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TODAY'S NEWS
IMPALA return to court over SonyBMG merger
Is former Zomba chief bidding for SonyBMG stake?
Winehouse taken to hospital after fainting
Spears judged not at fault in paparazzo case
Coldplay refute melody copy claims
Stones deny Live Nation record deal
Duffy wins Song Of The Year on Mojo Honours List
Silverchair man scores Songwriter Of The Year hat trick at Aussie songwriter awards
New Sex Pistols album?
Linkin man denies Velvet Revolver rumours
Ne-Yo is Connery fan
Metallica album rumour
New Riton project a little bit krautrock
Spears' Pussycat cameo cut
Bonham junior on Zep appearance
Special concert planned for Olympic handover
Liverpool most musical city
Album review: Infadels - Universe In Reverse
US musicians union sue over American Idol reruns
More consolidation expected in US booking agency sector
More on the BMR youth survey
MediaNet to power expanded Tesco download store
Sony/ATV to offer Europe-wide digital licence through GEMA
FCC boss gives backing to Sirius XM merger
Linley gets Heat editor job
Sugababes don't think Cheryl is a good X Factor judge replacement
West booed at Bonnaroo
Madden bored by wedding claims
Myers on Timberlake's 'package'
ON THE NETWORK...
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
Advertise with CMU
 
TUESDAY 17TH JUNE

GAVIN ROSSDALE
Gavin Rossdale shot to fame in the mid-90s as frontman of Bush, with whom he released five albums. Following the break up of Bush, he formed Institute with Helmet's Chris Traynor, Cache Tolman from Rival Schools and Josh Freese of The Vandals, A Perfect Circle and Nine Inch Nails. Now Rossdale is back with his debut solo album, 'Wanderlust', released earlier this month, which sees him again working with Freese and Traynor, as well as The Eurythmics' Dave Stewart and Garbage's Shirley Manson. Posed with the SSQs, Gavin gives us some insight into how he's come to this point in his career.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I saw music as a way out of the doldrums and the humdrum. I loved making things up and getting out of the way of the melodies inside. The first musician I met and connected with, we formed a band - I sang songs into a tape machine on my dad's stereo and Sacha Puttnam (the friend) would put music to them. He was always a really good musician and a perfect partner-in-crime. He is now a brilliant film composer and still one of my favourite people ever in the world.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
That's a big question - or a long answer. It's late here, so the short answer is that life inspires; every day inspires. Sometimes for good and productive, and sometimes sloth. But always something more than nothing.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Solitude, an idea, a drum machine, an instrument, a little recorder, and my laptop.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
So many. At the moment, Nick Cave is making excellent records. Between Grinderman and The Bad Seeds, the guy is on fire.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I would say, "Dive in, enjoy, and lose yourself".

Q6 What are your ambitions for the album, and for the future?
I guess my ambition got me to this hotel room in Berlin. I play here tomorrow night. Ambition is a funny word. Perhaps I have no clue how to stop. Music is a driving force and a way of life. It is something that cannot be denied. As to the future, well, the journey of a 1000 steps is one after the other, right? So, tomorrow the show. And after that, we'll see...

 

COUSIN COLE
It's a great start to the week SNAP-wise with the brilliant Detroit Social Club yesterday and Cousin Cole, the New Yorker behind one of the best remixes of the year so far, today. Twisting Bruce Springsteen's 'I'm On Fire' into a spacey, low-tempo disco classic, he's lost none of the poignancy of the original, only adding to the ethereal, hypnotic tones of The Boss's vocals with the cosmic, almost watery synth hooks that run throughout. Building these up until the wolf calls around four minutes, you'll be practically begging for the mix to continue when it's nearing the end. Take a listen at the link below.

www.myspace.com/cousincole

 
 

IMPALA RETURN TO COURT OVER SONYBMG MERGER
So, back to this old chestnut, and amid rumours that Sony Corp is about to make a $1.5 billion bid to buy Bertelsmann out of their SonyBMG joint venture, the pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA returned to the European courts late last week to again appeal the decision by the European Commission to let Sony and Bertelsmann merge their record companies in the first place.

