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BIG NIGHT FOR BANDIER, SONY/ATV AT BMI POP AWARDS
Downright iconic, actually. (5/15a)
ROLLING STONE'S YOUTUBE PROBLEM
Modern math. (5/21a)
PRIMARY WAVE LANDS WHITNEY HOUSTON
Holograms and musicals ahead. (5/20a)
SPOTIFY U.S. TOP 25: TYLER TAKEOVER
This one's got legs...four, to be exact. (5/21a)
BREVITY IS THE SEOUL OF WIT
The shit writes itself, but not in Korean. (5/15a)
THE DIVA PLAN
How pop stars from the pre-streaming era are finding a new groove.
RAINMAKERS RETURN
More of the folks who are making biz history now.
THE FUTURE OF ROCK & ROLL IS...
Hang on, we just need to throw this TV out the window.
AFTER COUNTRY TRAP
Is reggaeton death metal far behind?
Blighty Beat
NEW HEADS AT SONY/ATV U.K.
5/16/19

This caption points out the obvious: The A&R guy, David Ventura is on the left, and the lawyer, Tim Major is on the right.

Jon Platt has unveiled his leadership team for Sony/ATV in the U.K., naming David Ventura and Tim Major co-Managing Directors, effective immediately, while promoting William Booth to EVP, Chief Operating Officer.

Ventura brings a background in A&R to the role, while Major adds legal expertise. The two take on the role of Guy Moot, who departed for Warner/Chappell in January.

“Our U.K. company is critical to the global success of Sony/ATV, so I am delighted to have two exceptionally experienced and talented executives leading it,” Platt said.

“David Ventura has a rare gift for A&R that brings out the best in our songwriters and builds enduring, successful careers. David’s abilities are complemented by Tim Major’s incisive legal skills and business acumen. I am confident that our U.K. team will deliver our strategy of making Sony/ATV the ultimate home for songwriters.”

…Read more

PRS NAMES NEW CHIEF EXEC
5/16/19

British PRO PRS for Music has gone outside the music business to find a successor to Chief Exec Robert Ashcroft, tapping business leader Andrea C. Martin to take up the post starting 6/17.

Martin has been President and CEO of three international business units, including Readers Digest Association, a multi-brand media and entertainment company, Managing Director of data services for the Royal Mail in the U.K. and President of ADT Canada. Her most recent roles include Advisory Board Member for loan and investment start-up Moneyflow and non-exec director of Canadian telecoms firm Quebecor.

According to PRS, Martin was hired her for her “proven track record in building strong teams, investing in employee development and multi-stakeholder communications to lead highly performing businesses.”

…Read more

UMG'S U.K. SLICE IS NICE
5/14/19

Universal Music is enjoying what's thought to be an unprecedented marketshare high in the U.K., boasting 37% of all album equivalent sales YTD, and hitting nearly 38% for the month of April thanks in part to releases from Billie Eilish and Lewis Capaldi.

Over the last three years, UMG’s marketshare has averaged 35.4% in Blighty. Its 2019 performance is up 1.6% on that and the April share across all metrics was comfortably bigger than Sony and Warner combined (37.9%). UMG’s all albums figure for last month was 38.6% while singles stood at 38.1%. YTD, UMG is up 0.8% on the 36.2% it ended 2018 with, Sony is up 0.3% from last year’s 21.8% and Warner is down 1.3%.

In April, Universal enjoyed Top 10 albums from Eilish, Loyle Carner, The Rolling Stones and Chemical Brothers. Capaldi had roaring singles success after spending seven weeks at #1 and there were further Top 10s from Avicci, Meduza and Russ & Tion Wayne. Friday’s singles chart had 14 entries from UMG in the Top 20.

Have a beer on us, folks!

U.K. CHARTS: P!NK HOLDS ONTO #1
5/10/19

P!nk has denied Vampire Weekend their first #1 as Hurts 2B Human (RCA) tops Father of the Bride (Columbia) on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart, staying at #1 for a second week.

Despite not reaching the top, Father of the Bride is VW’s highest charting album in the U.K. and third Top 3.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are new at #4 with End of Suffering (AWAL), while Ariana Grande’s thank u, next (Island) returns to the Top 10, rising four slots to #10 following its vinyl release.

On the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart, Stormzy has a second week at #1 with “Vossi Bop” (Merky/Atlantic), which has clocked more than 11m listens across the last seven days.

…Read more

SONGWRITERS SHORTCHANGED?
5/9/19

A damning report from the U.K. suggests that songwriters aren’t getting paid what they are rightly owed from streaming services nor in any sort of timely fashion. The Music Managers’ Forum has some solutions.

Written by CMU and produced in partnership with the Music Managers’ Forum, the $ong Royalties Guide points out that songwriters should be seeing the benefit of the growing streaming economy, with the song share on that income being double what was earned on a CD.

Reports from songwriters and their managers, however, suggest that’s not the case, due to the “inefficient process via which song royalties from streams are processed and paid.”

…Read more

U.K. MIDWEEKS: A #1 BRIDE?
5/7/19

Vampire Weekend are #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums midweek chart with Father of the Bride (Columbia) leading the pack by just 443 combined sales. Over on singles, Lewis Capaldi is the highest new entry at #4 with "Hold Me While You Wait” (Virgin EMI).

Should Vampire Weekend hold on to their lead come Friday, the group will claim their first ever #1 in Blighty. They previously peaked at #3 in 2010 and 2013 with Contra and Modern Vampires of the City, respectively.

Last week’s #1, P!nk’s  Hurts 2B Human (RCA), is ahead on streams at #2, while Vampire Weekend leads on paid-for sales.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are new at #3 with End of Suffering (AWAL), while Newcastle band The Wildhearts’ first album in 10 years, Renaissance Men (Graphite), start at #5.

Today Is A Good Day (Cooking Vinyl) from singer/songwriter Lucy Spraggan is also Top 10 bound at #8.

…Read more

U.K. CHARTS: STORMZY STREAMS TO #1
5/3/19

Stormzy has shot straight in at #1 on the U.K’s Official Singles Chart with “Vossi Bop” (Merky/Atlantic) on more than 94k combined sales, claiming the second biggest opening week for a single this year. Over on albums, P!nk claims the top spot.

Stormzy’s first new single since 2017 has the biggest week of streams ever for a rapper in Blighty with 12.7m, smashing Drake’s record with “In My Feelings” (Island) by more than 2m. “Vossi Bop” also claims the fifth biggest streaming week of all time. Only Ariana Grande has beaten Stormzy’s first week sales record, with “7 Rings” (Island), which opened with 126k in January.

Taylor Swift f/Brandon Urie’s “Me!” (Virgin EMI) has charted at #3, her ninth Top 5 hit in the U.K. Last week’s #1, “Old Town Road” (RCA) by Lil Nas X, drops to #2.

…Read more

PRS RATE HIKE SPARKS FURY
5/2/19

British PRO PRS for Music has announced an admin rate hike for royalty collections, igniting fury amongst the Featured Artists Coalition and the Music Managers Forum, who accuse the PRO of penalizing songwriters for its own business blunders.

From October’s distribution onward, fees charged on international collections will double for some of the biggest music markets, while Sweden and New Zealand will rise to 8% from 3%. For royalties collected by U.S. societies, the new rates are 2% (from 1%), and for societies where PRS collects more than £10m annually, the rates will be 4%. For all other markets, the fees are 8%. Admin rates on royalties earned from TV and radio have risen by 0.5%, while public performance rates are up 3%.

…Read more