FRIDAY
10 MAY 2013

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CMU BEEF OF THE WEEK #156: VENUE CYMRU V FACT-LIGHT VACCINES FANS
"Who is the lead singer of The Vaccines? And what are the titles of the band's two albums? Come on, quickly! Quickly!" These were questions asked of Vaccines 'fan' Andy Bellis and a security guard, before the band's show at Venue Cymru in Llandudno on Monday evening, sounded like. Bellis and a friend were refused entry to the show after failing a Vaccines quiz on the door, seemingly set by security because they felt the pair looked like a couple of those pickpockets you hear about more>>
 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: NEOTROPIQ AT CARGO
Neotropiq is a new Shoreditch-based event from RvS chiefs Asadinho and Paul Soul. Formerly known as Reverberations, this pair have been running the most intimate underground warehouse parties while also headlining the main room of renowned clubs across the world for two nearly decades. So, they know a thing or two about putting on a clubnight, and will be bringing in some of house's biggest names for this new venture. Kicking off tonight’s launch event at Cargo is none other than the legendary Evil Eddie Richards more>>


TOP STORIES
- Universal has licensed iRadio, says FT
- RIAA adds streaming to digital gold and platinum certification
- Slayer guitarist death caused by cirrhosis
IN THE POP COURTS
- As I Lay Dying frontman pleads not guilty to wife murder plot
AWARDS & CONTESTS
- Parliamentary Jazz Awards presented
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- The Spice Girls cancel* 2014 shows, breaking up again* (*maybe)
ARTIST DEALS
- J-Lo signs to RedOne's 2101
RELEASE NEWS
- Frank Black, Eddie Argos, Courtney Taylor-Taylor remake Hazlewood LP as Thriftstore Masterpiece
- Smith Westerns detail LP
- DIANA to release first LP via Jagjaguwar
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival line-up update: Ibiza Rocks, Lovebox, Glastonbury (Abbey Extravaganza) and more
THE GREAT ESCAPE
- New markets under the spotlight at Great Escape
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- Sony Corp goes back into profit
- Kobalt launches new platform for monitoring rights usage
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- YouTube subscription channels launch
- Shazam and Rdio expand partnership
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- Amazing Radio to return to DAB
AND FINALLY...
- Billie Joe Armstrong likens Psy to viral STD, Psy 'kinda likes' it
CHERRY RED RECORDS - ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Cherry Red Records requires a full-time administrative assistant for immediate start in our West London office. Playing a key support role across several areas of the business the ideal candidate will be someone with a good working knowledge of, and interest in, catalogue music across several genres, self-motivated, with a keen attention to detail.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SRD - NATIONAL ACCOUNTS MANAGER
Working closely with label managers and reporting to the Managing Director this is an ideal position for someone with experience of dealing with key online and physical accounts as well as taking the initiative in building relationships with new customers.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
LISTEN UP - ONLINE AND PRINT PRESS OFFICER
London-based music promotions company Listen Up is recruiting for an experienced online and print press officer to join the expanding company. The ideal candidate should have at least three years experience in a similar role with a thorough knowledge of online and print portals across music, culture and lifestyle.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MASCOT LABEL GROUP - LABEL/MARKETING MANAGER
Mascot Label Group, is looking for a dynamic and experienced UK label/marketing manager. Do you have solid experience in label management, marketing, retail, digital, and promotion and are you looking for a new challenge? Ambitious, hands on, creative, efficient, organised, hungry for success and an affinity with hard rock, metal and blues rock genres in particular is what we are looking for.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
7DIGITAL - CONTENT OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
We are looking for an experienced Content Operations Director to join our ever expanding team here at 7digital. The successful candidate will have experience working in and managing a digital supply chain function, preferably in music, for a digital retailer, label or content aggregator. You will be passionate about content and you must be able to work in a fast-paced and fast-growing environment.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DHP GROUP - HEAD OF FESTIVALS
We are looking for a dynamic individual who will be responsible for delivering music festivals for DHP. The Head Of Festivals will: develop the proposition for new outdoor events in different genres; source suitable locations; develop a model for ticket pricing and suitable artist budgets; work with the promoter team on programming; develop non-music areas of the festivals; take over the management of the existing 20,000 capacity event, Splendour; oversee the city based events, Dot To Dot, Hit The Deck and Gathering.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PARTISAN RECORDS - MARKETING MANAGER
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.
DESK SPACE AVAILABLE IN HOXTON
We organise indoor and outdoor music & arts events and have two desks available for rent in our friendly and comfortable office. It's a great creative space located in Hoxton for anyone working in the creative industries (ie graphic designers, journalists, digital, marketing). Just five mins from Hoxton Station. The building is very secure and has 24 hour access. Rent is £250 a month plus VAT per desk which is inclusive of all bills and wi-fi.

