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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Spotify to get presence on Facebook, though is this really the launch of Facebook Music?
Awards & Contests
Music Week award winners
Simon Fuller given Hollywood Walk Of Fame star
Reunions & Splits
Silverchair go into "indefinite hibernation"
Release News
The Horrors announce third album
Films & Shows News
Gallagher wants Depp for Beatles film
Spiderman stage show soundtrack out next month
Gigs & Tours News
Friendly Fires announce UK tour
Shonen Knife announce 30th anniversary tour
Stealing Sheep announce new single and tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Live review: Queens Of The Stone Age at the Roundhouse in London on 17 May
The Music Business
Sean Parker optimistic about the music business's future
The Digital Business
Believe offer discounts in response to Tunecore price hike
Sonicbids and SoundOut announce alliance
The Media Business
Cheryl Cole seemingly off X-Factor USA
New Rock Sound editor appointed
BBC Worldwide now talking to one bidder about magazine business
And finally...
Nickelback man told to pay ex $25,000 a month
Courtney Love isn't a crackhead, okay?


 
THURSDAY 26TH MAY
BARBARA PANTHER
Having fled Rwanda as a refugee, electro-pop experimentalist Barbara Panther grew up in Brussels and now lives in Berlin. Drawing inspiration from all facets of her heritage, her eponymous debut LP occupies the little-trod musical ground that lies somewhere around Bjork's totem of innovation, whilst still sounding entirely original.

Produced by Matthew Herbert, who in the past has collaborated with the aforementioned Bjork, Roisen Murphy and REM, the album was released earlier this month by way of City Slang. With but a sole live date booked at Festival De La Cite in Lausanne, we asked Barbara our quick fire Same Six Questions.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I've always liked to sing, I started singing in a choir when I was four and did so for quite some time. I took classical guitar lessons at the Academy. When I was twelve I was given percussion lessons from a Hungarian street musician. I've been doing a lot of travelling and lived in many different places and I always carry a diary with me, so I've been writing all those impressions down and later turned them into songs and music.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

It's a reflection of discoveries I made over the years about human nature, the universe, the past and the future which resounds in my lyrics. It is a collection of songs written over a period of time, so musically it isn't a conceptual record. Each song has its own character. My idea was to work with both electronic and natural sounds.

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

A track mostly finds its way to reach me but it depends on the moment. It can start with a melody or a rhythm or a lyric, each track has its own way to take shape.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

I really try to rely on my own imagination and visions, but I do deeply respect people that are original, edgy, fearless and honest whether it's Diamanda Galas, Pina Bausch, Philip Glass, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Banksy or Harmony Korine.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
When you think differently about music, you grow!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I can't wait to tour this album as soon as possible and for the future, I can't wait to write the next album!

MORE>> www.myspace.com/barbarapanther
 
THE NATIONAL - ABOUT TODAY
The National are giving away 'About Today', a historic fan favorite from their 2004 'Cherry Tree' EP.

"Today you were far away/ And I didn't ask you why/ What could I say/ I was far away", growls a pensive Matt Berninger, conveying such subtle desolation over spare strings and pattering drum beats, "You just walked away/ And I just watched you/ What could I say".

Ah, it almost brings a tear to the eye. If you feel like a good weep, or if you just like The National, download 'About Today' here.



BAND2MARKET CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT
Band2market offers a simple and effective platform for acts at any stage of their career to self release, keep their rights, invigorate their fanbase, and make more money. We help orchestrate the whole process - sourcing funds, formation of budgets and P&Ls, campaign management, marketing, manufacture, sales and distribution, whistles and bells... you name it.

Our clients include: Badly Drawn Boy, Charlie Simpson, Chilly Gonzales, Dananananaykroyd, Feeder, New State, Nusic Sounds, Penguin Prison, Stranger Records, The Rifles, and Thomas Tantrum

We provide campaign management for everything you need up to release and beyond. Contact us at info@band2market.com


  BMG CHRYSALIS, SYNCHRONISATION ASSISTANT
BMG Chrysalis are looking for a Synchronisation Assistant to provide administrative support to the creative team. We are looking for a super organised and efficient music lover with 1-2 years experience in a similar role. A knowledge of music publishing and synchronisation would be ideal.

