10 JUN 2013

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Hey, it's most definitely the beginning of festival season now, what with two major UK festivals taking place this weekend - the Isle Of Wight Festival and Download. But wait, before you head off to stand in a field and drunkenly shout along with your favourite rock bands, there's a whole week of news and features to get through here at CMU. To ease your week along, we have a playlist from the brilliant Jon Hopkins and a brand new edition of the CMU podcast. Plus, we'll be publishing a new Eddy Says column and an interview with BBC Music & Events Commissioning Editor, Jan Younghusband.
Jonathan Rado of slightly irritating pop nostalgists Foxygen has shared a new track from his (probably) not-as-irritating new solo LP 'Law And Order', which is released via Woodsist on 2 Sep. With its giddy phrasings, tatty string tableaus and lyrical hippyisms, it's essentially the same kind of thing Rado's band practised in this year's 'We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic', but in every way 'less' - less foppish, less frilly, less fey). Which, all in all, makes it a sweeter, easier psychedelic pill to take. And it features twice-approved CMU fave White Fence on guitar at the end. Just saying more>>

- Sony on board for Apple's streaming service, announcement expected later today
- IPO publishes first amendments to expand fair dealing in UK copyright law
- Randy Blythe not guilty verdict upheld on appeal
- Live Nation charged over fatal stage collapse at Radiohead gig
- Daft Punk to release specially extended DIY vinyl remix
- Neko Case trails new LP
- Money share LP details
- Modest Mouse cancel EU dates to make new LP
- Israeli indie bands take to London
- Playground Festival canned, promoter in administration
- Festival line-up update: Download, Global Gathering, T In The Park and more
- Jean Michel Jarre becomes new CISAC president
- UK three-strikes delayed until at least 2015
- Rdio CEO to step aside
- Micropayments key to streaming future, says Psonar boss
- TeamRock Radio to launch next weekend
- Hat burglar stops play at A$AP Rocky show
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A round up of new stories, events, new releases and gigs coming up in the next seven days...

iRadio launch. Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference kicks off in San Francisco today. The five-day event allows third party developers in attendance to see what new features are coming to the company’s iOS and OS X operating systems. Of course, it’s also a platform for Apple to announce these and other changes to the wider world too, and one thing everyone is awaiting for an announcement on this time is the long awaited iTunes streaming service. Likely to be Pandora-style personalised radio set-up, major labels Sony and Warner joined Universal in signing up to the service last week and some kind of announcement is expected at WWDC today.

Isle Of Wight Festival. After being marred by bad weather last year, leading to some ticketholders spending the first night stuck in their cars outside the festival site, this year the folks behind the Isle Of Wight Festival have taken better precautions to stop the same happening again. Partly for licensing reasons, but partly, we’d like to think, out of the goodness of their hearts. That said, they’ve booked The Stone Roses, The Killers and Bon Jovi as their headliners, which does sort of look like a punishment for all those punters whose car-driving-to-a-festival antics forced that costly infrastructure upgrade.

Download Festival. If you don’t fancy heading over (a little bit of) the sea to the Isle Of Wight, and like your rock a bit more metallic, then Download is the festival for you. Taking over Donington Park, its headliners this year after Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein.

Kerrang! Awards. Keeping it metal is what has sort of become Download’s unofficial warm-up party, the Kerrang! Awards. Fall Out Boy, Bring Me The Horizon and Pierce The Veil lead the pack in the nominations, with four each. But will they come away with the most awards? Maybe. Maybe not. But there will be awards. That’s as much as I can promise for now. To celebrate the awards happening, the Kerrang! Radio station will, erm, disappear from the FM network in the Midlands. Previously digital-only station Planet Rock will appear in its place, just before new rival Team Rock launches on the digital network.

Deadline for AIM Awards entries. Hey, while we’re on the subject of awards ceremonies, The Association Of Independent Music will be holding its Independent Music Awards in September. Should you wish to win one of those awards, you have until this Thursday to send in a glowing application talking yourself right up.

New releases. Boards Of Canada’s new album is out this week, which apparently everyone is very excited about. Black Sabbath also make their return, which we assume some people care about. A lot more interesting are the new albums from These New Puritans and Emika, both of which are excellent. Also on offer are new LPs from Eleanor Friedberger, CSS, Polysics, Jagwar Ma, Smith Westerns and Beady Eye. Efterklang have a live album out, and fellow Nordic type Ane Brun has a retrospective of her first ten years as a recording artist. You can also pick up new EPs from Lorde and Hibou that are good.

