GOOGLE STREAMING SERVICE IMMINENT
The problem with streaming services, over conventional download stores, is that they generally put a lot more financial risk on the service provider in terms of royalty guarantees. And Google, Apple and Amazon don't like risk. Though, while they've been negotiating hard with the major content owners to secure better deals than those enjoyed by the start ups, insiders say the labels haven't budged all that much. Presumably the big three hope they can scale up fast enough in terms of subscribers and/or advertising revenue to reduce the risk.
Warner - usually one of the last rights owners on board for these things - was seemingly first to sign up to the Google streaming service. Deals with Sony and Universal are now also reportedly in the bag, which is seemingly enough to launch. It's not clear what the deal with the indies is just yet. The service, which will be more of the Spotify fully-on-demand variety, will operate as part of the Google Play platform, presumably with a groovy Android app.
Google's previous plays in the music space, most recently via Google Play, have been somewhat lacklustre despite being much hyped at launch. And while the big fat exception to that is YouTube, the biggest streaming music service on the internet, Google technically bought that one in rather than launch it from scratch. Whether Googify is the original music service that breaks that record remains to be seen.
ALICE IN CHAINS SUED BY MOTHER OF FORMER FRONTMAN
According to Seattle PI, McCallum has filed a lawsuit saying that the band are now also trying to cut her out of future payments. She says that she was contacted by the band's lawyer last September and informed that a revenue sharing agreement that had been in place since her son's death was being dissolved.
But lawyers for the band counter that she has already been paid more than was ever due - an accountant apparently working out that Stayley's share of revenues stands at $341,000, while she has so far received $705,000. They also added that she has attempted to trademark the Alice In Chains name. Stayley's estate, the band's lawyers say, will continue to receive royalties from songs which he wrote.
"EXHAUSTED" BEYONCE CANCELS ARENA SHOW
In an email to the Associated Press, the R&B star's press rep said she'd been advised to take a break from playing live, and is "awaiting word from doctors" as regards another planned performance at Antwerp's Sportpaleis arena tonight.
PIRATE BAY FOUNDER WANTS TO STAND IN EUROPEAN ELECTIONS
It is in the European elections where The Pirate Party has generally enjoyed the most success, especially in Sweden, the home of The Pirate Bay, which isn't officially allied with the political movement, but is routinely linked with it. Though Sunde, who seemingly has joint Swedish and Finnish nationality, will seek to stand for the pirates in Finland.
Though, of course, Sunde still faces the prospect of being jailed in relation to his conviction for copyright infringement that stemmed from his time co-running TPB. Although he has in theory exhausted all routes of appeal against that conviction through the Swedish courts, neither Sunde nor his fellow Bay-founder Fredrik Neij have done any prison time as yet.
MAYA JANE COLES DETAILS TRICKY, KARIN PARK AND NADINE SHAH-FEATURING LP
Or so says its tracklisting, which will be released with the disc itself (as many tracklistings are) via Maya's I/AM/ME label on 28 Jun.
Treat various sensory organs to that same tracklisting, and one of the tracks it lists, the Karin Park-featuring 'Everything', now:
EFTERKLANG TO RELEASE LIVE PIRAMIDA LP
The chosen concert, aptly the one the band played in their native Copenhagen last October, also features the city's 33-man Philharmonic orchestra, plus Peter Broderick, classical singer Katinka Fogh Vindelev, one-time Siouxsie And The Banshees drummer Peter 'Budgie' Clarke and, last but not least, conductor André de Ridder.
'The Piramida Concert' will be available via 4AD on 10 Jun.
Have a civilised blast of 'The Living Layer' and 'Vælv' here.
SKY FERREIRA PLAYING LONDON SHOW
Tickets are most likely all gone now, but anyway, here's a link to buy the last remaining pair (if it's even available, which it most likely isn't). Yeah!
For lack of anything new to present, here's the 'Everything Is Embarasing' video, again.
JOHNNY FLYNN ADDS SOLO, BAND DATES
He'll be playing solo on the following dates, afterwards appearing with his band, The Sussex Wit, at Mumford & Son's Gentlemen Of The Road Takeover in Lewes (20 Jul) and this year's Larmer Tree and Green Man festivals.
Following that, those following solo dates:
18 Jul: London, Tabernacle
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE: LATITUDE, END OF THE ROAD THE BIG MIX AND MORE
Another lot of FLUUs I'm bent on emphasising is the one just revealed over at this year's Belle And Sebastian, Sigur Rós and David Byrne & St Vincent-featuring End Of The Road; the same one that names The Walkmen, El Perro Del Mar, Anna Von Hausswolff, Braids and Jessica Pratt.
And what of the initial listings revelation at London's Macmillan-backing charity fundraiser The Big Mix? Well, it's fairly great in the grand scheme of these things, and stars Slow Club, Nadine Shah, O Children and Lady Lamb The Beekeper.
Whilst there are really too many festivals adding artists today to detail them all, I'll hand over to a neat summary featuring Bloodstock Open Air, premier DIY fest Leopallooza, Poland's tip top OFF, Scotland's aptly rockin Rock Ness, and pro-Nordic promotions co Ja Ja Ja's first ever festival, a two-day Scandi extravaganza at London's Roundhouse that so far stars Mew and Iceland's múm. Hurrah! FLUUs!
