AEG TO RUN HYDE PARK STAGE FROM 2013
AEG takes over from main rival Live Nation, which has run the summer stage in the London park for over a decade, developing festival formats for it like Wireless and Hard Rock Calling, and this year staging a number of Olympics-themed entertainments too.
As previously reported, Live Nation recently announced it was pulling out of the bidding for the new five year contract to stage events in Hyde Park, claiming that increasingly draconian licensing conditions from Westminster Council had made producing events there ever more difficult, and that terms set out by the Royal Parks as part of the rebidding process were unacceptable.
Live Nation COO John Probyn was pretty outspoken about the issues around staging events in the London park in various interviews, telling Access All Areas: "Hyde Park is the most expensive venue in the country and the stakeholders just don't want events in there. I've kept saying that it's a fantastic site, and in its heyday it was, but for the last four years it's been a nightmare. We have no desire to be involved with a loss-leading project, or to work with someone who doesn't understand what we're doing".
He added that anyone else considering taking on the Hyde Park concerts would face an uphill struggle, with excessive noise pollution rules and curfews now routinely pissing off both artists and punters alike, while costs associated with the site make it ever more challenging to profit from the venture.
Few other live entertainment companies were ever going to be able to afford to operate a site like Hyde Park, and Live Nation's biggest rival, AEG, was always the most obvious contender. Whether the currently-for-sale AEG entertainment company will live to regret not listening to Probyn's warnings remains to be seen, execs there might be of the opinion that Live Nation has been so unusually vocal about its issues with the Royal Parks and Westminster Council mainly to pre-empt any possible "Live Nation loses prime London site to main rivals" reports.
Either way, AEG Europe boss Jay Marciano managed to be duly excited in his official statement announcing the new venture, in which he told reporters: "AEG Live is proud to be partnering with the Royal Parks in the creation of an exceptional and ground-breaking new summer festival for London. Utilising AEG's global resources and expertise in delivering similar landmark music festivals, such as the annual Coachella and Stagecoach festivals in California, this event shall set a new standard for the enjoyment of live music at this iconic location".
Possibly responding to Probyn's claims that top artists were tiring of the Hyde Park stage because of the aforementioned noise restrictions, AEG's President Of International Touring Rob Hallett added: "While Hyde Park has traditionally attracted high calibre artists, our plans for reinvigorating the venue with a fresh and innovative new event already have the artist community very excited. I look forward to bringing the world's premiere headlining talent to our pioneering new London festival".
GOVERNMENT TO CONSIDER EFFICIENCY OF GOOGLE'S ANTI-PIRACY MEASURES
As previously reported, the fact that many illegal sources of content appear high up when a web user types an artist name into the Google search engine has been one of the music industry's key piracy gripes this year. Labels themselves have been putting pressure on the web giant to downgrade unlicensed websites in its algorithms while negotiating over the Google Play music service, while lobbyists for the music, movie and other content industries have been moaning to political types about the issue too.
While Google bosses, in common with the management at most big web firms, are reluctant to become the piracy police, and sometimes point out that one of the reasons unlicensed content sites outperform legit set ups in their search engine is simply because the former have better SEO, the web company can't afford to completely piss off the big rights owners it is trying to woo for its own content services, or political types who are taking an ever increasing interest in the business's operations.
To that end, Google has introduced various measures over the last couple of years to reduce the benefits of its search and other services to websites that prolifically infringe copyright, including making it harder for such sites to rate highly in Google searches, and also stopping them from profiting from the Google Adwords platform. And in August the web firm announced that websites that are subject to large numbers of legitimate takedown notices under the American copyright system would be automatically downgraded in Google search.
However, while the music and other content industries have welcomed each of these measures, some rights owners reckon that Google could and should be doing a whole lot more. The UK government, while occasionally matey with senior Googlers, is also sympathetic to that viewpoint, and will now review how effective Google's own anti-piracy measures have been, before considering whether additional statutory obligations should be introduced as part of the long awaiting new Communications Bill. Ministers are likely to meet with all relevant stakeholders, including Google, before Christmas.
Referencing Google's most recent anti-piracy initiative, a spokesman for the UK Department Of Culture, Media & Sport told reporters: "The Department is aware of the concerns raised by rights holders that this has not had the impact that they hoped, and, together with industry, we now need to review the effect of the technical change made by Google and consider our options. This is part of a wider campaign to tackle online infringement, which includes working together with payment facilitators (such as credit card companies) and online advertising bodies to reduce the revenue flowing to seriously infringing - often criminal - sites".
