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MONDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2011
FEATURE: FIVE DAY FORECAST
Well, that was all very exciting, wasn't it? Having waited all year for EMI to be sold, the final announcement came and went rather quickly. Well, I suppose it would. But it's all done now and all that is left is to wait for are all the legal challenges and technicalities. This also means this is the first week in some time where the sale of EMI doesn't feature in my Five Day Forecast. Let's see what's there instead. more>>
APPROVED: SKY FERREIRA - DYNAMITE STATE
So, big news everyone; precocious pop poppet Sky Ferreira might at last be ready to sign off on a debut album. But then again, that seemed to be the case when her first UK single, 'One', made the Approved column in summer 2010, so who knows? Her SoundCloud page has certainly shown unusual signs of life over the past few days and weeks, sprouting song snippets and demos with all the more>>
TOP STORIES
- EMI sold
- The EMI sale in quotes
- The EMI sale: some questions
- Sharkey announces UK Music departure
- Gallagher angers mental health campaigners with Adam Ant remarks
IN THE POP COURTS
- MPA pushes other ISPs to block Newzbin
- Universal sues insurers over Chet Baker settlement
- Matt Willis sues Tricky
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- Black Sabbath reform to record new album and tour
ARTIST DEALS
- Van Halen may sign to Interscope for first Roth-fronted album since 1984
RELEASE NEWS
- Ja Ja Ja offers free compilation
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Coldplay announce 2012 arena tour
BRANDS & STUFF
- Rocawear pulls Occupy t-shirt after protests
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- Google expected to launch MP3 service with two majors missing this week
- mflow to go offline while relaunch planned
AND FINALLY...
Carey uses former video outfits to motivate post-pregnancy slimming
DOMINO, PUBLICIST
Domino is seeking a publicist to join its growing promo department. The successful applicant would be responsible for creating dynamic print and online campaigns for a number of artists on the Domino roster. A knowledge of Domino, its artists and labels (Weird World, Double Six, Rekords Rekords) and an ability to be a good team worker are a must. The ideal candidate would have a huge enthusiasm for music and media, and be skilful in spreading that enthusiasm to others. Previous PR experience is necessary.

Applicants should send a CV and cover letter to: vacancy@dominorecordco.com

Closing date is November 30
   
IN HOUSE PRESS, MUSIC PRESS OFFICER
In House Press is a music press and promotion company based in Manchester, UK. We represent a varied range of artists to national press, online, radio and TV including Avi Buffalo, Beth Jeans Houghton, Deerhoof, Donovan, Errors, Field Music, Fuck Buttons, The Go! Team, Gold Panda, Los Campesinos!, Low, Nathan Fake, Panda Bear, The Phantom Band, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Toro Y Moi, Tracey Thorn and Tunng.

We are looking for a music press officer to join our team and look after all aspects of music press. The position offered is based in Manchester and full-time with a competitive salary based on experience.

To apply please send a cover letter and CV to: will@inhousepress.com
   
EVENTIM, MARKETING MANAGER
Eventim UK is part of CTS Eventim AG, the leading ticketing company in Europe with operations in 20 countries selling more than 100 million tickets to over 140,000 rock & pop, sports, classical music and other events every year.

We are looking for an experienced Marketing Manager to join our team in London and look after all aspects of marketing. You should have experience of digital marketing, social media, affiliate and partner management, and content generation. You should also be able to implement a strategy, develop marketing campaigns and build brand awareness.

A passion for live entertainment is essential.

To apply please send a cover letter and CV to: jobs@eventim.co.uk

EMI SOLD
After months of negotiations, and years of speculation, the immediate future of EMI has been confirmed, regulatory hurdles permitting. It was confirmed on Friday that Universal Music will buy EMI's record labels for $1.9 billion (£1.2 billion), while a consortium led by Sony Corp's Sony/ATV business will acquire the EMI publishing catalogues for $2.2 billion (£1.35 billion). It brings to an end a long chapter of uncertainty in EMI's history.

In 2007, the last remaining British music major, then a plc listed in London, was bought by private equity group Terra Firma in an audacious multi-billion dollar deal.

