TUESDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Entertainment Retailers Association this morning published a manifesto which requests for its membership of high street retailers, download and mail-order stores, and streaming content platforms "a new, more collaborative relationship with creators and content owners to drive growth". And while the report looks at recent developments in and the future direction... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: A regular Tricky collaborator in recent years, Francesca Belmonte is now readying her debut solo album, 'Amina', for release through his False Idols label later this year. The first track from it, 'Stole', appeared at the tail end of last year, a glitchy underpinning for her relaxed but direct vocals. She then followed it with the punchier 'Hiding In The Rushes' and quicker-paced... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Entertainment retailers publish manifesto, call for more collaboration
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Beggars chief supports ERA in opposing Friday global release day
Universal's digital chief stands down
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ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL More shops are selling music than ever before, says ERA
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LIVE BUSINESS Greencopper aims to make festival apps more affordable with white-label solution
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES 24-7 Entertainment founder steps down as CEO
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ARTIST NEWS Taylor Swift confirmed as Global Recording Artist Of 2014
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AWARDS Macca and The O2 take top prizes at the Pollstar awards
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ONE LINERS Beatport streams, iTunes editors, Blinkbox losses and other true stories
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AND FINALLY... Kanye hears Beck's album: "This is kind of good"
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VMS LIVE - VENUES OPERATIONS MANAGER (MANCHESTER)
VMS Live are looking for an experienced venues and live music professional to oversee their Northern venues management operation including Manchester Academy, Wrexham (William Aston Hall) among others.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
VMS LIVE - VENUES OPERATIONS MANAGER (NORWICH)
VMS Live are looking for an experienced venues and live music professional to oversee their venues management operation with thr University of East Anglia (LCR, Waterfront, The Studio).

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BIBLIOTHEQUE MUSIC - MUSIC SUPERVISOR (LONDON)
We are looking for an enthusiastic motivated Music Supervisor to help increase our capacity and develop new opportunities. The role will focus on marketing the catalogues to all relevant sectors of media and corporate industries, establishing and developing solid relationships, conducting searches, and taking the lead with all client-facing activity. The position has excellent career prospects going forward with scope for autonomy, innovation and growth.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
ROCKET PR - NATIONAL PLUGGER (LONDON)
Rocket PR is looking for a national radio plugger to join its team working closely with some of the finest independent labels and exciting new artists.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MAMA NEW MUSIC - PROMOTER/VENUE BOOKER (LONDON)
MAMA New Music is looking for an established concert booker / promoter to work in the small, but highly efficient team of live concert and event organisers at the MAMA Group head office in London.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MAMA & COMPANY - MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
MAMA & Company are looking for a Marketing Assistant to join their venue marketing team. You’ll be a great copy writer with excellent attention to detail, responsible for updating and maintaining venue websites, social media channels, with the ability to juggle and prioritise a number of projects at the same time.

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THE BORDERLINE - ASSISTANT BARS MANAGER (LONDON)
MAMA & Company is looking for an Assistant Bars Manager for The Borderline to start ASAP.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
HOXTON SQUARE BAR & KITCHEN - ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER (LONDON)
Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen is looking for a dynamic, experienced Assistant General Manager with a proven track record within a live music operation. This is a fantastic opportunity to work and grow with an exciting company that owns some of London's most established venues.

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THE JAZZ CAFE - BARS MANAGER (LONDON)
The Jazz Cafe is looking for an experienced, highly motivated Bars Manager, with a proven track record of maximising bar, cloakroom and other revenues while minimising all relevant costs.

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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.

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
 

Entertainment retailers publish manifesto, call for more collaboration
The Entertainment Retailers Association this morning published a manifesto which requests for its membership of high street retailers, download and mail-order stores, and streaming content platforms "a new, more collaborative relationship with creators and content owners to drive growth". And while the report looks at recent developments in and the future direction of music, film and gaming, much of the document is focused on the former, in particular when it comes to matters of licensing.

Bigging up the investments made by retailers, and especially digital operators, in the last decade, creating a new delivery infrastructure for the content industries - while also highlighting the importance of retail businesses as marketing channels - the manifesto calls on content owners, and especially music companies, to better collaborate with their retail partners to assure future success for all parties.

