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INFORMATION
Jobs
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
LiveMaster approved
Awards & Contests
NME Awards noms out
Reunions & Splits
Scorpions to split
In The Studio
U2 working on album #7002
Good Charlotte scrap album
MGMT influenced by Lady Gaga and Kanye West
Gigs & Tours News
Florence and the tour dates
Dag För Fag in the UK
Reviews
Single review: Marina And The Diamonds - Hollywood (679/Atlantic)
The Music Business
Williams tells new artists to start with marketing
Chris Morrison talks tough on file-sharing, down on brand alliances and all things Cowell
Some collecting society rambling
Kobalt reveals most transparent rights admin system yet
The Digital Business
Are ad-funded services viable? Can the industry upsell to subscriptions?
We7 to launch subscription service next week
Deezer founder ousted
Soundcloud and Hype Machine offer new blog-targeted track preview platform
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
GNR deny Slash fan ban
Full NME Awards nominations


 
TUESDAY 26TH JANUARY
LOSTPROPHETS
Formed way back in 1997 by vocalist Ian Watkins and guitarist Mike Lewis, and taking influence from the likes of Pantera, The Cure and Metallica, Lostprophets have released four studio albums and thirteen singles. The band's second album, 'Start Something', entered the UK album chart at number five, and they went on to grab the number one spot with their third album 'Liberation Transmission'. With their latest album 'The Betrayed' out now, we caught up with guitarist Lee Gaze to ask the Same Six Questions.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Originally, I wanted to be a drummer, but the trouble was that I lived in a small house and drum kits are noisy! So, I moved on to guitar. Someone actually gave me their old acoustic guitar to begin with and I was hooked from then on. It was a massive commitment, I put in eight hours a day when I started out, but that was cool, when you're a teenager that's all you want to do, you know?

Q2 What inspired the latest album?
It was wholly inspired by our personal experiences; everything we have learnt in the last ten years is in the new album, 'The Betrayed'. This is the first time that we totally self-worked the album, used my own guitars, my own pedals - everything. This album is purely us, through and through.

Q3 What processes do you go through when you're creating a track?
It's a mixture really. I am constantly writing so I will write a large part of a track, play it to the guys who will have their own ideas and we pick and rearrange it all together. When we all get together ideas flow so we can create songs from scratch or continue to work on our existing ideas.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
We like bands like Pantera, The Cure, Metallica, The Police, but although we like what they do we don't want to be them. We always wanted to do our own thing, not recreate what someone else created.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Our music can be full-on heavy, then border on a ballad and become Brit-pop, the variation in there is massive.

Q6 What are your ambitions for the latest album, and for the future?
We want as many people to hear it as possible and tour it around the world to as many people as we can. In the future, we want to keep being ourselves. We've had an amazing time so far, so we want to keep doing exactly that!

MORE>> www.lostprophets.com

 
CARIBOU - ODESSA
Caribou, aka Dan Snaith, promised back in October that his next album would be more upbeat and dance music-influenced than previous work. And from the sound of this track, he told us no lies. The album isn't released until 19 Apr (via City Slang), but you can get a free download of one track, 'Odessa', right now in exchange for your email address.

Snaith says that his aim with the new album was to make "dance music that sounds like it's made out of water rather than made out of metallic stuff", and he's certainly come close. Erlend Øye-like vocals wash over the top of a track that ripples, rather than thumps. There are even synths and samples that sound like wildlife nesting around the edge. If this is an indication of the standard of the rest of 'Swim', then it's time to be excited.

www.caribou.fm/swim_download



 
  CONSUMER/ENTERTAINMENT PR AGENCY, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES
This is a great opportunity to join a fast-paced consumer PR environment based in London. You will have some existing experience of working on high profile events and have an entirely proactive nature. There will be lots of opportunities to learn, and some really stimulating clients to learn from, however a good attitude is required to really be able to make your mark. This predominantly consumer but also full-service agency offers the full range of client services, with PR and event management forming a large part. Clients include a wealth of entertainment and film companies, plus show business awards and consumer brands and products. To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to jobs@unicornjobs.com quoting reference code TF94 in the subject line.
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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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John Landis to make 'Burke and Hare' film
Polanski must appear in court, says US judge
UKTV man to be new C4 chief executive
 
