16 APR 2013

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For his latest CMU column, Eddy Temple-Morris introduces a project he has been working on in secret for several months now. Hired by The Royal Collection Trust, he has created a playlist of contemporary music to complement an exhibition of artwork going on show in The Royal Gallery next month more>>
Montreal-based Alex Zhang Hungtai's Dirty Beaches, as was first Approved back in 2011, earns present-day re-Approval on the basis of the tracks he's been casting, one by one, off his new dual LP 'Drifters/Love Is The Devil'. Less radio-playable singles and more montages of stargazing noise, light and shade, plus a new non-album track more>>

- HMV to shed 400 jobs, reports The Times
- CISAC wins appeal in Europe
- Deftones' Chi Cheng 1970-2013
- UK album sales increase for first time since 2009
- Kobalt takes control of B-52's catalogue
- Abba's Anderson and Ulvaes write new Eurovision theme with Avicii
- Prince's new LP may be titled Plectrum Electrum
- Janelle Monáe announces new album
- James Blake adds live dates
- Selena Gomez to tour
- Charli XCX announces London show
- Festival line-up update: The Great Escape, ATP I'll Be Your Mirror, Cambridge Folk Festival and more
- PPL issues financial results, plus most played songs of 2012
- Imagem UK appoints new legal head
- House Of 27 appoints new digital PR staff
- Spotify launches in eight new territories
- PRS confirms new licensing deal with commercial radio sector
- Jai Paul releases album. Except it wasn't him. Or maybe it was. No, it wasn't. Or maybe it was
National music journalist Lulu Le Vay (Guardian, Independent, Observer, i-D, Sleaze Nation, The Face, DJ magazine) opens up the workings of the music industry during this practical, fast-paced eight week evening course.

As well as finding out how to unearth exclusive music stories, and write under pressure, you will develop interview and feature ideas which you will pitch to editors at our partner publications: Clash, Dummy, Resident Advisor and DJ Mag. Fun and interactive exercises will help you learn interview techniques, review and feature writing, and how to pitch your work.

This course is suitable for those with little or no experience of journalism, but is also relevant to those already working in the media who want to develop new skills. A certificate from London Journalism Centre is awarded to students who successfully complete this course. Course starts 18 Apr.

For a full course description and how to book click here.
9PR are looking to take on an online publicist with at least one year’s experience. We need an enthusiastic, thorough and tenacious person who appreciates a variety of genres and has the contacts to match.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Domino is looking for a junior marketing manager to join our existing marketing and project management department. Two years experience working in a music management company or a record label essential. Liaising with the project management team – the ideal candidate will be a meticulous organiser and be well versed in the day to day running of a modern marketing campaign.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are an established, substantial network connecting record labels and independent artists to thousands of professional music video directors worldwide. We are looking for a stand-out individual to help build our business by promotion across multiple channels, including trade press, improving user engagement and developing new partner relationships. A successful track record is essential.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Cryptic is recruiting a Head of Communications to play a vital role in ensuring the on going success and growth of the company. The Head of Communications is responsible for developing and delivering marketing, communications, digital and audience development strategies. As part of a small but dedicated team the Head of Communication will have the opportunity to make a difference in how Cryptic and its brands are perceived globally.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
!K7 Label Group is looking for an experienced Product Manager to join its London team. Founded in Berlin in 1985, !K7 is a multi-faceted music services and label group with offices in London, New York and Berlin, with partners across the globe. We are looking for a highly motivated individual with at least three years of product management experience.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Are you looking for a change, a new challenge, or to take your career up a level? We aim to expand our current team of five full-time staff by recruiting a Senior Publicist. Applicants need to have at least three years experience working in either national print PR, online PR, or both. The ability and desire to seek out new business is essential and our salary rate is competitive, for the right person.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Your Army Promotions are looking for a dynamic and knowledgeable plugger. This is an ideal position for someone with experience in plugging but wants an exciting new challenge. Minimum of one to two years experience in a relevant role required. Salary will be commensurate with the candidate’s experience.

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

After the little moment of joy that followed the news that HMV had been able to come out of administration with many more stores still operational than most of us had expected, now the reality check of the challenge new owners Hilco face in making the flagging entertainment retail firm a commercially viable concern.