Gigs and tours. Now the weather’s warmed up a bit, the big names are coming out. This week you can catch The Stone Roses, Kings Of Leon, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young out and about. Also playing shows are Tegan & Sara, Ben Howard, Chelsea Light Moving, Travis, Danny Brown, Chic, JJ DOOM, Mykki Blanco and Little Comets.

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The Sony record company and music publishing business both signed up to Apple's planned iRadio service late last week, meaning that the tech giant could announce its streaming music plans at this week's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, with many now predicting some sort of announcement later today.

Apple's long, long mooted move into the streaming audio space, with an interactive radio service similar to that operated by Pandora, started gaining real momentum a few months back, with insiders reporting that the tech firm was starting to give way to key demands from the big music rights owners in a bid to get to market this side of summer.

Universal Music reportedly signed up in early May, with both sides of Warner Music - recordings and publishing - coming on board just over a week ago. It had long been thought that, of the majors, the Sony companies would drive the hardest bargains, but on Friday afternoon they too reportedly signed on the dotted line, the Sony Music recorded music company first, with the Sony/ATV publishing business, which also controls EMI Music Publishing of course, following shortly after.

In terms of the majors, that leaves just Universal Music Publishing to do the deal, though with overall Universal Music Group chief Lucian Grainge seemingly behind the new venture, and with Apple reportedly offering the publishers a 10% cut of ad revenues, double what has been industry standard for such services, it seems likely that agreement will be in place very shortly - possibly before any announcement by Apple later today.

Of course there has been very little chatter so far about the independents, on both the sound recording and song publishing sides of the equation.

The indie labels, in particular, will definitely kick off if Apple launches its streaming platform without their catalogues signed up, though the tech firm will likely feel confident that, with the major music company deals in place, it can officially announce its iRadio plans, in the hope that everyone else can then be signed up before actual launch.

In terms of catalogue gaps, arguably it will be more important to get the indie publishers on board asap, especially BMG, though talks are thought to already be ongoing in that regard.

While the done deals will definitely allow launch in the US, it's not yet known whether any multi-territory deals have been done, though any announcement at Apple's developer event should shed some light on that. It is thought the service itself will be free to the user, with radio-style ads and sell-through to the iTunes download store.

On launch in Europe, it will likely be dubbed a potential "Spotify-killer", even though it won't compete head on with the fully on-demand streaming services of the Spotify model.

In the US it will definitely be dubbed a "Pandora-killer", and investors will be watching that standalone streaming music company's share price with interest as any Apple announcement is made. Any news, or even rumours, of Apple's music ambitions can cause Pandora's share price to wobble, and the tech giant launching a head on competitor could have a sizable impact. Though the actual threat iRadio poses Pandora may depend on how strong its mobile and in-car offering turns out to be.

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The Intellectual Property Office has published the wording of several proposed amendments to the UK's Copyright Act, stemming from the much previously reported Hargreaves Review of copyright law in 2011 and previously promised in the IPO's own 'Modernising Copyright' report last December.

As previously reported, at the heart of Hargreaves' recommendations was the expansion of the so called 'fair dealing' system, English law's equivalent of 'fair use', which provides exemptions where copies can be made of copyright works without the permission of the owner.

As I'm about to quote directly from the IPO's draft amendments, the 'new exception for quotation' provision definitely interests me, though for the music industry the private copying and parody exemptions will be of most interest.

The private copying exemption allows users to make copies of, say, music files they have legitimately bought (and have permanent ownership of) for personal use. The private copy right already exists in most other jurisdictions, and the UK music industry doesn't, in principle, object to it.

However, elsewhere in Europe a levy is charged to the makers of devices onto which copies can be made (traditionally cassettes and CDRs, though more recently MP3 players and similar devices) which is passed back to the music community. Hargreaves, and the IPO's resulting amendment, introduces the exemption without levy, which is something the UK record industry officially opposes.

Especially as the exemption specifically covers digital lockers, with the amendment stressing that private copies can be made to "an electronic storage facility accessed by means of the internet or similar means, where that facility is provided for [the user's] sole private use".