Channel 4 appoints new CEO
Stern on Penk
Billboard appoint new editor
 
Birds Eye View Film Festival announces line up
Glasgow Comedy Festival programme unveiled
Banksy film to premiere at Sundance
 

LIVEMASTER APPROVED
America's Department Of Justice yesterday gave the all clear to the Live Nation Ticketmaster merger after the merging live music giants agreed to some specific competition enhancing terms. This means the music industry now has a brand new skyscraper on its block, another major major which owns 140 venues worldwide, promotes 22,000 concerts each year, annually sells 140 million tickets and manages the careers of over 200 artists, including several a-listers.

As much previously reported, the proposed merger has garnered much criticism and press attention, especially in the US, with many artists, managers and booking agents fearing the unstoppable growth of Live Nation, while consumer groups venting more vitriol towards Ticketmaster, who some said were already abusing their market dominance even without controlling half the US's major venues and concert tours.

The merging parties argued that while they'll be very big within the live music space, in the context of the wider music and entertainment industry they'd be on par with a number of their competitors. They also countered that some of Live Nation's big competitors may go elsewhere for their ticketing as a result of the deal, making the ticketing market more competitive.

Some positioned the merger as the first real test of Barack Obama's government to stand up to big business. There were rumours that the US Department Of Justice was preparing for a court battle to block the deal when they couldn't reach a deal with the two merging companies regard the divestment of some of their assets late last year. Though others pointed out that such preparation was par for the course, and not necessarily a sign regulatory approval was now unlikely.

The merging parties made two main concessions to satisfy the US regulator's anti-trust concerns.

First, Ticketmaster will be required to licence its primary ticketing software to Live Nation's biggest competitor AEG Live, currently a customer of the ticketing firm. This will enable AEG to basically bring their ticketing in-house with minimum disruption, so that they won't end up sharing any of their consumer data with their chief rivals. Over the next five years AEG will have to option to buy the software outright, create its own, or move to another ticketing partner.

Second, Ticketmaster will sell off its ticketing systems unit Paciolan Inc, the ticketing giant's acquisition of which, in 2008, led to anti-trust objections in itself. A division of cable TV giant Comcast has already formally expressed an interest in buying Paciolan, though if that deal fails LiveMaster will be able to sell the company to any Department Of Justice approved buyer.

Wall Street types seem to be of the opinion LiveMaster got off lightly in terms of forced divestment of assets, though Department Of Justice anti-trust chief Christine Varney told Reuters she was happy the merger would not now result in a dangerous reduction of competition in the live entertainment market, and that, in fact, it could result in a fall in ticket prices.

Varney: "I was prepared to litigate at any and all points, until a settlement was achieved that efficiently dealt with all our anti-competitive concerns. You can probably expect to see three competitors and generally when you see robust competition you see prices coming down. I will be keeping a very close eye on this settlement as we go forward".

The people behind the Ticketdisaster.org website, who opposed the merger, said they were still unhappy about the deal, and that they would be watching the operations of the merged LiveMaster closely moving forward, on the look out for any anti-competitive behaviour.

As previously reported, the UK Competition Commission OKed the merger last month despite initially expressing reservations about the proposals. The merged company will be known as Live Nation Entertainment.

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NME AWARDS NOMS OUT
Once positioned as an anti-BRITs affair, these days the NME Awards feel rather like the BPI's big back patting session, but with some of the pop removed. Oh, and they do still have a few of those awards for bad things too.

Anyway, the nominations are out for this year's NME Awards, and Muse are out front with seven nominations, although one of those is Matt Bellamy's nod for being the world's worst dressed man. Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian tie in second place, with six nominations each, although one of those on the Arctic Monkeys side is for Worst Album. So, I guess Kasabian are really out front, having somehow managed to appear in none of the negative categories.

This year's brand new category is the 'Giving It Back' Fan Award, which recognises artists who went that extra mile to give their fans something more. Like Vampire Weekend, who gave away a free MP3. Yes, that apparently counts.

For the full list of nominations, head to the end of today's CMU Daily, here.

