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VEVO ACCUSED OF SHORT CHANGING INDIE PUBLISHERS
The fault actually lies with the major record companies, though as the two biggest majors own VEVO that's not necessarily much of an excuse for the music video website. Pincus says that, in the US, when Sony, Universal and EMI licence VEVO their video catalogues, they pledge to cover any publishing royalties, saving the video site from having to get licences direct from the publishers or their collecting societies.
But, Pincus claims, the majors then exercise clauses in their artist contracts that allow them to sidestep any royalties due on songs written by the artists themselves when used in videos for promotional purposes. This is called the Controlled Composition Clause, and was designed to ensure labels didn't have to pay an additional royalty to their artists' publishers every time they used music videos to promote record releases, presumably on the basis that the publisher also benefited if the promo led to record sales.
However, those clauses should not apply now that music videos are a direct revenue stream for rights owners rather than merely a marketing tool to aid record sales, says Pincus, especially as video sites like YouTube and VEVO arguably compete head on with audio-only streaming services like Spotify, which are licensed directly by the publishers or their collecting agencies.
The Songs Music chief notes that indie publishers in the US, via their trade body, recently agreed licensing terms with YouTube over the use of their songs in user generated content, but he points out that agreement doesn't cover VEVO which, although utilising YouTube technology, and getting much of its traffic via its YouTube partnership, licences content directly from its parent companies and EMI.
Presumably the major publishers are also losing out if VEVO and its major label partners are indeed using the Controlled Composition Clause in this way, though, as Pincus remarks, as the major publishers are also major labels, it's less of a problem for them. The exception, of cause, being Warner Chappell, as Warner Music is neither a shareholder in VEVO nor do its labels provide videos, so the soon to be mini-major has no direct income from the video service, even if songs in its publishing catalogue are used.
Pincus concludes: "Are record companies to blame for relying on shoddy language to withhold royalties, or is it VEVO's responsibility to ensure that the songwriters that helped it pull in $150 million this year share in their success? Whatever the case, this issue of fairness must be addressed".
VEVO is yet to respond. Meanwhile, Pincus's polemic can be found here: www.thewrap.com/music/blog-post/time-vevo-pay-35129
It's worth noting none of this applies to the UK, where VEVO licences the publishing side via collecting society PRS For Music, so doesn't rely on the record companies to pay the songwriters and publishers, and therefore can't utilise any contractual terms to not do so.
UK MUSIC LAUNCHES DIVERSITY CHARTER
Launching the Charter, UK Music's recently appointed CEO Jo Dipple told CMU: "Diversity is a massive asset for the UK music industry. Our creative talent and the audience who enjoy our music is, without doubt, diversity personified. Promoting that key strength to the companies and organisations in between can only be good for our business".
She continued: "I also hope this charter will shine a light on some of the excellent initiatives already underway in the industry and inspire debate and discussion - whether that's PRS For Music and the PRS For Music Foundation proactively funding works by female composers, Koko improving disabled access to their venue and increasing their customer base in the process, Live Nation's apprenticeship programme, AIM's Women In Music events, or the MU's backing of Arthritis Care and Love Music, Hate Racism".
UK Music has worked with the Alliance For Diversity in Music & Media in developing its charter, whose spokesperson is PPL Performer Affairs Director and MusicTank Chairman Keith Harris, who told CMU: "Due to a lack of reliable data, it is actually difficult to calculate how well the music industry currently scores in terms of equality and diversity. From personal experience, things have improved somewhat, but there is more we can do to enable access to our business to those from different social and cultural backgrounds. The Equality & Diversity charter marks a good start in helping this industry realise its potential".
JUNO AWARDS NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED
FOXES SIGNS TO SONY
As previously reported, Fuller's XIX Entertainment and Sony Music UK formed the company, which is led by former Universal Music Publishing A&R Dougie Bruce, in November last year. Foxes joins the company's first signing The Milk.
Allen tweeted yesterday: "Literally all I've wanted since I was a little girl to have this as my official job... it now is! Just signed my record deal with Sony!"
