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TWO NEW FIRMS ARISE FROM DAVIS SHAPIRO
New math: dividing and adding (7/15a)
THE DEATH OF PRINT JOURNALISM: LEGAL FINE PRINT EDITION
We're guilty as charged. (7/16a)
THE NEW CHEW:
GRAMMY ON RYE
The latest fearless forecast (7/15a)
BILLY RAY CYRUS: THE "ROAD" LESS TRAVELED
The zigzagging course of a singular career (7/12a)
HOT THOUGHTS
KG lets 'em have it. (7/15a)
EARTHQUAKE!
We thought it was just the hangover.
WEED!
What strain pairs best with sloth?
COPYRIGHTS!
They're complicated.
PIZZA!
Why haven't we been talking about it?
Blighty Beat
WARNER TAKES ON WEST END
7/15/19

Warner Music Group has acquired British-born West End and Broadway musical theater record label First Night Records, bringing recordings for shows including Les Misérables, Mary Poppins, Miss Saigon and Singin’ in the Rain to its stable.

WMG’s Arts Music Division,  led by President Kevin Gore, will oversee the company. As part of the deal, First Night co-founder John Craig will join the Arts Music team under a multi-year consulting agreement to identify and record musical theater productions in the U.K.

The acquisition joins a growing portfolio of labels under Arts Music, including the recently relaunched Sesame Street Records and imprints with Cloudco Entertainment and Build-A-Bear Workshop. It follows the establishment of the joint venture with Kurt Deutsch’s Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records in the States.

…Read more

BIZ UNITES IN CLIMATE CHANGE FIGHT
7/12/19

The British music industry has united to sign a declaration that promises to take urgent action over the environmental impact of its practices. UMGSonyWarner, Beggars Group are among those to have signed the pledge.

The newly formed Music Declares Emergency Group (MDE) has administered the declaration, which promises action against a “climate and ecological emergency.” 

The declaration calls on governments and media institutions to tell the truth about the emergency, which has arisen from “global injustices,” and to act now to reverse biodiversity loss and reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2030. It also acknowledges the environmental impact of music industry practices while committing to taking urgent action. 

…Read more

BBC APPOINTS POP CONTROLLER
7/10/19

The BBC has named Lorna Clarke its first Controller of Pop Music. A 20-plus year vet at the Beeb, Clarke now has responsibility for the BBC’s main music stations; Radio 1 and 2, 1Xtra, 6 Music and the Asian Network.

The role was advertised in April when Ben Cooper was expected to take the position. As of today, he remains Controller of Radio 1, 1Xtra and BBC Asian Network, while Clarke moves up from Head of Production for Radio 2 and Radio 6, a role she has held since 2017.

Come September, Clarke will be tasked with improving  BBC offerings, providing leadership to the teams, and working with the music industry to foster the BBC’s role in developing new talent. She will be responsible for providing a strategic vision across the portfolio of radio stations, including BBC Music, and music television.

…Read more

U.K. MARKETSHARE FOR H1 2019
7/8/19

The U.K. major label marketshare stats for H1 2019 are in, with Universal winning the race by a rise of 2.3% year-on-year while the independent sector is up 0.4%. Sony is down 0.8% and Warner has dropped by 1.8%.

The stats for 2019 come courtesy of the Official Charts Company and were first printed in U.K. trade title Music Week. They are as of chart week 26 (ending 6/28) and, as always, we’re using the AES all albums figure.

Universal has had a particularly good run of late with a share of 37.3% across the last six months. That’s thanks to the runaway success of breakout star Lewis Capaldi (Virgin EMI) and best-selling albums from Ariana Grande (Island), Billie Eilish (Polydor) and the A Star is Born ST (Polydor), as well as top singles by Mabel (Polydor), Sam Smith & Normani (Capitol) and Post Malone (Island). It’s the best performance for the label in a while—UMG ended 2016 and 2017 at 35%, rising to 36.2% in 2018. This time last year, its share was 35%. Virgin EMI and Polydor are the top two performing imprints with 11.0% and 9.2% respectively.

…Read more

U.K. CHARTS: KYLIE CLAIMS 7TH #1
7/5/19

Kylie Minogue has claimed her seventh #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with hits package Step Back In Time–The Definitive Collection (BMG). Other Glastonbury performers enjoying a good sales week include The Killers, Stormzy, The Cure and Dave.

With her latest #1, Kylie joins an elite group to have achieved the seven mark, including Coldplay, Elton John, Barbra Streisand and Take That. The only female artist to have more is Madonna with 12.

The Black Keys have the second highest new entry today with Let’s Rock (Nonesuch) at #3. There are more Top 10 debuts for Chris Brown's Indigo (RCA) at #7 and Hank Marvin's Gold (Crimson) at #9.

