DOTCOM UNVEILS MEGA TEASER SITE
As previously reported, Dotcom had already revealed his plans for MegaUpload v2, to be called Mega, in an interview with Wired. The big difference to v1 is that files uploaded to the new Mega platform will be automatically encrypted, in theory making it harder for the Mega site to become a rampant source of unlicensed movie and music files, and either way, according to Mega's lawyers, the encryption would remove any liability for copyright infringement from the service's operators.
The Mega teaser web page put online yesterday at kim.com/mega/ explains all that in a little bit more detail, while also calling for hosting and API partners, and possible investors, interested in helping Mega go live. As previously reported, US prosecutors have already claimed that by launching Mega Dotcom may be in breach of his bail terms in New Zealand, and could face extra criminal charges in the US if and when the Americans manage to extradite him.
Dotcom's lawyers do not concur with that viewpoint, though Team Mega will not repeat their past mistake of hosting their service in the US, knowing that using servers elsewhere in the world will make it harder for the American authorities to take the thing offline. In his call for hosting partners, Dotcom claims: "It is not safe for cloud storage sites or any business allowing user-generated content to be hosted on servers in the United States, or on domains like .com/.net. The US government is frequently seizing domains without offering service providers a hearing or due process".
TAYLOR SWIFT ALBUM HAS MEGA-SALES STATESIDE, THOUGH STILL A LONG WAY OFF BEATING ADELE
First week sales in the US in excess of 1.2 million are the eighth biggest single-week-sales scored by an album in the US since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking such things in 1991, and the biggest sales scored in one week since 2002's 'The Eminem Show'. It also means she already has the third biggest selling album of the year behind Adele's '21' and One Direction's 'Up All Night'.
'Up All Night' has sold just over 1.3 million copies, meaning Swift will likely outsell the boy band's debut longer player, released in the US back in March, by the end of the year, unless the release of the second 1D album later this month results in renewed interest in the 'X-Factor' alumni's debut.
Adele's '21', despite being released in America in February 2011, and despite the singer doing almost zero promotional work in the last twelve months (what with the poorly throat and pregnancy), has sold an off the wall 4.1 million units in the US this year alone, making it unlikely Swift will end 2012 with the best selling album overall, however much pizza she bundles in with the record.
Even if Swift does out perform 1D by the end of December, that will still be two British acts in the top three best selling albums of the year in the US, which is quite an achievement for UK music. Plus if the top two best sellers of the year are Adele and Swift, that will be two independently released albums at the top (even if Sony did handle distribution of the former in the US).
And, of course, if the three biggest albums in the US in 2012 are from Adele (Beggars released, Sony distributed), Swift (Big Machine released) and 1D (Sony released), well, perhaps we don't need to worry about the Universal/EMI merger after all. Given neither major is seemingly capable of releasing a best-selling album in America anymore. Or perhaps the mega-major just wasn't trying in a bid to fool those 'market dominance' obsessed regulators. Though now that pretence is no longer required, fingers crossed for Gaga in 2013, I guess.
ONE DIRECTION LEAD CALENDAR CHARTS
Well, more good news for the 1D camp in that department, as the Syco boyband are leading UK calendar sales this year, despite diving chap Tom Daley hoping to cash in on all that Olympic fever (remember that?) by taking his top off and tolerating an awful lot of water being thrown at him.
But the 1D boys - Harry, Niall, Zayn, erm, Bob and Sebastian? - are leading by quite a margin. A very big margin in fact. According to the Daily Mail, the 1D calendar has outsold every other one in the top ten, and has caused a 10% rise in calendar sales overall.
Anyway, here's the top ten:
1. One Direction
LINDBERG REJOINS PENNYWISE
Lindberg's return to Pennywise was apparently initiated by Teglas, who injured his back during a show earlier this year. While recovering, he decided to quit and contacted Lindberg to suggest he return for the band's 25th anniversary, which the outfit will mark with a show in LA in January next year. Having agreed with that suggestion, Lindberg will also play a number of shows with the band in South and North America this month.
In a statement, the rest of Pennywise said: "We're happy to announce that Jim is rejoining Pennywise and we're all looking forward to playing music together again".
Let's celebrate by watching the video for 'Alien'.
