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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Terra Firma v Citigroup: Hands realised his EMI mistake quickly
Bobby Gillespie joins campaign to save 100 Club
Awards & Contests
Scotsman Radar winner announced
Black Eyed Peas' Fergie named Billboard's Woman Of The Year
In The Studio
After killing synth-pop, La Roux look for their next victim
Aphex Twin not short of new albums
Kid Koala working on loud and quiet albums
Release News
Charlotte Church talks going independent
Gigs & Tours News
Kings Of Leon announce 2011 tour dates
Idiot Glee November tour
The Music Business
Ghost departs Epic job
Wells promoted to Universal-wide digital role
BMG appoints former Warner/Chappell chief
CODA man joins Larmer Tree Festival
Sony/ATV does deal with Getty
The Digital Business
VidZone passes half a billion videos mark
Danish government denies three-strikes plans
Spotify seeks COO, still hoping for 2010 US launch
And finally...
Foster & Allen ready for chart battle with Take That


 
FRIDAY 29TH OCTOBER
THE MUSIC BUSINESS WEEK IN FIVE
Phew, what a busy week. For all of you that came down to the Music Mind Exchange panel event on Wednesday, thank you for joining us, and I hope you found it as insightful as I did; three great panelists providing lots of valuable thoughts and advice on the future of music investment. There'll be another MME event very soon, watch this space for info!

 
Before I do the usual week in five bit, and then run off to Scotland for a day or two, I probably should remind all our university-based readers that this weekend is the deadline for the student categories of the Record Of The Day Music Journalism Awards, so you should go to our sister website CreativeStudent.net and find out how to put yourself forward. Done that? Good. Right, week in five...

01: Terra Firma v Citigroup rumbled on, providing much light entertainment for all bar the participants. And, presumably, staffers at EMI who, while probably not caring much about their equity group owners getting a bashing in court, are facing more insecurity about the future of their company. If Terra Firma loses this case, many commentators think they'll cut their losses and bail on the music firm. Both Terra Firma's Guy Hands and Citigroup's David Wormsley spent time on the stand this week going over familiar arguments: Hands says Wormsley tricked him into buying EMI, Wormsley says he didn't. CMU reports

02: LimeWire was shut down. A US court complied with demands by the American record industry to issue an injunction ordering the Lime Group to stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software, and to make it harder for existing users to access unlicensed content via the LimeWire network. Team Lime, now trying to launch a legit music service, basically agreed to comply with the court order. So, the end of a file-sharing era. Not that it will really affect the BitTorrent using file-sharing community. CMU report | Independent report

03: A US court refused to rehear the Eminem royalties case. This was the case where early Slim Shady collaborators FBT Productions, which has a pre-iTunes royalty share deal with Universal Music on the rapper's early work, claimed it should be paid a 'licensing deal' rate on download sales, rather than the 'record sales' rate the major is currently paying. The former is considerably higher. A US court originally knocked back the claim, but FBT then won on appeal. Universal asked for the Ninth Circuit appeals court to reconsider the decision, but it refused. Universal insist this dispute is contract specific, and does not set a precedent that all legacy artists should get the higher royalty rate on download sales. CMU report | Hip Hop DX report:

04: MySpace relaunched in the US. It looks prettier, is more entertainment focused and, the flagging social networking company insists, is more user friendly and distinctive from its rivals. We'll see about that. The relaunch will roll out here in the UK next month, though MySpace is already showing off the new look site to British advertising agencies. It's thought in the UK the revamped MySpace will focus on music in particular. CMU report | Guardian report

05: The Walkman died, or did it? It was revealed this week that Sony had stopped making cassette Walkmans, so that once the current batch had been sold no more would be available. Cue a raft of nostalgic articles about the once iconic music playing device. Though the LA Times then quoted a Sony Corp source as saying the Walkman would continue to be distributed and sold in the US, while the Wall Street Journal said production would continue in China for sale in Asia and the Middle East. I think most of us were most surprised Walkmans were still being made anywhere. CMU report | PC Mag report

And that's your lot - see you next week.

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU
 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: HearHere & 44 presents... Ewan Pearson
Techster Ewan Pearson once described signing to Soma Records as a bit like being a Man United fan and then playing for them...

Fifteen years on, he's kept true to the tech, and as such is in frequent demand for remix projects. But, while undoubtedly a great talent in the studio (and a rather fine blogger, as it happens, check out the social commentary on his web page), Pearson is possibly at his finest behind the decks. Boy, can he work a crowd, and I have seen him rock it in the basement of the 333 a fair few times.

