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abels can help retailers Costs and timetable issues put industry on the back foot o aid retail date album sales are down only 3.3% in unit terms, with sales of mid-price and budget albums actually up, year-on-year.
Maskatiya explained that digital albums had performed well, with sales up 35.6% year-on-year in unit terms, while physical album sales were down 8.3%. The top five selling digital albums of 2010 are Florence + The Machine’s Lungs, Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More, Eminem’s Recovery, Lady GaGa’s The Fame and Plan B’s The Defamation of Strickland Banks, all of which have sold more than 100,000 units digitally in the UK.
In terms of singles, digital’s dominance continues. Physical singles now make up just 1% of sales in unit terms – 4% in value, reflecting the typically higher cost of the CD single.
Of all the singles sold, digital web stores make up 93.3% of sales, with 5.5% coming through digital mobile stores.
OCC managing director Martin Talbot provided an overview of forthcoming activity at the OCC, which is 50% owned by ERA. It includes a new “topline” web service, a slimmed-down version of the OCC’s current Charts Online site, giving online access to charts data for the previous 13 weeks; a hook-up with music video website Muzu.tv that will allow companies to host chart websites with accompanying videos; and an update of the OCC app, coming before Christmas.
He also revealed that the OCC’s longawaited digital listening chart will launch this autumn. email@example.com nagement company means The Saturdays have made a very smart move in choosing him as their new manager.”
Loraine joined Polydor as artist development manager in April 1998 from Top Of The Pops magazine. He became Polydor UK director of marketing in April 2004 and has enjoyed success at Fascination with artists including Girls Aloud, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Miley Cyrus, The Saturdays (left) and Cheryl Cole. However, he is possibly best known as the man who gave the Spice Girls their Sporty, Posh, Baby, Ginger and Scary nicknames.
The Saturdays’ most recent album Headlines has sold around 50,000 units in the UK since its release in mid-August, reaching number three in the charts. The band’s most recent single Missing You also reached number three in the charts and has sold more than 140,000 copies in the UK. The band have also completed a headline tour and fronted an ad campaign as the face of Impulse.
Government dabbling on DEA disappoints industry
Piracy By Robert Ashton
THE GOVERNMENT IS ASKING THE INDUSTRY to swallow two bitter pills, after ordering rights holders to pick up the biggest tab for notifying illegal filesharers under the Digital Economy Act and allowing the Act’s timetable to slip three months.
The industry was disappointed last week when the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) declared that 75% of the notification costs relating to infringers should be borne by copyright owners.
But it is the small print relating to the timetable that has got many angry because BIS has effectively put the brakes on when the DEA can start putting pressure on filesharers and help clean up the landscape for new, legal online services.
Alongside the seven-page response outlining the Government’s arguments why notification costs should be split 75/25, BIS has given a surprising update on the DEA timetable.
The DEA requires Ofcom, which is working on the draft code which underpins the Act, to put its code in place within eight months of it moving into law.
That means by the end of December. However, it appears the Government underestimated the complexity of informing the EC about the cost provisions – under the Technical Standards Directive of the code – in practice.
Instead of being a formality, this process is now expected to take a minimum of three months, with BIS stating, “As this process is an additional time factor entirely outside of Ofcom’s control, the Secretary of State will be granting an extension of three months to Ofcom to reflect this.”
According to more than one music executive this means the earliest notification letters can now be expected to be sent out is July 2011: previously it had been hoped letters would start landing on the doormats of serial infringers in April – or even earlier.
“It’s a bit of a disappointment,” says a source. “It puts us back, when we thought we’d start the year cracking this problem.”
The delay is not the only disappointment, though. Having to pick up some of the costs incurred by ISPs in dealing with infringers also irks.
Devil in the detail: how will costs be apportioned for the sending of letters to persistent online offenders
The BPI and others in the industry, worried about the cost of producing Copyright Infringement Reports (CIRs) and the volume of notifications required to slash unlawful filesharing, had lobbied for costs “lying where they fall” – or at least nearer a 50/50 split.
But few have been surprised by the decision. “Already an 80/20 split had been discussed by the Government and once those sort of ratios are out there in the public domain it is difficult to shift. But we must have made a persuasive argument to at least reduce the rights-holder share to 75%,” says another executive.
And they will be encouraged that – in public at least – the ISPs are still furious they should be made responsible for any costs at all. The Internet Services Providers’ Association believes the decision is “contrary to the promotion of the digital economy” with its secretary general Nick Lansman railing that the beneficiary – he believes that is the music industry – should pay in full.
The UK’s biggest broadband provider TalkTalk also baulks at having to pay even 1p towards costs incurred to combat copyright infringement. Executive director of strategy and regulation Andrew
Heaney believes the BIS decision is “absolutely outrageous”, arguing that ISPs are effectively being made to help the industry enforce its own copyright.
Heaney adds, “These measures… don’t tackle the root cause of the problem – the creative industry’s failure to adapt its b u s i n e s s model to the 21st century.” But at least BIS’ decision on costs does provide some clarity now, even if it is, as one executive calls it, “only half the picture”. UK Music chief executive Feargal Sharkey says the BIS move provides a platform to “drive forward the digital marketplace and remain focused on developing innovative solutions”.
