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INFORMATION
Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Pirate Bay planning new uber-file-sharing service 
In The Pop Hospital
Crystal Castles frontwoman breaks ankle
Poison man to have heart surgery 
Aaron Carter checks into rehab
In The Studio
Kanye West working on next album, promises Jay-Z collaboration soon 
Korn working on new album 
Release News
Cut Copy announce new album 
Films & Shows News
Pattinson interested in playing Buckley 
Gigs & Tours News
Multi-media exhibition to celebrate Ministry's twentieth 
Old Queen's Head announces birthday gigs 
Darkstar announce first UK tour 
Festival News
Great Escape announces first bands 
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Single review: Maddslinky - Further Away (Tru Thoughts) 
Brands & Stuff
Flavour Flav opens chicken restaurant 
The Music Business
PPL brings in record international revenues in 2010 
Harry Fox to provide licensing services to Cooking Vinyl 
Getty announce new partnership with Universal 
The Media Business
BBC to cut 200 of its websites and axe 360 online jobs 
And finally...
Labrinth wants Bieber to scare little girls


 
TUESDAY 25TH JANUARY
THE DEATH SET
Six short months after dreaming up The Death Set on Australia's Gold Coast in 2005, co-founding duo Beau Velasco and Johnny Siera relocated their rap-rock outfit across various ponds to the US. Finding an ethos in common with the Brooklyn and Baltimore-based DIY music scenes, they honed their experimental lo-fi sound with a series of raucous live performances for which they became renowned. Hype surrounding the band gained momentum with the 2006 release of EP 'To', which was succeeded by 'Rad Warehouses Bad Neighborhoods' in 2007.

Full-length debut 'Worldwide' was the next (il)logical step, released by Ninja Tune imprint Counter Records in 2008. Velasco and Siera toured the album relentlessly with the likes of Bonde Do Role, Japanther and Dan Deacon, recruiting sometime Santigold drummer Jahphet Landis and fellow Antipodean Dan Walker along the way to join the melee.

 
The making of sophomore LP 'Michel Poiccard' was preceded by the tragic death of Velasco of an overdose in 2009, following a lifelong struggle with drug addiction. Velasco maintains a posthumous presence on the new record, his surviving bandmates having poignantly dubbed in vocal samples of his from old Pro Tools recordings, one of which opens the first song. Released via Counter on 28 Feb, the album features strong collaborations with Diplo and Spank Rock, and marks a worthy tribute to the much-missed founding member.

With the album's first single, 'Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Snap', out now, we caught up Johnny Siera to get his rather brief responses to our Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

I actually started making dance music before punk, but I always played guitar as well as tinkering with MPCs. Then they both kind of got compressed like Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca in that garbage compactor.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
A whole lot of fucking life experience.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

It's always different, but we're always trying to make different things normal and normal things different.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Old movies, old books, old friends.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

If you like it, love it and thank you. If you don't, find some other shit.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?

To make the absolute most of it, and to bring it to the most ears and eyes possible. And to continue to make the best possible art we can, regardless of whether people hate it or love it, cos if you're not polarising an audience, in my opinion, you're not making something that important.

MORE>>www.thedeathset.com
 
CMU APPROVED: COCKNBULLKID – HOLD ON TO YOUR MISERY
We've been fans of Anita Blay, aka Cocknbullkid, for a very long time. So long, in fact, that I think there was an unspoken assumption in the CMU office that she would never record an album. But now she has, and what's more she's co-written it with Chilly Gonzales, who, you might have noticed, we're a little bit in love with as well. Entitled 'Adulthood', the long player will be released by Moshi Moshi in April and we can't wait.

 
Helping to build the anticipation at CMU HQ is the album's first single, 'Hold On To Your Misery', which is due for release on 5 Mar. Describing it as an "anti-anthem", Blay says of the song: "It's about stopping putting so much value on being happy. When I'm happy, things start to drop. Sometimes you have to go back to that point when you're fourteen and you think everyone hates you". 