 
He's back in a basement again tonight, in Manchester's Soup Kitchen - a slightly smaller venue, but with a comparably loud soundsystem. He'll be joined by Andre Hung from Fuck Buttons with Mister Sushi & Shengi.

Friday 29 Oct, Soup Kitchen, 31 - 33 Spear Street, Manchester, M1, 10pm - 4am, £10 adv, more on the door, more info from www.skiddle.com/events/11389461 and www.myspace.com/44breaks



 
  AUTHORITY COMMUNICATIONS - WEBSITE EDITOR
Authority Communications Ltd are looking for a full-time Website Editor to join our creative team. Authority manage and promote websites and social media platforms for some of the biggest names and brands in the music industry. You will need:

- An ability to write creative, compelling, lively copy in a variety of styles and to very tight deadlines.
- A good working knowledge of html and Photoshop.
- A thorough understanding of social networks, media platforms and online music stores of all kinds.
- Experience of managing client relationships.
- A love of music.

If this is you then please send your CV, plus two examples of your writing to david@authoritycommunications.com
       
  MUTE - PRODUCT MANAGER
Mute require a forward thinking innovative marketeer to create and execute marketing plans across the breadth of their roster. Candidates will ideally be from a label marketing or relevant creative, fast moving industry.

You will be organised and efficient, driven by a love for music and the enthusiasm to look at new and creative ways of working. With responsibility for the planning of all marketing activity across the label and working closely with the A&R, promo, sales and digital teams, you will be financially aware and able to deliver campaigns on time and on budget. Excellent communication skills and extensive digital awareness are essential. Salary commensurate with experience.

Apply by email: ApplytoMute@Mute.com
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TERRA FIRMA V CITIGROUP: HANDS REALISED HIS EMI MISTAKE QUICKLY
It was a quiet day in the ongoing Terra Firma v Citigroup court case yesterday, though there was still some chatter about the testimony of Citi banker David Wormsley the previous day, in particular with regards just how quickly Guy Hands realised that his EMI purchase was a big mistake.

As previously reported, The Worm, the banker accused of tricking Terra Firma and its top man Hands into buying EMI in 2007, has used his time on the witness stand this week to play down his role in orchestrating Terra Firma's purchase of the music company. He's stressed that, while EMI and Terra Firma were both clients of Citigroup, bosses at the music company had brought in another City firm to specifically advise on the sale. His role, therefore, was arranging the multi-billion pound loan that enabled Terra Firma to go through with the transaction, rather than directly advising on the takeover deal itself.

In the latter part of Wednesday's proceedings, Citigroup's legal man in court, Ted Wells, asked Wormsley at what point either he or Hands had realised the EMI deal was probably, with hindsight, a mistake. And it seems that realisation dawned on both men pretty quickly after the 2007 deal was done. Wormsley said Hands had confided in him as early as autumn 2007 that all was not well, and that the company he'd just bought was in a much worse state than he'd ever expected.

Almost immediately, The Worm added, Hands started to put pressure on Citigroup to lessen the burden of the three billion pound loan, accusing the bank of "nickel and diming" him with regards a debt that was "crushing" him. He added that the two men's relationship soon became "pretty hostile" because of the loan, while an email Wormsley sent his team in 2007, shown to the court, saw the banker warn his colleagues "expect fireworks from Guy in the coming week, the truth is we funded a poor business too aggressively".

Citigroup, of course, is trying to portray Hands as a bitter old man trying to find someone to blame for his bad decision to buy EMI in 2007, while claiming that Terra Firma's lawsuit is simply an act of revenge after the bank refused to let the equity man off the commitments of that multi-billion pound loan despite two years of him moaning about it.

The case continues.

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BOBBY GILLESPIE JOINS CAMPAIGN TO SAVE 100 CLUB
Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has added his name to the long string of musicians who have come out in support of the 100 Club, issuing a heartfelt statement on his love of the London venue.

As previously reported, the Oxford Street venue is facing closure as running costs spiral out of control. The club, which has occupied its current site in various forms since 1942, is noted for putting on early gigs by bands who have gone on to fame and fortune, and was a focus of the late seventies punk scene. But in recent years it has reportedly seen rents rise to more than £13,800 per month, not to mention another £4000 per month in business rates.

