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TUESDAY 26 JUNE 2012
EDDY SAYS: DANNY SAYS
Regular readers of the Eddy Says column will know that Eddy is an ambassador for mental health charity CALM, which aims to reduce the suicide rate amongst young men. An important part of this is simply trying to get men to discuss their feelings, and this week he hands over to Embrace's Danny McNamara, who has done just that. But first, Eddy recalls his first meeting with Danny more>>
APPROVED: CUUSHE
Having released her debut album, 'Red Rocket Telepathy', in 2009, Japanese dream-pop producer Cuushe returns next month with a new EP, 'Girl You Know That I Am Here But The Dream', due for release through Flau on 16 Jul. Featuring three new tracks, it also comes packaged with a bank of remixes, including contributions from Julia Holter, Teen Daze, Blackbird Blackbird and Kixnare more>>
TOP STORIES
- Ofcom publishes latest three-strikes code - time for more consultation
- Global competitors to raise competition objections to GMG deal
IN THE POP COURTS
- MP3tunes.com founder fails to have EMI case against him personally halted
- Apple co-founder confirms support for Dotcom
- Placebo cover star threatens to sue
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- Swedish House Mafia announce split
RELEASE NEWS
- Andre 3000, Earl Sweatshirt to feature on Frank Ocean debut
- Susanne Sundfør LP given UK release
- The Antlers preview new EP
- Tashaki Miyaki to release single
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Nicki Minaj to tour arenas
- Rancid announce 20th anniversary tour
- El-P plots September outing
- Alt-J list headline dates
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival of festivals to launch in Blackpool
- Festival line-up update
BRANDS & STUFF
- Henley Business School to throw spotlight on brand music partnerships
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- Cherrytree chief departs Universal
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- Gigwise relaunches website
AND FINALLY...
- Spice Girls to reunite for press conference today
FABRIC, DIGITAL MARKETING OFFICER
We are seeking a self-motivated, proactive individual to take a key role in further developing and executing a cutting edge digital marketing strategy. The successful candidate will have strong artist and industry knowledge and excellent relevant digital marketing experience.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here .
   
DEMON MUSIC GROUP, DIGITAL ADMINISTRATOR
Demon Music Group is one of the UK's largest independent record companies owned by BBC Worldwide. We are currently recruiting a Digital Administrator. Ideally you will have previous digital experience gained in a record company or a digital distributor. The role of Digital Administrator involves the creation, management and delivery of metadata to digital stores on a large volume of new releases. This requires liaison with product, legal, production and royalties teams as well as external agencies.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BOOKING AGENCY, JUNIOR ASSISTANT
A Junior Assistant is required by a high profile music agent. Duties will include diary management, travel arrangements and itineraries, contracts, work permits, ticket figures, email dictation and inbox management. The successful candidate will need to be computer literate, discreet and unflappable, have good organisation and admin skills, and a "can do attitude". This is a great opportunity for a Team Assistant to develop their skills. Salary £20,000.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
EAGLE ROCK, ONLINE PROMOTIONS
Eagle Rock is the largest producer and distributor of music programming for DVD, Blu-Ray, TV and Digital Media in the world, producing top quality, high definition and 3D programmes for some of the industry's greatest musicians. As we continue to expand our digital offering, an exciting opportunity has arisen for a talented, driven and enthusiastic individual to take responsibility for all online promotional campaigns across all consumer media channels throughout the world (ex N America).

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

   
HEAR NO EVIL PRODUCTIONS, MUSIC CONSULTANT / NEW BUSINESS
Hear No Evil Productions is a small, friendly, independent music consultancy operating primarily in the advertising industry. We are looking for a Music Consultant to join the team as we celebrate our fifth birthday this year.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

OFCOM PUBLISHES LATEST THREE-STRIKES CODE - TIME FOR MORE CONSULTATION
Media regulator OfCom has published a new draft of its copyright code, the document that outlines how the three-strikes anti-file-sharing system put in place by the Digital Economy Act in 2010 will work.

