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THE ARTISTS &
THE MUSIC
Tinie Tempah
Guns N Roses
Michael Jackson
Justin Bieber
Take That
Lady Gaga
Wyclef Jean
DUI: George Michael and Amelle Berrabah
Assaults: Aaron Fagon, Bez and Dave McCabe
Urban and grime
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
EMI
Terra Firma v Citigroup
DEA and three-strikes
Live in the USA
HMV and MAMA
Rise of BMG
Love Parade
Simon Cowell
Mute
So, what about DIY?
THE MEDIA &
THE INTERNET
6Music
Chris Moyles
Is less more in radio land?
New look NME
Paywalls and iPads
Viacom v YouTube
MySpace
eMusic
File-sharing
What digital?
 
CMU REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2010
Here we go, CMU fans, it's the CMU Review Of The Year 2010. This officially marks the end of the year, you know. The remaining nine days are just the Christmas limbo where time does not actually exist. Enjoy it, come 1 Jan it'll be back to the grindstone. Well, maybe not actually on 1 Jan. I say we all meet back here on the sixth, yes? Okay, good.
 
Just in case you were unclear about the above paragraph, the first CMU Daily of 2011 will be in your inbox on 6 Jan. And that's only the first very exciting CMU-related thing that will happen in 2011. On 21 Jan, we'll be launching the new look CMU Weekly, which will also come with the first edition of our brand new podcast. Oh yes, that's going to be good. Or at least passable.

There'll be a bit of a new look at theCMUwebsite.com in early 2011 as well, including a totally revamped CMU-Tube service. And, of course, later in the year you'll all be able to join us in Brighton for the CMU-programmed Great Escape convention. We'll have possibly the greatest line up of speakers, panels and debates ever seen at one of these music business conferences. We'll tell you more in January, but I'd start getting excited now, if I were you.

But, hey, enough about the future, that's not what we're here for. We're here to wallow in the past by looking back at all the major news stories that rose up in the world of music in 2010. And there were some big uns, let me tell you.

The biggest, I think it's fair to say, was the ongoing saga of EMI. This year, against all the odds, and contrary to many expectations, parent company Terra Firma pumped £100 million into the London-based major to stop the big bad Citigroup from repossessing it. Then Terra Firma sued the bank and lost, leading to yet more rumour and speculation that Citigroup would soon take control and sell off the music firm, probably in two bits.

Meanwhile, 6music was also saved, though this time by people power, MySpace continued to go down the tubes, Michael Jackson became the highest earning dead celebrity, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber became the internet's most popular living musicians, and urban music took control of the charts.

All these tales and more feature below, so I'll not spoil it by revealing the ending. I'll just finish by thanking you all for your support over the last twelve months and wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Andy Malt

Editor, CMU
 
CMU ARTISTS OF THE YEAR 2010
Throughout December in the CMU Daily, we've been revealing our top ten favourite artists of the year. These are all artists we felt had contributed something a bit special in 2010. Not just people who had delivered a great album (or even an album at all), but musicians who made a real mark on those twelve months just gone.

 
The resulting list takes us through rock, metal, pop, rap, reggae and more, with ten artists that we reckon are just that little bit extra special, whether that be because they deliver great music on record, or put that bit more into their live shows, or because they go above and beyond the call of duty in some other way. In many cases, it's all of the above.

Says CMU Editor Andy Malt: "I'm really pleased with how this list has turned out. 2010 has been a really good year for music, as I think the ten artists we've selected show - not to mention all the amazing acts who didn't make it into the top ten. There were a lot of them, and it was an agonising process getting it to this stage!"

Here are the final ten in full, click the names to read more on their 2010s:

1: Tinie Tempah
2: Janelle Monáe
3: Steve Mason
4: Chilly Gonzales
5: Warpaint
6: The National
7: Wrongtom
8: Deftones
9: Marnie Stern
10: Sleigh Bells

Listen to all ten in a Spotify plalist, here.

 

 
 

 
CMU REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2010: THE ARTISTS AND THE MUSIC

1. TINIE TEMPAH
Having only officially signed to EMI's Parlophone label in October last year, Tinie Tempah has gone on to be one of 2010's most successful UK artists.

In December 2009, Parlophone uploaded the video for his debut single, 'Pass Out', to YouTube with little fanfare. But his already considerable underground following helped to slowly push that video to prominence, and as the video's views increased, more and more of the press and radio picked up on it, ensuring that the Labrinth-produced track went straight to number one upon its release in March.