The video for the track is online now. It features bright colours, 60s girl group-style dancing and children crying. What more do you want?

youtu.be/-qFXiPpUwSQ


"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:


MUSIC BUSINESS MODELS - MAKING MONEY, FINDING INVESTMENT
How to make money out of music - both now and in the future, with a look at alternative investment and revenue streams, and a new approach to monetising artists and their music. Wed 9 Feb 2011

MUSIC RIGHTS - INSIDE & OUT
A beginner's guide to music copyright - everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 23 Feb 2011

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training




PIRATE BAY PLANNING NEW UBER-FILE-SHARING SERVICE
Anti-piracy teams from across the music industry might have a new enemy by the summer, or, rather, a new offspring to fight from an old adversary, the good old Pirate Bay.

Speculation is rife that the people now running the popular BitTorrent search platform is planning on launching a new file-sharing service this spring called The Music Bay, with one insider telling TorrentFreak that the music industry is right to be "afraid" of their plans.

TPB registered the domain themusicbay.org a few years back but have never properly used it. According to TorrentFreak, the original plan was to use the domain for "the most efficient music sharing system ever built", though that never came to pass. Speculation that the domain would now be put to use began when someone found out a web page had been set up at the subdomain fear.themusicbay.org with the title "coming soon" (well, "comming soon" actually).

An anonymous Pirate Bay insider has subsequently told TorrentFreak: "The music industry can't even imagine what we're planning to roll out in the coming months. For years they've complained bitterly about piracy, but if they ever had a reason to be scared it is now". Referencing the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, which has led legal action against The Pirate Bay, the source added: "It will be a special surprise for IFPI's 78th birthday, and we're thinking of organising a huge festival in Rome where IFPI was founded".

So, that's all very conspiratory isn't it? Still, The Pirate Bay has always been the drama queen of the file-sharing community. Quite what is planned for The Music Bay no one seems to know. It might be a new system that further simplifies the process of BitTorrent file-sharing, or perhaps that simplifies the process by which file-sharers can file-share anonymously, thus ensuring they won't be targeted by any action under a three-strikes anti-piracy system.

Or perhaps this will all come to nothing, it wouldn't be the first time a grand plan announced by TPB failed to materialise (Sealand, anyone?). Still, presumably the piracy police will be keeping a close eye on themusicbay.org in the coming months.

Whether there'll be anything they can do should a new uber-file-sharing service launch is another matter entirely. The Pirate Bay is very good at losing when sued for copyright infringement in court, but equally good at keeping its services very much online and operational despite all sorts of injunctions and the occasional seizing of servers by the authorities.

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CRYSTAL CASTLES FRONTWOMAN BREAKS ANKLE
Crystal Castles frontwoman Alice Glass has broken her ankle while in Japan en route to Australia for the Big Day Out festival tour, which isn't much fun.

Speaking to Australian website TheVine from Tokyo last week, Glass' bandmate Ethan Kath said that they were having a "stressful" day: Alice is injured. We're at the hospital, having x-rays taken. It appears that she has a broken ankle. Maybe she'll be doing [the Australian shows] in a wheelchair. I'm not sure".

In the end, it didn't quite come to that, as Glass has been performing on crutches since the touring festival began making its way around Oz on Friday, and the duo's publicist has confirmed that they will play all their scheduled dates as planned.

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POISON MAN TO HAVE HEART SURGERY
Poison man Bret Michaels has checked in to a hospital in Arizona to have a hole in his heart plugged with a special device, or some such clever procedure. It seems the hole in his heart was discovered last year while the singer was receiving treatment for that previously reported brain haemorrhage.

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AARON CARTER CHECKS INTO REHAB
One time American pop teen star Aaron Carter has checked into rehab in California to treat "emotional and spiritual issues" according to E! Online.