As much previously reported, IMPALA surprised many, and maybe even themselves, when, in 2006, they successfully appealed, through the European Courts Of Justice, the original 2004 decision made by the Commission's competition authority which allowed the merger of Sony Music and BMG. The ECJ agreed with the indie label trade body that the Commission's competition people had not sufficiently investigated the impact the further consolidation of the major labels would have on the wider record and music industry.

The ECJ themselves don't have the authority to undo the merger, merely to set aside the Commission's ruling on procedural grounds. Having done just that, the Commission's competition team re-reviewed the Sony BMG merger proposition anew - even though the merged SonyBMG had, by this time, been in existence for two years. Having undertaken what they called a more thorough investigation, the Commission announced last Autumn that they were again going to give the merger the green light.

Now, nearly four years on from the merger, IMPALA have returned to the ECJ to appeal that second Commission ruling on the matter, arguing that those damn competition officials only went and bungled the second investigation too. The trade body's main point isn't so much that the merger shouldn't have been given the go ahead at all, but that it should have been conditional - with the major being forced to provide 'remedies' to the wider record industry.

Concentrating on the need for remedies is pragmatic on the part of IMPALA. Realistically, four years on, even if European officials decided that, after all, the 2004 merger should never have happened, it would be hard to return SonyBMG back to its constituent parts of Sony Music and BMG, especially if Bertelsmann is no longer even a partner in the business by the time that ruling is made. However, it would be practical to force the major to provide remedies to the independent sector, especially if those were financial rather than involving large scale sell offs of parts of its label operations or catalogue.

As previously reported, when there were plans afoot for Warner and EMI to merge early last year IMPALA reached an agreement with Warner chief Edgar Bronfmann Jr which would have seen the major provide undefined remedies to the indie sector to win their approval of the merger. Of course, said merger, and said remedies, never materialised after Guy Hands' Terra Firma bought EMI - though not before the Warner/IMPALA deal had caused some controversy in the indie community, with some key indies, most prominently Ministry Of Sound, disagreeing with the deal.

I've no idea what the timescale is for the ECJ to consider IMPALA's latest appeal. But I do know what IMPALA co-President and !K7 Records chief Horst Weidenmueller thinks. He told CMU yesterday: "A merger such as this with no remedies has repercussions for thousands of artists and small businesses across Europe. IMPALA's primary issue is the dysfunctioning of the music market. Online is the key example here and the EC should look more closely at how the majors are controlling the roll-out of this market".

IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith added: "There is a huge contradiction here. Politically the EC is light years ahead of where it was when it first authorised the SonyBMG merger. But, we still seem to be some way off relying on the regulators to guarantee an open and competitive market, so we had no choice but to appeal. At the same time we welcome the new political agenda at EC level and are ready to work on concrete market access measures to empower thousands of SME music operators and their artists, as set out in IMPALA's Action Plan adopted in March".

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IS FORMER ZOMBA CHIEF BIDDING FOR SONYBMG STAKE?
More SonyBMG news, and this is interesting. Amid those rumours that Sony Corp will buy its business partners Bertelsmann out of the SonyBMG joint venture, there are new rumours now that Clive Calder, the man behind the original Zomba music empire, might bid to buy the German media conglom's half of the major record company.

Calder's Zomba company, which operated the Jive label, was one of the US pop industry's hottest properties for a while, having, as it did, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and Nsync on its rosters just when those artists were at their very peak. BMG bought Zomba off Calder for over $3 billion in 2002, considerably more than the $1.5 billion Bertelsmann are now asking for their half of SonyBMG.

Calder has stayed away from the music business since his big Bertelsmann pay off, but there are rumours that he is planning a come back, and is prepared to give $1.2 billion back to Bertelsmann in return for their SonyBMG share, which is a pretty good deal for him - even though neither Bertelsmann nor SonyBMG now own the Zomba publishing catalogue that was part of the 2002 deal, half of SonyBMG's vast recordings catalogue and label operations for less than half what he got for Zomba seems like a bit of a bargain.

Of course, as we said, Sony Corp are also reportedly negotiating to buy Bertelsmann's 50% of SonyBMG, and they [a] have a first option to buy until next year under the 2004 merger agreement and [b] are reportedly willing to offer more cash than Calder, so even if the Zomba man is, as reported, interested, he is probably the less likely bidder to win Bertelsmann's SonyBMG stake. Still, given all the insecurities that exist in financial circles regarding the record industry, it might be easier for billionaire Calder to mount a successful bid than for Sony Corp to persuade its shareholders that complete ownership of SonyBMG is worth one and half billion dollars of their money.

