An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Wednesday 13 November 2013

TODAY'S TOP STORY: The managers of U2 and Madonna are close to merging their respective management companies into a new venture that will sit within the Live Nation empire, according to various media reports. Paul McGuinness will merge his Principle Management business with Guy Oseary's Maverick company, with the former becoming Chairman of the new firm and the latter the more hands-on CEO. That... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Another body orbiting Ariel Pink's lo-fi cosmos, John Webster Johns - like Pink's pals Chris Cohen, John Maus, Jorge Elbrecht, R Stevie Moore and Soko - also has his own solo thing going on. Having released such 'things' via aliases Muzz and Fictional Boys in the past, Johns now plays guitar part-time with White Fence, but has still found the downtime to make an LP under the name Jack Name titled... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES U2 and Madonna managers to ally via new deal with Live Nation
LEGAL Spotify user launches class action lawsuit over subscription process
DEALS SONGS signs Lorde
MKS not dropped by Polydor, Keisha confirms
LIVE BUSINESS MU hits out at new busking rules in Camden
See Tickets announces alliance with Manchester venue operator
MARKETING & PR Google to allow Nielsen and Comscore to provide ad analytics for its platforms
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Google confirms music coming to Glass
ARTIST NEWS Composer John Tavener dies
Cher Lloyd talks leaving Syco, second album delays
Fruit Bats splitting anon
RELEASES Lily Allen returns with baggy pussy
Ben Folds, Benjamin Francis Leftwich set songs to kids' lyrics in new LP
GIGS & FESTIVALS Gigs & Tours round-up: Katy B, Manic Street Preachers, Jurassic 5 and Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats
Sonisphere to return to Knebworth site in 2014
AND FINALLY... Deryck Whibley's name to lose its 'Lavigne'
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U2 and Madonna managers to ally via new deal with Live Nation
The managers of U2 and Madonna are close to merging their respective management companies into a new venture that will sit within the Live Nation empire, according to various media reports.

Paul McGuinness will merge his Principle Management business with Guy Oseary's Maverick company, with the former becoming Chairman of the new firm and the latter the more hands-on CEO. That would see Oseary become involved in the day-to-day management of U2's affairs, something the band seemingly endorse, given reports Bono has been involved in brokering this arrangement.

The new company will be backed by and form part of live music giant Live Nation. Madonna, of course, already has a wide-ranging alliance with the company, which signed something close to a 360 degree (ie all revenue streams) deal with the star back in 2007. There was much speculation at the time that U2 would likewise throw all their business interests into one deal with Live Nation, though in the end they kept their alliance with the firm mainly based around their touring activity.

Live Nation already has substantial interests in artist management, especially in the US, via the Front Line business it acquired through its 2010 merger with Ticketmaster. It's not clear how close to Front Line the new Principle Maverick company will sit, though it will likely also fit in under the Artist Nation banner, the Live Nation brand originally set up to pursue 360 degree deals with mega-stars, though these days an assortment of business interests outside of the touring and ticketing domain, mainly merch and management.

Although Live Nation and Oseary have yet to comment on the deal, which it's thought will net the two managers $30 million, McGuinness has confirmed both the alliance and his intent to take more of a backseat role moving forward in overseeing U2's affairs.

Said McGuinness: "It could be seen as slightly poor etiquette for a manager to consider retiring before his artist has split, quit or died, but U2 have never subscribed to the rock n roll code of conduct. As I approach the musically relevant age of 64 I have resolved to take a less hands-on role as the band embark on the next cycle of their extraordinary career".

"I am delighted that Live Nation, who with Arthur Fogel have been our long term touring partners, have joined us in creating this powerful new force in artist management. I have long regarded Guy Oseary as the best manager of his generation, and there is no one else I would have considered to take over the day-to-day running of our business".

Presumably with more time on his hands, McGuinness will be able to do more of those MIDEM sessions where he tells the wider music industry who enemy number should be in the anti-piracy stakes.

Spotify user launches class action lawsuit over subscription process
A Spotify user in the US named Melissa Bleak has launched a class action lawsuit against the streaming service, claiming that it failed to gain proper consent to take repeat payments from her when she signed up for a paid account.

