MONDAY 19 JANUARY 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Writing a blog post for the Department Of Culture, Media & Sport website last week, UK Music boss Jo Dipple has called on the Intellectual Property Office to "prioritise" measures that will enhance copyright frameworks at home and abroad in order to assure the continued growth of both the music and the wider creative industries. Noting recent stats from both the... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Described as "an elusive band" by their label Song, By Toad, Le Thug don't have a great deal of recorded music to their name, just a few things scattered around the internet. But where quantity has lost out over the last couple of years, quality has triumphed. And no more so than on 'Basketball Land', the lead track from new EP 'Place Is', which is due out on 16 Feb... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES UK Music chief calls on Government to pursue better global IP framework to enable future export growth
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DEALS Mariah might be headed back to Sony
Shutterstock acquires music library service
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ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL HMV overtakes Amazon as UK's biggest retailer of physical music
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LIVE BUSINESS Birmingham City Council completes sale of NEC Group
No Sonisphere in 2015
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MEDIA Bauer's channel three stations go live
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ARTIST NEWS Surviving Grateful Dead members to reunite for 50th anniversary shows
Black Crowes split in dispute over band ownership
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ONE LINERS Orchard signs Dangerbird, Baumschlager moves to YouTube, Lady Gaga pictured with RedOne, and almost certainly more
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AND FINALLY... Bez's Reality Party has name delisted from ballot by Electoral Commission
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OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE
Office space to rent with Full Time Hobby and SALT Films. Music and film companies looking for another likeminded company to share a new office space at Tileyard Studios. £300 per desk including most bills (phone separate). For full information click here.
 
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MUSIC CONCIERGE - PLAYLIST DESIGNER (HERTFORD)
Music Concierge, the award-winning music consultancy for boutique hotels and luxury brands, is looking for a Music Team Assistant to join our small but expanding creative team. This is an excellent starter role giving the opportunity to work in the music industry with an exciting growing company.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MUSIC CONCIERGE - MUSIC TEAM ASSISTANT (HERTFORD)
Music Concierge, the award-winning music consultancy for boutique hotels and luxury brands, is looking for a Music Team Assistant to join our small but expanding creative team. This is an excellent starter role giving the opportunity to work in the music industry with an exciting growing company.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SECRETLY CANADIAN DISTRIBUTION - HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL SALES (LONDON)
Secretly Canadian Distribution seeks Head of International Sales to join our established sales team.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SECRETLY CANADIAN DISTRIBUTION - PROJECT MANAGER, EUROPE (LONDON)
Secretly Canadian Distribution is seeking a full-time Project Manager (Europe) for our distributed label group.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MAMA & COMPANY - WEB DEVELOPER (LONDON)
We are looking for a talented web developer that is passionate about technology and wants to be an integral part of a dynamic and innovative digital team. If you want to build & develop some of the finest websites, work with cutting edge digital technology and make a difference in the music industry whilst reaching music fans worldwide, this is the job for you.

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ALPHA MUSIC PUBLISHING - PAID INTERNSHIP (LONDON)
An opportunity to intern has arisen at our UK office. We are a small but very established French music publishing company with an office in London.

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IBIZA ROCKS GROUP - MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
This is a very rare and exciting opportunity for a dynamic and innovative marketing genius to join our talented young team and have a major influence on the growth of the brand. We are looking for someone that oozes creativity and has a genuine passion for music and travel, as well as proven experience in creating commercial, brand-savvy campaigns.

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BROWNSWOOD MUSIC - SPECIAL PROJECTS ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Brownswood Music have recently been awarded special Arts Council funding status to become an NPO (National Portfolio Organisation). We are launching an exciting three year talent discovery and development scheme as of spring 2015 to help support untapped talent in the realm of leftfield music. We are looking for a project paid intern/assistant to come on board to help with the administrative and planning portion of the project. The role will be approximately three days per week from the North London office, but may involve travel to project sites around the UK.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
CMU Jobs is a proven way to recruit the best music business talent for roles across the industry at all levels, from graduate to senior management. To book an ad contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 

UK Music chief calls on Government to pursue better global IP framework to enable future export growth
Writing a blog post for the Department Of Culture, Media & Sport website last week, UK Music boss Jo Dipple has called on the Intellectual Property Office to "prioritise" measures that will enhance copyright frameworks at home and abroad in order to assure the continued growth of both the music and the wider creative industries.

Noting recent stats from both the DCMS and her own organisation that seemingly demonstrate the positive impact the music and creative industries have on the UK economy, employment and exports, Dipple writes: "For growth, for the future health of our economy, the creative industries are a key that policy makers must keep turning".