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WINEHOUSE TAKEN TO HOSPITAL AFTER FAINTING
Amy Winehouse was taken to hospital for tests this week after fainting at her London home on Monday afternoon. According to a spokesman, the singer was "doing admin" when she became unwell, and although she recovered quickly, her father Mitch took her to the London Clinic in Marylebone "as a precaution". Doctors don't know what caused Winehouse to faint, but presumably it could be tiredness or something similar. Or perhaps the excitement of all that admin. She was admitted to hospital last year, you'll remember, due to exhaustion.

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SPEARS JUDGED NOT AT FAULT IN PAPARAZZO CASE
That paparazzo who pressed charges against Britney Spears because she ran over his foot has lost his case against her. The unidentified photographer, as previously reported, filed a complaint in May, about six months after the incident occurred, seeking a felony charge of failing to stop after an accident involving an injury. Reviewing the case, the LA County District Attorney's office saw a videotape and images of the event which portrayed a chaotic scene, with photographers on all sides of Spears car and "a lot of noise and confusion". The singer herself was judged to have been "driving at an extremely slow rate of speed and in a straight path", and therefore, wrote Deputy District Attorney Joseph D. Shidler in a report, the "only way the victim's foot could have been where the video indicates it to be was by the victim placing it in that location".

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COLDPLAY REFUTE MELODY COPY CLAIMS
Coldplay have refuted, that's right refuted, not just denied, allegations that they lifted the melody for the title track on their new album from a song by an American indie band.

The frontman of a band called Creaky Boards, one Andrew Hoepfner, has claimed in a posting on the net that Coldplay's Chris Martin came to one of his gigs last year, and that now they have heard the song 'Viva La Vida' off the British band's new long player and found it uses the melody from one of their songs. Hoepfner writes: "We were flattered when we thought we saw Chris Martin in the crowd that night. He seemed pretty into it. Maybe too into it".

But Coldplay's people have refuted those claims, saying that Martin had written the title track to his band's new album by March last year, before he had ever come across Creaky Boards. So, that's that then.

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STONES DENY LIVE NATION RECORD DEAL
The Rolling Stones have downplayed reports published this weekend saying that the band were about to do a Madonna-style 360 degree deal with live music conglom Live Nation, which would include a new record deal.

The Stones are currently looking for a new record deal having completed their recording commitments to EMI. With "every artist in the world quitting Guy Hands' EMI" a popular story in the press just now, it has been widely reported that Jagger et al would look elsewhere for their next record deal.

Universal Music, who released the soundtrack to the recent Martin Scorsese directed Stones concert film, are a favourite to sign the aging rockers, though with Live Nation known to be keen to sign multi-dimensional deals with more iconic artists - similar to those done with Madonna and Jay-Z, both of which include recordings - rumours of a Stones/Live Nation deal have been rife. The fact that the Live Nation Artists division that is handling the Madonna and Jay-Z deals is run by Michael Cohl, long time Stones tour promoter, have only added to those rumours.

But after the Observer reported on Sunday that a Live Nation deal involving recordings was about to be signed, LD Publicity's Bernard Doherty issued a statement on the band's behalf yesterday, telling reporters, simply: "We are not in talks with Live Nation in connection with any record deal". So, take note people.

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DUFFY WINS SONG OF THE YEAR AT MOJO HONOURS LIST
So, it was Mojo magazine's annual awards bash in London yesterday, and Duffy's single 'Mercy' was named Song Of The Year, though she lost out in the Best Breakthrough Act to The Last Shadow Puppets, which isn't really fair, because they're not really new, and in the Best Album category to Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, which is fair, because that was a blindingly good album.

Coming up, the winners list in full, but first Mojo Editor In Chief Phil Alexander on the winners of his magazine's Icon Award, those there Sex Pistols: "As punk's standard-bearers, the Sex Pistols truly re-defined modern music in the space of one solitary album. Who else has managed that? They also influenced every aspect of popular culture - from fashion to the media, film and literature and on to the music industry itself. They remain totems for rebellion in a manner that is totally unique and which we are proud to salute with this award".