Management put in place by Hilco at the revamped HMV UK have let their staff know that in the region of 400 jobs will now be cut across the company's 141 store chain. The Times says it has seen a memo which states that the cuts will affect all roles, including cashiers, supervisors and security guards.

As previously reported, when Hilco finally took control of HMV UK earlier this month it also announced that several stores previously earmarked for closure had been saved from the cull. However, job losses were always expected, and it looks like they will come sooner rather than later.

New CEO Ian Topping also announced, shortly after the purchase was confirmed, that HMV UK will adopt a similar strategy to the also Hilco owned and previously revamped HMV Canada business, moving its focus back to music and DVDs.

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A long-running legal squabble in Europe over the music publishing sector's collecting society system has reached a conclusion, with the General Court Of The European Union upholding an appeal against an EU Commission ruling in 2008 that accused the societies of operating "a concerted practice to restrict competition".

European officials have long expressed concerns about the ways in which national collecting societies in the music publishing domain work alongside each other, with some arguing that agreements between societies, in particular reciprocal agreements that exist via the sector's global alliance CISAC, conflict with European competition law, by stopping rival societies in Europe from competing with each other beyond their national boundaries.

When it comes to offering multi-territory licences, so that different national societies do start to compete on that side of things, there have been some shifts in recent years, partly due to pressure from European regulators and digital licensees, and partly as a result of the bigger societies recognising opportunities for growth. But none of that goes as far as some European officials would like.

This whole issue went legal because of two complaints about CISAC agreements in Europe in the early 2000s, with one element of those complaints subsequently being upheld by the Commission in 2008, ie that CISAC and its European members "violated EU competition rules by coordinating the territorial scope of their reciprocal representation agreements". But the European courts did not concur when that ruling was appealed, and that judicial opinion was endorsed again this week.

Welcoming the new ruling, CISAC Director General Olivier Hinnewinkel told CMU: "This is a very important decision for authors and their collective management organisations throughout the European Union. It allows us to get back to the job of ensuring the three million creators and rights holders that we represent obtain a fair income from the use of their creative work, and to continue developing licensing models that meet the market's needs".

Of course this ruling, while a victory for CISAC and the collecting societies with regard to the specific complaints made a decade ago, doesn't mean the European Commission won't continue to put pressure on the rights agencies of Europe to more proactively compete. And, indeed, a new European directive is already in development on this whole issue.

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Deftones bassist Chi Cheng died on Saturday, aged 42, his mother announced this weekend. He had been in a minimally conscious state for over four years, following a car accident in California in 2008.

Born in Davis, California in 1970, Cheng joined Deftones in 1988, completing the line-up formed by school friends Chino Moreno (vocals), Steph Carpenter (guitar) and Abe Cunningham (drums). The band got their big break in the early 90s when they signed to Madonna's Maverick record label (reportedly after the singer herself saw them play in LA).

They released their debut album, 'Adrenalin', in 1995, featuring a hip hop-influenced sound that, alongside Korn, helped to define what would later become known as 'nu metal'. Though the band were always uncomfortable with the tag, attempting to move away from it by taking an increasingly experimental route on their second and third albums, 1997's 'Around The Fur and 2000's 'White Pony'.

The last Deftones studio album to be released featuring Cheng was 2006's 'Saturday Night Wrist', though they had almost completed work on a new recor, entitled 'Eros', when he was seriously injured in a car accident in November 2008. Returning from a memorial service for his older brother with his sister Mae, and not wearing a seatbelt, he was thrown from the vehicle and left in a coma due to injuries sustained in the crash. However, he regained very minimal consciousness in May 2009, leading to hope of a recovery.

Plans to released 'Eros' were put on hold (and eventually scrapped), with the band starting work on new material the next year instead. They also performed a series of benefit shows for Cheng in 2009, releasing the new album, 'Diamond Eyes', in 2010. A second album without Cheng, 'Koi No Yokan', was released last year, while a number of small but significant improvements in Cheng's condition led to renewed hopes that he could regain full consciousness.

