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INFORMATION
Jobs
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CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
File-sharer blagged PlayMPE account to share pre-release music
Independent pro-DEA report relied on BPI stats
So, what is in Allen's grand EMI biz plan, and will it work?
Another Bieber promo show canned because of crazy fans
In The Pop Courts
Remy Ma victim restarts efforts to make Universal liable for shooting
In The Pop Hospital
Poison frontman suffers brain haemorrhage
Sonique given the all clear
Artist Deals
The Killers renew publishing deal
Gigs & Tours News
Faithless live dates
Jay-Z announces support for summer shows
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: Soil & "PIMP" Sessions - 6 (Brownswood Recordings)
The Music Business
Record industry grew in 2009 thanks to digital and major releases
Simmonds to lead new Universal catalogue and compos division
BMG make French acquisition
The Digital Business
MXP4 raise more investment
Rhapsody step up iPhone service
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Streets man cameos in Doc Who
Catholic church considering Boyle appearance for Pope show


 
MONDAY 26TH APRIL
FIVE DAY FORECAST
There are lots of exciting things happening this week. For one, my girlfriend will finally be getting back from New York, a week later than planned. Bloody volcano.

But that's not the sort of exciting thing I meant. I meant stuff like this...

 
01: MUSExpo hits LA. So, the first of this year's MUSExpo conference and showcase conventions kicked off in LA yesterday, with a hefty number of influential music industry movers and shakers lined up to speak today and tomorrow, including Harvey Goldsmith, Korda Marshall, Ron Fair, that Perez Hilton bloke and Radio 1's Head Of Music George Ergatoudis. There will be additional MUSExpo events in London in June and Australia in October.

02: CMU Publisher lectures the kids. Hey, are you a student at the London Metropolitan University? Oh, you are? Good. You'll like this. CMU Co-Publisher and Business Editor Chris Cooke will be giving a lecture on Thursday evening. Entitled 'It Started With Napster', the talk will review the music industry's efforts to stop illegal file-sharing from the first Napster lawsuit to the Digital Economy Act, as well as asking whether online piracy can ever really be stopped, and whether it really matters. It's at 6.30pm at the Graduate Centre, Room 108, should you be interested (and a London Met student).

03: PRS AGM. It's that time of year when everyone in the entire country with some sort of interest in music publishing congregates in London to hear how the last year went for their favourite collecting society. Well, all those who are members of PRS. And of those, all the ones who can be bothered. The ones who can be bothered who don't then think of something else better to do at the last minute. Anyway, yes, it's the PRS Annual General Meeting on Thursday.

04: New releases. Particularly exciting is the new 65daysofstatic album, which is an intense little beast and also features the vocal talents of The Cure's Robert Smith on one track. There's also Japanese "death jazz" band Soil & "PIMP" Sessions' sixth album, '6', the second LP from fuzzy Texas-based trio Harlem, which goes by the name of 'Hippies', a new best of compilation from David Holmes, called 'The Dogs Are Parading', Juan Maclean's DJ Kicks mix, and the latest single from The Big Pink, 'Tonight', which is backed with a beautifully forlorn cover of Beyonce's 'Sweet Dreams'.

05: Gigs. I completely forgot to mention that Efterklang were touring in last week's Five Day Forecast, which was bad of me because I went to see them and they were completely amazing. If you can get to Bristol tomorrow night, you should check them out at Metropolis. In London, Nigerian singer Nneka will be performing a one-off show at The Scala on Wednesday, and the delightfully odd Hudson Mohawke has dates lined up in Manchester, Bristol, London, Sheffield and Nottingham.

And that's that. Exciting, huh?

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU Daily

 
DAISUKE TANABE
Japanese producer Daisuke Tanabe has been honing his unique style since his teens, releasing his debut EP, 'Gas', in 2006. The release came to the attention of Giles Peterson who asked Tanabe to submit two remixes for one of his fledgling Brownswood Recordings label's early releases, Elan Mehler's 'Scheme For Thought'. More remix work and two limited edition EPs followed, before his debut album, 'Before I Forget', was released via Circulations in January this year.

