|WHAT IS THIS? The CMU Daily - to which you are subscribed. Unsubscribe information is at the end.
NOTE: Make sure you 'enable images' to see this e-bulletin properly. CLICK HERE to read this online.
MOST STAKEHOLDERS SATISFIED WITH UNIVERSAL'S EMI CONCESSIONS, BUT SOME PUSH FOR MORE
As previously reported, despite initially saying no concessions would be required, last month Universal proposed pretty radical remedies to placate concerns expressed in Europe about its attempt to acquire the EMI labels. They included selling entire EMI units in some territories, and the Parlophone and Chrysalis record labels in the UK. EC regulators have since been questioning other interested parties about those proposals.
And some of those who oppose the deal have told regulators they should demand Universal promise even more wide-ranging divestments, especially in Germany, Italy and Spain. They also want a commitment by Universal to sell some non-European catalogues, ie to offload recordings from American artists with international reach, many of who dominate in Europe.
The European Commission alluded to the latter matter itself in the questionnaire it handed to stakeholders about the concessions, while opponents to the deal in the US have also now started to call for similar divestments Stateside as those proposed in Europe. It remains to be seen if America's Federal Trade Commission, investigating the deal in the context of US anti-trust laws, is persuaded of that need.
It's thought Universal will try to resist any major sell off of this kind in both the US and Europe, not least because too big a divestment of US assets would start to make the entire acquisition undesirable given the price the mega-major is paying current owners Citigroup for EMI Music.
Informa's Simon Dyson told Bloomberg: "If Universal Music has to give up the global rights for everything it would push the deal toward unprofitability. Universal has invested a lot of money into this deal and if it doesn't go through, then they have to sell EMI, and companies won't offer them anything near what they paid for it".
Meantime, we continue to await official word from regulators on both sides of the Atlantic.
HMV SAYS IT WILL RETURN TO PROFIT AFTER CONFIRMED LOSSES
HMV bosses might point out that tech sales were up 51% in the run up to Christmas last year, and that that department now accounts for 11% of the firm's sales, though as Seymour Pierce analyst Kate Calvert told the Financial Times: "[HMV's] markets are under structural pressures, with the move online and the supermarkets' aggressive pricing. The move into technology has helped them but does not differentiate them. It's not going to drive new footfall".
But back to the rosy predictions of future growth, and outgoing CEO Simon Fox told investors yesterday: "We are confident that the actions we have taken will enable us to significantly improve cash generation and make profits of at least £10m in the year ahead".
HMV, of course, has recently sold off various units in order to reduce debts, forcing the firm to refocus its energies on its high street business, despite mainstream high street entertainment retail arguably being in terminal decline.
The next unit expected to be sold is the rest of the MAMA Group live music division, the sale of MAMA's biggest venue - the Hammersmith Apollo - to an AEG/Eventim JV having been completed this week when regulator approval was confirmed in both the UK and Germany (Eventim is a German company).
IFPI WELCOMES CLOSURE OF DEMONOID
IFPI anti-piracy guru Jeremy Banks told CMU: "Demonoid was a leading global player in digital music piracy which acted as unfair competition to the more than 500 licensed digital music services that offer great value music to consumers while respecting the rights of artists, songwriters and record companies".
He continued: "The operation to close Demonoid was a great example of international cooperation to tackle a service that was facilitating the illegal distribution of music on a vast scale. I would like to thank all those officers involved in this operation to close a business that was built on the abuse of other people's rights".
PHOTOGRAPHER ASKS FOR BIEBER CHASE CASE TO BE DISMISSED
As previously reported, Bieber filed a complaint against photographer Paul Raef after being stopped by police for speeding last month. The singer said that he was being chased and was trying to escape. Raef was arrested and, as well as facing other charges, became the first person to be charged under new-ish anti-paparazzi laws in California which aims to punish photographers who create dangerous situations is search of profit.
Raef's lawyer, David Kestenbaum, yesterday asked the judge hearing the case to dismiss the charges on the grounds that laws against reckless driving already exist and a specific law against photographers violates their first amendment rights to, as members of the free press, get a story. The story in this case presumably being that Justin Bieber was driving a car.
The judge refused to make an immediate decision and postponed arraignment until 24 Aug.
Speaking to TMZ outside the court, Kestenbaum said: "There are already laws in place that apply to this, specific for reckless driving. [The new law being used here] just targets a specific class of people with enhanced penalties for reckless driving to get a photograph ... I believe it violates the first amendment right of news gatherers to get photographs and there already is a law of general flexibility on the books, so there's no need to have a new specific law".
He added that Bieber had seemingly got off very lightly, saying: "It's interesting that he's [Raef] cited for reckless driving and the other charge, whereas the individual he was allegedly chasing [Bieber] was driving a much faster car and, according to some of the reports I've read, driving a lot faster, but only received a speeding ticket".