For more information please contact info@festivalproduction.net

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

01: The US Attorney General defended America's MegaUpload assault. Eric Holder was visiting New Zealand, where Mega founder Kim Dotcom is currently fighting extradition to face charges related to the running of the controversial file-transfer service in the US courts. To coincide with the visit, Dotcom published a paper again criticising the Americans for shutting down his original Mega business, claiming MegaUpload operated legally, and that the US authorities acted to appease their mates (and political funders) in Hollywood. But Holder disagreed in a radio interview. America's action against MegaUpload and Dotcom, he said, "was brought on the basis of the facts, on the basis of the law, and it's consistent with the enforcement priorities that this administration has had". CMU report

02: Universal was rumoured to have licensed iRadio, Apple's long rumoured streaming music service. According to the Financial Times, Apple is now offering the majors per stream rates in line with those paid by Pandora via the US digital rights agency SoundExchange - it had previously been looking to pay less. While Universal is reportedly now onboard for Apple's Pandora-style streaming set-up, Sony Music is seemingly still pushing for better terms, which could further delay any launch. CMU reportFT report

03: Hilco was in talks about former HMV Ireland stores. According to the Irish Times, estate agent Colliers International has been talking to the landlords of up to six former HMV stores in Ireland about the possibility of agreeing new terms that would enable some shops in the country to reopen. HMV Ireland was shut down completely shortly after HMV UK went into administration earlier this year. CMU reportIrish Times report

04: Hop Farm cancelled. This actually happened very late last week. Vince Power admitted that the Hop Farm festival, which he reacquired after his company Music Festivals plc went under last year, will not go ahead this summer because of poor ticket sales. He wrote on the festival's website: "We have worked very hard to try to make it work but it has proved too much a of mountain to climb and despite fighting hard, circumstances are such that based on poor ticket sales and the forecast selling rate substantial losses would be made". CMU report | Vince Power statement

05: The Jacksons v AEG Live court case continued. An associate producer of Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' project told the court how she feared for the singer's life in the week before he died, because he started to look so frail. But emails showed that Jackson and his doctor Conrad Murray convinced AEG Live President Randy Phillips all was fine. Meanwhile, an expert hired by the Jackson family said there were all sorts of red flags that should have concerned AEG about Murray's abilities to care for the singer. Murray, of course, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for causing Jackson's death. The Jacksons are arguing AEG Live should be held liable for the late king of pop's demise as Murray's paymaster. CMU timeline

This week in CMU we chatted to Dylan Richards about his new project House Of Black Lanterns and got a playlist from Miike Snow's Andrew Wyatt. We approved of Slowolf, illion and Garage Swim. There was a brand new edition of the CMU Podcast, plus plenty of updates on all that will be happening in Brighton next week at The Great Escape Convention. And don't forget, CMU has teamed up with Essential for a special pre-Great Escape party in Shoreditch on Tuesday night - CMU Daily readers can get themselves on the guest list by emailing rsvp@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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UNIVERSAL HAS LICENSED IRADIO, SAYS FT
Apple has secured a licensing deal with Universal Music for its long rumoured streaming service, usually dubbed iRadio, or so says the Financial Times. But the other mega-major, Sony Music, is still holding out for a better deal.

According to the paper, Apple increased its royalty offer to approximately 0.125 cents per stream, which is pretty much what services like Pandora pay the record companies via the US-based SoundExchange rights agency, the rates for which are set by Congress.

Apple had originally been pushing for lower rates, reportedly around 0.08 cents per stream, while promising an additional cut of ad revenue and stressing that, by being integrated with the existing iTunes Store, this new streaming service would also promote download sales.

