1 MAY 2013

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American folk singer Sam Amidon releases his latest album, 'Bright Sunny South', on 13 May - his first for Nonesuch Records. Produced with longtime collaborator Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), the album was recorded in London, where Amidon now lives. Ahead of the album release and a headline show at Bush Hall in London on 23 May, we asked Amidon to put together a playlist for us more>>
Lorde released her debut EP, 'The Love Club', as a free download on SoundCloud at the tale end of last year. Boosted along the way by an endorsement from Grimes (and more recently Buzzfeed), lead single 'Royals' has now been played over half a million times. Already out in her native New Zealand and the US, 'The Love Club' features five tracks of varied and incredibly well crafted pop more>>
- "Murray's finances may have played a role": Jacksons v AEG update
- Pirate Bay moves main domain yet again after Swedish court action
- Curb Records sue McGraw again
- Dappy loses appeal against assault conviction
- Neutral Milk Hotel reunite
- Pet Shop Boys start label, share new track
- Matias Aguayo to release third LP
- A Grave With No Name names new long player
- 5ive to headline winter dates
- Bastille add October shows
- Festival line-up update: Wireless, Beach Break Live, Blissfields and more
- MusicTank to focus on piracy site advertisers
- Universal parent company confirms commitment to content business
- Music website activity to be added to Google search results
- Twitter Music app drops down iTunes charts
- Geri Halliwell to replace Mel B on Australia's Got Talent
- Def Leppard sponsor under-tens rugby team
Partisan Records, part of Knitting Factory Group, is looking for a dynamic and forward thinking Marketing Manager to join the recently established UK office. The successful candidate will have at least two years product management experience and will be experienced in implementing multiple artist campaigns across traditional and digital marketing platforms.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
[PIAS] Cooperative, a division of the [PIAS] Music Group, are looking for a dynamic and knowledgeable UK label manager. This is an ideal position for someone with experience in label management, marketing, retail, and production. The successful candidate will approach the business with an independent mind, ambition and drive.

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

The financial situation of Conrad Murray in 2009 was the key topic of debate on day two of the Jacksons v AEG court case yesterday.

According to Orlando Martinez, the LAPD detective who led the investigation into Jackson's death, Murray, the doctor convicted for causing the late king of pop's demise through negligence, had debts in excess of half a million dollars when he was hired to be the singer's in-house medic for the AEG-promoted 'This Is It' live venture. He was also six months behind on mortgage payments and faced losing his home, and had various legal claims against him for unpaid child support and taxes.

This is relevant to the case, the Jackson family will argue, because these immense financial pressures meant that Murray was likely to do whatever it took to impress his new bosses, to secure the phenomenal pay package he had been offered of $150,000 per month. And if AEG was putting pressure on the doctor to ensure Jackson was well enough to perform, while Jackson himself was pushing for access to the prescription drugs he craved, that could create the environment where the medic would make reckless decisions, with fatal results.

Martinez agreed that he quickly felt Murray's finances were relevant when he was first investigating Jackson's death in 2009. Referring to the fees the doctor was earning at the time, he told the court, according to CNN: "That's a lot of money for anyone. Seeing the scene and talking to him about what he had done and how he did it raised questions. Focusing on the financial aspect may have been important for Dr Murray's willingness to disregard his Hippocratic Oath for financial gain".

Of course this case is about whether AEG, as promoters of the 'This Is It' venture, and the company ultimately paying Murray's bills, is liable for the negligent doc's actions. On day one of the trial, AEG's reps noted in their opening remarks how Murray had insisted to police early on that he worked for Jackson, not the live giant, even if the company paid his bills.

And yesterday Martinez confirmed that that was how Murray explained his employment, though added that when officers searched the doctor's car they found an unsigned contract between the medic and AEG, the business card of AEG Live President Randy Phillips, and the AEG exec's mobile number. Possibly confirming that while Jackson may have chosen and managed Murray, the doctor did have a direct link to his ultimate paymasters. Given that contact, the Jackson legal team will argue, AEG should have been concerned about Murray's financial demands, and questioned whether the doctor's money affairs could affect his professional judgement.

Elsewhere on day two of the proceedings, the paramedic who arrived at Jackson's home shortly after his death recalled what happened on 25 Jun 2009. This was, in the main, familiar territory, because Richard Senneff also gave testimony in Conrad Murray's criminal case. He recalled how, not initially realising who he was attending to when answering the 911 call, at first he thought Jackson was a hospice patient, so frail did the singer look. "He looked like someone who was at the end stage of a long disease process", the paramedic remembered.