Terra Firma and its top man Guy Hands immediately instigated dramatic cuts, correctly identifying many of the problems with the ailing music company, though struggling to come up with killer solutions. A cull of senior execs and A&Rs alienated artists in contract to the major, and many new recruits from outside the music business - brought in to reinvent the company - left after short tenures.

Though, despite the stresses and dramas, a leaner, fitter EMI emerged from the quagmire, seemingly able to meet the challenge of pursuing more innovative relationships with key artists, while selling its services to the growing number of other artists looking to go it alone. Once the long term boss of EMI Music Publishing, Roger Faxon, was put in charge of the whole group, things started to look good.

Except that by that point there were already new dramas behind the scenes, because the scheme under which Terra Firma had bought EMI in the first place was rapidly untangling. It had been an ambitious acquisition enabled by a multi-billion loan from one bank - Citigroup. It was a deal of its era, made impossible once the credit markets crashed and Citi was unable to sell on any of the debt.

The bank started getting tough, so that when EMI couldn't meet the ambitious loan terms Terra Firma had saddled it with, Citi execs refused to compromise. Terra Firma repeatedly had to pump millions more into EMI to keep it on the right side of covenant tests, and the patience of Terra Firma's backers started to be tested.

Nevertheless, somehow Hands managed to raise just enough money in summer 2010 to keep Citi from the door. We expected another crunch moment to come in spring 2011, but before that could happen Citigroup pounced, the holding company through which Terra Firma owned EMI declared itself unable to meet loan terms and the bank repossessed. Rumour has it Hands, who had already sued Citi over the advice the bank gave him ahead of his EMI acquisition, is now considering legal action over the way the company was seized from him.

Citi admitted immediately it had no intent of keeping hold of EMI in the long term, though it was early summer before formal takeover offers were being accepted. Faxon was keen to keep the company together as a going concern, telling every business journalist who would listen that EMI was strongest if its recordings and publishing businesses - traditional autonomous enterprises - could be more closely integrated. Citi initially indicated it would try to sell the company to one buyer, though with a desire to maximise return to cover past losses made on the Terra Firma deal, it became clear a split sale was much more likely.

Prior to Terra Firma's 2007 takeover everyone had expected Warner Music to merge with EMI, to create a super-major on par with Universal and Sony. Even before Citi repossessed, everyone thought Warner would still be a key bidder if and when EMI went back on the block, though the US major's owners were unlikely to be able to afford the whole company. Consensus was Warner would bid for the labels, leaving the publishing catalogues for the acquisitive 'version two' BMG, which had access to big money via its co-owner KKR.

But when Warner Music itself was then put up for sale in early 2011, many were surprised by how many people put in bids, leading to speculation that there would be a lot more competition for EMI as well. Though, in the end, there were only ever four serious bidders once Citigroup opened talks on an EMI sale - the expected Warner Music (now a little richer thanks to its new owners) and BMG (still acquisitive), plus the other big two existing players in music, Universal and Sony, both of whom seemed confident they could cross the regulatory hurdles that would have likely blocked such deals ten years ago on competition grounds.

On the publishing side BMG and Sony were equal favourites, though the latter was relying on finding partners to help fund the bid. On recordings, Universal, the surprise entrant in the race, got ahead at first, but then Warner put in a higher bid, so Universal stepped down, until Warner likewise withdrew its offer, concerned about EMI's pension liabilities. Allowing Universal to return to the negotiating table.

Bringing us to Friday - and the announcement that Universal and Sony/ATV will get EMI Music and EMI Music Publishing respectively. Both are likely to face regulator investigations, and pan-European indie labels body IMPALA has already pledged to fight both deals. But assuming that they do ultimately go through - albeit with possible remedies - what does this mean for the EMI name and legacy? Set to be absorbed by existing major players, the 80 year old British music firm will definitely cease to be British, and may ultimately cease to exist even in name.

Well and truly the end of an era.

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THE EMI SALE IN QUOTES
Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy confirms his Universal Music business will acquire the EMI record companies: "We are very proud to welcome EMI into the Vivendi family. We all respect the labels within EMI as well as the artists and employees who contribute to its success. They will find within our group a safe, long term home, headquartered in Europe. We plan to acquire EMI's recorded music division on attractive terms, adhering to our principle of total financial discipline. We are confident that we will be able to create additional value for our shareholders thanks to our knowledge of the industry and our proven track record of successful integration. Lucian Grainge's personal experience and heritage will be a major asset in making the combined entity a great success".