If convicted, Raef faces up to twelve months in prison and a fine of $3500.
COUNTRY STAR RANDY TRAVIS ARRESTED AFTER ATTEMPT TO BUY CIGARETTES NAKED
According to NBC, a convenience store in Pilot Point, Texas called police to report that a naked man had attempted to buy cigarettes - leaving angrily when asked how he would pay for them. Shortly afterwards, a second person called police to report a naked man lying on the side of the road, having crashed his vehicle.
The Grayson County Sheriff's Department said that when police found Travis, he refused blood and breath tests, but smelled strongly of alcohol and showed other signs of intoxication, so was arrested for drunk driving. This would have put him in line for a maximum $2000 fine and possibly a short jail sentence. However, during the arrest Travis reportedly threatened to shoot the officers, which added resisting arrest to his charge and increased his potential sentence to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Travis was already on probation for an earlier charge of public intoxication. In February this year, he was discovered drunk in his car outside a church in Sanger, Texas, and was fined and placed on 90 day probation in June. However, because he was charged in Denton County, rather than Grayson County, his parole is not considered to have been violated here.
EDWYN COLLINS MAKING SOLO LP, DOCUMENTARY FILM
Collins, who is soon to be honoured with an AIM Award for Outstanding Contribution To Music, will also appear in new documentary film 'In Your Voice, In Your Heart'. Made by the people behind LCD Soundsystem's 'Shut Up And Play The Hits' and featuring an original score composed by Hawley, it's a part-fictional account of Collins' 2005 stroke and subsequent recuperation. You can see a short trailer for it here.
DEADMAU5 INTRODUCES NEW LP
Apparently, or so says a statement published earlier this week, Deadmau5 will remain "unplugged" (ie on hiatus) whilst all this is going on, though he assures fans this won't affect the '> album title goes here <' campaign.
Anyway, and as Deadmau5 might say, > album tracklisting goes here <. Well, here:
SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO SAMPLE NEW EP
A Form Of Change
PYRAMID VRITRA GIVES AWAY LONG PLAYER
Approved by CMU back in October on the basis of his first long player 'The Story Of Marsha Lotus', the rapper - real name Hal Williams - is also known for his collaborations with OF offshoot The Jet Age Of Tomorrow aka Super 3, and ten-member experimental collective NRK.
INDEPENDENT RECORD SHOP DOCUMENTARY GETS DVD RELEASE DATE
The film documents the rise of record shops in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and speaks to the staff of 28 stores (some of which have sadly already closed) about the issues they face now, as well as musicians including Paul Weller, Johnny Marr, Norman Cook, Billy Bragg, Nerina Pallot, Richard Hawley and Clint Boon.
It will be released on DVD on 10 Sep, with screenings at selected cinemas up to the end of the year. For more information click here - www.lastshopstanding.com - and watch the trailer for the film here.
ALEXISONFIRE LIST FAREWELL DATES
In a statement, the band said: "We couldn't be more excited to get on the road and travel and hit the stage one last time - most importantly we wanted to keep our promise to you guys. We're going to be playing till the venues try to kick us off the stage. We're talking 20+ songs a night. We said we'd return for some proper farewell shows. And here they are".
MARK LANEGAN TO PLAY LONDON FORUM
And here they are now, playing album tracks 'The Gravedigger's Song', 'St Louis Elegy', 'Riot In My House' and 'Harborview Hospital' in session for 4AD.
TAMARYN ADD SHOWS
Having so far outlined bookings at Manchester's Soup Kitchen (14 Oct) and London's Lexington (15 Oct), it looks likely that they'll add further stops as part of a more substantial run.
You can stay dialled to tamarynmusic.com/tour for details, and in the meantime listen to the band's new track 'I'm Gone', as will feature on 'Tender Signs' when it's released via Mexican Summer on 15 Oct.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
ELECTRIC PICNIC, Stradbally Hall Estate, Co Laois, Ireland, 31 Aug - 2 Sep: Richie Hawtin, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Lianne La Havas, Perfume Genius, Mark Lanegan, Dry The River, Cold Specks, Cashier No 9, Of Monsters And Men, Matador, Kimbra, Fat Lady Sings, David Kitt, God Is An Astronaut, Delorentos, Kormac's Big Band, Jeffrey Lewis, Turn, Cathy Davey, Ham SandwicH, Cold Orchestra, The Kanyu Tree, The Riptide Movement, The Wonder Villains, Ryan Sheridan, Cranes, A Plastic Rose, Cloud Castle Lake, Squarehead, Bats, Gareth Dunlop, Tieranniesaur, Kid Karate, Rainy Boy Sleep and Katie Kim. www.electricpicnic.ie
ITUNES FESTIVAL, The Roundhouse, London, 1-30 Sep: Lana Del Rey, Conor Maynard and Robert Glasper. www.itunesfestival.com
V FESTIVAL, Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex/Weston Park, Staffordshire, 18-19 Aug: Conor Maynard, The Milk, Devlin, Minus The Bear, Niki & The Dove, Ren Harvieu, Aiden Grimshaw, Lonsdale Boys Club, Bo Bruce, Australian Pink Floyd, Dot Rotten, All The Young, Josh Jumra, Gabrielle Aplin, Random Impulse, Juan Zelada, Delilah, Propaganda DJs, Gentleman's Dub Club, Josh Osho, Mull Historical Society, Selah Sue and Nneka. www.vfestival.com
SUPERSONIC, Custard Factory, Birmingham, 19-21 Oct: Oxbow Orchestra and Lash Frenzy. www.supersonicfestival.com
BEASTIE BOY ADAM YAUCH'S WILL BANS HIS MUSIC FROM ADS
The document states: "Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes".