However, in the early hours of Saturday morning, Cheng died from heart failure after being rushed to hospital. His mother Jeanne Marie said via the One Love For Chi website, set up to raise money for his ongoing medical treatment: "He fought the good fight. You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone".

As well as his work with Deftones, Cheng also published a book and spoken word album of poetry in 2000, entitled 'The Bamboo Parachute'.

He is survived by his mother Jeanne Marie, sister Mae, brother Ming, wife Colleen and a son from his first marriage, Gabriel.

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Combined digital and physical album sales in the UK increased slightly in the first quarter of this year, the BPI and Official Charts Company announced yesterday. It's the first increase since the final quarter of 2009. Total sales for January to March were 23.3 million, up 1.4% on the same period last year.

Download albums accounted for 38.5% of all sales (up 17.8% on last year), with CD sales decreasing by 7.2%. Vinyl sales, meanwhile, were up 78.1% year-on-year.

BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor told CMU: "The Q1 sales figures illustrate that as digital grows its share, albums can follow the singles market back to growth. The strength in depth of British music is highlighted by newcomers such as Jake Bugg and Bastille sitting alongside iconic figures like David Bowie in the top 20 best-sellers".

He continued: "The strong performance of independent labels in March bolstered by releases this quarter from Stereophonics, Atoms For Peace, and many others is also very encouraging. And the second quarter of 2013 looks promising for music fans, with big releases anticipated from Michael Bublé, Rod Stewart, Laura Marling, Daft Punk, and Noah & The Whale".

In case you're interested, the top 20 best-selling albums of the first quarter of 2013 are as follows:

1. Emeli Sandé - Our Version of Events
2. Les Misérables Motion Picture Cast Recording
3. Various Artists - Now That's What I Call Music 84
4. Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg
5. Bruno Mars - Unorthodox Jukebox
6. Various Artists - The Trevor Nelson Collection
7. Calvin Harris - 18 Months
8. Mumford & Sons - Babel
9. Various Artists - Now That's What I Call Music 83
10. Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
11. David Bowie - The Next Day
12. Biffy Clyro - Opposites
13 Rihanna - Unapologetic
14 Pink - The Truth About Love
15 Bastille - Bad Blood
16 Various Artists - Anthems: 90s
17 One Direction - Take Me Home
18 Olly Murs - Right Place Right Time
19 Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
20 Taylor Swift - Red

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Kobalt has acquired the publishing catalogue of US band The B-52's, including such classics as 'Rock Lobster' and 'Love Shack', or, as I like to think of it, great, timeless music that everyone loves. The acquisition is part of Kobalt's previously reported new bid to become a more prolific owner of copyrights in its own right, as well as providing administration services for other rights owners.

Announcing the deal yesterday the band said: "We are very excited about our new relationship with Kobalt and believe this is the right home for the caretaking of our catalogue and the continued promotion and exposure of our music to new generations of fans around the world".

Meanwhile Kobalt CEO Willard Ahdritz added: "It's great, timeless music that everyone loves".

Hey, Williard, that's what I said.

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The theme tune for this year's Eurovision Song Contest (apparently that's a thing) will be composed by some people who know a thing or two about writing classic Eurovision tunes - ABBA's Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus. And Avicii.

Entitled 'We Write The Story', the new song will be performed live by the trio for the first time at the contest on Malmö in Sweden on 18 May.

Andersson and Ulvasue said that after being hired for the job, broadcaster SVT's "vision for the contest" had "led us on to the assignment to collaborate with Avicii on a piece of mutual understanding and fellowship".

"It's a lot of fun and very inspiring", they added. I'm not sure that's for them to say.

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So, as that headline says, Prince may/may not have 'tentatively' given his new album-in-the-making the slightly silly name of 'Plectrum Electrum', a la a short film his camp released last month.

Or at least, funk blog Dr Funkenberry claims that's the "working title", based on information apparently sourced direct from Prince's label Paisley Park.

So, that's nice. Here's the film.

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Janelle Monáe is at last to follow 2010's 'The ArchAndroid' via a new LP titled 'The Electric Lady'. Released in "fall", the disc will be heralded by its lead single 'QUEEN', as features Erykah Badu.

Monáe has said to Billboard that "the album in general is more revealing. It's more personal. I'm taking a lot more risks on this album", so that's something to think on.

