THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC www.musicweek.com
Could Government proposals stifle industry’s future?
Paloma Faith reveals how she’s started getting exactly what she wants from the record industry
7 7 6 1 3 6
7 7 6 6 6 9
IFPI figures show digital and streaming are helping curb market’s global decline
TALPA TO UNLEASH THREE NEW MUSIC SHOWS • ORIGINAL SONGS TO FEATURE IN VOICE SEMI-FINAL
Voice creator readies a triple threat for Cowell
A SIGN OF THE TIMES
MEDIA n BY TIM INGHAM
The creator of TV hit The Voice plans to unleash a trio of new global music shows in the wake of its UK success, Music Week can reveal.
Talpa, which was founded by Big Brother mastermind John de Mol, launched The Voice UK in tandem with BBC One and global music partner Universal on Saturday, following bumper ratings in the likes of Holland, the US, Mexico and France.
The UK programme went head-to-head with Simon Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent and fared well. BGT claimed 9.3 million viewers between 8pm and 9.20pm, whilst The Voice earlier pulled in 8.4m. During the 20minute window in which they aired simultaneously, The Voice
A RIGHT JESSIE
THE VOICE IS ALREADY having an impact at retail, with sales of ‘coach’ Jessie J’s Island/Lava album Who You Are up 185% on the week as Music Week went to press. Her Mamma Knows Best, which was performed on the show, was a new entry at 35 on the Tuesday midweeks, while Price Tag’s sales doubled.
Meanwhile, XL act Adele’s Set Fire To The Rain was enjoying a 74% increase in sales after being covered by contestant Sam Buttery.
Dock of the J: Jessie J stars on BBC One’s The Voice grabbed an average 8.9m viewers versus BGT’s 6.6m.
President of Talpa Music Tony Berk told Music Week: “ITV has fought against us by programming Britain’s Got Talent against The Voice. We survived that and did better than expected. Now we expect to add viewers to our ratings - and you’ll see original compositions on our show in the semi-finals.”
Talpa’s output in the music space won’t end at The Voice, either. The company has already created The Winner Is with Universal – a weekly 90-minute show in which singers enter vocal duels to win money. That property is expected to launch in the UK next year, once a broadcaster is announced – whilst it will hit Germany next month.
However, according to Berk, Talpa has “at least another two” music shows up its sleeve that it is looking to launch globally with label partners – with Universal the apparent favourite.
“All the majors came to us over The Voice – including Sony, Warner and EMI,” he said.
“Everyone can work these shows in the big territories, but Universal can do it in the smaller ones, too. Only a year ago, The Voice was in the US and one other territory. Now we’re everywhere from Albania to Australia and talking to China. We’ve in the Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria and many others: Universal made all that possible.”
UNIVERSAL: RIVAL LABELS WILL BE GIVEN SPOTLIGHT
UNIVERSAL HAS PROMISED ITS competitors that their artists will be given a fair chance to shine on The Voice UK.
Warner Music complained to Ofcom ahead of last year’s XFactor final that four of the six guest acts on the show belonged to Syco or affiliated labels.
“You’ll see artists who aren’t the judges sing in later rounds,” UMG International COO Max Hole told Music Week. “Those plug spots will be open to all artists from all labels. To be fair, I don’t think you can argue that all the artists on The X Factor were from Sony.”
The Voice UK judges Jessie J, will.i.am and Tom Jones are all signed to Universal imprints, whilst Danny O’Donoghue’s (left) band The Script reside with Sony/Phonogenic.
Hole, who said he considers Talpa founder John de Mol “something of a genius”, added: “We were clearly mindful of the fact that we haven’t been associated with TV platforms as much as Syco have. But then Lucian [Grainge] made a deal with American Idol over a year ago, and when Talpa came up with this new format, we were onto it very quickly.”
ARTISTS WHO ENTER THE VOICE usually sign away a number of rights to both Universal Music and Talpa’s own GMTA publishing arm – which kick in if they are offered a record deal by the former.
According to Talpa’s Tony Berk, some management and touring rights are often included, but the terms are “much more favourable than regular record label deals”.
He explained: “We co-sign all artists worldwide in option agreements with Universal. We only issue them after discussing with broadcasters, including the BBC in the UK. It’s a decent contract – actually a little better than if you go into the office of an A&R person in Universal with a tape or a CD.”
Independent lawyers are made available to all contestants before signing, whilst entrants’ own lawyers are paid for by the show in “most territories”, says Berk.
GMTA can take a publishing option if the artist is offered a deal by Universal – unless they already have representation.
“Sometimes [existing] publishers say: ‘Okay we’ll move into a share with you.’ That’s not a secret but it’s not the main thing in the show,” added Berk.
Universal’s Max Hole (pictured above with Berk) commented: “Artists enter this competition of their own free will and are offered independent music specialist legal advice before they sign anything. The offer we're making to artists might be similar to an offer [we’d] make to an artist you find in a club in Newcastle.”