The website quotes Carter's manager as saying the rehab stint is part of his client's efforts to resurrect his pop career which has faltered somewhat in recent years. Says manager Johnny Wright: "Several months ago Aaron came to me to help him return to music and to restart his career. He has been in Orlando working on a new album and perfecting his live show and his physical body".

He continues: "Aaron, understanding the challenges and hard work it would take to get himself back to the top, requested to take some time before we started to heal some emotional and spiritual issues he was dealing with. Therefore, he has chosen to enter a facility where he feels he will get the guidance and cleansing he needs that will help him on the music journey he's about to take. He asks that everyone keep him in their prayers and that they respect his privacy at this time".

Attempted career revival and entering rehab at 23, there's something for Justin Bieber to aim for.

Carter himself indicated he was experiencing ups and downs earlier this month when he tweeted: "Life Has It's ups & Downs, You Can Only Live & Learn. Never Lose Faith!! & Always Believe In Yourself! As I Am learning To Do Every day". I wonder if there's someone in rehab who could sort out his excessive use of capital letters?

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KANYE WEST WORKING ON NEXT ALBUM, PROMISES JAY-Z COLLABORATION SOON
Kanye West has announced that he is about to begin work on his next album, the follow-up to 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy', which was only released in November last year. He's also promised that 'Watch The Throne', his collaborative album with Jay-Z, will be released in two months time.

Forgetting that he's not actually been away, West tweeted last week: "I'll be back this summer! In the studio now with the Bears [American football] game on. 'Watch The Throne' coming in two months! My new album coming this summer".

Well, that's basically what he said, except he used more capitals and exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!! He finished by describing some of the new music he's working on, with what may be my favourite quote of 2011 so far: "This is high end rap music. I just threw some bassoon on this muthafucka".

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KORN WORKING ON NEW ALBUM
Korn are working on a new album, the follow-up to last year's 'Korn III: Remember Who You Are'.

Guitarist James 'Munky' Shaffer told Zoiks! Online: "We have probably three songs [that] we wrote a couple, two, three months ago. We went into the studio, we wrote some songs, Jon [Davis, vocals] demoed the songs on his computer, and then we took them into the studio and played them live and tweaked them a little bit. Then we put those down and recorded them".

He continued: "They're cool. They kind of remind me a little bit of the Soundgarden style, that sort of Seattle sound... just one of them. The other songs are sort of different, a little more in the experimental stage right now. I don't want to give too much away. We're definitely moving forward, we'll probably start recording in April to try and fine tune this sound we're developing".

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CUT COPY ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM
Cut Copy have announced that they will release their third album, 'Zonoscope', on 7 Feb via Modular.

Speaking about the recording of the album, frontman Dan Whitford said: "All the way along we had this weird vision of a tropical, jungle, tribal sound. A place or an idea that we wanted to reach with some of the songwriting; we wanted to explore a looping hypnotic trance and revise the whole palette of what Cut Copy was about".

The band worked with producer Ben Allen, who has previously worked with Animal Collective, Deerhunter and Gnarls Barkley, in Atlanta. He too had an influence on the new record's sound, Whitford says: "Ben comes from a different perspective having started out in hip hop/urban culture. [He also tapped into] Atlanta's history of southern music, funk and soul. We were really interested in throwing ourselves into something like that, rather than working with someone from the house music or indie guitar world".

You can download a track from the album, 'Where I'm Going', for free from here: www.modularsendit.com/where.zip

The band will also play a handful of gigs in the UK and Ireland in March.

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PATTINSON INTERESTED IN PLAYING BUCKLEY
Gossipers say 'Twilight' star Robert Pattinson has approached producers of an in-development Jeff Buckley biopic about him playing the late singer songwriter in the movie. An anonymous source has told someone or other, possibly made up gossip guru Jill Smyth, that Pattinson is "obsessed" about getting to play Buckley on the big screen.