Gillespie wrote: "When it comes to rock n roll, The 100 Club is the best room in London. No contest. No other venue comes close. Rock n roll was created in small, sweaty clubs, that's where the music sounds best, it doesn't translate well to the big arenas as the band and audience are too distant from each other. It's all smoke and mirrors, any fool can put on a spectacular show to hide behind. And many do. At The 100 Club there is nowhere to hide, you've got to have the chops to deliver, you've got to mean it, there's no room for fakes, You've got to be good to play there and carry it off. Trial by fire".

He continued: "Music is no longer underground anymore. Everything is bought and sold over and over again. Commoditised. Dead. It's all Carling Academys and HMV Apollos and O2 Arenas; corporate, unfeeling, distant. Places as void of atmosphere and rock n roll history as shopping malls or airports. There's less and less independently run clubs where young bands and new music can grow and become a life changing cultural force like The Rolling Stones and The Sex Pistols did, both bands having started out playing at The 100 Club".

Finally, he said: "It would be a tragedy for British music if [The 100 Club] disappears. It has as much cultural value as any art gallery or museum. It's a living place of history. Don't let it die".

Full details of the campaign to save the venue can be found at www.savethe100club.co.uk.

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SCOTSMAN RADAR WINNER ANNOUNCED
The first winner of the previously reported Scotsman Radar Prize has been announced, and the winners are Glasgow-based French Wives.

As previously reported, the competition, run by Scottish broadsheet The Scotsman, was aiming to find the hottest new musical talent in Scotland. The winning band will get a free recording session at Glasgow's Chem 19 studios, a promotional photo shoot, a single distribution package and a one year premium Soundcloud account. Plus, of course, coverage in The Scotsman.

Radar editor Nick Mitchell told CMU: "We were taken aback by the response to this competition. We had every conceivable style of music represented, from acoustic singer-songwriters to thrash metal bands via jazz-funk and out-there electronica. It was a huge challenge to come to a consensus on a winner, but I'm delighted that French Wives came out on top. They are a superb band who deserve to reach a much wider audience. I'd like to thank everyone who entered their demos - they are a great vindication of the raw talent in Scotland right now".

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BLACK EYED PEAS' FERGIE NAMED BILLBOARD'S WOMAN OF THE YEAR
When it comes to women, none have been finer in 2010 than Black Eyed Peas vocalist Fergie. So says Billboard, anyway. The singer will collect the US music magazine's Woman Of The Year Award at its Women In Music event in New York on 2 Dec.

Of the accolade, Fergie said: "I am humbled and excited to accept the Billboard Woman Of The Year Award. Being honoured by Billboard is a great career achievement".

Fergie is being given the award for singing on some rubbish songs that were quite popular for some reason and touring a lot, plus doing some charity work, some fashion stuff and a bit of acting.

Billboard editorial director Bill Werde, said: "Fergie took the music industry by storm the moment she came onto the scene, and we're thrilled to celebrate her career achievements and incredible successes over the past year by honouring her with the Billboard Woman Of The Year Award. Fergie is a unique artist with great business savvy, style and an unbelievable dedication to philanthropic efforts, making her an inspiration to aspiring female artists everywhere".

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AFTER KILLING SYNTH-POP, LA ROUX LOOK FOR THEIR NEXT VICTIM
La Roux's Elly Jackson has declared synth-based pop dead in a new interview. And she would know, being the very person who killed it with her awful, awful songs. Now she's keen to move on and fuck up another genre instead. No, Elly Jackson, you stay right where you are. Synth-pop is yours now, you sit and play with it and just leave everyone else alone, OK?

Oh dear, she's not listening. Speaking about the direction the duo's next album is taking, Jackson told Spinner: "I don't want to make synth music for the rest of my fucking life. It was a time when I was into that, but whatever, it's done with, it's gone. The whole genre is so over. It was my thing and I'm bored with it. If I see anything more 80s-themed, I'm going to bust".

She continued: "I'm impatient for a new direction as anybody else is, but I think it's going to be a bit of a new discovery. No more than six months from now, we'll be really pushing it. But at the same time, we have some experimenting to be done. I know what my influences are, so there's no problem there".

As for why her songs are such a load of old rubbish, she explained: "We're not one of those artists that writes 50 songs and picks the ten best ones. We write ten songs and every one will go on the record".

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APHEX TWIN NOT SHORT OF NEW ALBUMS
The world has been waiting patiently for the follow-up to Aphex Twin's 2001 album, 'Drukqs' with little fuss, but I'm not sure he's prepared for the shit that's gonna kick off now he's revealed that he's completed six albums in that time and just chosen not to release any of them.