Well, the initial element of it anyway, in which letters are sent by internet service providers to suspected file-sharers warning them that copyright infringement has occurred on their net connection, when the net provider is made aware that a user has been sharing unlicensed content by a rights owner.

A 'strike-three' sanction does not yet exist (and would require further parliamentary involvement to instigate), so at the moment the so called graduated response system would simply provide a slightly smoother framework via which content owners could file legal proceedings against prolific file-sharers, something rights owners can already do, of course, and have on occasion, though in the main UK music companies have shied away from prolific file-sharer litigation.

The new code is a development of one first drafted almost as soon as the 2010 DEA was passed. Only a few changes have been made in the subsequent two years of development, one regulates the way rights owners gather evidence against suspected file-sharers, another adds extra obligations on what information ISPs must provide in their warning letters, and a third refinement clarifies (and limits) how accused file-sharers can appeal if they believe allegations are incorrect.

OfCom will now further consult stakeholders, including rights owners, net firms and consumer groups, about the latest draft, with a view to presenting the code to parliament later this year (subject to an earlier review by the European Commission). As previously reported, it's thought that, even if this draft of the code is approved by the end of this year, it could be 2014 before warning letters are actually sent out, meaning any strike-three measures wouldn't be on the table until 2015.

As also previously reported, various execs from across the music industry have been critical regards quite how long it has taken for this code to be written since the DEA was rushed through parliament in 2010, though external factors haven't helped, in particular BT and TalkTalk trying to have the copyright element of the Act overturned through judicial review.

Commenting on the latest draft of OfCom's code, Geoff Taylor, boss of record label trade body the BPI, told CMU: "It's time to get down to business and start implementing the law to educate consumers about illegal downloading, so that artists and creators are fairly rewarded for their hard work".

There's more info about the code here.

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GLOBAL COMPETITORS TO RAISE COMPETITION OBJECTIONS TO GMG DEAL
Three of Global Radio's rivals have called on the competition regulator to block the UK radio major's bid to expand further by acquiring The Guardian's radio company, which operates the Real and Smooth radio brands.

As previously reported, it was confirmed yesterday that Global had successfully bid for GMG Radio, after weeks of speculation that the Guardian publisher was in talks to sell its radio business. Initial reports suggested Global had paid in the region of £50 million to buy its rival, but Media Guardian suggests the final figure was closer to £70 million, after a bidding battle between Global and its biggest competitor in the UK radio sector Bauer.

Bauer are now among those who are thought to be already lobbying against the proposed Global/GMG merger, arguing that the deal will give the company more than 50% of the UK radio advertising market, and that that would make the company too dominant. TalkSport operator UTV, which was also bidding for GMG Radio, and the Absolute Radio company will also object to the deal.

Speaking to The Guardian, UTV's Scott Taunton said: "This merger would leave the enlarged Global Radio controlling more than 50% of commercial radio revenues, and more than 50% of listening in key markets like London and Manchester. The competition authorities should see this for what it is, an attempt to achieve an unassailable position of market dominance. Simply put, the proposed merger must not go ahead. We are consulting with our legal advisers to prepare our engagement with the Office Of Fair Trading's investigation". Statements from Absolute and Bauer, while not quite so forthcoming, communicated similar sentiment.

UTV also raised concerns about the other part of yesterday's announcement from Global, that the current boss of GMG Radio, Stuart Taylor, will resign with immediate effect, and the company will be run by a Global Radio exec, Mark Lee, on secondment while the regulators investigate the deal. UTV said it was "seeking urgent clarification" as to how that would work, and whether Global could ensure that GMG Radio continued to operate as a standalone company while any competition investigation is going through the motions, as the law demands.

