Cooking Vinyl Group is opening a full service label division in New York, overseen by newly-appointed President, Howie Gabriel.

Music industry strategic advisor and former Cooking Vinyl Head of Digital Sammy Andrews has joined independent data solution developer Entertainment Intelligence (Ei) as a Director.

Pandora Media has hired a former spokesman for Uber as the Internet radio service’s director of public affairs in Washington. Taylor Bennett joins Pandora’s five-person public policy and public affairs team.

Former Naxos, ole and AdShare exec Jim Selby has been appointed as the new General Manager of fast-growing music rights company Concord Music Group. Selby was CEO of Naxos of America from 2007 to the end of 2013, when he left the firm to become SVP of Digital at acquisitive Canada-based music rights firm Ole.

Successful artist manager Alistair Norbury has joined BMG in a global role as Executive Vice President International Artists. Norbury, most recently manager of Bryan Ferry and co-manager of James and Texas, will report directly to BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch.

Heath Kudler has been appointed Executive Vice President, Global Repertoire Acquisition, for Warner Music Group (WMG).

Capitol Music Group will say goodbye to VP of Promotion at Caroline, Dave Lombardi, on March 31.

And finally,  Nick Pacelli has become SVP of Strategic Marketing & Partnerships at Republic Records.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

ETEP Results

The European Talent Exchange programme have posted up their latest results for 2016 - with 121 confirmed shows by 74 artists from 22 different European countries. ETEP is an initiative of Eurosonic Noorderslag to stimulate the circulation of European repertoire on festivals, on radio and across the media in Europe. Eurosonic Noorderslag started organising the European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) in 2003. Since then a total of 2690 shows by 972 European artists from 30 countries have taken place at the 100 ETEP festivals (2003 - 2015). These are this years' top scoring ETEP acts with their nationality and the number of bookings so far confirmed.

In at 4 - My Baby

Lost Frequencies  BE  5

Stormzy UK  5

My Baby NL  4

Nothing but Thieves  UK  4

Soom T  UK  3

Amber Arcades NL  3

C Duncan  UK  3

Wednesday, 9 March 2016


Sir George Martin, ‘The Fifth Beatle’, has died peacefully at his home. He was 90 years old. Martin, who produced records for the Beatles throughout their career, was also a talented composer, arranger and musician. He has been called “the greatest British record producer of all time” by Mark Ronson and Sir Paul McCartney, who worked with Martin as a Beatle but also on later solo work said: “I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever. He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me." Quincy Jones called Martin "my musical brother", while Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich dubbed him "the definitive record producer" who "did it all first... and best". Sir George's son Giles Martin, who followed in his father's footsteps as a producer, simply wrote: "RIP dad. I love you. I'm so proud to have been your son. I'll miss you more than words can say. Thank you for the all times we had together." A true gentleman. 

Colin Vearncombe, aka Black, best known for his 1987 hit ‘Wonderful Life’, has died following a road traffic accident earlier this month. He was 53. Vearncombe had been placed in an induced coma after sustaining a serious head injury in the crash, near Cork Airport, on 10 January. His wife Camilla and three sons said in a statement: “Colin received the best possible care from the expert and highly professional staff [at the hospital] and we are deeply grateful for everything they did”.  This from the Guardian: The singer of Black viewed his hit Wonderful Life as a burden, something that has often been the fate of artists with one breakout hit

Paul Kantner, founding member, guitarist and singer for Jefferson Airplane and Starship, died Thursday of multiple organ failure and septic shock. He had suffered a heart attack earlier in the week, according to San Francisco Chronicle. He was 74.

Maurice White, the founder of Earth, Wind & Fire has died aged 74. he had been suffering from Parkinsons disease for many years. Already an accomplished session drummer, White, Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead - joined by his his brother Verdine and singer Philip Bailey -  founded the funk/soul nine piece in 1969 and went on to have massive success with hits like "September", "Boogie Wonderland", "Shining Star" and "After the Love has Gone". Earth, Wind & Fire were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and Maurice was individually inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010.

Vi Subversa
Vi Subversa, the singer/guitarist of British anarcho-punks Poison Girls, has died. Her son shared the news on Facebook, saying she "passed away peacefully following a short illness," Louder Than War reports. She was 80. Born Frances Sokolov, Vi Subversa began performing with Richard Famous, Lance d'Boyle, and Bella Donna in 1975. In 1977, they performed their first show under the name "Poison Girls." The band released three albums plus several EPs and singles. Their last album Songs of Praise was released in 1985. The band broke up at the end of the 1980s, though Vi Subversa continued to perform. Her last show was just a few weeks ago.

