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FRIDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2011
FEATURE: THE MUSIC BUSINESS WEEK IN FIVE
If you're in central London today, be sure to head over to the Topman store at Oxford Circus for the mega-DJ-jam involving our very own Eddy Temple-Morris, and designed to raise awareness for CALM, an incredibly important charity designed to reduce the number of suicides among the young male population. But first, take a few moments to catch up on this week's big music business stories more>>
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: SOUL HEAVEN AT PULSE
Soul Heaven returns, this time at Pulse, a newish club just south of Blackfriars Bridge. Expect the Oxford Dictionary definition of soulful house here, with the massive Master At Work Kenny Dope and Baltimore's DJ Spen on the decks. Phil Asher, Craig Smith, DJ Rocco, Risk Sound System, plus the rather excellent Atjazz will also appear in the club's two other rooms. A quality line-up more>>
TOP STORIES
- European Court rejects wide-spread infringement monitoring by ISPs
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- Jessie J scores biggest selling debut album of 2011
IN THE STUDIO
- Elbow recording Olympic theme
- Broadcast may release another record
RELEASE NEWS
- Wiley won't stop releasing albums
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- God Don't Like It announce last ever shows
- New Chad Valley dates
- Outfit debut DIY video ahead of London show
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival line-up update
TALKS, DEBATES & CONVENTIONS
- Liverpool Sound City announces new event in NYC
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- IMPALA welcomes EC review of private copy remuneration
- Scottish music industry body announces five year plan
- Julie's Bicycle announces new associates from live sector
- FAC chief re-elected to PPL Performer Board
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- Future Publishing records losses
- Newspapers score record viewing figures for online
- Box TV appoints new commercial director
- Willoughby and Yates to host UK Voice
AND FINALLY...
- Beef Of The Week: Perry Farrell v Brazil
7DIGITAL, ACCOUNT MANAGER
7digital seek an Account Manager to oversee our US based B2B clients. Reporting to the lead of the London HQ account management team with direction and priorities on North American business from the NA market lead and business development team, the focus of the role is to support all B2B API business implementation and provide general account coordination between the London and North American operations. The position is part of a small American team (consisting of: market lead, business development, technical evangelist, and marketing - all based in US; with the Account Manager role based in London).

More information here: www.thecmuwebsite.com/jobs

Please send CV and covering letter to careers@7digital.com ensuring you put Account Manager in the subject field.
   
COOKING VINYL, OFFICE MANAGER
Cooking Vinyl is looking for an office manager to run and maintain our busy West London office.

Successful applicants will exhibit good written skills, ability to problem solve, multi-task, and be proficient on office software packages (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc).

All applicants must be well organised, have a genuine love of music, enjoy going to gigs, and the ability to work as part of a team.

Cooking Vinyl is a successful independent record label and has developed a reputation as one of Europe’s prime artist-focused independent labels, inspiring an enviable loyalty among its artists which include The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, The Enemy, Roll Deep, Groove Armada and Billy Bragg.

Applicants should send CV and covering letter to jobs@cookingvinyl.com

Closing date 10 Dec
   
THE ZEITGEIST AGENCY, SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER, PRESS OFFICER/JUNIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER
The Zeitgeist Agency is the leading creative communications agency in the festival, brand and music space. We have the contacts, ideas and passion to consistently over-deliver and generate the right buzz at the right time for our premium brands and events.

Want to join our expanding team?

Senior Account Manager – All-rounder with music, brand account management, festival and arts experience. Must have unrivalled contacts and proven record for new business. Experienced, determined and tenacious candidates need only apply.

Press Officer / Junior Account Manager – at least one year’s cross platform experience required and ready to go to the next level.

Send your CV and a tweet-sized covering note to: jobs@thezeitgeistagency.com
   
COOKING VINYL, ONLINE MARKETING AND PR MANAGER
Cooking Vinyl is looking for an experienced online marketeer with proven campaign experience across Social Online Marketing, Search, CRM, PR, retail and creative design and development.

