GREAT ESCAPE KEYNOTES ANNOUNCED
First up, Alan Davey, CEO of Arts Council England will officially launch his organisation's first ever artist-centric music funding initiative - the previously reported Music Industry Talent Development Fund - and outline the Arts Council's vision for music talent funding. Vanessa Reed, Executive Director of PRS For Music Foundation, which will manage and administer the new scheme, will also be on hand to explain how the new initiative will work in practice.
Commenting on the launch of the Arts Council's new fund at TGE 2013, Great Escape Co-Founder and Creative Director Martin Elbourne told CMU: "This launch is a landmark moment for music in England, and it is great news that Alan Davey, who has personally spearheaded this new initiative, will officially unveil the programme at The Great Escape this year. This fund offers so much potential for emerging artists, and TGE will provide a platform where it can be fully embraced by the industry".
Next up, retail. And with the downfall of HMV dominating so many headlines this year, and proving to be a such a major talking point within the industry and beyond, The Great Escape will have a strand focusing on the future of music retail. And leading the proceedings will be Stephen Godfroy, co-owner of Rough Trade Retail, who will explain how his company has defied the odds. Following the launch earlier this week of a new digital venture in partnership with The Guardian, and with a new store due to launch in New York this summer, Godfroy will discuss the opportunities that he and his colleagues at Rough Trade see amidst the doom and gloom.
And finally for now, CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke will delve behind the scenes into how artists, both grass roots and established, are learning to navigate the new music industry. He'll chat to some of the most admired managers on the new kinds of approaches and deals that are already working for them in 2013. Brian Message and Kobalt's Paul Hitchman will discuss their partnership on the up coming Nick Cave release, while Garry Blackburn and Cooking Vinyl's Martin Goldschmidt will provide insights on last year's Madness album campaign. With more manager conversations tba.
Commenting further on that little lot, CMU's Chris Cooke, chief programmer of the TGE convention, added: "The challenges facing HMV this year have been big news across the board, and a major talking point in the music business - what does this mean for high street music retail? The achievements of Stephen Godfroy and his team at Rough Trade Retail are greatly admired across the industry, and we are excited that he will be offering us his insights as part of The Great Escape this May".
"Meanwhile behind the scenes, artists, both grassroots and established, are learning to navigate the new music industry. I can't wait to chat to some of the business's most admired managers - the people advising acts on what route to take - on the kinds of new approaches and deals that are already working for them in 2013".
The Great Escape's first convention confirmations follow the announcement on Tuesday of the initial line-up for the TGE festival, Europe's leading festival for new music. Bastille, Tom Odell, King Krule, AlunaGeorge and Chvrches are amongst the big batch of already confirmed acts, more details on which you can find on the Great Escape website.
Delegate passes for this year's TGE, which get you access to both the convention and the festival, are available now at the early bird rate of £145. See you there.
WRIT ISSUED AGAINST BBC AND SAVILE ESTATE BY DISGRACED DJ'S ALLEGED VICTIMS
Following all the revelations that were unleashed last year about the ways Savile, for decades, abused fans, viewers and those being cared for by the charities he supported, Alan Collins of law firm Pannone has told reporters a writ has been issued at the High Court on behalf of 31 alleged victims.
It is thought that over 90 people are now planning legal action since the first of Savile's former victims went public via an ITV documentary last October. Litigation will be targeted at both the Savile estate, and the institutions at which the abuse took place, which in the first batch of lawsuits is seemingly the BBC.
The cases were put on hold pending the various investigations taking place into Savile's crimes, and other allegations made against former colleagues and associates of the DJ, many still living, but Pannone said yesterday: "The purpose of issuing this writ is to protect our clients' position and to seek management directions from the court to ensure the claims are administered as efficiently as possible. At this stage we are unable to expand in detail on the nature of the cases or the allegations that have been made, which range in seriousness from inappropriate behaviour to serious sexual abuse".
The BBC said it was unable to comment on the writ at this time.
LAME LADY GAGA CANCELS BORN THIS WAY BALL DATES
In a statement, the live firm said: "After additional tests this morning to review the severity of the issue, it has been determined that Lady Gaga has a labral tear of the right hip. She will need surgery to repair the problem, followed by strict downtime to recover. This, unfortunately, will force her to cancel the tour so she can heal".
Live Nation will begin to issue refunds to ticketholders later today.
LEWIS PARTS COMPANY WITH MODEST!
The parting is seemingly amicable, with both sides issuing happy statements, according to Music Week. Modest! chiefs Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee said: "We were very proud to have Leona on the Modest! roster and of everything she has achieved. We wish her all the best in the next phase of her career".
