The five biggest stories in the music business this week...
01: HMV confirmed its shops in Ireland would stay closed, after representatives for the flagging retailer's administrators Deloitte failed to find a buyer for its loss-making Irish store network. The retail firm's sixteen stores in Ireland closed shortly after the wider HMV Group went into administration last month. With nine of HMV UK's ten shops in Northern Ireland also facing closure, only one HMV shop is likely to remain on the island of Ireland, in Belfast city centre. The retailer also laid off 60 more staff members at its HQ last Friday, including newish CEO Trevor Moore. Irish stores | HQ cuts
02: BMG acquired the Sanctuary catalogue off Universal Music. The mega-major pledged to sell the Sanctuary catalogue, which it acquired in 2007, as part of its agreement with European regulators regarding the purchase of the EMI record labels business last year. It's the second of the assets being sold by Universal as part of its EMI acquisition to have gone to BMG, which also acquired the original Mute catalogue. With much of the rest of the former EMI European business being sold having gone to Warner last week, deals remain to be done for EMI's stake in the Now! franchise and Universal's indie label services unit Co-operative, also due to be sold as part of Universal's regulator deal. Sony was linked to a bid for the Now! stake this week. BMG deal | Sony deal
03: The UK's competition regulator raised concerns regards Global's acquisition of the Real and Smooth stations, saying that the merger could have a negative impact on smaller advertisers in most regions of the UK (excluding London and the West Midlands). Global now has to decide how to respond to the Competition Commission's initial report, and will likely have to propose selling off some of the Real and Smooth outposts to overcome concerns. Real and Smooth, previously owned by The Guardian's radio company, are currently operating as an independent entity awaiting completion of the regulator investigation. CMU report | FT report
04: Jimmy Iovine revealed summer launch plans for Daisy, the all-new streaming service being developed by his company Beats. He also confirmed that the working title Daisy would be dropped, and the service - likely built on the back of MOG, which his company already owns - would operate simply as Beats. Speaking at an All Things D conference, he confirmed that the new service will try to compete in the crowded streaming music market place by bigging up its curation credentials. Which may or may not work. CMU report | All Things D report
05: Rough Trade launched a new digital subscription service in partnership with The Guardian. Based on a singles club model, subscribers will be sent six new MP3s to download a week, selected by the Guardian and Rough Trade teams. The £2.99 a week service is aimed at people eager to hear new music from various genres, and who trust the expertise of the combined Guardian and Rough Trade teams to select quality tunes. The new subscription set-up follows the relaunch of the Rough Trade retail business' website last week. CMU report | Guardian report
At CMU we announced the first speakers for this year's Great Escape convention, including Rough Trade co-owner Stephen Godfroy and Arts Council England CEO Alan Davey. We also chatted to the Flying Nun and Captured Tracks labels about their current reissue partnership, got a great playlist from Stornoway's Jon Ouin, and reviewed the sillier of the artist/brand alliances that have been announced of late. Approved were Dream Tiger, Kurt Vile, Black Books and the Taste Of Savage album.
BMG ACQUIRES SANCTUARY CATALOGUE
As much previously reported, in order to get regulator approval for its acquisition of the EMI record label business in Europe, Universal had to agree to sell off many of the former British major's European assets, and also a small number of its own Europe-based units and catalogues.
The Sanctuary catalogue, acquired by Universal when it bought the Sanctuary Music Group in 2007, was one of the latter assets put up for sale. It's the second recordings catalogue to be sold to BMG as a result of the EMI acquisition, the German music rights business also snapping up the original Mute archive just before Christmas. BMG also successfully bid for the UK-based publishing catalogues Sony/ATV was forced to sell as part of the regulator deal for its acquisition of EMI Music Publishing.
With Warner acquiring the Parlophone Label Group - the biggest part of the former EMI on the block, and which includes active frontline labels as well as catalogue - that means that most of the former EMI assets Universal and Sony were forced to sell as part of their regulator arrangements have gone to the two mega-majors' main rivals in the original bidding for the EMI businesses. Indeed, for quite some time BMG and Warner were the favourites to win the EMI publishing and recording businesses respectively (deals that would have likely caused much less of a hoo haa at the regulatory stage).