The successful applicant should have a good working knowledge of the following programs and applications - HTML, Photoshop, Flash CSS, PHP(or similar), Javascript, Soundcloud, Topspin, Mail Chimp, etc.

All applicants must be very well organised, have a genuine love of music, enjoy going to gigs, and the ability to work as part of a team. You need to be able to work under pressure and the ability to meet deadlines is crucial.

Cooking Vinyl is a successful independent record label and has developed a reputation as one of Europe's prime artist-focused independent labels, inspiring an enviable loyalty among its artists which include The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, The Enemy, Roll Deep, Groove Armada and Billy Bragg.

Applicants should send CV, covering letter and current salary to jobs@cookingvinyl.com

Closing date 1 Dec.

EUROPEAN COURT REJECTS WIDE-SPREAD INFRINGEMENT MONITORING BY ISPS
So there was an interesting if not especially surprising copyright ruling in the good old European Court Of Justice this week, which has an impact on the content industries' efforts to force internet service providers to play a more active role in policing online piracy, though not as big an impact as some have suggested.

This all relates to a long running Belgian case which saw collecting society SABAM try to get the courts to force an ISP called Scarlet to filter out copyright infringing content being shared on its networks. At first instance the rights society got its injunction, but the net firm appealed claiming that fulfilling the obligations set out in the court ruling would involve carrying out "invisible and illegal" checks on net users' online activity. This would breach various bits of European legislation, they argued, hence why the Belgian appeal courts bounced the matter up to the ECJ.

As previously reported, back in April an advisor to the ECJ, Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón, said that the Belgian court's injunction did indeed breach the EU's Charter Of Fundamental Rights. He noted: "The installation of the filtering and blocking system is a restriction on the right to privacy of communications and the right to protection of personal data, both of which are rights protected under the Charter".

And, unsurprisingly, the ECJ this week took that advice and ruled that Scarlet cannot be forced to monitor its users' web use for copyright infringement. It said in its ruling: "EU law precludes the imposition of an injunction by a national court which requires an internet service provider to install a filtering system with a view to preventing the illegal downloading of files. The filtering system would also be liable to infringe the fundamental rights of its [Scarlet's] customers, namely their right to protection of their personal data and their right to receive or impart information".

At first glance it looks like a pretty damning ruling for rights owners busy lobbying for new laws or applying for court injunctions to force ISPs to block access to copyright infringing websites, or to reduce or suspend the access of individuals who prolifically infringe. However, the ruling doesn't really directly impact on those activities (and not just because Villalón's advice in April provided a few get outs if national government's are willing to introduce explicit laws on this matter).

The Sabam injunction application was always ambitious in that it basically says to ISPs, "you take complete responsibility for infringement, spy on every exchange of content, keep yourself abreast of who owns every bit of content, and block any exchange that looks dodgy". It was a wide-ranging demand, that would be costly (and possibly technically as well as legally impossible) for ISPs to fulfil, and likely to hinder a lot of entirely legitimate web usage.

But most other efforts to force ISPs to play ball in policing online piracy have been much more narrowly defined, and usually involve the rights owners footing the bill for monitoring the net for copyright infringement, meaning such monitoring efforts are much more modest. Therefore this week's ruling is unlikely to impact majorly on those efforts, though it will always provide a constraint should rights owners - buoyed by recent successes in the courts and law making communities - get a little more ambitious in their demands of net firms.

Commenting on the ruling for the global record industry, Frances Moore of IFPI told CMU: "This judgment will help in our ongoing efforts to protect creative content online. It confirms ISPs and other online intermediaries can be required to take measures against both existing and future online infringements and re-states the importance of protecting intellectual property as a fundamental right. In this particular case, the court rejected the content filtering measure presented by the Belgian court as too broad. However, this does not affect the forms of ISP cooperation that IFPI advocates including graduated response and the blocking of rogue websites, which are already being implemented in countries across Europe".