As is customary with manifestos, a short list of priorities is provided, with a five-point plan to deal with what ERA calls "the most pressing problems". This includes calling on the content companies to tackle various issues around infrastructure, logistics and data, and especially copyright ownership data on the music publishing side. Plus often expressed concerns about windowing and the bunching of releases in quarter four are also raised, though this is the one area where ERA seems to be talking to DVD distributors more than the labels.

But you sense that the record companies and music publishers are very much the target when ERA calls for simpler licensing, lower barriers to entry to allow more diversity in the digital market place, and recognition that entertainment retailers actually operate on relatively low margins compared to their counterparts elsewhere in the retail sector. And while ERA's viewpoints on licensing complications and the big upfront demands labels make of new digital services are all interesting, it's perhaps the area dubbed "addressing retail sustainability" that is most timely.

As many artists, songwriters and publishers bemoan the size of the digital royalties they are receiving, some have indicated that the music rights sector should demand a higher cut of the revenues generated by the streaming platforms, which currently pay over approximately 70% of their income to the labels and publishers. Though given few, if any, streaming services are currently profitable, such a demand has always seemed ambitious.

And in the ERA report, the streaming firms - which position themselves alongside traditional retailers, and in doing so set some precedents as to what cut of revenue it is reasonable for them to take - seem to be saying "a 30% margin is as low as we can go". Or, in the words of one anonymous digital service provider cited in the report, if the labels and publishers push for 80% of the money, the digital firms won't survive, "and 80% of nothing is nothing".

Whether or not the music community accepts that argument remains to be seen, though the case presented by ERA is compelling. But if artists, songwriters and publishers do accept that retailers simply can't afford to give up any more of their revenue, then that fully focuses the digital royalties debate on why the labels are currently taking the biggest slice of all. Though at the core of the ERA manifesto is a call for all parties to better collaborate to ensure each stakeholder is getting a slice of a much bigger pie.

And that's the message that was delivered by ERA Chairman Raoul Chatterjee this morning, who told reporters: "Entertainment retailers are the driving force for innovation in the entertainment industry. Over the past decade they have invested hundreds of millions of pounds in the UK in creating new routes to market for the music, video and games industries. [This manifesto] is an important element in continuing that work".

He went on: "With an election imminent, there is no shortage of 'manifestos' arguing the case for what Government can do to promote growth. The good news for the entertainment industry is that many of the greatest opportunities are within our own grasp – if the various elements of the industry work together collaboratively".

Beggars chief supports ERA in opposing Friday global release day
In a wide-ranging speech to wrap up the launch of the Entertainment Retailers Association's new manifesto in London this morning, the boss of the Beggars Group, Martin Mills, expressed concerns about the global release day initiative, and in particular the current move by the major labels to set the day new releases are launched worldwide to Friday.

In that respect Mills echoed the concerns of his hosts, ERA, which has likewise spoken out about the Friday release day plans. While indie labels and the UK retailers agree in principle that having one day in the week when new releases go live in all territories makes sense, rather than the current situation where the same records go on sale on different days in different countries, they favour making the global release day earlier in the week, so that retailers get a double spike – the new release spike, and the weekend shopping spike.

The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry put its weight behind Friday last year, saying its research suggested it was the best day for new releases. Some outside the majors have backed the proposal, though others have followed ERA's lead in hitting out at the Friday plans; with reports now suggesting that some key American retail partners are putting pressure on the labels to switch the global release day to either Monday (as in the UK) or Tuesday (as in the US).

Mills said in his speech this morning: "I have concerns about the proposed global release day. Whilst I acknowledge the needs of a digital world for coordination, it seems to me to be crazy to throw away one of the trading week's two peaks, and the ability to re-stock and rectify errors before the week's second peak. And it astounds me that the major labels are not listening to their customers [the retailers], their interface with their artists' fans".

He went on: "I fear their consultation has been a charade, and the market leaders were always going to push this through. I fear this move will also lead to a market in which the mainstream dominates, and the niche, which can be tomorrow's mainstream, is further marginalised. I fear it will further cement the dominance of the few – and that that is exactly what it is intended to do".

