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HITS LIST, YUP
IMAX version available (8/12a)
SURPRISE MEGAN DROP—"LET'S RUN THIS LAST ONE UP"
That's that, all of a sudden. (8/12a)
NEW & DEVELOPING
ARTISTS: Q3 EDITION
The stars of tomorrow—and one star of the moment (8/12a)
TOP 20: THE RACE
FOR #1 IS ON
It's neck and neck at the turn. (8/10a)
WE'RE SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, BUT WE JUST HAD TO TELL YOU
Oh, no, not again. (8/12a)
RISE OF THE INDIES
How they're reshuffling the biz deck.
THE LATIN-MUSIC MARKETPLACE
Thoughts on a changing landscape.
KETCHUP
It's everywhere.
THE NEXT HUGE CATALOG STORY
Another stunning return.
Blighty Beat
U.K. CHARTS: BEY'S STILL QUEEN 
8/12/22

Beyoncé’s RENAISSANCE (Parkwood/Columbia) has claimed a second week at #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart while LF System remains on top at singles.

Eminem’s Curtain Call 2 (Interscope) is new at #3 on albums today, while Calvin HarrisFunk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 (Columbia) lands at #5.

Becky Hill’s Only Honest on the Weekend (Polydor) is up 19 places to #7. Her new single with Joel Corry, “HISTORY,” debuts at #20.

Elsewhere on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart, LF System’s “Afraid to Feel” (Warner Records) enjoys a sixth consecutive week at #1, having racked up over 5.5m streams this week. Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul” remains at #2, while George Ezra’s “Green Green Grass” (Columbia) rises two to #3.

This week’s highest new entry is KSI and Tom Grennan collab “Not Over Yet” (Atlantic), which debuts at #4.  Harry Styles is back in the Top 10 with “Late Night Talking” (Columbia) at #8, while OneRepublic’s Top Gun: Maverick anthem, “I Ain’t Worried” (Interscope), jumps to a new peak at #9.

BPI: LABELS PUMP £500M INTO TALENT
8/11/22

U.K. record labels invested £494.8m into A&R, marketing and promotion in 2021, according to figures from the BPI. The investment, which represents 39.2% of total U.K. label revenue, has doubled over the past five years.

Spend on A&R alone, which includes artist advances, creating new recordings, video costs and tour support, reached £358.1m last year. That’s 107% more than the amount invested in 2016 (£173.3m).

Over the same five-year period, U.K. labels’ total revenue increased by 42.9%, driven largely by a 51.3% surge in streaming revenue.

The BPI notes that labels’ A&R spending grew at nearly 2-1/2 times the rate of their revenue increases, and that labels’ A&R investment represented 28.4% of total revenue.

“The U.K. has been one of the world’s music superpowers since the advent of pop culture, thanks to the combination of our many incredible artists drawn from all regions and nations, and the passion, financial backing and expertise of our record labels,” outgoing BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said. “During a time when music has returned to growth after years of decline, labels have continued to prioritize investment in artists.”

 

EUROVISION TO DISRUPT TOURS?
8/10/22

A host of arena shows at U.K. venues might need to be canceled next year to make space for Eurovision, with dates from Elton John and André Rieu now looking potentially shaky.

A number of British cities are bidding to host the annual competition in 2023, which will require a venue for six to eight weeks around April and May, reports the BBC. Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham, Aberdeen, Brighton, Bristol and Belfast are in the running.

Elton John’s rescheduled Farewell Yellow Brick Road dates, which take place in a few of the potential venues across the time period, could be in jeopardy as could shows by André Rieu. If venues need to be free in March and June, dates by Don Broco, Celine Dion and the Pet Shop Boys might also need to be axed or moved.

A venue shortlist will be announced on BBC Radio 2 on Friday morning.

The U.K., which came second place in Eurovision this year, became next year’s host country after safety issues led officials to rule out winner Ukraine.

U.K. ACTS DOWN 45% AT EURO FESTS
8/9/22

British acts have experienced a 45% drop in European festival bookings post-Brexit, according to analysis by campaign group, Best for Britain.