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JESSIE J SCORES BIGGEST SELLING DEBUT ALBUM OF 2011
Jessie J's 'Who You Are' has been named the biggest selling debut album in the UK of 2011, even though 2011 isn't over yet. So that's nice. She's also one of eight British artists in the top ten, which proves just how xenophobic the British record buying public has become.

Below are the top 20 biggest selling debut albums of 2011 in full. I'm not sure all of them really count as debuts, but, hey, I don't make the rules.

1 Jessie J - Who You Are
2 Ed Sheeran - +-
3 Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
4 The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines
5 Katy B - On A Mission
6 Beady Eye - Different Gear, Still Speeding
7 Nicole Scherzinger - Killer Love
8 Hugh Laurie - Let Them Talk
9 Matt Cardle - Letters
10 Kanye West & Jay-Z - Watch The Throne
11 Bad Meets Evil - Hell: The Sequel
12 Nero - Welcome Reality
13 Christina Perri - Lovestrong
14 Cher Lloyd - Sticks And Stones
15 Wretch 32 - Black And White
16 Miles Kane - Colour Of The Trap
17 Foster The People - Torches
18 Clare Maguire - Light After Dark
19 Mary Byrne - Mine And Yours
20 Alexis Jordan - Alexis Jordan

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ELBOW RECORDING OLYMPIC THEME
The theme song for the BBC's 2012 Olympics coverage will be written by Elbow, it has been announced. The band have been tasked with recording a six minute track that will feature heavily on the BBC during the Games, akin to Gorillaz's 2008 effort for the Beijing Olympics.

Elbow's Guy Garvey said: "We are knocked out to be involved and it's been quite a challenge. We have feelings of real responsibility as we will be the soundtrack to so many images of personal sacrifice and endeavour while the nation roots for and celebrates with Team GB".

BBC's Director of London 2012, Roger Mosey, added: "[Elbow's track] should be just-about the most heard piece of music in 2012. This builds on our recent tradition of using great British contemporary artists to deliver our music, as we did with Damon Albarn in 2008; and we reckon Elbow have a unique combination of credibility - hence their Mercury Prize - with a style that can be enjoyed by people of all ages".

Here's that Gorillaz track and accompanying video to enjoy all over again: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr5ZWYRaAyw

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BROADCAST MAY RELEASE ANOTHER RECORD
James Cargill, bandmate and partner of Broadcast frontwoman Trish Keenan, who died suddenly earlier this year, has said that the band may release another album. Speaking to Under The Radar, Cargill revealed that he is sitting on a number of unreleased recordings made by Keenan prior to her death, which he does intend to work into finished tracks.

"Trish left a lot of tapes, four-tracks and stuff", he said. "The next thing I release with Trish on it will be more like a monument and a tribute to her rather than this obsessive thing I used to have about making albums".

Commenting on that output, he continued: "Trish's vocals are really great. They're a bit more pastoral, almost a bit more like [2003 album] 'Haha Sound'. I liked the lyrics she was writing. They fit the pastoral, folk thing. She'd taken a lot from Lewis Carroll and some of the nonsense verse she was into. I think it might be a bit more like the older Broadcast".

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WILEY WON'T STOP RELEASING ALBUMS
Given that he's released two albums this year alone (the brilliant '100% Publishing' and free download 'Chill Out Zone'), it seems Wiley has earned the right to insist that Big Dada release his next long player, 'Evolve Or Be Extinct', on his next birthday. In fact, he's been in such a prolific mood lately that the album has been extended to a double-disc release. Though apparently one of the tracks doesn't have any music on it.