Universal Music CEO Lucian Grainge on buying the EMI labels: "This is an historic acquisition for UMG and an important step in preserving the legacy of EMI Music. For me, as an Englishman, EMI was the preeminent music company that I grew up with. Its artists and their music provided the soundtrack to my teenage years. Therefore, UMG is committed to both preserving EMI's cultural heritage and artistic diversity and also investing in its artists and people to grow the company's assets for the future. As a result, we will be better positioned to fully capitalise on the many new and exciting opportunities in the current marketplace, and also able to better serve our artists, songwriters and business partners, while offering fans even more choice".

Citigroup Vice Chairman and EMI Chairman Stephen Volk on the Universal deal: "We believe that this transaction accomplishes Citi's objective of maximising the value of EMI, giving EMI Music a partner in Universal Music that appreciates EMI's rich cultural legacy, its incredible stable of musical talent, and its employees who work so hard to deliver successful outcomes for the artists they represent. We are grateful to Roger Faxon, his management team and all of EMI's staff for the continued success of this business during Citi's ownership".

Sony Corp's Rob Wiesenthal confirms a consortium led by Sony/ATV has bought the EMI publishing business: "EMI Music Publishing is an iconic company with legendary copyrights and world-class executive talent. This transaction reinforces our strategy of building the operational breadth of Sony/ATV Music Publishing while tapping the extraordinary expertise and experience of Marty Bandier and his management team. Access to entertainment content is an important part of a great consumer electronics experience, and the impressive growth of digital music services will help us bring our songwriters' music to an increasingly wide audience".

Sony/ATV CEO Marty Bandier, a former CEO of the EMI publishing business, on regaining control of the EMI catalogue: "EMI Music Publishing has some of the best songs and artists in the world. I am excited to be reunited with the incredible songs, writers and people of a company I helped build. Our track record at Sony/ATV over the past four years demonstrates our ability to build a strong platform that sustains significant growth. The opportunity represented by this transaction is both transformative for Sony/ATV and a truly special moment for me, personally".

Citigroup's Stephen Volk again, this time on the Sony/ATV deal: "After evaluating all alternatives, we believe that this transaction achieves our objective of maximising the value of EMI for Citi while providing EMI Music Publishing with a partner in the Sony consortium that appreciates this wonderful business, its incredible roster of songwriters both new and old, and its staff who work so hard to deliver successful outcomes for the people they represent".

EMI CEO Roger Faxon admits to his staff in a memo that the company will be split up as part of the sale: "As all of you know, it was my ambition to keep EMI together as a stand-alone business in pursuit of our shared strategy. But that is not to be, not because there was no one interested, but because at the critical moment the credit markets seized up. With credit spreads widening and little access to debt capital it became difficult for financial bidders to formulate compelling proposals at the right price. But the enthusiasm of trade bidders remained. They saw great businesses and were willing to step up. In the case of EMI Music, Universal won the day not only on price but also on other critical terms. As for Citi, it has always been clear that they were not long term owners no matter how much they admired our business and our team. In fact that is the reason they initiated the sale process to begin with. So, when faced with an attractive offer from Universal, they decided to sell".

IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith confirms her organisation will object to both EMI deals in Brussels as competition regulators review the acquisitions: "Given that Brussels has taken a previous decision that Universal should not be any bigger [when approving its 2007 acquisition of the original BMG Music Publishing], we would expect the sale to Universal to be blocked outright, even if it offers to increase the divestments it is prepared to make. The same applies to the Sony deal. IMPALA will be discussing this in detail at its next board meeting in ten days time".

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THE EMI SALE: SOME QUESTIONS
Of course the big question that remains following Friday's news regarding EMI is whether or not either deal will be blocked or dramatically altered by European regulators.

But, if not, many other questions remain. Despite being months, arguably years, in the making, the split of the EMI company and distribution of its assets to the world's biggest music firms is no easy task, and many issues must be addressed, which is why EMI CEO Roger Faxon said on Friday it could be next Spring before any actual changes happen at EMI towers. Plus, what does all this mean for the wider record industry, and little old Warner Music?