Though, while the singer's mother Katherine Jackson chose to leave the courtroom for this particular testimony, the paramedic's evidence wasn't as dramatic as in the Murray trial. Indeed, he went on to tell how, after taking Jackson to hospital, his next job was treating an elderly LA resident who had injured herself after passing out on hearing the news of Jackson's death.

The case continues.

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So, that didn't last very long at all, did it? Always controversial file-sharing website The Pirate Bay has shifted its primary domain to the island of Sint Maarten just days after moving to an Icelandic TLD, and after its very brief recent dalliance with a Greenland-registered web address last month. But yes, that does now mean the Swedish-based file-sharing enablers are the pirates of the Caribbean. Not sure why they didn't go that route before.

As previously reported, The Pirate Bay, which has been using a Swedish .se domain for its main web address for over a year now, started looking for alternatives when it got wind of the fact efforts were being made to have that web address seized, in much the same way the US authorities took control of the domain when shutting down that controversial file-transfer platform.

Bay operators initially announced they would use a .gl domain registered in Greenland instead, but then that address was blocked almost immediately, with the Denmark-affiliated country's domain authority citing a Danish court ruling that deemed The Pirate Bay liable for the copyright infringement it enables.

Then earlier this week TPB shifted to an Icelandic web address, with the domain authority there saying that it wouldn't make any moves to block the new URL unless a court told it to do so. It was assumed that such a block would require the content industries who dislike the Bay so much to take new legal action through the Icelandic court system, which would be time consuming if nothing else, allowing to motor along in the meantime.

But then yesterday the anticipated legal action against the Swedish TPB domain reached court, and the lawyers handling the case sneakily included the newly promoted URL in their injunction application too. Their argument is that because the Icelandic domain is registered in the name of TPB co-founder Fredrik Neij, a Swedish national, the courts in Sweden have jurisdiction.

Whether that argument would stand up in the Swedish courts, and whether the Icelandic domain authority would feel obliged to act on an injunction originating in Sweden, isn't at all clear (a rep for the Icelandic registry suspected not when asked by TorrentFreak). However, the Bay has pre-empted any legal debate on that issue by announcing that its main domain would now be .sx, the top level domain for Sint Maarten, the half of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin the belongs to the Netherlands.

It remains to be seen how the Sint Maarten domain authority now responds; the content industries are sure to quickly cite precedent in the Dutch courts re the Bay's operations. Perhaps The Pirate Bay could just operate a New Domain Of The Day promotion, which could last seven or eight months when all overseas territories with their own top level domains are taken into account.

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US label Curb Records is going federal in its ongoing legal dispute with Tim McGraw.

As previously reported, the nearly two decade relationship between McGraw and Curb ended in legal action in May 2011, with both sides suing the other. At the centre of the litigation was whether McGraw's album 'Emotional Traffic' fulfilled his contractual commitments to the label regards new recordings, whether he was due an advance on it, and whether he was now out of contract with the record company. It was complicated, but ultimately the State courts in Tennessee sided with McGraw, both at first instance and on appeal.

Now Curb Records has launched litigation in the federal courts, accusing McGraw and his new label Big Machine of breach of contract and copyright infringement. The latter claim presumably on the grounds that the country star's recent album 'Two Lanes Of Freedom', released by Big Machine, belongs to Curb under its interpretation of its last agreement with the singer. The new lawsuit seeks ownership of the master recordings, compensation and an injunction stopping McGraw from recording until the ongoing dispute is resolved.

It's not clear whether the arguments in the federal case will differ at all from the previous state court hearings in which McGraw prevailed. Curb are still appealing, for the second time, in the Tennesse legal battle, though a judge there gave the all clear for Big Machine to release 'Two Lanes' in the meantime.

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Dappy, along with co-defendants Kieran Vassell and Alfred Miller, lost his appeal against his recent conviction for assault and affray yesterday.

As previously reported, Dappy was found guilty of assault by beating and affray for attacking a man, David Jenkins, who came to the defence of two women after the rapper became involved in an argument with them at a petrol station in Guildford in February last year. Dappy's defence was that he had simply been trying to promote his new single to the two women when he himself was attacked.

A judge at Guildford Crown Court yesterday ruled that Dappy's six month suspended sentence, plus 150 hours of community service, was not excessive and rejected his appeal, along with those of the other two men.