Mills also cautioned against a temptation to merge album and single sales and listening data to create united 'impact' charts, another initiative he reckons is being led by the majors. Admitting he didn't initially expect the album format to survive the rise of a single-track-orientated-iTunes, the Beggars chief said that while he was pleasantly surprised when the long player format remained, he now sees the music industry as being split into single track artists and album artists, with the big names transgressing both camps.

This, he reckons, returns the music industry to the pre-CD, pre-punk era, where single tracks versus the album satisfy different artists, and different audiences. And therefore merging data relating to the two formats confuses the picture, to the benefit of the big single hit pop acts. Mills noted that: "In the USA it's already started to happen, with the Billboard consumption chart, that combines album sales, streams and track sales. In other words, it aggregates and averages out the two types of artist I've identified".

He goes on: "That will mean that the big artists look and get bigger, and the more niche artists of the album world get swamped, and side-lined, starved of exposure. I have no objection to including streams in the chart, as long as - and it's a big but - fans that are streaming albums as a whole are separately identified. So the albums chart should include album streams, and the singles chart should include track streams".

"But including tracks with albums mixes apples with pears, and fails to chart anything meaningful other than sheer brute size. It may well be in the interests of the small number of super-consolidated major labels to make the big become bigger, and appear to be even bigger; but I believe it's fundamentally against the interests of the rest of us, since it will reduce the oxygen available for exposure for artists whose natural format is the album. And that reduction in exposure will, I believe, lead inevitably to the decline of the album, and a curtailing of the ability of the non-pop-single artist to make a living from their art".

And that, Mills reckons, would ultimately be bad news for all players in music. "That will hurt all labels and artists longterm, I believe, as lack of diversity will strangle innovation and music will become moribund and uninteresting, and consumer interest will erode. It will also dis-empower the artist, since the major labels will regain total control of access to market . It will create short-termism, and damage career longevity. After all that has been achieved in the last few decades in terms of artists' control over their careers, it would be tragic if that were to be reversed by this tide".

Addressing his retail audience, he went on: "And of course, for you physical retailers, that spells the beginning of the end for you, since you hardly sell tracks, and for you digital retailers, it probably means that a new fan is consuming a track rather than an album, which is not great for you either".

--------------------------------------------------

Universal's digital chief stands down
Universal Music's President Of Global Digital Business, Rob Wells, one of the highest profile digital music execs on the record company side, and a man generally seen as a friend of digital innovations within the major label system, is leaving the company.

In a staff memo doing the rounds over night, and first published by Music Business Worldwide, Wells notes the many digital developments that have occurred since he started working with Universal chief Lucian Grainge fourteen years ago, before saying: "Together, we helped build Universal Music Group's digital business from its infancy into a global leader. At every turn, we pushed the industry forward, making sure our business model adapted to the way that consumers wanted to listen to music while insuring that our artists shared in all the new revenue streams".

He goes on: "While leaving isn't easy, I take comfort in the extraordinary digital team that I am leaving behind – who have become more than just work colleagues but a true family – and the knowledge that whatever entrepreneurial opportunity I explore next, I will always have a close relationship with everyone at Universal Music Group, both here in the US and in every territory around the world".

Confirming Wells' departure, Grainge said in a subsequent message: "I will miss Rob's professionalism, his sense of humour and his commitment to our artists and labels. Rob leaves big shoes to fill and we will be making announcements in the coming days.  I know you'll join me in wishing him only the best of success in all of his future endeavours".

More shops are selling music than ever before, says ERA
The number of physical stores selling music reached an all-time high in 2014, which is a nice counter-intuitive stat if ever I heard one. And it's one of the figures in the Entertainment Retailers Association's new yearbook, published alongside the aforementioned manifesto earlier today.

According to ERA, the number of outlets selling physical music products increased 20.4% over 2014 to reach 10,391. The number of DVD and game sellers also increased, despite recent years being dominated by the collapse of some key entertainment retailers, most recently HMV.

That the post-administration HMV kept more stores open than many expected, plus slightly more stable times in the indie retail sector, have helped with that figure, though the rise is chiefly due to the increased number of non-specialists stocking music products, where you won't necessarily find much range, but the opportunities for all-important impulse buy purchases are high.

The increase in the number of high street retailers selling music also comes, of course, as the number of digital entertainment providers has grown, with ERA reckoning there are now about 123 such services in the UK, 76 of them music-based.

