TUESDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: One of the men facing extradition to the US for his involvement in the running of controversial file-transfer company MegaUpload is now in America voluntarily, leading to speculation he has done a deal with prosecutors there and will agree to testify against his former colleagues if and when the whole matter gets to court. While most attention has been given to the... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: The Dø have always pushed an interesting take on pop music, but on their first two albums had a sound perhaps a little more lo-fi than their ambitions. For their third, 'Shake Shook Shaken', released this week through their own Siamese Squids label, everything seems to have fallen into place like never before. With a far more electronic sound than on either of their previous... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES One of the MegaUpload accused is in the US, speculation he's prepared to testify against Dotcom
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS CISAC publishes Global Collections Report
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES WiMP and Tidal subscriber figures published as part of takeover
Onkyo begins roll out of high quality audio download store
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MEDIA Songlines is sold
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ARTIST NEWS Bullet For My Valentine lose bassist
New Shane Meadows documentary premieres via Noisey
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RELEASES Oh Land to release fourth album in March
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ONE LINERS Beyonce, Korn, Tricot and Nightwish are not collaborating but do all feature here
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AND FINALLY... Kanye, Beck and Shirley Manson comment on Kanye's 'artistry' rant
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KEY PRODUCTION - ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
Key Production, celebrating 25 years of independence is looking to recruit an account manager to work from their busy London offices at the creative hub of Tileyard Studios. The job will entail controlling all aspects of manufacture of high end packaging and promotional items for both music and other industries from initial concept to delivery of finished product.

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NUCLEAR BLAST - PRESS OFFICER (LONDON)
London office for well-established rock/metal label is looking for a young, dynamic and creative Press Officer to handle PR for its rapidly diversifying roster.

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PLAY IT AGAIN SAM - PROJECT MANAGER (LONDON)
The Play It Again Sam label requires a Project Manager. The role, based in London, is a fantastic opportunity to work with artists such as Ghostpoet, Melanie De Biasio, Mew, Champs, Enter Shikari, Roisin Murphy and more.

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KOBALT LABEL SERVICES - PRODUCT MANAGER (LONDON)
Kobalt Label Services (KLS) is looking for an experienced Product/Project Manager to be based in the Kobalt office in London, and to work with the Label Services team to provide services to KLS' artist and label clients.

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CLEAR SOUND & VISION - PRODUCTION PLANNER (LONDON)
Clear Sound & Vision (CSV), part of the Once Upon A Time Group, has recently moved to new premises in the heart of London Soho and is looking to add to its production team. CSV predominately operates within the music industry, providing print and packaging solutions and vinyl pressings and CD replication manufacturing services.

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WARP - FINANCE ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Warp is looking for a finance assistant to join a growing team. The ideal candidate will have a healthy interest in music and will be looking to further a career in the industry. They will have been exposed to a varied range of tasks within an accounting environment and should have previous involvement in taking accounts to trial balance.

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DHP FAMILY - ARTIST MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
We are looking for a Management Assistant. Candidates must have a minimum of one year's proven artist management or label product management experience. The role will include providing support to artist managers for global release campaigns, promotion and touring, co-ordinating day-to-day activities for artists, including personal assistant and general administrative duties.

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We are currently seeking an Operations Manager to join our team. This is a broad role, which incorporates Operations, Office Management, HR and business support to the Directors. The Operations Manager is responsible for ensuring the day-to-day operations of the business run smoothly and that effective methods are put into place so that the company runs to its maximum productivity.

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We are currently seeking an extremely organised, positive and proactive Personal Assistant to join our team. The Personal Assistant is responsible for providing full business and personal support to the Director. The ideal candidate will have at least two years experience supporting to Director level, ideally within a music or media environment.

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One of the MegaUpload accused is in the US, speculation he's prepared to testify against Dotcom
One of the men facing extradition to the US for his involvement in the running of controversial file-transfer company MegaUpload is now in America voluntarily, leading to speculation he has done a deal with prosecutors there and will agree to testify against his former colleagues if and when the whole matter gets to court.

While most attention has been given to the legal wranglings of MegaUpload's founder and frontman Kim Dotcom, seven men in total were accused of copyright crimes when the file-transfer platform was forced offline by the American authorities in 2012.

None were in the US at the time. Four, including Dotcom, were in New Zealand, and still are, as American prosecutors go through the unwieldy and time-consuming process of trying to extradite the men to the States to face various copyright and other charges relating to their former business.

The other three were in Europe. One was in Slovakia and one in Germany, where extradition isn't an option for the Americans. But the third, Andrus Nomm, although Estonian, was in the Netherlands at the time of the MegaUpload raid, and extradition there is possible. As a result, Nomm has been on bail in Rotterdam ever since, waiting as the Dutch extradition system goes through the motions.

