7 DEC 2012

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What does Jack White think of Lady Gaga? It's a question we're all constantly asking ourselves. Sometimes I can barely sleep thinking about it. Often I wake suddenly, screaming: 'Oh my god, what if he doesn't think her music is up to scratch?' Finally, this week I thought my torment was over more>>
As Lovebox After Dark takes over three rooms at Fire in Vauxhall, this night will also herald the launch of 'Sick Music 3', the brand new compilation album from Hospital Records. Hospital-signed High Contrast will be headlining the show, alongside a selection of artists featuring on 'Sick Music 3', SPY, Total Science and Maldini more>>
- Spotify announces major redesign
- MPAA says MegaUpload shutdown a triumph
- Ludacris launches trademark lawsuit over label name
- National Youth Orchestra receives Queen's Medal For Music
- Drum&BassArena Awards presented
- Mumford & Sons working on new material
- Paramore share album details
- Rhye announce debut album
- Will Dutta and Kode 9 performing at BFI Southbank tonight
- Paloma Faith announces June tour dates
- JLS announce new partnership with Cancer Research UK
- Warner/Chappell chief now also leading Warner Bros label
- Drake forms alliance with Warner for OVO
- AEG reveals tree stage plans for Hyde Park
- PRS director becomes Deputy MD for Sony/ATV UK
- No beef between Eminem's daughter and Taylor Swift
Kilimanjaro Live Ltd are concert and festival promoters and organisers based in London, working on around 400 shows per year. We are seeking a talented designer to join our small but effective marketing team to create the artwork which is used in print advertising and general marketing for our live shows, including adverts such as those seen in at the back of Kerrang or the NME. This artwork regularly needs to be created in very short timescales and with a minimum of supplied material.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Domino is looking for a new radio plugger to join its in house promo team. The successful applicant will work within Domino’s current radio structure and will have an extensive knowledge of UK radio. He or she will need established relationships at radio and a proven track record of working successful releases.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
An experienced promoter/booker is required to work in our events team. Based in Manchester the position will include overseeing the booking of events for all four Manchester Academy venues, as well as into the company’s other venues around the UK. The ideal candidate will already have a well established network of industry contacts and must be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of negotiating and delivering shows at all levels.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Eventim UK, part of CTS Eventim AG, the leading ticketing company in Europe, is looking for a Client Account Manager to join its London team. You would be the first point of contact for clients, using in-depth knowledge of Eventim’s ticketing technology to provide business analysis and support for promoters, accurately building events using the Eventim ticketing system and providing ongoing management of events throughout their lifecycle.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Fast growing Music PR agency is looking for a sharp Online PR account executive who loves the web and takes pride in doing a superstar job. You will require solid music online experience, with a proven track record of working high profile releases. You must also have exceptional writing ability. Superb training and support provided.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

The five biggest stories in the music business this week...

01: HMV sold the MAMA Group. The live music and artist services company, bought by the flagging entertainment retailer in 2010, was acquired by a new entity backed by Lloyds Development Capital and led by existing MAMA CEO Dean James. HMV indicated its plan to sell its live division just under a year ago, and sold off MAMA's biggest venue, Hammersmith Apollo, to AEG and Eventim back in May. The rest of the MAMA Group, with the exception of its interests in the GAY and Heaven ventures, were sold to Dean's new company. He now plans a new period of expansion funded by Lloyds, with particular ambitions to branch out overseas. CMU report | FT report

02: The rights industries pre-empted the IPO's fair use report, by launching an initiative called Licensing UK. Many of the music business's trade bodies joined with reps from other content industries to submit a proposal to the Intellectual Property Office and Business Minister Vince Cable saying that, rather than introducing new exemptions to the copyright system, so that private users can make use of copyright material without licence in certain circumstances, a more efficient licensing system should be developed, so that in said circumstances it's still easier for users to utilise copyright works, but rights owners still get a kick back. The government is considering expanding the number of 'fair dealing' exemptions in British copyright following last year's Hargreaves Review. CMU report | Licensing UK outline

03: Spotify announced a revamp that will go live in the coming weeks. Recommendation and discovery are at the heart of the refinements, enabling users to follow friends and favourite artists, based on which Spotify will provide track recommendations, and regular artist updates. It was also confirmed that Metallica, who this week announced they were taking full control of their master recordings catalogue, would now make their music available via the streaming platform; cue a love in between one time foes Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich and Napster co-founder/Spotify advisor Sean Parker. Spotify report | Metallica label report