Confirming his company's acquisition of Sanctuary, which includes recordings from Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, The Kinks, Donovan, Bert Jansch and Status Quo, and from classic former labels like Trojan, Sugarhill and Pye, BMG boss Hartwig Masuch told CMU: "We are delighted to have won the opportunity to work with the exceptional line-up of artists in the Sanctuary catalogue. We have made no secret of our ambition to create a new force in the music industry focused on delivering service and revenue to artists. We believe this deal will be good news for those artists, good news for our partners particularly in the independent sector and good news for the music industry as a whole".
Assuming all these deals to date get the all clear from Euro-regulators, there are now two assets still to be sold as part of the EMI sale shenanigans: EMI's stake in the Now! franchise and the Co-operative indie distribution and marketing business. As previously reported, Sony is thought to be bidding for the former, while various independent labels and distributors are linked to bidding for the latter.
MUSIC WEEK LISTS 30 UNDER 30 IN THE UK MUSIC INDUSTRY
Those youthful bastards in full:
Jane Abernethy - A&R/Product Manager, 4AD
JAMIE CULLUM SIGNS TO UNIVERSAL/ISLAND
Commenting on the deal, Island President Darcus Beese told CMU: "Jamie Cullum is without doubt one of the most talented musicians and enduring artists this country has produced in years. At our first meeting it quickly became clear how excited and genuinely delighted Jamie was to be signing to Island Records. He also happens to be one of the most genuine and charming people in the business".
TEXAS SIGN WITH [PIAS]
Confirming the deal, the there mentioned Spiteri told CMU: 'When we started talking with [PIAS] we were really impressed by their enthusiasm and passion for our new music and how they work in a very modern and artist-friendly way. We are really excited about starting a brand new phase of our career with our eighth studio album and a brand new label partner".
Meanwhile [PIAS] Recordings' Geoff Muncey added: "From the moment we heard the new songs they had been recording, we knew we wanted to work with them. This is a band at the top of their game and sounding as special as ever. We are in the entertainment business and all our meetings with Sharleen and Johnny have been very entertaining. Dealing with experienced managers in Rab [Andrew] and Gerry [McElhone] made it even more appealing. We are really looking forward to being a part of the next chapter in Texas' distinguished career".
DOUBLECROSS SIGNS HIM
Confirming the deal, DoubleCross GM Phil Hopwood told CMU: "It's so exciting to be working with such a great band. HIM are a well respected cornerstone of the genre and the new album delivers on every level. We will make a lot of new fans with this record".
Meanwhile the band's frontman, Ville Valo, added: "Cooking Vinyl's history speaks for itself and for some unfathomable reason they have clearly understood HIM's rather perverse musical fetishes - which are as rare as hen's teeth! DoubleCross - of the inverted kind - here we come!"
FOALS TO DO SOLO THINGS "AT SOME POINT"
Asked by BBC Newsbeat what it's like to hit the 'big time' at last, vocalist Yannis Philippakis says: "We really are locked into the day-to-day, there's probably a really frightening lack of forethought".
Of the sideline thing, he adds: "At some point, probably in the not too distant future, we are going to start doing things on the side largely to satisfy creative impulses which we can't satisfy with Foals".
And, a la Lana Del Rey: "I'd love to do a film soundtrack - I'm sure Jimmy [Smith, Foals guitarist] would as well. There are definitely certain things I would like to do which would shock, terrify and scare a lot of Foals fans".
FALL OUT BOY BRING FORWARD ALBUM RELEASE
If you're still concerned that rock n roll might not be able to hold out that long, the band have ensured that they'll be around to pump its heart a little in the interim, with a show at The Underworld in Camden coming up on 25 Feb, and the video for the first single from the album, 'My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)' online now. Watch that here, before it's too late.
SOAP&SKIN BAKES NEW SUGARBREAD EP
Watch the video for 'Sugarbread' here.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
Another festival making significant additions to its live programme is exclamatory German 'Partei' Melt!, which is this year hosting hot acts like The Knife, James Blake, Alt-J, Azealia Banks, Julio Bashmore, SBTRKT and Flying Lotus. Then there's Wakestock, a beachy collegiate pop happening whose first-added 'wave' of names features Example, Magnetic Man and Zane Lowe.
