CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 4th August

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In today's CMU Daily:
- Apple launch in Japan, Napster prepare to follow
- Napster: more revenues, more losses
- Metallica to support the Stones
- Rajars round up
- Live police DVD release
- Killers and Carey join MTV line up
- Movie industry begin anti-download legal fight
- Blackalicious back in UK
- Quo cameo in Corrie
- Geldof to appear on Harrison Bangladesh DVD
- Manilow extends contract
- Ozzy back on our screens
- 50 cent doesn't have a problem the game
- Ryan says just say no

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APPLE LAUNCH IN JAPAN, NAPSTER PREPARE TO FOLLOW
Apple has officially launched the iTunes Music Store in Japan ending months of speculation as to if and when the market leading download platform would arrive there. The Japanese iTunes was a long time coming because of reported difficulties in negotiating contracts with the record labels there, but in Tokyo yesterday Apple boss Steve Jobs put all that behind him, telling reporters: "iTunes and iPod are leading the digital music revolution. We are thrilled to be bringing the iTunes Music Store to Japan, and hope music fans here love it as much as others around the world do."

Meanwhile Napster have also announced it is there intention to launch in Japan within the next year. They have confirmed a new joint venture with Tower Records Japan which will be used to launch their business there. Reports suggest TRJ will put a considerable investment into the Japanese version of the subscription-model download platform, taking a majority equity stake in the business. Confirming the partnership, TRJ's CEO Hiroyuki Fushitani told reporters: "The decision to partner with Napster was very simple. We believe subscription will be the digital music business model of the future and Napster Japan will expedite our entry into the digital music industry".

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NAPSTER: MORE REVENUES, MORE LOSSES
Talking of Napster, the download firm has announced details of their most recent financials. The good news is that revenues are up. The bad news is, so are losses. Doh. The download platform actually doubled its revenues following a flood of new subscriptions, but the increasingly competitive download space meant that Napster's marketing costs grew hugely, hence the overall loss. Napster bosses, of course, will be hoping that once people are signed up they will subscribers for some time to come so any losses made now will be recouped in the shorterm, and turned into profit in the medium term. Let's hope they're right, or investment types will be rather cross in the long term.

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METALLICA TO SUPPORT THE STONES
Metallica are returning to the days of support slot performances. The legendary metal band will support the Rolling Stones at two dates in San Francisco next Nov.

Confirming the support slot, the band wrote on their website: "After taking three weeks off we thought it might be fun to play a few small intimate gigs so we called up our close personal friends, the Rolling Stones, to see what they were up to... turns out that they are doing a stadium tour of North America! Nah - seriously, last week we were honoured to share the stage with them in our home town".

"After having the thrill of playing with some of our most personal heroes such as AC/DC, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden and Ozzy, how could we say 'no' to the quintessential rock band, who are in some way responsible for all of this? These two shows are about nothing more than having fun and playing music... nothing to sell, nothing to promote, nothing to talk about... no fuckin' agenda at all. Simply put, this is the reason we started a band 25 or so years ago, and we are psyched and appreciative of this awesome opportunity to get cracking again".

Metallica are one of a diverse selection of bands who will be supporting the Stones - the list also includes Pearl Jam, Black Eyed Peas, Joss Stone , Beck and Maroon 5.

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RAJARS ROUND UP
Is it just me, or do they publish Rajar figures every couple of weeks these days? I seem to be writing about them all the time. Anyway, a new set of radio listening stats are published today. We'll be quick in our summary - because it's the summer, and somehow these things seem less important when a nice summer holiday beckons. So, here are the only two real news stories to be taken from the new Rajars.

Jamie Theakston has brought minus 250,000 listeners to his new breakfast show on Heart 106.2, which is quite an achievement. Heart admitted that losing a quarter of their listeners since Theakston replaced Jono Coleman back in Apr was "slightly disappointing", which is quite an admission given that radio stations normally manage to find some positive spin whatever their RAJARs. That in mind, "slightly disappointing" pretty much as translates as "a fucking disaster, fire whoever's idea this was, what's Chris Tarrant's phone number, what are the chances of getting Terry Wogan?".

The listening slump is particularly ironic given that Coleman managed to considerably boost his audience in the closing months on the job, helping make Heart London's most popular commercial station. Heart will presumably stress that Theakston's show is very different to Coleman's and that therefore an initial slump was to be expected, and will no doubt be keen to add that they expect a new audience to start tuning in sometime soon. Personally I am not convinced - as we said at the time the new show was launched, Theakston is a good TV presenter, especially when doubled up with someone like Zoe Ball, and he's an OK actor too. But he's a bit rubbish when you put him in a radio studio. Ah well, we'll see I guess.

The second main story of note is that the BBC got very close to beating its record for biggest overall radio audience ever with an average of 32.8 million tuning in to its combined radio services during the quarter. That is close to the previous high of 33 million scored a couple of years back when Radio 4 was enjoying a particularly high listenership. The current boost in BBC listening figures actually comes courtesy of the formerly deflated Radio 1 which has got its audience back up above 10 million, scoring its highest audience share for four years. So well done them. Crucially for the commercial sector, the combined BBC audience still exceeds the combined commercial radio audience - 32.8 million to 31.2 million - which will provide further incentive for the commercial stations to collaborate on Radio Aid style projects in a bid to steal listeners from the Beeb with high profile nationally syndicated radio shows.

