An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Monday 23 Jun 2014

 
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Official Charts Company announced this morning that it will begin including streaming data in its compilation of the Official Singles Chart from next month. On 6 Jul, the Top 40 will include streams for the first time, with 100 streams of a track deemed to be equal to one download or physical release sale. The data that counts towards the chart will be capped at ten streams of any one track by... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Having given straight-faced folk an earnest whirl via 2011's 'Grown Unknown' LP, Lia Ices is back with a new, light-hearted air to her writing and singing, and a new single, the first sign of her forthcoming long-player 'Ices'. The track, a dewy and ethereal synth-pop dream titled 'Thousand Eyes', falls in the same (imaginary) ballpark of Air doing Lenny Kravitz's 'Fly Away'', only with Ices' waiflike... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES UK singles chart to include plays on streaming services
MPG backs indies in YouTube stand off
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LEGAL EC expected to publish anti-piracy plan next week
Virtual Jackson performance leads to litigation
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Kids don't think file-sharing is 'wrong', would to pay for exclusive content
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ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Amazon to reportedly offer pick-up points at stations via Doddle deal
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LIVE BUSINESS Attitude Is Everything launches Music Without Barriers campaign
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MARKETING & PR House Of 27 launches digital marketing department
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OBITUARIES Gerry Goffin 1939-2014
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ARTIST NEWS Gaga's Do What You Want video canned over R Kelly/Terry Richardson sex controversy
Wilkinson video edited after religious complaint
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RELEASES Metallica release new track
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Earache to bring on the Beerache at big beer-and-bands party
Pete Doherty announces solo Libertines warm-up shows
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AND FINALLY... No inheritance from old Sting
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UK singles chart to include plays on streaming services
The Official Charts Company announced this morning that it will begin including streaming data in its compilation of the Official Singles Chart from next month.

On 6 Jul, the Top 40 will include streams for the first time, with 100 streams of a track deemed to be equal to one download or physical release sale. The data that counts towards the chart will be capped at ten streams of any one track by any one person in any one day, so no leaving your favourite song (/latest signing) playing on a loop for hours on end, sorry.

The services that will be providing data to the charts are Spotify, Deezer, Napster, O2 Tracks, Xbox Music, Sony Music Unlimited and Rara, all of which are members of the Entertainment Retailers Association (which owns half the Official Charts Company, though non-members do chart-return elsewhere). So no YouTube, which might seem like an oversight, but I'm sure Rara will balance it out.

The announcement comes as the average number of single track streams in a week reaches 260 million in the UK - up from 100 million in January 2013 and 200 million in January of this year. Two tracks this year - 'Rather Be' by Clean Bandit and 'Waves' by Mr Probz - have on their own topped 1.5 million UK-based streams in a week.

Official Charts Company boss Martin Talbot commented: "Audio streaming has grown at an extraordinary rate over the past year - and the time is now right to take this important step. The UK's Official Singles Chart is culturally among the most important and influential in the world. We have been looking at this possibility for some time and now feel comfortable that our methodology is correct and that summer 2014 is the time that we should add audio streams".

He continued: "The Official Singles Chart is (and always has been) the most trusted and definitive measure of Britain's music tastes. Just as it has evolved through the years to reflect the most popular music in the UK, from ten-inch to seven-inch, vinyl to cassingles, CD singles to downloads, this is the latest stage of that progression - and will align the Official Singles Chart with the consumption habits of the future".

In addition to this, record label trade body the BPI announced this morning that it is also to count streaming data toward its Certified Awards Programme - those Platinum, Gold and Silver disc things - for singles. These will use the same criteria as the OCC - so to get a platinum disc for a track with no download or physical release, it would need to clock up 60,000,000 streams in the UK.

BPI chief Geoff Taylor said: "In the same way that the Official Charts are respected around the world as the authoritative measure of UK musical popularity, so too our Certified Awards are widely-recognised as an iconic barometer of an artist's success. As with the charts, it's vital they continue to reflect the new ways that fans consume their favourite music. With streaming becoming ever more popular, it's the right time to ensure this exciting new format is included in the way our awards are compiled".