Commenting on these stats, ERA boss Kim Bayley told reporters: "This is an extraordinary result which means that UK consumers have a greater choice of outlets from which to buy music, video and games than ever before. From specialist chains and independents, through to supermarkets and fashion stores, to internet retailers, download and streaming services we can all now access music, video and games wherever or whenever we want".

Some other standout figures in ERA's annual stats fest include:

• Bricks and morter stores accounted for 33.9% of entertainment transactions last year, the other 66.1% taking place via online services (mail-order and digital).

• Overall the entertainment retail market is 49.9% digital, with video tipping the balance in physical's favour. 2015 is likely to be the year that the wider market moves to be majority digital.

• Entertainment retail grew by 2.3% in value in 2014, with the biggest increase being in digital gaming, which was up 18.8%. Streaming music and film, and good old vinyl, also saw revenue increases last year, of course.

Greencopper aims to make festival apps more affordable with white-label solution
Festival app-makers Greencopper have launched a new platform called Golive, which aims to enable promoters to manage and publish apps for their events in a more affordable way.

Through apps and website widgets created with the Golive system, promoters can, say Greencopper, offer ticket-buyers bespoke "interactive maps, performance schedules, ticketing, music streaming and discovery tools".

While Greencopper will continue to make more sophisticated apps for bigger events, the company says that it hopes the new white-label service will enable events on tighter budgets to create basic festival apps that will serve their needs. The end-product app will carry the festival's branding, and there is room for sponsor banners too.

Commenting on his company's new white-label solution, Greencopper founder and CEO Gwenaël Le Bodic told reporters: "Golive will empower music festivals of all sizes to easily build their own branded mobile apps and web widgets based on Greencopper's proven core technology, previously reserved only for major events".

24-7 Entertainment founder steps down as CEO
The founder and boss of 24-7 Entertainment, a long-standing back-end provider of digital music services, has announced he is leaving the firm to "pursue some new opportunities in the digital media business".

In a note confirming his departure, Frank Taubert writes: "There is sadness, because it's always a bittersweet moment when you have to let your 'babies' go, but there is also pride at the huge amount we achieved together at 24-7. Above all I am excited at being able to pursue full-time my interests, both in angel investing and consulting a portfolio of digital media companies".

Taubert will continue to consult for Media-Saturn, which took control of his company in 2009. In his email, he lists some of the projects he has worked on while leading 24-7, one of the early players in providing digital music solutions, concluding with the company's streaming platform JUKE, which he calls "the first streaming service to be targeted directly at a mainstream market rather than the hardcore music fan, a formula now operating in six territories".

And as for the future of 24-7, he insists: "I am moving on at a time when 24-7 is on a high. We have now had three consecutive years of strong growth and in our fiscal year 2014, we achieved the highest revenue in our history. Our parent company is impressed with these developments and I am glad to report that my friend and colleague Erik Dibbern, formerly 24-7 CTO, has stepped up to be CEO. I am sure he will do a great job".

  Approved: Francesca Belmonte
A regular Tricky collaborator in recent years, Francesca Belmonte is now readying her debut solo album, 'Amina', for release through his False Idols label later this year.

The first track from it, 'Stole', appeared at the tail end of last year, a glitchy underpinning for her relaxed but direct vocals. She then followed it with the punchier 'Hiding In The Rushes' and quicker-paced 'It Ain't Me Babe'.

Now comes 'Lying On The Floor', which combines elements of all three, stepping up the tempo once again, with stabs of bass cutting through deceptively layered percussion. And on top, those distinct, intimate vocals. Oh, and returning a favour, in pops her label boss as a guest vocalist.

Listen to 'Lying On The Floor' here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 
 

Taylor Swift confirmed as Global Recording Artist Of 2014
So, winner of the least surprising award winner award is IFPI Global Recording Artist Of 2014 Taylor Swift, which is, in itself, totally unsurprising news, a fact that will surprise no one, in fact this paragraph could loop for infinity if you'd like. Though I heard last week of a criminally under-reported worldwide pixel shortage that is in danger of blacking out the entire internet, making all talk of infinite Taylor Swift-based news reports highly irresponsible. In deed just talking about such things is somewhat reckless, or it would be if the aforementioned worldwide pixel shortage wasn't a lie I made up in order to pad out this article a bit.