Among the questions floating around this morning are:

1. Will Universal really want to operate five mainstream music divisions in the UK (its existing Mercury, Island and Polydor, and EMI's Parlophone and Virgin), or will some of these divisions and rosters merge in early 2012?

2. EMI Music Publishing will be managed by Sony/ATV, but won't be fully merged with the Sony business, because they will only have a 38% stake in the publishing catalogues, which were bought by a Sony-led consortium. How will that work exactly? Will any Sony/EMI teams or offices actually merge, especially in more marginal territories?

3. Who, if anyone, will use the EMI name moving forward? Will EMI become a label division of the Universal Music Group? And if so, what of the Parlophone and Virgin Records brands? Will EMI Music Publishing continue to be known as such? Or will the EMI name eventually be phased out?

4. Will the Virgin Records name automatically transfer? When Richard Branson's Virgin Group sells a business carrying its brand, it often retains the right to prevent use of its name if said business is subsequently sold to a competitor of Virgin. Vivendi competes with Virgin in the mobile space in France.

5. How will Universal Music cope with the fact that while it is suing Grooveshark for copyright infringement, EMI is the one major that licensed the controversial streaming service?

6. Who has been left as guarantor of those HMV store leases that EMI was still responsible for from the days it owned the now struggling music retailer - Universal, the Sony/ATV consortium or Citi?

7. Will the deal affect the recently announced OpenEMI project which gave app developers access to chunks of the major's catalogue, arguably one of the most innovative digital moves by a major in years?

8. What will happen to EMI's music services division, arguably the most interesting bit of the EMI record company, which saw particularly strong development during the Terra Firma era?

9. What will happen to the much admired EMI Music Sound Foundation, the largest single sponsor of specialist performing arts colleges in the UK?

10. What does all this mean for poor old Warner Music, EMI's merger suitor for ten years, and now the mini-major alongside two further expanded rivals?

11. And what does it mean for former Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr, the original orchestrator of the Universal Music empire, who long dreamed of a combined EMI Warner, and whose primary role at Warner Music since its takeover by Access Industries has been to negotiate an EMI purchase? Is Edgar now looking for new projects?

12. Major label mergers always result in downsizing and roster culls - because it's such economies of scale that make such mergers attractive to music company owners in the first place. How big will the downsizing and cull really be? Will some rosters and staff be sold off and if so who to? Will Warner as yet be able to expand through EMI's demise? Could regulators force a particularly big offloading of assets here in Britain, maybe resulting in an independent EMI UK? Yeah, I know, that's four questions. Basically, this story is far from over yet.

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SHARKEY ANNOUNCES UK MUSIC DEPARTURE
Amid all the hoo and the haa of the EMI sale on Friday, the British music business's trade body of trade bodies, UK Music, announced that its CEO, Feargal Sharkey, was stepping down with immediate effect.

Sharkey, of course, was instrumental in creating UK Music in the first place. He originally joined as chief of British Music Rights, the rather lacklustre organisation that undertook lobbying and comms for the music publishing sector and its three other trade organisations, the Music Publishers' Association, British Academy Of Songwriters, Composers And Authors, and collecting society PRS.

Adamant the wider music business needed to speak as one on key issues, especially when addressing government, Sharkey brought representatives of the record industry, management and musician communities and, more recently, the live sector, into the fold, creating what we now know as UK Music.

It's an uneasy alliance, because the agendas of constituent members often differ, and some member organisations - the record industry's BPI in particular - are more prolific and powerful than the others. But, in no small part thanks to Sharkey's personality and determination - not to mention the fact he made a great public representative given his background as both an artist and industry exec - he managed to pull it off.

Paying tribute to the organisation's outgoing CEO, UK Music's Chairman Andy Heath said on Friday: "This is a very sad day, Feargal has worked tirelessly to realise the vision of the founders of the company, and he has achieved that brilliantly. He has assembled a first class team who, I'm certain will take the company forward to new strengths and achievements".