He's now had three top five singles, a number one album with 'Disc-Overy', collaborated with numerous stars, including P Diddy, and played to packed out audiences around the UK. He was also named CMU's Artist Of The Year, which I imagine was the main highlight of his career so far.

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2. GUNS N ROSES
Guns N Roses are the gift that keep on giving, aren't they? There have been so many joyous moments over the last twelve months, but I'm only allowed a paragraph or two.

Most talked about was the band's continued inability to arrive on stage on time. The band played a few gigs in the UK this year where they mostly arrived on stage very late indeed, most notably at Reading Festival, where they had been warned that there was a strict curfew. When the power was cut (half an hour after the curfew), Axl staged a sit down protest.

However, our favourite GNR story of the year came in November, when Rose filed a lawsuit against videogame maker Activision to the tune of $20 million for "emphasising and reinforcing an association between Slash and Guns N Roses and the band's song 'Welcome To The Jungle'" by including him, his former bandmate and that song all in the same edition of 'Guitar Hero'.

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3. MICHAEL JACKSON
It's now eighteen months since Michael Jackson's death, but he's been more active musically in 2010 than he had been for more than a decade before his untimely demise.

In June it was announced that the late king of pop had sold more than four million albums and singles in the UK alone since his death, and in October Forbes put his global earnings at $275 million, making him the highest earning dead celebrity this year. A large part of this was thanks to a $200 million deal with Sony Music to release various music and video packages over the next seven years.

The first release to come out of this was 'Michael', a posthumous album of previously unreleased material completed by a variety of producers and musicians. There has been much debate about whether the LP actually features Jackson's voice at all, and whether or not releasing what were unfinished tracks when MJ died is disrespectful to his memory. There seems to be more agreement on the fact the new album's a bit rubbish, though.

As well as all this, Conrad Murray, the doctor accused of accidentally killing Jackson with a lethal dose of anaesthetic, is still awaiting trial, but that's not stopped the king of pop's father Joe from suing him for damages twice.

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4. JUSTIN BIEBER
According to the CMU archives, we wrote 58 Justin Bieber-related news stories in 2010. Well, I say news. Several involved him being hit in the face with things.

On the business side, Bieber signed a publishing deal with Universal in February and then went on to become one of the biggest music stars on the net, second only to Lady Gaga. It was revealed in September that 3% of Twitter's entire capacity is taken up by Justin Bieber and his followers. In May, those fans sent death threats to Kim Kardashian via Twitter after he joked that she was his new girlfriend. Elsewhere gigs were shut down because fans were too rowdy, and in one memorable video clip he was chased down the street by said fans on a slow moving Segway. He also walked into a glass door. Twice.

Having already published a photo biography, Bieber is now in the process of making a film, to be released in cinemas in February. So you see, there is something to look forward to in 2011.

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5. TAKE THAT
In July, pop's worst kept secret was finally made official; Robbie Williams had rejoined Take That and the band announced the release of a new album together. Williams said at the time: "I get embarrassingly excited when the five of us are in a room. It feels like coming home".

Entitled 'Progress' and produced by Stuart Price, the album came out in November and has been number one in the album chart ever since. It is expected to stay top throughout the Christmas period, and will likely have sold over 1.5 million units by the end of the year.

Elsewhere in TT news, things were less rosey. In March, Mark Owen surprised everyone by admitting to have had ten affairs, blaming it all on a long battle with alcoholism, while last month a super injunction stopping the press from reporting on the fact that an unnamed woman was attempting to sell a story about an affair with Howard Donald was lifted.

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6. LADY GAGA
This year Lady Gaga was credited with making the music video an event again. In March she released the video for 'Telephone', a collaboration with Beyonce, and it turned out to be a nine minute epic which was heavy on product placement, inappropriately dressed female prisoners and murder. The official YouTube upload has now been viewed nearly 35 million times.

She followed it up with the video for 'Alejandro' in June, which arrived with a similar fanfare, but was rather disappointing. Nevertheless, in July she became the first person in the world to have more than ten million Facebook fans (she now has 25 million) and a billion YouTube plays. Meanwhile she delved into politics, lobbying the US government to repeal the 'don't ask, don't tell' law regarding gay troops in the military.

Though she'll probably be most remembered in 2010 for wearing a dress made of meat.