The will also leaves $6.4 million to Yauch's wife Dechen and their daughter Tenzin Losel.
WARNER REVENUES SLIP, BUT LOSSES DOWN OVERALL
Digital revenue continued to boom, offsetting the continued slump in physical sales. The major said its digital revenues were up 13% (16% with constant currencies), and now accounted for 41.5% of all recorded music income.
CEO Stephen Cooper said he felt that the continued growth of digital gave reason to be optimistic, telling reporters: "There were several bright spots in our results for the quarter. In our recorded music business, strong growth in digital revenue more than offset the decline in physical revenue on a constant-currency basis, showing the promise of the industry's transformation".
TESCO TO INSTALL CD BURNING MACHINES
It's interesting mainly because such devices were discussed a lot in the late 1990s when the cost of CD burning technology first started to plummet, and indeed was piloted in some quarters, but never really took off.
You might think that in the download age such machines are already redundant, but perhaps for the mainstream consumers they are aimed at they could help keep CD sales going a few more years. Certainly it requires less floor space for Tesco, and less financial risk for labels.
The CD burning machines have been set up in two Tesco stores so far, one in Essex and one in the West Midlands, and it remains to be seen if they catch on. Says Tesco's entertainment geezer Rob Salter: "We can offer an incredibly wide range of albums and movies without taking up space in stores".
COX TO FILL IN FOR COTTON'S MATERNITY LEAVE
Cotton confirmed she is pregnant with her first child with boyfriend Jesse 'son of Rolling Stone Ronnie' Wood earlier this week.
She shared the news via her official blog, saying: "Jesse and I are very happy to announce we are having a baby. We are over the moon, morning sickness aside (me, not Jess) and looking forward to the little Cotton-Woods arrival".
CMU BEEF OF THE WEEK #122: PROFESSOR GREEN V EMI
And on top of that, this week they had to deal with an essay length rant from Professor Green via his Twitter account. Though, the EMI-signed rapper would argue, that's their own fault.
"Why would your own record label hinder you? Answers on a postcard", he began on Tuesday. "I just can't help but question why some people have jobs. All I do is work, so I get extremely pissed off when people don't do theirs. Dignified silence is pointless. A rushed second single, the 'Remedy' video a month late and now similar problems with the 'Avalon' video unfold".
He continued: "I don't understand what part of having a cool job means everything is perfect... I'm trying to make sure I keep my job is all. How would you feel if a company taking 25% of your earnings weren't doing their jobs properly? Would you pay someone not doing their job?"
He returned again shortly afterwards when one follower told him that, as a millionaire, he had nothing to complain about. The rapper wrote: "Millionaire? No ... Here's the real [situation], if you're ready. A live gig = 10% to agent, costs and expenses, 20% management commission then 25% to a label who hardly even come to gigs let alone help. That's the industry, which actually didn't seem that bad when just getting simple things done wasn't a blood from a stone scenario".
Acknowledging that people might have other things on their mind at EMI right now, he started handing out career advice: "If everyone at EMI is quaking in their shoes about their jobs because of the Universal situ, why not do your jobs properly? Simple solution? A lot of artists feel the same but we all just bend over... Fuck that. You can't chat to me about work, I used to pay my band with money I made from club PAs because I wanted to put on a proper show".
After some more negative responses from followers, he said: "Just to reiterate something for the stupid, my problem isn't that they take that money, it's that there are people not working for it. It is a liberty but piracy forever changed the industry so it's adapting... We need labels, labels need artists. We all need to do our JOBS!"
Finally, and allowing at least some EMIers to feel a little bit better about things, he concluded: "There are a lot of people who are amazing at their jobs at EMI and even more frustrating is the shit they have to endure for having an artist's best interests at heart".