Hear 'QUEEN' when it premieres on 22 Apr.

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James Blake has added an extra set of dates to his live calendar, which is great news if you like Blake-o's new LP 'Overgrown', and want to hear it played 'in the flesh'.

Pre-sale tickets to the shows, which are as follows, are available via this link.

18 Sep: Glasgow, ABC
20 Sep: Manchester, Ritz
21 Sep: Birmingham, Institute
22 Sep: Oxford, Academy
24 Sep: Bristol, Academy
25 Sep: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire

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Ex Belieber and 'Spring Breakers' starlet Selena Gomez is shoving off on a 56 city live slog. The only British city she's stopping at on said slog is London, when she'll play the Hammersmith Apollo on 7 Sep. Selena has a Taylor Swift/Skrillex indebted new LP to promote, which explains all the slogging.

And she says: "I couldn't be more excited to tour again but this time around the world. This has been such an interesting few months. My music has grown and I want my fans to see a new side of me. Can't wait to see y'all on the road!"

This is Selena's new single, 'Come And Get It'. Go and watch it.

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Popstar and child-of-the-1990s Charli XCX has enriched her live cache by adding a new show to it. She'll play a tracklisting approximating that of her new LP 'True Romance', which was released yesterday, at Cargo in London on 19 Jun.

Tickets, please.

And this is Charli's silly new vid for 'What I Like'.

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So with just one month to go now to The Great Escape, a final line up has just been announced with 100 more artists added to the bill, including Melody's Echo Chamber, Mikill Pane, Sky Ferreira and Natty, which is all really rather exciting. And if you think that's a lot to be getting on with, wait till we announce a new batch of speakers and sessions for the CMU-programmed TGE Convention on Thursday. Get your delegate passes quick, they're getting seriously close to running out.

From happy happy news, to some less good news. Grizzly Bear have had to set back their I'll Be Your Mirror stint by half a year. It was meant to take place on 5 May, and now won't till 2 Nov because, ATP HQ says, a pair of headlining acts cancelled, thus making the event "unviable". Tickets to the May-dated fest will still be valid at the November one, but can, if it takes your fancy, be traded in for passes to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' IBYM edition on 4 May. A revised line-up for Grizzly Bear's all-new IBYM will be unveiled in June.

So, that's a shame. But what isn't a shame is this list of FLUUs to non-postponed pop/rock parties, not least the addition of Eminem's new co-headliners, Kings Of Leon, to Glasgow Summer Sessions, and a meaty initial intake by Scotland's Doune The Rabbit Hole, which this year will feature Alasdair Roberts, Clinic, July, The Pastels, We Are The Physics, Zun Zun Egui and Stealing Sheep.

BELLADRUM TARTAN HEART, Belladrum Estate, Beauly, Inverness-shire, Scotland, 2-3 Aug: James, Twin Atlantic, The Horrors, Stealing Sheep, The Straits, Noisettes, King Charles, Admiral Fallow, Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac, Peatbog Faeries, Lucy Spraggan, Jacob Banks, Dougie MacLean, Martin Carthy, Gavin James, Rick Redbeard, Shipcote & Friends, It's A Beautiful Day, Treetop Flyers, The Dangleberries, Jericho Hill, Victorian Trout Conspiracy, Fatherson, Skyhook, Brown Bear & The Bandits, Skerryvore, Feis Rois, Caledonian Ceilidh Trail, Toby Michaels Rolling Damned. www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk

THE BIG TREE FESTIVAL, Euston Park, Euston, Suffolk, 2-4 Aug: Athlete, The Christians, Beverley Craven, Dodgy, Republica, Missing Andy, Mamas Gun, Wild Smiles, The Skints, Lucy Ward, Yes Sir Boss, Will And The People, Eddie And The Hot Rods, The Undercover Hippy, Paper Aeroplanes, Police Dog Hogan, Ewan McLennan, Sam Forrest, Rusty Shackle, Liz Lawrence, The Outcast Band, The BlackWhite, Zombie Met Girl, Changing Horses, Borderline:Fire, Apple Rabbits, Andrew Duhon, Bob Hillary And The Massive Mellow, Andi Fraggs, East Town Pirates, Gerard & the Watchmen, Hot Fiction, Maisie Mae, Freya Roy, The Salt Water Brothers, Lazy Heart Parade, Long Finger Bandits, The Kabeedies, Sunday Driver, Bards Of The Heath, Cathedrals & Cars, The Cads, These Ghosts, Violet Bones, Lucy Sampson, Ellie Jamison, Benjamin Bloom, Tiny Dragons, Lisa Redford, Flaming June, Flutatious, The Woodland Creatures, Aartwork, Bemis, Cara Sebastian, The Floe, Johnno Casson, Kevin Pearce, Luke Ferre, Trouble With Tuesday. www.bigtreefestival.co.uk

CAMBRIDGE FOLK FESTIVAL, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 25-28 Jul: Amadou & Mariam, The Staves, Tommy Emmanuel, Thea Gilmore, The Rambling Boys of Pleasure, Darrell Scott, Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo, Jamie Smith's Mabon, The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Valerie June, Ross Couper & Tom Oakes, Blair Dunlop, Ewan McLennan, Nick Mulvey, Emma Sweeney, Marika Hackman, Hudson Taylor, Common Tongues, Blue Rose Code, Rae Morris. www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk

DOUNE THE RABBIT HOLE, Cardross Estate, Loch Lomond, Scotland, 22-25 Aug: Alasdair Roberts, Clinic, July, The Pastels, We Are The Physics, Zun Zun Egui, Stealing Sheep, Orkestra Del Sol, Machines In Heaven, The Fast Camels, Garden Of Elks, Honey & the Herbs, Big Ned, No Island, Douglas MacGregor, Lori McTear, The Skarsoles, Dave Mac, Kenda Nagasaki, Rick Redbeard, Steve Adey, Stanley Brinks, PAWS, Gallon Drunk, Arbouretum, The Cosmic Dead, Buriers, Atzi Lipsync, Ryan Van Winkle & Reel Festivals, Numbers Are Futile, Royal Edinburgh Music, Rebecca Vasmant, The Line Of Best Fit DJs, Jazz Spastics, Argonaut Sounds, GK Machine, Symbiosis, Washington Irving, Panda Su, The Wellgreen, Foxgang, Flamingods, Beerjacket, Shambles Miller, Freschard, Helicon, St Max & The Fanatics, Dead Temple, Tom Snowball, Dbass Collective, Edgar Guerreiro, Mhazz, Adullboy, Neu Reekie, Jesus, Baby, The Sexual Objects, Teen Canteen, Hidden Masters, Randolphs Leap, Zs, The Banana Sessions, Siobhan Wilson, Three Dimensional Tanx. dounetherabbithole.co.uk

GHOSTFEST, Leeds University Student Union, 29-30 Jun: Heart Of A Coward, Silent Screams, Thy Art Is Murder, Astroid Boys, Chelsea Grin. www.ghostfestofficial.com

GLASGOW SUMMER SESSIONS, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, Scotland, 15 Aug: Kings Of Leon. www.gigsinscotland.com