VOTING OPENS FOR 2012 RECORD OF THE DAY AWARDS
Winners will be presented their gongs at an awards event at Shoreditch's Victorian Vaults, where three lifetime achievement prizes will also be dished out, this year to Regine Moylett (for PR), Miranda Sawyer (for journalism), and Jill Furmanovsky (for photography). Tickets are available for £65 here.
Meanwhile, CMU has again teamed up with Record Of The Day to open up the awards to student journalists around the UK. A unique opportunity for student writers to be recognised alongside the great and the good of the music media, any student writing about music is invited to put themselves forward.
Contenders need to write a review to deadline (Wednesday 14 November at 5pm) of the recently CMU Approved new track from Best Fit Recordings signing Faye, and to submit two other pieces of published work. All entries will be considered by a panel of music editors, with the overall winner being presented their gong this year's RotD Awards in London. The winner will also receive an internship at a relevant music magazine next year.
CMU Publisher Chris Cooke says: "The Record Of The Day Awards are always one of our favourite nights of the year, and we love the fact the awards celebrate future music media talent as well as established journalists and editors. Through our other publication, ThreeWeeks at the Edinburgh Festival, we work with and support a hundred aspiring young writers every summer at the world's biggest cultural event, so supporting the next generation of media talent is very much part of our ethos. It's great that our friends at RotD also enable us to achieve that aim in the music space via their awards".
Any students interested in entering should got to www.theCMUwebsite.com/rotdstudentaward
GARY BARLOW PRESENTED WITH MIT HONOUR
Said Gary as he received his MIT honour: "I've been doing this for 22 years now, and the one thing that's more apparent to me than ever before is how much I love performing. To be able to do it, I feel really lucky, I never want to turn my back on it. It's so special when you get something like this, because it's recognised within the industry. I'm a lover of this industry, I'd do anything to protect it, and when you're given something from that industry, I'm honoured".
A stack of music celebs, including Barlow's Take That bandmates and 'X-Factor' co-stars, attended the fundraising dinner, which included the airing of a video from Prince Charles no less, commending the pop man for all his charidee work; though given all those old clips doing the rounds of the future king bigging up Jimmy Savile for all his charitable endeavours, I'm not sure such an accolade is worth much any more. But hey, well done Gary, if only for providing hope to all those former boyband stars with failed solo careers under their belts - sometimes you do get a second chance to be pop royalty.
OCC REVEALS UK MILLION SELLERS
You'll remember the chart compiler recently confirmed that Madonna is the best selling female artist in the UK ever (in terms of single sales), but now faces tough competition from Rihanna (actually we initially reported those stats a bit wrong, but the report online is all good). Well, now the OCC has revealed the 123 tracks that have sold over a million units in the UK, all of which are profiled in a new book called 'The Million Sellers'.
When a similar list was released ten years ago for the chart's 50th anniversary only 76 tracks appeared, proving, in case it needed proving, that the single is bigger than ever in the download era. Says OCC chief Martin Talbot: "It is apt that, as we prepare to celebrate sixty years of the Official Singles Chart in the UK, we do so at a time of unprecedented demand for the single, with this year set to be the biggest year on record for sales of the format. This demand is also translating into the largest number of million- sellers we have seen - this truly is the era of the super hit".
And here they are, the list of tracks that have sold over a million units, biggest sellers first, with year of release in brackets.
1. Elton John - Something About The Way You Look Tonight/Candle In The Wind 97 (1997)
KIMBERLEY WALSH SIGNS TO DECCA
PLAN B TAKING FAME HIATUS
KANYE WEST'S CRUEL WINTER TRAILER UNOFFICIAL, SAYS DIRECTOR
RIHANNA SHARES UNAPOLOGETIC TRACKLISTING, SETS 777 DATES
That very same Rihanna, as you may know, is also orchestrating a grand world tour - the '777 Tour' - to promote the above tracks. She, her entourage and select fans and press will fly via private jet to seven nations in seven days, alighting first in London on 14 Nov. Economical, it is not.
FAZER AND BBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA LAUNCH CHILDREN IN NEED SINGLE
Entitled 'Wish I Belonged', the track also features Stooshe, Angel and Tyler James. The first live performance of the song took place in London's Hanover Square, something that was announced to fans on Twitter a few hours before it took place. The track will go on sale tomorrow.