Speaking to Another Man magazine, the Twin, aka Richard D James, said: "I've got six [albums] completed. Two are very non-commercial, abstract, modular-synthesis, field recordings - those I finished four years ago. Another one is 'Melodies From Mars', which I redid about three years ago. There's one of stuff I won't go into; a comp of old tracks which is never really finished and always changing; and then one I'm working on now. There are also loads of tracks which don't belong anywhere".

So, if you see any riots this afternoon, that's why.

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KID KOALA WORKING ON LOUD AND QUIET ALBUMS
Turntablist Kid Koala has been discussing his current recording projects with Spinner, which see him going to opposite extremes of volume.

First up, he spoke of his ongoing 'Space Cadet' book and album, which he says is "the quietest thing I've ever done", adding: "I've been working on it since 2004. The music is very lullaby-like, mostly recorded on acoustic keyboards with turntable woodwinds and turntable strings. It's a complete anti-dance floor, anti-rock out kind of thing".

He also revealed plans to stage some 'quiet live shows' around the release of the project: "I'll do the show on headphones. Everyone will have a set of headphones, and we're bringing in these inflatable pods that seat about 35 people per pod so everyone will have their own spaceship with all their friends. We're gonna do this 'quiet time' concert for them".

As well as this, Koala is also working on a new album with his project The Slew, the follow-up to last year's '100%', which was recorded with Dynomite D. For live performances of the first album, former Wolfmother drummer and bassist Myles Heskett and Chris Ross were also drafted in, and that rhythm section will now appear on the new Slew record.

He said: "The Slew's the loudest project I've ever done. We wanted to make a record that our skater friends would enjoy. It's the first record I've ever been a part of that doesn't make people fall off their boards".

The new album will also feature some guests: "We've got Jon Spencer and Mike Patton singing on a couple of songs. We're still going through the process of recording a bunch of stuff. I've got a record cutter now. We bring Chris and Myles in, record them for a week. I find the parts that can work, then cut them to a record. I have to practice cutting those together on turntables, then we have to go back and record that for the bed tracks. It's a longer process than your regular style of recording session".

Both albums are tentatively expected to be released next year.

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CHARLOTTE CHURCH TALKS GOING INDEPENDENT
Charlotte Church has been discussing going independent to release her new album through her own record label.

As previously reported, Church received £2 million in funding for the record and other projects through Power Amp, handing investors 50% of her recording, publishing, merchandising and live revenue for an undisclosed period of time in return.

Speaking to The Quietus, she confirmed that she's enjoying being independent from a traditional record label, adding that she hopes to be even more independent in the future by buying her investors out. "I just want to go on my own" she said. "It's great not having to answer to anyone, I can wear whatever I want to wear, I can sing whatever I want to sing, if I want to start my concert with a Gregorian chant I can".

That independence, she says, also means she doesn't have to comply with major label demands for radio-friendly single releases, meaning she can do something a bit different to the rest of the pop market, a market she really doesn't rate just now.

Church: "When I turn on the radio it's just a horrible noise, nothing's organic, everything is Auto-tuned to within an inch of its life so everyone sounds the same. It's all so synth heavy with the same old riffs and I think, come on now, branch out folks. At the top of the market it's getting so limited it's going to have to implode".

Charlotte Church's new album, 'Back To Scratch', is out this week via her own label, Dooby Records. You can read her Quietus interview in full here: thequietus.com/articles/05194-charlotte-church-interview

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KINGS OF LEON ANNOUNCE 2011 TOUR DATES
Kings Of Leon have announced five UK shows for next summer. Tickets go on sale next Wednesday. The band are also due to play in the UK in December.

Tour dates:

30 May: Coventry, Ricoh Arena
17 Jun: Sunderland, Stadium Of Light
19 Jun: Manchester, Lancashire County Cricket Ground
22 Jun: London, Hyde Park
26 Jun: Edinburgh, Murrayfield Stadium

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IDIOT GLEE NOVEMBER TOUR
The very buzzy Idiot Glee will play a handful of shows over the next few months - following the release of his debut single, 'All Packed Up/Don't Drink The Water' - all but one of which will be in London.

Idiot Glee's debut album is due for release in the spring.

Tour dates:

23 Nov: London, Madame Jojo's
25 Nov: London, Old Queen's Head
29 Nov: London, The Lexington
30 Nov: London, Old Blue Last
2 Dec: London, The Drop
12 Jan: Manchester, The Deaf Institute

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GHOST DEPARTS EPIC JOB
So, that didn't last long, did it? Singer songwriter Amanda Ghost has stepped down as President of Sony Music division Epic US, where she has been overseer since February 2009.