He continues: "I will miss working with him immensely. He's unique and can't be replaced, but now UK Music has achieved the stability, credibility and reputation that it has, we will move forward with a new CEO to new heights. Feargal is an ambitious man and I fully respect his decision that he wishes to take up new challenges".

Sharkey himself added: "UK Music has been one of the greatest adventures of my life and I leave now so I might continue on other journeys. While there will be many memories above all I shall never forget what a honour and a privilege it has been to have worked with such a dedicated, creative and professional team of staff, without whom, so much simply would not have been possible".

Meanwhile the CEO of one of the trade bodies involved in UK Music from the start, as a former affiliate of British Music Rights, the MPA's Stephen Navin, told CMU: "I advised Feargal on his management agreement when the Undertones [first] burst upon us. He has been advising me wisely ever since. I shall miss him enormously as friend, colleague, fisherman and catholic. A force of nature, like a comet he lit up our part of the creative industries firmament and now he has moved on - God bless you and good luck".

UK Music's senior policy advisor Jo Dipple will head up the organisation while a new CEO is recruited.

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GALLAGHER ANGERS MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGNERS WITH ADAM ANT REMARKS
Mental health awareness campaigners have hit out at Liam Gallagher after he called Adam Ant "nutty" in an interview with the NME recently.

The music weekly discussed Ant with the former Oasis frontman because of a dispute going on over a track on the former's most recent studio album which featured Gallagher's Beady Eye bandmate Andy Bell. The NME asked Liam whether he was a fan of Ant's music, to which he replied: "Adam And The Ants? No. I'm not into a geezer who wears make-up. Especially fucking nutty ones. Tell him 'You're not the only one who's off his tits'".

Ant, of course, has long battled mental health issues, and openly discussed his bipolar disorder. As a result, Gallagher's latest unguarded remarks have angered British charity Mind.

Sue Baker, who is leading the mental health organisation's 'Time To Change' campaign, which aims to end discrimination in the workplace against those who suffer from mental illness, told The Sun: "It's not helpful for people brave enough to be open [about their mental health problems] to be met with name calling. Many celebrities, like Adam Ant, have spoken out about their mental health problems and we are so grateful that they do".

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MPA PUSHES OTHER ISPS TO BLOCK NEWZBIN
The Motion Picture Association has written to Virgin Media, Sky and TalkTalk asking them to follow BT's lead in blocking access to their customers to the Newzbin file-sharing community.

As previously reported, earlier this year the MPA successfully obtained an injunction ordering BT, as the UK's biggest internet service provider, to block access to its customers to Newzbin, the file-sharing site which provides links to a lot of unlicensed movie and music content. It was the first web-blocking injunction issued in the UK on copyright grounds. The MPA had previously successfully sued Newzbin for copyright infringement, but the site's owners relocated to Sweden, outside the jurisdiction of the English courts.

The MPA's letter asks the three other major UK ISPs to voluntarily instigate a block against Newzbin. The net firms are considering their responses, though they are likely to say they won't block Newzbin without an injunction, but that they won't fight any such injunction in court. Though TalkTalk has expressed concerns that the injunction issued against BT said the net firm, not the content owners, should meet the cost of instigating and maintaining the web-block.

Of course web-savvy file-sharers will always be able to circumvent blocks put in place by ISPs against certain websites, though content owners hope such blocks will deter more casual online copyright infringers. As previously reported, using the precedent set in the Newzbin case, record label trade body the BPI is leading a coalition of content industry bodies in calling on BT to also block access to The Pirate Bay.

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UNIVERSAL SUES INSURERS OVER CHET BAKER SETTLEMENT
The Universal Music Group filed a lawsuit last week against the National Union Fire Insurance Company, which the music major claims has failed to pay out on a successful copyright claim made against all the big record companies in Canada.

This relates to the previously reported class action lawsuit pursued by Chet Baker's estate, which claimed that the Canadian divisions of the four majors regularly released compilation albums without securing the publishing rights of many tracks featured. Technically the majors were just being slow at going through the motions of filling out mechanical copy licensing paperwork, but the Baker lawsuit claimed that was a deliberate policy, so that majors would only ever pay out if publishers or songwriters spotted their songs had been used. As a result, the majors were sitting on millions in unpaid royalties.