 
Taking influence from jazz, folk and dub, amongst other genres, Tanabe creates tracks built out of intricately created loops, which dance around and take on a life of their own. The result sits somewhere between Orla Wren and Mr Scruff. I have heard it said that Daisuke Tanabe DJ sets are something which need to be seen to be believed, which is bad news for all of us, as I've just discovered that he returned to Japan yesterday following a European tour. Sorry about that.

www.myspace.com/shakutorimusi



 
  SENIOR NATIONAL TV PLUGGER AT ANORAK LONDON
Anorak London, the UK's leading PR company specialising in TV, press, radio and online promotion, are looking to appoint a Senior National TV Plugger with a view to head the department in 2011. The successful applicant will be driven, passionate about music, and have a wealth of TV contacts. You must have at least 3 years experience at national TV promotion.

Please send CV along with covering letter to Emily@anoraklondon.com.

Closing date 23 May 2010.
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  MEET A STAR PR
A Star PR is a dynamic creative arts company, at the forefront of innovations within the music and entertainment industry. The exceptional quality of our past PR, marketing and creative campaigns speak for themselves, with coverage in major print, online, digital and broadcast media outlets. From broadsheets to tabloids; social networks to mobile platforms - A Star PR have it covered.


Our team is comprised of passionate creatives, with unrivalled knowledge and expertise in their particular fields. Be it print press, digital, mobile or marketing consultancy, we are able to offer effective bespoke campaigns to all of our clients. If you are interested in an effective affordable campaign please contact ian.roberts@astarpr.com or ben.allen@astarpr.com or call 020 7836 1122 and quote CMU ad.
       
  INTERESTED IN SELLING YOUR RECORD LABEL?
Music Gain is acquiring record labels and catalogue. If you are thinking of selling, or have a large catalogue you want managed on your behalf, then please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us - www.musicgain.com
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Free summer line up at The Scoop announced
Avatar star tipped as next Bond
Stone and Parker warned to expect trouble over Mohammed depiction on South Park
 
6music hand over shows to c'lebs
Bearded man launches indie-focused podcast
Rolling Stone relaunches website, puts up pay-wall
 
Music festival line-up update - 23 Apr 2010
Festival Republic again warn of dodgy ticket sellers
Kendal Calling looking for arty types
 

FILE-SHARER BLAGGED PLAYMPE ACCOUNT TO SHARE PRE-RELEASE MUSIC
Well, our recent survey of UK music journalists may not have found much love for the music preview systems currently used by the major record companies, like Share and PlayMPE, but there's one Aussie file-sharer who's quite a big fan of the latter. Well, he is according to a post on the AbsolutePunk website. And will be until the point at which they sue him, presumably.

PlayMPE is used by some record companies to make pre-release music available to journalists, partly because it is cheaper than sending out physical promo CDs, and partly because digital rights management is used to stop pesky media types from ripping tracks off a CD or taking MP3s they have been emailed and uploading them to file-sharing networks.

Or at least that's the theory. One Aussie file-sharer reportedly managed to get himself a PlayMPE account by pretending to be an Australian music critic. Then, instead of doing what most legitimate music journalists do - ie giving up trying to listen to any music after ten minutes because using the system is so frustrating - he worked out how to download WAV files of songs he wasn't even meant to see on his account (by changing the song ID numbers in the URL). He downloaded said WAV files, made pre-release tracks from the likes of The Black Keys, Macy Gray, Hole and The Gaslight Anthem available via a private BitTorrent tracker, and then bragged about his exploits on a message board.

The last bit was probably unwise, although there's a chance the unnamed file-sharer hacked into PlayMPE more for a challenge than any desire to access the music inside. Once word got around that a fake journalist was leaking pre-release music via the media preview system, PlayMPE quickly identified the cheat and shut down his account. According to CNET, they are now considering legal action, because presumably the unnamed file-sharer breached a whole load of terms and conditions he ticked on first entering the site.

As previously reported, as they move to digital rather than physical promo systems, the majors are employing various streaming and DRM-protected download systems to give journalists pre-release access to their music. But most systems have proven unpopular and, many reviewers argue, fail to understand that most journalists listen to new music on CD players or iPods several times prior to writing review, so any system that locks a preview to a computer won't work. Recent CMU research revealed that 75% of UK journalists prefer physical promos, and only 6% were positive towards the streaming systems most majors are employing.

Hmm, record companies pissing off key stakeholders by employing expensive digital rights protection systems that are dead easy to hack. I seem to remember this happening once before.

