13.02.10 Music Week 3
ards judging sessions for awards
Music Week editor Paul Williams says, “We were determined to give the awards a real shake-up this year by introducing a number of new categories with the aim of making the event as relevant to as many different parts of the industry as possible. I am delighted then to report that, following these changes, we have received a very high number of entries for this year’s event, far more than last year. That has to reflect well on the industry, demonstrating that, while things remain tough, there are plenty of success stories that people rightly want to shout about.”
Besides the awards decided online and by the judging panels, there are also some key prizes in the gift of Music Week. These include Record Company, Independent Record Company, A&R and Manager Of The Year plus the Strat, the night’s biggest honour, whose previous recipients include Chris Blackwell, Michael Eavis, Martin Mills and Tony Wadsworth. It was won posthumously last year by Coalition founder Rob Partridge.
Tables and tickets for the event are now available via www.musicweekawards.com, while for further information ring Michelle Hacker on 020 7921 8364 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
le X-ray vision opportunity to work with an immensely well-respected and independent company and it affords more comprehensive and farreaching opportunities for both myself and my artists.”
X-ray is currently arranging worldwide tours acts including Black Eyed Peas, Green Day, Snow Patrol, Scissor Sisters and the Pixies, while other talent on the company’s roster includes Coldplay, Eminem, Robbie Williams, Blur and Gorillaz.
Strange says, “This is a big step forward in consolidating the success we have achieved during the first five years and we look forward to continuing to offer proactive live representation to all our artists.”
e departs Sony/ATV
11 years following its merger with Universal Publishing.
Under Sanghvi, Sony/ATV’s UK business achieved personal new market share highs during 2009, including setting a new company best of a 19.8% share of the combined singles and albums market in the first quarter. Its key successes last year included Lady GaGa and James Morrison and contributions from songwriters RedOne, Wayne Hector and Wayne Wilkins.
A new deal sees cult label return to its indie roots
Co-operative change is Barrett’s idea of Heavenly Labels By Ben Cardew
HUGELY RESPECTED LONDON INDIE LABEL Heavenly has signed a longterm licensing agreement with independent label group Co-operative Music, as it gears up for the release of new albums from The Magic Numbers and Fionn Regan.
The new deal, which follows the termination of its previous agreement with EMI in 2008, will see Heavenly’s roster of artists marketed and distributed by Co-operative Music’s marketing and promotions teams both in the UK and overseas. It comes as the label, which was founded by Jeff Barrett in London in 1990, starts its 20th year.
Co-operative Music general manager Vincent Clery-Melin says that he has long wanted to work with Barrett but only recently had the opportunity.
“There came a point where his [Barrett’s] relationship with EMI came to an end, he looked at different options, he looked at the bands that he wanted to sign and it all clicked,” Clery-Melin explains. “Working with us takes him back to his indie roots. And he is much more in control of what he will do.”
Barrett adds, “Vincent’s cool and the Co-op guys have got something good going on. Recently, with Fleet Foxes and Phoenix they have proved their ability in getting really impressive sales from supposedly underground acts and in doing so gave me the confidence to turn our relationship into something more long term.”
The first album under the new deal is the debut from The Soft Pack, followed by albums from Fionn Regan and a new record from arguably the label’s biggest act, The Magic Numbers.
Cler y Melin says he expects the label
Prime Numbers: the Magic Numbers’ ‘best ever’ album is one of Heavenly’s priorities in 2010
“I’m bored of seeing talented A&R guys in pits of depression because they aren’t being given a chance to do their thing...” JEFF BARRETT, HEAVENLY RECORDINGS
to release “four or five” albums this year, with “a few things in the pipeline” at the moment. Of The Magic Numbers’ third album, Clery-Melin explains, “We have heard the new record and we think it is amazing. They are a band that were very successful on their first record.”
“Musically [the new album] is the best thing they have done to date,” he adds. “They played a gig for Mojo recently and Mojo have never really been into them before but they were raving about them.”
What is more, Clery-Melin believes that the deal with Co-op – which has a very international setup – can help the label’s acts to prosper internationally.
“I think with the indie approach internationally, which is what we do, we can really step up what he [Barrett] is doing internationally,” he explains. “The Soft Pack have a good buzz
First up: The Soft Pack’s debut is the first to be released under the new Heavenly-Co-operative deal in Japan. And in Germany we have got a good buzz on indie radio.”