So yes, the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry yesterday confirmed that Taylor Swift was the most successful recording artist of 2014 across all known mechanisms of music consumption. Well, across download stores, streaming platforms and physical music sales anyway. Pizza-based music delivery wasn't counted, but it's been a good two years since Swifty used food to distribute her content.

She, by the way, pushed Brit-boys One Direction – who grabbed the IFPI prize a year ago – into second place this time round. Them having officially 'peaked' last March, of course. Though before you yanks get all cocky, let us note that five of the top ten most successful recording artists of last year hark from Brit-land. And you rely on a dead Michael Jackson to take your top ten tally to four. And before you get all arsey on this point, there are still enough Pink Floyd members alive to make the reunion that will never happen a possibility, except for the fact it will never happen, so don't go trying to score points on that front.

You know, if I'd foreseen there being a discussion about Michael Jackson being more dead than Pink Floyd in the third paragraph of this report, I'd never have gone on about that made-up pixel shortage in the first. As it turns out, this story is padding itself out just fine without resorting to any made up nonsense. Though now I'm worrying that there might really be a pixel shortage, and that'll make this pointless fourth paragraph all the more shameful when the web goes all dark on us.

Quick, I better get on with listing the IFPI Global Recording Artists Of 2014 Top Ten before all forms of internet communications close down. I mean, I had quotes from IFPI boss Frances Moore, One Direction overseer Simon Cowell and Taylor Swift's pizza delivery boy all ready to share with you right now, but I just don't think there's time. So here's the top ten instead...

1. Taylor Swift
2. One Direction
3. Ed Sheeran
4. Coldplay
5. AC/DC
6. Michael Jackson
7. Pink Floyd
8. Sam Smith
9. Katy Perry
10. Beyoncé

So there you go. Given the internet seems to be working still, I should also issue this warning to all you UK music types: before you get too cocky, please note that if 'Frozen' had been a pop singer, and not a Disney film franchise with a soundtrack, it would have blown 1D, Sheeran, Coldplay, all surviving members of the Floyd and that Sam Smith bloke right out of the water in just one shot. And Swifty too. Yeah, nice try Swifty, with all your well-crafted pop music, but remember this: you're no Disney film franchise.

Macca and The O2 take top prizes at the Pollstar awards
What do you mean CMU got all distracted by the Oscars on Sunday night and forgot to report on the Pollstar Concert Industry Awards in yesterday's CMU Daily?

That's so not what happened I don't know where to start. I was just waiting for the quote to come in from Rebecca Kane Burton, GM of International Venue Of The Year The O2. Because if I learned just one thing at journalism school, it's not to run the story until you've got your quote in from Rebecca Kane Burton, GM of International Venue Of The Year The O2.

And here it is! "Winning the Pollstar International Venue Of The Year Award for the eighth year running is a huge achievement for all the team here at The O2. We were delighted to hear the news from Nashville on Saturday night and want to thank everyone who voted for us once again. We are very fortunate to be where we are and have the support of so many of our friends and colleagues in the industry. Here's to 2015 and even more great live music".

I'll let you into a secret. I didn't go to journalism school. If I had, I'd have remembered to mention that the Concert Industry Awards from US-based live industry magazine Pollstar took place in Nashville on Saturday night. But, as it turns out, Rebecca Kane Burton, GM of International Venue Of The Year The O2, had that covered. Proving once again the importance of the 'don't run your story until you've got a quote in from Rebecca Kane Burton, GM of International Venue Of The Year Award The O2' rule.

All the winners...

Major Tour Of The Year: Paul McCartney
Most Creative Stage Production: Katy Perry
Comedy Tour Of The Year: Dave Chappelle
Best New Touring Artist: Sam Smith

Major Music Festival Of The Year: Austin City Limits Austin
Music Festival Of The Year: Telluride Bluegrass Festival Telluride
International Music Festival Of The Year: Glastonbury Festival

Nightclub Of The Year: 9:30 Club, Washington DC
Theatre Of The Year: Ryman Auditorium, Nashville
Arena Of The Year: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
Best Small Outdoor Venue: Greek Theatre, Los Angeles
Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue: Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles
Best New Major Concert Venue: Forum, Inglewood
International Venue Of The Year: The O2, London, UK