Music lawyer Richard Antwi has died. A number of his clients, including Wretch 32, 'Godfather of Grime' Wiley and singer Estelle, paid their respects on social media following the 'shock' death of the 38-year-old.  Antwi, who many likened to a 'big brother', was credited with launching the careers of many artists that have gone on to achieve chart success, including Lethal Bizzle, Mr Hudson and Melissa Steel. Music Week have published a marvellous collection of tributes to Richard.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

International Live Music Awards - The Arthurs - The Winners!

IQ Editor Gordon Masson, Emma Banks & Ben Challis
Amber McKenzie
With Emma Banks again on top form as master of ceremonies, emerging triumphant from the Lancaster Balltoom At the Savoy Hotel on Saturday Night with Arthur Awards grasped in hand were: 

The O2 Arena (Best Venue or First Venue to Come into Your Head)

Beat the Street (Best Production Services - Services Above and Beyond)

Ben Challis (Professional Services Award - Most Professional Professional)

Rock Am Ring (Best Festival - Liggers’ Favourite Festival)

Ticketmaster (Best Ticketing Company - The Golden Ticket)

ITB’s Amber McKenzie (Best Assistant - The People’s Assistant

Joanna Young from Live Nation UK (New Leader Award - Tomorrow’s New Boss)

Steve Strange from X-ray Touring (Best Agent - Second Least Offensive Agent)

Kilimanjaro Live’s Steve Tilley (Best Promoter - Promoter’s Promoter)

Jules Frutos from Le Bataclan in Paris (Outstanding contribution - The ILMC Bottle Award).

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Tidal faces lawsuit

Tidal, the music streaming service owned by Jay-Z and supported by many leading artistes inckluding DeadMau5, Madonna, Beyonce, Daft Punk and Kanye West, is now being sued for not paying artists. Yesh Music Publishing and John Emanuele (of the duo American Dollar) have filed a lawsuit against Tidal seeking $5 million. The lawsuit claims that Tidal licensed at least 118 songs by American Dollar without the group’s permission and hasn’t paid the royalties it owes for streaming the songs. The complaint also says Tidal is “deliberately miscalculating” its per-stream royalty rates and failing to send reports to the American Dollar about streams of their songs. It appears that TIDAL's CFO Chris Hart has been fired or 'terminated':  Hart has held the CFO position since 2014, and has worked at Jay Z's company since 2012 Meanwhile, Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reports that TIDAL COO Nils Juell was removed from his position in the past week.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Ticketing updates

The Sunday Times reports that the Royal Albert Hall is going to introduce 'Ryanair style' ticketing with prices for the latest touring show by Cirque du Soleil rising in line with demand. The cost of tickets for the most popular performances of Amaluña can be up to 30% higher than those for the least popular. If the scheme, introduced by the circus company, is successful, it could lead to the adoption of full “dynamic” or variable pricing in other halls and theatres. 

A BBC 5 live investigation has discovered that laws banning the touting of football tickets are being flouted, leaving supporters vulnerable to dubious online brokers. In a bid to clamp down on illegal trading, Manchester United have seized more than 1,700 tickets during the last two seasons. There are also concerns that some websites allowing fans to legitimately resell tickets for other types of show may be in breach of consumer protection legislation introduced last year. The Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers warns the online trade allows unscrupulous firms to "dupe unsuspecting ticket buyers" on an "industrial scale". The society is developing an industry code of practice for legitimate ticket resellers.

Terence Butts (63) has been convicted of frauduent trading and converting or transferring criminal property at Soutwark Crown Court and sentened to 6 years in prison. Butts, 63, and accountant Nimal Fonseka (78), were alleged to have sold £2m worth of non existant tickets to potential customers for occasions including the V Festival and the 2008 Beijing Olympics . But they only provided £280,000 worth of tickets - just 14% of what they had sold - claiming that their key supplier 'Peter's Tickets' had let them down.  Butts sold 15,000 through his company Durban Vienna Ltd and his websites included and  Butts would tell cusomers that he could not suply tickets, telling them to reclaim the funds paid from their credit card provider. It was estimated B+S Card Services lost £1.2 million.  Foneska was found not guilty on the same two charges. Security expert Reg Walker from iridium Consultancy told Live UK that Butts was 'top of the ticket fraud tree' but added that he had made the police aware of his actions as far back as 2008. 

Tommorrowworld 2016 Cancelled

TomorrowWorld's organiwers have announced that the festival will not be taking place in 2016 due to its "current environment." The Chattahoochee Hills, Ga. festival would have entered its fourth year in operation.

A message on the event's website said

Dear Friends,

It’s with a heavy heart that we inform you, TomorrowWorld will not take place in 2016. Unfortunately in the current environment , it is not possible to give you the best and unique experience you deserve.

We will miss seeing each other in September and experiencing the magic of TomorrowWorld as one. You, the People of Tomorrow, the foundation of TomorrowWorld, are our inspiration.

Let’s lock and cherish all the magnificent memories in our hearts, this is not farewell…