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age act departs company ore time company, which in turn could propel them into the arms of Citigroup,” notes Enders.
The uncertainty of EMI’s future was further fuelled last week with Queen being added to the list of high-profile departures from the label. Industry sources confirmed Universal is expected to take charge of the band’s back catalogue next year for the world outside the US .
This will bring to an end a near four-decade relationship between EMI and the legendary group. EMI will continue to license the catalogue until the end of this year when it will then pass to Universal. The move will mirror that of The Rolling Stones’ catalogue from 1971 onwards, which switched from EMI to Universal in 2008 and will today (Monday) take in the reissue of their classic 1972 album Exile On Main Street.
Disney-owned Hollywood Records will continue to handle Queen’s recordings in the US, while EMI Music Publishing will retain the band’s songwriting repertoire.
In the UK EMI last year sold nearly 664,000 Queen albums, including 545,000 copies of the 2009-issued retrospective Absolute Greatest.
EMI this year also lost control of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles catalogue after he signed a deal with Concord Music, while EMI’s rivals are eyeing Pink Floyd’s catalogue, although it presently continues to reside with the UK major.
However, Gorillaz manager Chris Morrison says his clients will stay with EMI for the time being. “Damon was attracted to the company because of their heritage and prestige and for the moment this is still the case,” he adds. “We shall see what happens in the next year.” email@example.com all Of Sound they deserve is both an honour and privilege.”
He adds that alongside the new signings, Wall Of Sound’s Röyksopp will follow up 2009’s critically-acclaimed Junior with a new album, Senior, later this year. The Human League will also return on the label in 2010 with a new album – their first release for nine years.
Wall of Sound artists old and new, including Reverend Soundsystem and Kids on Bridges, will be out in force this summer appearing at Liverpool Sound City later later this month, at Barcelona’s Sonar festival in June and a residency in Ibiza’s Pacha nightclub over the summer.
Incoming Culture Secretary welcomed by executives
Industry optimistic of Coalition co-operation
Politics By Robert Ashton
THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS CONFIDENT it will get a fair crack of the whip from the new coalition Government after welcoming an “old friend” into the role of Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.
However, with the new Government making banking and Parliamentary reform its top priorities, the industry realises it might have to be patient in pressing for further help on finance and copyright.
Jeremy Hunt, formerly the Conservative shadow spokesman on culture, moved seamlessly into the cabinet position last week, taking on the additional portfolio for the Olympic Games.
Executives and political advisors are cock-a-hoop about Hunt’s appointment because, as one source notes, he is “already someone who is aware of the issues” having shadowed the former Labour Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw and been a lead Tory player in the implementation of the Digital Economy Act.
Last year Hunt drew on input from a group of big-hitting media players, including Lucian Grainge, to help him formulate the Conservative’s creative policy.
The insider says, “Hunt already has the experience and is broadly sympathetic to the creative industries.” Another lobbyist adds, “Hunt is very good for us.”
PPL director of government relations Dominic McGonigal is also a fan. “Jeremy is an old friend of the industry who has already worked very closely with us.”
Under the previous administration the Olympics had been farmed out from the DCMS to minister Tessa Jowell. It now rejoins the department – a move that has largely been well received by the industry.
UK Music CEO Feargal Sharkey and others have been highly critical that the music industry has not been consulted more or involved in planning for the Olympics and believe the Cultural Olympiad is an opportunity to showcase British talent that has largely been missed.
Although a few insiders have speculated the Olympic move could signal a downgrading of creative and media issues, most believe the move is a good one. They suggest with Hunt now having the additional responsibility for the 2012 games the Culture Secretary will want his
“[Jeremy] Hunt is an old friend of the industry who has already worked very closely with us...” DOMINIC MCGONIGAL, PPL
department to wield more influence on the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog).
That could actually benefit the music industry if it represents more “dovetailed” thinking and puts labels, managers and others closer to the games’ organisers. However, Hunt’s office is unable to offer any detail on the policies that he will be looking at in the first few weeks of the new Government.
Hunt joins Vince Cable in David Cameron’s new cabinet, with the Liberal Democrat veteran taking over as Business Secretary. Again, McGonigal welcomes this move because the Department of Business Innovation and Skills has a major say in music matters. The PPL executive says Cable likes music and is “someone the industry knows well”.
But the industry is still waiting to see how the “furniture” of
Government will be arranged because it is doubtful Cable will wield as much power as the previous Business Secretary Peter Mandelson.
Also, in the same way that the Olympic portfolio has shifted, some suggest the Intellectual Property Office, which had previously fallen under the responsibility of BIS, could be moved into another Government department.
Other eye-catching appointments for the music industry include Ed Vaizey moving into Margaret Hodge’s old role as Culture Minister.
The industry was still waiting to learn who would be IP Minister as Music Week went to press.
Fresh from its success in seeing the Digital Economy Act passed, the industry will need to work with Government on getting a workable code of practice to underpin it.
But pre-election concerns that a new Government would want to radically reshape the Act have subsided. Last week’s policy document from the Government makes no mention of the Act.
“There is no political will to revisit that,” says one insider, adding the Tories were largely supportive of anti-filesharing legislation. Lib Dem peer Lord Clement-Jones also assures the industry that his party, who opposed some of the measures contained in the Act to curb online infringment, are not after wholesale changes.
There is also some excitement that the proposals contained in Clement-Jones’ Live Music Bill, which was not supported by the last Government, could get a fresh airing in the new coalition. The Lord had proposed a Licensing Act exemption for music venues with a capacity of 200 or less.
Other issues the industry will want to lobby new ministers about include more joined-up Government, better access to finance and a review of the Copyright Tribunal.