Meanwhile Lewis added: "I greatly enjoyed my time working with Modest! and I'm very proud of all the things we achieved together. I would like to thank them for all their hard work and support over the years. They played an important role in my career and I'll always be grateful to them. I'm looking forward to a new chapter in my career".
Lewis is reportedly planning on allying herself with an American management agency with Live Nation's Front Line amongst those mentioned, though she'll probably end up with Red Light; everyone seems to sign to Red Light for management these days.
!K7 ANNOUNCES TRICKY ALLIANCE
Confirming the new alliance, Phil Howells, A&R at !K7 Records, told CMU: "We are extremely thrilled to have such an inspiring and creative artist such as Tricky joining the !K7 family and our boutique artist/label service. We are able to offer him full use of the !K7 label team and access to the global distribution structure to help him launch a wealth of young new creative talent on the new label. We believe this offers Tricky the best of both worlds: he has total creative freedom but with a huge amount of support from us".
Tricky himself added: "I've been waiting a long time to be able to release my own music. With Chris Blackwell [at Island Records] I had real freedom and only the music mattered. In the last few years I was in a record deal but my vision and goals were not the same as the label, so it became just business and paying the rent".
He continued: "Partnering with !K7 has put me back to where the music matters, and it shows with my new album. Having ideas that never come to fruition is one of the worst things that can happen to an artist, and now with !K7 I can be me. I'm not just made of music, I have other ideas for visuals, artwork and words; people are made up of many things so you just need to let them breathe. I have some great talent around me, artists I really respect and love and with False Idols, I will allow them to showcase their talent without being restricted".
BRIGHTMAN PARTNERS WITH UNIVERSAL'S KOCH FOR NEW ALBUM
The mega-major will handle distribution of the new record in all territories outside North America and China. The new long player will be pre-empted by Brightman's cover of Elbow's 'One Day Like This', which is something worth pondering. 'Out of this world' or 'off the planet'?
GHOSTPOET TO RELEASE NEW LP
COCOROSIE ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM
Hear one of its intrinsic tracks, 'Gravedigress' (ie lady cemetery staffer), by pressing play on this stream.
ONE DIRECTION 3D DOCUMENTARY GETS TRAILER
In it you get to see One Direction being famous, having mums, talking about being famous and talking to their mums about being famous. But, promises the trailer, "this is just the beginning".
The film is not due in cinemas until 30 Aug, so you'll not be able to find out what happens after the beginning until then. Unless they split up or something, though that would be foolish.
Anyway, watch the trailer here.
WOODS TO TOUR IN MAY
The show is part of a European tour taking in the sights of Paris, Stockholm, Berlin and... Brecon. That last one's an appearance at this year's Green Man festival, by the way. Woods are playing Spain's Primavera Sound, too, so that's nice, as is this new video for 'Bend Beyond's most grand cacophony, 'Size Meets The Sound'.
LOCAL NATIVES LIST NON-NATIVE DATES
15 Oct: Cambridge, The Junction
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
Well, a lot, as it happens. Take Exhibit A, Bestival's familially-minded parallel Camp Bestival, as has just revealed its theme for this year as 'Around The World'. Representing that theme are live guests like Levellers, Richard Hawley, Labrinth, DJ Fresh and 'rising stars' Gabrielle Aplin and Tom Odell.
Excitable and globe-circling CB boss Rob Da Bank explains it all by saying: "Hip-hip hooray! Here we are reaching our sixth birthday. Crack out the jelly and ice cream, unroll the Twister board and cover me in sticky pop if I'm not more excited than ever to be announcing our all ages extravaganza once more. Our theme for 2013 Around The World is a truly global, magical mystery tour of faraway lands from Indian circuses to Italian pop-up restaurants and Belgian ska bands. Roll up roll up for the greatest show on earth!"
And Exibit C is Kraftwerk, who are to adapt their new AV live show to fit in at Finland's Flow and Scotland's T In The Park. They join co-headlining contemporaries Mumford & Sons, Rihanna and The Killers. Quite a combo, that.
