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CMU Info
Top Stories
IMPALA welcome EC cultural industries green paper
In The Pop Hospital
Flaming Lips guitarist hospitalised
Pop Politics
Music entrepreneurs don't want Clegg-Brown combo
Newsnight's political party pop songs completed
Awards & Contests
Brit wins international songwriting competition
Charts, Stats & Polls
Gaga named entertainment's most influential
Reunions & Splits
Declining health could force The Who off stage
Doves to take time off
In The Studio
Gorillaz could extend Plastic Beach stay
Karen Elson nervous to work with Jack White
Release News
Christina Aguilera video premieres today
Kele Okereke previews new track
Films & Shows News
Ebert publishes Sex Pistols screenplay
Gigs & Tours News
Jane's Addiction added to free RATM show
The National UK dates
Bad Religion 30th anniversary tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Club 8 - The People's Record (Labrador)
Brands & Stuff
Tuborg renews Live Nation deal
The Music Business
HMV retail sales down
Universal music chief joins Vivendi board
Reservoir Media acquire TVT publishing catalogue
The Digital Business
eMusic add extras to their subscription packages
The Media Business
Times make online ABCs private ahead of paywall
Sky to launch music talent show
And finally...
Bieber gets his hat back

First, the big questions of the week. How did it get to be Friday so quickly? How can it possibly be May tomorrow? Why was there no thunder last night when it really looked like a big storm was brewing? Answers on a postcard, if you would be so kind. May is CMU's busiest month, not least because we host panels and Q&As at the City Showcase in London, The Great Escape in Brighton and Liverpool Sound City in, well, Liverpool. More on all that on Tuesday (no Daily on Monday, of course, though if you send him good vibes over the internet Andy might do you a Five Day Forecast on the News-Blog). In the meantime, here are the five biggest news stories from the last week in the music business.

01: UK record sale stats good, global record sale stats bad. Or at least that's what we learned this week; though that's not really news, the UK's record industry decline has always been modest compared to nearly all other territories. A BPI report revealed Britain's record industry actually experienced a little growth in 2009, as booming digital revenues finally started to offset sliding CD sales. A subsequent global report from IFPI revealed five other markets also saw record sales rise last year, though worldwide sales were down overall, mainly because of poor performance in the all important US and Japanese markets. CMU report | IFPI press release

02: All-new Spotify launched.
The big story in the digital music domain was an update of the popular streaming music service, which added a bunch of new functionality to the player. Most people focused on the new social networking facilities, which make it easier to recommend songs and playlists to friends, and to link a Spotify account with a Facebook profile. But probably more important was the new library function that lets you play your MP3 collection through the Spotify player, alongside tracks from the Spotify library, basically rendering the iTunes player redundant. CMU report | TechDigest on what new Spotify means for iTunes

03: Beyond Oblivion got quite a lot of coverage. This is a new start-up which is proposing a different digital music model whereby a widget scans a user's entire MP3 collection and charges a nominal royalty fee every time a track is played. The fee would be paid by a hardware manufacturer or ISP, who would in turn charge a fixed levy to the actual user. It was newsworthy because of it securing financial backing from News Corp. The idea is this system monetises tracks in a user's MP3 collection which were obtained illegally; but it's flawed because no royalty would be due on any legitimately obtained MP3s, plus it's not clear how the widget would know who to pass a royalty on to. CMU report | FT report

04: LiveMaster Competition Commission ruling might be upcoming. Live Nation and Ticketmaster have already merged, of course, after getting the green light from US competition authorities. But the UK Competition Commission was forced to reconsider its original positive decision regards the deal. Quite what would happen if the Commission know blocked the merger isn't clear. That's not likely to happen, but it was speculated this week a final ruling could be released next week. CMU report | Bloomberg report

05: Music industry types got political. Billy Bragg had a run in with a BNP candidate in east London, while KT Tunstall announced she would have no further contact with her step father, who is standing as a candidate for the tedious racists. Behind the scenes, various music business entrepreneurs put their name to a letter to The Times warning that a hung parliament that delivered a combined Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition government would be a disaster for entrepreneurialism in the UK. Meanwhile, UK Music and New Deal Of The Mind said they didn't care who formed the next government providing they committed to better support grass roots creative talent. CMU reports | Times report and letter

And there you have it. By the next time I do one of these round ups the Big Vote will have happened. Don't forget to exercise your right to vote or, if like me, you will be exercising your right not to vote, make sure you do so by drawing a silly picture on your ballot paper rather than avoiding your polling station altogether and looking like you just don't care. See you on the other side.

