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INFORMATION
Jobs
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Government promises clarification on controversial DEB clause
Warner sign up to eMusic
Welcome to Hadopi, now let us infringe your font rights
In The Pop Courts
The intent of Oink was learning, not fraud, says founder
Shakin Stevens found guilty of assaulting
Reunions & Splits
Might System Of A Down return this year?
Slash says no Led Zep reunion good
Love reveals new Hole line up
Artist Deals
Let's Wrestle sign to Merge
In The Studio
Ting Tings name new album
Release News
Unreleased Hendrix set for release
Gigs & Tours News
Factory offices turned into club
Reviews
Album review: Various Artists - Fabric Presents Elevator Music: Volume 1 (Fabric Records)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Eurosonic audience to learn music marketing from a football expert
The Music Business
EMI meet Citigroup's minimum performance targets
The Digital Business
Warner recouped $9 million from Apple's Lala.com purchase
Pandora goes into profit
The Media Business
UK X-Factor may move to accommodate US version
Central Radio buyer revealed
And finally...
Jedward to work with Vanilla Ice


 
WEDNESDAY 13TH JANUARY
FM BELFAST
Formed in late 2005 by Arni R Hlodversson and Loa H Hjalmtysdottir, FM Belfast are an electronic band from Reykjavic, Iceland. Initially a studio project, their first recording being a deadpan cover of Techtronic's 'Pump Up The Jam', they soon enlisted Arni Vilhjalmssona and Orvar T Smarason to begin performing live. The group release their debut album, 'How To Make Friends' (which, as well as the Techtronic cover, features an outstanding version of Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name') via Kimi Records on 22 Jan and are heading to Eurosonic Noorderslag for a showcase gig on Friday. We caught up with them to find out some more.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Most of us were in other bands before, and some of us were sent to music schools when we were children. FM Belfast started out as a joke. We made a song that turned into a Christmas present ('Pump'), and then we turned into a proper band.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Different things, some things were inspired by something we read, others by someone we met.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Most of our tracks start out as a basic song made on the computer, which we then work with and record over. Some are based on lyrics or melodies we get stuck in our heads. The cover songs are, of course, influenced by the original songs. But even they sometimes pop up in what start out as original melodies, and then we turn them into cover songs.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
All kinds of artists - Pavement, Gary Numan, Smog, Flaming Lips, Cocorosie, and... Tito Puente. We are very open-minded towards music. Sometimes we are influenced by the people that make the music, even if we are not fans of their music.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
It would be very wise to put on shoes or take off your socks, so you won't fall on the floor while dancing in your living room. Unless your apartment is carpeted, then ignore this and press play.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We hope that people will like it and that it makes them want to come to see our show. For the future, it's best not to think about it too much. It would be better, though, if the future turns out to be more like 'Back To The Future' than 'Brazil'.

MORE>> www.fmbelfast.com

 
TIPS FOR 2010: EVERYTHING EVERYTHING
We've been fans of Everything Everything since someone thrust their debut single, 'Suffragette Suffragette', into our hands sometime in 2008. Well, not quite since that exact point, but when we actually listened to it, we really liked it. Last year they released two more singles, and every time one came out we crossed our fingers that the world at large would recognise their talent. Thankfully, last month Geffen did and signed them up to release their debut album

The collision of pop and indie influences that makes their sound verges dangerously on the edge of being ridiculous, thanks to frontman Mike's often high-pitched vocals. But, and I need to make this clear, this is not an indie version of Mika. It's even better than that.

myspace.com/everythingeverythinguk




 
  GET IN!, PUBLICIST
Get In! is a tried and tested PR agency based in East London serving the GLOBAL electronic dance music industry and beyond. Our expanding roster means we're looking for a Publicist to join our young and dynamic team. You'll be enthusiastic, have a least one-year's experience in PR, a real passion for and knowledge of dance music and that 'something extra' that makes you the right person for the job. An ability to write exciting, engaging copy and generate creative PR ideas is essential. This is an ideal opportunity to work with the best people in dance music. Salary negotiable depending on experience. Interested? Send a creative email explaining why you'd be a great addition to the Get In! team, along with your CV, to: jobs@getinpr.com
       
  WORLD CIRCUIT LTD, ROYALTY MANAGER
World Circuit Ltd is urgently seeking a part-time Royalty Manager. We are a small, friendly company home to the likes of world music superstars including Buena Vista Social Club®, Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.