And to all those who don't know when Wiley's birthday is, shame on you. It's 19 Jan. Feel free to bring conciliatory cards and cake to any of Wiley's 2012 tour dates, which are as follows:

20 Jan: Norwich, Waterfront
21 Jan: Manchester, Ritz
22 Jan: Coventry, Kasbah
23 Jan: Glasgow, ABC2
25 Jan: Edinburgh, Picture House
26 Jan: Middlesboro, Empire
27 Jan: Birmingham, Institute
28 Jan: Liverpool, Masque
30 Jan: Brighton, Concorde
31 Jan: Swansea, Sin City
1 Feb: London, Scala

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GOD DON'T LIKE IT ANNOUNCE LAST EVER SHOWS
Having put together nights for the likes of Factory Floor, Erland And The Carnival, Lower Dens and Becoming Real, London promoter God Don't Like It is now bowing out with a final run of shows at The Lexington. Drone quartet Teeth Of The Sea, psych-beat outfit Speak & The Spells, and synth-punk drum enthusiasts Drum Eyes will be amongst those providing the soundtrack to the send-off.

You can click here to buy a £12 ticket granting access to all four nights. The full line-ups are listed here:

27 Dec: Drum Eyes, Deadfader
28 Dec: Teeth Of The Sea, Devilman, Speak & the Spells
29 Dec: Left With Pictures, Eyes & No Eyes, Grant K Fennell
30 Dec: Grubby Mitts

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NEW CHAD VALLEY DATES
Fresh from a gruelling US tour in honour of his 'Equatorial Ultravox' EP, Hugo 'Chad Valley' Manuel has announced he'll be playing his final dates of 2011 at London's Corsica Studios on 15 Dec, and at the Oxford Academy on 17 Dec. He'll also appear on both occasions in his other guise as frontman of jubilant folk-pop quartet Jonquil.

All affiliates-in-arms of Oxford's Blessing Force collective - including ODC Drumline, Pet Moon and Solid Gold Dragons - are booked for the Corsica Studios bill. Pet Moon, meanwhile, will perform again alongside Sisterland and Motherhood in Oxford.

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OUTFIT DEBUT DIY VIDEO AHEAD OF LONDON SHOW
Having appeared in our CMU Approved section on the basis of their brilliant debut single, 'Two Islands', Liverpool five-piece Outfit are now poised to play a headline show at London's Cargo on 29 Nov.

You can prime your eyes and ears for the event via the band's new 'Two Islands' video. They filmed and edited it all by themselves, you know: vimeo.com/32191995

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

BENICASSIM, Valencia, Spain, 12-15 Jul: Second headliners Florence And The Machine have just been confirmed to keep fellow bill-toppers The Stone Roses in fine company at next year's edition of this summery Spanish fiesta. The Vaccines, also newly booked to play Benicassim 2012, complete the recent announcements. www.fiberfib.com

EUROSONIC NOORDERSLAG, De Oosterpoort, Groningen, Holland, 11-14 Jan: Tipped Brit types Emeli Sandé, Spector, Matthew And The Atlas, The History Of Apple Pie and Veronica Falls are amongst the host of fresh additions to next year's Eurosonic throng. With the overall bill nearing completion, they join the likes of TEED, Jessie Ware, Zulu Winter, Vondelpark and Battlekat at this pleasantly eclectic pan-European party. www.eurosonic-noorderslag.nl/en/festival/

ROCK WERCHTER, Rotselaar, Belgium, 28 Jun - 1 Jul: Red Hot Chili Peppers and Justice get first dibs on the Rock Werchter bill. Both are confirmed to appear on the festival's Main Stage, with Justice taking opening night duties while RHCP secure the Sunday slot. Tickets for the event will go on sale on 3 Dec. www.rockwerchter.be

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LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY ANNOUNCES NEW EVENT IN NYC
Organisers of the Liverpool Sound City festival and convention, which takes place in the North West city each May, have announced the launch of a sister event in New York - New York Sound City, obviously - due to take place next March.

Noting past spin-off events in Dubai and the Norwegian city of Tromso as well as four editions in Liverpool, Sound City chief David Pichilingi told CMU: "The UK businesses, individuals and artists we have showcased and assisted have gone onto generate over £12 million of real money for the UK music and digital economy. We do not mess about. For us to partner up with New York is the next logical step. Liverpool and New York have always shared a special relationship with each other. Two of the world's biggest cities and both synonymous with art, music and pop culture. This is the first announcement in what is going to be an exciting time for the growth of our strong brand".