The majors have been reluctant to offer Apple preferential rates, not least because the labels are currently fighting moves by Pandora in Washington to have SoundExchange's streaming rates cut (to something closer to what satellite radio service SiriusXM pays), and it would be tricky to continue that battle while simultaneously offering what could become Pandora's biggest rival a much better deal.

It's not actually clear if Universal settled for the 0.125 cents rate, though Sony Music is reportedly pushing for more. Of course in the US Apple could always give up direct licensing negotiations and go the SoundExchange route, though presumably it is looking for global deals in its negotiations.

All this comparison to Pandora's rates seemingly confirms that the iRadio service will be of the personalised radio model, rather than the fully on-demand Spotify model, where per-stream rates are usually higher.

If the FT report is right, Apple is seemingly making quite a financial commitment to enter the increasingly crowded streaming music market. Given there has been no talk of this being a subscription set-up, presumably the IT giant hopes its existing ad sales platform will help it quickly generate the required level of ad revenues, an achievement that has, in the main, eluded many of their ad-funded streaming competitors.

Even if the Universal deal is in place, Apple would definitely need Sony Music on board before being able to launch, and ideally Warner and the big indies too. Though usually once one big player does the deal, the rest soon follow. Even Warner. Eventually.

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RIAA ADDS STREAMING TO DIGITAL GOLD AND PLATINUM CERTIFICATION
The Recording Industry Association Of America has announced that it will now count on-demand streaming data in its calculations for gold and platinum Digital Single Awards - which previously had been based on downloads only - 500,000 getting a gold, one million a platinum, and two million a multi-platinum prize.

In the new formulation, which apparently took a year to work out, a 100 streams of a song will be roughly equal to one download. In its announcement the RIAA said that this is "an approximate barometer of comparative consumer activity" and that "the financial value of streams and downloads were not factored into the equation".

Amongst the streaming services the RIAA will take stats from are MOG, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify and Xbox Music. Video streams from MTV.com, Vevo, Yahoo! Music and YouTube will also be counted. At launch, with the numbers all re-crunched based on the new formula, 56 titles have now been upgraded - eleven to gold, eighteen platinum and 27 multi-platinum - with tracks by Avril Lavigne, One Direction, Frank Ocean, Michael Jackson and LMFAO all benefiting.

RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman said in a statement: "Including music streaming in Gold and Platinum awards marks the continued evolution of the industry's premiere program for recognising artistic achievement, and it reflects the wide spectrum of ways consumers enjoy music from their favourite bands. The music business, along with its incredible array of digital service partners, is offering fans more access to music than ever before. We're thrilled that our awards will now more fully recognise artists' commercial success today".

Since the programme was launched in 1958, the RIAA's certifications have only ever been awarded based on record sales (in various formats), so this move seems a strong comment on how music consumption has changed in the last decade. In fact, since 1958 there have been only five changes made to the programme at all - three of which took place in the last nine years (starting with the introduction of the Digital Single Award in 2004) - so that's several comments on how much the industry has changed in the last decade. Heady days.

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SLAYER GUITARIST DEATH CAUSED BY CIRRHOSIS
Slayer have cleared up confusion about the cause of the death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman last week, announcing that it has been confirmed as alcohol-related cirrhosis. It had been speculated that his death was related to the flesh-eating disease necrotising fasciitis he contracted in 2011, which led to a reduced involvement with the band.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Slayer said: "We've just learned that the official cause of Jeff's death was alcohol-related cirrhosis. While he had his health struggles over the years, including the recent necrotising fasciitis infection that devastated his wellbeing, Jeff and those close to him were not aware of the true extent of his liver condition until the last days of his life".

Clearing up further rumours, they added: "Contrary to some reports, Jeff was not on a transplant list at the time of his passing, or at any time prior to that. In fact, by all accounts, it appeared that he had been improving - he was excited and looking forward to working on a new record".

The band also said that they are planning a public memorial service for Hanneman, due to take place later this month.

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AS I LAY DYING FRONTMAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO WIFE MURDER PLOT
As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis appeared in a San Diego court yesterday. In the short hearing, he entered a not guilty plea to charges of attempting to hire a hitman to murder his estranged wife, Meggan, who filed for divorce last September.

As previously reported, the person Lambesis is accused of attempting to get to carry out the killing was actually an undercover police officer. San Diego police said on Tuesday that they had learned of the singer's plans last week and acted quickly to prevent the crime from taking place.