STORM CORROSION SIGN TO ROADRUNNER
Says Wilson; "If you'd asked me three months ago about the music, I would have said, 'Expect the last thing you would expect'. But actually, now that [Opeth's] 'Heritage' and [Porcupine Tree's] 'Grace Of Drowning' have come out, I don't think it's going to be that much of a shock to people, because it's almost like a third part of the trilogy, in a way. If anything, it's even more orchestral, even more stripped down, even more dark, twisted and melancholic... but it certainly feels like it comes from the same place as 'Heritage' and 'Grace For Drowning', which indeed it does because it was written during the same period".
The eponymous album will be released on 23 Apr.
EFTERKLANG WORKING ON NEW ALBUM, THOMAS HUSMER QUITS
In a statement, the band said: "Our dear friend, great musician and Efterklang drummer/trumpet player for over ten years, Thomas Husmer, has decided to seek new adventures and is no longer a member of the band. He will be dearly missed in Efterklang, but we fully support and understand his decision ... Please also note that this is not the end of Efterklang. We (Casper, Mads and Rasmus) have been working on a new Efterklang album as a trio for six months now and we are very excited to report that it is going well with many new songs in progress".
Husmer added: "I feel so genuinely privileged to have been part of the Efterklang family and the whole Efterklang project ... It's difficult for me to explain in a few words why I've chosen to step back from something so dear to me. And I don't expect anyone to fully understand. Lately my priorities in life have changed. I've felt the urge to dedicate myself to a more simple and domestic life closer to my family. And I've found it impossible to combine this with my life in Efterklang. This has been a very tough decision for me, but I feel good where I am right now. I'm a happy man with a rich past and an unrevealed future".
The band stressed that Husmer has not left the music world altogether, and is looking for a new Copenhagen-based project. Read the full statement here: efterklang.net/home/2012/02/07/thomas-leaves-efterklang/
TORO Y MOI ANNOUNCES RARITIES LP
Due out via Carpark Records on 3 Apr, it will be available as a seven-inch vinyl box set, dual-CD release or in digital form.
In the mean time, feel free to take a copy of the deceptively delightful 'Dead Pontoon' from this widget: bit.ly/ToroYMoiJune2009
LINE-UP ANNOUNCED FOR QUEEN'S JUBILEE SING SONG
The main thing I remember about the concert staged to mark the Queen's golden jubilee in 2002 was that it was Paul Cattermole's final show with the first incarnation of the S Club 7 before he went off to join that super successful rock band, and if that's what's sticking in my mind, that jubilee show was clearly a remarkable melting pot of creative genius and delightful musical moments. God save the Queen.
GIRLS TO PLAY HMV FORUM
WHITE DENIM TO TOUR
18 May: Liverpool, Kazimier
Preview the sort of smithereen-smashing spectacle you can anticipate from the above in this here 'Back At The Farm' live clip: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKMIDHUwHmM
THE DANDY WARHOLS ANNOUNCE UK SHOWS
I don't know about you, but I'm going to mark the occasion with a quick reminder of Dandy Warhols frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor's anguish at the news one of his songs had been used to soundtrack Theresa May's post-speech walk-off at last year's Conservative Party conference. "I'll tear their fuggin heads off", it begins.
Tour dates as follows:
20 Apr: Manchester, Academy
LETTERS ANNOUNCE NEW SINGLE, SCOTTISH TOUR
Listen to 'The Halfway House' here: soundcloud.com/soundandvisionpr/letters-the-halfway-house
METALLICA LAUNCH THEIR OWN FESTIVAL
The metallers will headline both dates, which is modest, playing 'The Black Album' in full on day one and all of 'Ride The Lightning' on day two. Also booked to play are Arctic Monkeys, Avenged Sevenfold, Modest Mouse, Fucked Up and A Place To Bury Strangers, all favourites of the Metallica men it seems. Fun and games are also planned, apparently.
Look, here's Lars Ulrich talking: "We've had the idea of doing our own lifestyle festival with lots of diverse music and fun and games for years. Finally this year all the practical ducks lined up in a row, and we are beyond psyched to bring Orion to our fans, friends and the curious.