Digital locker providers who can now exploit this new right should pay a levy for the privilege, the record industry's argument goes, though as most music-focused cloud storage set-ups have to get a licence off the music companies anyway, in order to offer scan-and-match functionality, the IPO might counter that no levy system is really required.

The music industry also isn't that keen on the parody exemption, the amendment for which was also published last week. The proposed wording for this new fair dealing provision - which basically says that copyright is not infringed if a work is copied or performed for "the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche" - doesn't go into any great detail as to when exactly this would apply. Which is likely to further concern the music industry's lobbyists.

Although debate on whether or not these provisions should be introduced at all was closed off by the IPO after last year's consultation, which resulted in the aforementioned 'Modernising Copyright' report, feedback is being accepted on the wording of these specific amendments, up until 17 Jul. More info here.

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Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe has again been ruled not guilty of causing the death of a fan in 2010, after an appeals court in the Czech Republic upheld an earlier ruling.

As previously reported, Blythe was accused of pushing Daniel Nosek off the stage at a gig in Prague in 2010. Nosek sustained head injuries during a fall at the show, which he then died from two weeks later. Blythe was arrested when Lamb Of God arrived in the Czech Republic for another show last year. Although he returned to the US after eventually being released on bail, he returned to face trial in February.

Blythe was acquitted in early March, though the prosecution appealed almost immediately. However, at a hearing on Wednesday, Prague's High Court upheld the original ruling, meaning Blythe is now clear of further court proceedings. He was not in court himself on this occasion, Lamb Of God currently being on tour in the US.

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The Ministry Of Labour in Ontario is pursuing charges against three companies and one individual in relation to the stage collapse that occurred ahead of a Radiohead show in Toronto last June. As previously reported, Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson was killed after a scaffolding structure collapsed onto the open-air stage before any audience members had been admitted.

The show was promoted by Live Nation, and the live music giant and its Ontario subsidiary both face four charges under the Canadian province's Occupational Health And Safety Act. Optex Staging & Services Inc has also been charged over four alleged breaches of health and safety laws, while engineer Dominic Cugliari faces one charge.

For its part, Live Nation has already denied the charges, telling Billboard: "We wholeheartedly disagree with the charges brought against us by the Ministry Of Labour. We absolutely maintain that Live Nation and our employees did everything possible to ensure the safety of anyone who was on or near the stage involved in the tragic incident that led to the unfortunate death of Mr Scott Johnson".

The company added: "We will vigorously defend ourselves and we are confident that through this process the facts will come to light and we will be exonerated. As we commence this year's concert season with a new staging contractor, Live Nation will continue its strict peer review process with external engineers for rigging and staging. We will remain vigilant in these safety and security procedures because the wellbeing of our employees, fans and artists is of utmost importance".

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Latterly de-masked (again) disco types Daft Punk are releasing their first ever DIY remix (ie they've remixed it themselves), an extended, eleven minute edit of 'Get Lucky', as a vinyl single. Amazon has listed its buy date as 15 Jul, so that's most likely when it'll be available.

Meanwhile, here's one I made earlier.

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Get this, Neko Case is releasing an LP - tentatively titled 'The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You' - soon. She's made this new trailer to that effect, it featuring a new track which, in high contrast to the LP itself, has no name whatsoever.

Here it is.


Hailing from the "extraordinary, poetic city" (they say) that is Manchester, Bella Union-signed alt-pop capitalists MONEY have given their first ever LP a name - 'The Shadow Of Heaven' - and a release date, 26 Aug.

Apparently, the album is "full of yearning and soul-searching, a voyage of (non-) discovery that only ends up finding itself and the sheer, aching beauty of questions asked in full knowledge of their own answerlessness. It's metaphysics for the modern age, which might not be quite as spiritually bankrupt and bereft of meaning as we once believed".

Ah, that's nice. Almost as nice as this, the picturesque visual for MONEY's new track 'Bluebell Fields'.

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'Float On' hitmakers Modest Mouse have - quite immodestly, to be honest - cancelled each and every show on their European tour in order to concentrate on making a new LP.

Writing via their official 'photoblog', the band said: "After much thought, we have decided to cancel our EU/UK tour to continue work on our forthcoming album. We do appreciate our fans and promise that we will make it up to you next year. Refunds will be available at the point of purchase. We look forward to sharing our new music with the world next year".