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SCORPIONS TO SPLIT
German rockers Scorpions have announced that they are bringing their career to an end after more than 40 years together. The band are best, some might say only, known for their 1991 hit, 'Wind Of Change', which featured some top class whistling. They will release one more album and head out on a farewell tour for a "few years" before properly calling it quits.

In a statement, the band said: "While we were working on our album these past few months, we could literally feel how powerful and creative our work was and how much fun we were still having in the process. But there was also something else: We want to end to Scorpion's extraordinary career on a high note".

They continued: "We are extremely grateful for the fact that we still have the same passion for music we've always had since the beginning. This is why, especially now, we agree we have reached the end of the road. We finish our career with an album we consider to be one of the best we have ever recorded and with a tour that will start in our home country Germany and take us to five different continents over the next few years".

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U2 WORKING ON ALBUM #7002
Good news, everyone, U2 are working on a new album. Some of the songs are super futuristic, while others are like traditional folk, but not really like traditional folk because they are so futuristic. Like every U2 album, it will push music forward by ten years.

The Edge told Entertainment Weekly: "We are working on a lot of new songs. Some of them are really, really happy. We're convinced that we have something really special. Literally, within a day of getting off the road, Bono and I were working on new songs. On a roll".

He continued: "We try and keep things moving forward. We are experimenting with a lot of different arrangements, and electronic [music] is one of the things we are playing with. But there are other songs that are very traditional, almost folk. In some ways, that's the thing we haven't figured out yet, is where this album is going to end up. [But] we're having fun with the process".

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GOOD CHARLOTTE SCRAP ALBUM
Good Charlotte's new album, 'Cardiology', isn't good enough. Yes, I know you could have told me that. But actually, it's the band who have decided that this is the case. So bad is it that they aren't even going to let your cynical mocking ears hear it. Instead, they're going to go back into the studio to re-record the whole thing.

The band had apparently completed most of the album with producer Howard Benson last October, and were in the process of mixing it. However, guitarist Benji Madden revealed on the band's official website last week that he had got cold feet about the more commercial sound Benson had gone for. That's right, more commercial. As a result, they're going back to Don Gilmore, who produced previous album 'Good Morning Revival'.

Writing on the band's website, guitarist Benji Madden explained: "When we got back from the last trip to Australia, we had pretty much finished recording the record. I went into the studio to hear some roughs and it just wasn't right. I couldn't figure it out. I was so lost. I love the songs, I love the lyrics, so what was the problem? I was just so bewildered. Devastated actually. This had never happened. I felt crazy like this. I told our manager to just pause everything and I need time to think".

He continued: "I called all the boys immediately and called an emergency meeting. Everyone sat down. And I just said: 'Guys, we gotta start over'. I was expecting everyone to freak on me and say 'What?!' But [guitarist] Billy [Martin] was the first to speak, and right away he said: 'I knew you were gonna say that. My gut is telling me the same thing. Let's do it'. Everyone agreed".

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MGMT INFLUENCED BY LADY GAGA AND KANYE WEST
MGMT's Andrew VanWyngarden has said that the groovy duo's new album 'Congratulations' has been partially influenced by Lady Gaga and Kanye West, though don't panic, not musically.

No, the concept of fame and the pursuit of it is the theme that's been running through the MGMT duo's minds as they work on their second long player, hence them thinking of Gaga and West. Speaking to Spin.com, VanWyngarden admitted that he and bandmate Ben Goldwasser started living the life they were trying to mock with debut album 'Oracular Spectacular'.

He said: "We were a group of guys in their mid-20s touring around the world and of course we are going to party. But after a while we all learned that you can't just keep doing that over and over, and the new record addresses those issues".

On fame and the new album he continued: "On some of the new songs, I found myself thinking about Lady Gaga or Kanye West, and what their ultimate goal is. This sounds cheesy, but for us it's really just about the music and getting people to hear what we have to say. I'm sure it's about the music for those people, too... but fame... it's an interesting career".

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FLORENCE AND THE TOUR DATES
Florence & The Machine have announced UK and Ireland tour dates for May, which will include three nights at the Hammersmith Apollo. By that time, Flo will have re-released 'Dog Days Are Over' as a single on 22 Mar and performed a mashed up version of her cover of 'You Got The Love', re-titled 'You Got The Dirtee Love', with Dizzee Rascal at the BRITs. That last bit sounds like a very bad idea.