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Groove Sanctuary at Madame JoJo's
Groove Sanctuary is back to its original home, Soho's Madame JoJo's, and is back as a weekly Sunday session too. Nearly a decade has passed since it last graced this venue, but it's still going for it, blending house, busted beats, Afrobeat, jazz, Latin and any other stylish grooves and moves. I've not had a bad night down there.

Guest DJs over the years have been Jazzanova, Peter Kruder, Patrick Forge, Bugz In The Attic, Gilles Peterson, MJ Cole, Martin Solvieg, Aaron Ross, Quentin Harris, and this Bank Holiday Sunday (not a school night, people) sees resident Jimbo (aka Raw Deal, curator of the night) team up with Jose Carretas from the Restless Soul camp, who has DJed for Damon Albarn's Gorillaz Sound System and played to crowds of in excess of 35,000. So, this small intimate Soho venue will be a slight change of scenery for him.

Sunday 2 May, Madame JoJo's, 8-10 Brewer Street, Soho, London, W1 OSE 9.30pm - 3am, £5 before 11pm, £8 after, more info at www.groovesanctuary.com.

Chrysalis Music Publishing is looking for someone with supreme organisational skills, a strong work ethic and plenty of common sense to support the running of a busy department. Someone who has undertaken work experience or an internship in a music company is preferable but not essential - a love of music and an understanding of synchronisation and music publishing are, however.

Please send a covering letter and CV to gareth.smith@chrysalis.com. Closing date for applications is 7th May.
Imagem Music is looking to employ a Junior Creative Assistant. Duties include: Supporting the Creative/A&R team in areas including the maintenance of databases, keeping up to date gig lists of our acts, liaising with managers, labels, promoters & agents and taking responsibility for the smooth running of the department; Liaising with our international offices on creative matters; and some basic office management.

A sound knowledge of social networking is essential therefore a basic knowledge of HTML, FTP and Photoshop would be useful. This is an ideal first job for somebody who has had work or intern experience at a music company. A basic understanding of music publishing would be preferable as would the ability to communicate positively and organize effectively.

Please send a covering letter and CV to careers@imagem-music.com. Closing date for applications is 21st May.
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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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.
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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Erykah Badu announces London show
PRS Foundation support women in music debate
John Otway announces new book
BBC cuts leaker leaves the Corporation
Absolute and Absolut reach settlement
Bauer launch revamped online player
Music festival line-up update - 29 Apr 2010
STAR reissue dodgy ticket agent warning
Festival Republic again warn of dodgy ticket sellers

Pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA has welcomed an EC Cultural Industries Green Paper, which was adopted by the EC Commissioner For Culture this week.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given IMPALA's active support for the paper, the document includes a number of proposals for making the cultural industries across Europe more friendly to smaller and more entrepreneurial businesses, such as the independent record companies the trade body represents. IMPALA said yesterday: "The move starts a very important process which is expected will lead to concrete results for thousands of independent music companies and other SMEs across Europe".

The issues addressed in the report mirror some of those most frequently raised by IMPALA, including market access, especially in the digital domain, the barriers to SMEs accessing finance, and the need to reduce barriers affecting the mobility of artists and talent.

On the market access issue, the report says: "A diverse range of entrepreneurs ... is a pre-requisite for a culturally diverse offer to consumers. This is possible only if fair access to the market is guaranteed. Creating and maintaining the level playing field which ensures that there are no unjustified barriers to entry will require combined efforts in different policy fields, especially competition policy".

Formally welcoming the report, IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith told CMU: "This sends a clear message that the EC recognises the importance of a level playing field and will use competition rules to achieve it. The next step is to work out the concrete measures required for SMEs to secure real market access and improve their financial viability. Bold moves by the Commission now will deliver a thriving diverse digital market and a real boost to Europe's economy".