If the merger does get the go ahead it will mean that what were three big British radio firms just over five years ago - Chrysalis Radio, GCap and GMG Radio - will have become one mega-major, in control of a significant portion of the country's commercial radio listeners and advertisers. Global is certain to stress that in terms of listeners it also competes with the BBC, which commands even bigger audience share overall, and on the commercial side the company now also competes head on with online audio and music services, and faces ever tougher competition from that domain as the internet finally reaches the kitchen, bathroom and car, key locations for radio listening.

Though pluggers at the big record companies will tell you that, despite the internet revolution, for mainstream releases radio remains a key platform for promoting artists and music, and they too may worry about a Global in control of so much of the UK radio sector. Especially given Global's known ambitions in the music publishing and talent management space (fears of programming bias towards the firm's own acts may be unjustified, but they are fears nonetheless), and the recent petty ban of One Direction at flagship pop station Capital after a silly slip by one of the boy band's members during an awards acceptance speech.

Competition regulators will likely consider the implications of the Global/GMG deal on a region by region basis, and may force the offloading of frequencies in those areas where the combined company would be particularly dominant. A similar approach when Global acquired GCap in 2008 forced the sale of various stations in the Midlands, which were bought by a Phil Riley-led consortium to create Orion Media. According to Absolute Radio's CEO Donnach O'Driscoll, Global/GMG would be most dominant in Glasgow, Birmingham and especially Cardiff.

Though it's thought Global will argue that, given the new competition it faces from online media, competition regulators should be more generous than in 2008, even though this deal will give the company unprecedented dominance in the British radio market.

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MP3TUNES.COM FOUNDER FAILS TO HAVE EMI CASE AGAINST HIM PERSONALLY HALTED
MP3tunes.com founder Michael Robertson has failed to have legal proceedings being pursued against him by EMI halted, despite the demise of his of most recent digital music venture.

As much previously reported, EMI sued MP3tunes.com, one of the first music-specific digital locker services which also operated a platform for storing and sharing links to music online, accusing it of various kinds of copyright infringement.

In the end most court time was spent on the link sharing facility, which, a judge ruled, was basically legal under America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act, though certain failures to operate an efficient takedown system (removing, when alerted by content owners, posted links that pointed to unlicensed content), and evidence Robertson himself used his own service to share links to unlicensed content, meant there was some liability for infringement.

After years of fighting the EMI litigation, which was first launched in 2007, MP3tunes.com filed for bankruptcy last month, and the ongoing legal case against it was stayed, or put on hold, permanently. But the major label had sued both the MP3tunes.com company and Robertson himself. And when the digital firm filed for bankruptcy protection last month, EMI accused Robertson of simply trying to avoid liability for the copyright infringement he was accused of, and vowed to continue to pursue the entrepreneur directly for damages.

For his part, Robertson requested that the court stay the case against him personally too, but yesterday a judge denied that request. This means that EMI can continue to fight Robertson through the courts in a bid to win its damages.

Some have suggested that the MP3tunes.com man could end up paying damages of up to $75 million to the major record company, though as C-Net points out, that seems unlikely, given last year LimeWire settled with the entire US record industry for $105 million, while in 2007 Kazaa settled for $100 million, and both services enabled vastly more infringement than MP3tunes.com, and the settlements were with all the majors, not just one. Though those deals were ultimately settled out of court, and it remains to be seen if Robertson will be willing to do that.

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APPLE CO-FOUNDER CONFIRMS SUPPORT FOR DOTCOM
After former MegaUpload chief Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz posted a photo of himself with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak when he returned to Twitter last week, the former Apple man has now spoken out in support of his new friend, who, of course, faces criminal charges of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering in the US.

Speaking to C-Net, Wozniak says he believes America's case against Dotcom and the other former MegaUpload chiefs is unjust, partly by employing the classic 'net companies are just postmen' argument, but partly by insisting Dotcom et al were trying hard to reduce the illegal use of their file-transfer and video-sharing websites.

Wozniak: "When crimes occur through the mail, you don't shut the post office down. When governments dream up charges of 'racketeering' for a typical IT guy who is just operating a file-sharing service, or accuse him of mail fraud because he said he had removed files [to alleged infringing content] when he'd just removed the links to them, this is evidence of how poorly thought out the attempt to extradite him is. Prosecutors are attempting to take advantage of loopholes. Too bad for the US government that Dotcom lives in New Zealand, which is better on human rights".