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INDEPENDENT PRO-DEA REPORT RELIED ON BPI STATS
A journalist has discovered that a seemingly independent report presented in support of the anti-piracy components of the Digital Economy Act was, in fact, based on stats provided by record label trade body the BPI.

Although one would assume that something called the International Chamber Of Commerce would be more on the side of business than the average file-sharing kid, some argue that, because the organisation doesn't directly represent the interests of copyright owners, its report claiming that a failure to change anti-piracy laws could lose the world's content industries 240 billion euros by 2015 was taken to be more credible than those presented by music and film industry trade bodies.

But Glyn Moody of Computer World has discovered that most of the ICC's figures actually came from record label trade bodies in the territories reviewed by their report, included the UK's BPI, France's SNEP and globally focused trade organisation IFPI. He writes: "The figure is not from independent research, it's not even from an independent organisation, but from the very industry group that pushed so hard for the Digital Economy Act - and probably did so drawing on this report, whose figures it had supplied". Moody then goes on to pick holes in the BPI's original data, referencing a BBC report that was critical of the stats when they were first published.

Responding to a Telegraph report on Moody's article, the BPI have stressed that while the ICC report did utilise the results of research it had commissioned, that research was "carried out by reputable independent third-party research companies". They also point out they have previously disputed the BBC report that Moody references when trying to pick holes in the trade body's data.

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SO, WHAT IS IN ALLEN'S GRAND EMI BIZ PLAN, AND WILL IT WORK?
Rarely does a weekend go by these days without at least one of the Sunday newspapers giving a little time to scrutinising the previous seven days at EMI Towers, and this weekend was no exception.

First, The Observer has been asking City types whether EMI owners Terra Firma have any chance of persuading their financial backers to stump up £360 million by the end of May. As previously reported, the equity firm is trying to raise that amount so that the music company can meet its £120 million loan fee commitments to bankers Citigroup not only this year but in 2011 too. A further £120 million is needed to plug a hole in the major's pension fund.

There seem to be mixed opinions as to Terra Firma's chances of raising the cash. The pessimists point out that PricewaterhouseCoopers has just published a report that says that the global record industry will continue to contract at a "compound annual rate" of 4.4% through to 2013, which will make investment types even more cautious about the possibility of EMI ever turning rounds its fortunes. The paper quotes one analyst as saying: "Investors are being asked to make a leap of faith as they have already written down the value of their EMI holding to virtually zero".

But other sources tell The Observer that Terra Firma already has money people outside of the equity firm's current network of investors who are willing to put up the cash if existing backers aren't willing to take on any further risk. Some insiders say that the new investors, thought to be mainly US and Canadian pension funds, will ensure that, whatever happens, EMI will not default on its commitments to Citigroup in June, meaning it will remain in Terra Firma's ownership for at least another year.

As also previously reported, Terra Firma are trying to woo investors by showing them a business plan prepared by newish Executive Chairman Charles Allen which outlines how he plans to turn round the flagging music firm's fortunes.

It was thought that plan would include the much previously mooted proposal that EMI licence out its entire recordings catalogue in North America, as well as plans to sell off whole divisions of the major, most likely its Japanese outpost and Christian music labels. However, the Financial Mail reckons neither of those proposals are in Allen's final report.

Well, the US licensing arrangement is sort of in there, but expressed differently. Rather EMI would seek to do a distribution deal, most likely with Warner, which would bring in less upfront money but which would give the London-based major more control over its catalogue in America, while allowing it to shut down its own costly North American distribution network.

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ANOTHER BIEBER PROMO SHOW CANNED BECAUSE OF CRAZY FANS
Do any of Justin Bieber's promotional appearances go ahead any more, or are they all called off as police officers and security guards struggle to deal with that most dangerous of threats: 4000 teenage girls out of their tiny brains on Bieber love?

The latest Bieber promo gig to be cancelled due to crowd issues was in Australia. The squeaky-voiced haircut was due to do his only public performance in the country as part of the 'Sunrise' breakfast TV programme on Channel Seven, and was set to sing three of his "songs" outside the show's studios in Sydney's Circular Quay. Fans were invited to come and watch.

Said fans started arriving for the breakfast-time performance at 6pm the previous evening, and began to cause police concern between 2am and 3am when a rumour spread around the crowd that Bieber was already in the house. Crowd surges began, fans started to pass out, and, well, let's face it, faced with the prospect of four more hours of screaming girls shouting "Justin", you'd want to call the whole thing off, wouldn't you?