The public voted awards...
Song of the Year Award: Mercy by Duffy
Best Breakthrough Act: The Last Shadow Puppets
Best Album Award: Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Best Live Act Award: Led Zeppelin
Compilation of the Year Award: Juno Original Soundtrack

The Mojo writer voted awards...
Catalogue Release of the Year: Pillows & Prayers Cherry Red Records 1981-1984
Classic Album Award: Loveless by My Bloody Valentine
Roots Award: Toots Hibbert
Les Paul Award: John Martyn
Outstanding Contribution to Music Award: Paul Weller
Classic Songwriter Award: Neil Diamond
Lifetime Achievement Award: Genesis
Inspiration Award: John Fogerty
Maverick Award: Mark E Smith
Vision Award: Julien Temple for The Future is Unwritten
Special Award: Judy Collins
Legend Award: Irma Thomas
Hall of Fame: The Specials
Hero Award: Motorhead
Icon Award: the Sex Pistols

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SILVERCHAIR MAN SCORES SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR HAT TRICK AT AUSSIE SONGWRITER AWARDS
More awards for you all, this time from down under, and Silverchair's Daniel Johns was named Songwriter Of The Year for the third time at the annual awards for songwriters held by the Australasian Performing Rights Association. So, well done him. He previously won the prize in 1995 and 2003. As well as the Songwriter Of The Year gong, Johns took the prize for Song Of The Year for 'Straight Lines', a song he co-wrote, perhaps a little surprisingly, with one half of The Presets, Julian Hamilton.

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NEW SEX PISTOLS ALBUM?
More Sex Pistols, and John Lydon et al are apparently considering releasing a new album, following their headline set at the Isle Of Wight festival at the weekend. Lydon said: "There could be a new record. That would be nice. But I won't do anything in a patronising way. The music, the subject and the attitude all have to be right at the same time. Everything has to be from the heart". Not gonna say anything about dead horses and flogging.

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LINKIN MAN DENIES VELVET REVOLVER RUMOURS
Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington has denied rumours that he is to replace Scott Weiland in Velvet Revolver. There's been loads of speculation regarding a replacement ever since the Stone Temple Pilot's acrimonious departure from the band, some suggesting that there might be another reality recruitment show in the offing.

Anyway, Bennington insists that the rumours have come from a misunderstanding. "I'm friends with all the guys in Velvet Revolver and have played with all of them before. I'm friends with Scott too," he said. "I think the rumour that I was going to join Velvet Revolver started because Slash asked me if I'd come play a show with them in Vegas right around the time that Scott left the band. Timing-wise, it didn't work out for me, though. Maybe people assumed that invitation meant I was joining the band".

It's not because he wouldn't want to, however. He continued: "If I wasn't in Linkin Park any more and I didn't know Scott, though, I'd say yes. Who wouldn't? The music is great and it would be a really cool opportunity".

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NE-YO IS CONNERY FAN
Ne-Yo has said that Sean Connery - or rather, Connery as James Bond - was his source of inspiration whilst recording his 2007 album 'Because Of You'. He explains: "Sean Connery is an absolute gentleman. His portrayal of James Bond was a lot of the inspiration for the album. I love his look, his swagger. The ladies loved him and all the guys wanted to be him. He never let people see him sweat and he had an answer for any situation. In essence, as Bond he was strong - regal but not bossy and confident but not conceited".

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METALLICA ALBUM RUMOUR
The rumour is that the new Metallica album is called 'Death Magnetic'. The band, currently at work on the new LP, have apparently let slip the phrase in a few online postings. So, we'll see.

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NEW RITON PROJECT A LITTLE BIT KRAUTROCK
This should be interesting, Riton, aka Henry Smithson, is about to release a new album under a new moniker, and from what I can see it's gonna be quite a bit different from his Riton work. Going by the name 'Eine Kleine Nacht Musik' (both the project and the album), it's described as "a concept record in the very best sense of the word" and it apparently aims to celebrate all things krautrock, which seems as good an aim as any to me. The album will be released via Modular on 14 Jul, with a two track 12" out at the end of the month. The album will include a ten minute film, and you can watch a slightly hypnotic trailer of it all at www.einekleinenachtmusik.tv. You can get press info on it from Bang On.