Please send CV and covering letter to gareth.smith@bmgchrysalis.com by Friday 3 Jun.
       
  WARP RECORDS, UK PR MANAGER 
Warp Records is looking for a new UK in-house PR manager to work across Press, Online, Radio and TV. They will have the opportunity to work as part of a progressive, international promotion team at a leading creative company, and represent a globally renowned roster of Artists. The ideal candidate will have: A real passion for music, events, developing artists' careers and making things happen, experience of running music PR campaigns (particularly at press and online) with a proven track record of securing national features and helping break acts, the knowledge and creativity to develop meaningful, long-term PR campaigns with a range of promo partners - from small tastemaker blogs to major national media, the drive and enthusiasm to continue developing skills in all areas of PR, staying on top of the latest trends and opportunities, the excellent communication skills that will make them able to build strong artist and media relationships and work successfully with the Warp team, and the ability to write engaging press releases and artist biographies.
 
To apply, please send an up to date CV and covering letter explaining your suitability for the role to jobs@warprecords.com.
 
The closing date for applications is Monday 6 Jun. The position is based in London.
       
  9PR, SENIOR PUBLICIST
Senior publicist is required for leading PR company with minimum 3 years experience working national press campaigns. The role will entail building your own client roster alongside working closely with the existing team. This is an ideal opportunity to progress in a vibrant growing business. All applicants must have excellent industry contacts and be able to deliver creative campaigns. Some online PR experience would also be an advantage.
Skills Required include national press experience, online experience
and client management. Salary negotiable dependent on experience. Please email a CV and covering letter to info@9pr.co.uk

"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:

PROMOTING MUSIC - MEDIA, SOCIAL MEDIA AND MORE
How to build a profile for your artists - the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. Wed 1 Jun 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 15 Jun 2011

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



SPOTIFY TO GET PRESENCE ON FACEBOOK, THOUGH IS THIS REALLY THE LAUNCH OF FACEBOOK MUSIC?
There was a bit of a flutter of chatter yesterday after Forbes reported that Facebook were about to announce a partnership with Spotify that would see the streaming music service added as a function to the social networking platform, offering, for the first time, an official music listening service via the social media giant, albeit only in territories where Spot already operates.

Forbes noted that Facebook has dabbled with the idea of formally bringing a music service within its walled garden for years, and has reportedly got close to deals with other music services or back-end content providers over the years, generally shying away from the idea of going the MySpace route and entering directly into costly deals with the music majors.

Forbes say a Spotify icon will soon appear on the left hand side of the Facebook screen, through which users will be able to access the streaming platform's freemium service (ten hours listening a month, up to five plays of any one track), presumably through the browser rather than Spotify proprietary player. Spotify won't be paid or offered a cut of Facebook's ad revenues, Forbes say, but it sees the partnership as a great platform to upsell its five or ten pounds a month premium service.

However, before you all get too excited about Facebook and Spotify collaborating to take over the digital music world, some in both the music and tech industries have played down the reports. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg told a conference in Paris this week that striking up partnerships with various content companies, especially music and movie providers, was at the top of his agenda at the moment, and many reckon the deal with Spotify is one of several, and therefore not as an strong an alliance as perhaps Forbes has suggested.

Billboard adds that various music services - including some already operational in the US - have been in similar talks with Facebook in recent months, and Spotify, therefore, could be one of a number of new musical icons to be added to the social networking site over the summer.

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MUSIC WEEK AWARD WINNERS
Hey guys, it was the bloody Music Week Awards on Tuesday night in fashionable London town, and as usual the great and the good (none of the bad, they were cleverly misdirected to an alternative venue down the road) of the British music business gathered in a very round house to well and truly slap on the back the greatest and the goodest of them all.

And who were most great and most good, I hear you ask? Well, couldn't you go and check the winners list on the Music Week website? I mean, this is the one story you could be pretty certain they'd be reporting on, and I'm pretty sure the policy is that self-promoting reportage still sits outside the recently constructed paywall. But for you lazy dudes, I'm going to publish the list here too, even though that requires me to do a lot of formatting. Right, colons at the ready. And no laughing at HMV being declared Music Retail Brand of the year.