Radio 1's Head Of Music George Ergatoudis, who revealed that this development was not far off at a Radio Academy event in February, said of the changes to the charts: "We are moving from an era of music purchasing to one dominated by music streaming and it is vital that the Official Singles Chart evolves to reflect this".

He went on: "Radio 1's young audience continue to download digital singles, but increasingly they're listening to the music they love on services like Spotify, Deezer, Napster and O2 Tracks, so I strongly support the decision to include streaming data in Radio 1's Official Chart. It future proofs the Official Singles Chart and helps to guarantee its status as the definitive weekly measure of the UK's most popular singles".

The UK record industry joins its counterparts in Germany, Sweden, Norway and America in counting streaming data in their main charts, with the Official Singles Chart also following the commercial radio sector's Big Top 40, which made the switch last month.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this change affects the singles countdown, though without YouTube on board, it may be a while before we have our own 'Harlem Shake' moment.

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MPG backs indies in YouTube stand off
As the stand off between YouTube and the indie labels continues, the UK music producer community gave its backing to the independent record companies on Friday, with the Music Producers Guild criticising the Google-owned subsidiary's negotiating tactics as it tries to put its Spotify-competing audio streaming service live.

A spokesman for the trade group said late last week: "With regards to the recent dispute between YouTube and independent labels and the unfavourable terms which YouTube seeks, without negotiation, to impose upon independent record labels, the Music Producers Guild is deeply concerned about Google's apparent abuse of its monopoly and associated market power and the adverse effect this will have on the wider industry and funds available for innovative and creative content production in the future".

"Independent record producers everywhere, in common with recording artists, rely upon the income from sales and streaming of music files, the production of which they have been responsible for, often with little or no credit (itself ironic in this digital age). Attempts by international media conglomerates to throttle negotiation and impose unfavourable and unjust terms upon independent record companies, whom they perceive to be 'small fry' and thus 'fair game', should be opposed at every opportunity".

Pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA has already reported Google to the European Commission for its negotiating tactics regarding the YouTube streaming service, and its threat to block the indies from the existing YouTube video platform if they don't sign up to the new audio service. But YouTube told the Financial Times last week that it nevertheless expected those indies not signed up to the new offering to be 'blocked' from its video platform in some way in the near future.

EC expected to publish anti-piracy plan next week
The European Commission is expected to announce a new set of strategies for fighting online piracy next week.

Though, according to Torrentfreak, rather than proposing new legislation at an EU level it is thought the plan will follow the lead of the City Of London Police's IP Crime Unit in the UK, which has mainly been using existing copyright laws to step up its fight against piracy.

Often by putting pressure on advertising agencies, domain registrars and payment providers to more carefully monitor websites they provide services to. The aim is to cut off websites that prolifically infringe copyright from both their user-base and their revenue streams.

It is thought the EC's anti-piracy document will have ten proposals in it. It will also set out plans to step up cooperation between anti-piracy authorities across the European Union, and beyond, in a bid to cut off audience and income for piracy operations in as much of the world as possible.

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Virtual Jackson performance leads to litigation
It often seems like Michael Jackson really did have the golden touch, for the legal profession at least, in that everything he touched turned into litigation. Now even a hologram of Michael Jackson has caused a legal battle, though to be fair it's not really anything to do with the late king of pop or his estate. But nevertheless, Jackson's holographic revival at this year's Billboard Music Awards has resulted in both suit and counter-suit.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the legal battle is between Pulse Evolution, which staged the Jackson routine at the Billboard event, and movie industry entrepreneur Alki David. The latter claims that Pulse, and its Chairman John Textor, utilised without permission patented technology of which he is the exclusive licensee in order to produce the Jackson set. The legal threats kicked off even before the Billboard Music Awards took place, but since then both sides have filed lawsuits.

Though the dispute is slightly more complicated than just ascertaining whether Textor's company did indeed used patented technology controlled by David, in that the two parties have previous dealings.

