An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Tuesday 8 Jul 2014

 
TODAY'S TOP STORY: You might have thought sport was all about biking now, but no, that football kicking festival in Brazil is still going through the final motions, and Indian TV company Multi Screen Media, a Sony subsidiary, is really keen that fans of the game in India watch the remaining games via its channels, and not through dodgy streaming or download sites. And to that end it recently secured a... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: I first wrote about Magical Mistakes, aka producer Erik Luebs, two and a half years ago. Still based in Japan, he's since delved further into the Osaka electronic music scene, launching his own label and club promotion company, Perfect Touch. But that doesn't mean he hasn't got time to make his own music still. This week he releases new EP 'Decompose / Reassemble'. Mixed as one continuous... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES TV firm secures mega web-block in India
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Songwriters support indies in YouTube squabble, also hit out at NDA culture
First BPI gold, silver and platinum discs boosted by streaming dished out
Universal-backed digital distribution and A&R platform Spinnup launches in the UK
BMG biggest publisher in German singles market so far this year
JUMP | ONLINE
MEDIA UKRD boss cautions over too much further radio rule reform
Global Radio creates Group-level COO role, appoints former EMI man
JUMP | ONLINE
RELEASES Roni Size trails solo, Reprazent LPs
Pink Floyd confirm new old LP
A Winged Victory For The Sullen prep new record
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Metronomy confirm December shows, inc Ally Pally date
Basement Jaxx list winter dates
Mastodon to tour
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AND FINALLY... Bruce Dickinson down on Hyde Park gigs too
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TV firm secures mega web-block in India
You might have thought sport was all about biking now, but no, that football kicking festival in Brazil is still going through the final motions, and Indian TV company Multi Screen Media, a Sony subsidiary, is really keen that fans of the game in India watch the remaining games via its channels, and not through dodgy streaming or download sites.

And to that end it recently secured a mega-web-block injunction in the Indian courts forcing internet service providers in the country to block no less than 219 websites. Though the original legal filing last month reportedly listed 479 offending online services.

Multi Screen Media secured the rights off World Cup maker FIFA to broadcast the competition in a number of countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Though, of course, footage is also available online from a plethora of unauthorised sources.

In its legal filing the TV firm said that these online platforms were involved in copyright infringement which was costing the company revenue, and also potentially depriving the government of the taxes paid on television subscription fees.

With time of the essence for Multi Screen Media to capitalise on its rights to air the World Cup, the broadcaster's lawyers added that it was tricky to target the offending websites with litigation directly, and therefore web-blocks - court orders forcing ISPs to block access to infringing sites, which, of course, have now been employed in various jurisdictions - were the best way forward.

The judge hearing the case concurred on this point, writing in his ruling: "Learned counsel for the plaintiff submits that many of the websites [in the list] are anonymous in nature and it is virtually impossible to locate the owners of such websites or contact details of such owners. It is further submitted that many of these rogue websites also hide behind domain privacy services offered by various domain name registrars".

And so the blockade was ordered. Now, web-blocks have become a common tool employed by rights owners in their fight against online piracy in a number countries, not least the UK. And it's quite common for web-block applications to list a number of websites which content firms believe primarily exists to enable and encourage copyright infringement. Though one court order blocking 219 sites in one go is quite phenomenal.

The ruling also arguably makes already controversial web-blocking even more so. Certainly the original list of offending sites provided by Multi Screen Media stood out in that, alongside the usual suspects like The Pirate Bay, it included a few services owned by Google, as well as Kim Dotcom's file-transfer firm Mega (the replacement to MegaUpload, which has generally caused less outrage in copyright circles than its predecessor).

The downsized list had the Google-owned set-ups removed, though it's not clear if Mega is still amongst the platforms to be blocked in the region. It's thought the list of targeted sites was prepared for Multi Screen Media by a local anti-piracy firm called Markscan which TorrentFreak has already accused of sending "erroneous takedown notices" relating to Google services.

The company told the file-sharing news site that it had both automated and staff-led checks in place to ensure its takedowns don't target legit websites. Though if the anti-piracy agency is prone to order notices against non-infringing sites, that can affect the credibility of everyone involved in the takedown and web-block game.