Independent Music Retailer: Resident Music Ltd
Music Retail Brand: HMV

Live Music Venue Of The Year: Concorde 2 (Brighton)
Live Promotion Team Of The Year: SJM Concerts
Festival Of The Year: T in the Park

Record Company Of The Year: Atlantic
Independent Record Company Of The Year: XL
The A&R Award: Parlophone
Publisher Of The Year: Universal
Independent Publisher Of The Year: Kobalt

National Station Of The Year: 6 Music
Regional Station Of The Year: Wave 105

Sales Team Of The Year: Sony Music
Distributor Of The Year: Arvato UK
Studio Of The Year: Abbey Road

Consumer-Facing Digital Music Service of the Year: Songkick
Business to Business Digital Service for the Year: Mobile Roadie

Artist Marketing Campaign of the Year: Alex Eden-Smith and Jude Stone from Parlophone for Tinie Tempah
Independent Artist Marketing Campaign Of The Year: Nicola Spokes from Ministry Of Sound Recordings for Example Won't Go Quietly
Catalogue Marketing Campaign Of The Year: Jo Brooks & Nigel Reeve from EMI for David Bowie Station to Station
PR Campaign Of The Year: Richard Dawes from DawBell for Take That - Progress
Promotion Team of the Year: Atlantic Records

Music and Brand Partnership of the Year: Sarah Desmond from Universal Music and Steve Robertson from SEAT UK for On Track with SEAT UK
Music Sync of the Year: Nick Oakes from EMI Music Publishing for Kronenbourg 1664 - Slow Campaign

Producer Of The Year: Stuart Price
Manager Of The Year: Adam Tudhope

Julies Bicycle Green Business Award: The Premises Studios Ltd
International Achievement: Island Records
The Strat (Lifetime Achievement): Fran Nevrkla

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SIMON FULLER GIVEN HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME STAR
Simon Fuller has been given a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, recognising his work in the music industry form managing the Spice Girls to creating 'American Idol'. They'll give them to anyone, these days.

At a ceremony on the street in LA, Fuller told reporters: "Whenever I see that star, I won't see my name, I'll see all the names of the people I've worked with and all those amazing artists and people that have helped me achieve this stuff". Someone really ought to get Simon a new pair of glasses.

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SILVERCHAIR GO INTO "INDEFINITE HIBERNATION"
If you didn't realise Silverchair were still together, well they were. But now they're not. Yesterday the band announced that they are going into "indefinite hibernation", taking time off from each other "until it feels right again".

In a lengthy statement posted on the band's website, they said: "We formed Silverchair nearly 20 years ago when we were just twelve years old. Today we stand by the same rules now as we did back then ... if the band stops being fun and if it's no longer fulfilling creatively, then we need to stop. Therefore after much soul searching we wanted to let you know that we're putting Silverchair into 'indefinite hibernation' and we've decided to each do our own thing for the foreseeable future".

They went on to explain that they had begun work on a new album in 2009, but while sessions initially went well, by 2010 "it became clear to us that we were moving in different directions". They added: "Despite our best efforts over the last year or so, it's become increasingly clear that the spark simply isn't there between the three of us at the moment".

Read the statement in full at www.chairpage.com/news/item/346/

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THE HORRORS ANNOUNCE THIRD ALBUM
The Horrors have announced details of their third album, which will be released through XL on 11 Jul. The first single from the album, 'Still Life', will be released on the same day. The video for the track is available on YouTube now:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-WyPwhiNDY

Tracklist:

Changing The Rain
You Said
I Can See Through You
Endless Blue
Dive In
Still Life
Wild Eyed
Moving Further Away
Monica Gems
Oceans Burning

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GALLAGHER WANTS DEPP FOR BEATLES FILM
Liam Gallagher has said that he would like Johnny Depp to appear in the previously reported Beatles biopic being produced by his In 1 Productions film company.

Documenting the last two years of The Beatles' career before they split in 1970, the movie, a co-production with Revolution Films, is to be based on Richard DiLello's book, 'The Longest Cocktail Party'. Gallagher says he has Depp in mind to play the part of Derek Taylor, the band's first publicist, for whom DiLello worked as an assistant.