THE GREAT ESCAPE, various venues, Brighton, 16-18 May: Absynthe Minded, Alarm Bells, Aliment, Andreya Triana, Archipel, Arlissa, Arrows Of Love, Arthur Beatrice, Aufgang, Beataucue, Birkin Jersey, Bipolar Sunshine, Bird, Blek, Boats, Bombay Show Pig, Brother & Bones, C Joynes, Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs, China Rats, Chris Letcher, Clean Bandit, Crystal Fighters, Current Swell, Cut Ribbons, Damerels, Deadboy, Dean Mcphee, D E N A, Dom Servini, Drop Out Venus, Eamon Mcgrath, Elle Eyre, Embers, Etta Bond, Fatherson, Faye, Fear Of Men, Feathers, Fenech Solar, Fenster, Filosofische Stilte, Foe, Gavin James, Great Cynics, Guards, Hjaltalín, Hk119, Holy Esque, Honeyblood, Ian Helliwell, In The Valley Below, Instrumenti, Iyes, Jackmaster, Jeremy Loops, / Jeremy Neil, John Newman, Khushi, Kid Karate, Kinnie The Explorer, Kid Wave, Knytro, Lauren Aquilina, Luls, Marques Toliver, Melody's Echo Chamber, Mike Dignam, Mikill Pane, Milo Green, Misty Miller, Moko, Mt, Natty, Nina Nesbitt, No, Of Rust And Bone, Ofei, Oquadro, Os Nelsons, Oyama , Pope, Popstrangers, Prata Vetra , Pyramid, Rainer, Red River Dialect, Redinho, Seward, Shuyler Jansen, Sibile, Sinead Harnett, The Skints, Sky Ferreira, Sid Batham, Sophie, Soul Sister Dance Revolution, Straw Bear, Symphonic Pictures, The Adelines, The Dancers, The Family Cheese, The Family Rain, The Heatwave With Lady Chann, The Next Men, The Orwellls, The Penelopes, The Temperance Movement, The Wytches, Tom Prior, Torus, Tourist, Vondelpark, Washington Irving, Whirr, Wildflowers, Wounds, Yadi, Young Fathers and Young Husband. mamacolive.com/thegreatescape

PLUGFEST, Lfar Hanokdim, Israel, 9-11 May: Azealia Banks, !!!, Jessie Ware, CSS, Lee Scratch Perry, Tinariwen, 2manydjs, John Talabot, Adi Ulmansky, Tiger Love, Waterknot, Trifonas, Buttering Trio, Yossi Fine & The Remix. www.plugfest.co.il

SUPERNORMAL, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire, 9-11 Aug: Mugstar, Richard Dawson, Coma Wall, Hookworms, Michael Chapman, The Sontaran Experiment, Bass Clef, Shit & Shine, Evil Blizzard, Agathe Max, Zombie Crash, The Dream Machine All-Stars Present: The Supernormal Orchestra, Headquarters, Olanza, Daniel Wakeford, Cosham Community Players Association, Fragments, The Bald Knobbers' Church Of Chaos, Bermuda Triangle Test Engineers, Las Kellies, Poulumi Desai, Greta Pistaceci. www.supernormalfestival.co.uk

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The UK record industry's collecting society PPL has issued its financial results for 2012, confirming that its earnings increased by 11% year-on-year to £170.8 million.

The biggest increase came from public performance income, up 17% to £64.8 million. Meanwhile, international income rose 13% to £36.6 million and broadcasting and online income was up 5% to £69.4 million. The report also revealed a small decrease in cost-to-income ratio, from 14.4%, compared to 14.9% in 2011.

PPL CEO Peter Leathem told CMU: "I am delighted to be able to report strong growth across all of our three main income streams as a result of the continued good progress PPL is making as a company, as well as the astonishing success and popularity of UK music domestically and around the world. The growth in our international collections was clearly supported by the UK continuing to punch above its weight on the global stage".

He continued: "We are very aware of, and sensitive to, the ongoing difficult economic environment as it clearly affects not just our members, the vast majority of whom are small businesses and sole traders, but also our licensees as well. The significant growth of public performance income from businesses such as bars, shops, and offices was particularly pleasing and was largely achieved through a continued drive to raise awareness of licensing requirements with new local campaigns across the UK, as well as improvements to internal processes and systems which continued to lead to more effective customer service delivery".

As well as announcing its financial results, PPL also revealed the ten most played songs in the UK last year, which helped to boost all those figures. And look, here they are:

1 Jessie J - Domino
2 Gotye feat Kimbra - Somebody That I Used To Know
3 Emeli Sandé - Next To Me
4 Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger
5 David Guetta feat Sia - Titanium
6 Olly Murs - Dance With Me Tonight
7 Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)
8 Rihanna & Calvin Harris - We Found Love
9 Carly Rae Jepson - Call Me Maybe
10 Maroon 5 - Payphone

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The UK division of independent publisher Imagem has announced the appointment of Megan Hall to the position of Head Of Legal And Business Affairs. Hall previously held legal roles at Ministry Of Sound and Sony/ATV.

Confirming the appointment, Imagem Music UK MD Kim Frankiewicz told CMU: "We couldn't be in better hands having Megan as our Head Of Legal and Business Affairs. She is a first class operator who knows par excellence the intricacies of the business".