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7. WYCLEF JEAN
In August, Wyclef Jean officially announced his intention to run in the then upcoming Haitian presidential election, after rumours had been circulating for several weeks.

After registering to stand as a candidate for the Viv Ansanm party at an electoral office, Jean told cheering supporters: "I would like to tell President Barack Obama that the United States has Obama and Haiti has Wyclef Jean. This is the only president who will dance when Creole hip hop is being played".

Unfortunately for him, it turned out he wasn't actually eligible to stand, as he hadn't lived in the country for five years. He responded by throwing wild accusations at politicians and critics alike, both in interviews and in song, and generally showing that Haiti had had a lucky escape.

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8. DUI: GEORGE MICHAEL AND AMELLE BERRABAH
Pop stars and driving just don't mix. Well, sometimes they don't. George Michael, well known for his habit of driving under the influence (of drugs, that is), ended up in prison for four weeks this year after crashing his Range Rover into a branch of Snappy Snaps in Hampstead. He was also fined £1250 and banned from driving for five years. In court it was revealed that when police informed him that he'd crashed, the singer replied: "No I didn't. I haven't crashed into anything".

Sugababe Amelle Berrabah was similarly amusing when she appeared in court on drink driving charges in October, saying they couldn't ban her because she was "too famous to use the bus". The Daily Mail took much delight in photographing the zero people who had shown up to support her outside Highbury Corner Magistrates Court, contrasting it with the thousands of fans who showed up for Michael a month earlier.

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9. ASSAULTS: AARON FAGAN, BEZ AND DAVE MCCABE
When celebrities aren't driving around all hopped up on drink and drugs, they like to go around assaulting people. Well, some do.

In July, N-Dubz's (now former) live drummer was up in court accused of sexually assaulting two girls after a gig at Glasgow's Strathclyde University. When found guilty, he claimed his conviction was the "opposite of justice".

Making similar claims later in the year was occasional Happy Monday Bez, who when convicted of assaulting his former partner and sentenced to community service, announced he would do no such thing. The magistrate responded by throwing him in jail instead.

When also sentenced to community service, Zutons frontman Dave McCabe wisely kept his mouth shut after being found guilty of headbutting a man who'd laughed when someone had said his girlfriend's furry hood made it look like she had a beard.

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10. URBAN AND GRIME
2010 was the year that underground urban genres like grime and dubstep made a break for the mainstream, and duly succeeded.

By mixing a bit of pop or dance in with their sounds, artists like Tinie Tempah, Magnetic Man and Katy B rushed to the top of the charts. Tinchy Stryder, who had been riding this wave for a while, perhaps with a little too much of the pop, continued to ascend to stardom, setting up a joint venture between his own Takeover Entertainment company and Jay-Z's Roc Nation, called Takeover Roc Nation.

The UK rapper released his third album, 'Third Strike', in November. Sadly for him, it peaked at number 48 in the UK album chart, seemingly passed over by fans more interested in the newer batch of urban artists. That said, the elder statesman of mainstream grime, Dizzee Rascal, did very will this year, releasing three top five singles.

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CMU REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2010: THE MUSIC BUSINESS

1. EMI
However well you're doing on a day-to-day basis, and EMI is doing quite well on a day-to-day basis, a very public multi-billion pound loan with an unfriendly bank that comes with severe covenants you've no way of sticking to is gonna get you down. Which is possibly why EMI keeps losing key executives. And certainly why the London major has been in the news so much this year.

In March, Elio Leoni-Sceti, the CEO of the EMI recordings business, abruptly quit just weeks after telling Management Today how much he liked the job. Former ITV boss Charlie Allen took over with lots of grand plans, only to be replaced himself in June by EMI's publishing chief Roger Faxon.

Those loan covenants required owners Terra Firma to inject over £100 million into EMI in June, and for a time it seemed likely the equity group's financial backers wouldn't let them. In the end they did. But a similar cash injection will be needed in 2011 and it seems even more likely Terra Firma's backers will block it.

This has all meant constant and continuing speculation that Terra Firma will have to give EMI up to its bank, which will almost certainly sell the music firm on, possibly splitting it up first. It was thought Warner would buy the record labels and BMG the publishing company, though the latter has now said it's more interested in EMI's recordings business. Whatever, there will be more dramas at EMI in 2011; whether it will still be here this time next year is another matter.