Under Canadian copyright law, had the lawsuit gone to court the majors could have been forced to pay statutory damages in addition to handing over unpaid royalties, which technically could have added up to $6 billion. Possibly with that in mind, the majors didn't let the case go that far, and settled at the start of the year, with the four major music companies between them pledging to pay $47.5 million to the Canadian publishing and songwriting community.

As the biggest major, Universal has to pay the biggest portion of that damages settlement, over $17.5 million, so it put in a claim for that amount to its insurance company, National Union, who indemnify the major for copyright litigation. But the insurer is refusing to pay up.

Possibly because the damages paid to the Canadian songwriting community were more or less equal to the monies the Chet Baker estate's lawyers claimed the majors had failed to hand over, so Universal in theory was sitting on that money already. Or possibly because as a music publisher as well as a record company, one bit of Universal will actually benefit from the pay out. Or possibly because they didn't sign up to indemnify the major against allegedly dodgy practices.

Either way, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the major isn't impressed, and has now begun legal proceedings against the insurers. Neither plaintiff nor defendant has commented on the litigation.

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MATT WILLIS SUES TRICKY
It was widely reported this weekend that one time Busted boy Matt Willis is suing trip-hopper Tricky over an aborted management agreement.

According to the Sunday Mirror, among others, Tricky appointed Willis as his manager in 2010 on a three year contract, but sacked him less than a year later when he hired the services of Crown Management back in February.

According to the tab, Willis received £44,633 from the Trickster when he was dropped as manager, but he reckons he was owed considerably more than that based on their original management agreement, including a cut of Tricky's earnings through to 2013.

Willis is reportedly suing for £150,000 through the High Court.

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BLACK SABBATH REFORM TO RECORD NEW ALBUM AND TOUR
The original line up of Black Sabbath are getting back together again, and this time will record a new album, their first new record together in 33 years. The new long player will be released alongside a world tour next year. Rick Rubin is set to produce the new album, and the tour will include a headline slot at next summer's Download Festival.

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VAN HALEN MAY SIGN TO INTERSCOPE FOR FIRST ROTH-FRONTED ALBUM SINCE 1984
Another veteran rock outfit back with their (almost) original line-up and set to release their first album together for decades are Van Halen.

David Lee Roth, Eddie and Alex Van Halen, and Eddie's son Wolfgang (he being the non-original member, taking Michael Anthony's place) have been working on a new record, the first Van Halen album with Roth on vocals since 1984, and the latest word is that it will now be released by Universal's Interscope division.

Warner Music has released Van Halen's output for over three decades, but it's been known the band have been shopping around for a new label for the new record for several months now. It was thought they were doing a deal with Sony's Columbia, but the Hollywood Reporter said last week Universal had gazumped their rival, mainly because Roth - who has separate management and legal representation to the rest of the band - wasn't happy with the Sony deal.

All that said, Interscope is yet to comment on the rumours.

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JA JA JA OFFERS FREE COMPILATION
The team behind Ja Ja Ja, those advocates of all things Nordic and musical, have put together a free compilation of landmark guests from across their once-monthly showcase night at London's The Lexington. Amongst others, it features tracks by CMU Approved singer-songwriter Karin Park and noise-rock trio Årabrot, plus more stuff from much-hyped types When Saints Go Machine and Niki & The Dove.

You can download it all here.

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COLDPLAY ANNOUNCE 2012 ARENA TOUR
Having sold out a trio of arena shows due to take place next month, Coldplay have squared up to several 2012 stadium dates in support of their new album, 'Mylo Xyloto'.

2012 Tour dates:

29 May: Coventry, Ricoh Stadium
1 Jun: London, Emirates Stadium
2 Jun: London, Emirates Stadium
7 Jun: Sunderland, Stadium of Light
9 Jun: Manchester, Etihad Stadium

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ROCAWEAR PULLS OCCUPY T-SHIRT AFTER PROTESTS
Hip hop fashion firm Rocawear, in which Jay-Z still has an interest and role, was forced to take a special t-shirt bearing the slogan 'Occupy All Streets' off its website late last week after the company was accused of cynically capitalising on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Jay-Z was photographed wearing one of the 'Occupy' shirts backstage at the 'Watch The Throne' tour in New York recently, but he and his company came under fire after it was revealed the shirts were selling for $22 and were not, as some expected, being sold in aid of the anti-bad-capitalism movement. A spokesman for Rocawear tried to say that the t-shirts were designed to "remind people that there is change to be made everywhere, not just on Wall Street", but it didn't really wash.