The successful applicant will be responsible for the accurate and timely processing of our record and publishing royalties. This crucial role is a one-day-a-week position that would suit someone with solid royalty experience and meticulous attention to detail. For more information please contact Naomi Moran on 020 7749 3222 / naomi@worldcircuit.co.uk

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  LET THE MAKERS OF CMU DO SOMETHING CREATIVE FOR YOU
UnLimited Creative is the creative services agency owned by CMU publishers UnLimited Media. We work with music and media companies, consumer brands, and other marketing and PR agencies, providing these services:

Marketing & PR: We devise and run marketing and PR campaigns, specialising in the youth and student markets, music and cultural products and marketing partnerships.

Content: We provide entertainment content to brands and media. We develop content strands. We produce original content. We manage content delivery.

Design & Print: We provide design, print and contract publishing services. We create brand identities. We design and produce websites. We produce & print marketing materials and corporate media.

Media & PR Training: We provide PR, media and music business training. We offer a menu of seminars. We develop bespoke courses. We develop out-reach training as part of CSR programmes.

To read about past projects click here. To discuss how we can help your company or project, email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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Lloyd Webber gets cancer 'all clear'
New Wave director Éric Rohmer dies
Maguire and Raimi bow out of 'Spider-Man' franchise
 
Google may withdraw from China
Reggie swear forgiven, Gaga profanity criticised
NLA put links licence on hold pending Copyright Tribunal
 
Edinburgh International Festival announces theme and dates
NAYO cancels Festival of British Youth Orchestras
Survey says Edinburgh Fringe chair should stay for limited time only
 

GOVERNMENT PROMISES CLARIFICATION ON CONTROVERSIAL DEB CLAUSE
The government has backtracked on one of the more controversial aspects of its Digital Economy Bill, not the three-strikes provisions, but the bit that would give the Secretary Of State with responsibility for intellectual property the power to introduce new copyright rules on whim without consulting parliament.

Critics have said the proposal, Clause 17 of the bill, was undemocratic, and would allow ministers under the influence of the content industry lobby to introduce more draconian copyright protection programmes, without said programmes coming under proper scrutiny.

Both the Lib Dems and the Conservatives have criticised the clause as the Bill is reviewed in the House Of Lords, the former, ironically, anti the provision partly out of a fear as to how the latter might use it should they form government later this year. Some allege that a Tory minister might use the Clause 17 powers to help the Rupert Murdoch empire reagards their recent allegations that Google and their like are unfairly benefiting from traditional media firms' copyrights.

The government says it remains committed to the principal of Clause 17 - the idea is that things change in the internet world so quickly there needs to be a way to fast track new copyright rules to combat new forms of piracy faster - but has conceded that opposition to it is strong and says they will therefore table an amendment to better clarify the breadth and scope of the powers given to ministers by the clause. Opponents will now review the amendment as the Bill continues to work its way through parliament.

A cynic might wonder if the controversial Clause 17 was put in there in the first place to sidetrack Bill opponents who would otherwise be shouting louder about the introduction of a three-strikes anti-piracy programme that could result in persistent illegal file-sharers having their net connections suspended. Though we don't know any cynics here at CMU.

Seemingly aware that the "new rules on whim" clause is increasingly likely to be cut from the Bill, record industry trade body the BPI has reportedly made a last minute proposal for a new clause to be added to the new legislation, possibly to enshrine in law now something the body would otherwise have lobbied for as something to be introduced down the line via Clause 17.