Anyway, tour dates:

2 May: Dublin, Olympia Theatre
3 May: Dublin, Olympia Theatre
5 May: Edinburgh, Corn Exchange
6 May: Edinburgh, Corn Exchange
7 May: Blackpool, Empress Ballroom
9 May: Blackpool, Empress Ballroom
10 May: Wolverhampton, Civic Theatre
11 May: Wolverhampton, Civic Theatre
13 May: London, Hammersmith Apollo
14 May: London, Hammersmith Apollo
15 May: London, Hammersmith Apollo

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DAG FÖR DAG IN THE UK
Swedish siblings Dag För Dag will be in the UK this week and next for a handful of UK shows ahead of the release of their debut album, 'Boo', on 22 Feb.

Listen to and download a track from the album, 'Hands And Knees', here: www.dagfordag.com/handsandknees/

Tour dates:

31 Jan: London, Old Blue Last
1 Feb: London, Pure Groove in-store
1 Feb: London, Barfly
2 Feb: Manchester, Deaf Institute

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SINGLE REVIEW: Marina And The Diamonds - Hollywood (679/Atlantic)
If there's one thing any mainstream pop blockbuster needs, it's a chorus that sweeps away all thoughts of reality, inspiring only positivity, excitement and maybe a little bit of sweat. It's what separated the likes of Florence and La Roux from Little Boots in 2009, and Marina and her Diamonds look set to take on the next leg of female fronted power pop reliant on that central hook, simple in structure but dynamic in its execution.

There's a cynicism too shared with The Ting Tings' Katie White (though without the silly indie girl annoyance) making verses crackle with a confidence of someone who wants this pop world for their own. One for the A-list. TM

Physical release: 1 Feb
Press Contact: Radar Maker [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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WILLIAMS TELLS NEW ARTISTS TO START WITH MARKETING
So, MIDEM's biggest celebrity booking on the conference side, Mr Pharrell Williams, reckons the internet age has seriously empowered artists, meaning his advice for new talent is this: set up a great website, hold on to your copyrights, and then get all synced up and chase the marketing man's pound.

Asked by the BBC at the Cannes convention this weekend what he would do if he was starting out as an artist in 2010, Williams said: "I would probably build a site, a home for my music, a destination where people could come and see me and what I do and what I'm thinking about. And then I'd probably assemble a team of kids that would go and bug the hell out of advertising agencies and marketing companies to use my music".

While he conceded a major label deal, and the money it delivers, still has an important part to play in launching many artist' careers, he said that new talent should consider approaching advertising and marketing agencies as much as traditional music companies. He told the Beeb: "I would want to establish myself and show the world that I have interesting music, but I would create that world. The more dimension that you give your music and your website, the more creative it becomes".

Williams was one of three big name artists appearing at MIDEM this year to basically speak out in support of the file-sharing community, despite many on the label and management sides of the industry being more hardline than ever about the evilness of the file-sharers.

As previously reported, Radiohead's Ed O'Brien said in a video message to the conference that he had a problem with those who say file-sharing is killing the industry, arguing that file-sharers pump money into the business through ticket and merchandise purchases. Williams, meanwhile, said he thought of file-sharing networks as a bit preview service for music fans. He mused: "I think it's cool that people [can] test [music] out. I think that's a good thing".

Fall Out Boy Pete Wentz, speaking about fan engagement, didn't deal with the file-sharing issue quite so head on, but implied that he saw file-sharing communities as another tool through which artists can develop their fan relationships, which will in turn pay dividends. According to the BBC, he told the conference: "To me, the more the fan is interacting with you and feels part of the community, the more interested they will be in buying your music or coming out to your shows".

He continued: "I think it's a great time to be in music, and a horrible time to be in music, because a lot of things can go wrong. But it's kind of the wild west, and as long as you've got a pistol and you're ready to shoot somebody, it's going to be OK".

Talking of fan engagement and artist empowerment, artist manager Mark Wood of Radius Music made an interesting point in another session, when the conversation moved to the role of Twitter.

Referencing one of his artists, Imogen Heap, he said Twitter was a great tool for artists in that it gives them a real connection to and insight of their fanbase, which enables them to make better choices when entering into business relationships with labels, merchandisers or marketing partners.