CAMP BESTIVAL, Lulworth Castle, Dorset, 1-4 Aug: Richard Hawley, Levellers, Labrinth, DJ Fresh, Toots And The Maytals, The Polyphonic Spree, Gabrielle Aplin, Tom Odell, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, I Am Kloot, Billy Bragg, Dan Le Sac v Scroobius Pip, The Cuban Brothers, Rob Da Bank, Grandmaster Flash, Sasha, David Rodigan, Andrew Weatherall & Sean Johnston, Fabio & Grooverider, Jon More, Barry Ashworth, John Kennedy, Balearic Brothers, Feeling Gloomy, Tythe, DJ Yoda & The Tootsie Rollers, John Cooper Clarke, Lissie, The Farm, Musical Youth, Beardyman, The Correspondents, The Wurzels, Mad Professor, Clean Bandit, London Grammar, Mikill Pane, The 1975, Fleetwood Bac, Introducing, Howard Marks, Lucky Elephant, Sexy Sushi, Ben Waters, Moulettes, Filthy Boy, Fake Bush, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, Lewis Watson, Jaws, Jaipur Brass Band, Kawa Circus, The J-Cats, Folk Idol. www.campbestival.ne
END OF THE ROAD, Larmer Tree Gardens, Wiltshire, 30 Aug - 1 Sep: Frightened Rabbit, Bo Ningen, Efterklang, Golden Fable, Diana Jones, Evening Hymns, Laish, Jens Lekman, Marika Hackman, Heartless Bastards, Merchandise, Money, PINS, Polica, Matthew E White, Mark Mulcahy, Caitlin Rose, Savages, Teleman, Wolf Alice, Widowspeak. www.endoftheroadfestival.com
FLOW FESTIVAL, Suvilahti, Helsinki, Finland, 7-11 Aug: Kraftwerk, Disclosure, Tensnake, Todd Terje, Maya Jane Coles. www.flowfestival.com/en
HAMPTON COURT PALACE FESTIVAL, Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, 13-24 Jun: Cliff Richard, Lisa Stansfield, Franki Valli & The Four Seasons, Jools Holland & His Rhythm And Blues Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Russell Watson, Imelda May, Björn Again, Joe Bonamassa & Beth Hart. www.hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com
T IN THE PARK, Balado, Scotland, 12-14 Jul: Kraftwerk. www.tinthepark.com
SIGUR RÓS SELLING "INSTANT ICELAND" VIA SCENTED CANDLES
Apparently, it takes its aroma from "the smoky, slightly briny smell of a flotsam campfire on a distant black beach under a wan midnight sun". That, and Sigur Rós's studio, and the band's native Iceland in general. In fact, it's "instant Iceland" in a waxen casing, which may or may not mean its fragrance bears a hint of Viking, Björk and pickled shark.
Named after a track from SR's new LP 'Valtari', the 'Varðeldur' candle is priced at £18 (plus £4.55 p&p), and lasts for 35 hours of fiery Icelandic freshness.
BMI BOSS RESPONDS TO PUBLISHERS' DIRECT LICENSING PLANS
This will mean that some, or possibly all, digital music services in the US will have to do deals directly with the major publishers to licence the rights that exist in their songs, rather than securing those rights via deals with the country's three societies, BMI, ASCAP and SESAC.
In the main to date the publishing sector has chosen to licence most digital services through its collecting societies, whereas labels have chosen to licence directly. The consensus is that bigger rights owners can get better deals if they licence direct, partly because of their size, and partly because it removes any statutory limitations put on the collective licensing system in some countries.
The Universal and Sony publishing firms moving to direct licensing for digital shows a big shift in the way that sector thinks about digital, which could spill over into other markets.
Bryant explains what Universal and Sony's recent decisions mean in his letter, and reveals that BMI has entered into an agreement with Sony/ATV/EMI to still administrate the collection and distribution of royalties from those digital platforms the major licences direct - but subject to the royalty rates agreed directly - a first for the society.
Putting a positive spin on developments, while stressing the role the collecting societies still have in the digital space, Bryant says: "While certainly complex, we see these recent developments as a clear marketplace signal of the enhanced value music brings to the digital world and beyond. We are working diligently to make that value a reality not just for large multinational music companies, but for ALL songwriters, ALL composers and ALL music publishers".
He adds: "While recent developments may have added complexity to an already complex rights landscape, we see opportunity. We see an opportunity to level the digital playing field and to allow the courts to consider all precedents across the digital spectrum. We see an opportunity to value performances of musical works fairly when compared to performances of sound recordings. We see opportunities for BMI to provide additional administrative services and add value to the markets we serve. All the while we remain dedicated to serving our constituents: songwriters, composers, music publishers and our licensees".
You can read the full letter on Billboard here.
POLAR PATROL SIGNS CO-PUBLISHING DEAL WITH R&S/APOLLO
The deal was apparently first suggested after a chance meeting between Snow Patrol's Jonny Quinn and Johnny McDaid and R&S owners Renaat Vandepapeliere and Sabine Maes at a gig.
Says Vandepapeliere: "After brain storming about working closer with Snow Patrol's publishing company, Polar Patrol, it felt like a perfect and natural progression; a massive honour for Sabine and myself".