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Having been apart for quite a time, cult indie band Neutral Milk Hotel have checked back in, so to speak, which is to say that they'll be playing their first shows as a band since 1998 this October. All the shows they've posted so far are America-based, but NMH say via their site that there are "more to come".

They informatively add: "and of water course womb rume is a wandering the welkin woman whose fune caul is all umbilical cord code that comes equipped with read volve vît curtains that čun seel my văl én tich radio reason in remembrance of mademoiselle gabrielle and her wone tym pad lock of burd language as it borders on twin tolk the wolk king wall of woolpack pigeons pointing to the fly blind readers riddle and his rian boh".

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So, Pet Shop Boys have gone and started a label, x2, via which they'll release their new LP 'Electric' and all singles, EPs etc thereafter. This follows the pair's amicable parting of ways with long-time label Parlophone, and latter partnership with Kobalt Label Services, which will facilitate the 'Electric' release.

Neil Tenant says via the official PSB site: "'Electric' (and all future releases by us) will be released on our own new label through Kobalt Label Services. The label is called x2 (Times Two). Chris thought of the mathematically inspired name. Maybe we'll also release music by other artists on it in the future. Anything is possible".

Yes, anything is. 'Electric' will hit shops on 15 Jul. Have a blast of one of its tracks, 'Axis', in the meantime.

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Chilean minimalist Matias Aguayo, the voice of Battles' 'Ice Cream', is to release his third LP 'The Visitor' on 24 Jun. Made over five years in rather 'international' circles, it's features collaborations en masse with various artists signed to the Cómeme label, not least Juliana Gattas, Aérea Negrot, Ana Helder, Liset Alea and Jorge González. Scott Monteith, alias Deadbeat, was in charge of mixing it.


Dead Inspector
By The Graveyard
Llegó El Don
Una Fiesta Diferente
El Sucu Tucu
El Camaron
Do You Wanna Work
Levantate Diegors
A Certain Spirit

And this is one of the tracks it lists, 'El Sucu Tucu'.

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A CMU SNAP Of The Day back in 2009, A Grave With No Name (essentially the 'solo with occasional collaborators'-type alias of London-based Alexander Shields) is set to release a new LP.

It bears the title 'Whirlpool', and will be available to buy - if you'd so like - via Stare Records on 1 Jul. It features Linda Jarvis of Echo Lake, Akiko Matsuura of Comanechi, and Joanna Gruesome/Ides' Allana McArdle, who you're about to hear adding vocals to new AGWNN track 'Aurora'.

A Grave With No Name are also playing on Youth Lagoon's July tour, in the midst of which he/they will headline a show at London's Birthdays on 17 Jul.

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Pop quartet 5ive - that's Scott, Ritchie, Abz and Sean - are to capitalise on their 'Big Reunion'-assisted celebrity (mark II) by headlining a series of 'Greatest Hits' dates. And they're all so happy about it, which you'd know if you'd only ask Scott, who says: "We are so happy to be on our own headline tour after all these years. We can't wait to get on the road and perform our hits again. Let's ave it".

Yes, let's. Ave a load of the dates:

18 Nov: Brighton Centre
19 Nov: Liverpool, Echo Arena
20 Nov: Blackpool, Opera House
22 Nov: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
23 Nov: Bournemouth, BIC
25 Nov: Southend, Cliffs Pavilion
26 Nov: Plymouth Pavilion
27 Nov: Leicester, De Montfort Hall
29 Nov: Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
30 Nov: Manchester, Apollo
1 Dec: Glasgow, Clyde Auditorium
3 Dec: Newcastle, City Hall
4 Dec: London, Hammersmith Apollo
5 Dec: Oxford, New Theatre

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Great Escape Dome headliners Bastille are rushing back to 'the road' in winter to play fifteen "imaginatively titled" 'Bad Blood Returns' shows, so named after Dan Smith et al's number one LP 'Bad Blood'. Obvs.