She goes on: "Digitisation and the extension from domestic to global markets has allowed for a huge increase in the volume of trade. Add that to the unique British talent for creativity, and you have a rare and probably unique domestic and global export story. If we were ever once regarded as 'fluffy', from now on that should be 'Fluffy', the large, vicious, three-headed dog who was once cared for by Hagrid from 'Harry Potter'".

Reckoning that recent successes in exporting UK music overseas can be continued and expanded on, Dipple says: "The export story of music is immense and the opportunities to grow are unlimited. However, to expand sales to countries like Mexico and Argentina, for us to take advantage of the Chinese market, the British Government needs to help us. The Government must help establish conditions in those markets which allow us to exploit our works. Yes, it's very popular. Yes, it's probably consumed in vast quantities. But is there an actual market from which those who invest in the business can see returns?"

And that in no small part means the UK Government not only addressing copyright issues at home, but also putting pressure on policy makers in countries with less well developed intellectual property regimes to aid the growth of the content industries in their territories.

Noting work already being done by the UKTI's sector advisory group, Dipple says: "The DCMS figures should act as an incentive for the Intellectual Property Office to prioritise IP policies that deliver stable and strong copyright frameworks. It is only with these in place that we can efficiently monetise intangible digital goods in Europe, in the USA and globally".

Presumably delivering a message for whoever forms the next UK government after May's General Election, Dipple concludes: "As we start a new year, we do so knowing the British creative sector is strong at a time of austerity and growing at a time of stagnation. Just think what we could do with every condition in the right place? Should the stars align, should ministers in charge do the right thing, should we continue to produce the best creative talent, it will be our sector that defines this country in the 21st Century, economically as well as culturally".

Mariah might be headed back to Sony
Showbiz411.com reckons that Mariah Carey is heading back to Sony Music after the lacklustre performance of her still amazingly named 2014 long player 'Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse'.

More used to shifting millions of each album release in the US alone, her 2014 record sold less than 120,000 copies Stateside, which even in the context of a market where album sales are down across the board, is something of a disappointment.

It's also thought that various structural changes at the Universal division to which the singer is signed have seen her lose any loyalty to the major. Making all the more attractive the plan of moving over to Sony's revitalised Epic label, headed up by one of her former champions within Universal Music, LA Reid.

Showbiz411's Roger Friedman reckons that Carey had dinner with Reid and his Epic marketing colleague Laura Swanson last week. He also notes that Sony is sitting on Carey's 1990s catalogue, so a big new album campaign that reactivates interest in the early hits would work for all parties.

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Shutterstock acquires music library service
Stock photo firm Shutterstock upped its credentials in the library music space last week by buying PremiumBeat, a Montreal-based provider of royalty free music to video and digital content makers.

Shutterstock followed its rival Getty into the music space last May by launching Shutterstock Music. It's thought that PremiumBeat, acquired in a cash deal worth a reported $32 million, will be rolled into that business down that line.

Confirming the deal, Shutterstock founder and CEO Jon Oringer said: "We are excited to add such a complementary business in PremiumBeat, with a fast-growing customer base and an extraordinary collection. We understand the intersection between music and video and believe that music licensing will benefit from the same, strong market demand we are capitalising on with video".

Clearly in an acquisitive mood, Shutterstock also announced last week that it had bought European photo press agency Rex Features.

HMV overtakes Amazon as UK's biggest retailer of physical music
Comeback kid HMV says it has overtaken Amazon to reclaim its crown as the UK's largest retailer of physical music releases, reports City AM.

Total sales in the year up to December apparently reached £365.7 million - up from £311.2 million in 2013 - boosted in part by "very strong" Black Friday sales. CD sales rose 1.5%, while vinyl sales jumped 170% to their highest level at the retailer for 20 years. DVD and BluRay sales were also up 0.5 per cent.

CEO of HMV owner Hilco, Paul McGowan, told City AM: "HMV has captured more and more market share in a year when major new movie releases have been scarce and there have been only a few major album successes. With a bumper year of new releases already planned for 2015 we expect to have overall growth in like-for-like DVD and Blu-Ray sales as well as continued growth in the physical music sector with vinyl also expected to continue its revival".

One of the interesting things to note in all this - at a time when media focus is largely placed on the rise of streaming services and the resurgence of vinyl - is the buoyancy of the good old compact disc.

The Entertainment Retailer Association's year-end figures showed that, while CD sales are still declining, physical still accounted for just over 50% of key recorded music revenues last year, and the vast majority of that income comes from CD. So, while the media and record industry seems to have written off the shiny discs already, consumers haven't followed suit quite so quickly.

Birmingham City Council completes sale of NEC Group
The sale of the NEC Group to Lloyds Banking Group was confirmed by Birmingham City Council on Friday.