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If you've been sitting around wondering what the indie music scene in Tel Aviv is like (as I'm sure you have), wonder no more, because it's coming to London. Well, some of it. Five bands worth.

Israel Music Export and Tune In Tel Aviv have announced a night of Israeli music later this month, as they arrive to perform variously at the Glastonbury and YouBloom festivals. Topping the bill at The Islington on 25 Jun are the excellently named Bill and Murray, with performances ahead of them from Lego Lepricons, Ester Rada, Saz and ACollective.

No idea what any of them sound like? No problem, here's a playlist.

Further details on Facebook.

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Following last week's news that the latter half of London's Playground Festival (on Saturday 8 Jul) had been cancelled after less than great ticket sales - but leaving the Friday 7 Jul listings still intact - the entire weekend event has since gone the same way, with the festival's seven year-old promoter Mediaground Ltd going into administration.

A basic explanation on the Playground site reads: "We are sad to say that after much of a battle here we have been left with no option but to cancel the entire festival. After poor ticket sales and an investor parting ways with us we weren't able to rectify the matter. Mediaground Ltd has been left with no option but to file for insolvency moving forward".

In addition to granting immediate paybacks to ticketholders at point of purchase, The Playground is also staging a one-off live show at London's Koko on 13 Jul, info on which the promoter promises to share soon.

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I start today's festival fact sheet with news of 'bad times' at Newquay's Squarepusher-headlined Bangface rave, as has been cancelled after locals complained over the levels of noise the festival has generated in past years. With the Playground Festival in London also disappearing off the live listings last week, it's not been a great few days for festivals headlined by that Tom Jenkinson.

Bangface bosses say, with "great sadness and frustration", that "significantly lower sound levels" set in reaction to said complaints have proved "unworkable, greatly affecting both volume and critical bass frequencies", and that they "simply cannot deliver an event under these restrictions".

So that's that, RIP Bangface 2013. Info on the above, and details on the ways in which disappointed face-bangers-to-be can get their cash back, via

And now, since life goes on, so shall we. On, that is, to additions, updates and revisions (of the acquisitive kind) to line-ups at Download, Jersey Live, Global Gathering, Monegros, Pukkelpop, T In The Park, WOMAD and Skrillex and Diplo's Pharell-featuring party cruise, Holy Ship.

DOWNLOAD, Donington Park, Leicestershire, 14-16 Jun: I Am I, Falling With Style, Press To Meco, Surrender The Coast, Searching Alaska, Forever Can Wait, Sky Valley Mistress, Semper Fi, Akord, New Killer Shoes.

JERSEY LIVE, Royal Jersey Showgrounds, Trinity, Jersey, The Channel Islands, 31 Aug - 1 Sep: Public Service Broadcasting, The Enemy, Deap Vally, The 1975, Wolf People, Skip & Die, Simon Evans.

GLOBAL GATHERING, Long Marston Airfield, Warwickshire, 26-27 Jul: Sasha, Last Night In Paris, Alex Niggeman, Ozzie, Etherwood, Knox Brown feat Jada, Arron Whall, Mob Serenade, Andrew Bennett, Dubvision, Tripmastaz, Kidnap Kid, Hannah Wants, Mind Vortex, Xxtrakt, Sonny Wharton, Ona, Massappeals, Jikay, Long & Harris.

HOLY SHIP, Miami, Florida, USA, 9-12 Jan 2014: Skrillex, Diplo, Pharrell Williams, Duck Sauce, Boys Noize, Zedd, Laidback Luke, A-Trak, Zeds Dead, Dillon Francis, Bauuer, Chromeo, Disclosure, Armand Van Helden, Flosstradamus, Claude Vonstroke, Maceo Plex, Flume, RL Grime, Brodinski, Crookers, Alvin Risk, Destructo, Justin Martin, Schlohmo, Clockwork, GTA, Alex Metric, Oliver, Breach, Just Blaze, Griz, Gramatik, Ryan Hemsworth, Cyril Hahn, Djedjotronic, Strip Steve, TJR, Kill Frenzy, Anime Edge & Dance, French Fries, Gorgon City, Light Year, T Williams, Jerome LOL, Samo Sound Boy, Kaytranada, Liquid Todd.

MONEGROS, Fraga, Spain, 20-21 Jul: Nero, Ayah Marar, Tale Of Us, Matador, Dave Clarke, Surgeon, Ben Sims.

PUKKELPOP, Kempische Steenweg, Belgium, 15-17 Aug: James Blake, Regina Spektor, Noah And The Whale, Rudimental, Parquet Courts, Frightened Rabbit, The Child Of Lov, As I Lay Dying, The Pretty Reckless, Rainy Milo, Zebrahead, San Cisco, Clock Opera, Emmure, Matt Corby, Just Blaze, Badbadnotgood.

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Perth & Kinross, Scotland, 12-14 Jul: The Lake Poets, PAWS, Baby Strange, Fat Goth, The Recovery!, Roman Nose, Emily Burns, The LaFontaines, Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun, Discopolis, Departures, Saint Max And The Fanatics, Animal Noise, Astroid Boys, Story Books, Propellers, The Adelines, Model Aeroplanes, Big Beat Bronson, Steel Trees.

WOMAD, Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, 25-28 Jul: Arrested Development, Craig Charles, Ed Harcourt, Joseph Arthr, Babylon Circus, Amesmalua, Nynke, La Chiva Gantiva, Imperial Tiger Orchestra, The Bookshop Band, Barrule, Capercaillie, Dawanggang, Desmali & D;Ambo de la Costa, DJ Tudo E Sua Gente De Todo Lugar, Dogan Mehmet And The Boombox Karavan, Family Atlantica, Guy Schalom & The Baladi Blues Ensemble , KonKoma, La Pegatina, Mavrika, Nefes feat Fidan Hajiyeva, The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Roopa Panesar, Zykopops.

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CISAC - the global organisation of collecting societies for the music publishing and songwriter communities, and other creators - has elected Jean Michel Jarre as its new President. Jarre basically succeeds Robin Gibb, who died in May 2012 of course, and visual artist Hervé Di Rosa, who has fulfilled the role in an acting capacity this last year. Jarre, and four Vice-Presidents, were elected at the organisation's World Creators Summit in Washington last week.

Kenth Muldin, Chairman of the CISAC board of directors, told reporters: "We are thrilled to welcome Jean Michel Jarre and our new four vice presidents as we continue striving to create a world where creators can practice their art without fear of being short-changed. As creators themselves, all five new appointees are well aware of the issues faced by the creative community, making them ideal candidates to carry on the legacy of our previous president Robin Gibb, who fought tirelessly for creators' rights throughout his life. We look forward to working with them to continue the work of making his vision a reality".

It's Jarre's second appointment to a global trade organisation in recent weeks. Last month he became an Ambassador for the newish Association For Electronic Music, a position he will hold alongside Nile Rodgers.

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The Department Of Culture, Media & Sport has admitted that the first element of the three-strikes style system for combating illegal file-sharing set out in the 2010 Digital Economy Act will not know begin until at least 2015.

There have been countless delays in launching the 'graduated response' system outlined in the DEA, partly because net firms TalkTalk and BT took the legislation to judicial review (without success), but mainly because of disagreements between stakeholders and within the political community as to how the anti-piracy programme should be funded.

The first stage of the system is internet service providers being forced to send warning letters to consumers suspected by rights owners of accessing illegal content sources. There was originally talk of that happening as soon as 2011, but launch dates were repeatedly put back. Last year a DMCS rep admitted no letters would now be sent before 2014, and last week a spokesman told the BBC that 2015 was now the earliest any letter-sending would begin.

As previously reported, digital policy blogger James Firth recently predicted that the government would wait until after the next General Election before putting the copyright elements of the DEA into action. His sources in Westminster said that would likely mean no letter-sending until 2016, or maybe even 2017.

Squabbling between the DMCS and the Treasury over the nature of three-strikes has played its part in the most recent delays, some insiders say. There has been speculation of late that the very future of the DMCS is now in doubt, with some in Westminster and Whitehall plotting to have the culture department shut down, and its various remits redistributed to other departments of government. It's not clear what that would mean for three-strikes.

The content industries which lobbied hard to have three-strikes included in the DEA continue to call for it to be implemented asap, though in the meantime the music and movie industries have put more effort into web-blocking, the anti-piracy measure rejected by parliament when drafting its digital content legislation, but which - as it turned out - was possible under existing copyright law.