THE BIG MIX, various venues, Shoreditch, London, 1-2 Jun: Slow Club, Nadine Shah, O Children, Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, Tom McRae, Drop Out Venus, Jesca Hoop, Candy Says, Zoe Konez. thebigmix.org.uk
BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR, Catton Hall, Walton-On-Trent, Derbyshire, 8-11 Aug: Gojira. www.bloodstock.uk.com
END OF THE ROAD, Larmer Tree Gardens, Tollard Royal, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 30 Aug - 1 Sep: The Walkmen, El Perro Del Mar, Anna Von Hausswolff, Braids, Crocodiles, Jessica Pratt, Mike Heron, Black Yaya, Broken Twin, Daniel Norgren, Duologue, Evans the Death, Filthy Boy, Trembling Bells, Andy Shauf, Frontier Ruckus, The Graphite Set, LandShapes, Tiger Cats, Wall, William Tyler. www.endoftheroadfestival.com
FOUND, Haggerston Park, Shoreditch, London, 15 Jun: Todd Terry, Subb-an. www.foundseries.co.uk/festival
JA JA JA FESTIVAL, Roundhouse, London, 8-9 Nov: Mew, múm. www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/productions/ja-ja-ja-festival-pass
LATITUDE, Henham Park Estate, Suffolk, 18-21 Jul: Bobby Womack, DIIV, James Rhodes, Deptford Goth, Wolf Alice, Josh Record, James Rhodes, Coves, Gabriel Bruce, Georgia Ruth, Hollie Cook, Joanna Gruesome, Mø, M O N E Y, Retro Stefson, Torres, Amore, Boom Bip & Charlie White, Grace Petrie, Mark Lamarr's God's Jukebox, Glenn Tilbrook & the Fluffers, The Dustaphonics, Hannah Williams & The Tastemakers, Lack of Afro. www.latitudefestival.com
LEOPALLOZA, The Wyldes, Lower Exe Farm, Bude, Cornwall, 2-4 Aug: Bastille, Man Like Me, Jacob Banks, Swiss Lips, The Skints, Blue Rose Code, Jetta, Wet Nuns, Findlay, Eliza & The Bear, Bebe Black, Straight Lines, Kezia. www.leopallozza.com
OFF FESTIVAL, Dolina Trzech Stawow, Katowice, Poland, 2-4 Aug: Solange, Fucked Up, John Talabot, Shackleton, Julia Holter, Buke & Gase, Guardian Alien, Zbigniew Wodecki with Mitch & Mitch OrchestraAand Choir, UL/KR, Hera, Gowno, Hokei, Frozen Bird. off-festival.pl
PITCH FESTIVAL, Amsterdamn, Netherlands, 5-6 Jul: Omar Souleyman, S O H N,
ROCK NESS, Loch Ness, Scotland, 7-9 Jun: Fenech-Soler, London Grammar, Public Service Broadcasting, The Correspondents, Jacob Banks, Fatherson, The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, Clouds, Vector Lovers, Rubylux, Hernan Cattaneo, The Ramona Flowers, The Little Mill Of Happiness, Toby Michaels Rolling Damned, Filth DJs, Them & Us, Niteworks, Jemma Tweedie, Mimosa, Bigfoot's Tea Party, Snafu DJs. www.rockness.co.uk
SUMMER SERIES AT SOMERSET HOUSE, London, 11-21 Jul: Chloe Howl, The Staves, The Staves, Tyler Ramsey, Mayy Crby, Tom Hickox, Milo Greene, Jo Rose, Asgeir Trausti, Wolf Alice, Denai Moore, Mikky Ekko, He's My Brother She's My Sister, Polly Scattergood, Bondax. www.somersethouse.org.uk/music/summer-series-2013
TENNENT'S VITAL, Boucher Road Playing Fields, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 14-15 Aug: Snow Patrol, Kodaline, Foy Vance. www.tennentsvital.com
LINE-UP ANNOUNCED FOR GREAT ESCAPE DIGITAL PITCH PARTY
The Focus On Data & Discovery will conclude with the return of the Digital Pitch Party, a popular strand at last year's TGE. Digitally-focused delegates will relocate to Brighton pub Mesmerist, where legal firm Simons, Muirhead & Burton will be buying the drinks, and representatives from a number of great music start-ups will deliver a quick elevator pitch outlining what their business does. Those pitching include MPme, Tourmanagement.com, Bandwagon, Songdrop, Richseam and Concert Live.
CMU Insight's Sam Taylor, who has selected the pitchers, told CMU: "There has been no shortage of music-focused digital start-ups appearing on the scene in the last year, but some stand-out in particular, and those are the companies who will be pitching at our Digital Pitch Party this year. All our pitchers are interested in extended their contacts and relationships within the wider music community, and this is a great opportunity for those partnerships to begin".
The Digital Pitch Party is open to all TGE delegates at Mesmerist from 4.30pm tomorrow, Thursday 16 May.