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LIVE POLICE DVD RELEASE
A live DVD of a Police concert is to be released shortly. 'The Police - Synchronicity Concert', filmed at a live gig in Atlanta on their Synchronicity World tour back in 1983, will be out on 12 Sep and will feature four previously unseen multi angle tracks: 'Synchronicity II', 'Roxanne', 'Invisible Sun' and 'Don't Stand So Close To Me'. The DVD will also feature a rare interview with the band from the Australian leg of the tour. So now you know. Press info from Noble PR.

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KILLERS AND CAREY JOIN MTV LINE UP
The Killers and Mariah Carey have been added to the list of acts appearing at the MTV Video awards at the end of this month. As previously reported, he event takes place on 29 Aug in Miami and already features a line up that includes Green Day, Kelly Clarkson and Kanye West.

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MOVIE INDUSTRY BEGIN ANTI-DOWNLOAD LEGAL FIGHT
The legal fight against illegal downloading continues, this time with a round of litigation instigated by the Motion Picture Association of America against a number of people in Texas accused of illegally uploading film content onto the internet. The legal action pretty much mirrors that pursued by the Recording Industry Association of America, as did the PR message behind it (albeit with an amusing sign off) - MPAA anti-piracy chief John Malcolm told reporters yesterday: "With these lawsuits, our message to internet thieves becomes loud and clear: You are not anonymous, we will find you, and you will be held responsible. You can click, but you can't hide".

Hollywood is becoming increasingly nervous about the possible impact the illegal file sharing of movies will have on their business now that broadband internet is spreading fast. Movie bosses are keen to learn from the lessons learned by their colleagues in the music business to stop the spread of illegal movie downloads. Which presumably means lots of expensive litigation and irritating anti-piracy technologies until Steve Jobs comes up with a consumer friendly business model that competes with free-for-all illegal movie downloads.

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BLACKALICIOUS BACK IN UK
Blackalicious are returning to the UK for a handful of live shows this Aug to mark the release of their fifth album. Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel will be appearing at the Jazz Café on 24 and 15 Aug and will also play at the Reading and Leeds festivals. Press info from Sainted PR.

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QUO CAMEO IN CORRIE
Status Quo members Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt are to appear in Coronation Street, having filmed three episodes which will be aired in September. They appear in a scene where the character of Les Battersby comes face to face with his rock idols when they stop for a drink before a gig. They'll return to the storyline shortly afterwards when they play at Les and Cilla's wedding. If you know who Cilla is. Or indeed, Les. Presumably you all know who Status Quo are.

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GELDOF TO APPEAR ON HARRISON BANGLADESH DVD
Bob Geldof appears on the upcoming DVD release of George Harrison's 'Concert For Bangladesh'. He appears alongside UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, both men explaining how Harrison inspired them. The concert took place in New York back in 1971 and featured appearances by such stars as Bob Dylan and Ravi Shankar. As previously reported, the DVD is expected to be released some time in Oct.

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MANILOW EXTENDS CONTRACT
Barry Manilow is extending his contract with the Las Vegas Hilton. He has added a further 150 shows to his current run of 'Music And Passion' shows, meaning that his residency will last through until at least 2007. The singer was originally only signed up for a 24 week deal which would have ended in 2006. He promises the fans that the show won't get stale: "I've always avoided a fixed show that repeated the same thing every night".

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OZZY BACK ON OUR SCREENS
Well, if you're having Osbourne withdrawal symptoms, never fear, as he will soon be on screen again, appearing in a 'This Is Your Life' style show to reminisce about his rock and roll days. Don't know when it's going out. Or what channel it's on. But what I do know is that an 'insider' has told The Sun: "Ozzy's had one of the most outrageous lives and this is warts and all. It's definitely going to have to go out after 9pm."

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50 CENT DOESN'T HAVE A PROBLEM THE GAME
Or so he says. 50 Cent has said that he has no problem with The Game, despite that ongoing dispute between the two hip-hoppers and the fact that The Game has recently committed his feelings about Fiddy to one of his songs. 50 Cent told MTV: "It's a shame that it couldn't actually be resolved in conversation, but other than that I don't have a problem with him. I wish him the best with his career. Hopefully he'll be able to put together another album."

He continues with a bit of a barb, however: "A lot of people think we're exactly the same (but) I could spin the globe and stop it and go there and be 50 Cent for a month, just tour in that country. They only know him in an eight-block radius in his neighbourhood. They take whatever they can to make a big deal about it."

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RYAN SAYS JUST SAY NO
Former boy band star Lee Ryan gave up drugs as a teenager because he was afraid his tendency to binge on illegal substances would kill him. The former Blue boy says he started smoking cannabis aged 13 and that during his teens he tried a bit everything bar what my street friends now call the Doherty-drugs (crack and heroin).

But as he matured he kicked the drugs because: "I was ill because I was taking so much. When you're taking ecstasy, drink, pills, coke, everything in one night, you realise you can't go on like that, so I knocked it on the head."

How good of Ryan to suddenly share these experiences with us, though quite why he suddenly feels the need to reveal his druggy past and offer a little life advice to his young fans this week in particular isn't clear.

In unrelated news, Lee Ryan's eponymously titled album was released on Monday.

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