She says she is quitting the label exec role so she has more time to spend on her own songwriting and production work, though she will keep her hand in on the executive side by continuing to run her own Sony imprint label, Outsiders.

Confirming Ghost's departure, Rob Stringer, chairman of the Sony Music division under which Epic sits, told reporters: "Amanda has been an important creative force at Epic in the past two years. In returning to the natural focus of her artistic career, I look forward to us working together in the future".

Ghost herself added: "It is has been a real honour and privilege to have worked with Rob Stringer and the whole Epic staff and I look forward to working closely with them on future projects".

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WELLS PROMOTED TO UNIVERSAL-WIDE DIGITAL ROLE
Rob Wells, the big digital man at Universal Music International, has been promoted to a new role as the big digital man for the whole of the Universal Music Group. His new job title will be President of Global Digital Business.

It's been known for a while that Wells would follow Lucian Grainge in relocating from London to America, albeit based on the west coast, with a new group-wide job. Grainge, of course, recently moved Stateside when he was promoted from his role as chief of Universal Music International to co-CEO of the whole company.

That said, Wells will actually report to Zach Horowitz and Max Hole - COOs for UMG and UMG International respectively - in his new role. He will work closely with all Universal Music divisions on digital strategy, and liaise directly with all of the major's digital partners. Group wide, he'll be charged with the task of looking for new revenue-generating digital opportunities.

Says the Grainge man: "Innovation, leadership and imagination are essential to expanding our digital business even further, and there is no one better equipped to do this than Rob. Not only have he and his team been at the forefront of pioneering new models in such a challenging, competitive environment, but they have also led the way in developing new business ventures with key strategic media and tech partners. And he's the best surfer I know!"

Wells himself told CMU: "UMG possesses a portfolio of world class artists and brands, and this new position presents a tremendous opportunity to help define new and widening opportunities for them on a global basis. I am thankful to Lucian, Zach and Max for their continued support. UMG has been on the leading edge of the digital music business and I look forward to creating and advancing initiatives that will keep us at the forefront of this developing marketplace".

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BMG APPOINTS FORMER WARNER/CHAPPELL CHIEF
In a busy day for music company appointments, BMG Rights Management had some recruitment news yesterday, too. The company has just appointed Richard Blackstone, the former CEO of Warner Music's publishing company, Warner/Chappell, to the role of Chief Creative Officer for its US division.

Based in New York, Blackstone will report directly to BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch, and will oversee the company's existing American roster and look for new opportunities for the acquisitive music rights business. Masuch told reporters Blackstone was the "perfect addition" to his team to ensure further expansion in the US market.

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CODA MAN JOINS LARMER TREE FESTIVAL
Directors of the Larmer Tree Festival have announced the appointment of Rob Challice to their music programming team. Although probably better known as a senior partner of booking agency CODA, Challice already works in the festival space as director and booker of the Summer Sundae festival. In his new role he will help programme the 21st Larmer Tree Festival that will take place next July.

Confirming Challice's appointment, James Shepard, co-director and founder of the Larmer Tree Festival, told CMU: "I first met Rob Challice in 1992 and since then I have booked dozens of great acts through him and CODA. With Rob assisting our programming team we are in a really strong position to take Larmer Tree Festival into the future and produce a 21st festival line-up that will be better than ever before".

Challice himself added: "Larmer Tree Festival is the benchmark for independent multi-arts festivals, and so many events (including Summer Sundae) that have grown up in the last ten years have a little bit of Larmer Tree's DNA in them. Through hard work and love for festival culture James, [co-founder] Julia [Safe] and their team have created an event that is inspirational and unique. To be working with them is an honour and I look forward to being a part of the festival's future".

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SONY/ATV DOES DEAL WITH GETTY
Sony Music's publishing division Sony/ATV has done a deal with Getty Images, making a stack of library music available to the photo company. Getty will make tracks from Sony's Spin City library of pre-cleared tuneage available via its own music library service for use in TV programmes, films, adverts and other such things.

Getty Images CEO Jonathan Klein told CMU: "With the addition of the Sony/ATV Spin City catalogue, Getty Images continues to strengthen its position in the global media environment as a leading digital media content provider. This partnership enables us to support our customers' growing demand for premium music content".

Sony/ATV big cheese Marty Bandier added: "Sony/ATV recognises that there is tremendous opportunity for growth in the commercial market through innovative digital media channels".