EC Green Papers are published to initiate debate among relevant stakeholders about certain issues, often via some sort of formal consultation process. All that might result in the publication of a White Paper that proposes changes in European law to make things happen in member states and across the continent at large.

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The Flaming Lips have been forced to cancel two upcoming US shows after guitarist Steven Drozd was hospitalised yesterday. Details of what led to Drozd being admitted and his current condition have not yet been made public, though representatives for the band have said they fear that more shows will have to be cancelled.

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A group of music business entrepreneurs, including the boss of digital music service provider Omnifone, Rob Lewis, and Robbie Williams' inspirational manager Tim Clark, yesterday put their name to a letter in The Times warning about the dangers of a hung parliament which resulted in a coalition government between the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. A long list of entrepreneurs and businessmen from various sectors signed the letter.

As you've presumably noticed, the chances of a hung parliament where no one political party dominates the vote in the House Of Commons seems more likely at next week's General Election than at any other big vote in decades, mainly due to so many people thinking Nick Clegg is a cool dude. Many political types think hung parliaments are a bad thing, though I personally reckon they're wrong to do so, as I blogged here:


Depending on how seats in the Commons were distributed in a hung parliament, it might be possible for the Labour Party to form a so called coalition government with the Lib Dems, forcing the Tories into opposition again, even if the Cam Man actually won the highest percentage of the overall popular vote. It was such a Lib-Lab pact that Lewis, Clark, Commercial Arts' Guy Fletcher, VidZone's Adrian Workman, 24-7 Entertainment's Frank Taubert, Music Video Messages' Stephen Kendall-Lane and Last Second Ticketing's Craig Massey were all cautioning against in yesterday's Times.

Summarising the letter, Omnifone boss Lewis said: "The public need to know that a Lib-Lab coalition would have dire consequences for entrepreneurship in the UK, leading to reduced inward investment and less jobs over the next five years. Neither Brown nor Clegg seem to realise that the UK has to compete globally for business, jobs and investment. We have written this letter because the UK desperately needs a government that encourages business, attracts investment and enables job creation".

In reality, nobody really knows what policies would be pursued by a Lib-Lab pact, so the whole thing is idle conjecture; it's just big (and some medium sized) business fears any increased power for the Lib Dems because they, their lobbyists and their trade bodies have been busy schmoozing the Cam Man for the last three years assuming he'd be the next PM. That would be a lot of wasted time and wine if he ends up being isolated by a Clegg-Brown partnership.

Of course, all of this ignores the very real risk that if, despite the Lib Dem's recent popularity surge, the Tories do win next Thursday, the smile on David Cameron's face will be so smug, it might result in a crack in the space-time continuum resulting in the end of the universe itself. Look at that face, it could happen.

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Staying with the Election, and remember how Hadouken!, Right Said Fred and upcoming grime outfit Nu Brand were asked by the BBC's Newsnight to make a song for each of the three main political parties - Labour, Lib Dem and Tories respectively? Well, they've done their songs, so you can go check them out if you want:

Hadouken! perform their Labour Party anthem:

Nu Brand's Conservative Party anthem: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8649398.stm

Right Said Fred perform their Lib Dem Party anthem:

I think all three artists are keen to let it be known that they were given their parties by Newsnight producers, and that they took part in the project for fun rather than because of any political sympathies with the parties they have musicalised.

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A UK songwriter has won the US-based International Songwriting Competition for the first time. Brit King Charles took the global songwriting programme's Grand Prize, which comes with $25,000 in cash and $20,000's worth of other goodies. His song 'Love Lust' beat some 15,000 other entries to take the overall prize in the annual competition, whose judging panel includes Tom Waits, Jerry Lee Lewis, Robert Smith, Robbie Williams, Kings of Leon, Timbaland, Adele and Gary Lightbody.

ISC founder and director Candace Avery told CMU: "The song 'Love Lust' is one of the most inventive songs I've ever heard. It is rare that an artist comes along who is so creative, interesting, and most importantly, authentic. There is such a depth to his artistry that it seems as if the creativity just pours out of him. I am confident he has a hugely successful career ahead of him".

You will be able to see King Charles do his stuff at next month's Great Escape festival in Brighton.