Legal documents filed in Los Angeles earlier this month, obtained by Digital Music News, state that: "In the premium plan notice, the defendant failed to provide a hyperlink to the terms, and the terms are not referenced at all on the unlimited plan notice. Moreover, defendant failed to provide a box to check or any other method by which plaintiff and class members could provide their affirmative consent to defendant's terms".

The lawsuit claims that this failure to gain proper consent is a breach of California business law on automatic payment renewals. It also states that Spotify has broken Unfair Competition Law and calls for remuneration for anyone who has purchased an Unlimited or Premium Spotify subscription in California since December 2010 (a strange distinction, as Spotify didn't launch in the US until July 2011).

The lawsuit requests that the court rule that Spotify "should be required to disgorge all profits and gains it has reaped and restore such profits and gains to Plaintiff and Class Members [presumably any other Spotify subscribers in California], from whom they were unlawfully taken". The papers also demand a jury trial.

As this is a class action suit, it could end up being very costly for Spotify, should a court rule in Bleak's favour. Though the lawsuit seems rather opportunistic so is probably unlikely to get very far. Still, it must be nice for the company to have customers complaining they're being ripped off, rather than musicians, for a change.

SONGS signs Lorde
US-based independent publisher SONGS has signed a worldwide co-publishing deal with Lorde, aka Ella Yelich-O'Connor. The deal encompasses Lorde's songwriting output to date, including EP 'The Love Club' and album 'Pure Heroine', plus future work.

SONGS A&R boss Ron Perry told CMU: "When all is said and done, Ella Yelich-O'Connor will go down as one of the greatest lyricists of all time. To say that I'm thrilled to work with Ella and her managers, Scott Maclachlan and Tim Youngson, is an incredible understatement".

Meanwhile the company's CEO Matt Pincus added: "Ella is a once in a generation songwriter and artist. All of us at SONGS believe she is going to be a defining voice in music for many, many years to come. It is a tremendous honour that she has chosen SONGS as her partner".


MKS not dropped by Polydor, Keisha confirms
Oh, so apparently the 'online gossip' was only that (gossip), Mutya Keisha Siobhan are still - contrary to said gossip, and the fact that they have the least catchy band name of all time - signed to Universal's Polydor. Or so claims the 'K' in MKS, Keisha Buchanan, who's confirmed it to Heat.

As to why the trio's single 'Flatline' kind of did what it said on the tin chart-wise, Keisha sticks with the MKS party line, adding: "For us, our focus was always about making good music and making sure we weren't crap when we came back. For a single that didn't have radio support we were surprised that it charted. I'd be lying if I said it isn't about chart positions, but it's about so many other things as well. It got great reviews and our fans loved it".

Keisha Siobhan Mutya's 'Sacred Three Tour' is on right now, hitting the Bristol Academy tonight. And tickets are, erm, still available.

MU hits out at new busking rules in Camden
The Musicians' Union has hit out at plans by Camden Council to regulate busking in the London borough. New regulations passed by the local authority on Monday mean that musicians will now need to pay for licences to busk in the district, with the risk of fines and having their instruments confiscated if they play a note without a permission letter from the council in hand.

Criticising the scheme, which the MU says may prevent musicians from playing in the borough, the Union's National Organiser for Live Performance Dave Webster told CMU: "It is a real shame that just a year after the Live Music Act was brought in to encourage the performance of live music that Camden Council has decided to bring in these draconian measures against busking".

He went on: "Live music is an integral part of London's identity and the onerous and potentially expensive requirements that Camden is placing on buskers will threaten the borough's vibrant atmosphere. The references to 'noise' and 'nuisance' in Camden's policy are particularly unhelpful and do not reflect the positive cultural contribution made by buskers to London life".

He concluded: "The borough has given in to complaints made by a small group of residents who live on and around Camden High Street, which is inevitably a loud place to live irrespective of busking. We urge Camden Council to reconsider this policy and the MU would be happy to work with them to establish a code of best practice for busking, as we did in places like Liverpool".