But now Nomm is in America, where he has been arrested and seemingly questioned by the authorities. It's not entirely clear why he chose to travel to the US, though it seems likely that he did so having made a deal with American prosecutors that may see him testify against the other MegaUpload founders in return for a less harsh treatment over his involvement in the allegedly copyright infringing business, which was mainly as a programmer anyway.

Dotcom's American lawyer Ira Rothken admitted to the media yesterday that Nomm's arrival in the US was a surprise, adding that he was currently trying to find out if the former Mega exec was actually in custody as we speak.

Rothken conceded that it was likely Nomm had made a deal with US investigators, adding that this wasn't especially surprising given he knew Dotcom's former colleague was running out of funds, had found it hard to find work following the MegaUpload shutdown, and was, after all, on bail in a foreign country.

According to the New Zealand Herald, Rothken said: "Given [Nomm] didn't have any more resources, it was expected the US would take advantage. This is to be expected where the US Department Of Justice, in an experimental case, is trying to get folks scared and to testify in certain ways".

American prosecutors have been keen to find people who worked within MegaUpload to testify against Dotcom and his fellow former management team, and - if they do have Nomm on board - that would be quite a coup, especially if the US can ever get the other defendants into the States to pursue the criminal case against them (in the case of Dotcom, there's still plenty of extradition hurdles to jump first).

Though Rothken is nevertheless adamant that a Nomm testimony wouldn't alter his client's chances of acquittal if it ever gets that far. "If these folks testify truthfully it would be of no benefit to the US", he said yesterday.

CISAC publishes Global Collections Report
CISAC, the global body that brings together the music publishing and songwriter communities' performing rights organisations worldwide, has published its latest Global Collections Report, which presents a mountain of figures and stats relating to its members operations in 2013.

The figures are slightly confusing at first glance, not least because while PRS and its counterparts around the globe are best known for collecting the monies due when musical works are performed in public, distributed through broadcast channels and, increasingly, played via digital platforms, some collecting societies also collect monies for other creators, or other uses of content.

So while CISAC-affiliated societies collected 7.8 billion euros in total, six billion came from performing rights (a record high in that domain) and 13% was for non-music content. Add to that the impact of currency fluctuations on year-to-year comparisons, and your head will soon be aching.

But top line: performing rights are doing well, but not well enough to compensate for the declining income publishers and songwriters receive from record sales, meanwhile emerging markets are increasingly important and digital, while up 25%, still only represents 5% of what CISAC members collect worldwide.

Launching the report, CISAC Director General Gadi Oron told reporters: "Despite challenging economic conditions in many markets, total royalties collected by CISAC members remained stable. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, the underlying growth trend of +4.6% in global collections is very encouraging for the future of the creative industries globally".

He went on: "Other positive reports include a jump of 17% in royalty collections in the Latin America & Caribbean region and a sharp increase of 8% in collections for audiovisual repertoire. The BRICS markets [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] continue to show great promise leaping 30% over the previous year. These countries still have a huge untapped potential, with a mere 0.12 euros of collections per capita as compared to the 1.30 euros world average".

Meanwhile on the digital stats, Oron added to the mounting resentment occurring in the publisher and songwriter community about how much of the digital pie they are receiving by noting: "Royalty collections from digital services sharply increased in 2013 and we are extremely pleased with this result. Yet, they are still low and the potential for further growth is significant. In a world that is becoming increasingly digital, it remains a key priority for CISAC members to ensure that creators around the world receive a more equitable share in the online market".

WiMP and Tidal subscriber figures published as part of takeover
The planned purchase of Scandinavian streaming music company Aspiro - which operates the WiMP and Tidal services - has led to a stats fest because Swedish regulations say the company must publish user-figures as part of the takeover process (although the WiMP firm is Norwegian, parent company Aspiro is based in Sweden).

The stats provide figures as of 31 Jan this year and last, and break down the numbers according to service and subscription type.

So we know that 71,000 people were signed up to the main WiMP premium service as of last month, 24,000 to its high-quality audio option, and 17,000 to its stand-alone high-def set up Tidal (the Tidal figure is slightly higher than that being touted last week, seemingly because the earlier mooted stat was for December 2014 and a few thousand more sign-ups occurred last month).

But, illustrating just how important tel co and similar partnerships are for streaming services looking to sign-up customers, by far the biggest subscriber numbers are those secured "through partners". Indeed, this side of the business slipped during 2014, from 482,000 users to 391,000, resulting in a fall in overall subscriber base from 566,000 to 503,000.

For all the hype around high quality audio streaming as we head into 2015, these figures do suggest that paying double for higher quality sound remains a niche offer, given that WiMP was the first to dabble in this space in the streaming domain.