Other spin-off events around the world are expected to be confirmed soon, including a return to the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile LSC itself takes place from 17-19 May next year.

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IMPALA WELCOMES EC REVIEW OF PRIVATE COPY REMUNERATION
Pan-European indie labels trade body IMPALA has welcomed the news that the European Commission has asked Antònio Vitorino, a former EU Commissioner himself, to mediate on the issue of private copying remuneration.

Unlike in the UK, where under copyright law consumers are not - technically speaking - allowed to make private back up copies of sound recordings they buy, in the rest of Europe a private copy right does exist, but usually on the proviso that rights owners are compensated in someway. This traditionally was done by charging a levy on blank cassettes and later CDRs, on the assumption that the majority of those devices were used to make back up copies of copyright works.

As the use of cassettes and CDRs has died out, a debate has raged as to what, if any, other devices a similar levy should be added to. Should all digital music players come with a levy, and if so, what kind of levy, given people buy these much less frequently than they used to buy blank cassettes.

And what about PCs and mobile phones, both of which some people use to make back up copies of copyright material? And what happens if the licence attached to the original recording purchase allows a back up copy to be made, in the way most download stores allow users to transfer a track between devices?

So, lots to discuss. Different countries have dealt with this matter in different ways, and in many places one or more affected stakeholders, whether they be rights owners, artists or technology firms, are not happy with the outcomes. Vitorino's job will be to consult all affected parties and make recommendations, hopefully by summer 2012.

Welcoming his appointment, IMPALA said yesterday: "We are very pleased that such a high profile person has been appointed which sends a strong signal as to the importance of the issue at stake. As has been re-iterated many times before, the right holders are very much open to discussion on this issue and regret the time that has been lost since the premature closure of the previous dialogue in early 2010. We are ready and willing to constructively contribute to the discussions in the new year".

Of course moves are afoot to introduce a private copy right in the UK (though, admittedly, they have been for some time now). Two government reviews of copyright - Gowers in 2006 and Hargreaves earlier this year - proposed introducing a private copy right with no remuneration for rights owners. However, should the private copy right be made law, it is likely some in the music industry will push for some kind of remuneration system, possibly citing European precedent.

Elsewhere in IMPALA welcoming things news, the trade body also this week welcomed another European Commission announcement, that it was planning a 210 million euros fund to guarantee bank loans to SME music companies and other creative enterprises. The fund, which would properly launch in 2014, would aim to persuade more banks to back creative start-ups, which many bankers see as being particularly risky businesses (incorrectly if a recent Demos report is to be believed).

IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith told CMU: "This is an excellent initiative to address the current market failure facing independent music companies in accessing finance. We encourage all member states to fully support the scheme, which now needs their agreement, as well as the approval of the European Parliament. We believe this instrument has the potential to transform the sector's viability and leverage much-needed investment for medium, small and very small operators and artists".

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SCOTTISH MUSIC INDUSTRY BODY ANNOUNCES FIVE YEAR PLAN
The Scottish Music Industry Association has announced a five year plan to "create a stronger, more united music industry in Scotland". Among the initiatives planned are a series of Independent Label Market style events, a new training programme supported by the Music Managers' Forum, and various projects to promote Scottish music, including managing Scotland's presence at SxSW.

Confirming the new plan, SMIA Chair Tam Coyle told CMU: "The SMIA has enormous potential. We have an excellent board with an appetite to change Scotland's music industry for the better; the events and initiatives currently being developed are enormously exciting and should help the SMIA to become a unifying, proactive advocate for Scotland's music industry. By driving our membership recruitment, the SMIA can employ its financial resources into delivering initiatives for the industry, by the industry, without having to rely on external funding in the longer term".

The SMIA is backed by the Scottish government funded Creative Scotland body, a rep from which - Caroline Parkinson - told us: "Creative Scotland works with networks across a range of arts and creative disciplines and we are delighted to begin working with SMIA and its newly developed plans for their work with the Scottish music industry".