For it's part, the Council insists that the new licensing process is "light touch regulation" designed mainly to deal with complaints about amplified and louder percussion-based busking. A basic twelve month licence will cost £19, though certain kinds of performance will require a £47 advanced licence which might have other limitations attached. Once licensed buskers will usually be able to play anywhere that its safe to play in the borough between 10am and 9pm.

Responding to the scheme's critics, the Council's Community Safety Councillor Abdul Hai told CMU: "Campaigners against this new policy have been making a mountain out of a molehill suggesting that we are trying to outlaw busking. I can categorically say this is not what this policy seeks to achieve. We're simply implementing light touch regulation of street entertainment that will strike a balance between the rights of residents to a quiet life and buskers wishing to perform in public places".

He added: "This light touch regulation will restrict the use of amplified equipment, particularly close to residential areas late into the evening. We believe that all forms of street entertainment are an important part of the musical and cultural heritage of the borough and that is why licences will not be charged at a prohibitive rate, instead costing just £19".


See Tickets announces alliance with Manchester venue operator
Ticketing firm See Tickets has announced a new deal with independent Manchester venue operator Trof, which runs Gorilla, The Deaf Institute and the newly refurbished Albert Hall.

Confirming the deal, See's Martin Fitzgerald told CMU: "We're really excited to be working together with Trof's unique set of venues and helping them grow their operation in Manchester. Trof is consistently promoting some of the best gigs and club nights in the city and we're keen to get behind them during this exciting period and beyond".

Trof's Live Promotions Manager Ade Dovey added: "Trof selected See because of their ticketing and account support, marketing strategies plus their attitude to the future of ticketing and leadership in the industry. Trof spent three months developing a working relationship together with See which confirmed that they are right for our venues and the future growth of our company".

Google to allow Nielsen and Comscore to provide ad analytics for its platforms
While Google is a leader in the online advertising space, and provides advertisers with a range of proprietary analytics tools to measure their ad activity across Google-owned platforms, the web giant has given way to pressure from the more conventional advertising industry to allow other stat firms to also monitor the impact of commercials on its sites.

Although Google has invested heavily in developing analytics for advertisers, many in the media buying space have said they would like to be able to monitor the reach of Google ads via the platforms operated by Nielsen and Comscore, which monitor other kinds of media and advertising for big brands. There is a feeling that independently operated analytics are more reliable, plus advertisers want to be able to more closely correlate advertising on Google with activity on other online and broadcast platforms.

Having previously resisted allowing Nielsen and Comscore's measurement systems to integrate with its services, Google said on Monday: "While we continue to build measurement options powered by Google, we're also partnering with industry leaders, such as Nielsen and Comscore, to offer objective, credentialed, third-party measurement options".

Confirming the new alliance, Nielsen said that it was currently testing the integration of its measurement tags into Google's services, and hoped to fully roll out measurement across the web giant's infrastructure, including YouTube, in 2014.

Google confirms music coming to Glass
Perhaps not a move that's going to change anyone's world drastically, but interesting nonetheless, Google has announced that it will give Glass users access to Google Play Music over the next few weeks.

People willing to wear the cumbersome digital glasses on their actual faces will be rewarded with the ability to listen to music with the voice command "Okay Glass, listen to Showaddywaddy" (or whatever). If they don't, for some reason, have any music by Showaddywaddy in their Google Play Music locker, they'll be able to stream it from the Google All Play Access Music Play Access All Music streaming service.

It's not just great news for Showaddywaddy though, producer Young Guru is also quite excited about it. Here's a video of him showing how attaching stuff to your face can help you find Senor Coconut records.

  Approved: Jack Name
Another body orbiting Ariel Pink's lo-fi cosmos, John Webster Johns - like Pink's pals Chris Cohen, John Maus, Jorge Elbrecht, R Stevie Moore and Soko - also has his own solo thing going on.

Having released such 'things' via aliases Muzz and Fictional Boys in the past, Johns now plays guitar part-time with White Fence, but has still found the downtime to make an LP under the name Jack Name titled 'Light Show', which is due on 21 Jan 2014.

Tune into its topmost single, 'Pure Terror', which compounds its strong chorus with thick, shag pile guitars and blots of vague background sound, now.
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Composer John Tavener dies
Classical composer John Tavener has died, aged 69. He had suffered numerous health issues relating to Marfan Syndrome, a disorder of the body's connective tissues, which can cause heart problems.

A leading composer since his early 20s in the late 1960s, early recordings of Tavener's work were released by The Beatles' Apple label. His arrangement of William Blake's 1789 poem 'The Lamb' is often performed as a Christmas carol, and another of his piece's, 'Song For Athene', was performed at the funeral of Princess Diana. More recently, he worked with Björk on the piece 'Prayer Of The Heart'.

The news of his death was announced on the website of Tavener's publisher Chester Music. The company's Managing Director James Rushton said in a statement: "John Tavener was one of the unique and most inspired voices in music of the last 50 years. His large body of work - dramatic, immediate, haunting, remaining long in the memory of all who have heard it, and always identifiably his - is one of the most significant contributions to classical music in our times. For all of those fortunate enough to have known him, John was a man of strong beliefs, huge personal warmth, loyalty and humour. He will be much missed".

Tavener is survived by his wife Maryanna and their three children.


Cher Lloyd talks leaving Syco, second album delays
Cher Lloyd has been discussing the somewhat ironic delay of the release of her second album 'Sorry I'm Late' in an interview with Larry King. The record was due out in the US this month, but will now not emerge until next year, as she still needs to imbue the record with some "magic".

Said Lloyd: " My album got pushed back and I'm not happy about it. It's all done, but I am currently in the studio for the rest of this week to try and find some more magic ... I've still got to find that magic. I was hoping to get something to my fans sooner. I feel like it's been way too long, but I know you can't rush something that's meant to be right".

The singer is now working with Sony/Epic in the US, having signed to the company in December 2011, shortly after leaving Simon Cowell's Sony division Syco. On this, she said: "I don't really speak to [Cowell] anymore. I left his label a year and a half ago and I got my record deal here [in the US] ... I think he found me - I wouldn't say disobedient - but a little bit [difficult]. I have a specific thing I am reaching for, so I have my own idea of how I'm going to get it. We all have a specific thing in life that we want to get to and I don't deal very well with people having [control]".

You can watch the full interview here

Elsewhere in Cher Lloyd news, the singer appeared on 'Late Night With Jimmy Kimmel' this week, performing her recent single 'I Wish'. However, rather than the recorded version's guest rapper TI, Skee-Lo emerged on stage to do a verse from his own hit of the same name. He ended up doing most of the work, really.

Have a watch here.


Fruit Bats splitting anon
Chicago-based folk band The Fruit Bats are breaking up at the end of the week. Sorry everyone.

Confirming the amicable split via Paste, the band's one constant, principle songwriter Eric D Johnson explains: "There is no major or dramatic reason - I'm not gonna launch into one of those 'the changing face of the music landscape in the digital age' things. Especially since I don't even understand any of that stuff. It's been a long run and it's time for a change".

With Johnson due to go solo, and a reissue of Fruit Bats' 2003 LP 'Mouthfuls' out now, their last act as a band will be to play three dates in the US, winding up at Portland's Aladdin Theatre on Saturday. In the meantime, please, take a free piece of 'Mouthfuls' track 'When You Love Somebody' as a farewell gift.

Lily Allen returns with baggy pussy
Lily Allen is back with 'Hard Out Here', the first single from her third album, which is due out next year.

Adding to the recent misogyny in pop debate, and commenting the conventions forced on many female pop stars, the song informs us that "It's hard out here for a bitch". The video also mocks various music video conventions, with plenty of twerking, big cars and product placement on offer.

Allen also directly takes a swipe at Robin Thicke, recreating a scene in his 'Blurred Lines' video in which "Robin Thicke has a big dick" is spelt out in balloons, instead announcing that "Lily Allen has a baggy pussy".

The single will go on sale this Sunday, while work on the album continues. Watch the 'hard Out Here' video here.


Ben Folds, Benjamin Francis Leftwich set songs to kids' lyrics in new LP
Oh, this is nice. Communion Records has joined with kids' writing/mentoring charity Ministry Of Stories to release 'Share More Air', a compilation of original tracks by the likes of Ben Folds, Emily Barker, Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Marcus Foster. The 'cute' bit is its lyrics, which were written by children aged 8-13 at Ministry Of Stories' 2012 workshops, and which feature themes like dead pets, SATs and roller skating.

Representing Ministry Of Stories, author Nick Hornby says: "We wanted to give the kids the opportunity to see written work transformed. I suppose the very basic goal is to improve the literacy of inner-city children by teaching them that writing is fun and isn't necessarily what they think it is".

Communion Records' Rich Engler and Jamie Emsell chime: "Even we were surprised by what a genuinely great record ended up getting made - it's fun, and it's moving, and it's a testament to the great energy, care and creativity that went into it from both the children and the artists. We are proud to have been part of it".

Master lyricist Bryan Mora Rodas, aged nine, adds: "How you write songs - you have to use your imagination. You have to think of raps, cool raps that rhyme, or sometimes just think of your emotions, or things about the world".

Available digitally already, 'Share More Air' is released as a limited CD on 25 Nov. Info and order links here.

And to finish, this is Ben Folds and friends performing his song (with words by Zayd) 'The Enemies'.

Gigs & Tours round-up: Katy B, Manic Street Preachers, Jurassic 5 and Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats
Katy B has added five live dates to her 'what's on in 2014' files, and will play shows starting at Brighton's Concorde 2 on 25 Mar, landing last at Manchester's Academy 2 on 29 Mar. Her new LP, 'Little Red', will apparently pre-empt the mini-tour in early Feb. Confirmation on the shows via Katy B HQ is at this link.

Nextly, Manic Street Preachers will celebrate the recent-ish release of their new LP, 'Rewind The Film', by moving forward over a load of shows spanning March and April 2014. Find the exact dates, which fall between 28 Mar and 11 Apr, here.

Winding on, reunited 'American alternative hip hop' clique Jurassic 5 will park themselves at various sites as part of a four-stop UK trip in June 2014, ranging between 19 Jun at the Manchester Apollo and 25 Jun at the Bristol Academy. Listings appear here.

Also playing away in 2014, it's cult Cambridge band Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, who'll not only support Black Sabbath around Europe later this month, but have also just announced shows of their own for late-April 2014. Move over to this URL to look at those shows, all of which are continued promo for the group's third LP 'Mind Control'.


Sonisphere to return to Knebworth site in 2014
Having taken a two year sabbatical to sort its shit out, the UK edition of Sonisphere looks set to return to Knebworth in 2014.

Cancelled in 2012 at a late stage, and pulled in advance this year, the rock fest - states its Twitter account - will be back on 4-6 Jul 2014. Though likely not in its traditional form, but as an anniversary event "celebrating 40 years of Rock Music at Knebworth". That's Rock Music, upper case, which may or may not rule out Robbie Williams, I'm not sure.

Check the civilised new 'Sonisphere' site here.

Deryck Whibley's name to lose its 'Lavigne'
Did you know, Sum 41's Deryck Whibley has been carrying his ex wife Avril Lavigne's surname around all this time? Even though they finalised their divorce in 2010? Because I didn't.

Anyway, TMZ reports that Deryck James Lavigne Whibley filed a petition to drop the 'Lavigne' from his name in the LA County Court last week. If you ask me, he'd be wiser to lose the Whibley, but you aren't so... whatever.

As the whole world knows, Avril Lavigne is now successfully married to Chad Kroeger, or Chad Robert Lavinge Kroeger to his close friends.

ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
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CHRIS COOKE | Co-Publisher, Business Editor & Insights Director
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business, and is MD of CMU publisher UnLimited Media.
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ALY BARCHI | Staff Writer
Aly reports on artist news, coordinates the festival, gig and release round up columns, and contributes to the CMU Approved column. She also writes for CMU's sister title ThisWeek London.
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SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
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CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of UnLimited Media she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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