04: Concord Music Group was put up for sale. Management at the US independent, best known for its jazz label, short lived partnership with Starbucks, and management of the Paul McCartney solo catalogue, are looking for a well-funded buyer in a bid to enable growth through acquisition. Current owner Village Roadshow doesn't really have the cash to be funding a catalogue buying spree. Many noted that combining Concord in the US with the UK EMI labels that Universal is selling would make a mighty fine music rights business, leading to speculation that 'Idol' founder Simon Fuller - bidding for EMI's Parlophone - may also go after Concord, speculation that horrified jazz fans everywhere. But Billboard pointed out that Concord management want private equity owners who will let them get on with running the company. Though if Concord can find a new equity owner soon enough, it might then bid against Fuller et al for the Parolophone business. CMU report | Billboard report

05: iTunes launched in 56 more countries, but iStream still seemed a long way off. The Apple music store added 56 new territories in one day, meaning the download platform is now selling tracks in 119 markets overall. This week's flurry of launches included the arrival of iTunes in Russia, despite recent speculation that licensing issues might delay a launch of the Apple store there. Though given a technical error (filler URLs of in the platform's database) resulted in loads of pornographic images appearing in the movie section of the store, I'm not sure the iTunes Russia launch will go down as Apple's greatest moment. Still, not as bad as Maps. Meanwhile talk of an imminent launch of an Apple streaming music service cooled this week after a C-Net report confirmed that the majors have not been impressed with Apple's deal proposals to date on that front. iTunes launches report | No iStream report

In CMU land this week, we confirmed that the CMU Insights team will be programming The Great Escape convention again in 2013, Business Editor Chris Cooke provided ten top tips for new bands, Husky Rescue did us a marvellous playlist, and a brand new CMU Podcast went live. Approved of, were Russell Dean Stone, Elliphant, Red Pine and Ducktails.

Also, CMU Editor Andy Malt appear on Radio 1 documentary 'Disasterpieces', about follow-up albums which didn't live up to expectations, which you can listen to on the iPlayer until Monday evening.

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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek yesterday announced a major redesign of Spotify's software at a press conference in New York, though not before the customary stats brag that is compulsory at tech company media events these days.

Spotify now has five million paying subscribers worldwide, one million of those in the US. And the digital firm has, Ek said, paid out $500 million to rightsholders since its launch in 2008, half of that in the last nine months alone. So take that "Spotify is underpaying the artist" moaners. Wonder how much of the half billion was pocketed by the major labels, aka Spotify shareholders, as part of their lovely advances?

Anyway, to the redesign. Ek confirmed that Spotify would be rolling out a number of new features in the coming months, most providing functionality that many users have been requesting for some time, and which newer entrants to the music-on-demand market arguably do better, in particular better navigation and discovery tools.

"Users tell us they don't know what to listen to, and artists tell us they want to connect more closely with fans", said Ek. "So we're creating a new and personalised way of finding great music".

Core to all this will be the ability to 'follow' other users and artists Twitter-style (and somewhat akin to two now defunct digital music services, mflow and Boinc), which will then allow Spotify to make recommendations based on the listening habits of your chosen other users and updates made by your chosen artists. A new 'Discover' tab, meanwhile, will draw on a number of sources to deliver music that will, Spotify reckons, be of interest to you, and a new 'Collection' function adds a much needed library feature where users can save their favourite music, rather than constantly being faced with 20 million tracks to choose from or an unwieldy list of saved playlists.

More from Daniel Ek: "Our music influences are as individual as we are. Maybe you discover new songs or artists by reading reviews, listening to the radio, or sharing with friends. Maybe you go to a lot of concerts, love making cool playlists, or want to know what the people you care about are getting in to. Spotify now brings all of this together".

Aside from all the discovery stuff, there'll be other bits and pieces introduced too with the refreshed Spotify interface, including the integration of information and content from sources like Pitchfork, Songkick and Tunigo.

Time was also found at Spotify's pre-Christmas bash to announce that Metallica's catalogue, previously unavailable on the streaming platform, is now there and ready to play. It's not quite The Beatles on iTunes, but it was an interesting development, given the metal band have only this month taken back control of their master recordings, and more importantly it provided a great opportunity to put Metallica drummer and once prolific file-sharing moaner Lars Ulrich on stage with his former Napster nemesis, and now Spotify advisor, Sean Parker. So that was fun.

Indeed, it seems that Ulrich and Parker are now best mates. Wrote Parker on Twitter this morning: "Lars just left my house in NYC. The litigation between us in 2000 is now a distant memory. Looking back it's hard to imagine how we were anything other than natural allies". Look out for those two following each other on the all new Spotify the minute it goes live.

To coincide with the launch, Daniel Ek also gave an interview to The Guardian, in which he discussed the aforementioned criticism of Spotify's royalty payments. He noted: "We feel it's natural that this kind of debate goes on early in a platform's life-cycle. We tend to focus on the controversy, but I could be telling you about all the artists who are [now] on our platform, like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bob Dylan... a ton of artists that weren't originally on it".

He added that it wasn't in his interests to make life difficult for musicians, saying: "If you look at Adele, the reason she did so well was she created great music. It wasn't about a clever marketing trick. My ambition is we want artists to be able to afford to create the music they want to create, and if it takes them five years to sit down and make the album they want to make, they should be able to afford that. That's my goal".

Now, here's a video to watch introducing all the new stuff.

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In a confidential filing with the Office Of The US Trade Representative, the Motion Picture Association Of America has hailed the closure at the start of the year of the controversial file-transfer and video sharing platform MegaUpload.

The Hollywood trade body reckons that the shutdown had a major impact on the illegal distribution of unlicensed content on the net, both by stopping the specific distribution enabled by the Mega operation, but also by hindering other file-sharing and linking platforms that piggy backed on MegaUpload, and persuading other set-ups to stop or alter their services.

But there is much more to be done, the MPAA predictably adds, and the momentum of MegaUpload should be capitalised upon to take the likes of Extratorrent, isoHunt, and the big bad Pirate Bay offline too.

Says the MPAA's Michael O'Leary in the report, which was actually submitted in September but has only now been leaked via Torrentfreak: "This year's seizures of and by the Department Of Justice illustrate the extent and impact that hosting hubs have on the online landscape. When these two websites were taken down, many linking websites, custom search engines, and custom streaming scripts that relied on the sites for content became inoperable. Some websites were abandoned by their operators, others lost traffic, while still others shifted their business model".

On the latter point, O'Leary expands: "For example,, which was featured in MPAA's filing last year, disabled file-sharing. Affiliate programs that paid uploaders for content were also discontinued or removed by many hubs. Further, infringing content was purged by operators in bulk, which was followed by uploaders who deleted their own files to prevent the hubs from profiting on the uploads without paying incentives. In sum, the impact of these seizures was massive and the hub landscape is still recovering".

Of course the precise legalities of the shutdown of MegaUpload remain a little uncertain until the company and its key execs, most notably founder Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz, face the charges made against them - of money laundering, racketeering and copyright infringement - in a US court. And that is unlikely to happen any time soon, given how often the first proper hearing regards extraditing Dotcom from New Zealand to the States keeps getting postponed.

Dotcom maintains that the US government's case against his company, some of which was informed by the MPAA, is baseless, and ultimately he may be able to sue the American government and the movie industry for destroying his business. Whether there is any truth in that remains to be seen, though certainly there remains the messy matter of the legitimate content that was stored on the Mega platform.

Collateral damage in the big strike against MegaUpload, owners of that legitimate content have been without their data for almost a year, and the seeming unwillingness of US prosecutors and the MPAA to help those innocent bystanders doesn't do the reputation of the big copyright companies much good, and provides ammunition to the Twittering Dotcom in his bid to portray his opponents as sinister figures only concerned about protecting the interests of old school big business.

As previously reported, earlier this year the US record industry also provided a list to the Office Of The US Trade Representative of the online services it considers most notorious in the online piracy domain. Whether the American authorities are in any mood to instigate any other major attacks against the big piracy players while the MegaUpload case is still rumbling through the courts remains to be seen. Though international lobbying of countries thought to facilitate such piracy hubs through lax copyright laws, and the occasional seizing of domain names off prolific infringers, is likely to continue.

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Ludacris has launched a lawsuit against a Texas couple using the phrase "Disturb tha peace" in relation to audio equipment and recordings. He claims that they are infringing the trademark of his Disturbing Tha Peace record label, which he founded in 2000.

In papers filed last month, reports TMZ, the rapper is asking for a judge to rule that Demetri and Donna Evans-Brown should be forced to stop using the phrase, as well as pay him damages and legal costs.

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The National Youth Orchestra has been awarded the Queen's Medal For Music at an event at the Barbican in London, the first time an organisation rather than an individual has been given the prize.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of The Queen's Music said: "I am delighted that the NYO is this year's winner of The Queen's Medal For Music. This award celebrates the overwhelmingly positive influence the NYO has had on the musical world as the standard-bearer for youth orchestras, both at home and abroad".

The NYO's first violinist Robbie Ruisi added: "Being presented with The Queen's Medal For Music and performing live on stage with the London Symphony Orchestra was such a thrill, and an experience that I will never forget".

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The Drum&BassArena Awards were handed out at The Electric in Brixton on Wednesday night, recognising the great and the good of the drum n bass scene.

Drum&BassArena founder, The Risky, told CMU: "It's hugely exciting to see the drum & bass genre continue to evolve and push forward, the scene really is more diverse than ever before, and highly talented producers can now be found in all corners of the globe. The Drum&BassArena Awards play a key role in recognising all of this talent, and not just the established talent but the up and coming talent too".

The winners are as follows

Best DJ: Andy C
Best Producer: Calyx & TeeBee
Best MC: DRS

Best Newcomer DJ: Fred V & Grafix
Best Newcomer Producer: Mefjus
Best Newcomer MC: Linguistics

Best Track: Calyx & TeeBee - Elevate This Sound
Best Album: SPY - What The Future Holds
Best Video: Calyx & TeeBee - Pure Gold

Best Label: Ram Records
Best Club Night: Hospitality
Best Festival: Outlook Festival
Best D&BTV Live: Icicle & Alix Perez

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Mumford & Sons are, I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear, working on new material for the follow-up to their second album, 'Babel', which was released earlier this year.

Banjo player Winston Marshall told the NME: "Will we wait years for the next album? Fuck, no. You heard it here first. We've just started working on new songs, got a rehearsal studio. They're bones of songs, but really exciting bones. Sturdy bones".

Exciting bones.

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Paramore have announced that they will release their fourth album in April next year, almost a year after they began recording it. Entitled 'Paramore', it'll be their first since the departure of guitarist and drummer Josh and Zac Farro in December 2010.

In a blog post, Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams wrote: "With the most pride and passion we could ever possibly express, we would like to announce that this album, our fourth freaking album... will be self-titled, 'Paramore'. It has been self-titled through nearly the entire process. In fact, what usually takes us weeks on end to sum up and put a label on only took us a five minute conversation this time around. The whole making of this album was a rediscovering of ourselves as a band and as friends. It was a process that allowed us the freedom to explore new territory artistically and to liberate ourselves as musicians, singers, as people! Sincerely, we feel that the best way to give it a name is just to call it what it is. This album is us".

The first single will be a track called 'Now', and the album itself will be released in the US on 9 Apr.

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The CMU approved Rhye have announced that they will release their debut album through Universal/Polydor on 4 Mar. They've not announced much else though. Nothing, in fact. So, er, I'm really just filling space now, I guess. There's probably no point me carrying on typing. I mean, I'm just dragging this out completely unnecessarily. I should stop. Unless you want me to carry on. Oh, you don't. OK. Sorry. Really, I'm sorry. Watch the video for Rhye track 'The Fall' instead.

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CMU approved pianist Will Dutta and Hyperdub head honcho Kode 9 will both perform shows at the BFI Southbank in London tonight.

The two musicians will play in the BFI's NFT1 cinema, Will Dutta playing his 'Parergon' album against a backdrop of films by Damian Hale, Xavier Perkins, Quayola and Dan Tombs, while Kode 9 will collaborate with visual artists MFO and performance artist Ms Haptic to present an homage to Chris Marker's 'La Jetée' (best known for being the inspiration for 'Twelve Monkeys').

Tickets are available separately (Will Dutta - Kode 9) or as a joint package, but be quick because there aren't that many left and, as I already said, it's happening tonight.

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Paloma Faith has just announced that she will play three UK shows in June, as she continues to promote her second album, 'Fall To Grace'. She'll also be going on a more extensive tour of the British Isles in January and February, but those shows are all sold out so you shouldn't bother yourself worrying about them.

The June gigs, tickets for which went on sale this morning, are as follows:

4 Jun: Liverpool, Empire
5 Jun: Bournemouth, BIC
7 Jun: London, O2 Arena

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JLS are relaunching their Foundation as part of a new partnership with Cancer Research UK. The pop group's charitable venture, originally launched two years ago, will focus on raising money to fund research specifically into cancers that affect children, teenagers and young adults, with a new fundraising initiative to coincide with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The group will encourage fans to enter a competition, at a pound a time, to win a special day for them and three friends spent with JLS, that will include lunch at Nandos no less, plus the group serenading the winner with a favourite JLS track, and then a trip to see another (unnamed) boyband's show at The O2 Arena, including a spy on the soundcheck and the show itself in a private box with the JLS boys. This is all for charity, remember, so no sarcastic remarks thank you very much. And I think we can all agree, lunch at Nandos for a pound is a good deal.

The competition will take place via, with entrants encouraged to select when entering the three Facebook friends they'd take with them, who will then get an alert via the social network suggesting they enter too.