In court yesterday, prosecutors said that police obtained a recording of Lambesis handing over $1000 in cash to the undercover officer, as well as pictures of his wife and the address and entry codes to the security gates of her home. He also allegedly said that the murder should take place while he was with the couple's three adopted children, in order to provide him with an alibi. When asked specifically if he wanted his wife dead, Lambesis, it is claimed, said: "Yes, that's exactly what I want".

Lambesis's bandmates, plus representatives of the band's label, Metal Blade, and their management company, 5B, were all present in court.

Earlier this week the band also put out a statement on their website, saying: "As we post this, the legal process is taking its course and we have no more information than you do. There are many unanswered questions, and the situation will become clearer in the coming days and weeks. We'll keep you informed as best we can. Our thoughts right now are with Tim, his family, and with everyone else affected by this terrible situation - and with our fans, whom we love and draw strength from".

The prosecution asked that Lambesis's bail be set at $20 million, though the Judge Martin Staven opted for the more modest though still significant sum of $3 million. Staven also scheduled Lambesis' next court appearance - a "readiness conference" - for 10 Jun, plus a preliminary hearing for 10 Jul. It will likely be some months before the case comes to trial.

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PARLIAMENTARY JAZZ AWARDS PRESENTED
So, it was the PPL-supported Parliamentary Jazz Awards earlier in the week, the night when jazz and politics come together for a good old fashioned back-slap. And the winners were...

Jazz Musician Of The Year: Guy Barker

Jazz Album Of The Year: John Surman - Saltash Bells (ECM)

Jazz Ensemble Of The Year: Impossible Gentlemen

Live Jazz Award Of The Year: The Vortex, London

Jazz Journalist Of The Year: Rob Adams

Jazz Broadcaster Of The Year: Mike Chadwick

Jazz Publication Of The Year: Catherine Tackley - Benny Goodman's Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert

Jazz Education Award: Nick Smart

Services To Jazz Award: Stan Tracey OBE

Special Award: Elaine Delmar

Commenting on the winners, the Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group, which is a thing, told CMU: "The Parliamentary Jazz Awards is the way MPs and Peers of all political parties aim to support British jazz by recognising and honouring the amazing musical talent we have in this country. The star studded names of this year's winners speak for themselves and we are very grateful to PPL for sponsoring the Awards".

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THE SPICE GIRLS CANCEL* 2014 SHOWS, BREAKING UP AGAIN* (*MAYBE)
Scant (if not implausible) tabloid gossip has it that The Spice Girls have cancelled still TBA series of 2014 arena shows, and now plan to part ways for all infinity. And they really, really mean it this time.

The Mirror claims that Geri Halliwell, Mel B, Mel C and Emma Bunton (fifth Spice Victoria B having declined to take part in the proposed shows from the off) axed the international dates "ten days ago", aka about the time they realised that a certain soon-to-close musical fiasco wasn't going to be as longlasting as its title (twice) states. What a sad, sad day for cash-driven pop reconciliations.

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J-LO SIGNS TO REDONE'S 2101
Jennifer 'J-Lo' Lopez has confirmed a flashy alliance with hip pop whizz RedOne's label, 2101 Records. It entails an international, multi-year deal with Universal's Capitol Records, with which 2101 formally partnered last week.

RedOne, a many-times J-Lo collaborator and the man in charge of the Latina star's new single 'Live It Up', says: "This is like a dream come true for me. It was amazing to be able to work with Jennifer on so many great records over the past two years and now it is such and honour to have her on my label. She is a creative inspiration and a true global superstar artist who brings so much to everything she does. I feel that this is historic and a wonderful opportunity to launch Universal/Capitol/2101 in this way".

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FRANK BLACK, EDDIE ARGOS, COURTNEY TAYLOR-TAYLOR REMAKE HAZLEWOOD LP AS THRIFTSTORE MASTERPIECE
A somewhat rag-tag bag of rockstars calling themselves Thriftstore Masterpiece are releasing a collaborative remake of Lee Hazlewood's first solo LP circa 1963, 'Trouble Is A Lonesome Town'.