WARP RELEASING BROADCAST FILM SOUNDTRACK
The Peter Strickland-directed movie, as was premiered back in August via Warp Films, stars actor Toby Jones as a foley engineer commissioned to score a low-budget film titled 'The Equestian Vortex'. Broadcast were originally asked to create the soundtrack for the film within the film, but subsequently created the soundtrack for the wider movie too.
CAT POWER SHARES BANKRUPTCY AND HEALTH CONCERNS; MAY CANCEL TOUR
Enclosing a capitalised note to fans via Instagram, Marshall says: "I may have to cancel my European tour due to bankruptcy and my health struggle with angioedema. I have not thrown in any towel, I am trying to figure out what best I can do. Heart broken. Worked so hard. Got sick day after 'Sun' came out and been struggling to keep all points of me in equilibrium: mind, spirit, body healthy centered and grounded. I am doing the best I can. I fucking love this planet. I refuse to give up. Though I may need to restratagize for my security and health".
GRIMES VOIDS EUROPEAN DATES
Boucher promises that refunds for all shows will be available at point of purchase.
LANA DEL REY TO TOUR IN MAY
12 May: Birmingham, Academy
And as if we weren't all already aware, the deluxe 'Paradise Edition' of Lana's debut LP 'Born To Die' is released on 12 Nov.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
CTM, various venues, Berlin, Germany, 28 Jan - 3 Feb 2013: Iceage, Matmos, Diamond Version, Atsuhiro Ito, Emptyset, Myrninerest, Agnieszka Dziubak, Werner Dafeldecker, L'Art Pour L'Art, Oneirogen, Mark Fell, Florian Hecker, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Jar Moff, Lee Gamble, Heatsick. www.ctm-festival.de
SNOWBOMBING, various venues, Mayrhofen, Austria, 1-6 Apr 2013: Kasabian, Example, Katy B, Disclosure, Rudimental, Foreign Beggars, Ms Dynamite, P Money. www.snowbombing.com
UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL APPOINTS NEW COMMS CHIEF
Tomlinson was most recently Senior VP of Artist Relations at EMI Music, though previously spent seven years in a PR role at EMI's publishing business. In her new role at UMG International, which oversees the major's operations outside the US, she will report into both UMGI COO Max Hole and Universal's overall Chief Communications Officer Peter LoFrumento.
Confirming the appointment, Hole told CMU: "We're fortunate to have someone as experienced and respected in our industry as Caryn for the tasks ahead. She has built up an incredible reputation all around the world, and her EMI knowledge and relationships will be invaluable for our integrated company. She will also bring a new, fresh approach to the way we do things".
Tomlinson herself added: "I am thrilled to be joining UMG at such a pivotal moment for the music business, and look forward to helping shape the communications strategies necessary for the changing future of that business. Artists need the support of global music companies more than ever, and Universal Music is uniquely placed to support them across all their creative ambitions. I'm also delighted that I can continue working with so many of EMI's artists around the globe while discovering the incredible roster of UMG artists".
On White's departure, Hole continued: "Adam has made significant contributions to our changing business, and we will all miss him. He is respected and trusted by all the journalists, artists, artist managers and UMG staff that he has encountered during his time here, and he leaves Universal Music with our appreciation".
COMET BACK ON THE BRINK
According to reports, the electronics seller, bought by Hailey Holdings, a subsidiary of private equity group OpCapita, for £2 this time last year, has been trading without credit insurance, which will make its suppliers wary of providing goods on standard terms, which could make it hard for the retail company to stock up ahead of the all important Christmas shopping rush. 6000 jobs could be lost if the company collapses.
The demise of Comet might make some investment types question HMV's current strategy to improve its fortunes by selling more consumer electronics, a strategy put in place by HMV's former CEO, and a former Comet MD, Simon Fox. Though others might say that the collapse of Comet could provide a new opportunity for the flagging entertainment retailer as it moves ever more into gadgets.
CUESONGS ANNOUNCES BMG DEAL
Confirming all this, CueSongs CEO Ed Averdieck told CMU: "With these agreements in place we are able to offer clients a comprehensive choice of music from both established and exciting new artists for their digital productions".
He continued: "Video production is going through the roof in this country as companies create promotional videos for their websites, for YouTube, and as part of viral campaigns. However, too often the music usage in videos is either unlicensed or of rather poor quality. Now, for the first time video producers no longer have to compromise on the music they use, and we are convinced this will give them a competitive edge by enabling them to make more impactful videos".