Songwriters support indies in YouTube squabble, also hit out at NDA culture
Just in case you'd forgotten that the indie label community is still busy battling to secure more favourable terms from YouTube for its planned audio-streaming service, the British Academy Of Songwriters, Composers And Authors, or BASCA if you prefer, yesterday confirmed it was supporting the independents in the ongoing dispute.

As previously reported, various indie label trade bodies have hit out at the Google-owned company, arguing that it is offering unfavourable terms for labels to sign up to its planned Spotify competitor, and has threatened to take away the right for said labels to monetise their videos on the existing YouTube platform if they don't play ball with the new service.

A statement put out yesterday by BASCA included statements from various members of the organisation, including Texas frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri, who told reporters: "Songwriters fully support independent record labels in their fight to get better terms and deals from YouTube. It's about time we all made some noise about the way they negotiate with take-it-or-leave-it deals".

Meanwhile both Spiteri and fellow BASCA member Barry Mason, who wrote Tom Jones hit 'Delilah' amongst many other songs, expressed concerns about the rates paid by streaming services in general, and the existing YouTube video site in particular. Spiteri continued: "It might be a little easier for writers like myself who also perform, but for those who do not and now have to rely on streaming income, the current rates are just not enough".

Meanwhile Mason said: "Someone must be making money out of the music on YouTube but it certainly isn't the people who write the songs. 'Delilah' would need to be streamed roughly 113,250 times for Les Reed and I to earn enough for a coffee each at Starbucks".

The songwriter group also hit out at the secrecy surrounding this, and most other, digital deals, something focused on by Music Managers Forum CEO Jon Webster in the discussion on the YouTube dispute in the recent CMU Podcast. Most digital licensing deals are subject to non-disclosure agreements, though there is often disagreement on both sides as to who, exactly, is insisting these deals be done in secret.

Also confirming his association's support for the indie label community, BASCA Chairman Simon Darlow told CMU: "BASCA is against NDAs which hide what appear to be poor streaming rates for songwriters and composers. We cannot afford to let these practices undermine the value of songwriting and composing and leave the music industry with a talent drain which will affect the UK both culturally and financially".

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First BPI gold, silver and platinum discs boosted by streaming dished out
Following on from the first UK singles chart with added streaming data, record label trade body the BPI has this morning announced its first set of gold, silver and platinum discs based on both sales and streams.

Adding in streaming data from the first week of 2014 onwards, using the same criteria as the Official Charts Company (ie 100 streams = one sale), 80 singles have received new awards under the BPI's Certified Awards Programme.

Amongst the new awards, Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' has gone silver', Beyonce and Jay-Z's 'Drunk In Love' is now gold, We Are Never Getting Back Together' by Taylor Swift is platinum and, sadly, 'Prince Tag' by Jessie J is certified double platinum.

BPI chief Geoff Taylor says of the changes to the awards: "Like the Official Charts, the BPI's Certified Awards and Platinum, Gold and Silver discs form part of our country's music heritage, so including audio streams in the sales data for singles represents an important landmark. It will ensure that our awards remain relevant and up to date in measuring the popularity of our favourite recordings".

Have a look through the full list here.

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Universal-backed digital distribution and A&R platform Spinnup launches in the UK
An unsigned band platform launched in Sweden last year by Universal and X5 Music Group is to launch in the UK via a partnership with the mega-major's Island label.

Spinnup works as a digital distribution platform for unsigned artists, but also employs scouts to wade through it all to find the best artists to support and potentially sign. Yeah, I know, it sounds like another one of those things that doesn't really work, but let's not write it off just yet.

Over in that Sweden, young pop-rapper guy Albin has clocked up eight million streams, been certified platinum and topped the Spotify and iTunes charts with 'Din Soldat', a song that he first released via Spinnup. Not that topping the iTunes chart in Sweden means much, but all the other stuff sounds good.