Pixies' Frank Black, The Dandy Warhols' Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Art Brut's Eddie Argos and Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock have all been involved in making the ten-track longplayer, which also features Kristin Blix, Pete Yorn, and vocals by the late Larry Norman, whose brother Charles Normal is its producer.

'Trouble Is A Lonesome Town' will be released via SideOneDummy on 9 Jul. Details here.

And this is Isaac Brock driving 'The Railroad'.

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SMITH WESTERNS DETAIL LP
The CMU approved Smith Westerns have assigned their new LP, 'Soft Will', a 24 Jun release date, also sharing its tracklisting and various other particulars (well, only a video, really, but a watchable one at that).

Take a glance at said tracklisting, and said video (which is tailored to the band's new track 'Varsity'), now:

3am Spiritual
Idol
Glossed
XXIII
Fool Proof
White Oath
Only Natural
Best Friend
Cheer Up
Varsity

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DIANA TO RELEASE FIRST LP VIA JAGJAGUWAR
Newly acquired by the Jagjaguwar label, CMU approved alt-pop stargazers DIANA's 2012 track 'Born Again' was repackaged earlier this year as an advance taste of the trio's eponymous first LP.

That, in turn, we now know, will have its release day on 19 Aug, with the band also set to play this year's Great Escape fest (and several non-festival May shows) in the meantime. Have that same tracklisting, and a 'Born Again' visual for afters:

Foreign Installation
That Feeling
Perpetual Surrender
Strange Attraction
Anna
Born Again
New House
Curtains

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE: IBIZA ROCKS, LOVEBOX, GLASTONBURY (ABBEY EXTRAVAGANZA) AND MORE
So Ibiza Rocks has topped off its mainly pop-based artist listings, cramming Biffy Clyro, Beady Eye, Chic feat Nile Rodgers and Professor Green alongside the likes of Jake Bugg, Rizzle Kicks, The Vaccines, Tinie Tempah and Chase & Status. Pro Green says he is: "Very, very excited to be back at Ibiza and Mallorca Rocks" and "can't wait to perform some of the new album! Let's fackin ave it!"

Yeah, ave it. And by 'it', I naturally mean another update to the Lovebox line-up, as now comes with added Lil Kim, who'll be making her first London-based live PA since 2001 at the Victoria Park pop do. She aligns with pre-existing Lovebox faves like Plan B, Goldfrapp and her arch rap rival, Azealia Banks. Ha ha ha.

Oh yeah, and Michael Eavis is bringing back that most loved of Glasto add-ons, the separately-ticketed (and also later in the year) Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza, and has kindly asked Bryan Ferry and his orchestra to headline it. Nice.

And now, as a post-intro palate cleanser, today's FLUUs in full:

BINGLEY MUSIC LIVE, Myrtle Park, Bingley, 30 Aug - 1 Sep: The Human League, Summer Camp, The Struts, The Electric Swing Circus. www.bingleymusiclive.com

GLASTONBURY ABBEY EXTRAVAGANZA, Glastonbury Abber Grounds, Somerset, 11 Aug: The Bryan Ferry Orchestra. www.glastonburyabbeyshop.com

IBIZA ROCKS, Rocks Hotel, Ibiza, Spain, 5 Jun - 18 Sep: Biffy Clyro, Chic feat Nile Rodgers, Beady Eye, The Courteeners, AlunaGeorge, Professor Green, Findlay, Amplify Dot, London Grammar, Temples. www.ibizarocks.com

INCUBATE, various venues, Tilburg, Netherlands, 16-22 Sep: Clock DVA, TAGC, Shonen Knife, Eaux, Geneva Jacuzzi, Golden Grrrls, Terror Bird, Embers, Distel, The Yawns, Former Utopia, Lemontrip, Kanine, Part Time Bandits, Willie Darktrousers, Good Cop/Naughty Cop. incubate.org

LODESTAR, Lode, Cambridge, 3- Aug - 1 Sep: The Joy Formidable, Dragonette, El Perro Del Mar, Hatcham Social, Thumpers, Ryan Keen, Eleanor Friedberger, Mausi, Paper Aeroplanes, Kimberly Anne, Caracol, The Vestals, The Birthday Kiss, Flowers, Candy Says, Lonely The Brave, Jess Roberts, Lux Lisbon, The Rocket Dolls. www.lodestarfestival.com