TUNECORE BOSSES SENSITIVE ABOUT TALKING PRICE
But while TuneCore's PR reps initially seemed interested in having one of the digital firm's current management give their side of the story, it quickly emerged that a condition of interviewing any current TuneCore exec would be that the big bad Price could not be mentioned. Which might be just one condition, but given recent events at the company, that rule would pretty much render the interview pointless, resulting in this kind of conversation.
DMN reports that "after beating around the bush a bit, this was flatly emailed to us by TuneCore's press relations group during setup: 'I'm just letting you know that he [Price] is no longer the CEO and my client, TuneCore, wants reassurance that this article will not make reference of him. That is it'".
DMN's Paul Resnikoff adds: "The interview never happened". Own goal TuneCore.
THE ORCHARD ANNOUNCES RADAR HOOK UP
Confirming the alliance, The Orchard's VP of Marketing & Corporate Communications Jaclyn Ranere told CMU: "In a continual effort to build a suite of marketing tools that most benefit our clients, we welcome Radar to The Orchard Marketplace. We look forward to watching the memorable music videos that Radar will help our artists and labels create".
While Radar chief Caroline Bottomley added: "The Orchard has proven to offer their clients the best tools out there. With YouTube's presence now commonly acknowledged within the music industry as essential for artists, stand-out music videos are a must. As an intermediary to making that happen, we're excited to become a part of The Orchard Marketplace and look forward to helping their independent labels and artists commission outstanding music videos".
MARY ANNE HOBBS LEAVES XFM
Confirming that tonight's show will be her last for the station, Hobbs says: "I'm so proud of all we've achieved with 'Music: Response' in fourteen months at Xfm. The nominations for Best Specialist Show at the radio industry's most prestigious awards, the Sony's and Arqivas, were mind-blowing. But the most exciting element for me has been the opportunity to champion next generation artists as gifted as Jake Bugg, Lianne La Havas, Alabama Shakes and Ben Howard, who've had top ten success with their debut records and are truly changing people's lives. I'm [now] planning to do some writing, and to head back out on the road to DJ live again, meanwhile I wish Xfm every success as they move forward into their next chapter".
Commenting on Hobbs' decision to leave the station, Xfm Managing Editor Chris Baughen added: "It's been an absolute pleasure to have the broadcasting legend that is Mary Anne Hobbs as part of the Xfm team. She has been passionate in her pursuit of new music and relentless in her drive to not only discover but nurture and help develop new talent. Her unwavering commitment and dedication to her craft has quite rightly led her to continued success as a broadcaster spanning several decades and we wish her all the best for the future".
REAL RADIO WALES MD STEPS DOWN AS MORE PROGRAMMES NETWORKED
Previously owned by the Guardian Media Group, Global Radio is in the process of acquiring the Real network and, although that acquisition is pending regulator approval, the in-limbo company operating both the Real and Smooth networks recently announced it would network the former's off-peak daytime output, so that outside of breakfast and drive time, daytime shows on all Real stations around the UK will come from the North West. That reduces the specific output of Real Radio Wales significantly.
Dowling is leaving the radio firm to become MD of South West Wales Media, publishers of the South Wales Evening Post. Radio Today quotes him as saying: "I'm so excited to be coming home to work for one of the most respected voices in local media. I feel privileged to lead the team at this pivotal time and I'm looking forward to working with everyone at South West Wales Media".
ONE DIRECTION TO PLAY AT HER MAJESTY'S PLEASURE
The teen quintet top off a programme also starring pop luminaries like Girls Aloud, Neil Diamond, Alicia Keys and Rod Stewart. And Robbie Williams. So, that's a nice balance, isn't it?
ITV is keeping back the show from TV screens til "early December", so we all have the interim to imagine what an elderly lady looking aghast at five adolescent boys miming to THIS will look like.
MARR ON NO SMITHS REUNION - AGAIN
It was the NME which forced the poor old Marr-ster back into a 'when will The Smiths reform?' corner, and he told the music mag: "Everybody seems to know more about a Smiths reunion than I do. Those rumours are like a sport for everyone involved, bar the people who were in the group 30 years ago. But it's not happening".
So there you have it. Though my mum's friend's aunt's neighbour's hairdresser's chiropodist says The Smiths are definitely playing Glastonbury next year, and as Marr himself has just admitted that "everybody" knows more about the Smiths reunion than he does (and "everybody" included my mum's friend's aunt's neighbour's hairdresser's chiropodist), I'm reckoning that's happening.