Here's a Kat Krazy remix of 'Bad Blood' fave 'Laura Palmer' to listen to as you look at the tour's dates:

7 Oct: Bristol, Colston Hall
8 Oct: Yeovil, Westlands
9 Oct: Portsmouth, Guildhall
10 Oct: Norwich, UEA
12 Oct: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
13 Oct: Cardiff, Great Hall
15 Oct: London, Brixton Academy
17 Oct: Leicester, Academy
21 Oct: Leeds, Academy
22 Oct: Manchester Academy
23 Oct: Sheffield, Academy
1 Nov: Newcastle, Academy
2 Nov: Nottingham, Rock City
3 Nov: Birmingham, Academy
4 Nov: Southend, Cliffs Pavillion

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What's this, a scarcity of line-up updates as we near the festival season? Well, no. It's actually quite the contrary, because they're all still at it (adding artists, I mean). The (unofficial) prize for today's most enthusiastic FLUU intake is awarded to Newquay's Beach Break live, as has added no less than 132 names to its Jake Bugg, AlunaGeorge and Devlin-crested cache.

Blissfields, too, is another fest showing no sign of being satiated act-wise, and has named London Grammar, Chloe Howl, Josef Salvat and Bondax (and more) as the newest names to align with its existing listings, as feature headliners Man Like Me, Mystery Jets and Bastille; and the likes of The DOT, Jacob Banks, Friends, Theme Park and The Staves. Smashing.

And hey, what's a festival sans Barely anything, that's what. Realising this, Yahoo's London-sited Wireless has been 'in talks' with the part-time Black Eyed Pea, persuading him to play as a 'special guest' on Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z's co-signed 'Legends Of The Summer' special on 14 Jul. Unfortunately, Will has stayed silent as to his excitement at being asked to join the Wireless bill, so instead here are lots of nice, itemised listings c/o the following FLUU-making events:

ALLSTARZ SUMMER PARTY, Madejski Stadium, Reading, 1 Jun: Wiley, Charlie Brown.

BEACH BREAK LIVE, Fistral Bay, Newquay, 20-24 Jun: The Cuban Brothers, Krafty Kuts, Laid Blak, Shadow Child, Huxley, Maribou State, Gentleman's Dub Club, The Urban Folk Quartet, Submotion Orchestra, Abigail Hubbard, Adam Burridge, Albert Jones, Alice Amelia, Backbeat Soundsystem, Badger, Battle of You, Bela Takes Chase, Ben & Lex, Blue Rose Code, Boddika, Bremond, Budos, Charlie Wingfield, Chunky, Club Peel, Coda, Corp, Devlin, Dismantle, DJ Boundski, DJ Chamber, DJ Edge, DJ Shockproof, Drakelow, Drumachine Project, Drop Djs, Duro, Dusky, Hotcakes Live feat. Ed Solo, Deekline & JFB, Ejeca, Ellie Rose, Empire of Fools, End of Level Baddie, Eton Messy DJs, Felix Fables, Fjokra, Freerange DJs, Freestylers, Frett, Fringe Man, Funky Drop, Gang Colours, Gentlemen Duke, George Fitzgerald, Great Plain Sundance, Hanna Jacobssen, Helen & The Sirens, Hoi, Honey, HoneyFeet,Iago, Ilona, Island Cassettes, Jack Light, Jack Wallen, Jacob Curtis, Jamie Lawson, Jay Bee, Jenna Bennett, J-Man, Joseph, J Robot, Jungle Doctors, Klose1, Land of the Giants, Laura Fletcher, Laurence Fox, Lazy Habits, Le Chat, Lion The Weak, Loefah, Loose People, Major Triadz,Mele, Natasha North, Nathan Ball, Olos, Only Joe, Passport to Stockholm, Pedestrian, Polly Money, Rag & Bone Man, Raphaella, Richie T, Riddim Fruits, Riot Jazz, Robb Maksimcyz, Rock & Oben, Rory Hoy & Kitten & The Hip, Rushil, Sam Supplier, Sam Williams & the Flock of Bats, Seattle Yacht Club, Seizure, Shout Timber, Sion Russell Jones, Si Roxwell, Six Kinds of Wednesday, Sky Murphy & The General, Snatch the Wax, Sneaky Nuts DJs, Sophie Scott, Tall House, The Boston Tea Party, The Boxettes, The Dark Lights, The Great Nothing, The Peoples String Foundation, The Shallows, The Skints, The Worries, The Zookeepers, This Calamity, Those Damn DJs, Tom Jarvis, Victoria, We, The Undersigned, Xeno, Yngve & The Innocent.

THE BIG TREE FESTIVAL, Euston Park, Suffolk, 2-4 Aug: The Hoosiers.