David claims that Textor tried to outbid him for the exclusive rights to the technology in question, and then tried to strike up a business partnership to get access to it. And while Pulse calls Musion Das Hologram Limited, the European firm David claims to have a patent licensing deal with, "a defunct company with no assets that had nothing to license in the first place", it has been working with another European business called Musion Systems Limited, which may or may not be connected.

So far so complicated. In its countersuit, Pulse says that David is a "notorious infringer of intellectual property rights", and that his allegations against the firm, and claims to be responsible for the technology that allowed the Jackson appearance at the Billboard show, are designed to "divert public and industry attention away from Pulse Entertainment just as the company was being launched".

Pulse's lawsuit also takes issue with David's allegedly frequent references to the effect used in the Jackson spot at the awards show as being a "hologram", which actually it isn't.

The legal filing states: "This mischaracterisation of the [Michael Jackson] animation as a hologram highlights David's complete lack of technical expertise and involvement in the creation and development of the Michael Jackson animation, insofar as the virtual Michael Jackson appearing at the Billboard Award Show was not a hologram at all, rather, it was an animation projected onto a screen".

And so the dispute continues.

Kids don't think file-sharing is 'wrong', would to pay for exclusive content
Perhaps showing that the media and entertainment industries still have some way to go in convincing mainstream consumers to pay for digital content, in a new YouGov survey about half of those questioned said people should be allowed to download content they want for free.

The survey of just over 2500 UK customers (with just over 1900 aged sixteen plus and just over 600 under sixteen) found that legit services offering ad-funded free content were particularly popular, while accessing content from non-legit sources via file-sharing sites or networks is also seen as a cost-saving option. Over a half of adults admitted to file-sharing to save money, while a quarter of those aged 16-24 said it was the only way they could afford to access the content they wanted.

Asked about the ethics of accessing illegal sources of content, of the children surveyed only 16% strongly agreed that doing so was "wrong", while even less, 7%, equated file-sharing with stealing, despite that being a line often rolled out by the anti-piracy brigade. Meanwhile 60% of the 16-24 year olds surveyed said that companies offering access to unlicensed content, rather than they as content consumers, should be punished for piracy (which in the current climate is a lot more likely anyway).

Asked what would make them pay for content, a fifth of the under 16s said brand new or exclusive content was worth paying for, while 13% said they'd try to pay if they were accessing content from an up-and-coming artist who they wanted to support. Suggesting that the digital music market should adopt a model akin to Netflix, with its exclusive content, combined with Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde's Flattr platform, with its virtual tip jar.

Commenting on the findings, YouGov Research Director James McCoy told CMU: "Children aged 8-15 are the key adopters of digital technology, and are likely to be more familiar with accessing content without paying. File sharing is most common amongst younger adults; cost and availability are key drivers".

"Children in this generation have grown up with digital material and are used to having access to what they want, when they want it and for some of the time not paying for it. They do not just listen and watch digital content; they consume it by downloading, file sharing, streaming, making playlists and going on recommendations from friends or contacts via social media".

"Whilst they appreciate the issues surrounding piracy and illegal downloads, if they can get away with it, then they will. Why change the habit of a lifetime? The challenge for the industry is to find ways to engage with this group to change their mind-set about accessing content and to educate them in a relevant and non-condescending way about the issues surrounding this matter".

You can find out more about the YouGov survey here.

Amazon reportedly to offer pick-up points at stations via Doddle deal
Before you all get too excited about streaming stats being added into the single charts, let's not forget that the albums market is still more physical than it is digital, even if people are buying their CDs via the big bad Amazon.

Anyway, if you're a commuter who orders stacks of stuff from Amazon, and then worries about it not fitting through your letter box and getting one of those dreaded Royal Mail postcards the necessitates a trip to your local sorting office, which always seems to be situated just this side of hell, well worry no more. Soon you'll be able to pick up your Amazon purchases from your local railway station. Hurrah.

Yep, Amazon is set to step up its network of physical pick-up points in the UK via an alliance with a company called Doddle, a joint venture between Network Rail and businessman Lloyd Dorfman.