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2. TERRA FIRMA V CITIGROUP
Probably the most amusing chapter of the EMI saga this year was when the major's owners Terra Firma took the bank to which the music firm owes three billion, Citigroup, to court in New York. The equity group had begun legal proceedings in late 2009 after the US bank refused to restructure the mega-loan Terra Firma had saddled EMI with when it bought the music company in 2007. Terra Firma boss Guy Hands claimed Citigroup man David Wormsley had given him dud advice that made him bid too high and too soon for EMI back in 2007.

Wormsley had lied, Hands said, because he and Citigroup had a vested interest (ie money to make) in seeing Terra Firma's takeover of EMI happen. Hands had a very clear recollection of receiving three phone calls from Wormsley in the days before buying EMI. But, alas, the calls had not been documented, and Hands' memory of everything else ahead of the big EMI purchase - with the exception of the biscuits he ate - was rather hazy. Hands came over as a bit of a bumbling, bitter fool, and the jury didn't buy his story. A court defeat which many reckon will make it even harder for Hands to persuade his backers to pump more money into EMI in 2011.

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3. DEA AND THREE-STRIKES
The last UK government's Digital Britain report had recommended against forcing internet service providers to instigate a three-strikes, or "graduated response", system for combating online piracy, but when the legislation that stemmed from it - the Digital Economy Bill - reached parliament this year, three-strikes dominated the copyright section. It subsequently dominated much of the comment and coverage of the Bill too, even though inside parliament three-strikes generally had cross-party support.

The challenge was to get the Bill through parliament before the General Election. Fortunately there's the wash-up, where a government can basically get legislation not opposed by the main opposition party voted in 'on the nod' in the closing hours before parliament is dissolved for the election. But the rush with which the Digital Economy Act became law has provided ammunition for those who oppose three-strikes, especially the ISPs, two of which have taken the new anti-piracy rules to judicial review. This will slow down the already slow process by which three-strikes will actually go live in the UK, much to the annoyance of the system's supporters, like the BPI.

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4. LIVE IN THE USA
The record industry is in terminal decline, but the live industry is booming, right? Well, parts of the live industry have been booming over the last decade, but not all parts, and not in all markets. And in 2010, in the most important market, the live music industry peaked. For years, with ever rising ticket prices, and more and more additional fees added by promoters, venues and ticket agents, pessimists had been predicting the bubble would burst. And in the US in 2010 it did.

For the media, that the live industry had peaked was best illustrated through the share price of Live Nation, the biggest live music company of them all, whose merger with Ticketmaster was only fully approved in the UK in May. In July, their top execs Michael Rapino and Irving Azoff admitted ticket sales were down and looked likely to decline further. They insisted it was a temporary wobble, but their share price promptly fell 16%, leading to a frustrated Azoff railing against his shareholders, accusing them of being "short-sighted". Ticket prices have been cut and all those add-on fees curtailed. Now it remains to be seen whether the US live market will recover in 2011, and whether any of that gloom will cross the Atlantic to impact on the still pretty healthy UK live sector.

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5. HMV AND MAMA
A company which could do with the UK live industry staying in relatively good health is HMV, whose only good news this year came from the gigs and venues side of its business. HMV has such a thing because, just before Christmas last year, it announced its intent to buy the MAMA Group, the London-based venue owning, festival and gig promoting, artist managing, brand partnering company, and one of the UK music industry's success stories of recent years. The deal went through in February. Some streamlining followed, but MAMA - as a stand alone business within the HMV Group - still seems to be doing rather well.

It's a shame for HMV that the same can't be said about its retail business, which is what most investment types in the City focus on. After enjoying a little boost in recent years thanks to the demise of pretty much every major competitor in entertainment retail, the HMV shops had a difficult year amid rising supermarket and online competition, not to mention the wider recession. Attempts to diversify the HMV retail business were not as well received as the company's diversification into live, and the firm's share price has slumped. Though optimists point out that, while the shops may be ultimately doomed, with its MAMA acquisition HMV still has long term potential. That might mean, with that slumping share price, HMV is now a takeover target.

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6. RISE OF BMG
Of course it's not all doom and gloom in the world of music rights, with some of the opinion there is still much money to be made from exploiting the various music-based copyrights, though probably by applying a different business model than that of the traditional record company. Probably most interesting in this domain is the all new BMG. Having sold off itsr old music publishing company to Universal and its record company to Sony, German media giant Bertelsmann launched BMG Rights Management in 2008, a new company that would manage and monetise all kinds of music rights, straddling the record and publishing industries.