Quinn added: "Polar Patrol are delighted to join forces with the legendary R&S records who are celebrating 30 years in 2013, which is no mean feat in the music business. We are looking forward to working closely together on their exciting roster of writers and artists".
Publishing rights created via the alliance will be administered through Polar Patrol's partnership with Kobalt Music.
MUZAK REBRANDS AS MOOD
CEO and Chairman of Mood Media, Lorne Abony said: "We are delighted to complete this transformative acquisition, which enables us to become a truly global leader in this space. We are excited and eager to begin realizing the significant growth opportunities and synergies in a combination that will benefit both our customers and our shareholders".
Speaking to the New York Times, Abony added: "It's the end of an iconic American brand ... [but] the new brand signifies the integration of the company", explaining that Mood Media employs "a team of music gurus, visual specialists, sound and scent-tech experts [to] develop compelling, consistent experiences that connect our clients with their customers".
Basically, they make shops look, smell and sound such that you will want to buy stuff.
EMI NORDIC LAUNCHES SPOTIFY-POWERED IPHONE APPS
Interestingly, this means that the participating artists' complete catalogues are now available on Spotify beyond Scandinavia via EMI Nordic. In Sundfør's case this means previously unavailable music is again available in the UK, despite the scheduled release of three of her albums by indie label Sonnet Sound later this year.
EMI Music Nordic's Head of Innovation & Insight, Paul Sonkamble told CMU: "We have specifically collaborated with five artists whose fans value being able to consume music portably and want to feel closer and more connected with the artist through social media experiences. By partnering with Mobile Backstage and Spotify, two cutting edge digital innovators, we have created five apps that enable artists to reach and interact with their fans like never before, whilst providing fans with a plethora of ways to connect with the fan community and immerse themselves in their favourite artists' music".
As previously reported, EMI's Nordic division launched its Innovation & Insight team and Innovation Lab last year to "help develop and promote innovative solutions and operational best practices throughout the region and which can be shared throughout EMI Music". With the sale of EMI Music to Universal now all but complete, it's unclear exactly what will happen to this department, though clearly work carries on for the time being.
COMPETITION REGULATOR RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT GLOBAL'S GMG RADIO ACQUISITION
An initial report by the competition regulator says that the merger of the former Guardian Media Group owned stations with Global's existing operations could decrease competition in the radio advertising market in a number of regions to sufficiently hinder smaller and local advertisers, and especially those that buy ads direct rather than via an agency.
Affected regions include East Midlands, Cardiff, North Wales, Manchester, The North East, South & West Yorkshire and Scotland - nearly everywhere the former GMG stations operate. The merger would not impact on the local advertising market in London and the West Midlands, the Commission reckons.
The regulator's provisional report, to be published tomorrow, is likely to propose a number of remedies open to Global Radio that could deal with the concerns raised. These include simply selling the Real and Smooth networks in their entirety, or all their operations outside London and the West Midlands, or proposing specific sales to alleviate issues in each region.
Quite how extreme the sell-offs will have to be to placate the Competition Commission - assuming Global doesn't go for option one - isn't clear. When the competition regulator investigates takeovers of this kind, its final report may differ considerably from the initial provisional document, depending on how the acquirer responds. Though either way it's a blow for Global, which had been pushing for its entire acquisition to be green lighted with minimal or no remedies.
Commenting on the provisional report, Commission Deputy Chairman Simon Polito said: "The advertisers most likely to lose out from this deal are those who do not use national media agencies, and so includes smaller and medium-sized companies. These advertisers rely on the presence of competing commercial stations in order to negotiate a good deal".
He added: "Whilst in many cases advertisers do have alternatives through other media, radio is often an integral part of a wider media campaign and there remain campaigns for which radio advertising is important. We will now look at ways in which we can preserve competition and look after the interests of advertisers in these areas".
In a short statement, Global noted the publication of the provisional report, but added: "It is important to note that as provisional findings, these do not represent the CC's final report, and as such, it would not be appropriate to comment further on these provisional findings".
Real and Smooth were spun off into a standalone company after Global's acquisition of GMG's former radio business pending the competition investigation, and will remain separate for the time being.
CLIFF RICHARD LIKES ONE DIRECTION AND WOULD LIKE TO SING ON ONE OF THEIR SONGS (FINANCES PERMITTING)
Richard told The Lady: "It was fascinating watching the fast rise to fame of One Direction. For quite a while I didn't hear their music. Of course I may have heard something on the radio, but all too often nobody tells you what you have just listened to!"
He continued: "There's been many a time when I would have bought a record, but didn't know who or what to ask for. I've heard One Direction now, and think that each one of them has a terrific voice. So if they ever decide to do a duet I'm available, but not cheap!"
Start saving, boys.