A spokesman for the Occupy Wall Street movement was quoted by TMZ as saying: "To attempt to profit off of the first important social moment of 50 years with an overpriced piece of cotton is an insult to the fight for economic civil rights known as Occupy Wall Street".

The shirts were subsequently taken off the Rocawear website. Of course, given all the tweeting and blogging and photo uploading that goes on within the Occupy movement, the Jay-Z fashion company aren't the first to monetise protest, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr all getting traffic and therefore advertising boosts from the campaigning.

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GOOGLE EXPECTED TO LAUNCH MP3 SERVICE WITH TWO MAJORS MISSING THIS WEEK
Google is expected to announce the launch of its new music service this week, though it still only has two major labels on board - and that's really now one label, as its Universal and EMI who have signed up.

As previously reported, both Sony and Warner have been playing hard ball with Team Google in licensing talks for the new music platform, the former reportedly wanting bigger commitments from the web giant to stop the use of its other services by music pirates, the latter apparently wanting a cut of the revenues generated by Google's music-based digital locker, launched earlier this year without any involvement of the music firms.

We knew Google had threatened to launch its new music service without all the majors on board, and while some assumed that to be a negotiating tactic, it looks like the web firm may come good on that threat on Wednesday, when a big announcement is expected at a press event in LA.

It is thought that Google will start selling downloads direct when its new music platform launches, with the option to store MP3s bought in a Google locker, so to access them from any net-connected device. The new service will also likely include a recommendation option linked in to the Google+ social networking platform, giving users the option to stream once for free any track recommended to them by a Google+ friend, similar to the service offered by mflow. Some sort of mobile element via the Android platform is also anticipated.

You can watch the announcement live at www.youtube.com/android at 2pm PST (10pm GMT) on 16 Nov.

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MFLOW TO GO OFFLINE WHILE RELAUNCH PLANNED
Talking of mflow, the iTunes-meets-Twitter service, which enabled users to buy music, recommend tracks to friends, and earn credits if friends then bought recommended tracks, is shutting up shop to concentrate its efforts of a "top-secret new project".

mflow struggled to get all the majors on board for its service, arguably hindering its ambitions to be the uber music recommendation platform, as half the tracks you might want to recommend weren't available. Rivals, most notably iTunes, also then added their own recommendation functionality, potentially a threat to newcomer mflow, though it is fair to say no one has fully cracked the social-network-recommend-to-music-sale connection, so there is still an opportunity for players in this space.

It is not clear what the new look mflow platform will do, though the existing service will go offline on 9 Dec even though the new version is not yet ready to launch. The digital service told users last week "we can't share this grown-up mflow with you until we're confident it's better than anything you've used before". However, some registered users will be invited to take part in beta trials, the note added.

Playlists, purchase and recommendation data, and any unspent credit will be available to existing users when the new look mflow launches, whenever that may be.

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CAREY USES FORMER VIDEO OUTFITS TO MOTIVATE POST-PREGNANCY SLIMMING
Mariah Carey was motivated to drop her weight after giving birth earlier this year by a desire to fit into some of the most treasured items in her wardrobe, or so she says. The singer told reporters recently: "I felt pressure [to lose weight] from myself... I did fear that I wouldn't be able to get back into my shoes. I was like, 'I have walls full of shoes'".

Outfits from past videos have also provided targets, she adds. Says Carey: "So, I was like, 'Do I fit into my shorts from the 'Fantasy' video? Yes. OK, I'm good'. And I have those things still! Honestly, it's like, 'Do I fit into my 'Heartbreaker' jeans?' [My weight] from the 'Touch My Body [video] is the [ultimate] goal".

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

UnLimited Media also provides creative, training and consulting services for the music, media and communication industries. More at www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk.
 
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UnLimited Media also provides creative, training and consulting services for the music, media and communication industries. More at www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk.