22 FEB 2013

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Music mogul Clive Davis has had an interesting life. Currently Chief Creative Officer at Sony Music, he's headed up the Columbia, RCA and Arista labels, as well as his own company, J Records. He's also been heavily involved in the careers of artists such as Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, and most notably Whitney Houston. He should write a book about it more>>
Presumably still on their final lap, Layo & Bushwacka! pre-empt next month's Winter Music Conference and all the festivities upcoming in Miami with a special night at Egg this weekend that also features electronica guru Ewan Pearson, Wiggle's Terry Francis and master blaster Omri H. Expect to hear some exclusive tracks that are set to rock Miami in the coming weeks more>>

- RIAA calls for Google to do more to demote illegal sites in search
- Lady Gaga undergoes hip surgery
- Howard gets biggest post-BRITs uplift
- Slayer sack drummer Lombardo
- Beyonce signs with Warner/Chappell
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs to unleash sacrilege via new single
- Is Tropical provide new LP details
- Chance of David Bowie tour 50/50, says guitarist
- Die Antwoord playing June shows
- Boysetsfire set live dates
- Festival line-up update
- More appointments at Universal's newly acquired EMI units
- Labels having Brixton vinyl fair
- Danish ticketing platform marks UK launch with Dalston party
- Tumblr steps up music activity
- Competition Commission won't rule on Global's Smooth Real deal until May
- Tulisa faces Axe-factor, says Sun
Colluded Talent is the artist agency division of Defected Records and represents a broad roster of leading house music and electronic music DJ/producers and performers and Defected In The House branded events. We are looking for an experienced Booking Agent to join our team.

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Eight week evening course with music journalist Lulu Le Vay (Guardian, Independent, Observer, i-D, Sleaze Nation, The Face, DJ magazine). Learn how to source hot music stories, network with industry insiders, interview artists, write reviews and features, and deliver copy under pressure. You will also get to pitch your interview and feature ideas to editors at our partner publications: Clash Magazine, Dummy, Resident Advisor and DJ Mag. Guest tutor: Matt Bennett, Deputy Editor, Clash Magazine. 

For more information including a full course description and how to book click here.
Interested in gaining marketing and promotional experience? Then a three month internship with one of the country’s leading music festivals maybe just what you are looking for. Experience what it is like in our busy, friendly office, and how to market a music festival.

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Mute is hiring. Do you have experience of working in a digital environment and have a good understanding of music marketing? Do you have a passion for music and love the idea of working within a creative and independent environment? We have a vacancy for a Junior Digital Product Manager to work within the marketing and promotions team on our wide-ranging roster.

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Anorak London is looking for an exceptional, talented digital PR person to join their multi-award winning team. The successful applicant will have at least two years experience as a digital PR with known acts. They will have excellent media contacts across the board, solid working relationships within the music industry and an excellent knowledge of the digital music marketplace. A strong passion for music is integral, as is someone who works well in a team and is full of ideas.

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A rare opportunity to join the UK’s leading music and entertainment PR Agency, LD Communications. LD Digital, a division of LD Communications is expanding. We are seeking a talented and creative digital PR Account Executive with at least two years experience to join the team. If your network of digital media contacts is unrivalled and the latest social trend is another great opportunity to gain visibility, then we would like to hear from you.

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Eleven Seven Music Group seeks a full-time London-based Label Manager to create and implement marketing plans for new releases and set strategy for the multiple phases of the life cycle of every release. Responsible for the day-to-day UK label operations of Eleven Seven Music and Five Seven Music and reporting to the group’s VP International.

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MAMA & Company are looking for a dynamic, experienced General Business Manager with a proven track record of business development within a live music operation. This is a fantastic opportunity to work and grow with an exciting company at one of London’s most established venues, incorporating food, drink and live music.

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Involved Management represents a range of electronic music artists including Above & Beyond, Mat Zo and Dusky, and is affiliated with Anjunabeats, one of the UK’s leading independent dance labels. We are recruiting a new team member within our artist management division, reporting to the MD. The successful candidate will be a dynamic, self-motivated individual with excellent organisational and communication skills, good attention to detail, and prior experience of promoting and marketing live events within the music industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The role is very broad, meaning that flexibility and adaptability is key; you're expected to have working knowledge of PHP and HTML and a keen understanding of how social networks can be utilised for the purposes of digital music culture. Above all a love of music and a willingness to learn is paramount. Ideally you have some experience of working in a digital, label or management role already. The role is split roughly 60% digital marketing & social and 40% publicity.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
This is a broad role covering all elements of online marketing, content management of our website, CRM population, e-shot delivery and online advertising management. It requires a person with strong organisational skills coupled with technical know-how, an eye for detail, an interest in the subject and a willingness to bring an editorial twist.

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

01: IMPALA and Merlin announced a deal with Warner regarding PLG. The pan-European indie labels trade body and indie label digital rights agency announced an agreement with Warner Music which will see the major allow independents to "buy, license or distribute" some of the former EMI assets it is in the process of acquiring from Universal. Warner was confirmed earlier this month as the buyer of the Parlophone Label Group, which includes most of the European EMI assets Universal was forced to sell by regulators when it acquired the wider EMI recorded music business last year. Warner's PLG deal will have to approved by European regulators too though, but as part of this week's agreement the indie label community has pledged to not oppose that acquisition. Quite how the Warner/indies arrangement - which could as yet prove controversial - will actually work is not yet clear, but IMPALA and Merlin said it would "bring more scale into the independent sector". CMU report | FT report

02: HMV announced more store closures. 37 more branches of the flagging retailer will shut in the next month or so, in addition to the 66 UK stores and sixteen Irish outlets already closed or set for closure. The boss of the Entertainment Retailers Association, Kim Bayley, had already predicted more closures, but told the BBC "everyone in the industry hopes that they come through the other side, and that with a slimmer and leaner organisation HMV can still make a high street presence work". CMU report | Sky News report

03: The Met called for more efforts to crack down on ticket crime. The London police force published a report on ticket fraud on the back of its efforts to combat the dodgy distribution of tickets to last year's Olympics. The report said that the live industry should work with search engine operators to ensure legit ticket sellers score higher than fraudsters in web searches, and encouraged consumers to report any incidents of ticket fraud so the authorities could better ascertain the extent of the problem, which could be costing punters and the live sector up to £40 million a year. CMU report | Radio 1 report

04: The RIAA said Google should do more to stop illegal sites appearing in search results. The US record industry trade body said it had assessed the impact of a change in the Google search algorithm made last year, which was meant to downgrade unlicensed sources of music in Google search results, but had found the tweak had had little effect, and illegal music still appeared too high in Google search lists. The trade body wants the web giant to do more in this domain. Google, though, according to reports, is currently focusing on stopping pirates from using its ad networks. CMU report | C-Net report

05: The Pirate Bay squabbled with Finnish anti-piracy group CIAPC. The controversial file-sharing website cried foul last week when CIAPC launched an anti-piracy website that spoofed its site, accusing the pro-copyright body of infringing the Bay's copyrights by lifting a bunch of code off the actual Pirate Bay to create the parody. The Bay threatened to sue, but CIAPC said it would welcome any legal challenge, because it would force TPB's anonymous operators to reveal themselves. So far Team Bay are yet to actually sue, though reports suggest they have reported CIAPC to the police for copyright violation. Remains to be seen if police get involved in what would usually be handled by a civil action. CMU report | Register report

Here at CMU, the Insights team launched six brand new half-day training courses and announced new dates of the popular Music Business In 2013 programme, while we chatted to Marnie Stern, got ourselves a grand playlist from Comanechi, and grabbed some tips for aspiring popstars off A&R and promoter Jessica Pinkett. Approved this week were Philco Fiction, White Fence, Retro Stefson and Keep Shelly In Athens.

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"Must try harder" remains the music industry's mantra with regards Google's efforts to assist in the fight against online piracy, with key trade bodies still of the opinion the web giant is better at talking about anti-piracy efforts that actually delivering.

The latest trade body to speak on the matter is the good old Recording Industry Association Of America, which has just published a report analysing the impact of an announcement last summer by Google that it would downgrade sites in its search results if it received large numbers of valid copyright infringement claims against them. The impact of that move, the RIAA says, is negligible.

Last August Google's Senior VP of Engineering Amit Singhal announced that: "Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily - whether it's a song previewed on NPR's music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify".

But that commitment - and algorithm tweak - has had no real effect, says the RIAA. In its new report the trade body observes: "Over a six month period, Google received notices for tens of millions of copyright removal requests concerning various sites, including multiple repeat notices of infringement of the same content on the same site. [But] the sites we analysed, all of which were serial infringers per Google's Copyright Transparency Report, were not demoted in any significant way in the search results and still managed to appear on page one of the search results over 98% of the time in the searches conducted; in fact, these sites consistently showed up in three to five of the top ten search results".

The music industry has a love/hate relationship with Google of course. While the Google Play download store and cloud locker is a relatively small player in the digital music market, YouTube is now an important revenue stream for most rights owners, especially the bigger labels, and is currently a key partner in Sony and Universal's own digital content business VEVO. And on the YouTube side, Google has arguably gone further than any other company in helping rights owners control the distribution and use of their content online.

Google also insists it is trying to crack down on the use of its ad networks and payment services by websites that primarily exist to enable piracy, joining in with a wider campaign by the likes of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry and the big credit card firms to cut off the revenue streams of compulsive copyright infringers. In a report co-authored with PRS For Music last year Google positioned this as the most important element of the fight against piracy, and earlier this week the Telegraph reported plans at the web giant to step up its activity in this domain.

But for the record industry the biggest issue remains the one Google has generally been least willing to act on - the fact that when you search for big artists on the firm's search engine (especially if you follow the artist's name with the word 'download' or 'free'), unlicensed sources of content appear high up in the results list, sometimes higher than any of the legit sources. The web firm has made various commitments to tackle this issue in recent years, though at the same time more quietly muses that part of the problem is that the pirates are often just better at search engine optimisation than the labels and legal music platforms. But either way, it remains at the top of the record industry's piracy gripe list.

Commenting on his organisation's analysis of the impact of last year's Google algorithm change, the RIAA's EVP Steven M Marks told CMU: "We recognise and appreciate that Google has undertaken some positive steps to address links to illegal music on its network. Unfortunately, our initial analysis concludes that so far Google's pledge six months ago to demote pirate sites remains unfulfilled. Searches for popular music continue to yield results that emphasise illegal sites at the expense of legitimate services, which are often relegated to later pages. And Google's auto-complete function continues to lead users to many of those same illicit sites".

He continued: "The range and number of licensed services embraced by the music business and available to fans today is staggering. We want fans to easily and quickly find the services that are safe, secure and reward the artists that create the music we all love. Research shows that users trust search engines like Google to lead them to legitimate sites when searching for music, yet Google's demotion programme is not working. We encourage Google to immediately make the necessary changes so its pledge becomes a reality, and we stand ready to work with Google in that endeavour".

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Lady Gaga has undergone surgery after suffering a labral tear of the right hip following a bout of severe inflammation to the joint. As previously reported, the injury caused her to cancel her US tour earlier this month.

Writing about the medical procedure in a message posted on her Little Monsters social network, the singer said: "Everything happened so fast, but when it came time to face it I reflected on the many stories and experiences you've shared with me about your lives ... So I thought to myself, I'm alive, I'm living my dream, and this is just a bump in the road".

She added: "I'm grateful because this is temporary, and for some it is not. You have changed my life. I love you and am proud to be a part of your lives. If you can do it, I can do it too, and if we stick together we can get through anything".

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Winners and performers from Wednesday night's BRIT Awards have seen "massive sales uplifts" according to the Official Charts Company, with Ben Howard, Mumford & Sons, Emeli Sandé, Muse and Frank Ocean amongst the biggest beneficiaries of post-BRIT watching iTunes purchasing.

Based on just two hours of sales after the BRITs show aired, Ben Howard, perhaps the surprise double gong winner to many more casual music consumers watching at home, has seen sales of his album 'Every Kingdom' surge by 320%, while sales of the track he performed at the awards, 'Only Love', spiked 1156%.

Of course percentage uplifts in these scenarios sometimes tell you more about how little an artist was selling before a big event than anything else, but pop labels will seemingly be pleased with the sales results of this year's BRITs bash, which scored TV ratings of over 6.5 million, its biggest audience in a decade.

The awards also generated plenty of column inches and social media chatter, even if half the media coverage was the customary "what a bland show / what a sorry batch of winners / who buys this shit?" kind, while a big slice of social activity was centred on One Direction fans arguing with the Mumford faithful. Good times.

Coming up the Official Charts Company's list of the albums that have seen the biggest post-BRITS uplift, but first some words from charts chief Martin Talbot: "As well as picking up two awards, Ben Howard and Emeli Sandé were the clear winners from the BRITs sales impact overnight. The fact that Howard's album quadrupled its sales is remarkable given that that only two hours' worth of post-awards sales count towards today's numbers - but it was also a great night for sales for Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons, Muse and Taylor Swift".

BRIT sales winners (with sales uplift in brackets):

1. Ben Howard - Every Kingdom (320%)
2. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange (136%)
3. Mumford & Sons - Babel (110%)
4. Muse - The Second Law (103%)
5. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More (95%)
6. Taylor Swift - Red (92%)
7. Justin Timberlake - Justified (76%)
8. Robbie Williams - Take The Crown (66%)
9. Emeli Sandé - Our Version Of Events (62%)
10. Lana Del Rey - Born To Die (52%)

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Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo has announced that he has been fired from the band, or at least he will be replaced for their upcoming Australian tour due to a disagreement about the thrash metallers' financial matters.

In a statement published on Facebook, Lombardo said: "Last year, I discovered 90% of Slayer's tour income was being deducted as expenses including the professional fees paid to management, costing the band millions of dollars and leaving 10% or less to split amongst the four of us. In my opinion, this is not the way a band's business should operate. I tried rectifying it by letting my bandmates know, and Tom [Araya, frontman] and I hired auditors to figure out what happened, but I was denied access to detailed information and the necessary back up documents".

He continues that he recently discovered that he had not been paid for any of the band's 2012 touring activity, and was told he would not see any payment until he signed a contract that he did not feel was clear enough about what percentage of his touring and record income would be taken by the band's management. In addition to this, he alleges, the new contract prohibited him from making statements or conducting interviews on behalf of the band.

This all came to a head last week he said, explaining: "Last Monday, I sat down with Kerry [King, guitarist] and Tom to rehearse for Australia and to propose a new business model that I felt was the best way forward for Slayer to confidently protect itself so we could do what we do best... play for the fans. Kerry made it clear he wasn't interested in making changes and said if I wanted to argue the point, he would find another drummer. On Thursday, I arrived at rehearsals at 1pm as scheduled, but Kerry did not show. Rather, at 6.24pm I received an email from the lawyers saying I was being replaced for the Australian dates".

He added that he is "hopeful that we can resolve our issues". Read the full statement here.

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Mrs Carter has followed Mr to Warner/Chappell for publishing services. Beyonce will shift her music publishing allegiances to the Warner Music company with immediate effect

The move follows the announcement earlier this week that Beyonce's husband Jay-Z was also moving the administration of both his publishing rights and those of his Roc Nation business over to Warner/Chappell, basically so he could continue to work with long-time associate Jon Platt, the former EMI Music Publishing exec who switched over the Warner publisher last year.

Confirming her new deal, Beyonce told CMU: "It's an honour to join Warner/Chappell Music and to continue working with my friend Jon Platt. I trust his vision and admire his professionalism and I look forward to our partnership".

Platt added: "I've had the pleasure of working with Beyonce for many years now and I am always inspired by her drive, her creative vision and the breadth of her talent as a songwriter, performer and artist. Not only has she become a global phenomenon, she has helped re-define what it means to be an entertainment icon. Everyone at Warner/Chappell is honoured to have the opportunity to serve this groundbreaking superstar, as she continues to evolve, growing her incredible catalogue of songs and producing some truly extraordinary new music".

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs will air a new single titled 'Sacrilege', aka the first we'll hear of the band's new LP 'Mosquito', on Monday.

You'll have to make a date with Zane Lowe to listen to it, as he'll be giving the track its first ever play via his Radio 1 show at 7.30pm.

In the meantime, pass a minute or so gazing at this weird 'Sacrilege' 'art'.

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Dance-pop types Is Tropical are giving away free details of their new LP 'I'm Leaving' to anyone who wants them. If you do, then here, have a release date - 20 May, via Kitsune/Cooperative Music - and a 'teaser' in the shape of new track 'Yellow Teeth'.

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David Bowie guitarist Gerry Leonard has said that he thinks the chances of David Bowie touring in support of his new album, 'The Next Day', are currently "50/50". Which isn't really very useful, but never mind. Bowie hasn't toured since 2004, and hasn't played live since 2007.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Slick said: "I would say that it's 50/50. A couple of times, when we played back one of the more kick-ass tunes from the new record, he'd be like, 'This would be great live!' Of course, everyone was like, 'What? Did he just say that?' But other times he'd just roll his eyes if someone brought up playing live. If he gets the bug in him to do it, it'll happen. His voice is sounding great and he's looking great, too. He could totally do it. You never know with David, though. I feel he might want to make another record before he plays shows. He's being really prolific right now".

Speaking about working on the new album, Leonard explained that he was first contacted about it in late 2010. Shortly afterward he found himself in the studio. He explained: "It was myself, [producer] Tony Visconti, [drummer] Sterling Campbell and David. We went into this tiny, tiny little rehearsal room downstairs in the East Village ... It was really exciting, but it was totally under wraps. We just went there, put our heads down and worked on the new music. I was really thankful he was writing again, and he was in great form. He was really excited as we brought all these songs to life".

They then had another studio session in May 2011 and he and Bowie worked on further demos in September the same year. He then did nothing until March 2012. Asked if he had been worried the project would end up being shelved, Leonard said: "Absolutely. All the time. When I went back in 2012 they played me some partially mixed stuff. I'm always the one who fears the worst, but at that point I realised it was actually going to happen. Before that I was thinking, 'Maybe he's going to scrap it, or maybe he's going down to Zimbabwe and make a record with people down there'".

Read the full interview here.

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Afrikaans-speaking posse Die Antwoord are to push their brash 'zef rap' into fans' faces by playing shows at Manchester's The Ritz (21 Jun) and London's Brixton Academy (22 Jun). If you'd like one of those faces to be your face, tickets are on sale today.

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Boysetsfire will encourage fans to buy their tba new LP (info on that is to be released "soon") by playing it live in June.

They'll headline four British dates, each of which will feature auxiliary live sets by Bane and Apologies I Have None.

And the dates are:

30 Jun: London, Islington Academy
1 Jul: Manchester, Moho
2 Jul: Bristol, The Fleece
3 Jul: Plymouth, White Rabbit

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So, first to Glastonbury and to its Dance Village area, as has been made-over and renamed 'Silver Hayes'. It's divided into a dance-themed 'supertent', Sonic, which this year will give shelter to the likes of Nas, AlunaGeorge and Disclosure; a Wow Stage for breaking artists; and the Gully - an installation featuring an open-air stage and, says this official Glasto note, a "pulsating street of sound systems and stalls", DJs, MCs and live acts.

Co-programmer Emily Eavis explains it all: "I've always thought that the closest parallel with Glastonbury is Notting Hill Carnival, and the buzz around this rebirth is exactly what we were looking for, both musically and visually. There's going to be a lot of incredible music from all around the world".

Whilst I'm on Glastonbury, Alt-J have inadvertently said (at The BRITs, to James Corden) that they're playing the festival this year. They weren't meant to because they didn't have Michael Eavis' say-so, the alt-fools.

Also letting secrets out of the bag, though with official sanction, is Manchester's Parklife Weekender festival, organisers of which have revealed its secret location, having outgrown Platt's Field where it took place last year. Hmm, a music event in a big park in Manchester, where could it be? That's right, it's going to be in Heaton Park, right where those big Stone Roses shows took place last summer.

Says the festival's Sam Kandel: "We are very lucky that no other large scale events have been planned for the site this year, so that Parklife Weekender is able to work with Manchester City Council for what is our biggest and best festival yet. The Parklife team are very proud to see this year's festival at Heaton Park - it definitely feels like 2013 is going to be a key moment in Parklife Weekender's history".

As well as that, the festival has added The Temper Trap and a few other acts to its line-up, just to make absolutely sure it gets into the FLUU column. It's OK guys, we would have put you in anyway.

Moving on, lots of artists have been added one-by-one to the Mumford, Rihanna and Killers-headlined T In The Park festival of late, and today's watery T trickle features Beady Eye and Daughter. We'll await T's non-revelatory next epistle with baited breath.

And hey, another thing worth waiting for is the addition of Solange, Local Natives, Savages and John Talabot to Yorkshire torch-fest Beacons. So that's new, as is the first cast-life to be released by Evolution Festival, one that's presided over by Paloma Faith and The Vaccines, and co-stars AlunaGeorge, Ellie Goulding, Modestep and Jake Bugg.

Talking of stars, today's stellar FLUU constellation looks like this:

BEACONS, Funkirk Estate, Carleton, North Yorkshire, 16-18 Aug: Local Natives, Solange, John Talabot, Savages, Fucked Up, Lunar C, Gabriel Bruce, Paradise, East India Youth, Dauwd, Fatima, Iration Steppas, Ofei, Prince Fatty.

EVOLUTION FESTIVAL, Spiller's Wharf, Tyne & Wear, 26-27 May: Paloma Faith, The Vaccines, Jake Bugg, Ellie Goulding, AlunaGeorge, Rudimental, Bastille, The Strypes, Modestep, Sub Focus, Lulu James, Arlissa, The Lake Poets, Lethal Bizzle, Mistajam, Zinc, Loadstar, Delta Heavy, Dismantle, Decibel, Drenge, Bondax, Gorgon City, P Money, Chroma, DJ Gentleman Jonny, Eliza And The Bear, Rossi Noise.

GLASTONBURY, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 26-30 Jun: Alt-J, Nas, Disclosure, Hot Natured, David Rodigan, Sub Focus, AlunaGeorge, Eats Everything, Rudimental, The Congos.

GREENFIELD, Interlaken, Switzerland, 13-15 Jun: The Prodigy, Ska-P, Coheed & Cambria, Gallows, Karnivool, Bleed From Within, Adept, Itchy Poopzkid, Bury Tomorrow, The Ghost Inside, Deaf Havana, Slag In Cullet, The Strapones.

HENLEY FESTIVAL, Henley On Thames, 4-8 Jul: Beach Boys, Madness, Paloma Faith, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

LYTHAM PROMS, Lytham Green, Lancashire, 2-4 Aug: Rita Ora, Conor Maynard, Stooshe.

NASS FESTIVAL, Royal Bath & West Showground, Somerset, 11-14 Jul: DJ Marky, Benga, Jakwob, Matrix & Futurebound, P Money, Hazard, Ed Rush, Mampi Swift, Metrik, Crissy Criss, Cookie Monsta & Funtcase, Roska, Koven, Taiki & Nulight.

PARKLIFE WEEKENDER, Heaton Park, Manchester, 8-9 Jun: The Temper Trap, Baauer, Boddika, Breakbot, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.

SOUTH WEST FOUR, Clapham Common, London, 24-25 Aug: Carl Cox.

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Kinross-shire, Scotland, 12-14 Jul: Beady Eye, Laurent Garnier, Daughter, Tribes.

WOOD FESTIVAL, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire, 17-19 May: Mary Epworth, Danny And The Champions Of The World, Syd Arthur, Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou, Dreaming Spires, Washington Irving, Jali Fily Cissokho, Flights of Helios, Ligers, Julie Hawk, Nick Cope, Jack Day, Marcus Corbett.

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Universal Music this week announced that John O'Donnell would become MD of its EMI division in Australia. O'Connell previously headed up EMI Australia from 2002 to 2008, and returns to the major following the departure of his successor Mark Poston, who announced last month that he was to depart EMI following its acquisition by the Universal Music Group.

In his new job O'Donnell will oversee most of the old EMI assets within a division of Universal, which includes the EMI, Capitol and Virgin labels in Australia, reporting into George Ash, President of Universal Music Australasia.

Confirming the appointment, Max Hole, CEO of Universal Music Group International, told reporters: "Everyone who has ever worked with John knows that he is synonymous with great artists and great music. Developing and investing further in our Australian artists is a key international goal for us. I'm thrilled that John has agreed to return to EMI to play such a crucial role".

Elsewhere in post-EMI acquisition rejigs at Universal, this time in the US, and Mike Harris, previously CFO for the Blue Note imprint and a key player at EMI Label Services, has been appointed as Exec VP and GM of Caroline, EMI's indie label distribution business in America, which is now part of Universal's US-based Capitol Music Group, the new division that includes most of EMI's former American operations.

He will work alongside newly appointed Caroline President Dominic Pandiscia who said: "Mike's leadership of EMI's Label Services unit since 2010, and his knowledge of the independent sector of the music business makes him all the more valuable as we design and execute our plans for Caroline's growth".

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A clutch of independent labels - not least Fortuna POP!, Dirty Water Records, Odd Box, Fika, Where It's At Is Where You Are, The Great Pop Supplement, Lojinx, How Does It Feel To Be Loved?, Cherry Red and Enraptured - will be vending various wares at the first ever Brixton Record Fair.

The event will also feature a fanzine table, DJ sets played at a "reasonable volume", and 'vintage' vinyl c/o individual sellers. It starts at the Canterbury Arms at 12 noon this Saturday, 23 Feb. So, tomorrow.

RSVP and find details via this link.

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Danish ticketing platform Billetto will officially launch in the UK this weekend with a party at The Paradise Inn in Dalston, East London.

Claiming over 10% of Denmark's online ticket market, Billetto provides a range of flexible ticketing, data and promotion services to event promoters, as well as the facility to sell merch before and after an event. Social media integration also lets ticket buyers see who else is attending a gig.

The company plugs itself thus: "Billetto is designed to make event creation and ticket sales easier and more effective than ever. This means that not only can event organisers direct people to their event pages to purchase tickets, but people who might not otherwise have heard of the event will have the opportunity to find their event and purchase tickets too. Event organisers can even accept donations".

More about the service here, and about the launch party here.

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Tumblr, one of the social media platforms that has seen considerable growth in the last eighteen months, especially amongst young pop and urban music audiences, is stepping up its music activity.

According to a blog post yesterday, it will launch a new #music tag page for users to follow which will highlight music-related content, including tracks, videos, artwork and photos, being prolifically shared by Tumblr users, with a team of about twenty editors filtering what should be highlighted, so that it has a discovery element rather than just being a 'most shared' chart.

The service has also launched a new music-specific blog (on which the aforementioned post appeared) that will report on "everything that is going on with music on Tumblr - product announcements, new bands and blogs to follow, tips for artists and music bloggers, and shout outs to unique posts we find on Tumblr".

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The Competition Commission is now not likely to rule on Global Radio's takeover of the former GMG Radio company until 22 May, nearly two months later than previously planned.

As previously reported, the Commission recently set out various concerns about Global's acquisition of the Smooth and Real Radio networks, previously owned by The Guardian's radio company. A prelim report said the takeover posed competition concerns in the local advertising markets in various regions.

The Commission now says its investigation into Global's latest expansion is "complex" and that it needs "sufficient time" to consider all the issues.

The delay will be a blow for Global which wanted as speedy a competition investigation as possible, and which is having to run Smooth and Real as a standalone entity while awaiting regulator approval. Though the longer timeframe possibly shows that the Commission believes there is a deal to be done to counter competition concerns, even if it will take a few months to negotiate.

In the meantime staff at the interim Smooth/Real company face more months of uncertainty, amidst speculation that Global may downsize the two networks, or merge them with its existing networks, if and when the merger is approved.

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Tulisa is to be axed from the next series of 'X-Factor' on the order of X chief Simon Cowell, but she doesn't know it yet. Well, she probably does now, given the revelation is splashed on the front page of today's Sun. Though whether this latest X-judging-panel-reshuffle gossip is any more reliable than with previous bouts of X-judging-panel-reshuffle gossip we know not.

Although still one of the biggest shows on TV, recent series of 'X-Factor' have, of course, seen ratings slip a bit, and as is customary when talent shows see ratings slip a bit, the judging panel is seemingly being blamed by show bosses. ITV chiefs, the Sun says, want to axe both one-time N-Dubber Tulisa Contostavlos and 'X-Factor' stalwart Louis Walsh.

Contostavlos is to go, the tab claims, because her performance on the last series of the show was somewhat lacklustre, she seemingly have lost the feistiness that worked on her first stint on the 'X' panel. The disappointing performance of the singer's own debut album last year is also being cited, with one of those trusty sources saying: "Quite apart from her performance on last year's show, you can't have a singer whose album only reached number 35 in the charts sitting in judgment on other singers".

Walsh is possibly on ITV's axe list out of simple boredom, he having been part of the show since its launch in 2004. Though according to The Sun, while Cowell has accepted Tulisa must go, he's fighting to keep Walsh in the mix, possibly remembering that a previous attempt to push the long-term X judge off the show backfired. Or possibly because it's good to have at least one person with some behind-the-scenes artist management knowledge on the panel, even if big name pop stars judging is better for the ratings. Either way, says the tab, Cowell's battle to save Walsh's spot on the series is ongoing.

The unconfirmed reports of Tulisa exiting have, of course, heightened speculation about who might be recruited to replace her. The return of Sharon Osbourne to the programme has been mentioned by some, while a plethora of pop acts are also now being touted as possible 'X' judges, though seemingly mainly based on who Cowell was seen talking to at a BRITs after-show party on Wednesday night. And on that basis, my money's on the bloke who was spraying cologne for tips in the toilets.

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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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