He also criticised the US government for not allowing Dotcom et al sufficient access to their frozen funds to cover the legal costs of fighting the charges against them. He continued: "How unfair that the United States will allow him living expenses out of his frozen assets but not give him any legal fees. The side with access to the funds spends millions on lawyers hoping the other side goes bankrupt and gives in. Shame on the system that permits this one-sided advantage. [But] Kim is well enough liked and respected that his legal team is working without up-front payment".

Adding that he was no fan of piracy, Wozniak concluded that he felt traditional content companies were too quick to see technical innovations and innovators as a threat, rather than working with them to open up new opportunities. He concluded: "I will note that Apple was the pioneer in finding the first good compromise [with the music industry over the legal distribution of MP3 files] with iTunes. Thank heavens that this wasn't stopped at the beginning".

Of course American prosecutors will argue that Dotcom et al had no intention of working with entertainment companies to generate new opportunities. Rather they recognised that quick commercial success could only be achieved by allowing (and encouraging) users to upload large amounts of unlicensed content, that other users would then flock to access, while hiding behind the 'legitimate user' and 'DMCA takedown system' defences when accused of contributory copyright infringement; even though - prosecutors will argue - legitimate users were never core to the business, and the DMCA takedown system was deliberately shoddy.

As much previously reported, the US is trying to extradite Dotcom and six other men, four in total from New Zealand, to face the various charges against them and their company. Defence lawyers, as well as denying all the charges made against their clients, also argue that the US cannot prosecute the MegaUpload corporate entity because it had no base in America, and that the personal charges against the Mega execs are not sufficiently serious to justify extradition.

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PLACEBO COVER STAR THREATENS TO SUE
David Fox, who, as a twelve year old, appeared on the cover of Placebo's 1996 eponymous debut album, has announced that he is planning to sue the band for using the image without his consent. Now 28, Fox says that the bullying he suffered following the album's success caused him to drop out of school and has had a detrimental effect on his adult life.

Speaking to The Times, he said: "What had happened was my brother had just passed away, and my cousin came up from London to see me. He was a professional photographer, and he took some photographs of my family for his personal use. He brought up all his equipment and got me to do a few poses outside".

A month later, he says, his cousin called him to tell him he was going to be on an album cover. "Within a week it was out in the shops. It was in Virgin, it was in HMV, it was in Tesco, it was all over the place. I was watching 'Eastenders' with my mum and I saw one of the billboards by the Tube station and it had my face on there. Nobody wanted me on their side or anything like that. Even the teachers used to pull me aside and ask me about this CD cover".

He says he now plans to use his mother's savings and "every bit of spare money" in order to launch a lawsuit against the band next month. Though it's not clear as yet on what grounds, given that the copyright in the image will have initially belonged to his cousin, and if he sues on privacy grounds, that may require also taking action against his relation.

Meanwhile, Placebo's management, Riverman, told The Times that Fox should direct any claims to EMI's Virgin, which released the record, rather than the band themselves.

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SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA ANNOUNCE SPLIT
Swedish House Mafia, aka the Scandinavian DJ 'supergroup' comprising Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso, have decided to disband as soon as their summer tour is over. Having formed in 2004, the trio have since released a studio LP (2010's 'Until One') and several singles - not least the Tinie Tempah-featuring 'Miama 2 Ibiza' and recent hit 'Greyhound'.

An official statement issued last week by Axwell, Angello and Ingrosso, who will presumably now concentrate on their solo careers, reads: "Today we want to share with you, that the tour we are about to go on will be our last. We want to thank every single one of you that came with us on this journey. We came, we raved, we loved".

The tour in question will take place throughout July and August, and includes a date at the Milton Keynes Bowl on 14 Jul.