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JULIE'S BICYCLE ANNOUNCES NEW ASSOCIATES FROM LIVE SECTOR
Julie's Bicycle, the body which campaigns to make the music and wider cultural industries more environmentally friendly, has announced that four new companies from the live sector have become associates, meaning they have made a specific commitment to make their operations more eco-friendly.

The companies making the commitment are live music giant AEG Live and one of its UK-based affiliates, Kilimanjaro Live, plus Birmingham-based venue operator the NEC Group and outdoor event producers Artichoke.

Confirming the new associates, Julie's Bicycle Director Alison Tickell told CMU: "Week by week more companies are recognising that our creative capital is vested in environmental sustainability. Julie's Bicycle is really pleased to be working with four new, very different and exciting companies committed to making environmental sustainability core to their business operations".

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FAC CHIEF RE-ELECTED TO PPL PERFORMER BOARD
Recording rights collecting society PPL confirmed earlier this week that Mark Kelly had been re-elected to its Performer Board. The election took place at the organisation's Annual Performer Meeting.

Kelly, of the band Marillion and also now CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition, told CMU: "I am delighted to be re-elected to the PPL Performer Board after a productive and enjoyable two years in office. I see PPL as a very well managed organisation that has made significant progress in recent years. I look forward to the prospect of serving the performer community for another two years and will endeavour to do my upmost to serve and represent all performers to the best of my ability".

PPL top man Fran Nevrkla added: "Mark's successful re-election is a testament to his hard work and dedication over the past two years. Mark offers a valuable insight into the performer community and we welcome his further input into ensuring that we continue to maximise the value of the rights entrusted to us by our performer members".

Among the presentations given at the APM was one from PPL MD Peter Leathem who revealed that the rights body now has 50,000 performer members, a rise of 2500 since the organisation's AGM in June.

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FUTURE PUBLISHING RECORDS LOSSES
Classic Rock and Metal Hammer publisher Future Publishing saw its profits plunge in the last financial year to a £19.3 million loss, compared to a £5.5 million profit the previous year.

We already knew things hadn't been too rosy at Future of late, mainly because last month saw the sudden and surprise exit of both the company's CEO and CFO more or less over night in a bid to save a million a year on the salaries budget, despite Chief Exec Stevie Spring enjoying a particularly high profile within the publishing industry.

The top two execs, who sat above Future's UK and US divisions, were replaced by the existing bosses of the UK business, basically removing a whole layer of management.

It's the US business that has caused the most problems. Mark Wood, now CEO of the whole Future company, admitted: "Future delivered disappointing results for the past year. While the UK business showed resilience in challenging conditions, the US operations tipped back into loss, pulling down the group's overall final results".

Future has enjoyed some success in the UK in the digital domain, both by creating digital products around existing print titles and with some online-only ventures, and there are hopes some of those digital projects can be launched Stateside to help fix that side of the company. A statement from the firm said: "We are migrating the US business to a predominantly digital model and have taken steps to de-risk remaining print properties".

The publicly listed company's share price fell sharply, partly because of the disappointing financials, partly because the Future board announced it would freeze dividend payouts to shareholders until 2013, seemingly as a condition of new loan agreements.

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NEWSPAPERS SCORE RECORD VIEWING FIGURES FOR ONLINE
Two very different deaths, those of Steve Jobs and Muammar Gaddafi, both helped the websites of British newspapers score record traffic in October, according to new figures from the Audit Bureau Of Circulation.

The Daily Mail, the biggest British newspaper website for over a year now, and a new contender to become the biggest English language newspaper site in the world (yeah, that's makes you feel great, doesn't it?), saw its monthly user base grow by nearly 17% compared to the previous set of web stats, to 78,994,874, with an estimated 4,563,492 daily users.