LOVEBOX, Victoria Park, London, 19-21 Jul: Lil Kim. mamacolive.com/lovebox

WESTPORT FESTIVAL, Westport House, County Mayo, Ireland, 29-30 Jun: Christy Moore & Declan Sinnott, Orquesta The Waterboys, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Imelda May, Squeeze, Martha Wainright, LAPD, Sharon Corr, Buena Vista Social Club feat Eliades Ochoa & Omara Portuondo, ABC, Blind Boys Of Alabama, The Grand Parade feat Lisa Hannigan, Wallis Bird, Mundy, Jerry Fish, Gavin Glass & Declan O'Rourke, The Stunning, Alabama 3, Hayseed Dixie, Gavin James, Julie Feeney, New Sunset Hotel, Le Galaxie, Daithi, Tieranniesaur, Funeral Suits, Sleep Thieves, Elaine Mai, In their Thousands, The Depravations, Stephen James Band, I Draw Slow, Jack Lukeman, Damien Dempsey, Ryan Sheridan, The Riptide Movement, Cry Before Dawn, Hermitage Green, The Silver Seas, Delorentos, Squarehead, Kid Karate, Not Squares, Mojo Gogo, So Cow, Dott, Doghouse. www.westportfestival.com

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NEW MARKETS UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT AT GREAT ESCAPE
With thousands of music business people from all over the world due to arrive in Brighton next week for this year's Great Escape, let's share some details about the internationally themed events happening within the CMU-programmed TGE convention this year.

Three sessions in particular will focus on taking new talent into new markets. On Thursday at 2.15pm the spotlight will fall on Live Opportunities In Emerging Markets, with representatives from China, India, South Africa and Poland discussing the challenges and opportunities for taking new talent into these regions, and the partnerships that can be struck up to help make things happen.

After the panel, there will be a screening of a new documentary that reveals what happened when the British Council took four British bands into the outer reaches of China, with the assistance of Split Works, for the UK Now festival last year. Archie Hamilton from Split Works will also be on hand to discuss the project, and the ins and outs of touring British bands in China.

On Friday as part of TGE's Focus on Music Marketing, there will be two sessions looking at building profile and engaging media in new markets, the latter presented in association with PPL. As artists look to make their great escape into new territories, how do you build profile? What influences key opinion formers? How does new talent marketing differ from country to country? And how do the music media operate in each of these regions, and how open are they to new international talent? Experts from Australia, Japan, the US and Poland will be sharing.

In addition to the panels, there are numerous region-specific showcases, parties and networking session during TGE this year, and, of course, a particular focus on the Polish music industry, Poland being the featured country for this year's event. Delegates will be able to meet representatives from the Polish music business at the Polish Party (Thursday), the Meet The Polish networking session (Friday) and the Don't Panic We're From Poland showcase (Saturday).

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SONY CORP GOES BACK INTO PROFIT
Sony Corp has moved back into profit after a number of years of loss-making madness, thanks in part to a weakening of the yen - the strength of the Japanese currency in recent years having hindered the value of the firm's non-domestic profits.

In it's latest earnings report, Sony reported a 93.9 billion yen ($948 million) profit for the final quarter of its last financial year, and a year-end profit of 43 billion yen ($434 million), compared to the 457 billion yen ($5.7 billion) loss it made in the previous year. Sony bosses said that they now expected the company's recovery to continue, predicting a profit of 50 billion yen for the current financial year.

The Sony Music business, which includes Sony Corp's three music companies (the worldwide record company, the Japanese record company and its half of the Sony/ATV publishing group), netted profits of $396 million on sales that were every so slightly down on the previous year, partly due the ongoing shift from physical to digital, and partly because of a less strong release schedule in Japan.

In related news, Sony Music has also confirmed that it's purchase of half of the Now! That's What I Call Music! franchise has been approved by European regulators. As previously reported, Universal was forced by competition regulators to sell what had been EMI's half of the brand after it acquired the EMI record company. Sony was confirmed as the buyer in February.

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KOBALT LAUNCHES NEW PLATFORM FOR MONITORING RIGHTS USAGE
Publishing administration company Kobalt has announced a new client portal designed to make it easier for rights owners to track usage of their content, including the facility to see videos on YouTube that use a music company's songs on their soundtrack, and all associated usage and royalty data. The company hopes to add similar monitoring functionality for all other key digital services in due course.