According to Billboard, Wood observed: "[Thanks to Twitter] Imogen's more in tune with her fans than I am. You can't pull the wool over her eyes (not that I ever would) about a t-shirt design or something, because she's already polled it and 5,000 people have said they don't like it".

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CHRIS MORRISON TALKS TOUGH ON FILE-SHARING, DOWN ON BRAND ALLIANCES AND ALL THINGS COWELL
CMO Management boss Chris Morrison does not share Williams and O'Brien's ambivalence towards file-sharing and the file-sharer community. Giving the key artist manager speech at MIDEM this year, Morrison said file-sharing "is not like taste-testing", arguing that while file-sharers might introduce your artists to new fans, what they actually do is "like inviting new people into your restaurant and telling them to eat all the food you've got [without paying]".

According to Billboard, Morrison continued: "I was ambivalent about illegal downloading until someone stuck one of our records up illegally [Gorillaz's new single 'Stylo']. They [the file-sharers] don't have any interest in it, they don't even make money off it, but they undo all our hard work". While conceding that such leaks often helped build an internet buzz around an artist or release, which could be beneficial, Morrison argued that file-sharing was affecting the investment that labels, artists and others would and could make into the emerging digital music market, and that that was bad news for everyone.

Morrison also challenged those in the industry who, while not necessarily supporting the rights of file-sharers, are of the opinion stopping the file-sharing phenomenon by force is an unwinnable battle. He concluded: "Illegal downloading can be stopped. We have to take the gloves off and say it has to be stopped".

Morrison's session, which also featured contributions from the aforementioned Mark Wood, also touched on Pharrell's other suggestion that artists should be courting the advertising and marketing sectors as much as the record companies.

Morrison expressed concern about the often popular theory that artists could and should compensate for slumping record sales by eagerly signing up to brand partnerships. Duffy's advert for Diet Coke was "abysmal" he said, while Robbie Williams' appearances in ads for his big sponsor T-Mobile were just "terrible". Though, strangely, Morrison had more time for one of the more controversial rock/brand tie ups of recent times, Iggy Pop's alliance with insurance firm Swiftcover.

Sync right deals Morrison also had more time for, as he admitted that in the case of some songs - Blur's 'Song 2', for example - the monies to be made from licensing a track to adverts and the like greatly exceeded those generated by actual record sales. Wood, meanwhile, spoke out in support of syncing music to TV shows - a growing phenomenon Imogen Heap has benefited from - and which delivers both promotional and financial benefits.

However, Morrison has no time at all for that other TV phenomenon having an impact on the music business, the big-bucks generating Simon Cowell empire. The power of shows like 'American Idol' and 'X-Factor' was not good news for music, he argued, adding that had Simon Cowell and his like been "in charge of the music industry in 1945, rock n roll would never have happened".

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SOME COLLECTING SOCIETY RAMBLING
There's little love lost between the European Commission and the collecting society community, we all know that.

As much previously reported, the former have been pushing the collecting societies of Europe on various issue for a while now, including the need to provide digital music providers with pan-European licences, the need for more transparency in their operations, and the need for a more competitive market place. Some EC officials reckon that, until recently, European collecting societies were operating in a cartel fashion, with each society having a monopoly over music rights in their native territory.

The collecting societies, while generally conceding that there is a need for pan-European licensing in the digital age, reject many of the European Commission's accusations, and argue that the EC's plans for make the collecting society sector more competitive and transparent will make things less competitive and less transparent.

The outgoing boss of the global membership organisation for publishing rights collecting societies, CISAC, Eric Baptiste, made that point as he opened his session at MIDEM yesterday. He argued that the European Commission's demands on his sector where contradictory, while the boss of French society SACEM, Bernard Miyet, added: "We have no clear picture of what the European Commission wants us collecting societies to do".

As previously reported, a number of the bigger music publishers have struck deals with one or another, or sometimes several, of the European collecting societies which give said societies the rights to licence their catalogues in multiple territories, a move towards pan-European licensing. However, some argue that because different publishers do such deals with different collecting societies, it doesn't make it any easier for digital service providers, who still have to acquire a number of different licences for Europe, they just do so on a catalogue by catalogue basis rather than country by country.