Presumably by the time Justin really was in the house, police advised the telly show's producers that if the popster actually went up on stage to sing his three songs as planned they feared for the safety of the crowd, who were probably, by that time, past being tired and into that weird period of sleep depravation where you become even more hyper.

As a solution, Bieber performed one song inside the TV studio which was piped outside for the fans to watch. After singing his song Justin told his disappointed fans: "I would love you to stay and hang but you have got to go. The police say you've got to go home". The TV show's slightly optimistic presenter David Koch also addressed the crowd outside the studio, saying: "You all now have to go home in a quiet manner".

Angry parents of the now rather disappointed Bieber-loving teens have hit out at Channel Seven, arguing they failed to competently prepare for the performance, which was obviously going to attract a large crowd. One told the Brisbane Times: "Certainly ['Sunrise'] knew that thousands of kids would turn out, and it would be unmanageable, [yet they] set him up to play to a few kids at Martin Place. Channel Seven and 'Sunrise' owe the fans and their parents an apology for shameless publicity stunts that ended in injury, hurt, disappointment, money spent and sleep deprived".

But Channel Seven's Head Of Morning Programming, Adam Boland, said the blame lay with the pesky kids and their clueless parents. Unrepentant, he told reporters: "At one stage we asked any parents to come in and help ... and we had [host] Mike Goldman trying to get this crowd back into this space, but they just wouldn't move ... so the police inspector and myself decided to pull the plug".

Oh well, at least none of Justin's team were arrested this time. As previously reported, the popster's US label rep and manager have been charged for failing to send out a message via Bieber's Twitter stream when police cancelled a in-store in New York, which was axed because of similar crowd control issues. Similar problems at an in-store in Paris saw a performance cut short also because of more unruly fans. Lock em up I say, and don't let them out til they learn to love better music. Or at least love Bieber more quietly.

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REMY MA VICTIM RESTARTS EFFORTS TO MAKE UNIVERSAL LIABLE FOR SHOOTING
The shooting victim of rapper Remy Ma, Makeda Barnes-Joseph, has relaunched her multi-million dollar lawsuit against Universal Music, who, she claims, should accept some responsibility for their artist's decision to fire at gun in her general direction. It's a rather optimistic lawsuit that was originally thrown out of court last year.

As much previously reported, in 2008 the rapper was found guilty of shooting Barnes-Joseph the previous year and was sentenced to eight years in jail. The victim launched civil proceedings against the hip hopper and her label the same year.

I think the case against Universal is basically based on the idea that hip hop labels get a commercial benefit from their artists having slightly shady lives. Her lawsuit said the major encouraged Ma's criminal behaviour by "allowing violence in her music" and by continuing to support her financially even after the shooting.

The label disputed the allegations and successfully applied to the court to have the lawsuit dismissed. But Barnes-Joseph's lawyer appealed that decision back in February, arguing that the claims in the original lawsuit were not properly considered by the court and that the judge misunderstood the commercial relationship between the label and the gun-happy rap star. Opening arguments relating to that appeal were heard in a New York court last week.

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POISON FRONTMAN SUFFERS BRAIN HAEMORRHAGE
Poison frontman Bret Michaels suffered a brain haemorrhage on Friday, and although there were reports this weekend that he was conscious and in good spirits after undergoing surgery, a spokesman has said he is, in fact, still in a critical condition.

Michaels is currently appearing in the US version of 'The Celebrity Apprentice'. Actually filmed several months ago, he is currently one of the favourites to win and has raised over $100,000 for his chosen charity, The American Diabetes Association. His sixth solo album, 'Custom Built', is due out later this year.

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SONIQUE GIVEN THE ALL CLEAR
Singer and DJ Sonique has been given the all-clear by doctors, after being diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago.

She said in a statement: "It's all good and they've given me the thumbs up and all of that so I'm just trying not to hang on to that whole thing now. I'm trying to just distance myself away from the whole experience as much as possible".

Speaking about her treatment, she added: "I got to the point where after I'd had the operations and they'd cut it all out I started changing. People kept saying: 'You've got cancer', and I kept saying: 'No, I'm having chemotherapy. It's a big difference. It's gone'. It's gone. Rather than thinking I'm on the road to recovery now, I've recovered and it's time to pick up the pieces and move on and forget about that place. You just have to think positive".