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SPEARS' PUSSYCAT CAMEO CUT
Britney Spears apparently filmed a teeny cameo for the new Pussycat Dolls video for single 'When I Grow Up', but the appearance is not going to make it to the final promo. No reasons have been given as to why.

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BONHAM JUNIOR ON ZEP APPEARANCE
Drummer Jason Bonham, son of the late John, who took his father's place at Led Zeppelin's London gig in December, has spoken about the event, and it would seem he found it scary, if exhilarating.

He told Musician magazine: "It was like the penalty shoot-out at the World Cup, but you're taking everyone. I had to shoot 16 times and get the goal every time. We all arrived separately and didn't communicate with each other until ten minutes before we went on. At that point I don't know what I was feeling. I was breathing deeply trying to keep calm. I knew I could do the gig, but could I do it when it counted?"

He adds that he's eager for another reunion (even though that's looking unlikely at present). "It's hard to be in this situation where it was so good and now I'm left in limbo about what's going to happen next", he said. "I'm happy with what happened and if I ask for me it's me being greedy".

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SPECIAL CONCERT PLANNED FOR OLYMPIC HANDOVER
There'll be a massive free party on the Mall in London to mark the handover of the Olympics from Beijing to the British capital on 24 Aug. As the Olympic flag is handed over at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Games to London mayor Boris Johnson (and a special flag no less, incorporating that God awful logo they're insisting we use), a live concert will kick off in central London, which will be broadcast on the telly.

The concert will include music and dance, the latter coming from the Royal Opera House, CanDoCo and those Into The Hoods Zoo Nation break dancing types. The bands set to play are being kept a secret, for reasons for which I'm not quite sure. The whole thing will finale with an artistic representation of what the Olympics are all about - a bunch of idiots will set fire to twenty billion pounds.

No, only joking. Athletes from every sport, from across the world, from all cultures, from all backgrounds, from every society, will come together, hold hands, and then set fire to twenty billion pounds. No, not really. It will probably end with George Sampson break dancing or Leona Lewis warbling or something like that.

Given the tabloid reports this morning that Simon Cowell has hired three former SAS soldiers to provide security for fourteen year old 'Britain's Got Talent' winner Sampson, who is apparently getting mobbed wherever he goes, if he is involved in the open air Olympics party this August (and he might as well be, it'll probably rain) perhaps the Chinese could send in some of those jump suited thugs to handle the security arrangements.

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LIVERPOOL MOST MUSICAL CITY
So, it turns out Liverpool is the most musical city in England, though, and as much as I love the old Pool, I can't help thinking The Beatles tipped the balance in its favour somewhat, given there is a strong argument runners up Sheffield and Manchester have contributed more quality bands overall - and, if we're being really honest, London is probably the most musical city in the country in terms of output, even if half the bands based in the capital don't originate from there.

Liverpool was declared most musical city by that previously reported Arts Council organised Most Musical City initiative. As a result of Liverpool's victory, Merseyside based unsigned band The Affection have won a slot at this year's End Of The Road festival in Dorset.

While we're talking about Liverpool's musical heritage, can I mention that my Mum went to visit the childhood homes of Lennon and McCartney this weekend - now both owned by the National Trust - and she said they're brilliant? I can't remember what the rules are regarding assigning the 'CMU favourite' status to music based heritage attractions, but consider it assigned to that. And have I ever mentioned said Mum sat behind Cynthia Lennon at primary school? Not that I'm trying to up my Liverpudlian credentials to appear more musical or anything.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Infadels - Universe In Reverse (Wall Of Sound)
I don't think it is any secret that I am of the opinion that 2006's 'We Are Not The Infadels' is one of the most underrated albums of recent years - well, underrated in the UK, Infadels being one of those strange British bands that enjoy a lot more success abroad than they do at home. I'm not the only one, so I know I'm not alone in having everything crossed that this, Infadels' second long player, is the one that makes them the household names they deserve to be here in the UK. And if anything 'Universe In Reverse' deserves to be big more than the debut - even though I think 'We Are Not The...' is a slightly is more interesting record. 'UIR', however, is a real pop album, but pop in the good sense of the word, in the sense that every song has that familiar feel to it on first listen, a hook and chorus that you hum or sing along to almost straight away, but, at the same time, enough substance that they don't becoming irritating with repeat listen. First single 'Make Mistakes' and the title track are personal favourites, though new single 'Free Things For Poor People', out this week, while not an instant favourite, has grown on me rather majorly in the last few days. I suspect this might be one of those albums where favoured tracks vary over time, because there are no weak spots, and every song is a real contender. This is a brilliant album, let's hope the music fans of Britain latch onto it this time, and after getting into this, make the effort to go back and revisit the just as brilliant debut LP. CC
Release date: 23 Jun
Press contact: Chuff Media [CP, RP] J2PR [NP] Airplayer [CR, RR, NR] Charm Factory [O]