Bertelsmann later sold half the company to equity types KKR, securing itself a big pot of cash for buying up recording and (mainly so far) publishing catalogues, and the acquisition spree continued in 2010, with BMG absorbing the likes of Evergreen, Stage Three, Adage, PRK Music, Cherry Lane and, perhaps most notably, Chrysalis in the last twelve months. Meanwhile, a number of new offices were opened and single artists deals announced. In terms of growth through acquisition it's been a big year for BMG, making it a very interesting company to watch in 2011, as Bertelsmann makes moves to reclaim its seat around the 'major music company' table.

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7. LOVE PARADE
2010 saw the end of the seminal German dance music event that was The Love Parade, and in very sad circumstances. This year taking place on wasteland in the German city of Duisberg, tragedy struck as a crowd surge around a small tunnel that was being used as both an entrance and exit to the festival site led to 21 dead and over 500 injured. A much higher than anticipated attendance was partly to blame, though many subsequently wondered why such a narrow tunnel was being used as the festival's sole access point in the first place.

At a discussion about the incident at the Reeperbahn festival in Hamburg in September some felt the tragedy could have been avoided had crowd safety knowledge from elsewhere in Europe, and especially the UK, been applied by the people who organised the Parade this year, and the authorities who licensed it. Some called for a better system for sharing this knowledge among both the live industry and the authorities which oversee it. Back at the Love Parade, the event's owners announced they were putting the festival to rest after this year's traumatic event.

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8. SIMON COWELL
Love him or loathe him, you can't deny that Simon Cowell went from strength to strength in 2010, as the 'X-Factor' machine, for reasons best known to no one, only grew in popularity in the UK, while global expansion of the X franchise saw its founder quit his job as judge on 'American Idol' so he could launch an American version of the show.

But Cowell's biggest achievement of the year was probably his new deal with Sony Music regarding the Syco business, which was previously a division of the major. With Syco reportedly responsible for at least half its UK's revenue, Sony Music was clearly going to be generous in its bid to ensure Cowell stayed with them once his contract came up for renewal this year. The deal that was done made Syco a stand alone company in which both Sony and Cowell (and his business partners) would have a stake. Cowell enters 2011 even more powerful in the world of pop-based music and telly.

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9. MUTE
The indie community had some good news in 2010, the Mute label was rejoining them after eight years as a division of EMI. In September, Mute chief Daniel Miller announced a deal with EMI UK which would make his record company a stand alone business once more, albeit with the major as a distribution partner. Miller would also continue to consult for EMI which was keeping some of Mute's more bankable artists on its rosters.

The deal means the Mute label will be able to work more closely with the Mute publishing company that remained independent throughout. Meanwhile, Miller announced the launch of a Mute artist management agency. With recordings, publishing and management now all under one roof, Mute will be a indie to watch in 2011.

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10. SO, WHAT ABOUT DIY?
But why all this talk of record companies and such like, surely the DIY approach was due to come of age in 2010; artists would be able to cut out the corporate middle man, raise funding from alternative sources and sell direct to fans, no? Well, it would be wrong to say 2010 was the year of DIY, most music that filled the charts came from artists who had signed conventional record deals with traditional record companies. And normally those artists who did successfully employ a DIY approach were either established bands out of record contract who had a sizeable fanbase already, or new bands using DIY to make themselves attractive enough to secure a traditional label deal.

But, that said, the methods of DIY and direct-to-fan selling did quietly mature in 2010, and while some at the more corporate end of the industry continued to bang on about file-sharing and declining record sales, an ever increasing number of clever mangers, artists and entrepreneurs in the grass roots were developing new ways of engaging fans and monetising music. No one made millions this way - certainly not with new talent - but viable new approaches are starting to emerge. And while it may still be a bit 'cottage industry', bands utilising Topspin, Bandcamp, Reverbnation, MusicGlue or Pledge are still worth watching.

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CMU REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2010: THE MEDIA AND THE INTERNET

1. 6MUSIC
In February, The Times claimed that the BBC was planning to shut down one of its digital radio stations, BBC 6music. Many scoffed initially, but it turned out to be true. In fact, the closure was part of a package of cuts, which would include the Asian Network station, teen services Switch and Blast and 25% of the Beeb's online operations, too.