According to Dorfman, from September Doddle will become an official partner of Amazon, allowing customers to opt to pick-up purchases from the mail-order site at their local station. Doddle hopes to eventually have pick-up points in 300 UK railway stations, with London Cannon Street, Woking, Bromley South, Brighton and Chelmsford the first on the list. A pilot store is already running at Milton Keynes station.

Amazon UK was thought to already be in talks with Transport For London about having similar pick-up points at London Underground stations. It's not clear if a Doddle deal would affect that.

Attitude Is Everything launches Music Without Barriers campaign
Live music charity Attitude Is Everything has launched a new campaign this morning, calling on more venues and festivals to sign up to its Charter Of Best Practice for providing better access to deaf and disabled music fans.

The Music Without Barriers campaign is backed by musicians including Robert Smith, Alex Kapranos, Frank Turner, Tom Odell, Alt-J, Slow Club, Anna Calvi, Enter Shikari, and Stealing Sheep, who will be promoting it on their social media accounts today via the hashtag #MusicWithoutBarriers.

Attitude Is Everything CEO Suzanne Bull explained: "Since founding Attitude Is Everything in 2000, we have always found some fantastic support from within the music industry, and particularly among the artist community. So I am delighted that so many musicians and bands are supporting #MusicWithoutBarriers. In those fourteen years, we have proved that improving access need not be expensive. And, more importantly, when the right facilities, policies and information are in place, live music can be opened up to the eleven million disabled people living in the UK and transform their lives for the better".

One of the venues already signed up to the charity's best practice charter is East London's Village Underground. It's Head Of Commercial Development, Dermot Hurley said: "Attitude is Everything have helped us identify and put in a place number of easy zero cost solutions to help develop our venue offering to a wider audience. Being an old Victorian warehouse, Village Underground is a singular venue with some singular access issues".

He continued: "Attitude have made sure the access information on our website is easy to find, accurate and that there are always staff on hand to answer any questions. It's really changed how we operate - our team are now confident in offering assistance throughout the entire customer journey and the Charter has also helped the bottom line, selling more tickets and higher bar sales to disabled people, which makes everyone happy".

Find more information on the campaign here.

House Of 27 launches digital marketing department
Music PR company House Of 27 has announced the opening of a new social media and digital branding department.

The development means the company now offers a range of extra digital services, from social media channel management, to fan engagement strategy, to "an artist's entire digital branding". The new unit will be headed up by new hire Nick Antouiou, who has previously worked in similar roles for Sony Music and EMI.

House Of 27 Director Tasha Anderson told CMU: "Launching this new department feels is a progressive move into the digital community for us. We now offer full integrated projects, ensuring our clients benefit further from our digital campaigns. The exciting new digital branding side means that our new department exceeds just offering standard social media services".

On Antouiou, she added: "Nick has a unique insight and perspective of the digital world, and is able to educate his digital practices across the project, whether speaking with the artist, label or management. It is a pleasure to welcome him to our team".

Gerry Goffin 1939-2014
American lyricist Gerry Goffin, writer of hits like '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman', 'Up On The Roof' and 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow?', died last week at his home in LA, his wife Michele has confirmed. He was 75.

Despite a long and prolific career, he will probably be best remembered for his collaborative partnership with one-time wife Carole King, whom he married in 1959. Goffin and King co-wrote over 50 American top 40 tracks for the likes of James Taylor, The Drifters, The Crystals, Dusty Springfield and The Monkees between 1961-1971, also giving the original 'Loco-Motion' (as in Kylie's 'Loco-Motion') to Little Eva in 1962.

Despite divorcing in 1968, the pair's partnership earned them a place in the Songwriters Hall Of Fame and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987 and 1990 respectively. Their relationship also inspired the acclaimed musical 'Beautiful: The Carole King Story', which is playing on Broadway now following its premiere earlier this year.

After his and King's separation, Goffin went on to co-write Whitney Houston's 'Saving All My Love For You', and 'Do You Know Where You're Going To', the theme from Diana Ross's film 'Mahogany', for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

Paying her respects to Goffin in a statement, Carole King said: "Gerry Goffin was my first love. He had a profound impact on my life and the rest of the world. Gerry was a good man and a dynamic force, whose words and creative influence will resonate for generations to come. His legacy to me is our two daughters, four grandchildren, and our songs that have touched millions and millions of people, as well as a lifelong friendship. He will be missed by his wonderful wife Michele, his devoted manager, Christine Russell, his five children, and six grandchildren".

She added: "His words expressed what so many people were feeling but didn't know how to say. If you want to join his loved ones in honouring him, look at the names of the songwriters under the titles of songs. Among the titles associated with me, you'll often find Gerry's name next to mine".

  Approved: Lia Ices - Thousand Eyes
Having given straight-faced folk an earnest whirl via 2011's 'Grown Unknown' LP, Lia Ices is back with a new, light-hearted air to her writing and singing, and a new single, the first sign of her forthcoming long-player 'Ices'.

The track, a dewy and ethereal synth-pop dream titled 'Thousand Eyes', falls in the same (imaginary) ballpark of Air doing Lenny Kravitz's 'Fly Away'', only with Ices' waiflike voice skimming over the top.

Stem the wait for 'Ices', which is arriving via Jagjaguwar on 15 Sep, by streaming 'Thousand Eyes' right here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Gaga's Do What You Want video canned over R Kelly/Terry Richardson sex controversy
Lady Gaga was advised (probably read: ordered) to bin a video made to accompany her 2013 'ARTPOP' single 'Do What U Want', it emerged last week. The fact that the pop promo contained lines implying sexual abuse, and featured R&B star R Kelly with direction from Terry Richardson, who have both been accused of (denied) illegal and inappropriate sexual acts, was deemed distinctly 'not okay' by Gaga's reps. I can't imagine why.

The promo's narrative, if it can be called that, casts Gaga as a hospital patient and R Kelly as a doctor, but wait, that's only the half of it. TMZ has obtained a bit of the clip if you want to look. In the first scene, Gaga is heard to ask Kelly: "Will I ever be able to walk again?", to which he replies: "Yes, if you let me do whatever I want with your body", informatively adding: "I'm putting you under, and when you wake up, you're going to be pregnant". All of which practically makes Robin Thicke's "I know you want it" look like a picnic in the park by comparison. A nice consensual sex picnic in the park of fundamental human rights.

The 'Do What You Want' clip was originally shot last year but its release was "delayed", claimed Gaga at the time, for creative reasons, namely that her management hadn't given her time to refine it as befits an artist of her standing. The New York Post now reports that the video has been shelved for good in light of ongoing accusations of sexual misconduct against R Kelly and Richardson, which they both deny.

As previously reported, the controversies surrounding Kelly were reignited last year when a US journalist who has long documented claims against the singer, Jim DeRogatis, wrote a new article and published a 'timeline' linking the star to numerous alleged incidences of sexual abuse of underage girls. Giving an in-depth interview to Village Voice writer Jessica Hooper, DeRogatis cited conversations he'd had with "dozens" of girls and women, dating back to the 1990s, and "hundreds of pages of lawsuits", none of which had ever reached the courts (of course when similar allegations against Kelly did reach court, he was found not-guilty).

Photographer Richardson, too, has faced multiple sexual misconduct accusations from models, all of which he denies in this recent piece in the NY Post's Page Six section.

The Post quotes a source as saying: "Gaga had a video directed by an alleged sexual predator, starring another. With the theme, 'I'm going to do whatever I want with your body', it was literally an ad for rape".

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Wilkinson video edited after religious complaint
More label-led video censorship, and the promo for 'Half Light', the recent single by drum n bass type Wilkinson, has seemingly been edited by his record company after reps for a catholic church in Belfast, where one scene was filmed, complained.