PS: Don't forget it's Free Things day - look out for Infadels on a special bus on Oxford Street all afternoon - more at www.freethingsforpoorpeople.com

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US MUSICIANS UNION SUE OVER AMERICAN IDOL RERUNS
The American Federation Of Musicians, basically the US' Musicians Union, is suing the makers of 'American Idol' over the rerecording of music for a rerun of the popular TV talent show. Or something like that, it's all a bit confusing really.

The dispute centres on 'American Idol Rewind', a repeat of the main pop reality programme that airs on various US TV networks after the main series and competition is done and dusted. I think the problem is that, in order to avoid having to pay the musicians whose music appeared on the original version of the show a second fee based on a union agreement (75% of the original fee and a pension fund contribution), producers had the music rerecorded by new musicians under a new agreement more favourable to the TV makers. The union says they weren't informed of this until after the fact, and that the second agreement violated another collective bargaining agreement. I think I'm right in saying the lawsuit relates specifically to the second series of 'American Idol'.

The union is suing in a bid to have the musicians whose music appeared on the main 'American Idol' series paid a fee for the repeat series, even though their music didn't actually appear on it. They are also looking for damages and legal fees, oh, and an injunction to stop TV producers switching music on reruns to avoid royalty payments again in the future.

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MORE CONSOLIDATION EXPECTED IN US BOOKING AGENCY SECTOR
There's an article in US trade mag Billboard this week about an interesting and not entirely brilliant side effect of the growing significance of the live sector - the increasing dominance of the bigger booking agents.

Some smaller booking agents in the US - who have traditionally survived by specialising in a niche area and/or on the back of a handful of bankable higher profile clients - say that because live revenues are increasingly important to bands and their managers, and because more and more artists are looking for agents who can represent them in the profitable TV, media, literary and brand partnership sectors as well as in the booking of gigs and tours, it is harder for them to hang on to the bigger artists on which they depend for their financial security. The solution for many is to merge with one of the bigger agencies, so they can offer their artists the combined skills and contacts of the bigger company.

The article follows the acquisition of Californian based independent the Kork Agency by the big Agency Group. It's founder, Christian Bernhardt, tells the trade mag: "With the record companies becoming more obsolete, it's important [for artists] to have a bigger company [in the live sector] that can go into areas a smaller company can't go into. I think [agency mergers are] going to become a trend".

Agency Group boss Neil Warnock adds: "You will see this company make other acquisitions over the next period of time. You either get acquired or you acquire".

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MORE ON THE BMR YOUTH SURVEY
More on that survey by British Music Rights and the University Of Hertfordshire we touched on yesterday, and a slightly more upbeat overview from BMR chief Feargal Sharkey that the one we pulled out of the Daily Telegraph yesterday.

As previously reported, the survey of 14-24 year olds revealed that the average kid of the street has over 800 illegally download tracks on their MP3 player, and has no problem sharing their digital music collections with others. Then again, it wasn't all doom and gloom in the stats.

For starters, the survey said that the average respondent had 1770 tracks on their iPod, over half of which were pirated. While that means over 800 were illegally downloaded, it also means that 800 odd had been paid for, either as legit downloads or ripped off CD, which sounds a pretty good stat to me. While the average teenager when I was that age wouldn't have owned 1770 tracks, probably more than half their record collection had been taped off the radio or off friends, so on percentage terms perhaps things aren't that much worse than before. Perhaps.

But more importantly, the respondents also said they were still interested in buying CDs for their favourite artists, and that they (well, 80% of them) would be willing to pay to use a good legit P2P file sharing service. Whether said respondents would stand by that commitment once such a service is available remains to be seen, but it is good news for that legit P2P service that is about to launch, Qtrax, and the labels and publishers participating in it.