Island's Director Of Digital, Glenn Cooper, says this: "Digital distribution is a key stepping stone in the career of any unsigned artist and Spinnup provides the perfect ecosystem to help them get their music to market. Island Records has consistently broken ground in both the digital and A&R space; Spinnup sits alongside our existing crowdfunding platform Fan Republic and both deliver unique, innovative opportunities to discover and nurture new acts".

I'd forgotten all about Fan Republic. That's the crowdfunding platform Universal set up with Indiegogo earlier this year, which also claims to have the added bonus of being watched by Universal A&Rs.

Anyway, if you fancy giving Spinnup a whirl, it's currently giving membership away for free for a year if you use the code 'DinSoldat'. Go to www.spinnup.com to set yourself up, or just have a nose around.

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BMG biggest publisher in German singles market so far this year
Bertelsmann's music rights firm BMG yesterday announced that it was the most successful music publisher in the singles market in its home territory Germany in the first half of 2014, scoring a 20.86% market share of the German singles charts according to independent research by GfK Entertainment.

And while there are a number of specifics to that claim to fame - one market, one six month period, singles market - the music rights firm sees it as a significant milestone, operating as it does in a global music publishing sector so dominated by two major players, the Universal publishing company (which, of course, includes the catalogues of the original BMG music publisher) and most notably the powerhouse that is Sony/ATV/EMI following the complicated merger of the Sony and EMI publishing houses back in 2012.

Commenting on the market share stat for 2014 so far, BMG boss Hartwig Masuch told CMU: "This is the latest in a continuing series of milestones for BMG as we realise our vision of creating a new kind of artist-centric company. When we launched in 2008, some doubted whether we could compete with the established majors. We have shown that by offering writers and artists exemplary service, an international network and a commitment to help them develop their careers we can indeed compete at the highest level".

Which reminds me, I was meant to be trying to get rumours spreading this year of a possible merger between Warner Music and the v2 BMG business. I completely forgot to start chattering about such a thing. Come on guys, I'm missing all the fun times that come with reporting on major music company consolidations. I suppose we have the Imagem sale speculation to occupy ourselves with instead.

UKRD boss cautions over too much further radio rule reform
Despite in the past calling for a reform of UK radio industry regulations himself, the boss of independent radio firm UKRD has cautioned against too much further relaxation of the rules. William Rogers' comments follow a speech from new RadioCentre CEO Siobhan Kenny last week who called on the government to further reduce content restrictions on AM and FM radio stations.

The commercial radio sector's trade body reckons that broadcasters should have more flexibility to alter the output of their stations now that they compete with a plethora of new online music and information services But Rogers says that - while big players like Global Radio and Bauer may be pushing for most if not all OfCom licensing restrictions on content output to be removed - companies like his reckon some of the rules should remain.

The big dispute between the Globals and UKRDs of this world is really on how much locally-produced content stations using local licences should be obliged to provide. The bigger radio groups have generally networked more of the content going out on local AMs and FMs than the likes of UKRD, with Global - of course - having rebranded its local stations so that they are outposts of national networks like Capital and Heart.

According to Radio Today, on talk of further local radio regulation reform, Rogers says: "Any further substantial de-regulation of the regulatory regime for local commercial radio needs to be undertaken with great caution. There is no question that there is an increasing detachment taking place between local stations and their local communities and we are not in favour of a further substantial erosion of this relationship. Furthermore, I don't believe politicians will be either".

He goes on: "Local commercial radio licences are granted to businesses by Ofcom so that they can serve specific local communities and if there is a further move which allows too much erosion of this relationship, there will be little point in having local commercial radio licences of this nature at all. Of course there needs to be some flexibility and discretion in terms of geographical areas and management of them but there is a point at which the very essence of genuinely local commercial radio becomes threatened and that is not something we can or will support".

Some in the commercial radio sector are currently caught in a tricky position, because key FM licences are coming up for renewal in 2017. And with the FM network now seemingly here for the foreseeable future (at one point some thought the DAB digital network would have superseded it by now), the current licensees are going to be very keen to keep those frequencies. To that end they want licences distributed based on quality of content and not just to the highest bidder. But at the same time are trying to get as many content restrictions removed from licences as possible. Fun times.

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Global Radio creates Group-level COO role, appoints former EMI man
Global Radio has confirmed the appointed of Ian Hanson to the new role of Chief Operating Officer, with a remit working across the firm's broadcasting, talent management and music publishing businesses. Although most recently leading Evenbase Recruitment, Hanson was previously Group Operations Director at Daily Mail publisher DMG Media, and before that spent nearly two decades at EMI.

Confirming the appointment, Global Group CEO Stephen Miron told reporters: "I am absolutely delighted that Ian is joining Global. Ian is an incredibly talented and experienced executive with a passion for the media and entertainment industry. Given his skills, I know that not only will he enhance and complement the executive leadership team at Global, but he will also help us to achieve and fulfil our future ambitions".

Hanson himself added: "I am really looking forward to joining Global. The radio division is among the best in the world, and it's good to be returning to the music and entertainment business. I've followed Global's progress closely since the company was created and I have huge admiration for the success that the team at Global has achieved".

  Approved: Magical Mistakes - Decompose / Reassemble
I first wrote about Magical Mistakes, aka producer Erik Luebs, two and a half years ago. Still based in Japan, he's since delved further into the Osaka electronic music scene, launching his own label and club promotion company, Perfect Touch. But that doesn't mean he hasn't got time to make his own music still. This week he releases new EP 'Decompose / Reassemble'.

Mixed as one continuous 25 minute experience, with these six instrumental tracks Luebs has created the kind of music that fades everything else around to you black. "As a conceptual work, the sounds explore macro-concepts of humanity's decline amidst the stoic beauty of cyclical natural processes", he explains. And who am I to argue?

Listen to the EP in its entirety via Bandcamp, and check out the video for 'Hollow Bodies' on Vimeo.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Roni Size trails solo, Reprazent LPs
High dnb roller Roni Size has confirmed his first LP in over ten years AND an EP, both to be released (separately) later this year via his new label, Mansion Sounds. Additionally, Size has hinted that Reprazent, his Mercury-winning collective, will re-activate this year as well, sending in their first LP since 2008 in early 2015.

Size's solo long-player, titled 'Take Kontrol', arrives 25 Aug; whilst the six-track EP, 'Size Matters', precedes it the week earlier (ie 18 Aug). Roni will sport his production/DJing hat for all of the above, with both honing in on "dancefloor cuts for the heads". Meanwhile, sign to Size's mailing list to get a free 2014 remix of his 2008 track 'Bite The Bullet.

And gauging the 'sky's the limit'-kind of mood in his camp right now, Roni Size says: "When I hear this music I hear a MANSION of possibilities. This is just the start of better things to come".

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Pink Floyd confirm new old LP
Wowee everyone, Pink Floyd went and made an LP! Their first in a very long time, no less. Not since the days of 1994's 'The Division Bell' has a Pink Floyd record been so... well, simply 'been'. It's arriving in October 'btw'.

The new kid on the PF block, 'The Endless River', will stem from sessions that happened at the same time the band were making 'Division Bell', specifically linked to a never-released side-project titled 'The Big Spliff'. So, go figure. It'll feature late Pink Floyd original Rick Wright, who died in 2008, with the recently completed record acting as his 'swansong'.

Confirming the news over the weekend, PF lyricist and Mrs David Gilmour Polly Samson tweeted: "Btw Pink Floyd album out in October is called 'The Endless River'. Based on 1994 sessions is Rick Wright's swansong and very beautiful".

And sharing a photo from the studio, backing vocalist Durga McBroom Hudson had this to say about the LP via Facebook: "It was originally to be a completely instrumental recording, but I came in last December and sang on a few tracks. David then expanded on my backing vocals and has done a lead on at least one of them".

"I don't know if there will be a tour or not yet, stay tuned", she added, being a big tease.

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A Winged Victory For The Sullen prep new record
Far-side classicists A Winged Victory For The Sullen, aka elite Erased Tapes signees Dustin O'Halloran and Adam Wiltzie, have this week detailed a new LP named 'Atomos'.