Urban Classic was launched in 2006, bringing then relatively unknown grime artists together with one of the BBC's orchestras (that time the Concert Orchestra) for a performance at the Hackney Empire in East London. Fazer, Ms Dynamite, Devlin and Skepta were then involved in a new performance in March this year at the Barbican.
JOHNNY MARR NAMES SOLO LP
MAZES DETAIL NEW RECORD, 2013 TOUR
CAT POWER TOUR OFF AGAIN
But now Marshall has issued another statement via Instagram saying that, because of ongoing health problems, and concerns about the scaled back nature of the planned European shows, she is having to postpone her touring over here until next year.
She writes: "As many of my fans know, I've been suffering from angioedema. It can attack at random and is extremely frightening and dangerous when it hits my throat, windpipe, or tongue, and I've been hospitalised for it eight times since the first attack, 2 DAYS AFTER MY RECORD RELEASE. Since then, I worked very very hard with all the best allergists, cardiologists, neurologists, accupuncurists, homeopathists and renowned healers that I could find, Body Talk, Reiki, Yoga, etc. so that I COULD DO THIS AMERICAN TOUR".
"I did my best and I want to do MORE AND BETTER. The American tour has been wonderful and amazing, and with me being unable to AFFORD to bring my show with full production to Europe financially, really dumped a huge amount of stress on me as I was fighting trying to get it in tour support. I have to postpone my European tour until early next year, so I can return home and re-engage myself back into my health regimen. I fucking love my fans. Everything I do regarding my career, I FIRST, think of my fans and this world we all share. But right now, I HAVE TO think of myself because I have to learn trough meditation and being clear from alcohol and cigarettes and red meat and lots of rest amongst my menagerie of doctors".
"I have to think of MYSELF right now because I have to now LEARN to heal myself. Through that, I can learn to help others to heal themselves. I know my fans will understand and I thank them and love them much more than I believe they could ever know. I am here and do what I do, for them and because of them. You have kept me alive this long, I refuse to give up on you OR MYSELF. And that goes to all the journalists who write a true story as well. To you all in the struggle. May light be on your path at every step. XXx Love always".
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
ATP NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Pontins, Camber Sands, 30 Nov - 2 Dec: Kim Deal, Future Of The Left. www.atpfestival.com/events/shellacxmas.php
OPTIMUS ALIVE, Lisbon, Portugal, 12-14 Jul 2013: Depeche Mode, Two Door Cinema Club. www.optimuslive.com
INDEPENDENT LABEL MARKET ANNOUNCES TWO DAY LONDON EVENT
ILM has also announced it is expanding its partnership with the Association Of Independent Music in order to help roll out its events globally. ILM co-fouder Joe Daniel told CMU: "It's fantastic that an organisation such as AIM has chosen to support Independent Label Market. We are excited to start what we hope to be a long standing and fruitful relationship with AIM".
AIM CEO Alison Wenham added: "Joe and Katie came up with a simple, great idea, and put it into practice. As AIM is the home of the world's greatest indie labels, we are naturally delighted to be able to support the development of the Independent Label Market. We intend to do this in partnership with WIN, the Worldwide Independent Network, our global trade body".
More information on the December event in London can be found here.
AEG APPOINTS NEW COMMS CHIEF FOR THE O2
While you can't deny the success of the main arena at the East London Dome in attracting top talent and, as a result, shifting record breaking amounts of tickets, the wider O2 complex has never taken off in quite the way you sense AEG originally wished, it always feeling a little too much like a 1990s shopping mall to be a genuine entertainment destination for Londoners at large.
But maybe King can tackle that challenge in the new Comms Director post, which replaces a Comms Manager role previously held by Stephen Farmer. King told PR Week: "The biggest challenge is to give The O2 personality without taking away any of its success".
NEW GUIDE TO LEGIT CONTENT SERVICES ONLINE GOES LIVE
Welcoming the new website, called The Content Map, Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Creative Industries, told CMU: "This is an excellent initiative and one which will be very useful to guardians and gatekeepers, educators and the general public. I am delighted that UK businesses and creative industries are helping to signpost innovative services that allow consumers to access content legally".
Trade bodies representing most of the content industries have also welcomed the new venture, with Geoff Taylor of record label trade body the BPI telling reporters: "With millions of tracks available legally, there's never been a better time to explore the choice, convenience and value offered by the UK's enormous range of online music services. It's easy to rediscover old favourites, sample the latest releases or put together playlists for family and friends. The Content Map puts all the services at your fingertips, acting as a trusted guide to help you find legal content online".