According to IT website The Register, the BPI is proposing a new provision that would allow content owners to secure injunctions, presumably from some sort of special court, to force websites hosting (or, possibly linking to) infringing content to remove said content (or link) with immediate effect. The proposal has similarities with the new copyright protection system currently being proposed in Spain (and reported on yesterday).

Presumably the injunctions would work like a much tougher version of the cease and desist letters record companies dish out to websites they believe are infringing their copyrights. Ignoring an injunction, though, would presumably result in criminal as well as civil sanctions, which might make people more likely to act. More on these new last minute proposals when we get em.

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WARNER SIGN UP TO EMUSIC
Warner Music is the second major record company to announce a licensing deal with subscription-based download platform eMusic, albeit initially in the US only.

As previously reported, Sony Music started making some of its archive catalogue available to eMusic members last year. Prior to that the digital service only carried music from independent record companies. This was partly because eMusic has provided users with digital rights management free MP3s from the word go, and for years the majors refused to sell their music in such a format.

Since the whole record industry opted for DRM-free downloading in 2008 the majors have presumably being weighing up eMusic's price point. Because the service basically sells MP3s in bulk, by charging a monthly subscription that enables a set number of downloads, their price point is lower than that of a la carte download services like iTunes.

Of course eMusic has always positioned itself as the real music lover's download service, so arguably most of its users are more interested in less mainstream music. Though, of course, all the majors have lots of less mainstream music in their catalogues, so the addition of selected Sony and Warner tracks certainly adds value to eMusic's wider consumer proposition.

Music from Warner labels Atlantic, Rhino and Warner Bros, plus indie labels distributed by Warner and not currently signed up to eMusic, will start to appear on the US version of the download club as a result of the new deal.

Confirming the arrangement, Warner Music's SVP Digital Strategy, Stephen Bryan, told reporters: "As a leader in the music industry's transition to a predominantly digital music business, we have worked hard to encourage and support innovative partners and creative business models that offer our artists unique ways to reach their fans. We are pleased to be making our music available to eMusic's passionate membership".

eMusic chief Danny Stein added: "Our editors look forward to contextualizing WMG's catalogue with the unique eMusic sensibility our members have come to expect. We're excited to work with Warner Music Group's labels, and by focusing on their hidden gems as well as classic albums, help them increase sales across their entire catalogue".

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WELCOME TO HADOPI, NOW LET US INFRINGE YOUR FONT RIGHTS
OK, this is my favourite story of the year so far. The French government agency which will oversee the controversial new three-strikes system being introduced in the country - Hadopi - last week revealed its logo. And it turns out it infringes a font copyright.

The Hadopi agency - or the Haute Autorité Pour La Diffusion Des Oeuvres Et La Protection Des Droits Sur Internet, if you prefer (I don't) - will administer the much previously reported and rather controversial new anti-piracy initiative in France which will result in net users who persistently infringe copyrights through file-sharing having their internet connections disconnected. Three-strikes, of course, has many opponents, and is generally opposed by key players in the net provision and telecommunication industries.

Either way, in the web domain, Hadopi will be a big copyright enforcer. So imagine the joy of the more petty of those opponents when it was revealed that the Hadopi logo employed a manipulated version of the font Bienvenue, a font neither the government office nor their design agency had a license to use. Because, yes, there is copyright in typefaces, people. Font rights are probably among the most abused on a commercial level, but one would assume a government appointed copyright enforcer might remember to buy a licence for the fonts they use in their own corporate identity.

The main reason the unlicensed font was spotted by the font geeks is that Bienvenue was created by designer Jean-Francois Porchez specifically for France Telecom, and therefore no other commercial operation can get a licence to use it. Oh dear, that means Team Hadopi are infringing a copyright owned by a telecommunications giant. Brilliant.

A journalist from French news site Numerama has investigated the logo, and has told TorrentFreak that Porchez has confirmed that it uses his font, albeit with a little manipulation, especially of the 'd' and 'p', which have been stretched to form a box around the 'o'. But the manipulation isn't enough to constitute a new font, and, according to Numerama, the design agency who created the corporate identity have admitted as much and are now trying to find a similar looking font which they can licence.

Team Hadopi have issued an apology for their cock up, which France Telecom has accepted, so no legal action is likely from that department. However, TorrentFreak say Porchez - who may or may not have rights himself in the font - is consulting his lawyers. So Hadopi's first major project may, as yet, be fighting rather than pursuing an infringement claim.

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THE INTENT OF OINK WAS LEARNING, NOT FRAUD, SAYS FOUNDER
The case for the defence has begun in the Oink trial. As previously reported, the man who created the once notorious file-sharing community, Alan Ellis, is facing charges of conspiracy to defraud the record industry for his role in enabling thousands of web users to share and access unlicensed music.

As also previously reported, the prosecution's case, presented in Teesside Crown Court last week, focused in particular on the donations mechanism that operated on the site, and the monies amassed through it - which prosecutors claim amounted to $300,000 by the time the site was shut down in 2007. The prosecution's argument is that generating cash was one of the motivating factors behind Ellis setting up and running the online community.

The fact money changed hands isn't really relevant in assessing Ellis' liability for copyright infringement. Ellis insists that - unlike the Oink users who were successfully pursued for copyright crimes - he isn't personally guilty of infringement, because he didn't personally host or share any infringing content. But there would seem to be a very strong case for doing Ellis for so called 'authorising infringement' in line with the cases pursued against Napster and Grokster in the US, Kazaa in Australia, and in Sweden against The Pirate Bay.

However, with the charges here being conspiracy to defraud, the authorising infringement seems to be a side issue, even though it's much easier to prove. For the fraud charges to stick the just needs to be convinced that Ellis intended to profit - at the music industry's detriment - by providing the tools that helped others to illegal share music.

Which is presumably why Ellis was yesterday keen to position the whole Oink venture as a geeky programming project that got out of control. He told the court how he created the website while studying at Teesside University, and in the months after he finished his degree, mainly because he felt the programming skills he'd been taught were outdated and that he should endeavour to teach himself some up to date web-based programming.

He explained how the Oink service was originally hosted on a computer in his bedroom but how, as traffic started to build, he moved it to a commercial service in Amsterdam. Such hosting costs money, of course, which is possibly where the donations system came into the mix. Asked to clarify his intentions at the outset of the Oink project, the Press Association report that Ellis said: "I didn't have an intention, I was furthering my skills as a programmer, as a software engineer".

The case continues.

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SHAKIN STEVENS FOUND GUILTY OF ASSAULTING
80s popster Shakin Stevens has been found guilty of assaulting a photographer with a microphone stand in 2008 and fined.

The incident occurred in December 2008 at the Tullyglass Hotel in Ballymena, where the singer was performing. Hugo McNeice was photographing the show and told the court that at one point Stevens had danced over to him in order to, he thought, give him "a nice tight shot", but instead the singer hit the camera with his microphone stand, breaking it.

Shaky was fined £300 for the assault and ordered to pay compensation of £479 to McNeice for damage to his camera. The singer maintains that he is innocent and has said that he will appeal the ruling.

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MIGHT SYSTEM OF A DOWN RETURN THIS YEAR?
System Of A Down may return this year after a four year hiatus. Then again they might not. Talk of the band getting back together began earlier this week because - obviously - of a cryptic tweet from one of the band's members.

Bassist Shavo Odadjia tweeted "Are u guys ready for System???" However, that was followed up yesterday by the less vague and decidedly non-committal "About my 'are u guys ready for System?' I'm not sayin we are back but, if so? U guys ready? SoRry for gettin u guys amped. I'm just seeing". Still, looks like Odadjia might be lobbying his bandmates for a return.

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SLASH SAYS NO LED ZEP REUNION GOOD
The original Guns N Roses line up will not return this year or any year, we cleared that up once and for all yesterday when Slash said so in a Q interview. Now the guitarist has been commenting on other band's not reuniting.

The guitarist says he backs Robert Plant's decision not to turn Led Zeppelin's one off reunion gig in 2007 into a full blow comeback tour. He tells GQ: "When Robert Plant said he didn't want to tour after the comeback show, I thought that was the right thing. It was a special night, so why ruin it?"

I think that too, but GQ are yet to ask me for my opinion.

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LOVE REVEALS NEW HOLE LINE UP
Courtney Love has announced the all new Hole line-up, which is a bit like Courtney Love the solo artist with a touring band but with added trademark infringement.

Love announced last year that her long planned comeback album would be released and toured under the Hole name, though without any of the other members of her former band. This led to fellow Holer Eric Erlandson announcing that there is a contract between him and Love barring her from using the band's name without his involvement. Courtney denied that was so. As far as I'm aware that little dispute is unresolved.

But nevertheless, Love last week announced that she, guitarist Micko Larkin, bassist Shawn Saily and drummer Stu Fischer would be performing under a banner saying Hole on a mini-European tour next month. So, that'll be fun. The new album will follow later this year.

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LET'S WRESTLE SIGN TO MERGE
UK indie jokers Let's Wrestle have signed a new deal with Merge Records to release their debut album in the US. 'In The Court Of The Wrestling Let's', was released in the UK by Stolen Recordings last summer to critical acclaim. It'll hit US stores on 23 Mar.

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TING TINGS NAME NEW ALBUM
The Ting Tings have revealed that they have chosen a title for their second album, which they are currently recording in Berlin. It'll be called 'Kunst'. Now, I know what you're thinking, referring to what they do as 'art' is getting a bit above their station, but what if there was a really interesting story behind the name? It'd be okay then, surely.

Sadly, there isn't. Speaking to the NME, the duo's Jules De Martino explained: "Just round the corner to our studio there's a massage parlour, it's called Massage Kunst. It's Massage Art, basically. We took a picture of that and sent it to our label, saying this is the title of the album. They went berserk".

He added that the new songs started out sounding like they might be good live, but they quickly put a stop to that, saying: "We listened back to some of the demos and we thought, 'Hold on a minute, this is sounding too much like we're rocking out live'. We bought a couple of old weird synths in New York and smuggled them in our suitcases back to Berlin and they started to come strong on the music".

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UNRELEASED HENDRIX SET FOR RELEASE
A compilation of previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix recordings is to be released in March as the first album in the catchily-titled '2010 Jimi Hendrix Catalog Project', a joint venture between Legacy Recordings and the late guitarist's estate.

Due out on 8 Mar, 'Valleys Of Neptune' will feature various tracks recorded between 1968 and 1970, including alternative versions of 'Fire' and 'Red House', the original versions of which appeared on The Jimi Hendrix Experience's debut album, 'Are You Experienced?'. There are also covers of Cream's 'Sunshine Of Your Love' and Elmore James's 'Bleeding Heart'. The title track will be released as a single on 1 Feb.

Of the release, Hendrix's stepsister Janie, who produced the album and manages his estate, says: "My brother Jimi was at home in the studio. 'Valleys Of Neptune' offers deep insight into his mastery of the recording process and demonstrates the fact that he was as unparalleled a recording innovator as he was a guitarist. His brilliance shines through on every one of these precious tracks".

Tracklist:

Stone Free
Valleys Of Neptune
Bleeding Heart
Hear My Train A Comin
Mr. Bad Luck
Sunshine Of Your Love
Lover Man
Ships Passing Through The Night
Fire
Red House
Lullaby For The Summer
Crying Blue Rain

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FACTORY OFFICES TURNED INTO CLUB
The former offices of Factory Records are to be reopened as a club later this month. Calling itself FAC251 (the catalogue number assigned to the offices) and backed by New Order's Peter Hook (who clearly hasn't learnt from past experience), Factory HQ designer Ben Kelly and speaker manufacturers Funktion One, the club will officially open on 24 Jan, with DJ sets from Hacienda regulars Laurent Garnier and Mike Pickering.

More info from www.factorymanchester.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Fabric Presents Elevator Music: Volume 1 (Fabric Records)
This compilation is described as "140bpm bass music", so what it's got to do with elevators, I'm still not quite sure. Doing the '140 beats per minute' thing has always been experimental - many artists from varying backgrounds meddle with the niche, but with altering degrees of success. Here, superclub Fabric have roped in some big names for this morph of a genre - and have done a pretty good job, with a diverse range of influences present, behind the strains of breakbeat, 2-step, house and dubstep.

From the calypso tinges of XXXY, to bashment with Doc Daneeka, it starts well. The highlights are Hackman's 'Pistol In Your Pocket', a real winner with its house-based Italo piano and solid beats,
Skinnz's 'Ukraine', which uses techno as the influence in an adept fashion, and Mosca's 'Gold Bricks', which eloquently goes for the 2-step approach. Lower points are 'Bad Girls' by Untold, which is overly mechanoid and comes over a bit brash with its warped b-line, and 'Elixir' by Vista, which is just about average techno.

All in all, not amazing, but it's solid enough to keep you involved, and it will be interesting to see what 2010 holds for the artists featured in this project and this so-called new genre. PV

Physical release: 18 Jan
Press contact: Fabric IH

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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EUROSONIC AUDIENCE TO LEARN MUSIC MARKETING FROM A FOOTBALL EXPERT
So, as you all surely know by now, the totally sold out Eurosonic Noorderslag convention takes place in Groningen this week, kicking off tomorrow.

One of the more unusual speakers lined up for the conference bit of the programme is Peter Kentie, Marketing Manager with Dutch football club PSV Eindhoven. So, you might ask, what exactly will he be talking about in front of an audience of music industry chaps?

Well, Kentie assures us that "the football and music industries relate more you think". Pre-empting his Friday session on "What we can learn from football", Kentie told CMU: "I think the music industry can learn a lot from the way football clubs promote their brands and intensify the fan relationship by using innovative technology and social media platforms".

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EMI MEET CITIGROUP'S MINIMUM PERFORMANCE TARGETS
Despite everything, it seems EMI last year fulfilled performance criteria originally set by moneylenders Citigroup, and seemingly without requiring any new cash injection from owners Terra Firma.

I think the performance targets were set by the US bank when it lent Terra Firma $4 billion to buy EMI, and are presumably designed to assure Citigroup that their rather large investment is safe in the struggling music firm.

EMI's publishing division normally fulfils said criteria with ease, but the problematic recordings division always struggles, and sometimes needs to ask Terra Firma for some dosh to prop it up. I'm not sure what happens if EMI fails to meet the targets, though some gossipers say some Citigroup execs would love nothing more than to foreclose on its loan to the music company, most of which it reckons it could recoup if the major's catalogues were sold off tomorrow.

Anyway, according to the Mail, this time round said targets were met with little stress, though a lot of that was the result of the big Beatles reissues programme last Autumn, which is arguably a one-off revenue boost for the record company.

The Mail reports: "While the music publishing arm is understood to have passed the test with ease, the recorded music arm is thought to have struggled, but succeeded on the back of strong sales of The Beatles' digitally remastered albums, as well as contemporary artists, including Lily Allen and Katy Perry".

As previously reported, Terra Firma are suing Citigroup claiming that the bank failed to provide key information when advising the private equity outfit on its EMI acquisition in 2007. The lawsuit followed Citigroup's reported refusal to renegotiate its loan agreement - Terra Firma reportedly proposed the bank take a one billion hit to help turn round the music major's fortunes.

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WARNER RECOUPED $9 MILLION FROM APPLE'S LALA.COM PURCHASE
Warner Music Group seemingly got $9 million in cash as a result of Apple's purchase of Lala.com last month. The music major was an investor in the struggling digital start up. They previously revealed they'd pumped $20 million into the firm, but subsequently said they would write-down the investment by a neat $11 million, which is presumably how we arrive at them getting $9 million from the Apple deal.

There was much speculation as to how much Apple paid for Lala.com, with estimates ranging from $17 million to $80 million. I'm not sure whether knowing Warner got $9 million of Apple's money gives us any extra clues regards the Lala price tag. Though, as previously reported, it was claimed the company was sitting on $14 million of cash reserves, which means that Apple might have got the digital music service for a real bargain basement price.

Either way, I think it's fair to say Warner's recent digital adventures haven't gone so well. Their other big digital investment was in the now defunct Imeem. I don't know what the major can expect to see as a result of MySpace's purchase of most of Imeem's operations, though I doubt it'll be much more than some now unrequired servers and maybe quite a bit of unused stationery.

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PANDORA GOES INTO PROFIT
US-based personalised web radio service Pandora says it went into profit in the last quarter of 2009, ahead of its own financial projections. So, well done them. Tech blog GigaOm quote the digital music service's CTO Tom Conrad as saying "we became profitable for the fourth quarter of 2009, and now we're shooting for profits for the entire of 2010".

One of the original interactive streaming music services, Pandora make money from subscriptions, advertising carried on its free services, and sell-through to downloads of songs. It's thought the previously reported arrival of the service on mobile, and the resulting boost in users and subscribers, has helped the firm go into profit ahead of schedule.

Given all the chatter about the long term sustainability of the various streaming music services that have launched in the last year or so, this news is possibly heartening. Though pessimists might point out that Pandora's success has been largely down to its rejection of the truly on-demand music model, which means it pays much cheaper licence fees to the music companies. Conservative growth - including a withdrawal from markets where favourable royalty deals were not forthcoming, such as the UK - may have also played a part.

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UK X-FACTOR MAY MOVE TO ACCOMMODATE US VERSION
So, we're not the only people to question the logistical implications of Simon Cowell and, possibly, Cheryl Cole being involved in the newly announced US version of 'X-Factor' in Autumn 2011.

US network Fox seem keen to schedule their version of the Cowell franchise in the Autumn months but that, of course, is when ITV airs the UK version. And once the series goes into live sing-off stage, that could lead to some scheduling clashes. Even if Cowell and Cole were to both commit to a carbon-rich Atlantic-hopping few weeks, if both networks wanted live weekend shows then clearly, unless there is a dramatic jump in the science of cloning in the next year, that's not going to work.

Which has led to speculation that ITV will have to move its 'X-Factor' to a different time of year, so that the live show bits of both it and 'Britain's Got Talent' take place in the first half of the year. Which would, at least, end the Christmas Number One component of the pop talent show.

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CENTRAL RADIO BUYER REVEALED
North West based radio company Niocom will buy Central Radio, the Preston-based service currently owned by UTV.

As previously reported, UTV announced late last year that they had failed to make the newish Preston radio station commercially viable and would shut it down on Christmas Eve and hand the licence back to media regulator OfCom. But then the station got a last minute reprieve following the news a serious buyer was in takeover talks.

Niocom was set up to operate community radio station Cheshire FM, and then expanded to buy Southport-based Dune FM. Central Radio will be the firm's third station.

Radio Today quote Niocom's MD David Duffy as follows: "We intend to continue our strategy of developing stations with a strong local identity, staffed by local talent, and meeting local needs. Central is a good fit geographically for our operation, and whilst the station is in a competitive market, we believe that if positioned correctly, it has great potential".

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JEDWARD TO WORK WITH VANILLA ICE
Louis Walsh has announced John & Edward will collaborate with Vanilla Ice on a cover version of his song 'Ice Ice Baby', which I think the dynamic duo performed on 'X-Factor' during the show's 'Queen week', intermingled with some 'Under Pressure' warbling.

Says Walsh: "They are beyond excited about working with Vanilla Ice - I've never seen them so excited".

The Sun, meanwhile, cite a source close to the one time rap star as saying: "Ice couldn't wait to work with the boys after seeing their performance. He thought it was genius and now sees the chance to bring his record to a much younger audience".

Can someone please explain to Mr Van Winkle the meaning of the word 'genius'?

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Owen Smith
Approval Officer
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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