Bill Graham Award Promoter Of The Year: Charles Attal, C3 Presents
International Promoter Of The Year: Barrie Marshall, Marshall Arts
Facility Executive Of The Year: Sally Williams Ryman, Auditorium, Nashville
Nightclub Talent Buyer Of The Year: Roger LeBlanc, Canyon Club, Southern California
Talent Buyer Of The Year: Brian O'Connell, Live Nation, Nashville

Third Coast Agent Of The Year: Kevin Neal, WME
Bobby Brooks Award Agent Of The Year: John Huie, Creative Artists Agency
Independent Booking Agency Of The Year: The Windish Agency
Booking Agency Of The Year: WME
UK Booking Agent Of The Year: Emma Banks, Creative Artists Agency
Personal Manager Of The Year: John Silva (Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age)
Road Warrior Of The Year: Gus Brandt (Foo Fighters, Pharrell Williams)

Lighting Company Of The Year: Bandit Lites
Sound Company Of The Year: Clair
Staging / Equipment Company Of The Year: Stageco
Transportation Company Of The Year: Rock-It Cargo
Video Company Of The Year: Moo TV

Beatport streams, iTunes editors, Blinkbox losses and other true stories

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• X-Factor finalist Andrea Faustini has signed to Sony label RCA. He came third in last year's series of the talent contest. Statistics show that if you come third in an even year when a group reaches the final five in 'X-Factor' you are guaranteed a three-album career. Of course they're made up statistics, but I'm sure he'll be fine.

• Beatport's previously reported streaming service launched in beta yesterday, and to think, it was all going so well. Interestingly, it looks like the download store bit will now be called Beatport Pro, because only the pros (ie DJs) would want to buy tracks now you have the streaming element, called, simply, Beatport.

• MusicAlly noted yesterday that Apple is currently recruiting a London-based Editorial Producer for iTunes, seeking a "seasoned writer" with good freelance contacts to write, to edit and to oversee "editorially driven merchandising promotions". And while that last bit sounds awful, it's seen as an indication iTunes will ramp up the human curation and editorial when it revamps and integrates with Beats Music later this year.

• Tesco's entertainment-on-demand venture Blinkbox lost over £40 million in the year to 28 Feb 2014 according to accounts at Companies House, £12.5 million lost on the music service and £29.5 million on movies. The supermarket has now sold the former to Guvera and the latter to TalkTalk, of course.

• Hey everybody, why not watch the video for brand new Prodigy track 'Wild Frontier' off of their new album 'The Day Is My Enemy', out 30 Mar, right about here?

• Alt-J have plonked a video online for 'Pusher', a track off of their second album 'This Is All Yours'. And if you think that'll stop them touring the US next month, you're very wrong indeed.

• What's that? A new single from The Darkness taken from their forthcoming new album 'Last Of Our Kind' and called 'Barbarian'? Yes. But Justin Hawkins says it has "a chorus that makes grown men shit directly into their pants". Which doesn't sound like something you'd want to do.

Kanye hears Beck's album: "This is kind of good"
So this is no good at all. It transpires that Kanye West might now have heard Beck's artless Grammy Award winning album 'Morning Phase', in passing at least. To which we say 'boo'.

Because if West is going to go around causing a ruckus at major award events by ruining the whole occasion for top pop winners, he should do so not only in present tense ignorance of the artist and album he is dissing, but with a commitment to never ever listen to whichever record it is that he's negatively comparing to whatever Beyonce did last month. Dem should be the rules. But da rules have been broken. Albeit by mistake.

Speaking to Power 105.1, West revealed: "The other day I went out to dinner with Taylor Swift and ironically they were playing the Beck album in the background. I was like, 'Man, this is kind of good. I ain't gonna lie'".

And if that wasn't bad enough, now West is pledging to give Beck's record a proper play. He continued: "I bet you the album is really good. I'm gonna listen to the album, and maybe it was potentially an album of the year. But the Grammys are still ... they have a commercial component to it. And they want to sell commercials".

I do hope West is saying that having never actually watched the Grammys. Otherwise I'll never respect anything he says ever again.

 
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)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of UnLimited Media she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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.

For details of the training and consultancy services offered by CMU Insights click here - Andy and Chris are also available to provide music business comment, just email them direct.

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