As previously reported, the Jay-Z controlled Project Panther Bidco is currently in the process of trying to acquire Aspiro, and looks likely to succeed.

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Onkyo begins roll out of high quality audio download store
And if high-quality audio streaming is niche, well, high-quality audio downloads, that's the future, right? I think you all know what big fans we are of Pono.

Anyway, Japan-based high-quality audio download service e-onkyo - the download store set-up by consumer electronics firm Onkyo - is now live in the US, the UK and Germany. And the company has ambitions to make e-onkyo, or just Onkyo Music outside of Japan, the "largest hi-resolution music download store". Which I think requires it to be one inch larger than Pono. Which seems achievable. Build a bigger pyramid I say.

The roll out of the ten-year old service beyond Japan follows the firm's previously reported alliance with 7digital, first announced last year. An a-la-carte set-up, pricing will vary, but albums will cost around $15-$20 and individual tracks around $3-$4.

Confirming the roll out, Onkyo's Kevin Miyagi said yesterday: "As one of the world's leading hi-fi/home theatre manufacturers we can now provide music lovers with a full end-to-end hi-res audio experience. Whether customers choose to listen on the move via headphones or at home via their stereo system or AV receiver, Onkyo wants them to be able to choose from the widest range of music, delivered - with the highest fidelity - to the devices they want to use... that's our mission".

This article, by the way, was written in high quality words. Can you READ THE DIFFERENCE. Yes? Good. Well, that will be an extra £10 please.

Songlines is sold
Following recent chatter about which music magazine was up for sale, after the owners of an unspecified title advertised for interested parties to get in touch, it's emerged that the Mark Allen Group has acquired world music publication Songlines.

It brings Songlines into common ownership with jazz title Jazzwise and classical music magazine Gramophone, which is apt because Songlines began as a spin-off from the latter back in 1999. As a result of the deal, the team behind Songlines - including co-founder and Editor-In-Chief Simon Broughton - will move to MAG's offices in Herne Hill.

Confirming the purchase, Mark Allen told reporters: "I am delighted by this acquisition. Songlines is a wonderful magazine and the only one of its kind that highlights indigenous roots music in different parts of the globe. It adds immensely to our music stable and gives us additional clout in the music industry".

Meanwhile the title's publisher and other co-founder Paul Geoghegan added: "I'm thrilled that Songlines is moving to the Mark Allen Group, the home of Gramophone and Jazzwise, and in doing so completing the roster of the most respected music magazines for classical, jazz and world music. It's the perfect home for Songlines where the magazine and all its various off-shoots will be able to flourish and benefit from the expertise and support from Mark Allen and his team".

  Approved: The Dø
The Dø have always pushed an interesting take on pop music, but on their first two albums had a sound perhaps a little more lo-fi than their ambitions. For their third, 'Shake Shook Shaken', released this week through their own Siamese Squids label, everything seems to have fallen into place like never before.

With a far more electronic sound than on either of their previous two records, the duo hit the ground running with opening track 'Keep Your Lips Sealed'. Previously previewed tracks 'Trustful Hands', 'Miracles (Back In Time)', 'Sparks' and 'Lick My Wounds' all act as helpful reference points for the album's varied moods and textures.

It also sounds like it'll all be great live, so stick their upcoming show at Koko in Camden on 19 Mar in the diary. And before that, watch the video for the single, 'Despair, Hangover & Ecstasy', here.
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Bullet For My Valentine lose bassist
Bassists, eh? What are they like? Always leaving bands, they are. Always. What, you don't believe me? Well how about this, Bullet For My Valentine's bassist Jay James just quit. See? It's a wonder any bands have a bassist.

In a post on their Facebook page, the more committed, non-bassist members of the band said in a statement: "It is with regret that Bullet For My Valentine has to announce that Jay James is no longer a member of the band. Jay has been a part of this band for well over twelve years and part of our lives forever, and we're gonna miss him as much as we know you guys are too".

They continued: "We wanna wish him all the best and success with whatever he chooses to do next and will always be grateful for his contribution and sacrifices he made for this band.
We'll announce a replacement for Jay when we feel the time is right, but until then we're gonna be busy and focused recording our next record and making sure its the best album we've ever made".

Oh, well if they think they can do better without him, then I guess it's alright.

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New Shane Meadows documentary premieres via Noisey
Following on from his Stone Roses documentary, Shane Meadows has made another. Documentary that is. This one follows the story of a gig he convinced a friend to play in a living room.

Oh what? You want more detail than that? OK, Gavin Clark is a musician you probably haven't heard of, but you've probably heard, because his music features in a lot of Meadows' films. Despite this, in 2007 Clark found himself living in Stoke-On-Trent and working as a pizza delivery man.

The two hatched a plan to organise a gig in Clark's living room to start his music career from scratch again. Meadows made a film about it. Which is this film. It's called 'The Living Room'.

