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SongLink NewsLink | Music Industry News for July/August 2007

JULY/AUGUST 2007

© Copyright 2007 by SLI - SongLink International
Editor & Publisher: David Stark
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Tel: +44 (0)207 794 2540 - Fax: +44 (0)207 794 7393

The EMI Group plc has been taken over by private equity firm Terra Firma in a 2.4bn deal, subject to Terra Firma's bankers Citigroup completing full funding. The deal sees EMI taken off the stock market and back into private ownership, with EMI CEO Eric Nicoli praising the opportunities the take-over will provide in the long-term.

The UK Copyright Tribunal has returned its decision regarding the rate paid to songwriters and composers for music used online, which confirms they should receive 8% of gross revenues from online music service providers for on-demand services including downloads and subscription streaming services, 6.5% of revenues for interactive webcasting services and 5.75% for non-interactive webcasting. Steve Porter, chief executive of the Music Alliance said: "We are happy that the Tribunal has endorsed our approach to the licensing of music used in online services."

The MMF supports comments made by the MU, BPI, PPL, AIM and IFPI concerning the government's decision not to press the European Commission to extend the term of sound recordings from 50 years to at least 70 years as recommended by the Culture Media and Sport Committee on New Media and the Creative Industries. "Whilst the MMF supports some aspects of the Gowers Review conclusions, it is clear that Gowers has little understanding of the way Britain's highly successful music industry works at the coalface... The government should show support for the British music industry which has been a success story for the UK in terms of tax income, invisible exports, prestige and culture."

Jon 'Webbo' Webster is leaving the BPI to take up the newly created post of chief executive of the Music Managers Forum. The BPI is currently in the process of recruiting a new independents director. MMF chairman Jazz Summers said: "Jon brings to our organisation a tremendouswealth of knowledge and experience coupled with great enthusiasm for the changes which we intend to implement over the next few months."

AIM has promoted Remi Harris to General Manager, to manage its day-to-day running and oversee its various activities. Ellie Mules is promoted to Member Services Manager and Lara Baker becomes Marketing and Communications Manager.

Sony/ATV Music has completed the acquisition of Famous Music from Viacom. Founded in 1928, the Famous catalogue includes 125,000 songs and sound cues, including such classics as Footloose, Moon River, Take My Breath Away, Satin Doll and That's Amore. The catalogue also includes movie themes from The Godfather, Forrest Gump, Mission Impossible and many other films, while its roster of songwriters includes Shakira, Akon, Linda Perry, Fred Jerkins III, DaveTozer, Mike Mangini, Charlie Midnight, Darrell Scott, Modest Mouse, Jet and Ozomatli.

Apple has announced that more than three billion songs have been purchased from its iTunes Store, making it world's most popular online music, TV and movie store featuring a catalogue of over five million songs, 550 television shows and 500 movies. iTunes recently surpassed Amazon and Target to become the third largest music retailer in the US.

EMI Music has signed a deal with Mixalbum.com, the world's first and only fully automated DJ mixing system, allowing consumers to create their own mixed playlists after making a selection of their preferred tracks. Music from EMI label Positiva as well as all EMI dance related catalogue will be made available to consumers for purchase. In other news, EMI Music has also appointed Microsoft's M. Paramasivam as vice president of technology of its global digital team.

The MCPS-PRS Alliance and MTV Networks Europe have agreed a new blanket TV licence, replacing all previous separate MCPS and PRS agreements. The deal - which is effective immediately - covers the use of the Alliance's 10 million musical works across 35 of MTV Networks' portfolio of TV channels broadcast from the UK across Europe.

The Musicians' Union and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) have signed an agreement, brokered by music consultancy Leap Music. Effective from September 1, the deal introduces a revised sliding scale of session fees which is expected to result in more advertising music being recorded in the UK.

Frenetic Recordings, the new label set up by Craig Dimech, former head of the Free2air Recordings - has signed a long-term label management agreement with Absolute Marketing & Distribution. Free2air enjoyed its biggest success last year when Dimech - as Meck - took a reworking of Leo Sayer's Thunder In My Heart to No. 1 in the UK.

The 12 'Albums of the Year' shortlisted for the 2007 Nationwide Mercury Prize are: Bat for Lashes - Fur and Gold; Fionn Regan - The End of History; New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom; Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future; The Young Knives - Voices of Animals and Men; Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare; Maps - We Can Create The View - Hats Off to the Buskers; Dizzee Rascal - Maths + English; Amy Winehouse - Back to Black; Jamie T - Panic Prevention; and Basquiat Strings - Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford.

London based Rockworld.TV has made a deal with Joost, the world's first broadcast-quality Internet TV service. Through the deal Rockworld, which also broadcasts on SKY channel 368 and via www.rockworld.tv , has agreed to distribute original programming via Joost.

Warner/Chappell Music has appointed Glen Brunman, former Sony Soundtrax founder, as its US executive VP head of creative, overseeing all of Warner/Chappell's A&R creative and music synchronization efforts in the US and expanding the current artist roster and identifying new opportunities for the company's library.

Warner/Chappell Music has acquired Non-Stop Music, a leading production music library. Formed by musicians in 1981, Non-Stop has built a library of more than 35,000 songs that it licenses to film, television, Internet and corporate clients. Non-Stop also operates its own state-of-the-art recording studio and has its own stable of composers.

South By Southwest (SXSW) 2008 takes place March 12 - 16, 2008 in Austin, Texas. There are two ways to apply to perform, at www.sxsw.com or www.sonicbids.com. The deadlines are October 26 for international artists and November 9 for USA artists. Fees are $20 for early submissions and $30 for applications submitted after October 5th. The first-ever SXSW DVD compilation will be in stores on August 21, including The Bravery, Aqualung, Razorlight, Polyphonic Spree, Rachel Fuller with Pete Townshend and Rickie Lee Jones among others.

RIP: Tony Wilson (57), founder of Factory Records and Manchester's In The City music convention, from kidney cancer; jazz singer and author George Melly (80); Unchained Melody co-writer Hy Zaret (89); original Drifters member Bill Pinkney (81); Nashville producer/songwriter Carson Whitsett (62); Elvis Presley songwriter Ben Weisman (85); Chuck Berry collaborator Johnnie Johnson (80); country saxophonist Homer 'Boots' Randolph (80); 60s music promoter Rik Gunnell (75); artist, songwriter & producer Lee Hazlewood (78).

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