Gallagher told Q: "Derek Taylor... He's up there with Lennon. The film script is done. It's gonna blow people's minds, man. I'm just waiting to find out when we choose the actors. I want Johnny Depp to play Derek Taylor. It's got Johnny Depp written all over it, man".

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SPIDERMAN STAGE SHOW SOUNDTRACK OUT NEXT MONTH
The official soundtrack for that universally well-received and much loved Broadway farce 'Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark', you know the one with songs by Bono and The Edge from that U2, will be released in the US on 14 Jun to celebrate the long awaited official launch of the show (or pre-empt it, if there's yet another bloody delay).

The soundtrack recording has been produced by Steve Lillywhite and will be released by Universal's Interscope. Remains to be seen if the CD tries to fly around the room and then gets stuck above its owner's head, while their stereo short circuits, also whether Bono welcomes poor reviews from the New York Times as "yeah, that's what I thought too".

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FRIENDLY FIRES ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
Having just released their second album, 'Pala', and headlined The Great Escape festival earlier this month, Friendly Fires have now announced their biggest UK tour to date. Tickets are on sale to members of the band's mailing list - which you can sign up for at www.wearefriendlyfires.com/tourdates/ - or otherwise they go on general sale on Friday at 9am.

Tour dates:

10 Nov: Bristol, Academy
11 Nov: Birmingham, Academy
12 Nov: Southampton, Guildhall
14 Nov: Nottingham, Rock City
15 Nov: Newcastle, Academy
17 Nov: Manchester, Apollo
18 Nov: Glasgow, Barrowlands
19 Nov: Leeds, Academy
21 Nov: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
22 Nov: Lincoln, Engine Shed
25 Nov: London, Brixton Academy

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SHONEN KNIFE ANNOUNCE 30TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Currently celebrating their 30th year in existence, Shonen Knife have announced a tour of the UK and Ireland, which will culminate in a birthday show at The Scala in London. The band will also release their fifteenth solo album, 'Free Time', in the UK on 11 Jul via Damnably.

The first single from the album will be the double A-side, 'Perfect Freedom/PYO'. 'Perfect Freedom' sees the band "take on Bakunin & Kropotkin and question anarchism and the concept of true freedom in our internet obsessed times", while 'PYO' was inspired by a 'pick your own' the band once visited in Sussex.

Tour dates:

11 Aug: London, CAMP
12 Aug: Summer Sundae Festival
13 Aug: Manchester, Deaf Institute
14 Aug: Newcastle, Cluny
15 Aug: Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete's
16 Aug: Glasgow, Nice N Sleazy
17 Aug: Belfast, Blackbox
18 Aug: Galway, Róisín Dubh
19 Aug: Dublin, Whelans
20 Aug: Bristol, The Fleece
10 Sep: Nottingham, Bogeda Social
11 Sep: London, The Scala (30th Anniversary Party Show)

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STEALING SHEEP ANNOUNCE NEW SINGLE AND TOUR
Folk trio Stealing Sheep will release their latest single, 'I Am The Rain', via Red Deer Club/Idle Threat on 6 Jun. The band will also be heading out on tour following the single's release.

You can listen to the song here.

Tour dates:

7 Jun: Glasgow, The Captain's Rest (supporting Wild Eyes)
8 Jun: Manchester, The Ruby Lounge (supporting Wild Eyes)
9 Jun: Bristol, Thekla (supporting Wild Eyes)
10 Jun: London, Bush Hall (supporting Wild Eyes)
11 Jun: Inevitable Festival (supporting The Wave Pictures)
16 Jun: Liverpool, Mojo Festival
18 Jun: London, The Scala (The People's Music Awards)
8 Jul: Southport Rocks Festival
15 Jul: The Flaming Festival
24 Jul: Secret Garden Party
14 Aug: London, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
31 Aug: Liverpool, Mojo (supporting Best Coast)

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

HOP FARM MUSIC FESTIVAL, Hop Farm Country Park, Paddock Wood, Kent, 1-2 Jul: Tinie Tempah and Imelda May lead the acts freshly confirmed for what is officially known as 'Prince day' at this star-studded Kentish bash. Tinie's mate Labrinth, Dutch Uncles, Tall Ships and makeup-touting girl band Parade comprise the remainder of the recent bookings. Across the weekend, The Eagles and Morrissey are to co-headline with the aforementioned Prince, while other performers thus far approved include Lou Reed, Death Cab For Cutie, The Human League and Gang Of Four. www.hopfarmfestival.com