According to the NME, film producer Michelle Sy, who has also been linked to the biopic project, has previously said she'd want someone who can play guitar and sing to star as Buckley, both of which Pattinson can do, apparently. Meanwhile, Buckley's mother Mary Guibert has commented on the rumours, saying: "Robert is a fine young actor. I'm flattered he's been linked to this project. When the time comes we'll give everybody an opportunity to be seen and heard".

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MULTI-MEDIA EXHIBITION TO CELEBRATE MINISTRY'S TWENTIETH
Ministry Of Sound has announced it will host a month-long multi-media exhibition called the 20:20 Project at its South London club throughout March as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations.

Says Ministry MD Iain Hagger: "There is no better way to experience the essence of Ministry of Sound than by standing in the club's main room - The Box - in the middle of the towering speaker stacks and triple thick sound absorbing walls listening to the world's greatest DJs play the world's best music on the world's best soundsystem. 20 years on and excellence in sound is still what we stand for. The 20:20 Project celebrates our history but also looks forward - the new music, talent and technology that will shape dance music for the next 20 years - and the role that we'll continue to play in creating those euphoric hands-in-the-air moments".

The exhibition is just one part of Ministry's anniversary celebrations, which will also include a 20-date international tour and a three-day party at the main MoS venue in September.

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OLD QUEEN'S HEAD ANNOUNCES BIRTHDAY GIGS
Islington bar and venue The Old Queen's Head has announced a series of music and comedy gigs next month to celebrate its fifth birthday, which will feature the likes of Rob Da Bank, Mystery Jets, Maccabees, Tribes, Grouplove, Sound Of Rum, The Agitator and more.

Confirming he would be DJing as part of the festivities, Orlando Weeks of The Maccabees told CMU: "We've been DJing at The Old Queen's Head for the last three years and have a blast every time - The venue looks amazing, the crowd are always great - we are honoured to be celebrating their fifth birthday".

Dates and line-ups for the birthday shows are as follows:

14 Feb: Dr Sketchy Valentines Special
15 Feb: Sound Of Rum Residency feat Sound Of Rum, Rob Da Bank and more
16 Feb: Comedy Gold feat Lucy Porter, Pete Firman and more
17 Feb: Oh Inverted World feat Grouplove, Big Deal & More
18 Feb: Mystery Jets (DJ set) Maccabees (DJ set), Various Cruelties (live), Tribes (live) and more
19 Feb: The Old Queen's Head All Stars feat DJ sets from Bruce Wayne, Budaken, Stripes, Khalil, Andy Peyton and more
20 Feb: The Sunday Social feat The Agitator, The Brute Chorus and The Border Surrender

More info from www.theoldqueenshead.com

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DARKSTAR ANNOUNCE FIRST UK TOUR
Hyperdub signed duo Darkstar have announced their first ever tour of the UK and Ireland. Actually, I think it's their first tour full stop. Whatever, they'll be playing tracks off their debut album, 'North'.

Tour dates:

10 Feb: Belfast, Auntie Annie's Porter House
11 Feb: Dublin, The Workman's Club
12 Feb: Cork, The Pavilion
15 Feb: Manchester, Deaf Institute
16 Feb: Glasgow, Nice N Sleazy's
18 Feb: Leeds, A Nation Of Shopkeepers
23 Feb: London, Hoxton Bar & Grill
24 Feb: Cardiff, Arts Institute
25 Feb: Bristol, Start The Bus
26 Feb: Brighton, Coalition

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GREAT ESCAPE ANNOUNCES FIRST BANDS
Obviously most people will be coming to The Great Escape this year for the expertly-programmed music business convention, but did you know they have bands playing there too? Yes, they do. Good ones, as well. More than 300 of them will fill Brighton's gig venues over three days in May, and the first batch of em were announced this morning.