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VIDZONE PASSES HALF A BILLION VIDEOS MARK
Ready for a sentence packed with stats? VidZone, the free music video service for users of PlayStation, has delivered more than half a billion videos to 3.7 million fans in eighteen countries from its catalogue of 30,000 videos and recently launch 120 pre-programmed channels, serving up three billion ad impressions in the process. Got that? Good.

Ready for a sentence you won't understand? The team at VidZone say their service, which first launched in June 2009, has proven so popular because of its "enhanced technical proficiency recently introduced over a JAVA and SQL framework promoting an effective and flexible speed of service". Though they did add that having some killer tunes in their catalogue of videos had also helped.

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DANISH GOVERNMENT DENIES THREE-STRIKES PLANS
The Danish government has denied those reports that it is considering introducing a three-strikes system for combating online piracy, similar to that being introduced in the UK and France. Earlier this week, TorrentFreak reported that ministers in the country were sounding out content owners and internet service providers about how such a system might work.

But Bente Skovgaard Kristensen, who heads up intellectual property issues for the Danish Ministry Of Cultural Affairs, has told Billboard that "introducing a three-strikes policy in Denmark is not an option". The government rep confirmed a committee had been set up late last year to look at the file-sharing issue, but stressed that three-strikes was not on the agenda.

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SPOTIFY SEEKS COO, STILL HOPING FOR 2010 US LAUNCH
Recruitment consultants are trying to find a COO for Spotify to be number two executive alongside founder and CEO Daniel Ek. It is thought US-based tech types are being sounded out, leading to speculation the COO's first big task would to push through the streaming music service's long awaited North American launch.

There had been rumours that head hunters Odgers Berndtson were actually looking for a new CEO to replace Ek, but the Spotify founder denied that was the case when contacted by TechCrunch, telling the IT site "we're looking for a COO to help run the company".

Ek also told TechCrunch that he was still hopeful that a US launch could happen this year, even though it's known deal negotiations with the major labels are still proving tricky, with a number of key US music execs nervous the free version of Spotify could hinder the growth of other subscription-based music services. Though CNet reckons Spotify have now offered rather large upfront cash payments to the labels, which might persuade even the nervous execs to sign on the dotted line.

Ongoing label talks in America might also be helped by a Music Ally report yesterday that reckoned Spotify had now paid out 40 million euros to rights holders in Europe, 30 million of it this year. Moreover, in some European countries, Spotify is now a bigger earner for the majors - well, Universal and Sony at least - than Apple's iTunes.

And in Sweden, the streaming music service's home territory, Spotify is apparently Sony Music's biggest single revenue provider, over all other retailers, online or offline. Music Ally quote Sony Music Sweden's digital sales man Jacob Herbst who says: "Spotify is on track to become the largest single partner we have. We already have several artists who receive 80% of their revenues from Spotify".

Of course, some remain concerned that while Spotify is a big payer to music companies (especially labels) at the moment, the money is coming from venture capital rather than ad revenues and subscriptions, and worry that when the start-up money runs dry actual revenues won't be able to sustain that level of pay out to content owners long term.

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FOSTER & ALLEN READY FOR CHART BATTLE WITH TAKE THAT
Foster & Allen will release their new album, 'By Request', on the same day as the new Take That long player next month, and despite all the hype surrounding Robbie Williams' return to the one time boy band, the Irish easy listening duo reckon they could still beat the Thatters to number one. And if they did, it would compensate for a chart battle in 1993, when the two acts went up against each other in the old music VHS charts and Take That won.

Speaking to The Sun, obviously, Mick Foster got into the spirit of the good old fashioned tabloid-induced chart battle by telling the tab: "This time around it won't happen again and we're going to do one better with our record".

And if you think chart battles like this are all a nonsense and that big bands don't really care about chart positions, well, [a] you're right but [b] you're wrong, as Damon Albarn will attest. Speaking about the last Gorillaz album only getting to number two in both the US and UK charts, he recently told MTV: "I was a bit fucking gutted that 'Plastic Beach' only got to two in America. And I was obviously a bit gutted that it only got to two in England. Against fucking Boyzone!"

Still, Albarn can presumably take heart that, in the UK at least, rivals Boyzone were surely aided in part by having the albeit unwished for "one of our band members died in tragic circumstances recently, so buy our record" thing on their side. And Albarn did show a little optimism about the situation, adding: "It's OK. I've had a lot of successful number twos over the years".

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
Eddy Temple-Morris
Columnist
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Wayne Rooney
Ambitions Monitor

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