Business News Week In Five

CMU Digest – 26 Jul 2013

By | Published on Friday 26 July 2013

Warner Music

The five biggest stories in the music business this week…

01: Warner UK revamped its top team, following its recent acquisition of the Parlophone Label Group. The incoming Parlophone label and existing Warner Bros UK label will be united under one management team led by long term EMI man Miles Leonard; though, while a number of execs will have combined Parlophone/Warner Bros responsibilities, the two units will seemingly retain some autonomy, with overall Warner UK chief Christian Tattersfield keeping a Co-Chair role atop Warner Bros. The mini-major’s Atlantic and Rhino UK divisions will be unaffected. CMU report | Hollywood Reporter report

02: It was confirmed that indie record stores in the UK had seen album sales grow 44% this year, compared to last. And while still only accounting for 3.2% of album sales overall, that’s still a considerable uplift for the indies in an entertainment retail sector that remains challenging. The Entertainment Retailers’ Association, which revealed the stat having crunched numbers from the Official Charts Company, said the success of Record Store Day and the renewed interest in vinyl amongst indie fans were both factors in the upturn. Though the closure of nearly 100 HMV stores earlier this year also presumably helped. CMU report | Telegraph report

03: Def Jam founder Russell Simmons announced a new joint venture with Universal. The hip hop industry veteran is teaming up with film producer Brian Robbins and experienced music exec Steve Rifkind to launch a YouTube-focused music company, looking to build communities and businesses for artists around their YouTube channels. Building on Simmons’ existing digital venture, the new company, to be called All Def Music, will have both content and talent management wings. It will operate under the Universal Music Group banner. CMU report | Forbes report

04: It emerged Google had added Grooveshark to its autocomplete blacklist. It means that the search engine won’t suggest Grooveshark pages to users typing in artist names and suchlike, though it will still link through to the often controversial streaming music service if people explicitly request it. It seems Google stopped auto-completing Grooveshark back in April, but it’s only just been noticed. The autocomplete blacklist is one of a number of ways in which Google is helping content owners in their bid to direct web-users to legit rather then unlicensed content. Though, of course, some content on Grooveshark is licensed, and the digital firm would argue it is operating totally within US copyright law. CMU report | Torrentfreak report

05: Tulisa’s manager hit out at the recent Sun ‘sting’. It emerged that Jonathan Shalit had written to the chair of parliament’s Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee, John Whittingdale, accusing the tabloid of entrapping his client in a piece that saw the paper buy a small amount of drugs from someone the former N-Dubber and ‘X-Factor’ judge put them in touch with. Tulisa had been under the impression the undercover journalists were drug-hungry film execs, the manager claimed. He chose to right to the parliamentary committee because he felt the sting was another example of an irresponsible press, and that it fitted into the wider and ongoing debate about media ethics and regulation. For it’s part The Sun argued the scoop was a legitimate bit of journalism. Though it’s possible the paper was still high on the drugs Tulisa’s mate sold them. CMU report | Guardian report

In CMU this week, Andy Malt looked through some recent developments in the strange world of brand partnerships, Aly Barchi spoke to the brilliant Daughn Gibson, and Grumbling Fur, aka Alexander Tucker and Daniel O’Sullivan, put together a playlist for us. In the Approved column we had Joy Division Reworked, Anna Meredith, Agnes Obel and Crystal Stilts.

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