Kicking off the line-up are the rather fine Warpaint, Katy B, Brother and Friendly Fires, the latter of whom will perform a special show at The Dome venue at the heart of the festival. As well as those four, amongst the other acts just announced are Twin Shadow, D/R/U/G/S, Becoming Real, PVT, Dutch Uncles, Tribes, worriedaboutsatan, Teeth, Visions Of Tree, and Seams.

To see all the line-up announcements, and to buy super early bird festival passes for just £35, head over to www.escapegreat.com. Though obviously what you really want is one of those bargain early bird delegate passes - a snip at £80 - that not only gets you into all these bands, but gives you access to the wonderful convention side too. That sounds like a fabulous deal to me, especially considering the amazing team they've got programming the convention this year. Who was that again?

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

DEER SHED, Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, 22-24 Jul: I Am Kloot are so far the only act confirmed for the three day family-friendly event, which will feature an astral theme as inspired by 'The Sky At Night', the Mercury-nominated album that brought much-deserved success to the venerable Mancunian trio. www.deershedfestival.com

OSFEST, Oswestry Showground, Shropshire, 27-29 May: The newly-extended pop/dance/rap festival will this year feature Example as Saturday night headliner, with other confirmed acts including Tinchy Strider, Labrinth, Aggro Santos and From The Jam. The Feeling and Goldie Lookin Chain will also make long-awaited comebacks, if indeed they ever went away (and assuming someone was waiting). Boomtown Rats are also to play, whether plus or sans Geldof is hard to say. What is for sure is that they will be expected to play 'I Don't Like Mondays' at least twice. www.osfest.co.uk

ØYA, Middelalderparken, Oslo, Norway, 9-13 Aug: First announced acts include CMU favourites Warpaint, as well as Fleet Foxes who return to the self-professed "green n clean" Norwegian festival after a standout sundown performance in 2009. Other highlights of this year's line up include Matthew Dear, Explosions In The Sky, Twin Shadow, Bring Me The Horizon and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. www.oyafestivalen.com/pages/eng/

SOUNDWAVE, Petrcane, Croatia, 22-24 Jul: The brilliant Brightonian Bonobo is to appear alongside a nine-piece band at this under-the-radar Croatian fest. Also just announced is sub-bass empress Andreya Triana, who accompanies Roots Manuva, Zero 7 and Little Dragon amongst others on an eclectic bill. www.soundwavecroatia.com

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SINGLE REVIEW: Maddslinky - Further Away (Tru Thoughts)
Former rare groove DJ Dave Jones morphed into Zed Bias in the late 90s and became a garage pioneer, but more recently has been making dubstep under the name Maddslinky. An excellent second album under that moniker was released last year.

'Further Away' was one of the highlights from that record. Downtempo beauty with poise, the lush vocals of Beverley Tawiah make this reminiscent of a soulful 4hero cut. With its thoughtful orchestration, it's a modern day electronic ballad that tugs a little at the heart strings. The original album track appears here alongside a radio edit, and an a capella and instrumental version. Beyond that, Tru Thoughts has gone completely off the wall, including a further nine remixes.

Of the legion of rerubs, one stand out is the Falty DL mix. The New York-based breakbeat experimentalist pushes the buttons for a truly awesome rework, though the smashing sub bass he's added needs a good system to do it justice. Starting off low tempo, it then kicks in proper and goes a bit more bleepy. Stunningly good.

The other remix of note is the Dawn Raid mix. The Manchester dnb collective absolutely rinse it out - a rocking early 90s styled drum n bass cut, with a bit of a nod to both Ray Keith's seminal 'Terrorist' and Dillinja's teachings of bass ballistics. Really very good.

The other mixes are OK, too. Hint takes it hectic, Funk Butcher threads a bossa element throughout, Dubchild takes a warped b line and counters it with some lush harp-like keys, and NDV gives us a tripped out 2step wibbler.