Similarly, the BPI says it will work with Government and Ofcom to ensure that the costs framework overall is “workable and affordable” in particular for small labels, who many in the industry worry could be priced out of using the anti-piracy measures of the DEA if the cost of notifications proves prohibitive.
However, there are still a considerable number of ifs and buts that need clarifying by Ofcom, which is expected to publish its response to its own consultation on the draft code in the next couple of weeks.
And the big question is, as one senior exec, puts it, “We are paying 75%. But of what? There is no finality over what costs will be and how much letters will be. That can be a real impact on the cashflows of smaller companies.”
Another points out there is a complex situation currently facing rights holders, who will still carry the can for detections. The industry is still undecided how bills will be split between record companies and publishers and the volume, cost and period of time notifications that will be necessary to reduce piracy by 80% over the next few years are an unknown quantity.
A database of infringers is also being set up, but again the cost of this is unknown at present. A source argues for “more meat on the bone” and hopes Ofcom will supply this “holistic view” of costs in its next statement. “We can see the devil is going to be in the detail with the operation of the code,” he adds. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Relentless music aspirations trigger legal manoeuvres
Companies counter Coke branding claims
Music and brands By Gordon Masson
THE FULL WEIGHT OF COCA-COLA’s global branding power is being felt by two leading music companies who are being dragged into a major legal battle with the soft drinks giant over alleged trademark violations.
Record label Relentless and management company No Half Measures are having to engage lawyers, with Coke’s energy-drink brand Relentless beginning to make waves in the music industry.
The energy drink now owns the naming rights to live music venues, such as the Relentless Garage in London, has started appearing as a brand partner at music festivals and has also sponsored a Kerrang! Award using the No Half Measures tagline associated with Relentless.
It is now believed Coke is alleging it owns the Relentless trademark and is suggesting the three company names are causing confusion over ownership and branding.
Relentless Records’ comanaging directors Shabs Jobanputra and in 1999 – well before Coke introduced the Relentless energy drink into the UK market five years ago. The Relentless trademark is owned by Franklyn and Jobanputra and licensed to EMI for recordings.
And at that time Franklyn and Jobanputra, whose label’s acts include KT Tunstall, Seth Lakeman, Cage The Elephant and Joss Stone, contacted the drinks group to point out the potential for problems. They also sought assurances that the trademark would not be used by the drinks operation in any connection with music.
But since then Relentless Records has had to deal with a raft of enquiries from artist managers regarding the company’s ownership,
with some band reps assuming that the label is funded by Coca-Cola.
It is understood the record label is hoping that it can avoid an expensive court case by inviting CocaCola to participate in mediation, but to date that proposal has not been accepted by Coke.
Coca-Cola’s use of the No Half Measures tagline – it has also sponsored a No Half Measures tour and-coming acts – is also causing massive headaches for the Glasgowbased management company No Half Measures, which works with acts including Wet Wet Wet, The Law, Hue and Cry and Patricia Vonne.
No Half Measures managing director Dougie Souness reports he has had to deal with many enquiries from people confused by the energy drink’s arrival in the music business.
“I have no issue with Coca-Cola using the term No Half Measures in the soft-drinks business,” says Souness, who created a limited company bearing the No Half Measure moniker in 2000. “However, I’ve been using it in the music business since the late 1980s and have earned a more than significant amount of goodwill with the term over the last 20 years or so.”
His run-in with the Coke corporate lawyers dates back nearly two years as he has opposed the drinks group’s application to trademark the No Half Measures name in the UK if it is used in the music business.
Souness has also applied for a European Union trademark for the name, but Coke is opposing that move. He says, “We’ve had to deal with all manner of questions arising from people mistakenly believing that we are involved in music-related activities branded by the drinks company. So far Coca-Cola has been less than flexible in terms of settling the dispute.
“Nevertheless, we have amassed
Duffy set to step on from Sixties sound
A&M Records managing director Orla Lee believes that Duffy has delivered a second album that will cement her place as a global superstar, with Endlessly, the long-awaited follow-up to her 6.5m-selling Rockferry debut, to hit the shelves on November 29.
The singer has worked with veteran songwriter Albert Hammond on the album, which Lee says has up-tempo tracks, big ballads and a wealth of singles. The first of these, lead single Well, Well, Well, is released by A&M on November 21 and features backing from hip-hop band The Roots.
Simon Gavin, who moved to Decca Affiliated Labels from A&M in July but continues to A&R Duffy,
songwriter Steve Booker, who were both integral to the sound of Rockferry. “She didn’t want to make the same album twice.”
Endlessly will go up against some big hitters this autumn – including new releases from Take That and Robbie Williams, JLS, Rihanna, Black Eyed Peas and Michael Jackson – but Lee says she is confident it will perform well.
“We see her as a classic artist that has a career around the world and she has delivered an album that feels like it can sustain that,” she explains. “It will be a fresh new album at the end of the year.”
With Rockferry proving a global hit – it debuted at number four in the US for example – Lee says
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