Sonique also announced that she will be running in this year's Race For Life, in aid of Cancer Research UK.

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THE KILLERS RENEW PUBLISHING DEAL
The Killers have extended their publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing. The new deal covers not only the band's catalogue and future output, but also any solo projects by band members, which is perhaps telling.

The band's manager Robert Reynolds told CMU: "I have nothing but good things to say about the people at Universal Music Publishing. We've worked with them since the beginning. They've been great and we are happy to continue the relationship".

Speaking for Universal Publishing, Paul Connolly added: "I'm particularly proud we have extended our relationship with The Killers as they're a band that we believed in from day one. Across all their albums they've proved that they have an outstanding and enduring talent for writing hit songs, from 'Mr. Brightside' on the first album to 'Human' on the last. I'm sure this will continue long into the future".

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FAITHLESS LIVE DATES
Faithless have announced some gigs to promote new album 'The Dance', which, interestingly, will only be available in physical form via Tesco, which makes Faithless the new Simply Red. Make of that what you will. The album will be available digitally exclusively via iTunes.

I think Asda and Amazon customers will be allowed into these gigs, though I'm waiting for formal confirmation of that fact. The album is out on 17 May, and there's a little Sister Bliss taster mix of it at the below URL. That's definitely open to all. Well, apart from Somerfield shoppers, obviously.

Sister Bliss mix: rcpt.yousendit.com/857703115/ceeafac3d4c6b45f59d290445986bd77

Tour dates:

21 May: London, Brixton Academy
24 May: Doncaster, Dome
25 May: Edinburgh, Corn Exchange
27 May: Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
28 May: Southampton, Guildhall

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JAY-Z ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR SUMMER SHOWS
That Jay-Z will be in the UK again to play some of those live shows that everyone seems to enjoy so much. And he's announced that he'll be joined by Drake and Mr Hudson, who will also be doing live performing things, but before Jay-Z does. Jay-Z will be on last out of all of them, because he is the most famous, and the shows were all his idea anyway.

This is when the shows are:

7 Jun: Manchester, MEN Arena
9 Jun: Birmingham, LG Arena
4 Jul: Wireless Festival

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

ATP NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset, 3-5 Dec: Wolves In The Throne Room, Marissa Nadler, Growing and Rangda have all been confirmed to play at the Godspeed You! Black Emperor-curated ATP event. www.atpfestival.com

DOT TO DOT, Bristol, Nottingham, Manchester, 29-31 May: The Chapman Family and Peggy Sue head up the latest acts announced to play at Dot To Dot this summer. Other acts added to the bill include Villagers, Silver Columns, Team Ghost, O.Children, Wax Fang, Lissie, Yuck, Leah Mason and The Crookes. www.dottodotfestival.co.uk

HOP FARM, Hop Farm Country Park, Kent, 2-3 Jul: Van Morrison has been announced as the Friday night headliner at this year's Hop Farm, joining a line-up that includes Bob Dylan, Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons. www.hopfarmfestival.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Soil & "PIMP" Sessions - 6 (Brownswood Recordings)
This Tokyo sextet, known for their "aggressive, alternative jazz", return with their sixth LP, hence the title. Formed in 2001 and terming their music "death jazz", the band's live sets are furious and energetic, but since their last LP they have taken a less leftfield approach to their recorded music.

That said, '6' does start with the sax honking in a crazed fashion on 'Keizoku', but 'Satsurika To Heiwa' is the album's only real 'jazz-punk' moment. 'My Foolish Heart' is simply a great jazz number, while 'Quartz And Chronometer', which is arranged fabulously and just builds and builds, is the highlight of the album, but not typical of the band.

A collaboration with crooner Jamie Cullum is even included, a cover of Oliver Nelson's 'Stolen Moments'. It's a piece that has been covered many times before and better, which is sad, considering Soil & "PIMP" Sessions' usual ability to twist covers to their advantage. Their earlier cover of 'Pigbag' is much better.

With '6', Soil & "PIMP" Sessions continue to provide a different take on jazz, although this is definitely less madcap than their previous outings, and slightly more mainstream. But, put simply, it is top drawer stuff. A serious contender for album of the year. PV

Physical release: 26 Apr
Press contact: Gerry Lyseight PR [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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RECORD INDUSTRY GREW IN 2009 THANKS TO DIGITAL AND THE MAJOR RELEASES
The UK recorded music market grew 1.4% last year based on total trade income, according to the annual industry income survey undertaken by record label trade body the BPI. According to the report, the industry was worth £928.8m. Although a modest growth, those who opposed the anti-piracy provisions in the Digital Economy Act say the new report proves the major record companies were being disingenuous when they claimed the growth of file-sharing had taken their industry to the brink.