It's a nice little film, and is available to watch online now thanks to Noisey. You can watch it here.

 

Oh Land to release fourth album in March
Oh Land has announced that she will release her fourth album, 'Earth Sick', in the UK on 2 Mar.

Speaking about the inspiration for record Oh Land, aka Nanna Øland Fabricius, says: "When you are young, you have all these wonderful ideas of how you think the world works and a naivety that you can make a change. When you grow up you struggle to maintain this idealism and not let yourself get too frustrated with the complexities of life! 'Earth Sick' is an album that is written from a frustrated place. Frustrated with the fact that things in life aren't black and white. People change and feelings change outside of our control. But still I strive to maintain the hope I had as a ten year old".

She adds: "Lyrically, I express my frustration with everything from little daily problems, to questions like 'what is my place on this earth?' Sometimes I like to pretend that I'm an alien, coming from outside and experiencing everything for the first time, seeing the world in a new light".

Watch the video for first single, 'Head Up High', here.

Beyonce, Korn, Tricot and Nightwish are not collaborating but do all feature here

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• It is possible that Beyonce and Jay-Z will release a collaborative album soon. But equally, it's possible they won't. But producer Detail did say at the Grammys: "Me and Beyonce and Jay Z are actually doing something together this year". He might mean they're going on holiday together, or joining an art class. But music is an option, I suppose.

• Korn and Slipknot have released an official video for their live cover of Beastie Boys' 'Sabotage'. Sobbing emoji. Sobbing emoji. Sobbing emoji.

• Japanese mathrock trio Tricot will release a new album called 'And' on 18 Mar. Will it be released in the UK on that date? Maybe. Here's a clip of new single, 'E'.

• Unknown Mortal Orchestra have announced a few UK tour dates in May to accompany their new album, 'Multi-Love'. There will be two headline shows, one at Bristol's Thekla on 20 May and another at the Islington Assembly Hall in London on 21 May. Dates and tickets here.

• Nightwish will perform live at Wembley Arena on 19 Dec. Apparently this makes them the first Finnish band ever to headline the venue. Tickets!

• Twerps will be in the UK for four live shows in May. They'll play The Great Escape, plus gigs in Bristol, Manchester and London from between 15-18 May. And here's a new video for their song 'Stranger'.

• There will be a performance by Villagers at the Barbican on 1 May.

• Having signed a new record deal with Warner Bros, Chic Featuring Nile Rodgers are getting back to the more important business of touring. They'll be in the UK in March for five shows, including a special single release show at The Roundhouse in London on 20 Mar.

Kanye, Beck and Shirley Manson comment on Kanye's 'artistry' rant
Awards ceremonies are super boring, so thank heavens for Kanye West to ensure that something vaguely interesting might happen during one occasionally.

His latest escapade, of course, was getting up on stage after Beyonce lost Album Of The Year to Beck at the Grammys on Sunday, stopping and turning round just before butting in to reprise his 'Imma let you finish' speech from the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

Everyone laughed at the funny joke, but then later it turned out that West wasn't joking, he'd just managed a bit of self-restraint on this occasion. He later told E!: "If the Grammys want real artists to keep coming back they need to stop playing with us ... Beck needs to respect artistry, and he should have given his award to Beyonce.

He went on: "When you keep diminishing art and disrespecting the craft, smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you're disrespectful to inspiration and we as musicians have to inspire people who go to work every day".

According to TMZ, West subsequently denied that he'd been claiming that Beck wasn't a real artist when later cornered by paparazzi, saying that he was just "talking about the Grammys". Which you'll see, if you really examine the line "Beck needs to respect artistry" hard, is the case. Almost certainly. No? Oh, OK then.

Still, Beck doesn't mind, so I guess it's alright. "I was just so excited he was coming up", he told Us Magazine about West's stage invasion. "He deserves to be on stage as much as anybody. How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?"

Asked if he agreed that Beyonce should have won the award, he said: "Absolutely. I thought she was going to win. Come on, she's Beyonce!"

He didn't say he was going to give her the award though, so it seems he wasn't entirely on Kanye's side.

Also not on Kayne's side was Garbage's Shirley Manson, who posted one of those open letter things on her Facebook page last night.

"In attempting to reduce the importance of one great talent over another, you make a mockery of all musicians and music from every genre, including your own", she said to West. "Grow up and stop throwing your toys around. You are making yourself look like a complete twat".

As a PS, she added: "I am pretty certain Beyonce doesn't need you fighting any battles on her account. Seems like she's got everything covered perfectly well on her own".

Which is a fair point, though Beyonce's grace and humility means she'd never march up on stage to protest her album not winning an award, even if she really, really thought she should have won. And that's why awards are boring.

 
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)
   
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)
   
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Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
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Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

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