Hall herself added: "I am extremely excited to be joining Kim and her team at Imagem Music UK. The music publishing industry is in an exciting place at the moment, and look forward working with our various artists new and old".

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House Of 27, the music PR agency and brand consultancy launched by former [PIAS] in-house PR rep Tasha Anderson last year, has announced the appointment of two new staff members, Digital Account Manager Julian Zuniga (who joins from the recently closed Anorak London) and Digital PR Assistant Ani Mijatovic.

Zuniga told CMU: "I'm very excited to be joining the team at House Of 27 and continuing to discover fresh, new music talent. I'm also looking forward to being part of the forthcoming branding consultancy division and helping brands find new ways to engage with music".

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Spotify launched in Mexico, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania this morning. Expansion into Singapore and Hong Kong was first rumoured last August, when the company set up subsidiaries in the two countries.

Speaking to The Next Web, Spotify's Hong Kong cheif Sriram Krishnan said that wider Asian expansion is planned in the coming months (a Japanese launch having been rumoured for some time now). He explained: "We aim to be available in every market in the world, and that takes time, initially we are coming to Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Content consumption in Asia is different [to Western markets], so we took the necessary time, investment and resources to provide the right service, which we're confident fans in these countries will embrace".

Currently Spotify only has two account tiers in Asia, rather than the three on offer in most territories, with just the free or full premium options available. The mid-level, desktop-only payment level is not offered - possibly because mobile internet access is more dominant in Asia.

These new launches come as Spotify continues to attempt to renegotiate royalty payments with the major labels. Dominance in more territories may be key to these talks going in Spotify's favour.

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The UK music publishing sector's collecting society PRS yesterday confirmed it had reached a new licensing deal with the commercial radio sector, which will cover the royalties paid by 300 commercial stations for the rights that exist in the songs they play.

The new arrangement, negotiated with the radio industry's trade body RadioCentre, will run for at least five years, and under it stations will continue to pay rights owners a percentage of net revenue and an annual lump sum. The licence covers each station's main output plus online simulcast and catch-up services.

Confirming the deal from the radio industry's side, RadioCentre boss man Andrew Harrison told CMU: "I am delighted that we have reached this new agreement together. This deal provides freedom for radio stations to use and promote music, while making sure artists and rights holders are rewarded appropriately. We look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial partnership with artists and songwriters for many years to come".

While PRS chief Robert Ashcroft added: "Radio is a core part of our licensing operation. The changing listener environment, digital music delivery and the growth of radio's music services mean it's very important that we continue to have appropriate licensing arrangements for our radio partners. Therefore we are very pleased to have concluded a modernised contract with commercial radio, on behalf of all our members".

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So, there was much excitement for the excitable inhabitants of the internet at the weekend when that Jai Paul suddenly released his long, long, long awaited debut album. Except that, rather than being released via all good download stores by his label XL, he just chucked it up on Bandcamp and started selling it himself. The scamp.

Or did he? Because freelance music journalist Owen Myers then tweeted yesterday morning: "Jai Paul just emailed me: 'I will be releasing a statement later today about the illegal leak. I have not released a new record'".

Oh dear. Later a brief statement from Paul direct was posted on Twitter, in which he said: "To confirm: demos on Bandcamp were not uploaded by me, this is not my debut album. Please don't buy. Statement to follow later. Thanks, Jai".

Cripes, what a palaver. Or a Paulaver. Seems someone has been profiting from stolen music. Whatever next? But it's OK, the album's been taken down now and we can all rest easy.

Except we can't, because now there's a massive conspiracy theory that this is some kind of weird promotional campaign and that actually was Paul's album. Who knows? I don't.

Should you wish to examine this story in excruciating detail, Crack In The Road has done so on your behalf already.

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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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Email suggestions for Approved to andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk / aly@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

To discuss advertising and sponsorship opportunities email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

If you have a complaint email complaints@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

Send CDs to CMU, UnLimited Media, 221-222 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ.
Concept and content © UnLimited Publishing.

Published by UnLimited Publishing, a division of UnLimited Media,
Floor 2 Unicorn House, 221-222 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ.

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