Leading off from the pair's 'Atomos VII' EP circa earlier this year, this latest suite began life as a score to a new work by Royal Ballet/Random Dance choreographer Wayne McGregor, though filled out naturally into what it is now. Distinguishing it from AWVFTS's first LP of 2011, 'Atomos' finds the band integrating synths and harps into their familiar fabric of pianos, strings and drones.

Wiltzie says: "As a wise man once said, one who procrastinates their own choosing will inevitably have their choice served to them by circumstance. We had virtually no time for second guessing ourselves. That being said, we tried to balance the discordance between being creative, and fulfilling our duties for a commissioned soundtrack with a very strict deadline, and all the while staying true to our collective melancholy".

O'Halloran adds: "We never imagined 2013 would be such an explosively creative year. The first record took us two years from start to finish, but in the micro span of time over last summer we were able to change the formula for the way we write, record, and let go. It was incredibly liberating".

Prior to the official 'Atomos' landing-date on 6 Oct, play one of its inside tracks, 'Atomos VI'.

Metronomy confirm December shows, inc Ally Pally date
It's going to be pretty easy to pin down pop crew Metronomy's 'worldwide positioning' on 4, 5 and 6 Dec, for they'll be doing three shows on those days as follows:

4 Dec: Glasgow Academy
5 Dec: London, Alexandra Palace
6 Dec: Manchester, Albert Hall

Tickets to go to the shows, which serve as post-its to Metronomy's newest LP 'Love Letters', can be picked up from this Friday until... until they sell dry. Here.

In the meantime their set at this year's Glasto fest is still available to stream via BBCiPlayer, so give that a go here.

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Basement Jaxx list winter dates
THE Basement Jaxx are back in a big, big, big way, with a big, big, big upcoming LP titled 'Junto', and by proxy are required to do a big, big, big tour to match that. It's only right.

And do you know, the duo have actually just announced one, and it sure is suitably big, so... good. And the individual dates are like so:

9 Nov: Sheffield, Academy
30 Nov: Glasgow, Barrowland
1 Dec: Bristol, Academy
3 Dec: Birmingham Institute
4 Dec: Leeds, Academy
5 Dec: Newcastle, Academy
6 Dec: Manchester, Apollo
8 Dec: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
9 Dec: Plymouth, Pavilions
11 Dec: London, O2 Arena

From 'Junto', which is out on 25 Aug, this is Jaxx track 'Never Say Never', featuring singing by ETML.

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Mastodon to tour
Metal colossi Mastodon are cashing in (which is totally fine) on their new top ten LP, 'Once More Round The Sun', by playing exactly ten live sets in Ireland and the UK.

Seems like there's little else to do at this point except move on to the listings for said dates, and link in the slightly NSFW video for M-Don's new single 'High Road':

19 Nov: Dublin, Academy
20 Nov: Belfast, Limelight
22 Nov: Southampton, Guildhall
24 Nov: Manchester, Academy
25 Nov: Newcastle, Academy
26 Nov: Glasgow, Academy
28 Nov: London, Brixton Academy
29 Nov: Birmingham, Academy
1 Dec: Nottingham, Rock City
2 Dec: Bristol, Academy

Bruce Dickinson down on Hyde Park gigs too
Having dismissed Glastonbury as "the most bourgeois thing on the planet" back in May, Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has now written off Hyde Park as a place where he and his band might perform. Though this time for more logistical reasons.

Despite AEG's insistence that it would banish the noise restriction problems that caused Live Nation to ditch Hyde Park as a venue in 2012, Dickinson reckons the stages there are still too quiet. This after fellow aging metallers Black Sabbath performed there on Friday.

"We considered playing Hyde Park again. The thought of filling central London with Iron Maiden fans is brilliant", Dickinson told The Daily Star. "However, the noise restrictions at Hyde Park are so silly. If somebody has a loud conversation you have to shush them. Sabbath made their decision, but we looked at it and thought it's too tame".

And given that Bruce Dickinson staged a reconstruction of a World War I dogfight over the heads of the Sonsiphere audience at the weekend, he's probably allowed to decide what is and isn't tame.

 
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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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 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 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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