Tickets will go on sale to fan club members today, and to the public on Saturday. More at orionmusicandmore.com
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
BILBAO BBK LIVE, Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Spain, 12-14 Jul: Fresh additions Warpaint, Glasvegas and The Kooks more than make up for a recent cancellation by Klaxons, confirmed as they are to join Radiohead, The Cure, Noah And The Whale, Snow Patrol, Band of Skulls and Tribes at this sun-drenched Spanish fiesta. www.bilbaobbklive.com
END OF THE ROAD, Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury, 31 Aug - 2 Sep: Bella Union presents the best of its label roster, hosting a fifteenth anniversary showcase starring the likes of Midlake, The Low Anthem and Veronica Falls. Other recent arrivals Dirty Three, Lanterns Of The Lake and Alessi's Ark take up prime position alongside prior announcees Beach House, The Antlers, Delicate Steve, Doug Paisley, Driver Drive Faster and First Aid Kit. www.endoftheroadfestival.com
GARDEN FESTIVAL, Petrica Glava, Tisno, Croatia, 4-11 Jul: Billed with the tagline 'A New Beginning', this year's relocated Garden Festival aims at reinvention with the news that Nicolas Jaar, Tiger And Woods and Kenny Dope will all appear alongside Metro Area, Ben UFO, Tim Sweeney, Applebim and Crazy P. www.thegardenfestival.eu
LONG DIVISION FESTIVAL, various venues, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, 1-3 Jun: The guitar-toting likes of The Vaccines, Art Brut, Aiden Moffat & Bill Wells, Let's Wrestle, Crushed Beaks and Zoey Van Goey are amongst the first acts unveiled for this sprawling Northern fest, which takes place across nine of Wakefield's best-loved venues. www.longdivisionfestival.co.uk
SENSORIA, various venues, Sheffield, 21-29 Apr: Film, music and digital festival Sensoria returns for its fifth year in April, and as its first line-up announcement has revealed that Laurie Anderson will give the UK premiere of her new work 'Another Day In America', as well as a discussion and Q&A session. www.sensoria.org.uk
SNOWBOMBING, Mayrhofen, Austria, 9-14 Apr: German house pairing Booka Shade, Major Lazer producer Switch and alt-disco maestro Fake Blood form the latest spate of acts announced to attend this year's Snowbombing. With ice prince Dizzee Rascal booked as overall headliner, the existing roster also features Fatboy Slim, Example, The Vaccines, Labrinth, Jack Beats and the always cool DJ Shadow. www.snowbombing.com
AC/DC LAUNCH WINE LINE
The Laithwaites press release notes that Iron Maiden, Kiss, The Rolling Stones and Cliff Richard already have their own wine brands, which may or may not be a community you'd want to be part of. The two AC/DC wines will be available from www.laithwaites.co.uk from later today.
BEYONCE AND JAY-Z TRADEMARK THEIR DAUGHTER'S NAME
Though, before you think America's pop couple have pushed the merchandise craze too far, it's possible they were motivated to register the name after two other companies tried to trademark it shortly after Blue Ivy Carter was born. The US trademark registry knocked back those applications noting the name belongs to a "very famous infant".
AMAZON BIGGEST ENTERTAINMENT RETAILER IN UK, CONSIDERING PHYSICAL STORE IN THE US
But apparently not. The online retailer overtook the high street chain in the run up to Christmas last year, making them the biggest seller of CDs, DVDs and video games in the UK, with a 22.4% market share. HMV is still in second place with 17.5%, putting it ahead of other mail-order sites, download stores and the supermarkets, though, of course, its costs - having to operate 200+ high street stores selling just entertainment product - are so much higher.
These figures come from research company Kantar Worldpanel, whose Consumer Insight Director Fiona Keenan, says: "Amazon's strong performance is down to a number of factors: it is typically really competitive on price, has a wide range of products with no restriction on display space, and is known for its very good customer service".
After HMV and Amazon come: Tesco (11.4%), Asda (8.1%), Game (7.7%), Sainsbury's (5.2%), Play.com (4.9%), iTunes (3%) and Morrisons has (2.7%).