EE ANNOUNCES GLASTONBURY PARTNERSHIP
Anyway, Everything Everywhere has been confirmed as the official mobile sponsor, or "official technology and communications partner" if you prefer, of the Glastonbury Festival. It sort of takes over from long time Glasto brand partner Orange, EE being, of course, the 4G business of the same company that operates the Orange brand (which, it seems, will eventually be phased out, it turning out that the future isn't all that orange after all).
EE will work on a number of initiatives at Glastonbury as part of its partnership, including an official app and a battery recharge area.
Confirming the partnership, EE Brand Director Spencer McHugh told CMU: "As the UK's biggest and only superfast 4G network, we're uniquely placed to use our technological expertise to help make the Glastonbury experience even better for those on site; from producing the feature packed official app for the festival, providing hundreds of charging points on site in our Recharge tents, through to ensuring festival goers can upload and share all their festival photos and videos to social networking sites at superfast speeds".
BRONFMAN DEPARTS WARNER BOARD
Bronfman quickly stepped back from having an active role in the running of Warner after its acquisition by Access Industries, though stuck around in the boardroom, mainly to spearhead the company's opposition to Universal Music's acquisition of the EMI record company.
It's thought he also played a significant role in Warner's subsequent purchase of the Parlophone Label Group - the EMI division that Universal was forced to sell by competition regulators - and it's possible that it is the near completion of that deal that had resulted in him stepping away from the company at this time.
Current Warner CEO Stephen Cooper said of Bronfman during an earnings call yesterday: "His contributions to this company and the music industry as a whole have been enormous. Warner Music Group would not be the dynamic, pioneering force we are today without his tireless commitment to the company, its employees and its artists".
Elsewhere in that earnings call, Cooper revealed that Warner saw revenues rise by 8% year on year in the quarter to 31 Jan to $675 million, while operating income was up 159% to $57 million and net income moved into profit, to $2 million, from a loss in the same quarter a year earlier.
UNIVERSAL SEES REVENUES RISE IN FIRST QUARTER
Unsurprisingly, it was the entertainment and communication group's mobile business that caused most of that slide, it having been struggling for a while. Universal Music, in contrast, saw its revenues rise 13.5% year on year in the first quarter, to 1,091 million euros. Better than expected income from the mega-major's newly acquired EMI units contributed to that upturn.
In terms of the digital to physical shift, digital products generated 54% of Universal's recorded music revenue in the period, compared to 46% in the first quarter of 2012.
INVESTOR CALLS ON SONY TO SELL OFF ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS
Third Point has acquired a 6.5% stake in Sony Corp, making it one of the largest shareholders in the company. Weilding this new power, Loeb travelled to Tokyo at the weekend for meeting with the company's execs, reportedly praising them for Sony Corp's recent return to profit, but pushing for more to be done to maintain this trend and to revive its core electronics business.
According to the NYT, Loeb proposed that 15-20% of the entertainment business be sold to existing shareholders. He also said that Third Point would offer $2 billion to support such a move.
In a statement, Sony spokesperson Shiro Kambe said: "We are focused on creating shareholder value by executing on our plan to revitalise and grow the electronics business, while further strengthening the stable business foundations of the entertainment and financial services businesses. We look forward to continuing constructive dialogue with our shareholders as we pursue our strategy".
ANOTEHR A&R APPOINTMENT AT IMAGEM
Confirming the appointment, Imagem UK MD Kim Frankiewicz told CMU: "Sam's appointment completes our new A&R line up in the UK office. Sam's skill set, from running his own independent label, to proven A&R success at [Sony division] RCA brings together our creative frontier as the very best. I'm absolutely thrilled he's joining us".
Mumford himself added: "I've worked with Imagem previously and I've always admired how progressive they are as a publisher. To be led by Kim and work alongside her team is going to be great new chapter for me".
NEW RECORD LABEL POP UNLTD OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES
Anderson told CMU: "We both have a severe love of pop music and want to release the best of the best from across the world. We have spent a long time picking our first releases and we are really happy we have managed to get Giant Fang, DENA and Kirby onboard. We're really looking forward to everyone hearing the tracks and artists that we love".
Pinkett added: "For me, POP unLTD is another way to support exciting new talent and spread the word about the brilliance of pop music! I'm looking forward to sharing some of our great discoveries with the first releases on the label this summer".
More information on the label and its artists here.
ALEX JAMES TO WATCH CLIPS OF NEVER MIND THE BUZZCOCKS AND THEN SAY THINGS ABOUT THEM
Says James: "I've always been a big fan of ['Never Mind The Buzzcocks'] and I'm looking forward to seeing some of the highlights from the past seventeen years".
Executive producer Dan Baldwin added: "The 'What A Load Of Buzzcocks' comedy narrative will provide the perfect retrospective look at our ever changing world through the eyes of Britain's funniest music quiz. This world of popular culture will be reflected, prodded and poked within classic archive from the show, telling its own story of major events that matter most to the viewer... like Take That splitting up... Michael Jackson marrying Lisa Marie Presley... and Mr Blobby getting to number one. It promises to be bloody funny".
It promises to be bloody funny, but it also promises to have bloody Alex James in it. Maybe it will break one of those promises.