Needless to say, the continued growth of digital music revenues enabled the slight overall increase, with digital revenues now representing a fifth of the sector's income, when digital is said to include mobile, subscription and ad-funded streaming services as well as straight iTunes-style download platforms. Physical CD sales were down 6.1%, though music DVD sales saw another increase.

Needless to say, a handful of key releases accounted for a bulk of the record industry's good fortune, including new albums by Susan Boyle, Lady Gaga, Michael Bublé and Robbie Williams, plus the Beatles reissues and, in the DVD domain, the Take That live DVD.

Commenting on the stats, BPI chief Geoff Taylor told CMU: "It's encouraging to see industry revenues stabilise and even show modest growth in 2009. This is testament to continuing investment by UK labels in talented artists despite challenging economic conditions, and the innovation labels have shown in licensing new digital services".

Keen to overcome allegations that the 2009 stats proved the doom and gloom talk presented by BPI types during the DEA debates was actually false, he continued: "But let's put it in broader perspective: 2009's modest result follows a five-year drop in annual income, and total industry income has not exceeded £1bn since 2006. The CD continues to show greater resilience than many predicted - it is an excellent digital product. The pace of growth of new digital services is encouraging, but the size of the market continues to be constrained by competition from illegal downloads".

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SIMMONDS TO LEAD NEW UNIVERSAL CATALOGUE AND COMPOS DIVISION
Universal Music have promoted Karen Simmonds to the role of MD at the top of a revamped catalogue and compilations division which has been given the sexy new name of Universal Music Strategic Marketing.

Oh well, it's better than the always confusing 'TV' name that was traditionally attached to major label divisions that did compilations, which Universal were still using until recently. Though I seem to remember staff at Warner Strategic Marketing being rather pleased the day they got rebranded as Rhino UK.

Simmonds, who has spent more than a decade at Universal's Polydor division, most recently as marketing chief, will start her new role on 1 Jul. Universal UK boss David Joseph told CMU: "Karen has built an exceptional team at Polydor and has been a key part of the label's culture and success. I am incredibly confident about what she can achieve with our catalogue and compilation businesses".

The current MD of Universal Music TV will become President of Universal Music Enterprises UK, which will oversee a number of the major's newer ventures and business partnerships, including the All Around The World label.

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BMG MAKE FRENCH ACQUISITION
The French bit of the very acquisition hungry BMG Rights Management has bought up the catalogues of PRK Music and Music Addict. These include French language songs by the likes of Yannick Noah, Marc Lavoine, Natasha St Pier, Michel Sardou, Tina Arena and Celine Dion, as well as most of the songs of Yannick Noah, a French tennis champion who went on to have a successful pop career.

Confirming the deal, BMG Rights Management France's MD Stéphane Berlow told CMU: "We are thrilled to become the publisher of these two exceptional catalogues. We are particularly proud as this concerns songs that appeal to a large public, which will ensure their long term popularity. We will make sure we develop their success further going forward".

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MXP4 RAISE MORE INVESTMENT
Staying in France, and Paris-based MXP4, a music technology company that specialises in digital music releases which come with extra multimedia and interactive nonsense, has just secured another four million in funding, which is nice. Orkos Capital have led the latest investment splurge, though some of the tech firm's previous backers have reportedly also put in more cash.

MXP4 has created interactive digital music products both for artists and labels, and for brands like Coke and Air France.

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RHAPSODY STEP UP IPHONE SERVICE
US music service Rhapsody has launched a new version of its iPhone app which allows users to play cached music when they don't have a live net connect; a functionality I'd sort of assumed would have been in there from the start, given it's core to the Spotify and We7 iPhone apps, but apparently it wasn't.

The RealNetworks and MTV backed digital music service are making much about the fact they are the first digital music platform in the US to offer such functionality for an iPhone. Rival streaming music platform MOG hope to offer a similar service via their iPhone app.