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ANDRE 3000, EARL SWEATSHIRT TO FEATURE ON FRANK OCEAN DEBUT
Odd Future cohort Frank Ocean has shared the tracklisting from what's to be his official debut LP, 'Channel Orange'. Singer-songwriter John Mayer, Outkast's Andre 3000 and once-exiled OFWGKTA MC Earl Sweatshirt will all feature as guest collaborators on the forthcoming record, which is released via Universal's Def Jam on 16 Jul.

There's also some unimaginative 'Channel Orange' cover artwork to look at, so do so at frankocean.com

Tracklisting:

Start
Thinkin Bout You
Fertilizer
Sierra Leone
Sweet Life
Not Just Money
Super Rich Kids (feat Earl Sweatshirt)
Pilot Jones
Crack Rock
Pyramids
Lost
White (feat John Mayer)
Bad Religion
Pink Matter (feat Andre 3000)
Forrest Gump
End

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SUSANNE SUNDFØR LP GIVEN UK RELEASE
Having reached number one in the Norwegian charts upon its initial issue in March, the new studio LP from CMU approved chanteuse Susanne Sundfør has just been granted a UK release. 'The Silicone Veil', as it's entitled, will be out via Sonnet Sound on 8 Oct.

Here's the video for Sundfør's forthcoming single 'White Foxes'.

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THE ANTLERS PREVIEW NEW EP
The Antlers have made public part of their forthcoming EP, 'Undersea', as is set for release by ANTI-Records on 23 Jul. The four-track EP will represent the New York indie troupe's most substantial output since last year's long player 'Burst Apart'.

Stream 'Drift Dive', as features first on the EP's tracklisting (alongside 'Endless Ladder', 'Crest' and 'Zelda'), here.

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TASHAKI MIYAKI TO RELEASE SINGLE
Last glimpsed releasing an eponymous (and CMU approved) 2011 EP via Sounds Of Sweet Nothing, shoegaze twosome Tashaki Miyaki have now signed to Love Love Love Records for the release of double A-side single 'Best Friend/Tonight'.

In the interest of promoting said single, the duo will also play the first of several tour dates at the Tunbridge Wells Forum on 22 Jul.

Listen to one half of the new record in the form of 'Best Friend' now, if you like.

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NICKI MINAJ TO TOUR ARENAS
Hip pop oddity Nicki Minaj (and her weird alter ego, Roman Zolanski) is to visit the live stage version of her new LP, 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded', upon eight fortunate UK arenas, having just listed as many tour dates to take place throughout late October/early November.

And the dates are:

21 Oct: Nottingham Arena
22 Oct: Manchester Arena
24 Oct: Liverpool, Echo Arena
25 Oct: Newcastle Arena
27 Oct: Birmingham, LG Arena
30 Oct: London, O2 Arena
3 Nov: Sheffield, Arena
7 Nov: Cardiff Arena

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RANCID ANNOUNCE 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
US punks Rancid will mark their 20th anniversary with a sure-to-be-significant British and Irish tour. Beginning in Belfast on 28 Nov, the fourteen date outing includes two successive nights at the Forum in London's Kentish Town also featuring co-headliners Cock Sparrer.

Meanwhile Rancid, who have been talking about a new studio LP - their eighth to date - for almost a year now, will begin recording in November prior to the tour.

Here's a montage marking their time as a band.

Tour dates:

28 Nov: Belfast, Mandela Hall
29 Nov: Dublin, Academy
1 Dec: Nottingham, Rock City
2 Dec: Glasgow, Barrowlands
3 Dec: Liverpool, Academy
4 Dec: Newcastle, Academy
6 Dec: Leeds, Academy
7 Dec: Manchester, Academy
8 Dec: Birmingham, The Ballroom
10 Dec: Norwich, UEA
11 Dec: Bournemouth, Academy
12 Dec: Bristol, Academy
14 Dec: London, The Forum
15 Dec: London, The Forum

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EL-P PLOTS SEPTEMBER OUTING
Brooklyn rapper El-P has a new solo LP entitled 'C4C' out at the moment, and thus has announced a rare live excursion in view of this fact.