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Lady Gaga has been named the most influential 'artist' in the world in Time magazine's annual poll of such things. You wouldn't think she'd been around long enough for her influence to spread that far, but you can't argue with a poll, can you?

Comedian Conan O'Brien is second on the list, with director Kathryn Bigelow at three, Oprah Winfrey at four, and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev at five. Other music people in the artists list include Taylor Swift at nine, Prince at twelve, Simon Cowell (who is apparently an 'artist') at fifteen, and Elton John at seventeen.

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Roger Daltrey has said The Who's Royal Albert Hall show in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust last month may have been their last, as various health issues, including Pete Townshend's worsening hearing, become more and more significant.

Daltrey told Uncut: "If carrying on is going to mean Pete going deaf, let's stop now. Entering old age in a silent world - nothing is worth that.That [Royal Albert Hall show] might have been the last gig. I honestly don't know. We're trying to deal with issues that we have never dealt with before.Our bodies are beginning to give up on us. I've had voice problems in the past year that I've managed to sort out and I'm really enjoying singing again but you have to be realistic - I am 66 years old".

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Doves have announced that they are planning to take some time off following the release of their best of compilation, 'The Places Between'.

The band's Jimi Goodwin told The Daily Record: "The best of was a weird thing really. We weren't really thinking 'it's our time to do this', it was sort of in the contract, and there was also no talk of writing for a while. After [last album] 'Kingdom Of Rust', we really do need to recharge the batteries in that respect.We just don't want to do that whole sitting-round-the-table-to-discuss-our-next-move kind of thing.It's nice just to have a bit of breathing space".

He continued: "We just wanted to get off that whole album-tour-album-tour treadmill. None of us are ready to face going into the studio for another two years. This is wiping the slate clean, we have nothing else in the vaults now. That is it. Whatever we do from now on will be a new start".

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Damon Albarn has revealed that Gorillaz's 'Plastic Beach' album could be stretched out into a trilogy over the next few years, simply using outtakes from the first album.

Albarn told Spinner: "I recorded an awful lot of music for this record, about 80 pieces of music in total. So, theoretically there is a part two and part three of 'Plastic Beach' if we ever felt motivated to spend another few years finishing it. But because it's so eclectic, it takes a long time to actually get a picture because we don't start with a picture or an idea. We start with a very loose idea of 'Plastic Beach', which you know probably means something different to me than it does to Jamie [Hewlett], but we evolve".

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Karen Elson has said that she found working with Jack White on her debut album, 'The Ghost Who Walks', a daunting prospect, despite the fact that the couple are married. Previously a member of cabaret troupe The Citizens Band, Elson began seriously working on solo material after moving to Nashville, where she now lives with White and their two children.

She told BBC 6music: "Jack is who Jack is, and I was very nervous to even play him my songs at first. Jack would overhear me over the course of a year and wouldn't tell me. Eventually he said 'play me the songs, we're going into the studio tomorrow'. He's brilliant in the studio and he challenged me. He handed me a guitar, stood me in front of a mic with a bunch of brilliant musicians who I'd known. Jack records all to tape, he doesn't use any sort of gimmickry, so a lot of the takes on the record are live takes. Jack forced me to do it, but it was the best medicine".

'The Ghost Who Walks' is released on 25 May via White's Third Man Records label.

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Christina Aguilera will be showing off the video for her new single, 'Not Myself Tonight', on various websites around the world today. First to get it was Vevo in the US, who are streaming it right now. UK fans will be able to exclusively on 4Music tomorrow.

We watched the video earlier; it features Christina in all kinds of latex and bondage gear, plus some men dancing in the rain. It's not as shocking as it probably thinks it is. You can check out various photos and snippets at www.christina-aguilera.com.

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Bloc Party's Kele Okereke has made a track from his forthcoming debut solo album available to stream on his website. 'Tenderoni' was premiered on Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show on Tuesday night and will be released as a single on 14 Jun, followed by the album, 'I Am Kele', on 21 Jun.

Have a listen here: www.iamkele.com

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US film critic Roger Ebert has published online the screenplay he was commissioned by Malcolm McLaren to write in 1977 for ill-fated Sex Pistols movie 'Who Killed Bambi'. The film, which was to be directed by Russ Meyer, was halted just two days into production due to financial problems and the band split before McLaren was able to raise the funds to get it rolling again.