As previously reported, the NEC company operates four major venue complexes in and around Birmingham and was, until last week, owned by the City Of Birmingham itself. It also operates ticketing, event management and sponsorship agencies. The council reportedly decided to sell the successful venue company in order to raise cash to overcome financial issues brought on in part by the cap on local authority borrowing and a legal case pursued by council workers seeking equal pay.

The sale is valued at £307 million, with the Birmingham unit of Lloyds' private equity arm LDC taking the entire company. However, Birmingham City Council will retain the leases on the Hilton Metropole and Crowne Plaza hotels next to its venues and the freehold of all NEC sites. The council will also continue to hold existing NEC pensions.

Confirming the deal, Leader of Birmingham City Council Albert Bore said in a statement: "The announcement of a new owner is a landmark moment in the history and development of the NEC Group and its three operating sites: NEC, ICC and Barclaycard Arena. We are very pleased to have attracted a Birmingham-based buyer in LDC that understands the local importance of the NEC and shares our vision for the future".

He went on: "This will ensure that the business goes from strength to strength, and that the NEC continues to play a leading role in the wider economic development of the region whilst securing Birmingham and the wider West Midlands' position as the home for outstanding live events. We are looking forward to working alongside LDC to achieve this goal".

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No Sonisphere in 2015
Promoters of Sonisphere have confirmed that there will be no UK edition of the metal fest this year, after failing to secure suitable headliners to lead the event.

Originally touring various European countries, the 2012 UK edition of Sonisphere was cancelled and it didn't return the following year. But last summer Iron Maiden, Metallica and The Prodigy headlined a special edition designed to celebrate 40 years of rock music at its English base Knebworth Park.

But confirming that there would be no follow up this summer, a statement issued on Friday reads: "Team Sonisphere reluctantly confirm that Sonisphere will not take place in the UK in 2015. We've been working hard to get a line-up that we felt was good enough but also on a weekend which would avoid other events that we know rock fans would want to support".

The statement added: "Unfortunately our last irons in the fire have just been extinguished and it's clear that we won't be in a position to run the event this year. We've said in the past that Sonisphere will only go ahead if we feel it is going to be good enough and that hasn't changed. We hope all rock fans have a great summer with all the festivals and concerts already in the calendar and we plan to see you all in 2016".

Bauer's channel three stations go live
Bauer Media's 'channel-three' radio stations are going live today in various cities around the UK.

As previously reported, last year Bauer announced that it was dismantling its quasi-national Magic and Hits Radio networks, the former on AM, the latter on regional DAB, and replacing them with 'channel 2' and 'channel 3' versions of their city station brands, so in Liverpool you get Radio City, Radio City 2 and Radio City 3.

The two-branded stations are aimed at older listeners, while the three-branded outlets on DAB are pitched at a younger audience. Getting three-branded services today are: Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire, Sheffield, Leeds, Hull, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Inverness.

Digital radio listeners in these areas can still get Magic, which is now on the national DAB network, while The Hits brand will continue on TV and in London.

  Approved: Le Thug
Described as "an elusive band" by their label Song, By Toad, Le Thug don't have a great deal of recorded music to their name, just a few things scattered around the internet. But where quantity has lost out over the last couple of years, quality has triumphed. And no more so than on 'Basketball Land', the lead track from new EP 'Place Is', which is due out on 16 Feb.

The track brings more clarity to their shoegaze sound, though still leaves their guitars as an abstract wall of noise, matched by some buried keyboards, driven by clipped drum machine beats and lifted by the vocals of Cleo Alexander. It's maybe not the first time you've heard something with this formula, but they pitch it just right to make it seem fresh.

Check out the video for 'Basketball Land' here, and listen to the track amongst a selection of music from other new Song, By Toad signings here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Surviving Grateful Dead members to reunite for 50th anniversary shows
The surviving four members of The Grateful Dead - Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann - have announced that they will reunite for three shows to mark the 50th anniversary of the band's formation at Chicago's Soldier Field this July.

The band's last performance was at the same venue in July 1995, shortly before the death of guitarist Jerry Garcia, who will be replaced by Phish guitar man Trey Anastasio for the reunion shows.

"It is with respect and gratitude that we reconvene the Dead one last time to celebrate, not merely the band's legacy, but also the community that we've been playing to, and with, for 50 years", said Lesh, announcing the shows.

Anastaio added: "Jerry Garcia was a great American master and the Grateful Dead are not just a genuine piece of musical history, but also an important part of American history. This is a band, born right at the beginning of electric rock, that took the American tradition and moved it forward. They really embodied the American concept of freedom, rolling around the country with a ginormous gang of people and the mindset that 'you can come if you want, you can leave if you want. We don't know what's going to happen. All we know is we're not looking back'. What could be more American?"