See El-P at the following:

12 Sep: London, The Scala
13 Sep: Brighton, The Haunt
15 Sep: Birmingham, Rainbow Warehouse
16 Sep: Bristol, The Fleece
19 Sep: Manchester, Academy 3

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ALT-J LIST HEADLINE DATES
Self-styled "folk-step" quartet Alt-J, whose debut LP 'An Awesome Wave' is still making er... waves in the wake of its release earlier this year - have confirmed they'll take a headline tour of nine of our nation's cities.

If you haven't yet heard the band's next single, 'Tessellate' (which, according to Alt-J's Joe Newman was written about "the lingering of an old flame and the physical intimacy shared with that particular individual", no less), then why not preview it prior to its 16 Jul release via this SoundCloud player.

In keeping with the same Alt-J theme, here's the playlist that keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton compiled for us but a month ago.

And finally, to those tour dates:

27 Oct: Manchester, RNCM
28 Oct: Leeds, Cockpit
29 Oct: Glasgow, Oran Mor
30 Oct: Norwich, Waterfront
31 Oct: Birmingham, Academy 2
2 Nov: Oxford, Academy
3 Nov: Bristol, Trinity
4 Nov: Brighton, Concorde
5 Nov: London, Electric Ballroom

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FESTIVAL OF FESTIVALS TO LAUNCH IN BLACKPOOL
A new festival of festivals will launch in Blackpool later this year called One Of These Days, which will see the people behind sixteen other music events each programme a stage in the seaside town's Winter Gardens complex, sitting underneath the Blackpool Tower. Field Day, Øya Festival, Melt!, Kendal Calling, the Glastonbury Dance Village, End Of The Road, SWN Festival, The Warehouse Project and the Eden Sessions are among the other festivals due to take part.

Commenting on the motivation for the new event, which will take place on 8 and 9 Dec, One Of These Days promoter Ruth Daniels told CMU: "We had been thinking about starting a boutique festival in the North West of England for a while. The idea just clicked when we saw the Winter Gardens, the space is so conducive to housing lots of different events at the same time. So we decided to invite all the amazing festivals we have seen around the world to come to recreate micro versions of their events across this amazing space".

Explaining how it will work, Daniels continues: "Each of the sixteen festivals has a venue for one day and night. They will take over the space, bringing a music line up and strong visual elements that reflect their festival. As you walk around The Winter Gardens each space will look and sound completely different, and we have over 150 of the most exciting bands and DJs that have all featured on the stages of the festivals involved. You can buy a day or weekend ticket and that will get you into everything!"

More info at www.oneofthesedaysfestival.com

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

ATP CURATED BY THE NATIONAL, Pontins , Camber Sands, 7-9 Dec: Amongst the attractions just added to ATP's superlative The National-curated edition are Pedro Soler & Gaspar Claus, The Philistines JR and - very excitingly - Wild Beasts, who'll play their third LP 'Smother' in its entirety. The Kronos Quartet, The Antlers, Owen Pallett, Boris, Sharon Van Etten and Kurt Vile are amongst those acts already announced. www.atpfestival.com/events/thenational.php

CORNBURY MUSIC FESTIVAL, The Great Tew Estate, Chipping Norton, 29 Jun - 1 Jul: Charlotte Church, Honey Ryder and rock vet Steve Winwood are the newest features of Cornbury's classic live line-up, which also includes Elvis Costello & The Imposters, James Morrison, Jools Holland, Ruby Turner and Alison Moyet. www.cornburyfestival.com

LONDON BLUESFEST, various venues, London, 26 Jun - 6 Jul: With Texas's Charlene Spiteri, Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor just confirmed as special guests at solo Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood's BluesFest set, they join Erykah Badu, Nick Lowe, Van Morrison, Tom Jones, George Benson and Hugh Laurie in the wider programme of this London festival. www.bluesfest.co.uk