According to the BBC, the video was filmed at various locations in the Northern Irish capital, including the Good Shepherd Church on the Ormeau Road. That scene included a partially-clothed couple kissing on the altar, a sequence that subsequently angered religious leaders who said that permission had not been granted for any such filming to take place.=

The church said in a statement: "The behaviour in the video was a desecration of the church and caused most grievous distress to the parish priest. If viewed by the parishioners it would cause severe hurt and distress to the wider parish community. For these reasons, to protect the church and its parishioners, the Diocese of Down and Connor immediately brought these concerns to the attention of the distributors and creators of the material".

Discussing its contact with the video's makers prior to filming, the statement went on: "No permission was either sought or granted to film the interior of the parish church within the context of any conduct or activities that were not relating to prayer or homage and in accordance with the sanctity of the church".

Fair enough then. God was unavailable for comment. As usual.

Metallica release new track
Metallica, aka the most moaned-about-in-advance Glasto headliners since ever, have let loose a new song.

Available to buy on iTunes now, the eight minute long track, titled 'Lords Of Summer - First Pass Version', was first heard back in March, when the band played it at a gig in Bogota, Colombia.

Perhaps you were there, perhaps not. If not, there's a clip at the end of this that may interest you. And another thing, Lars Ulrich has said that the song is "fairly representative" of Metallica's still-nascent next LP, so that's something to ponder deeply.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

This is the live clip I mentioned.

Earache to bring on the Beerache at big beer-and-bands party
Metal label Earache Records is shaking things up in Nottingham on 12 Jul with Beerache, a party featuring live bands, live beer, and beach-themed fancy dress. And bands, and beer. And beer, and bands.

The show marks the launch of a new beer dedicated to, and sharing the same name as, Earache boss Digby Pearson. Digby the beer will be available on tap all night long, complementing live sets by Evil:Deth, Skeletron, Savage Messiah and Dick Venom & The Terrortones.

Digby Pearson the man says this of it all: "WOW - a Digby Pearson beer - who would have thunk it? Feels great to be sharing pump space with the likes of Su Pollard and Carl Froch. Thanks to brewers Castle Rock for recognising and supporting metal! Cheers everyone!"

Yes, cheers indeed. Get tickets to the Beearache, which is happening on 12 Jul (as I said), at The Maxe on Mansfield Road, Nottingham, here.

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Pete Doherty announces solo Libertines warm-up shows
That Pete Doherty's going to play some solo shows next month, to warm himself up for performing with The Libertines again.

As previously reported, The Libertines decided earlier this year to get back together once more, initially for one show in Hyde Park, but now it's become something of a tour. And it was all for the love of... well, money, according to Doherty. Although he's now suggesting they might put some effort into it all as well, and maybe even do some new songs.

Speaking to the NME, P-Do said... no, wait, that nickname doesn't work at all. Oh, let's just forget about it. He said they might do some new songs, or finish some old ones.

Here are Doherty's solo dates. Let's just get this over with.

1 Jul: Nottingham, Bodega
2 Jul: Oxford, Academy 2
3 Jul: Bristol, The Fleece

No inheritance from old Sting
Sting is trying to spend all of his money - an estimated £180 million - to ensure that his children aren't able to inherit it, he has told the Mail On Sunday. But it's for their own good.

"I told them there won't be much money left because we are spending it", he said. "We have a lot of commitments. What comes in we spend, and there isn't much left. I certainly don't want to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses round their necks. They have to work. All my kids know that and they rarely ask me for anything, which I really respect and appreciate".

He added: "Obviously, if they were in trouble I would help them, but I've never really had to do that. They have this work ethic that makes them want to succeed on their own merit. People make assumptions, that they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but they have not been given a lot".

Asked if he felt guilty about his wealth, he said: "Why would I feel guilty? It's not a useful emotion. I use my houses and love having them. I am grateful I have made money. I appreciate it because I spent much time without it. I use my money well. I am not a billionaire. I am very well off and I am certainly not complaining. I was not given it. I earned it through hard work and it was hard work. You try singing for two hours, getting on a plane every day. It's hard, but I love it".

 
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.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
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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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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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