Sharkey’s UK Music outfit has already called for a creative industries cabinet committee, which would draw together secretaries of state and ministers with responsibility for music and creative industries. But he has been critical of the Government-backed Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, which was designed to help companies access funding. “If you are serious about creative industries you have got to look at finance,” he adds. ● see feature, p14-15 firstname.lastname@example.org
THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC www.musicweek.com
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FEATURES COALITION FORCES What can the music industry expect from the new Government?
Audience for under-threat BBC station rockets as Trust’s decision deadline approaches
6 breaks the seven-figure barrier
Radio By Paul Williams
SUPPORTERS OF 6 MUSIC enter the final week of the BBC Trust’s consultation into the future of the station with renewed optimism, on the back of record-breaking listening figures for the digital station.
Rajar numbers published last week revealed the BBC service’s audience leapt in quarter one by a staggering 47.2% in just three months to a new high of 1.02m, while across the year it was up 50.2%.
This record-breaking total comes at the right moment for industry campaigners bidding to save the station: there is now little more than a week to go before the May 25 deadline is reached for submissions to the BBC Trust on the station’s future. The Trust will have to decide whether or not to back a BBC recommendation to close 6, alongside the Asian Network, as part of the Beeb’s digital strategy.
With these new audience figures at their disposal, industry figures are growing in confidence that the
Trust’s members will keep 6 Music alive as it will be too difficult for them to ignore the wishes of more than 1m listeners.
Beggars Group chairman Martin Mills says it would be “astonishing” if the Trust agreed to axe 6. “It’s very hard to see how the BBC can ignore this. What this proves is the public love what 6 does. The station is doing exactly what the BBC ought to be doing,” he says.
The publication last Thursday of 6’s million-audience breakthrough came in another busy week of activity in efforts to save the station, including: ● The launch of a poster campaign by political activism organisation 38 Degrees in seven cities and backed by AIM against the 6 and Asian Network closure plans ● Jarvis Cocker winning one of two 6 Music golds at the Sony Radio Academy Awards and arguing before an audience of key radio executives at the event why the station must be saved ● Coldplay, La Roux and Sigur Rós becoming the latest artists to give their support to 6’s survival ● The BPI’s Joy of 6 website unveiling a station listener survey,
which found 98.1% of respondents agreed the service played lots of music they did not hear on other stations and that 75% went to see bands after hearing them on 6
But it is the new Rajar figures that are providing 6 supporters with the biggest lift, demonstrating how the station has benefited from the widespread coverage that followed a leak and then formal announcement of the closure programme. Mills suggests the huge focus on 6 “encouraged existing listeners to listen more and encouraged people to listen who probably never even knew about the station”.
BPI chairman Tony Wadsworth says the massive spike in 6’s audience has made the case “even stronger” to keep the station going, while arguing the importance of the station to pushing DAB.
“One of the reasons why they recommended closing it was because it wasn’t growing at a sufficient rate to help the take-up of DAB. What these figures show now is that if they were to close 6 Music it would actually hamper the growth of DAB,” he says.
UK Music CEO Feargal Sharkey says the new Rajar statistics show what is possible for a station such as 6 and will give those trying to save the station “a great deal of heart”.
“We all know 6 Music is serving an audience that is quite clearly passionate about the station and some people at the BBC now need to spend some time reflecting on how it can sustain the audience and grow that audience base,”
Gold: 6 Music’s Jarvis Cocker at the Sony Radio Awards
S h a r k e y pinpoints two issues that the Trust will need to consider in assessing the merits of 6: the BBC’s R o y a l C h a r t e r agreement to support new British talent and its public service remit. As part of UK Music’s own submission, which is expected to be put forward later this week in addition to those from the BPI, AIM and others, the organisation will argue there are no other radio stations coming close to providing a service like 6. The closest musically, according to its research, is XFM, which shares just 7% of its playlist with the BBC station.
However, the issue of how independent the BBC Trust will be in reaching its findings will be in some people’s minds. “I’ve always said we’ve got an absolutely rocksolid case,” says Wadsworth. “The question is whether the Trust will listen and assert their independent view.”
The station’s controller Bob Shennan himself asserts he is “totally confident” the Trust will take an open view about 6 and that “they haven’t already made their minds up”. “They have an open mind,” he says. “They’re not an extension of the BBC executives. They are a separate body and they will take an independent view.” email@example.com
Election aftermath brings calls for more coalition clout
LIBERAL DEMOCRAT PEER Lord Clement-Jones believes that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport should be strengthened under the new Conservative/Lib Dem Government .
Clement Jones was speaking to Music Week after one of the most dramatic weeks in British politics in years, a period that
Dems significant power, with five cabinet positions in the cabinet including Nick Clegg as deputy prime minister and Vince Cable as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Former Conservative Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt was appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and
“We would like to see the DCMS have more clout – it is quite a weak department at the moment...”
But this does not mean the music business will cease to press its case: UK Music CEO Feargal Sharkey says that there has been a lot of dialogue with the three main political parties following the publication of his organisation’s Liberating Creativity document.
This called for the creation of
Clement-Jones appears sympathetic to the demands. “We would like to see the DCMS have more clout. It is quite a weak department at the moment,” he says. “You also need to have the Business Innovation and Skills department involved and Home Office so the departments are all pulling together.”
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MEDIA NEWS NEW MEDIA EXCELS 6 NME.com leads the way for music media audiences
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DIGITAL NEWS PUBLISHERS MISSING APP TRICK 9 Licensing laws hamper lyric and chord app developers
LIVE NEWS COSTS PUT PAID TO GLADE 10 This year’s festival season’s first casualty reported
PUBLISHING SPARKS FLY
Veteran pop duo ink deal with Imagem
Domino’s new signings aim high
As the dust settles after the General Election, where does the industry stand?
NORTHERN STARS 17 Music Week takes a look at goNORTH and RockNess