A great single, and some crackers of remixes. And the really great news is that Jones has also recently signed his Zed Bias garage alias Tru Thoughts. Good times are surely ahead. PV

Physical release: 24 Jan

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FLAVOUR FLAV OPENS CHICKEN RESTAURANT
Now, if ever there was a reason to go to Iowa, this was it. Clinton, Iowa to be precise. Public Enemy rapper and reality TV regular Flavour Flav has opened a chicken restaurant in the American city, and if all goes to plan he hopes it will be the first of a chain of Flav's Fried Chicken.

Apparently Flav first got the idea of launching his own brand of chicken after meeting Las Vegas restaurateur Peter Cimino. He was so impressed with the rapper's fried chicken recipe that he started selling Flav chicken wings in his Vegas pizza place. It was Cimino's Clinton-based brother Nick Cimino, also a restaurateur, who suggested opening a stand alone Flav's Fried Chicken restaurant.

In a YouTube video filmed at the new restaurant's launch, in which Flav is seen frying his chicken, the rapper remarks "My chicken ain't no joke, I ain't scared to go up against the Colonel, tastewise".

Meanwhile Flav insists that, unlike most other celebrity-backed restaurants where the c'leb is just a front, he really will be involved in the chicken cooking in his new business. He says: "You're going to find me in here working. You're going to catch me in here seasoning up my chicken, flouring up my chicken, frying up my chicken. And not only that, but coming out here and serving my chicken to people".

Let's hope plans to record a new Public Enemy album don't get in the way of all that chicken frying.

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PPL BRINGS IN RECORD INTERNATIONAL REVENUES IN 2010
PPL's international revenues just keep on growing. The UK sound recording rights collecting society reported yesterday that last year it collected £32 million in royalties from overseas, a record amount and nearly 50% more than in 2009. Over 20% of PPL's turnover now comes from international royalties, which continue to grow as the society strikes up more and better partnerships with its counterparts around the world.

PPL's Head Of International Laurence Oxenbury told CMU: "For many executives and industries around the world, 2010 was a very tough trading year. The fact that PPL's international revenues continued to grow through challenging economic times is thanks to the investment PPL has made over the last two years and continues to make in order to deliver an effective global rights collection service to our members. These investments are both in our people as well as our systems. I hope this relatively new growing revenue stream brings considerable benefits to all our members in what are very tough market conditions".

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HARRY FOX TO PROVIDE LICENSING SERVICES TO COOKING VINYL
America's Harry Fox Agency, best known as the US's primary mechanical rights collecting organisation (so, sort of doing what the MCPS bit of PRS For Music does), has announced a deal with Cooking Vinyl which will see HFA administrate the London-based independent record company's music rights.

HFA now offer a range of licensing services to any music rights owners - including those who own sound recordings (despite HFA traditionally working with publishers) - and under their deal with Cooking Vinyl they will, and I quote, "provide end-to-end licensing, reporting, and royalty calculation and distribution services for physical and digital recordings released by the label". So there you go.

Confirming the deal, which was announced at MIDEM yesterday, HFA SVP of Licensing, Collections, & Business Affairs, Maurice Russell, told CMU: "As Cooking Vinyl is one of the most well respected indie labels, HFA is proud to be supporting their operations so their licensing is completely worry-free".

Meanwhile Cooking Vinyl big cheese Martin Goldschmidt added: "We are confident in HFA's ability to provide us superior licensing services so Cooking Vinyl can continue being an artist-focused label with an expanding roster of talent".

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GETTY ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH UNIVERSAL
Photo agency Getty has done various deals with record companies and music publishers in recent years to feed the music library service it provides alongside its visual resources for media and advertising companies. But a new deal with Universal Music will also have a photographic element, in that the label has seemingly promised Getty-commissioned photographers exclusive access to some of their artists backstage and during recordings. Getty may also get involved in artwork and PR shoots.