YOUTUBE AND VEVO'S PARTNERSHIP TO CONTINUE FOR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE
Though that always seemed unlikely, despite Sony Music boss Doug Morris - who spearheaded the launch of VEVO in his previous job running Universal Music - complaining earlier this year about Google's fees. Aside from Google's video player technology being amongst the best online, the benefit VEVO gets from having YouTube users sent in its direction when they search for music on YouTube remains hugely important, despite VEVO slowly building its own following.
And now Digital Music News reports that Hirai said at the recent MU:CON in Seoul: "There are some things that were written in the press that are not entirely true, because I've been involved in the negotiations myself, and what I can tell you is that I think you'll see YouTube and VEVO continue to have a partnership for the next coming years".
Asked how much of VEVO's traffic comes via YouTube, rather than VEVO.com, Hirai added: "I don't know the exact numbers but I think all of their viewcounts, including their website, I'd have to think a majority comes from YouTube".
NEW DIGITAL RADIO MARKETING CAMPAIGN UNVEILED
The new character will appear in ads on both BBC and commercial TV from later this month in the latest attempt to persuade the British public to switch their radio listening from the FM network over to digital services, and in particular the digital audio broadcasting platform.
According to The Guardian, the boss of Digital Radio UK, Ford Ennals, admitted at a conference in London yesterday that past digital radio marketing efforts had been a little "below the radar", but said he thought the new campaign involving D Love would "break through".
As previously reported, the radio industry is somewhat divided on the merits of DAB, with some smaller operators regularly dissing the platform and the drive to ultimately move most mainstream radio services off FM. Although the government in theory supports a relatively speedy move from FM to DAB, slower-than-hoped uptake of digital services makes previous targets for that switchover look unachievable. Ministers are now holding off until this time next year to make a decision on timescales.
Of course uncertainty about switchover arguably slows down any shift of listening from FM to DAB, not least because in-car listening is so key, and car makers are hesitant of fitting more expensive DAB radios into vehicles while the future of the digital platform is not fully assured. Though Ennals insisted yesterday that digital radio now had a "momentum" that just wasn't there two years ago.
Whether D Love will help maintain that momentum remains to be seen.
DAVE MUSTAINE HAS "LEARNED A VALUABLE LESSON" FROM COVERAGE OF HIS POLITICAL COMMENTS
Now he's realised saying all that might have been a bit silly. He told Rolling Stone: "You can't say what you want to say any more without people punishing you. You can't joke around very much anymore without people misinterpreting what you're saying. You know, I probably should've said things differently. I probably should've skipped [the comments made in Singapore] altogether. I learned a valuable lesson from all of this stuff".
He went on to point out that the comments he made about the (then still very recent) mass shootings were actually theories initially put forward by pro-gun activist Larry Pratt, adding that he's not sure, therefore, why it was he rather than Pratt that got all the flack in the media. Perhaps because it was he, rather than Pratt, who preached the rather loony theory in a foreign country at a rock concert.
"He said something about it and no one went after him. But everyone went crazy on me", continued Mustaine. "I've been talking about politics my whole career. The second album - my God, it shows the UN completely blown up and destroyed. So I don't know why, all of a sudden, now's the time for people to take exception with what I'm saying".
Hmm, remember what I said about preaching loony theories at rock concerts, Dave?
But anyway, back to that important lesson Dave's learned: "I noticed that, yeah, I do say some stuff that's kinda... you know, it's a little vulgar. I need to remember that being a public figure, I have a choice. I can be a really good example for people - which I really desire to do - or not. I mean, Marilyn Manson went to the airport with 'Fuck You' written on his forehead. That's just not my style".
BIEBER SEX DOLL HITS MARKET, ALREADY OUT OF STOCK
Says the packaging of the Pipedream Products doll, yours for just $26: "Meet Just-In Beaver, the barely legal boy-toy who's waited eighteen long years to stick his lil dicky in something sticky! When he's not busy beating up paparazzi he's up to his high-tops in hot Hollywood tail!"
Though, presumably recognising that Beiber's usual market of teenage girls are not the target demographic here, and keen to widen the product's appeal to gay male sex toy consumers, the same promotional blurb assures consumers: "The Beave-ster doesn't have this effect just on women - he turns straight men gay faster than you can peel his skinny jeans off!"
Good times. But don't get too excited, Pipedream are already out of stock, though it's not clear if that's because of high demand or a sternly written cease and desist from Team Bieber.