SZIGET, Danube, Budapest, Hungary, 8-13 Aug: Hungary's premiere five-day music spectacular announces the addition to its bill of Snoop Dogg, Sum 41, Leftfield and SebastiAn, all of whom will join The Stone Roses, Placebo, The xx, The Killers and many more on Sziget's 2012 listings. www.sziget.hu

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HENLEY BUSINESS SCHOOL TO THROW SPOTLIGHT ON BRAND MUSIC PARTNERSHIPS
The people behind the previously reported new music industry focused MBA course at the Henley Business School will this week stage the first of what are planned to be quarterly "business engagement seminars", bringing together practitioners to focus on a different area of the music business. The first seminar will focus on brand music partnerships, and will be led by Will Higham from consumer research consultancy Next Big Thing.

Explaining why such partnerships are becoming ever more important, Higham told CMU: "Brands and music are two of the biggest purchase drivers in the world. Brands drive 20% of purchase decision and up to 80% of company value. Meanwhile over half of all Britons claim to be passionate about music and three quarters claim it can have a positive impact on purchase choice. But the negative impact of a weak economy and new technologies means both now need to drive greater revenue levels and streams. Combining two such enormous purchase drivers can offer a solution".

He continues: "Brands bring reach and scale, music brings credibility and content. The future lies in combining them. And not just in traditional areas such as synch and sponsorship, but in new areas such as discovery platforms, apps, promo product placement and creating social glue".

Representatives of brand partnership agencies Vision Artists and Capitalise will join artist manager Jonathan Shalit and AEG Live's Peter Palmer among the line-up of experts to share their viewpoints with a delegation of brand and music industry professionals at the seminar event, being held in Henley on Thursday morning. The new MBA course will begin at the Business School in September.

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CHERRYTREE CHIEF DEPARTS UNIVERSAL
Universal executive Martin Kierszenbaum is departing the major, and is taking his Cherrytree Records imprint with him. The songwriter and A&R exec has headed up Interscope division Cherrytree (a sort of play on the German-to-English translation of his surname) since 2005, and has enjoyed successes with Feist, LMFAO, La Rouz and Robyn, and was involved in Lady Gaga's first two records for the major too.

Confirming his departure from Universal, which seemingly comes after the exec and the major couldn't agree terms for a new contract, Kierszenbaum told Billboard the he'd leave Interscope at the end of the week and looked "forward to sharing our plans for the next chapter of Cherrytree soon".

It's not yet clear what Kierszenbaum's departure, and Cherrytree seemingly becoming independent of the major, means for those artists currently signed to Interscope/Cherrytree deals.

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GIGWISE RELAUNCHES WEBSITE
Music website Gigwise has relaunched its site with a new look, which Simon Perlaki, CEO of Publisher Giant Digital, says "gives more emphasis on the content". While admitting the revamp, as with any big website overhaul, had been a long process, Perlaki told CMU: "The feedback so far has been very positive, so we're confident the new site will be welcomed by our users and continue to grow".

The new site has been designed by Michael Pumo at London agency Branch, who said of the new look: "The design is bold, unpretentious and straight-forward. Users will now find it easier to consume the content they want, without the design itself becoming a barrier. Improvements have also been made to increase usability on touch devices like the Apple iPad. The website will continue to be refined and improved as we collect feedback from our users in the near future".

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SPICE GIRLS TO REUNITE FOR PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY
The Spice Girls will reunite later today for a press conference to announce the launch of their musical, 'Viva Forever'. Even Victoria Beckham will be there. I know, I can't believe it either. A press conference!

A 'source' (ie PR person) told The Sun: "There's been rumours knocking about that Victoria wasn't going to show - but she always made it a priority. She was never going to miss the launch and is looking forward to seeing the rest of the girls. The musical is a proud moment for them all. It will be emotional".

It won't be emotional, it will be a press conference. A press conference about a West End show that isn't even going to open until December.

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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