BLISSFIELDS, Vicarage Farm, Hampshire, 5-7 Jul: London Grammar, Chloe Howl, Josef Salvat, Bondax, Famy, General Roots, Listening Party, Thomas Tantrum, Artful & Ridney, Beat Clever, Ben Paul, Big Fin, Charley Macauley, Chroma Touch, Danzai, Dave Miatt, Diarmo & L'aubaine, Ella Janes, Floella Grace, Habitats, Harper, Hash, Ian Wilkinson, Is Bliss, Jamie Parisio, Jerry, Koin DJs, Lucy Kitchen, Luke Ferre, Luxe, Matt Jarvis, Maxin DJs, Megan Thomas, Mr Huw, Neon M3, Paul Dielleo, Rex Domino, Sam Brothers, Sam Sallon, Seb Marx, Stone Them Crows, The Cramatics, The Harlequin, Tom James, Visulante, Wub World.

EAST END LIVE, various venues, London, 13 Jul: The Monochrome Set, Charles Hayward, Joseph Coward, Inesinence, Beards, Shopping.

EASTERN ELECTRICS, Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire, 2-4 Aug: Skream, Waifs & Strays, Santé, Robert James, Darius Syrossian, Simon Baker.

FOR FESTIVAL, Hvar, Croatia, 21-23 Jun: James Blake, Time & Space Machine, Daniele Baldelli, Dr. Dunks, Raff Daddy, Villa, Cecile, Pink Gin.

GLASGOWBURY, Eagle's Rock, Draperstown, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 19-20 Jul: The Answer, The Japanese Popstars, And So I Watch You From Afar, Jetplane Landing, Little Bear, Axis Of, Ed Zealous, In Their Thousands, More Than Conquerors, Million Dollar Reload, Trucker Diablo, The Bonnevilles, RunawayGO, PigsAsPeople, Vanilla Gloom, The Wood Burning Savages, Pretty Child Backfire, Furlo, Robyn G Shiels, Rosie Carney.

LOVE SAVES SUNDAY, Castle Park, Bristol, 26 May: Julio Bashmore, Soul II Soul, Ms Dynamite, Ghostpoet, Jah Shaka Sound System, DJ EZ, Jazzie B, DJ Derek, Queen Bee & Mr Benn, Mike Vitti, Conroy, Ricky 2 Tuff, Greg Alexander & Dezzi Rankin, Jacques Greene, Ben UFO, Pearson Sound, The Eel, , Ben Pearce, My Nu Leng, Artifact, Ziro & Forget Me Not, Melé & Slick Don, B Traits, Lil Silva, Hackman, Squarehead, Walter Ego, Dutty Girl, Trap DJs, Mistafire, Trojan Sound System, SOOM T, Young Warrior, Adam Prescott (Reggae Roast), Necessary Mayhem, Dub Boy & MC Tenja, Riddim Tuffa, 2 Kings, Steve Rice.

LOVE SYSTEM FESTIVAL, Punta Radman, Croatia, 30 May - 2 Jun: Adana Twins, Claptone, HNQO, Shir Khan, Ejeca Lovebirds, No Artificial Colours, WildKats.

OFF FESTIVAL, Katowice, Poland, 2-4 Aug: Stephen O'Malley, KTL, Chelsea Wolfe, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, Zeni Geva, Circle, Furia, Piotr Kurek.

PLAYGROUND FESTIVAL, Brixton Academy, London, 7-8 Jun: The Orb.

SUMMERTYNE AMERICANA FESTIVAL, The Sage, Gateshead, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, 19-21 Jul: Martha Wainwright, Sam Amidon, The McCrary Sisters.

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Scotland, 12-14 Jul: Texas, Logic, AlunaGeorge, Laura Mvula, Deap Vally, Jagwar Ma, Ruen Brothers, MS MR, Brooke Candy, Josephine.

WIRELESS, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, 12-14 Jul:, Sub Focus, Fazer, Wacka Flocka Flame, Jakwob, Misha B, Zane Lowe, Bluey Robinson, Drop City Yacht Club, Devlin, Taboo, Mikky Ekki, Watsky, Mikill Pane, KOan Sound, Giggs, A*M*E, Mat Zo, Flight Facilities, Clean Bandit, Logic, Jacob Plant, P Money, Phlo Finister, Joel Compass, Charlie Brown.

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The next MusicTank Think Tank event will throw the spotlight on one of the music industry's biggest piracy gripes of recent times, the presence of advertising on file-sharing sites, sometimes from major companies who are unknowingly providing income to piracy enablers through web advertising networks. The session will look at how prevalent the problem is and what can be done about it, and will consider whether this is an element of the never-ending battle against online piracy where success is more realistic.