The three shows will take place on 3-5 Jul. More info at dead50.net

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Black Crowes split in dispute over band ownership
The Black Crowes have split up. That's the news. They'd been a bit on/off for the last five years anyway, but now they're just off.

Guitarist Rich Robinson said in a statement last week: "It is with great disappointment and regret that after having the privilege of writing and performing the music of The Black Crowes over the last 24 years, I find myself in the position of saying that the band has broken up. I hold my time with the Black Crowes with the utmost respect and sincerest appreciation. It is a huge swath of my life's body of work. I couldn't be more proud of what we accomplished and deeply moved by the relationships people created and maintained with my music. That alone is the greatest honour of being a musician".

So far, so seemingly amicable. It's OK though, it's totally not amicable. Robinson continued: "I love my brother [frontman Chris Robinson] and respect his talent but his present demand that I must give up my equal share of the band and that our drummer for 28 years and original partner, Steve Gorman, relinquish 100% of his share, reducing him to a salaried employee, is not something I could agree to".

This is not the first time the band have split, having done so in 2002, after Gorman quit. They reunited again in 2005 and continued with varying line-ups until another hiatus in 2011. They last performed together in 2013.

Orchard/Dangerbird, Baumschlager moves to YouTube, Lady Gaga pictured with RedOne and almost certainly more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• The Orchard last week announced a new deal with LA-based indie Dangerbird Records which will see it distribute the label's digital and physical releases in the US and Canada. Dangerbird founder Peter Walker said of his new distributor "their company is fuelled by incredibly smart, innovative and creative people with a true passion for music and technology".

• Stefan Baumschlager, formerly of Last.fm and more recently Rdio, has joined YouTube to manage partnerships with the European music publishing sector. Which will be fun given increased demands in the publisher and songwriter communities for a bigger cut of the digital income pie.

• Lady Gaga Instagrammed a picture of herself and producer RedOne together on Friday. They've worked together before, so why don't we just assume they're working together again? In another post last week she said that she was being kept awake by all the many song ideas banging around in her head, "Like a locust giving birth to earworms".

• Flying Lotus is writing a film, apparently. More over at Dancing Astronaut.

• Former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty has written a rock opera based on the Book Of Revelation, as in off of The Bible. It's just called 'Revelation' and you can hear him talk about it here.

• Noise rock experimentalists Lightning Bolt have announce that they will release a new album, 'Fantasy Empire', on 23 Mar through Thrill Jockey. It's been five years since their last LP.

• The Mark Lanegan Band will release a remix album on 23 Feb called 'A Thousand Miles Of Midnight'. It'll feature reworks of tracks from last year's 'Phantom Radio' album and 'No Bells On Sunday' EP. Here's one such remix by Moby.

• Approved pop entity Bea has released a video for her track 'Filthy Believer'. She did an interview with Noisey too. Here's that, and here's the video.

• Vessels will be touring the UK in March, to support new album 'Dilate', which is out on 2 Mar. They'll kick off on 12 Mar with a show at the opening party for the Convergence festival at London's Village Underground.

• Laura Welsh has announced a headline show at Electrowerkz in Islington on 12 Mar. Three days prior, on 9 Mar, she'll release her debut album 'Soft Control'.

• Hey everybody, it's been confirmed that Take That will join Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Paloma Faith, George Ezra and Royal Blood on stage singing a tune at the BRIT Awards next month. And if that's not a reason to get even more excited about the upcoming awards-giving bash, well, then we'll have to find another one I guess.

Bez's Reality Party has name delisted form ballot by Electoral Commission
Bez's attempt to become MP for Salford has hit a snag, after the Electoral Commission deregistered the name of his party, Reality, for being too similar to that of the pre-existing Realists party.

In a statement posted on Facebook, a spokesperson for Reality said that the party had received a letter in November giving warning of the issue with its name, adding that they then made attempts to contact the Realists but were unsuccessful. The party also claims that it did not then receive a second letter from the Electoral Commission stating that the party would be de-listed as it had failed to resolve the matter.

"We feel that we acted in good faith when we chose the name of the party and have satisfied all the requirements set out by the Commission", continued the spokesperson. "We are currently considering our position and are in dialogue with the Electoral Commission. This is a technical issue with the party name as it appears on the ballot paper. It does not in any way impact adversely on our campaign or our candidates, supporters or our commitment to providing a real alternative voice in politics".

As previously reported, Bez officially launched his election campaign last week.

 
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.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
ALY BARCHI | Staff Writer
Aly reports on artist and business news, leads on the CMU One Liners, and contributes to the CMU Approved column. She also coordinates the daily cultural tips on CMU's sister site 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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