Barrett adds, “I know it is all change round here but 20 years in and our motivation at Heavenly still comes from putting out records that we love.
“I’m bored of seeing talented A&R guys in pits of depression because they aren’t being given a chance to do their thing. The last year or so of our previous relationship was the most depressing ever. We looked at it and thought, ‘If we don’t want to be here, what sort of band is going to want to be here?’”
Co-operative Music, a multi-territory independent label group and international marketing network, was originally set up in 2005 as a division of V2 Music in Europe. Since 2007 it has been owned by Universal.
Its roster of labels include Bella Union, with whom it enjoyed massive success last year with Fleet Foxes, City Slang, Kitsune, Moshi Moshi, Wichita and V2 Music, whose act Phoenix last week won best alternative music album for Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
Heavenly, which celebrated its 18th birthday in 2008 with a series of gigs on London’s South Bank, has released records from acts including Manic Street Preachers, Saint Etienne, Beth Orton and Doves in its 20-year history. email@example.com
THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC www.musicweek.com
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FEATURES BOXING HEAVYWEIGHTS
The deluxe-edition format enjoyed 100%
growth in 2009
Pre-tax losses of £1.75bn despite EMI’s rising profits sees Terra Firma on shaky ground
Time running out for Terra Firma?
Finance By Ben Cardew and Paul Williams
FEARS ARE GROWING that even the prospect of rising profits at EMI will not be enough to prevent Terra Firma losing ownership of the UK major.
EMI acquisition vehicle Maltby Capital last week revealed pre-tax losses of £1.75bn at EMI for the year to March 31, 2009. These included £1.04bn costs for impairment of intangible assets and goodwill, £136m in restructuring costs and £722m in net finance charges, including cash interest costs of £223m.
Against this EMI reported operating profit rising to £163m in its recorded music division. This was a three-fold increase on the previous year and it is predicted to rise to more than £200m in the year to March 31, 2010. This figure will include profits raise £120m by June 14 or it risks losing control of the company to Citigroup. Hands has already written to investors in Terra Firma to try to raise the £120m which, it is believed,
“Hands needs help and the only people who can give him that help are the bankers...” INDUSTRY INSIDER business as a going concern and to minimise any disruption to its ongoing operations”.
However, one financial source describes the situation as “pretty bleak”, pointing to the Financial Times’ hugelyinfluential Lex column, which last Friday recommended that Terra Firma “should admit defeat and move on”.
According to the source, this view will only make it harder for Hands to raise the £120m he needs to hold off Citigroup before the deadline. “The Lex column in the FT is probably the most authoritative opinion in the
One New York-based analyst comments, “It’s been the same story at EMI for the last year and a half and even though this is a massive loss it doesn’t matter what the results are because the bottom line is that there is not enough cash for EMI to meet its covenants.
“All Terra Firma have done throughout this deal is demonstrate fully that they don’t know what they’re doing. Sooner or later EMI is going to be pushed into bankruptcy at which point Warner will probably buy it.
“No matter what is done at EMI there’s no way a turnaround can be engineered to cover the high level of debt that is required to keep the company going.”
The disclosure of the losses comes against a background of considerable disharmony between Terra Firma and Citigroup: the private equity group is currently who can give him that help are the bankers,” the source says.
“The key thing to this is that the underlying performance is going in the right direction and actually as a company they have addressed industry issues much earlier than the others and they are concentrating on the effect technology is having on the industry in a much better way than most.”
Ironically, the EMI results came as the major enjoyed one of its strongest weeks for years in the US market, with four EMI albums in the Top 10 for the first time in 12 years, headed by Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now at number one.
In the UK, new albums from EMI artists Corinne Bailey Rae and Hot Chip debuted in the top 20 yesterday (Sunday), while the major also has albums on the release schedule this year from Massive Attack, Snoop Dogg, Goldfrapp and Gorillaz.
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FEATURES FORMATIVE YEARS 15
Any physical product that can increase its sales by 100% in a year has to be worth looking at – and the deluxe-format boxed set is exactly that WHAT PRICE FREE MUSIC? 18 Industry confidence in ad-supported ‘free’ music is on the wane. So what is the way forward?