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CHART UPDATE
Right, I think it's about time the music buying public and I had a little chat. I am willing to put up with many things, and turn a blind eye if need be. But I cannot stand by and allow Diana Vickers to get to number one in the singles chart without comment.

What the fuck were you all thinking? Is the novelty of hearing someone sing like they've got a snooker ball in the back of their throat that much of a pull that you want to be able to listen to it at your leisure? I know there's always going to be music in the chart that I don't like, and I generally see that as a good thing. But, Jesus Christ, people. Are you ill or something?

Even though Chipmunk is possibly the worst rapper to ever walk this Earth, I'd still rather see him at number one over Vickers, instead of being at number three, where his new single, 'Until You Were Gone', has entered the chart this week.

Still, this week is one for barely explainable anomalies. Also a new fixture in the top ten is Tina Turner's 'Simply The Best', at number nine. This is all thanks to an internet campaign by fans of Rangers football club, coinciding with the team taking the Scottish Premier League title yesterday. Rivals Celtic were campaigning to get Gerry & The Pacemakers' 'You'll Never Walk Alone' in the chart ahead of Rangers' effort, but, as with the football league, they came second - only managing to get their choice to number 33. But then, as they were both aiming for number one, I'd say both were losers. In fact, considering who actually got to number one, I'd say we're all losers. Let's all go and have a little cry.

Done that? Good. Let's continue. Other new entries in the singles chart this week are 3OH!3 at 22 with 'Don't Trust Me', and the cast of 'Glee' at number 35 with their cover of Lionel Richie's 'Hello'. And did I mention that Diana Vickers is at number one? Fucking hell.

Thankfully the album chart is currently a Vickers free zone. And long may it stay that way. Rushing to the top this week are AC/DC with the soundtrack to 'Iron Man 2', just slipping ahead of Paul Weller, who is at number two with his latest album, 'Wake Up The Nation'. New at four is Meat Loaf with 'Hang Cool, Teddy Bear', and Kate Nash goes in at eight with 'My Best Friend Is You'.

Outside the top ten, Selena Gomez & The Scene are new at twelve with 'Kiss & Tell', James are at 20 with 'The Night Before', and 'Tony Bennett Sings The Ultimate America Songbook Vol 1' is at 35.

The charts should just not be published in weeks when Diana Vickers features in either of them. Though that would be a decision that would have to be made by The Official Charts Company.

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STREETS MAN CAMEOS IN DOC WHO
The Streets' Mike Skinner had a cameo on this weekend's 'Doctor Who', playing a spaceship-based security guard convinced he was in a leafy park having been kissed by a woman wearing "hallucinogenic lipstick". So, just a normal day out for Skinner presumably.

I'm only mentioning this because it gives me an excuse to say "that was the best 'Dr Who' episode ever", and then join in with the other whiners in the Who fan community who are angry with the Beeb for plonking a big moving cartoon of a gurning Graham Norton across the bottom of the screen just at the most crucial moment during the climax of the show, designed to plug the next programme in the schedule.

I rarely watch live TV these days, but whenever I do I'm reminded that the best thing about TV-on-demand is that you don't get tedious continuity announcers and distracting 'up next' plugs, and all those other irritating promo devices used by network chiefs who seem to think the primary role of a TV channel these days is to plug the show that's on next, rather than letting people watch the show that's currently airing.

It's only a matter of time before the over-funded over-powerful BBC marketing department arrive at the offices of Team iPlayer insisting their cheesy cartoons, terrible trailers and stupid continuity people get stamped all over the VOD platform. I urge everyone involved in iPlayer to prepare for that day, guns in the filing cabinet, grenades in the bins and machetes hidden in the coat rack.

Meanwhile, part two of the current 'Doc Who' story will air on Saturday. Skinner won't be in it though. His character was dead before the credits rolled.

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CATHOLIC CHURCH CONSIDERING BOYLE APPEARANCE FOR POPE SHOW
The Catholic Church have reportedly expressed an interest in having Susan Boyle sing at one of the services due to be held to mark the Pope's upcoming visit to Britain.

I think 'Britain's Got Talent' winners Diversity were the first choice to provide some light entertainment for the pontiff, but someone pointed out that, with all those priests in the house, it was probably a bit risky to get the younger members of the urban dance group involved.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said no talks has actually taken place with Boyle's people, but added: "She certainly would be a great asset to the programme on the day and we hope to be able to discuss the possibility of her participation soon".

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