Announcing the new platform, Kobalt boss Willard Ahdritz told CMU: "We expect digital revenues for Kobalt's rights owners to increase significantly as a direct result of our new technology integration. With total transparency and control for our clients, the new portal is a game-changer for the music industry. Building on our existing platform and proven technology, this is one of our most significant technology achievements to date, offering the first completely visual and fully interactive client communication platform".

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YOUTUBE SUBSCRIPTION CHANNELS LAUNCH
As expected, YouTube has unveiled a portfolio of subscription channels, 53 in total, over 30 of which will be accessible to UK-based users.

An extension of the video site's content partnership programme, where the Google-owned business partners with celebrities, media and brands to create original content, it's been known for a few months that the company was looking to go beyond its ad-funded free-to-view model with some of those channels, and to introduce subscriptions.

Baby First Plus, TNA Wrestling and comedy.tv are amongst the services UK users might want to access, with monthly subscription fees set at between £1.49 and £3.49.

Say the Googlers: "Today, there are more than one million channels generating revenue on YouTube, and one of the most frequent requests we hear from the creators behind them is for more flexibility in monetising and distributing content. We've been working on that and wanted to fill you in on what to expect. Starting today, we're launching a pilot program for a small group of partners that will offer paid channels on YouTube with subscription fees starting at $0.99 per month".

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SHAZAM AND RDIO EXPAND PARTNERSHIP
A partnership between "I wonder what that is" app maker Shazam and streaming music service Rdio has been expanded into the UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Mexico, meaning that users of the Shazam smartphone app who identify a track via the tool can immediately play it in full via the Rdio platform. Should they have an Rdio subscription and that be something they wish to do. Presumably on most occasions they'll already be listening to the track in full.

Says Shazam CTO Jason Titus: "Working together in six major countries across the globe, we are now providing more than 120 million users of the free version of Shazam the ability to instantly listen to an entire song they just identified exclusively on Rdio. The combination of Rdio and Shazam gives music lovers the fastest tagging service and a groundbreaking digital music service so they can identify, save, and organise their music discoveries".

Meanwhile Rdio boss man Drew Larner told CMU: "Rdio's partnership with Shazam closes the loop between discovering a song and being able to hear it again and again. In one click, you can go from tagging a song on Shazam to playing it on Rdio, sharing it with friends, or discovering more music by that artist. Together, we've built a seamless experience to capture music in the moment and incorporate it into your life".

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AMAZING RADIO TO RETURN TO DAB
Amazing Radio has announced its return to DAB a year after contractual problems forced it off the national Digital One network.

As previously reported, the independent music radio station had broadcast on the Digital One platform since 2009, but ended its DAB broadcasts last May because of an undisclosed contractual disagreement between it and Arquiva, the operator of said network. Fans of the new music station immediately launched a petition, though it has taken until now to resolve the issues.

The station will not return to the national Digital One network initially though, rather to Arquiva's D2 network, which covers London and the South East.

Programme Director Matt Jamison told CMU: "We were sad to come off DAB, but we kept going online and on mobile Apps, increasing our audience and improving our output every month. Now we're back, bigger and hopefully better, broadcasting in London and the South East initially on the D2 DAB multiplex".

The station will recommence DAB broadcasts from 13 May, exactly a year after it went disappeared from the network, with a burst of birdsong - a nod to the popular birdsong channel that was also taken off the air last year.

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BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG LIKENS PSY TO VIRAL STD, PSY 'KINDA LIKES' IT
Ah, isn't that Psy a nice, polite popstar (a mother father gentleman, one might say)? Always looking on the bright side, always appreciative of any compliment. A class act.

Like when Billie Joe Armstrong was so kind as to liken Psy's prevalence (in the pop charts) to that of herpes (in the STD charts). Airing his anti-Psy FYI via Instagram earlier this week, Armstrong - in no way a hypocrite given the trio of LPs Green Day released in 2012 - captioned an Instagram image of the K-Pop character with "This dude is the herpes of music. Once you think it's gone, it comes back. #herpes #flareup #pleasegoaway".

Psy's answer? "I kinda like it, it's cool. He said I'm like the herpes... that keeps coming back. I think it's really cool. Thank you".

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