Anyway, however you interpret the specifics, the survey definitely reaffirms that the music market has changed dramatically in recent years, and that the music business has to continue to adapt to survive long term. Sharkey says this: "The music industry should draw great optimism from this groundbreaking survey. First and foremost, it is quite clear that this young and tech-savvy demographic is as crazy about and engaged with music as any previous generation. Contrary to popular belief, they are also prepared to pay for it too. But only if offered the services they want. That message comes through loud and clear".

He continued: "These responses also pull no punches in highlighting how dramatically music consumption has changed, and continues to change; certainly in the case of copying, sharing and recommendation. Technology has greatly increased the value of these activities - but it is clear that the financial gains are not necessarily feeding back to the creators: artists, composers and songwriters. How the music industry repositions itself here, and builds new mutually-beneficial commercial partnerships with technology providers remains the key challenge ahead".

David Bahanovich, Head of Music and Entertainment Industry Management Programme at University of Hertfordshire, adds: "As we witness the seismic changes to the music industry's landscape, timely and targeted research is not only welcome, but is of critical importance. Our recent collaboration with BMR has proven very fruitful and our findings will be of great interest to both industry and government. We are committed to helping the industry find solutions through groundbreaking research, and this is only the first of a series of projects with BMR addressing some of the key issues confronting our industry during this unprecedented time of change".

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MEDIANET TO POWER EXPANDED TESCO DOWNLOAD STORE
MediaNet Digital, the backend digital music service provider once known as MusicNet, and which used to power various download stores, especially for high street retailers, utilising a Windows Media based system, has announced it will provide the back end to Tesco's new digital store, including a DRM-free MP3 download offer.

The supermarket giant announced it would step up its online entertainment offer earlier this year, expanding its film, TV programme and game download offer, and moving its music service into the DRM-free iPod compatible MP3 domain. MediaNet, which changed its name a while back as it diversified into digital content other than music, will power that expanded Tesco service.

Tesco's Commercial Director, Graham Harris, told reporters: "MediaNet's fully customised service, comprehensive media library as well as their knowledge and experience have helped us to achieve our goals".

MediaNet chief Alan McGlade added: "Our aim is to help Tesco Digital deliver the right mix of content and ease of use for their customer base".

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SONY/ATV TO OFFER EUROPE-WIDE DIGITAL LICENCE THROUGH GEMA
Music publisher Sony/ATV has announced a partnership with German performing rights society GEMA which will result in one of those one-stop pan-European licensing services for digital rights for music in the major's catalogue.

As previously reported, various publishers have been working with various collecting societies across Europe to deliver cross-Europe licencing, responding to the demands of both the digital music providers, who can't be bothered doing separate publishing royalty deals for ever territory they operate in, and also from European Union competition officials who want national collecting societies to operate in each other's territories in order to stop any one society having a monopoly over royalties in their home country.

Announcing that the pan-European licensing framework would launch next month through the GEMA partnership, Sony/ATV chief Marty Bandier said in a statement: "Our goal is to help speed the development of new online and mobile services across Europe - ensuring that the needs of consumers, regardless of where they may live, will have greater access to our music, sooner. And as these services become durable, legitimate businesses, they will benefit our writers and composers, as well".

GEMA boss Harald Heker added: "The cooperation with Sony/ATV Music Publishing is a great enhancement for GEMA, as it enables us to continue to license the Anglo-American repertoire further".

EMI Music Publishing announced a similar pan-European digital licensing system with GEMA and UK collecting society MCPS-PRS earlier this year.

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FCC BOSS GIVES BACKING TO SIRIUS XM MERGER
The boss of the FCC, Kevin Martin, has said he will recommend his colleagues at the US media regulator give the go ahead for the merger of satellite radio networks Sirius and XM, which is quite a turnaround, given that, if I remember rightly, both the FCC and its chair were initially resistant to the merger proposals.

As previously reported, Sirius and XM have been trying to merge for ages. The merger will give them a monopoly in the US satellite radio space, hence the FCC concerns, but the two firms argue that they compete with terrestrial broadcasters and online music services, so a merged Sirius XM will not be too dominant.