Confirming his company was stepping up its relationship with Universal, Getty Images SVP of Sales Lee Martin told CMU: "We are delighted to partner with Universal Music, which will offer a unique opportunity for the creation and licensing of music content. Plus, with exclusive access to some of the world's leading artists, Getty Images will also be on hand to shoot bands away from the public eye, helping to bring to life unique content that will help showcase their passion and creativity".

It's not clear if these exclusive artist shots will only be available to licensees in the media space, or whether Getty plans to distribute or sell them direct to fans.

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BBC TO CUT 200 OF ITS WEBSITES AND AXE 360 ONLINE JOBS
As expected, the BBC yesterday announced it would cut 360 staff from their online operations. The cuts stem from that strategic review published last year, the same one that originally proposed axing radio station 6music. Listener outrage saved the digital radio station of course, but the BBC Trust subsequently approved the slashing of periphery online services offered by the Beeb.

Commercial media companies have long criticised the Corporation's expansive online operations, especially where websites do not directly relate to a BBC channel or programme. In the early days of the internet, with streaming audio and video in its infancy, the BBC launched a string of free-to-access text-based websites, putting the state-owned broadcaster directly into competition with newspaper and magazine publishers for the first time. And they did so very successfully, with BBC.co.uk being the biggest British website by far, and one of the biggest original-content sites in the world.

But commercial publishers argue that it's not in the BBC's core remit to offer such services, and that in doing so it takes away audience from their web-based platforms, making it harder to monetise those services through either ad sales or subscriptions. And with streaming audio and video now very much part of the internet, some in the publishing sector would like the BBC to stop providing non-multi-media-based online content altogether, ie only use the web to present broadcast content in a more accessible way rather than creating bespoke websites that compete head on with commercial rivals.

While the BBC isn't planning on going that far, the Corporation does admit that its online operations have grown too big, and that a lack of strategic oversight has meant the Beeb is running a random assortment of services many of which most of its audience are unaware of, and which are more or less impossible to access via the BBC.co.uk home page.

Although the BBC's Future Media & Technology division, which oversees the development and infrastructure of BBC Online, and which lost its top man Erik Huggers last week, will lose the most staff members in these cuts, the axe will actually affect all parts of the Beeb as some editorial staff working on different websites work in the Corporation's TV, radio, children's, sport and news departments.

The jobs cull, which should be complete by 2013, will also be accompanied by a revamp of the Corporation's online operations, which bosses hope will lead to more coordination between different parts of the BBC's wider website, and more strategic planning from the top, especially when new services are proposed. In the region of 200 stand-alone BBC websites will be shut as part of the cuts. Many belong to now defunct TV or radio shows, though some are higher profile, such as the websites for digital radio services like 1Xtra, 5Live Sports Extra, 6music and Radio 7.

Confirming the cuts, BBC top man Mark Thompson said: "A refocusing on our editorial priorities, a commitment to the highest quality standards and a more streamlined and collegiate way of working will help us transform BBC Online for the future. The whole question about what a more mature online market means for the BBC's online position has changed. Our website has grown organically across the organisation which led to a lot of creativity, but that grew like Topsy. So recognising that the web has changed what really matters most to us is a coherent strategy for the website in itself".

Although these particular cuts have been planned for nearly a year, they are now merely the first of a string of cutbacks, of course, as BBC management deals with funding cuts instigated by the ConDem government.

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LABRINTH WANTS BIEBER TO SCARE LITTLE GIRLS
Syco signed Tinie Tempah collaborator Labrinth - who appears on the new Devlin single that's out this week - has told MTV that while he's no fan of Justin Bieber's music, he wouldn't be adverse to working with the squeaky pop haircut.

Says Labrinth: "No, [I'm not a Bieber fan, mainly because] I'm not a little girl. I think he's great but I am not twelve years old and I am not a girl".

Asked about how a Labrinth/Bieber collaboration might turn out, he added: "I'd put him on a dubstep tune. He needs to get on something gritty man! Scare the little girls a little bit".

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Andy Malt
Editor
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Co-Publisher
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