The session will be keynoted by singer songwriter David Lowery, of bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, whose recent online postings on the topic on The Trichordist have increased awareness of this particular element of the piracy debate. He will be joined by Google's UK Policy Manager Theo Bertram, this also being the element of the anti-piracy battle that the web giant seems most willing to help the content industries fight.

Commenting on the planned event, MusicTank chief Keith Harris told CMU: "Ad-sponsored piracy has a debilitating effect on both growth of the legitimate online market and the livelihoods of creators. In 2013, it seems somewhat amazing that advertising from major corporations is still being served to unlicensed music services - especially when, in theory, creative and tech businesses could pragmatically and constructively tackle the practice. MusicTank is delighted to announce such expert speakers as David and Theo to discuss this contentious issue and we look forward to a constructive and informative debate".

The event takes place on 28 May in London, at the University Of Westminster's Fyvie Hall on Regent Street. Tickets are available now here.

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The bosses of Universal Music parent company Vivendi have confirmed at a shareholders meeting that the plan is to fully focus the company's efforts onto content and entertainment in the long term, which will mean a withdrawal from the telecommunications sector.

It's been no secret for a while now that Paris-headquartered Vivendi's financial problems have been the result of underperformance within its mainly French-based tel co business, and there has been talk of spinning off that side of the operation for some time.

At a shareholder meeting yesterday, board chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou told investors that that was definitely now the plan, though the company was in no mad hurry to lose its telecommunications interests, and urged patience from shareholders to let management secure them the best deal from any offloading that may occur.

It is thought the group's Moroccan tel co firm Maroc Telecom could be sold later this year, though the offloading of its French SFR phone firm was now more likely to occur via a flotation, which would be instigated once the company's fortunes had turned a little. It's hoped recent investment in the company's 4G infrastructure might help improve financial performance.

In addition to the Universal Music Group, Vivendi's content interests include French TV firm Canal+ and a 61% stake in games giant Activision Blizzard.

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SoundCloud, Deezer and Songza, along with online radio services Slacker Radio and TuneIn, are amongst the first to have extra dynamically updating profile information added to Google search results, so that if you search for any of those services on Google you will get extra info alongside the main search result. Said services must have Google+ integration to qualify for the extra presence on the search engine site.

Director Of Product Management at Google+, Seth Sternberg explained in a blog post: "Soon, if you search for a site or app on (and that app has integrated with Google+ Sign-In app activities), you'll see popular and aggregate user activity to the right of search results. Searching for [movie site] Fandango, for example, will show the top movies among Google users. And when you click on a movie, you'll go directly to its page on Fandango".

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It's too early to write it off entirely just yet, but Twitter's somewhat lacklustre music app hasn't exactly set the world on fire since launching earlier this month.

Mashable notes that on Saturday, nine days after launching, it dropped out of the top 100 free iOS apps in the iTunes Store (though it did remain in the top ten music apps earlier this week). In the UK it's faring even worse, not even appearing in the top 300 and, as of this morning, sitting at number 34 in the free music app chart.

As previously reported, last week the exec who led development of the app, Kevin Thau, departed Twitter for Jelly Industries, the new company being led by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, who himself departed the micro-blogging business last June.

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Geri Halliwell is to replace her former Spice Girls bandmate Mel B on the judging panel of 'Australia's Got Talent'. According to reports, Mel B is leaving to take up a similar role on the Australia version of 'The X-Factor'.

Halliwell said of her new job "shows like that are brilliant and I love the opportunity they give to normal, everyday people - plus, I get to come to Australia", while on her plans for judging style she added: "I think it's unnecessary to be mean for the sake of being mean, but I do believe you have to be truthful, but with love".

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Def Leppard have announced that they are sponsoring an under-tens rugby team from Cardiff, called Rhiwbina. The band's Joe Elliott said that he had agreed to fund the team, nicknamed The Squirrels, despite not being entirely clear what sport they play.

Elliott explained to the BBC that team coach Richard Proctor is "a long-time friend of mine and he works closely with the band", adding: "When he told me he needed a sponsor, I jumped at the chance, only afterwards did I realise it was a rugby and not a footy team!"

Showing his unwavering confidence in, er, the band's logo, Elliott added: "Like all things with our logo on it, I think [the team's new shirt] looks spectacular. I'm not sure it's going to guarantee a winning team every week though, but at least they will look cool".

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