Finally, the Montreux Jazz Festival has announced that the first artist on its line-up is Prince, who will play not one, not two, but three shows at this year's festival. Tickets for each show will be individually priced at 175 Swiss francs for the cheap seats and 375 Swiss francs for those who want the best. That works out at £122 for skinflints and £276 for people who realise that musicians need to eat. Honestly, if you're only willing to pay £122 for a gig ticket, you might as well just download a grainy video of it off The Pirate Bay.
Anyway, here are all the new additions in full:
AS ONE IN THE PARK, Victoria Park, London, 26 May: Rita Ora. www.asoneinthepark.com
BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR, Catton Hall, Walton-On-Trent, South Derbyshire, 8-11 Aug: Exodus, Death Angel, 3 Inches Of Blood, Dying Fetus, Scar Symmetry, Pritchard v Dainton, Xerath, Bloodbound, Vanderbuyst, Scarab, The Prophecy. www.bloodstock.uk.com
BUTRON AGNESS JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL, Burton Agnes Hall, East Yorkshire, 5-7 Jul: Kenny Ball, Simon McBride. www.burtonagnes.com
HEBCELT, Stornoway, Scotland, 17-20 Jul: Van Morrison, Lau, Karine Polwart, The Travelling Band, Fatherson, The Chair, Rusty Shackle. www.hebceltfest.com
HIGH DEFINITION, Forest Farm, Essex, 29 Jun: Labrinth. www.hdfest.co.uk
LOVE SUPREME JAZZ FESTIVAL, Glynde Place, East Sussex, 5-7 Jul: Bryan Ferry, Chic feat Nile Rodgers, Michael Kiwanuka, Courtney Pine, Gregory Porter, Portico Quartet, Roller Trio, Gogo Penguin, Naturally 7. www.lovesupremefestival.com
MELT!, Ferropolis, Gräfenhainichen, Germany, 19-21 Jul: The Knife, James Blake, Alt-J, Azealia Banks, Julio Bashmore, SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, Everything Everything, Purity Ring, Daughter, Marcel Dettmann, Disclosure, Swim Deep, Django Django, DJ Koze, Todd Terje & Lindstrøm, Chvrches, Dan Deacon, Joy Orbison, Modeselektor & Apparat, Mount Kimbie, Miss Kittin, Mykki Blanco, Woodkid, Zebra Katz, Karenn, Eats Everything, Ben UFO, Ellen Allien, Fantastic Mr Fox, Function, Get Physical Special feat Andhim, Catz N Dogz, MANDY, Smash TV , Wankelmut, Henrik Schwarz & Band, James Holden, Kettcar, King Krule, Ben Klock, Laing, Christian Löffler, Barnt, Oliver Koletzki, Markus Kavka, Owen Pallett, Art Department, Jamie Jones, Bambounou, Damian Lazarus, Roosevelt, Rudimental, Ry/Frank Wiedemann, Schwarzmann, Scuba, Shields, Sinkane, Solomun, The 1975, Otto Von Schirach. www.meltfestival.de
MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL, various venues, Montreux, Switzerland, 5-20 Jul: Prince. www.montreuxjazzfestival.com
PARKLIFE, location tba, Manchester, 8-9 Jun: Plan B, Example, Rita Ora, The Maccabees, Jessie Ware, Delphic, Crazy P, Quadron, Trojan Sound System, and Will Tramp, Rudimental, The Horrors, Everything Everything, Disclosure, Wretch 32, Johnny Marr, DJ Fresh, Mark Ronson & A-Trak, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Simian Mobile Disco, Todd Terje & Lindstrom, Boys Noize, Erol Alkan, Iggy Azalea, Riot Jazz, Juicy DJs, Johnny Dub, Jurassic 5, Madeon, Four Tet, Maya Jane Coles, AlunaGeorge, Daphni, Danny Brown, John Talabot, Krystal Klear, Cyril Hahn, Lapalux, Maceo Plex, Kerri Chandler, Davide Squillace, Tale Of Us, Shaun Reeves, Cirillo, Heidi, Bicep, Cassy, George Fitzgerald, DJ Ellesse, Derrick Carter, Lee Foss, Dyed Soundorom, Richy Ahmed, Rob James, Waff, Netsky, High Contrast, Camo & Krooked, Danny Byrd, London Elektricity, Spy, Fabio, Nu:Logic, Fred G v Grafix, Metrik, and MCs: Wrec, Dynamite, Rexas, Youthstar, James Zabiela, Fake Blood, Redlight, Pearson Sound, Ben UFO, Bondax, Dusky, Huxley, Maribou State, Sub Focus, Benga, Jaguar Skills, Hype, Friction, Foreign Beggars, Roni Size, Dismantle, Culprit 1, North Base and MCs: Dynamite, GQ, IC3, ID, Tonn Piper, Toy, Liars, Savages, King Krule, Toro Y Moi, Post War Years, Joey Bada$$, Andy C, Benga, DJ Ez, Breakage, Joker, Roses Gabor, Broken English, Rich Reason,