INDIETRACKS, Midland Railway Centre, Ripley, Derbyshire, 29-31 Jul: Bringing something different to this picturesque Derbyshire fest are cult outfit Herman Dune and Brooklyn post-punks Crystal Stilts. Bands booked so far include Edwyn Collins, The Hidden Cameras, The History Of Apple Pie, Pocketbooks and Jeffrey Lewis. Sadly, Ringo Deathstarr will no longer be appearing. www.indietracks.co.uk

LATITUDE, Henham Park Estate, Suffolk, 14-17 Jul: Joining the lengthy list of bands already set to perform at this year's Latitude are Oh Land, James Vincent McMorrow, Fool's Gold and The Head And The Heart. Previously confirmed to top the bill are The National, Paolo Nutini and Suede, with secondary headliners being Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals and Eels. www.latitudefestival.co.uk

SUMMER SUNDAE WEEKENDER, De Montfort Hall, Leicester, 12-14 Aug: Newly announced special guests Warpaint will join the likes of The Maccabees, Graham Coxon, Young Knives and Toots & The Maytals on the existing bill. Other recent additions include Fenech Soler, Polarsets and Citizen Smith. www.summersundae.com

TRUCK, Hill Farm, Steventon, Oxfordshire, 22-24 Aug: Amongst those acts further swelling the fulsome Truck roster are Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Heidi Talbot, Kris Drever and Katy Rose & the Cavalry Parade. Returning festival favourites NonClassical, recorder quintet Consortium 5, and Juice Vocal Ensemble will grace the Wood Stage, providing company for such previous announcees as Gruff Rhys, Bellowhead, Graham Coxon, Saint Etienne and Johnny Flynn. www.thisistruck.com

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LIVE REVIEW: Queens Of The Stone Age at The Roundhouse in London on 17 May
To hear the recently resurfaced Queens Of The Stone Age debut album performed in its entirety live was a treat in itself, but we all knew from the beginning that there would be more. As soon as 'Regular John' kicked off, there was a definite sense of anticipation and hope. After all, 'Queens Of The Stone Age' clocks in at just over forty-five minutes, and QOTSA are scheduled in for a two hour set. Surely Josh and his bandmates couldn't fill an hour and a quarter with banter?

Banter is had, of course, between the bass-heavy riff-ripping album that produced such stellars as 'Mexicola' and 'I Was A Teenage Hand Model'. It's Josh's 38th birthday tonight. Cards are passed up to the stage and Josh reads them off between songs, and, just as predicted, requests begin to be played towards the end.

I don't normally like to moan about venues, but if you're a short fry like me, you really aren't going to see anything at the Roundhouse unless you're right at the front or upstairs. This would normally spoil my evening, and I almost let it - for about two minutes. After the initial discomfort, everyone seemed to loosen up and there was a genuine sense of camaraderie amongst the fans, reflected by the attitude onstage. Another personal note of squee-age: Troy Van Leeuwen is pretty much on top form tonight; he and Josh really do work beautifully side by side.

Note perfect and heavy as hell, 'Queens Of The Stone Age' is run to the end, bonuses played and requests filled, such as the more recent 'Little Sister' (I'm a sucker for that cowbell), 'Monsters In The Parasol' and 'Make It Wit Chu'. Everything here is for the fans, and that's what makes this gig so bloody special. We're all part of the Queens family.

So guys, my only question is, when are we getting together again to get to hear 'Rated R'? TW

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SEAN PARKER OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS'S FUTURE
It's alright everybody, Sean Parker, you know, Sean, co-founder of Napster, Spotify millionaire, involved in one of the unsuccessful bids to buy Warner Music (you're not going to make me say "played by Justin Timberlake in 'The Social Network'" are you?) reckons the record industry is "on the verge of being fixed". Hurrah! OK, what shall we worry about now?