A huge campaign to save 6 was launched, with protests held outside Broadcasting House. Thousands contributed to a public consultation on the cuts, and the BBC Trust eventually decided to block the proposals to shut down the station. However, many of the other cuts proposed by the BBC strategy review, including of non-core online services, were approved and the Trust said it "would consider a formal proposal for the closure of the Asian Network".

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2. CHRIS MOYLES
On 22 Sep, Chris Moyles turned up to work in a bad mood and had a good old moan to his workmates. Unfortunately, his workmates share the studio from which he broadcasts the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, which meant several million listeners were forced to listen to his 30 minute rant as well. It turned out Moyles hadn't been paid for two months, due to an administrative error, and the presenter felt it wasn't being sorted quickly enough. On one level his rant worked, the problem was resolved the next day.

But he was widely criticised for airing his payment issues in this way, especially when many in the UK - and elsewhere in the BBC - were facing much bigger issues than having to wait two months for sizeable payments from a lucrative freelance contract. Radio 1 insists it is still on good terms with Moyles, but others in the Beeb say the outburst will only add to the general feeling the presenter is increasingly out of touch with Radio 1's target audience of young music fans, and should be replaced when his contract comes up for renewal in 2011.

There has been much speculation that Moyles, realising this, is already in talks with other broadcasters, in particular Capital FM and US satellite network Sirius XM, though all these rumours have been denied by all parties.

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3. IS LESS MORE IN RADIO LAND?
While most coverage and commentary of the Digital Economy Act focused on copyright and three-strikes, it was actually an eclectic and wide-reaching bit of legislation that impacted on many areas of the digital, media and creative industries.

Another section of the DEA of interest to the music business was that dealing with radio, and in particular the relaxation of the rules that existed regarding just how local a local radio station should be. Not so local, the DEA concluded. The results are already plain to see as the big radio firms turn their networks of local stations into single quasi-national services, most likely coming out of London.

Global Radio, which had already rebranded many of its local stations as Heart, was able to reduce the amount of local programming broadcast by stations in that network. With its Gold brand, it went for just one national service in all localities and in the new year, it will rebrand a bunch of other local FMs as Capital, basically taking the London station national. And it's not just Global doing it - The Guardian's Smooth network became one station in England, while Bauer's Kiss will do the same in 2011.

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4. NEW LOOK NME
In April, Krissi Murison stamped her mark on the NME, having taken over from Conor McNicholas as editor in 2009.

As well as a new cover format, the new look brought with it a host of new features too. The changes were very popular amongst the music industry, but possibly less so with NME's target demographic. Circulation figures had been falling for a number of years, and in August it was announced they had slumped even further, 17.3% in 2010, selling just 33,000 copies a week.

Elsewhere in the NME empire, and right in the middle of the Save 6music campaign, NME Radio was closed down, it having proven not to be commercially viable for the company behind it, DX Media. It became a presenter-free continuous music stream for a while, until NME publishers IPC persuaded another radio firm, Town & Country, to take it over in September.

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5. PAYWALLS AND IPADS
The real challenge for the NME et al, of course, is that while print circulations fall, and online readerships boom, the former still brings in more revenue. So how to monetise online content? With Google et al taking a huge chunk of the internet advertising spend, newspaper and magazine publishers started to seriously consider going the subscription route online in 2010.

Rupert Murdoch is leading the way, of course, with a paywall going up around his Times website in July. Some in the publishing industry predict or wish Murdoch's grand plan will fail, though many others secretly hope it won't, simply so they can steal his approach and rescue their own flagging businesses. The Mirror and Telegraph are sure to start charging for some of their online content in 2011, and the magazine sector is sure to follow closely behind. In the music domain, in the US, Rolling Stone is already charging for access to its online archive.

One big innovation (of sorts) which gave some publishers hope this year was the arrival of Apple's iPad in April. Might consumers unwilling to pay for content on traditional websites be persuaded to pay to read snazzy interactive magazines on the iPad? Murdoch and many of his competitors hope so.

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6. VIACOM V YOUTUBE
The big media squabble in the courts this year was between the old media and the new, as a judge ruled on MTV owner Viacom's long running litigation against YouTube. It was a copyright case. Viacom said that, in its early days, YouTube turned a blind eye to people uploading infringing content to their servers because it knew illegal videos brought in the most traffic.

YouTube said it had always operated a takedown system so that when it was made aware of copyright infringing content it was removed, a system that got the site protection under US copyright law, it noted. But Viacom said that in the early days YouTube paid only lip service to takedown notices and that the firm's original (now replaced) takedown system put too much responsibility and cost on the rights owner, while YouTube earned between content upload and takedown.