WAKESTOCK, Abersoch, North Wales, 12-14 Jul: Example, Magnetic Man, Zane Lowe, Bastille, The 1975, Jackmaster, Mele, Monki. www.wakestock.co.uk
LANA DEL REY RELEASES JAGUAR AD
SONY UK APPOINTS NEW INTERNATIONAL OVERSEER
In his new role, where he basically takes over from a departing VP International Dave Shack, Collen will "redefine and develop" Sony Music UK's international unit "as the company looks to build on recent global successes from UK artists".
Confirming the appointment, Gatfield told CMU: "Our key strategic initiative is to sign and develop the best new artists and break them globally and it is essential that we have a proactive, tenacious and ambitious international team to spearhead this challenge and deliver best-in-class service to our artists".
Noting recent international successes with British signings One Direction, Olly Murs and Paloma Faith, and optimism regards the global potential of the likes of Tom Odell, Laura Mvula, Kodaline and Peace, Garfield continued: "Mark is the ideal executive to continue and build on this success. He played a pivotal role in driving the global One Direction phenomenon and his all round knowledge of the international market place is second to none. I firmly believe Mark has the experience and tenacity to drive our international breakthrough strategy and deliver success for the UK business worldwide. It is with great pleasure I welcome him to the role".
Collen himself added: "It's a privilege to be asked to lead the international strategy for the next generation of Sony UK's artists - we have an exciting and diverse roster that we feel can reach audiences and fans on a global basis. It's essential we provide the very best international organisation to meet the demands and needs of our artists, managers and partners worldwide and that's exactly what we intend to do".
ELLIS RICH'S PUBLISHING FIRM IN ADMINISTRATION
Formed in 1989, IMN actually operates under the name the Independent Music Group, though the trading company was International Music Network Ltd, owned outright by Ellis, which in turn owns various subsidiaries, mainly smaller music publishers it has acquired over the years. A separate Ellis-owned company called Independent Music Group Ltd also exists, though this is officially listed as 'non-trading'.
Music Week says the wider company is still operating, but under administrators Andrew Andronikou and Michael Kiely of UHY Hacker Young. Neither the administrators nor the company have as yet commented on the matter.
Having begun his career at EMI, Rich has been a high profile player in the music publishing space through his involvement with the sector's trade bodies and collecting societies (and latterly is often noted as being Simon Cowell's first business partner).
WARNER BOSS UPBEAT DESPITE WIDENING LOSSES
Nevertheless, Warner chief Stephen Cooper gave an upbeat overview, stressing that the particularly good performance of Michael Buble's 2011 Christmas album screwed the year-on-year comparison (bloody Buble messing with the figures again), and adding that continued growth in digital and licensing revenues were starting to compensate for slipping incomes in the physical records and music publishing parts of the business.
Also bigging up his firm's recent acquisition of the Parlophone Label Group - the bunch of EMI labels and catalogues being sold by Universal Music - Cooper concluded: "We are pleased with the start we've had to our fiscal year. We continue to make progress throughout our organisation, while maintaining our focus on long-term artist development, innovation and growth and carefully managing costs".