Martin said in a statement yesterday: "As I have indicated before, this is an unusual situation. I am recommending that with the voluntary commitments they've offered, on balance, this transaction would be in the public interest".

Recent reports suggested that the FCC would approve the merger but with conditions, with some saying said conditions would make the merger unpalatable for Sirius and XM. But it seems the two satellite radio firms have come forward with their own concessions - the voluntary commitments referred to by Martin - in order to sweeten the deal for those with monopoly concerns.

According to reports in the US press those voluntary commitments include price rise constraints, the introduction of economy line packages, the introduction of an open standard for radio set manufacture, a new a la carte service to complement current subscription based packages, and a commitment to public interest programming.

Following Martin's comments a spokesman for the FCC said: "We have no indication on how the votes will go and whether this will be approved as proposed. This proposal will start the discussion on what the transaction will look like if approved".

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LINLEY GETS HEAT EDITOR JOB
Bauer Media have announced that Julian Linley will be the new editor of c'leb mag Heat, taking over from long-standing Heat chief Mark Frith. An internal appointment, Linley has been the title's acting editor since Frith's recent departure. Saying they had chosen Linley over a "stellar cast of candidates", the magazine's MD, David Davies, told reporters: "Julian has seen off some of the very best editorial talent in the industry to secure the role, and I know he will continue to build upon and develop Heat's position at the forefront of the celebrity media marketplace. There isn't another brand to match Heat's presence or potential in the celebrity space, which is why this job attracted a stellar cast of candidates".

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SUGABABES DON'T THINK CHERYL IS A GOOD X FACTOR JUDGE REPLACEMENT
The Sugababes aren't convinced Girl Aloud Cheryl Cole is a good choice to become an 'X Factor' judge. I'm not convinced either, but I had the decency to keep my opinions on the matter to myself, you might like to note. But not Sugababe Keisha Buchanan who told The Mirror: "Actually, I would have preferred Boy George. He has got so much more experience, and so many more years behind him. I think he would have been much better as the judge"

Fellow Babe Amelle Berrabah added: "Yeah, Boy George has generations more on her. Not that Cheryl hasn't got any experience, but someone who has been going for as long as he has should have been given a chance".

I'm not sure Boy George was ever considered was he? And I suppose Cole has been through the whole 'win a reality show, then get thrown in a the deep end with high expectations and a presumption you'll fail' thing, so perhaps she is qualified to take over from Sharon Osbourne on the ITV show.

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WEST BOOED AT BONNAROO
According to reports, Kanye West was booed when he arrived on stage at last weekend's Bonnaroo festival because he kept the audience waiting for an hour and a half. He was due to perform at 2.45am on the Sunday morning of the event, but didn't take to the stage until 4.25am, apparently due to problems setting up a backdrop for the star's set. Fans responded by chanting "Kanye sucks" and throwing glow sticks at the stage. Others gave up and went to bed. Festival spokesman Ken Weins said the problems began because previous act Pearl Jam's set had to be dismantled, and they themselves had finished an hour late.

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MADDEN BORED BY WEDDING CLAIMS
Joel Madden is bored of hearing rumours that he's set to marry his partner Nicole Richie, and in order not to fuel those rumours recently posted an item on Good Charlotte's official website which implied in the title that he and Richie had wed. However, when fans clicked through, the post read "Haha, just kidding" and was followed by a picture of two gorillas at a wedding ceremony.

Explaining his reasons for the post, he wrote: "I feel really stupid even posting this, but I've been getting calls and texts from my family all week asking me why they weren't invited to my wedding. I guess the only answer I could give them was that I didn't know we were having one. Sooooo if you were pissed at me for not inviting you or even telling you, don't blame me, there's nothing to worry about".

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MYERS ON TIMBERLAKE'S 'PACKAGE'
Mike Myers has been making jokes about the size of Justin Timberlake's penis. I am in no doubt that it's funny to someone. The actor and director, who has been working with the singer on new movie 'The Love Guru' claimed in a recent interview that Timberlake's appearance in tight Speedo swimming trunks had to be digitally un-hanced. "What is amazing about the Speedo is that they have to do a lot of special effects to reduce the size", he said "Oh, yeah - you heard it here first, folks!"

Hilarious.

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