Interestingly Parker's optimism isn't really based on the direct-to-fan phenomenon, and its potential to allow even niche artists to build and directly control viable businesses by selling basic content, premium packages and other services to a pre-identified fanbase; rather Parker reckons we are about to see a resurgence in the value of back catalogue as licensed probably subscription-based (directly or via ISP and mobile fees) digital services - Spotify style - come of age.

According to the FT, Parker told the e-G8 conference in Paris: "I think that there is a pretty dramatic change in the way music is monetised that is on the cusp of happening. Back catalogues of record labels are going to become extremely valuable. If you believe this transformation is occurring, if you believe the broken distribution systems are on the verge of being fixed, those recordings are dramatically undervalued".

He continued: "In the last ten years we have presided over the greatest destruction in value in the history of the music industry. Assuming we can stabilise things and restore growth, it shouldn't be that difficult to preside over the greatest increase in value in the history of the recorded music industry".

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BELIEVE OFFER DISCOUNTS IN RESPONSE TO TUNECORE PRICE HIKE
Now, there's been a fair few angry reactions online from various parts of the grass roots music community to the news, earlier this month, that US-based independent digital distributor TuneCore was hiking its prices for distributing digital albums from twenty dollars per album per year to fifty dollars.

Some artists who use the service to get their content onto digital stores and platforms expressed anger at the 150% price increase, the notice period they'd been given of the change (four to six weeks, depending who you ask), and the slightly threatening tone of the email sent out about the price hike, which almost gleefully pointed out - albeit correctly - that if an artist moved to one of TuneCore's competitors they'd lose any reviews and ratings associated with their releases on digital stores, and probably experience some downtime during the switch.

Nevertheless, many of TuneCore's competitors in the grass roots digital distribution space subsequently announced special deals in a bid to make their rival's altered pricing look even more unreasonable. The latest to do so is European set up Zimbalam, the spin off from Believe Digital that provides distribution services to start-up artists. They announced yesterday that they were offering a five pound discount, so that the first year fee for distributing an album would be £25. Subsequent years are charged at £20 per year, but only if enough royalties are generated to cover the fee.

Announcing the discount, Believe Digital MD Stephen King told CMU: "Our original intention with Zimbalam was to help to level the playing field in the digital music market. We cover the major stores, in all countries, and give artists and labels access to 95% or more of the market in their local territory, for all genres of music. It is important therefore not to price new talent out of the market by charging fees beyond their means. Artists and labels are charged a simple, one-off annual fee to use the Zimbalam service and can release their music on their own terms while retaining full control of their rights, creative decisions and revenue".

Directly referencing the TuneCore price hike, he continued: "While our competitors are increasing their prices by over 150% we are fully committed to helping nuture and develop new talent and will do everything in our means, including offering significant discounts on our fees if necessary to make sure emerging artists and labels continue have access to a world class route to market".

We should add that TuneCore last week claimed their price increase had been misrepresented, adding that as part of the pricing restructure various add-on services that had previously been charged as extras were now incorporated into the basic rate. CEO Jeff Price told reporters: "TuneCore customers now get distribution to an unlimited number of stores (as opposed to a per-store fee), an unlimited number of songs per album (instead of extra per-song fees), faster upload times, and expanded accounting systems".

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SONICBIDS AND SOUNDOUT ANNOUNCE ALLIANCE
Bands-meet-promoters site Sonicbids has announced an alliance with UK-based audience insight platform SoundOut (you know, the one run by the guys at Slicethepie) which will offer customers of the former feedback and critique from the latter at no extra cost.

Says Sonicbids man Panos Panay: "Our goal is to help every band get a gig; that's how we measure our success. Feedback is a critical part of that process. As an artist, the one thing you need the most is feedback to help you develop, and SoundOut is a great way to get that feedback from the people who matter the most to them - music fans and consumers".

SoundOut man David Courtier-Dutton adds: "This fully integrated partnership enables Sonicbids artists to experience the value and power of SoundOut via a single click order process. This best of breed partnership offers tangible value to artists and gives them actionable intelligence about key aspects of their music. We look forward to working closely with Sonicbids to extend these benefits across the Sonicbids community".

So, that's all swell, isn't it?