Ebert explains: "[The screenplay] still carried its original title, 'Anarchy In The UK', although shortly after I phoned up with a suggested title change, which was accepted: 'Who Killed Bambi?' ... Discussions with Meyer, McLaren and Rene Daalder led to this draft. All I intend to do here is reprint it. Comments are open, but I can't discuss what I wrote, why I wrote it, or what I should or shouldn't have written. Frankly, I have no idea".

See if you can work it out here: blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/04/who_killed_bambi_-_a_screenpla.html

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According to The Daily Swarm, Jane's Addiction and Gogol Bordello have been added to the line-up of Rage Against The Machine's free London show to thank fans for getting them to Christmas number one. Gallows have also previously been announced for the gig.

Tickets for the event were dished out in a lottery-style system earlier this year. The show will take place in London's Finsbury Park on 6 Jun.

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The National, who release their stunning new album 'High Violet' on 10 May, will be in the UK next month for a couple of shows in London, at the Electric Ballroom and The Royal Albert Hall. Then they'll be back again in July for a gig in Brighton.

Tour dates:

5 May: London, Electric Ballroom
6 May: London, Royal Albert Hall
9 Jul: Brighton, Corn Exchange

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Bad Religion have announced UK tour dates to mark their 30th anniversary. YES!

Tour dates:

6 Aug: Birmingham, Academy
7 Aug: Bristol, Academy
23 Aug: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire
24 Aug: Manchester, Academy 2

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GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 23-27 Jun: Replacing the Dance Lounge, The WOW! Stage at Glasto has confirmed the likes of Fatboy Slim, Chase & Status, Chipmunk, Kelis, Crystal Castles and Boys Noize. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

LED FESTIVAL, Victoria Park, London, 27-28 Aug: Bloody Beetroots, Death Crew 77, Professor Green and Sub Focus head up the latest additions to the LED Festival line-up, along with Shy FX, Zinc and Boy Better Know. www.ledfestival.net

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ALBUM REVIEW: Club 8 - The People's Record (Labrador)
Sweden's Club 8 emerged at the start of the noughties with a non-too-original but deftly executed sound - twee indie pop mixing guitars, electronics and dreamy female vocals with more than a nod to the likes of Saint Etienne, Trembling Blue Stars and Air.

Their sound has evolved subtly over the course of six albums, but their seventh sees the biggest departure yet, with the duo's Brazilian travels providing much in the way of inspiration.

It could conceivably have turned out to be an unedifying mélange but, thankfully it's anything but - the melodic touch and pop nous of songwriter Johan Angergard is still a perfect foil for the languid uber-glacial vocals of Karolina Komstedt, but the carnival atmosphere (fuelled by a treasure chest of colourful percussion) helps to create a heady concoction of African rhythms, Latin exuberance and icy Scandinavian cool.

'Dancing With The Mentally Ill' hints at the melancholy of earlier material, but there's still a vibrancy at heart, as on the similarly amusingly-titled 'We're All Going To Die', which is brilliantly, improbably jaunty.

'The Peoples Record': sun-kissed pop for that chill in your heart, then. MS

Physical release: 31 May
Press contact: Hermana

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Tuborg have signed up to a new four year sponsorship deal with Live Nation that will mean the beer brand, which has been very active in the music space for sometime now, will continue to be the official beer at UK venues and music festivals operated by the live music conglom. So, that includes Wireless, Hard Rock Calling and Download.

Gareth Roberts, Director of Sponsorship & Media Relations at Tuborg owners Carlsberg UK, said: "Tuborg is fast becoming 'the' beer of music, and partnering up with Live Nation, the biggest music promoter in the world, is a natural fit for the brand. We are excited to announce a further four year agreement that will ensure Tuborg drinkers continue to get unique access to the best music events around".

Live Nation's marketing partnership man Simon Lewis added: "We are delighted to confirm our renewed partnership with Tuborg and look forward to further developing a strong relationship in 2010 and beyond, by bringing both customer bases the best live experience possible".