But the judge sided with YouTube, saying he was happy the company had complied with the requirements of US copyright law. Viacom confirmed this month it would appeal.

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7. MYSPACE
Well, there were many who thought MySpace wouldn't still be here by December 2010, but no, the once king of social networking is still hanging in there. Just.

But there have been plenty of stresses along the way. MySpace started the year in the bad books of many music fans for buying and then shutting down, with no warning, the music service Imeem. Not good for a company which was saying music was now at the core of its business. On the corporate side, CEO Owen Van Natta departed rather suddenly in February, resulting in plenty of executive tensions at the top of the company. Meanwhile Facebook continued to boom while MySpace's traffic, user base and revenues slumped.

But then COO Mike Jones announced a radical revamp - to both brand and website - was upcoming. Later in the year a new logo arrived, the website got a fresh new look, and a partnership deal with former rivals Facebook was announced. Some were positive about the revamped site - especially the analytics it offers bands - though it's still very slow and unreliable, and many feel it's simply too little too late.

With owners News Corp recently admitting that the future of its poorly performing web company was under constant review, MySpace may have survived 2010, but surviving 2011 is not assured.

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8. EMUSIC
The year started well for eMusic, with the subscription-based download service announcing in January that it had signed a deal with Warner Music. This meant the previously indie-label-only service now had two major record companies on board, some Sony content already being in its catalogue. Then Universal followed suit, leaving only EMI as eMusic hold outs.

But there have been issues too. In November, three large indie labels, Beggars Group, Domino and Merge, pulled all of their content from the service. The indies were angry at eMusic's agreement with Universal to introduce variable pricing (rather than a flat fee per track) in order to get the third major on board, accusing the download store of no longer being "the dedicated home for independent music".

eMusic will be hoping that, with major label content now in the mix, it can reach new more mainstream consumers in 2011, as its muso-pleasing indie credentials disappear.

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9. FILE-SHARING
On one level, the record industry had a good year in its long-term fight against file-sharing, and not just because of the aforementioned Digital Economy Act. Governments around the world - including in France, Spain, New Zealand, Italy and the US - made commitments of one kind or another to introduce new laws to make it easier to target online copyright infringers. Meanwhile in the US one of the longest running file-sharing lawsuits reached its conclusion, with long term enemy LimeWire being declared an infringer. The Lime Group subsequently stopped distributing its P2P software and then announced it was shutting its doors completely. Meanwhile in Sweden the founders and funder of The Pirate Bay lost their appeal against their 2009 copyright crime convictions.

So, a complete success then? Well, no. In the UK, attempts to convict the creator of the Oink file-sharing community for fraud failed. And while The Pirate Bay founders may have continued to lose lawsuits left, right and centre, the site also continued to operate with no major problems. Efforts by some rights holders (albeit mostly outside the music industry) to pursue good old fashion sue-the-fans litigation generated much bad press for said rights owners, and the wider content industries, not least because of the slapdash approach of one of the key law firms involved, ACS:Law. And, of course, file-sharing continued to rise, with the BPI reckoning that 75% of all tracks downloaded in the UK are obtained illegally. So the file-sharing war continues. Until everyone gets bored of it and finds new ways to make money from music, I suspect.

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10. WHAT DIGITAL?
So, what was the big digital development of 2010 then? Hmm, good question. New services launched of course, mflow sticks most in my mind. And some old services disappeared, perhaps most notably Lala.com in May. And some revamped, We7 pushing its Pandora-style radio streams above its Spotify-style on-demand player for example. But Apple didn't launch a streaming service, Google didn't enter the digital music market and Spotify didn't arrive Stateside, those being the big developments everyone wanted to see. Meaning The Beatles appearing on iTunes for the first time is probably the biggest development, and that was so boring.

Apple may well launch a streaming service in 2011, Google will almost certainly enter the digital music market, and Spotify will surely arrive in the US. But actually, of more interest as we move into the second decade of the digital music era are these questions: can anyone break Apple's market dominance? Has the a la carte download business already peaked? Will streaming services ultimately replace a la carte stores? Can streaming services ever really add up once start-up capital runs out? And is blanket licensing via collecting societies needed before the digital domain can truly come of age? Questions we'll consider, if not answer, here in your CMU Daily sometime between now and 2012.

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Andy Malt
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Chris Cooke
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Caro Moses
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