Business News Week In Five

CMU Digest – 31 May 2013

By | Published on Friday 31 May 2013

Alan Davey

The five biggest stories in the music business this week…

01: Arts Council boss Alan Davey annoyed the record labels while defending his Momentum Music Fund. Justifying why tax-payers’ money should be given to aspiring musicians in more mainstream genres via the new fund, Davey said that new talent was being failed by major labels increasingly looking for “ready made” artists to sign. BPI boss Geoff Taylor called Davey’s remarks “ill-informed and out of touch”. In a blog post, Davey subsequently took back much of his criticism, though insisted that new artists now had to do more groundwork before labels would or could invest, and that is in that space where he hoped the new Arts Council initiative could help. CMU reportDavey’s blog

02: Marketing and communications staff changed at HMV. The company’s long-term communications chief Gennaro Castaldo announced he was moving to record industry trade body BPI. Meanwhile Marketing Week reported that the entertainment retailer, which is attempting a revival under its new owners Hilco, would soon announce a new head of marketing, who would likely replace Jill Thomas, the Senior Marketing Manager who has been leading marketing efforts at HMV since Hilco’s takeover. A rebrand is then likely to follow later this year, as well as a new cheaper marketing strategy. CMU reportMarketing Week report

03: Eircom prepared to shut its music service as web-blocking returned to the Irish courts. It emerged that Irish ISP Eircom would shut down its bespoke download and streaming platform next month. The service was set up as part of an agreement with the Irish record labels which also saw the net firm launch a web-blocking and three-strikes style system to combat piracy. Meanwhile, said labels were back in court in Ireland this week in an attempt to force Eircom’s rivals to also block rogue file-sharing website The Pirate Bay. Eircom reportPirate Bay block report

04: It was rumoured British three-strikes could be delayed until 2017. According to blogger James Firth, sources in Westminster and Whitehall have said that the anti-piracy provisions of the 2010 Digital Economy Act are now unlikely to be implemented until after the next General Election, because of political sensitivities around the measures, and disagreements between the Department Of Media, Culture & Sport and the Treasury regarding how the programme would be funded. That would mean three-strikes warning letters would be unlikely to start being sent until 2016, or 2017 if it turned out amendments were required to the wording of the DEA. CMU report | James Firth blog

05: Channel 4 confirmed two Friday night TV shows were now ready to pilot. Having announced last year plans to launch three new music formats on its main channel, and after receiving over 100 pitches, the TV station said it now had two programmes in development that would pilot later this year. One is a music quiz show fronted by Nick Grimshaw, the other a music magazine programme hosted by, amongst others, Rizzle Kicks. CMU report | Guardian report

In CMU this week, I interviewed David Lowery of Camper Van Beethoven and music industry blog The Trichordist about ad-funded piracy, Lovefoxxx from CSS put together a rather fine playlist for us, and CMU Editor Andy Malt delved once again into the weird world of artist brand partnerships. Meanwhile, we approved of Jon Hopkins and Susanna with Siri Nilsen and Susanne Sundfør, plus Mac Demarco and his recent performances at Primavera Sound in Barcelona. Look out for a more detailed look back at Primavera Sound from CMU’s Aly Barchi next week.

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