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After some better than expected financial results in 2009, the flagship retail division of the ever-expanding music and entertainment firm HMV had a disappointing first quarter in 2010, according to figures published yesterday. It was all the fault of the snow, apparently.

Sales for the sixteen weeks up to 24 Apr in HMV's UK and Ireland stores were down 8.2%. The retailer said the slump was partly due to unusually good first quarters in 2008 and 2009, the reduction in the number of in-store promotions and all that snow that stopped people going shopping.

HMV boss man Simon Fox admitted it has been a "difficult" quarter but said that the company "planned accordingly by tightly managing margins and discretionary costs". He added that other divisions of the expanding HMV Group, in particular HMV Live (ie the MAMA Group), had done well, so that overall the company would deliver profits in line with expectations and "comfortably ahead of last year". So that's nice.

Don't forget, CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke will be interviewing Fox about his vision for HMV at The Great Escape on 13 May.

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Lucian Grainge, currently the boss of Universal Music Group International, and soon to be the overall boss man at the world's biggest music company, has been given a seat on the board of the music firm's parent company Vivendi. No word on what colour the upholstery will be.

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New York-based independent publisher Reservoir Media Management has acquired the publishing catalogue of the defunct US indie TVT.

The demise of TVT was rather complicated and I lost track of the plot at least three times. The indie record label was bought by The Orchard in 2008, but ownership of the publishing assets weren't part of that deal. Investment firm DB Zwirn had a controlling stake in those, which later passed to Fortress Investment Group. It is them that have sold the catalogue to Reservoir. Terms of the deal are not known.

TVT founder Steve Gottlieb, who lost control of the company when it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008, said he was pleased with the news Reservoir would now control his former catalogue. He told reporters: "I am delighted that this jewel of a catalogue with over 100 charting singles and the writers with whom I have been so honoured to work with will be in such good hands going forward".

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Subscription-based download service eMusic yesterday launched a new programme called A&R, or Access & Rewards. Hey, see what they did there?

It means that as well has having their allotted MP3 downloads each month, eMusic subscribers will have access to exclusive "experiences, offers and discounts" from selected partners, including the Southbank centre (discounts on tickets), Firebox (discounts on music gadgets) and Future Publishing (discounts on entertainment mags). New offers will be regularly added, all designed, eMusic reckon, to the tastes of their more muso customer base.

eMusic Chief Marketing Officer Lee Nadler told CMU: "From providing special deals on audio equipment, to special experiences at venues, festivals and museums, to supporting the broader music community, eMusic A&R Access & Rewards adds more value to the eMusic membership. This is just the beginning, and we will be listening closely to our members as we continue to build and develop the programme".

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ABC, the independent body that publishes official circulation figures for print media and their websites, has confirmed that News International have asked that stats for the Times website be kept private from this month. This will mean, of course, that those outside the Murdoch-owned newspaper firm won't know how big a hit the newspaper's website takes in terms of traffic when it starts charging subscription fees in June.

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Sky One have announced their intent to launch an 'X-Factor' rival with a new talent show franchise to be called 'Must Be The Music'. I think the idea is that this will be more about 'musicians' than just 'singers', though don't quote me on that, the press release isn't clear and I don't care enough to phone them up and ask. I do know open auditions will begin next month, and that the overall prize is a £100,000 cash fund plus "creative support and promotional advice".

Sky One's Duncan Gray seemed most keen to stress that winners won't be saddled with having to work with Simon Cowell and his Sony record label. He told reporters: "'Must Be The Music' will give the rich stream of untapped, creative music talent in Britain that's screaming to be heard the chance to succeed on their own terms without signing away their soul to do so. At last here's a chance for the huge variety of unrepresented new talent to showcase real music and grow as an artist both creatively and financially".

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Well, we promised you a Justin Bieber story everyday this week and, sadly, we have delivered.

As previously reported, on Wednesday the popster was mobbed in New Zealand's Auckland International Airport, with crazed fans so over excited that they knocked over his mum and stole his hat. There's no word on whether anyone has picked Pattie Bieber up off the floor yet, but the thief has returned the hat. So that's nice.

Justin tweeted: "I got my hat back. No hugs. No thanks yous. Just glad they did the right thing. I don't condone thievery!"

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
David Dimbleby
Dispute Arbitrator

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