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More changes at Warner Music in the US, following the departure in September of recorded music chief Lyor Cohen and last month's restructure, which saw the major reposition its American operations around three divisions, frontline labels, label and artist services, and catalogue and publishing.

The latter division was most interesting, as it united Warner's publishing business Warner/Chappell and catalogue label Rhino into one division, led by Warner/Chappell chief Cameron Strang, a real sign that when it came to catalogue, Warner Music recognised the benefit of more closely aligning its sound recording and song publishing operations.

Though perhaps that move was less about more closely integrating the two sides of the Warner business, and more about Strang being very much in favour with the top guard at the major. Because yesterday it was announced that the Warner/Chappell man would now start to oversee one of the company's main frontline label operations too, following the departure of Warner Bros Records CEO Todd Moscowitz.

Moscowitz's top team at the Warner Bros division, Rob Cavallo and Livia Tortella, will now report into Strang, who is in control of an ever expanding chunk of the Warner Music business.

Confirming the development, overall Warner Music Group CEO Stephen Cooper told CMU: "Since joining WMG, Cameron has demonstrated strong leadership, both in the revitalisation of our Warner/Chappell music publishing arm as well as through his service on the WMG board of directors. He has broad knowledge of both the music publishing and recorded music businesses, combined with an entrepreneurial drive and progressive vision for the role of music companies. I'm confident that he will be a significant champion for Warner Bros Records as we continue to invest in A&R and position the label for even greater success".

Strang himself added: "It is a tremendous privilege that Steve has asked me to oversee the operations at Warner Bros Records. The extraordinary artists, the incredible history and the talented employees at the label make the company one of the crown jewels in the music industry and in contemporary culture. Throughout my career, I viewed Warner Bros as an example of what every music company should aspire to be - a creative haven for artists that provides them with unparalleled support in all aspects of their careers. To be able to contribute to the future success of one of the most storied brands in music and to continue Warner Bros' tradition of creative excellence is a truly great honour".

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Elsewhere in Warner Music news, Drake has reportedly formed an alliance with the major for his October's Very Own business. It seems that the OVO operation, which encompasses music, fashion and a festival, will operate as a Warner imprint moving forward.

It's thought that the rapper will remain signed to Lil Wayne's Universal Music imprint Young Money for his own releases.

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AEG Live is planning a very different set up in Hyde Park to that previously run by Live Nation, with an eco-friendly stage made of living trees, which is as crazy as it sounds if the mock-up picture published by the Evening Standard is anything to go by.

Having recently won a five year contract to stage summer concerts in the London park, AEG plans to placate locals, angered in recent years by the noise and disruption the big Hyde Park gigs cause, by only staging six events over two weekends. The live firm will still profit, though, by staging only premium live experiences which command higher ticket prices, hoping to woo more affluent festival-goers with organic food stalls and 'treehouse viewing platforms'.

Says AEG Event Director Jim King to the Standard: "We want everything to be unique and bespoke and don't want you to have seen this anywhere else before. You will still be able to get a burger - but it'll be the most amazing, organic one you can get in London".

AEG's Hyde Park events will take place in late June and early July.

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Sony/ATV/EMI has recruited William Booth to the role of Deputy MD of its UK division, according to Music Week. He was most recently Director Of Licensing at collecting society PRS For Music and will rejoin Guy Moot in his new role. Booth previously reported to Sony/ATV UK boss Moot when they both worked at EMI Music Publishing.

Confirming the appointment, Moot says: "I am excited that William has accepted my invitation to 'come home'. The combination of Sony/ATV and EMI has meant great things for our songwriters and has enabled us to provide them with the best opportunities and service. With William's help, our future is very bright indeed".

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Eminem's daughter Hailie Scott Mathers and Taylor Swift are not at war over Harry Styles. You should really stop spreading that rumour.

It all began when a tweeter claiming to be Mathers posted, "If @taylorswift13 is really dating the love of my life @harry_styles I will not be happy!"

They continued: "Dear @taylorswift13, please stop whoring around with every guy you see. We all know you're only doing it so you can make another album. I am never, ever, everrrrr, listening to your music againnnn @taylorswift13. LIKE EVER".

Taylor Swift fans didn't like that. No, they did not. But a spokesperson for Eminem subsequently told E! Online that the account was fake, so that's OK.

The person behind the account also admitted as much shortly before it was shut down, writing: "Wow, I didn't mean for people to react to my tweet in the way that they have it was just a bit of fun! Sorry @taylorswift13 for my immaturity. I believe I'm entitled to my own opinion, but that got out of control. I don't understand why there are 'news' articles written about it!"

Yeah, so don't you go reading any 'news' articles about all this, right?

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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 or

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