In related and sort of interesting news, Amazon is reportedly considering launching its first ever high street store, in Seattle. Which might seem like a crazy move given its competitive advantage over HMV et al is its lack of high street infrastructure, though according to reports plans for an Amazon shop should be seen more as an effort to take on Apple than the HMVs of this world, with the online retailer looking for new ways to promote its increasingly expansive range of digital content devices.
Elsewhere in HMV gloom news, the retailer's Irish business has just filed financials for the year up to 30 Apr 2010, revealing it made a loss of 2.5 million euros, compared to a 631,000 euro profit the previous year. The flagging entertainment retailer has fifteen stores in Ireland.
SUN AND TIMES TO SPONSOR GLOBAL RADIO SHOWS
The Times and Sunday Times will be promoted on Classic FM's breakfast show and London talk station LBC, while The Sun will sponsor Heart's Club Classics show and the recently revamped Capital breakfast show, which will now include a Sun-enabled Phone Hack Quiz - guess the mystery celebrity from their hacked voicemail messages - it'll be classic radio listening.
Confirming the new partnerships with News International, Global's MD Of Commercial Mike Gordon said these words in his best DJ voice: "News International has some of the most recognised newspaper titles in the UK and beyond, so naturally we're thrilled to announce this partnership. This is the first time that Global Radio and News International have joined forces on such a scale to reinforce their respective positions as the largest commercial radio group and the leading newspaper publisher in the UK".
UTV EXPAND SIGNAL NETWORK
Signal Radio is one of the original commercial radio stations, based in Stoke On Trent and broadcasting to North Staffordshire and South Cheshire. It became part of UTV Radio in 2005. The brand previously expanded North into the Manchester area via a Stockport-based offshoot service, although that outlet was rebranded and then subsequently sold off to another company.
The latest announcement means that Signal will now branch out South, with the brand replacing existing local stations The Wolf, The Wyre and The Severn, the latter two taken over by UTV just last week. All three of the new Signal stations will carry the same programming, though it's not clear how many shows will be produced locally, and how much will be syndicated from the Stoke service.
Commenting on the Signal expansion, UTV's Director Of Local Radio, Calum Macaulay, told CMU: "I'm delighted to be growing UTV's local network with the launch of Signal 107 across Wolverhampton, Shropshire and North Worcestershire. We're already working on our plans for [the] March [relaunch] and look forward to launching the new station, with a potential [audience] of over 900,000, to offer a direct alternative to Beacon Radio".
Beacon is owned by rivals Orion Media and, as previously reported, is also about to be rebranded to become part of the Free Radio network, which will also broadcast across much of the Midlands.
Anyway, that's enough local radio news, let's all sit back and enjoy the best radio jingle ever, the Signal Radio anthem of 1987: www.radiojingles.webspace.virginmedia.com/audio/signal_1987/song_full.mp3
CHANEL MAN THINKS ADELE IS FAT, DAVE GROHL THINKS SHE'S BRILLIANT
The remark actually came during a discussion about Lana del Rey, with the 78 year old designer revealing he preferred Adele or Florence Welch's music, but that del Rey was beautiful in her photos, and "looks very much like a modern-time singer".
Back on Adele he said: "The thing at the moment is Adele. She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice", leading to much outrage on Twitter, obviously.
Adele herself is unlikely to be that bothered what a 78 year old man thinks, of course, and besides, she has super-fan Dave Grohl to stick up for her. Saying he was pleased to be included in the same category as Ms Adkins at the Grammys, the Foo Fighters frontman told the Associated Press that Adele's success pleased him greatly, possibly implying he was pleased the singer had sold so many records despite not being your stereotypical pop star.
Said Grohl: "I think she gives us all hope. She's made an incredible record, and she's an incredibly talented artist, so maybe it is true that the cream actually rises to the top. There's a reason why that record is so fucking huge. It's good. It's inspiring when something legitimate gets recognised for what it is. It's such a cliché, but it's a huge achievement to be nominated".