The Glastonbury effect has The Killers' Direct Hits (Island) zooming 49 places to #6, a week-on-week combined sales uplift of 323%, while Hot Fuss re-enters at #39.

The debut album by celebrated Friday headliner Stormzy, Gang Signs & Prayer (Merky/Atlantic), vaults 59 spots to #14 (a 234% uplift) and his latest single “Crown” rises one place to #4 on the Official Singles Chart. Back on albums, The Cure's Greatest Hits (Fiction) re-enters at #19 (a 253% spike).

Dave's debut, Psychodrama (NBR), rises 13 places to #27, no doubt boosted by a viral video featuring an impressive impromptu collaboration with fan Alex Mann, who he brought up on stage during his Glastonbury set.

Over on singles, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber can now stake claim to eight consecutive weeks at #1 with “I Don’t Care” (Atlantic), which is one of three songs by Sheeran in today's Top 10. He also has the highest new entry with “Beautiful People” f/Khalid at #3, while “Cross Me” with Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock is at #6.

Mabel’s “Mad Love” (Polydor) is her third Top 10, climbing five places to #8 and Sigala’sWish You Well” f/Becky Hill (Ministry of Sound) is up two to #9.

 

U.K. MIDWEEKS: KYLIE EYES #1
7/1/19

Hot on the heels of her Glastonbury performance, Kylie Minogue is heading for a seventh #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with the hits package Step Back In Time–The Definitive Collection (BMG). Over on singles, Ed Sheeran has three tracks in the Top 5.

At the midweek stage, Kylie is outselling her closest rival, Lewis Capaldi, by more than 2:1. The set was released two days before her Glastonbury “legends” slot on Sunday.

The second highest new entry today is The Black Keys with Let’s Rock (Nonesuch) at #3, followed by Chris Brown’s  “Indigo” (RCA) at #4. A new three-disc Hank Marvin collection, Gold (Crimson), starts at #6.

Other acts benefitting from a post-Glastonbury lift include Saturday headliners The Killers, whose Direct Hits (Island) flies 47 places to #8 while Hot Fuss is back in the Top 100 for the first time in two years at #43.

Friday headliner Stormzy is up 59 places to #14 with his debut, Gang Signs & Prayer (Merky/Atlantic) as The Cure’s Greatest Hits (Fiction) rises to #45.

On the Official Singles midweeks, Sheeran's “I Don’t Care” with Justin Bieber (Atlantic) remains at #1, his new track “Beautiful People” f/Khalid starts at #3 and “Cross Me” f/Chance the Rapper and PnB rock remains at #4.

Meanwhile, Sigala is up three to #8 with “Wish You Well” f/Becky Hill (Ministry of Sound), and Mabel’s “Mad Love” (Polydor) climbs four places to #9.

U.K. CHARTS: WILL SETTLES FOR #2
6/28/19

Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent (Virgin EMI) bounces back to #1 for a fifth non-consecutive week topping Will Young on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart as. Over on singles, Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello start at #2 with “Senorita” (Virgin EMI/Syco).

Young has his third #2 with seventh effort, Lexicon, which is his first as an independent artist signed to Cooking Vinyl.

The second highest new albums entry today is Mark Ronson’s Late Night Feelings (Columbia) at #4, followed by Two Door Cinema Club at #5 with False Alarm (Prolifica).

The RaconteursHelp Us Stranger (Third Man) is also new at #8 while Hot Chip’s seventh studio album, A Bath Full of Ecstasy (Domino), enters at #11.

…Read more

PARTISAN GETS CREATIVE
6/26/19

Partisan Records has appointed Ninja Tune’s Theresa Adebiyi as Creative Director. Adebiyi will split her time between London and New York and has responsibility for overseeing the intersection between A&R and marketing. 

She will also have U.K.-specific product management responsibilities for select album campaigns while overseeing the creative direction and product development for the Fela Kuti catalogue.

Adebiyi will report directly to Partisan Records President Tim Putnam and to Jeff Bell, General Manager of International on all U.K. product management.

Zena White, Global Managing Director of Partisan Records said of the hire: “Her inherent understanding of an artist's creative vision and ability to translate it to award-winning marketing campaigns is unmatched. She is joining the label at an exciting time and we look forward to working with her and our artists to take all of our creative output to the next level.”

At Ninja Tune, Adebiyi worked on global award-winning campaigns for Young FathersLittle DragonCinematic Orchestra and others.  Before that, she worked at Lex Records across a broad range of music and film projects. She joins as Partisan is having success with IDLES, who join John GrantCigarettes After SexFontaines DCDeer TickEagulls and The Black Angels  on the roster.