THE QUIETUS LAUNCHES RECORD LABEL
Says The Quietus' John Doran: "I'd always said that I'd cut my own head off using nail clippers before we started a record label. I'd learned too much from watching other sites and magazines pour all of their time, money and talent into them, just to watch them spectacularly implode. It was, I said, like withdrawing all your money from a cash machine and setting fire to it while simultaneously flushing your own head down a toilet filled with goat's piss".
Still, he added: "We 'signed' (if that's the right word) Will Doyle because we were such enormous fans of his music, which is as excellent crafted and sharp as his shirts. We've not yet heard any of the new record he's nearly finished, but we're looking forward to him going massive on a bigger label so we can sit down with a brew and an Eccles cake in five years time and sagely say, ah, we knew young Doyle..."
You can hear the track 'Heaven, How Long' from the 'Hostel' EP here, and you'll be able to see Doyle perform live at these dates:
6 Mar: London, Shacklewell Arms
MOST MUSIC TITLES SLIP IN LATEST ABCS
Feel better now? Good. And let's just hope to fuck the increasingly mooted 'app-mag' business model really does combine the audiences of online with the traditional revenue potential of print, like some analysts reckon it might, and then we can all get on with our lives interviewing tedious new indie bands and questioning half-dressed boy bands about their perfect girlfriends without having to worry about the next round of inevitable job cuts.
Of course when each set of ABC print circulation figures for the music mags are released these days - the latest set being unleashed yesterday - the publishers of said magazines stress that their music media brands are now reaching consumers via online, and often TV and radio, as well as in print, so overall their titles are reaching bigger audiences now than they ever did. And in the main said publishers are right to say that - despite the declines in the ABC round up below, many of the traditional music media are now talking to bigger audiences when all channels are taken into account.
Commercially, though, the challenge remains whether or not those other channels are profitable in the way print mags used to be. Some are now starting to generate decent online sales and sponsorship revenues, others are hoping that some kind of subscription model could still work, most likely by providing content through a tablet-based app.
Anyway, enough of that, here's a helping of the latest ABC stats, average sales per issue plus declines (or occasional increases - well done RWD, We Love Pop and Uncut) since a year ago.
Classic Rock: 56,714 - down 9% year-on-year
NEW BBC CHIEF REVEALS HIS TOP TEAM
Incoming new Director General Tony Hall confirmed that Helen Boaden, who diligently oversaw the Beeb's axed-Savile-report-implosion as chief of BBC News, is being moved to the top job at Audio & Music, or what will be rebranded simply as BBC Radio (though some music telly will still fall under its remit). Let's see if she can bring that to its knees too shall we?
The outgoing boss of A&M, Tim Davie, who has been filling in as DG since George Entwistle's costly (for the licence fee payer) resignation last year, will take over at commercial division BBC Worldwide, as had always been the plan, though he'll have a slightly wider role overseeing the Beeb's global development in general too.
Hall also confirmed he was recruiting James Purnell, who was a 'corporate planning' twonk for the Corporation in the 1990s, but who is better known for his time serving in the last Labour government, including as Culture Minister. He will be Director of Strategy & Digital at Hall's revamped BBC, overseeing the Corporation's Future Media division as well as marketing, communications and political relations. It's quite a wide remit.
A new chief for BBC Television is still being sought. You can read Hall's email to staff explaining all this on The Guardian's website.
KE$HA SPILLS RE WEE TIPPLE
Apparently, and only if you want to, you can watch Ke$ha doing just that (that meaning piss-drinking, as in drinking piss) in her crazy, beautiful new MTV series 'Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life'.
'Spilling' to the BBC, she says her brother, who directed the filming, made her do it: "He got all the things you would want to see and all the things you wouldn't really want to see; making out with dudes, drinking my own pee, jumping out of a building, jumping out of aeroplanes, swimming with sharks..."
And specifically re the pee thing: "I was told drinking my own pee was good... Somebody tried to take my pee away from me and I said, 'That is mine!' So I snatched it up and took a chug and it was really gross so I don't do it anymore".