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The CEO of streaming music service Rdio will step aside, according to Bloomberg. Incumbent Drew Larner reckons that someone with different talents is required to help the digital music firm expand the user-bases of both its core Rdio music service and spin off video-on-demand Vdio platform. Larner will lead the search for a replacement CEO, and once he or she is found will take the new role of Executive Chairman at the firm.

Bloomberg quote the current Rdio chief as saying: "Momentum from last year has been tremendous. The best person to take this to the next level, it's probably someone with a different skill set. I'm a business guy and a deal guy. The next stage of the company is about building an enormous user and subscription base, and there are people out there better at that than I am".

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With many music rights owners and record industry commentators increasingly convinced that stream-based services - so 'access' instead of 'ownership' to use terms fashionable a few years back - will contribute a significant and possibly the majority of revenues in the future, the boss of one digital music company, Psonar, is again bigging up his firm's alternative approach to monetising streaming content.

In the main, streaming services are either subscription-based (£5-£10 per month) or ad-funded, the latter only really working as a standalone business (rather than as a way of up-selling subscriptions) if a userbase is huge, as with YouTube and VEVO. But since early 2011, UK-based Psnoar has been dabbling with a pay-as-you-go system, where users pay a tiny sum every time they stream a track.

Convinced that system, despite having yet to gain momentum, will still play an important role in the future, Martin Rigby, CEO and co-founder of Psonar, told CMU: "The vast majority (something like 93%) of the world's population have no access to debit or credit cards so micropayments via mobile are the obvious way to pay for many digital goods and services (and even some physical ones) online. This also applies to a sizeable minority of consumers in the developed world. In the way that pre-pay revolutionised access to mobile, micropayments can revolutionise access to online products and services".

He continued: "Subscription streaming is a great product for relatively wealthy music fans who want to listen to 60 hours music or more on a subscription service. At £120/$120 per year this is unaffordable for the majority of people worldwide, both in the developed and developing worlds. Moreover, for people with large personal music collections, which they listen to most of the time with only occasional recourse to on-demand streaming, subscription represents very poor value compared to a pay-as-you-go payment model".

Psonar uses a system where users charge up their accounts with as much credit as they want, starting at a minimum of 50p, and then pay 1p for each track played. Users can also gift track plays to non-Psonar users.

The advantages of micropayments over the subscription model, says Rigby, is that "whilst the service requires some scale to become profitable, it isn't giving away more than a limited number of introductory tracks to acquire users and, generally, every play is monetised". He adds: "Moreover, it has the capacity to bring on-demand streaming to the vast majority of the world's population, especially on mobile, who can't afford, or don't want to pay for subscription streaming".

It seems unlikely that any of the bigger players in streaming have any ambitions to move into micro-payments anytime soon, especially in North America and Europe. Though, every company in the streaming space - most of which are yet to fully demonstrate long-term sustainability - is eager for growth, both into the more mainstream consumer base, and emerging markets. And Rigby would presumably argue that that is where his approach could result in competitive advantage. Time will tell.

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The new digital rock radio service TeamRock will go live next weekend, at two minutes before midnight on Sunday 16 Jun, with the Iron Maiden song 'Two Minutes To Midnight', obviously. Which at six minutes long will take the new station into its first day on air.

The launch will coincide with the conclusion of the Download Festival, highlights from which will be aired during the station's first few days on air. It will also closely follow the arrival of rival station Planet Rock on FM in the West Midlands. As previously reported, that digital rock station is being put on FM by its new owners Bauer Media, using the frequency currently occupied by the Kerrang! radio station.

Commenting on his new station's impending launch, TeamRock CEO Billy Anderson told reporters: "This is an exciting time for TeamRock Radio. After three long years, seeing our dreams eventually coming together will be very special, and to launch at such a prestigious event as 'Download' makes it even more amazing".

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Here's an A$AP Rocky fact you may not be aware of; he can't and won't rap sans a hat. Or a watch.

And while we're at it, anything to do with stealing (stealing A$AP Rocky's 'shit', that is - him taking from third parties is a-okay) is a no-no a la the A$AP code. I repeat: do not take A$AP Rocky's 'shit', at least, not if you want him to carry on rapping.

For proof of the above, skip to 0.24 in this clip of Rocky's (over-dramatic) reaction to a fan taking his "one-of-a-kind" cap clean off his head at a show in Germany last week.

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