And, in fact, because the pan-European licences generally only apply to the Anglo-American catalogues owned by the big publishers, licensees still need to go to each national collecting society separately to secure local catalogues, meaning the total number of deals done increases. Plus, arguably, the smaller collecting societies lose out because they can't compete to secure the more lucrative pan-European deals with the major publishing houses. And whatever happens the wider collecting society sector becomes more rather than less confusing.

According to Billboard, the boss of Belgian collecting society SABAM, Christophe Depreter, observed: "So far, we are totally unsatisfied. The only thing that is clear is that nothing is clear. In fact, not only is digital licensing not clear, so far, it makes life more difficult for everyone. It is more difficult for the user; life is more difficult for the collective management society, and of course life is much more difficult for our members [ie songwriters] because they have to wait longer for the remuneration".

Of course, EC officials might argue that a lot of the current confusion is because the collecting society system is in a state of flux, as it moves from the old system (based around one society licensing music in each territory) to the new system (based around each national society offering pan-European services). If and when all European collecting societies offer both niche and all-embracing licences in all European territories, then things will be much clearer and much more competitive. Though whether that will ever happen remains to be seen.

PRS For Music's Jeremy Fabinyi was more positive than most during the MIDEM session. While conceding the whole sector was in a bit of a mess at the moment, he said that the old way of doing things wasn't much better, concluding that in the digital age: "You are either going to crash or crash through, we have decided to crash through".

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KOBALT REVEALS MOST TRANSPARENT RIGHTS ADMIN SYSTEM YET
Talking of more transparency in music publishing, which we sort of were, publisher Kobalt used MIDEM to launch what it calls the Next Generation Portal 3.0, and which, the publisher says, is the most transparent online rights administration system yet. So transparent, I'm sure it's actually see-through, you know, like the iMacs of 2001.

The system gives rights holders whose rights are administrated by Kobalt access to up to date and detailed information about their income.

Kobalt boss Willard Ahdritz says: "We're taking transparency to the next level, deeper into different royalty streams. Offering the best digital collection platform available, our new and improved 3.0 digital system, which is in final stages of testing, is slated to launch this summer for Kobalt clients worldwide".

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ARE AD-FUNDED SERVICES VIABLE? CAN THE INDUSTRY UPSELL TO SUBSCRIPTIONS?
Much chatter at MIDEM this year about the sustainability of ad-funded free streaming services - so Spotify for those in Europe, or the likes of MySpace Music in territories where the green one is yet to launch, like the US.

The worry seems to be that ad-funded services alone are not big enough to sustain the digital music industry. Few seem confident such services will ever generate ad revenues significant enough to maintain what loss-making start ups are currently handing over to the record labels and music publishers (or what said labels and publishers are expecting to receive in the long term), and even if they do, they will probably only do so by stealing ad revenues off the radio sector, the traditional (but often not talked about) way that the ad industry's pound reaches the record industry's pockets.

Subscription-based streaming services are the future, everyone seems to agree, but the fear is that some of the free-to-use services are so good that it will now be hard to upgrade users to pay-to-use premium platforms. I assume when people say that they mean Spotify. I don't think anyone would ever accuse MySpace Music of being "so good".

According to Billboard, Warner Music digital man Stephen Bryan told MIDEM: "We want to do more as a music company to make the paid services as attractive as they possibly can be relative to free options. The ad-supported side needs to be engaging enough to provide the opportunity to up-sell. But we believe we should be doing more to ensure we're not undermining the paid service by creating a service so compelling that they don't see enough value in taking consumers to the paid service".

Though Spotify boss Daniel Ek preceded such "concerned from Cannes" statements with his own MIDEM session, in which he said that while his company's free-to-use PC-based service is pretty damn smart, and as a result the vast majority of his users are currently not paying for the service, the music industry needed to see the current Spotify offer as the first stage of something much bigger, ie the Spotify mobile app, only available to paying subscribers, which is just the first of a number premium services in the pipeline to aid upsell.