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CHERYL COLE SEEMINGLY OFF X-FACTOR USA
So, according to TMZ, Cheryl Cole's big move to the USA is over. The gossip site reckons she is to be axed as a judge on 'X-Factor USA', with Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, who was set to co-host the American version of the talent show, now set to take her place as a judge.

Reasons given by different media for Coles' sudden departure from the show, which has only just gone into production, include that she was homesick, that she didn't "gel" with fellow judge Paula Abdul, and that test audiences just couldn't understand that funny accent of hers.

Whether this will mean a return for Cheryl to the UK version of the programme remains to be seen - ITV bosses will probably be pleased if it does, insiders there have expressed concerns that three judges were set to be replaced in one go.

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NEW ROCK SOUND EDITOR APPOINTED
Rock Sound magazine has appointed Ben Patashnik, current Deputy Editor, to the role of Editor, replacing Darren Taylor who announced he was leaving the title last month. Patashnik, who joined Rock Sound from the NME in early 2010, will take over the top job at the rock monthly on 13 Jun. It's also been confirmed that, although relocating to the US, Taylor will continue to oversee Rock Sound's Exposure section.

Confirming the appointment, Rock Sound Publisher Patrick Napier told CMU: "Ben's contribution has been hugely impressive since he joined and we feel he richly deserves this promotion. I'm also very happy that Darren will continue to look after the Exposure section so we will still benefit from his knack of spotting new talent which has been such a big part of Rock Sound's success over the years".

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BBC WORLDWIDE NOW TALKING TO ONE BIDDER ABOUT MAGAZINE BUSINESS
BBC Worldwide has confirmed that Exponent, a private equity group which owns the media and PR information service Gorkana, is favourite to buy BBC Magazines, who publish Radio Times and Top Of The Pops magazine among many other titles.

As previously reported, the Beeb put its magazine business up for sale last amid calls from government and other media owners that the Corporation's commercial division should focus more on broadcasting ventures. There was a lot of interest in some of the company's key titles, but Worldwide said they wanted to sell the whole business to one buyer. Talks with both Haymarket and Bauer faltered.

Exponent are now in exclusive talks with the Beeb about buying the publishing wing. A spokesman for BBC Worldwide told The Guardian: "BBC Worldwide's decision to move to exclusivity with Exponent has been approved by the BBC Trust. Discussions will continue with Exponent, with a view to completing an agreement this summer, which would be subject to the final approval of the BBC Trust".

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NICKELBACK MAN TOLD TO PAY EX $25,000 A MONTH
Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger has been ordered to pay his former partner $25,000 a month in a preliminary hearing ahead of a court battle to decide how the former couple - who weren't formerly married, but are being treated as common law spouses under Canadian law - should split up their possessions and property.

A judge said that although $25,000 was a high figure, Kroeger and Marianna Goriuk had lived an extravagant life during their six years as a couple, and compared to that it was a relatively modest sum.

According to the Vancouver Sun, Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie wrote in her decision, "The parties' lifestyle was extravagant. According to [Goriuk], they spent unlimited amounts to improve their properties. They ordered expensive food and wine, took private jets to Mexico and other places, hired helicopters at the last minute to fly into Vancouver for the evening and travelled in limousines... It is important to note that need is relative, and $25,000 is likely much below the status quo in this case".

The full case to decide how the couple's stuff should be divided will take place on 15 Aug.

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COURTNEY LOVE ISN'T A CRACKHEAD, OKAY?
Crazy drug freak Courtney Love is sick to death of people calling her, erm, a "crazy drug freak". Insisting she is now clean living, she says it annoys her when other celebrities and journalists speak as if she's still addicting to drugs and drink.

Love told Thefix.com, "I've been maligned as this drug freak for years, and I'm getting tired of it. That's not the way I live anymore. Obviously I've had a lot of issues in the past, but that was years ago. Since then, I've worked really hard to get myself together, but for some reason I've remained a punch-line... I don't do smack. I don't do crack anymore. I've never taken Special K or Ecstasy. I've been tempted, but every time I've wanted to try Ecstasy, I was talked out of it. I did do MDMA, however, a very long time ago..."

She concluded: "I still can't escape the stigma for some reason. Even people like Kelly Osbourne feel free to fuck with me... She appeared on 'Fashion Police' with Joan Rivers, the bitch called me a crackhead".

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