According to the latest audited stats, The Guardian has 3,275,624 daily users, also a record high, while the Telegraph enjoys 2,292,052 online readers daily, and The Mirror, while only having 710,695 daily browsers, did see the largest growth of its user base. The Independent, the only other national newspaper included in the web-based ABCs, saw its user base fall month on month but increase year on year, so it has an average of 611,488 browsers daily.

So that's all good. Of course whether any of these titles is making any money out of their free to access websites is another matter, while slumping circulations on the more profitable print side of the business continue to hinder traditional revenue streams. Oh, what a lovely time to be a publisher.

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BOX TV APPOINTS NEW COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR
Box TV, the JV between Bauer Media and Channel Four which operates seven music-based TV channels, most of them following the video jukebox format, has appointed a new Commercial Director, in the form of Julie Wright, formerly of Paramount Pictures.

In her new role she will oversee the international sale of programmes and formats as well as ad sales, sponsorship and branded content, product placement and "cross-platform content distribution".

Box TV MD Gidon Katz told reporters: "We are fortunate to have found an executive who shares the same passion for music, television and digital as we do at Box TV. We know that Julie's expertise and relationships matched with our capabilities will take us to new heights".

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WILLOUGHBY AND YATES TO HOST UK VOICE
Just in case you needed another reason not to watch the UK version of new telly talent contest 'The Voice' when it airs on BBC One next year, Holly Willoughby and Reggie Yates have been confirmed as hosts. Well, I suppose there is a certain logic to that, the lack of talent among contestants will presumably be less apparent when parked alongside a duo of hosts with no apparent presenting talent either.

As previously reported, 'The Voice' is like all the other wannabe-popstar shows, except that judges only hear auditionees sing, so they can't be influenced by appearance. I think initially contenders will sing from behind a screen, though when ratings flag in series two, don't rule out judges being actually blinded on screen at the start of series three.

Jessie J is set to be one of those judges, and according to Contact Music both Kylie Minogue and Tom Jones are considering offers of roles on the show. Rumour had it producers were really struggling to find A or even B list artists willing to participate in the programme, many presumably wondering - given the declining audience of 'X-Factor' - whether the BBC's latest bought-in franchise really has the potential to revitalise a TV format long past its sell by date.

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BEEF OF THE WEEK: PERRY FARRELL V BRAZIL
Jane's Addiction frontman and founder of the Lollapalooza festival Perry Farrell found himself in hot water with the people of Brazil this week after he apparently suggested that they are "uneducated about music".

Actually, I'm not sure he was quite as blunt as that in a recent interview with the country's biggest newspaper, Folha de São Paolo. However, when explaining why he had not been involved in selecting Brazilian bands for a South American edition of Lollapalooza in the country, he did say: "I'm learning about the Brazilians now, as you are now learning about international bands". It's not quite as bad as saying Brazilians are "uneducated", but to suggest they don't really know about artists outside Brazil is a bit, erm, uneducated.

Whatever, Brazil was unhappy. And that's before we even mention that the website for the festival crashed when it went live on Tuesday and in the ensuing chaos hackers gained access to the personal information of people who had managed to buy tickets. Farrell, once again failing to ingratiate himself to the Brazilian people, claimed that this was because Brazil isn't very good at running websites either.

However, he's now seen the error of his ways, after looking through the thousands of angry messages posted on Twitter. He told Rolling Stone Brazil: "My wife [showed] me Twitter. I was going crazy. I said: 'My God, Etty, they hate me! They are very angry with me. I messed up?' And she told me that [even the websites of] major US companies, such as Target, [sometimes crash]".

Add to this the announcement that Brazilian musician Labao was pulling out of the festival, due to take place in April, because he hadn't been given the slot on the line-up immediately below headliners Foo Fighters he says he was promised (which Farrell denies), and you've got one shaken up festival boss. "I'm sensitive, man", he said. "[What with] this musician who doesn't like me and all those [other] people [on Twitter] ... this has all taken a few years off my life".

I guess you could say it's been an educational experience. Still, he's over it now: www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3abS3zhO0o

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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.

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