PaidContent quote Ek thus: "What you've got to realise - we're really trying to drive people to create a library and use Spotify as the cloud-based service where they have their library. It's early days for our platform so, for us, the most important thing just now is to drive consumer engagement through the building of that library. Then, when people want to drive that library to their mobile phone or XBox or Sonos, they're paying for that access".

As a case in point, the aforementioned mobile play facility launched last year has helped Spotify boost its paying subscriber base to 250,000, according to Ek's UK-based colleague Paul Brown, also at MIDEM. It's still very much the minority of Spotify's overall user base, but it's a sign the premium user base can grow. While stressing that the ad-sales part of his business was doing better than some doom and gloom types seem to think, Brown added: "The real aim for us is to grow a real strong subscription service as well [as the ad-funded model]. That's becoming more of what Spotify is about".

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WE7 TO LAUNCH SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE NEXT WEEK
Talking of subscriptions and streaming music and all that, UK-based Spotify competitor We7 confirmed it would launch its premium service next week during a MIDEM session this weekend. As with Spotify, the pay-to-use version of We7 will take the service into the mobile domain.

However, we7 boss Steve Purdham says that he, like Spotify's Paul Brown, still believes the ad-funded free-to-use model has more to offer than just an upsell opportunity for subscription services.

According to MusicAlly, Purdham said: "I believe we can get to the point where the actual advertising rates we get cover the costs of the music, at a rate where the music is valuable - not at a point where it's a revenue share that's so small, it's not even worth talking about".

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DEEZER FOUNDER OUSTED
Perhaps illustrating the stresses of running a legit streaming music service, away from MIDEM but still in France, news that Jonathan Benassaya, the co-founder and CEO of that territory's big streaming music offer, Deezer, has been booted out by investors.

According to Tech Crunch, the service's backers are hoping to install someone more experienced at the top of the company, which has reportedly struggled to generate serious ad revenue or get a premium service off the ground.

Rumours of Bessaya's departure grew when he failed to show up for a panel at MidemNet on Saturday, although his name was still displayed on a screen listing the participants during the debate.

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SOUNDCLOUD AND HYPE MACHINE OFFER NEW BLOG-TARGETED TRACK PREVIEW PLATFORM
Back to MIDEM, and digital distribution platform SoundCloud has announced a new partnership with blog aggregator Hype Machine which will provide content owners with the facility to make new and pre-release music available to the blogosphere, so that bloggers can legitimately post said music on their webpages, and labels and artists can track where their music is profiled and listened to. Which all sounds rather swell.

SoundCloud top man Alexander Ljung told reporters: "We're very excited to be working with the Hype Machine. They are a hugely important platform for bringing new releases to the attention of music fans across the web. Our latest partnership offers labels and artists a powerful way to engage with that vibrant, influential community, and gives bloggers access to official pre-releases straight from the source".

Hype Machine CEO Anthony Volodkin added: "We are excited to help artists using SoundCloud to get even more measurable exposure across the web. SoundCloud's friendly web API allowed us to develop this integration quickly and share the benefits with bloggers, musicians and fans alike".

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TOTAL ROCK WORLD ALBUM CHART
It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - www.totalrock.com. New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Muse - The Resistance (Warner Bros)
2. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures (Sony Music)
3. Foo Fighters - Greatest Hits (Sony Music)
4. Bon Jovi - The Circle (Universal/Mercury)
5. Thirty Seconds To Mars - This Is War (EMI/Virgin)
6. Paramore - Brand New Eyes (Warner/Atlantic)
7. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
8. Queen - Absolute Greatest (EMI)
9. Pearl Jam - Backspacer (Universal)
10. Fleetwood Mac - The Very Best Of (Warner Bros)
11. Daughtry - Leave This Town (Sony Music)
12. Mudvayne - Mudvayne (Sony Music)
13. Creed - Full Circle (EMI/Virgin)
14. Kiss - Sonic Boom (Warner/Roadrunner)
15. Billy Talent - III (Warner/Atlantic)
16. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown (Warner Bros.)
17. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue (EMI/Parlophone)
18. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)*
19. Rise Against - Appeal To Reason (Universal/Geffen)*
20. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)*

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GNR DENY SLASH FAN BAN
A spokesperson for Guns N Roses has those denied allegations that the band asked security to stop anyone who was wearing Slash-related clothing from entering a gig in Canada last week. Well, I say it was a spokesperson for the band; it was Axl Rose's PA's son. But that still counts, right?

Anyway, to recap, TMZ reported that security stopped anyone wearing t-shirts bearing the former GNR guitarist's face or sporting his trademark top hat, making them turn the t-shits inside out and leave their hats at the door. A security guard at the venue told TMZ: "The instructions were passed down from a producer for the band".

However, the band's sort of spokesman, Fernando Lebeis denied this was the case, saying: "We did not advise any security to ban any sort of apparel. If they did, they did it on their own accord, or under someone else's order - from within their management".

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FULL NME AWARDS NOMINATIONS

Best British Band: Arctic Monkeys, Biffy Clyro, Kasabian, Muse, Oasis.

Best International Band: Green Day, Kings Of Leon, Paramore, Vampire Weekend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Best Solo Artist: Dizzee Rascal, Florence And The Machine, Jamie T, Julian Casablancas, Lady Gaga.

Best New Band: The Big Pink, Bombay Bicycle Club, Mumford & Sons, The xx, La Roux.

Best Live Band: Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Muse, Radiohead, Them Crooked Vultures.

Best Album: Arctic Monkeys - Humbug, Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, Muse - The Resistance, The Cribs - Ignore The Ignorant, The Horrors - Primary Colours.

Best Track: Animal Collective - My Girls, Arctic Monkeys - Crying Lightning, Florence And The Machine - Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up), Jamie T - Sticks N Stones, The Big Pink - Dominos.

Best Video: Arctic Monkeys - Cornerstone, Biffy Clyro - The Captain, Kasabian - Fire, The Maccabees - Can You Give It, Oasis - Falling Down.

Best Live Event: Blur at Hyde Park, Jay-Z at Alexandra Palace, Muse at Teignmouth, Oasis at Heaton Park, The Dead Weather at Shoreditch Church.

Best Festival: Download, Glastonbury, Reading And Leeds Festivals, T In The Park, V Festival.

Best Dancefloor Filler: Dizzee Rascal And Armand Van Helden - Bonkers, Florence And The Machine - You've Got The Love, La Roux - In For The Kill (Skream Remix), Lady Gaga - Poker Face, Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero.

Best TV Show: The Inbetweeners, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Peep Show, Skins, True Blood.

Best Film: (500) Days Of Summer, In The Loop, Inglorious Basterds, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Where The Wild Things Are.

Best DVD: Kings Of Leon - Live At The The O2 Arena, Flight Of The Conchords - Complete HBO Second, SeasonThe Killers - Live From The Royal Albert Hall, The Mighty Boosh - Future Sailors,
Nirvana - Live At Reading.

Giving It Back Fan Award: Kasabian and Noel Fielding for free 'Vlad The Impaler' video; Danger Mouse for leaking 'Dark Night Of The Soul'; Lily Allen for her Twitter ticket treasure huntArctic Monkeys for their Oxfam golden tickets; Vampire Weekend for giving away 'Horchata' from the album 'Contra'.

Hero Of The Year: Beyoncé Knowles, Noel Gallagher, Rage Against The Machine, Matt Bellamy,
Alex Turner.

Villain Of The Year: Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Simon Cowell, Kanye West, Lady Gaga.

Best Dressed: Lady Gaga, Liam Gallagher, Noel Fielding, Florence Welch, Karen O.

Worst Dressed: Lady Gaga, Matt Bellamy, Katy Perry, Liam Gallagher, Elly Jackson.

Worst Album: Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown, Lady Gaga - The Fame, Jonas Brothers - Lines Vines Trying Times, U2 - No Line On The Horizon, Arctic Monkeys - Humbug

Worst Band: Green Day, Oasis, Jonas Brothers, Paramore, JLS.

Best Website: Muse.mu, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Greenday.com.

Best Album Artwork: Muse - The Resistance, Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown, Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, The Cribs - Ignore The Ignorant, Manic Street Preachers - Journal For Plague Lovers.

Best Band Blog: Muse (Muse.mu and Twitter.com/muse), Radiohead (Radiohead.com/deadairspace), Noel Gallagher (Oasisinet.com), Los Campesinos! (Loscampesinos.com), Paramore (Paramore.net).

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