The study looked at the line-ups for three major European festivals—BenicassimSziget and Lollapalooza—in 2017 to 2019 and compared the number of British acts booked with those on the bill for the 2022 editions. 

The sobering stats show how the U.K. Government’s “dud Brexit deal” is robbing emerging British talent of opportunities abroad, Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said.

Challenges associated with British acts playing overseas post-Brexit have been well-documented and include costly bureaucracy and delays at border checks. These issues are reportedly disproportionately impacting new acts, who are losing out on the common practice of securing last-minute vacancies in a festival line-up. 

Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and U.K. Trade and Business Commissioner Deborah Annetts said: “Whoever ends up replacing Boris Johnson must commit to removing this needless bureaucracy which is stifling the prosperity and creativity of the next generation of British musicians.”

U.K. MIDWEEKS: EMINEM VS. BEYONCÉ
8/8/22

Eminem and Beyoncé are battling it out for the U.K.’s Official Albums #1 this week in an extremely tight race. Over on singles, KSI and Tom Grennan’s collaboration is gunning for the top.

There are less than 100 sales separating Eminem’s Curtain Call 2 (Interscope) and last week’s #1/today’s leader, Beyoncé’s RENAISSANCE (Parkwood/Columbia), at the halfway point. 

Calvin Harris is also eyeing a Top 5 entry with Fun Wav Bounces Vol. 2 (Columbia). 

ABBA’s ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits (Polar) has a midweek boost, rising to #6, thanks to the announcement its 30th anniversary edition, set to arrive on 9/23.

Becky Hill’s Only Honest on the Weekend (Polydor) is up 16 places to #10 following her performance at the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro Final Show

On the U.K.’s Official Singles midweeks, KSI and Grennan could score their first #1s with collab “Not Over Yet” (Atlantic).

Despite its midweek lead, the track still has strong competition from long-running #1, LF System’s “Afraid to Feel" (Warner), which sits less than 1k sales behind at #2.

Harry Styles’ “Late Night Talking” (Columbia) is back in the Top 10, rising to #4 from #13.

Following the finale of Neighbours on U.K. TV, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan’s 1988  #1 single, “Especially For You” (PAL), could re-enter the Top 40 at #15.

U.K. CHARTS: BEY REIGNS
8/5/22

Beyoncé has her fourth solo U.K. #1 album with RENAISSANCE (Columbia/ Parkwood). Over on singles, LF System claim a fifth week at the top.

RENAISSANCE outsold its closest competition 3:1 to reach the summit today. The set is also this week’s most-purchased on vinyl.

Harry StylesHarry’s House (Columbia) remains at #2, while Ed Sheeran’s = (Atlantic) does the same at #3. The Weeknd’s The Highlights (Republic) rises one to #5, as does Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR (Geffen), up from #6 to #5.

Maggie Rogers’ second set, Surrender (Polydor), enters at #6. Just outside the Top 10, Elvis Presley’s ELV1S—30 NUMBER 1 HITS (Sony) lifts one place to #12, bolstered by Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, Elvis.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart, despite strong competition from Beyoncé’s “BREAK MY SOUL,” LF System’s “Afraid to Feel” (Warner Records) remains at #1. The track accumulated more than 5.1m streams this week.

“BREAK MY SOUL” flies four spots to #2, affording Bey her highest-charting solo hit in 14 years (since “If I Was a Boy” in 2008). It’s the U.K.’s most-downloaded track of the week.

Two other cuts from RENAISSANCE debut inside the Top 20: “CUFF IT” at #14 and “ALIEN SUPERSTAR” at #16.

OneRepublic make a return to the singles Top 10 today with Top Gun: Maverick anthem, “I Ain’t Worried” (Mosley/Interscope), jumping two to #10.

BPI CHIEF TO EXIT IN 2023
8/4/22

Geoff Taylor, Chief Exec of U.K. label trade body BPI, will step down in 2023 after 15 years at the helm of the org. He’s moving on to work more directly in the commercial sector.

Taylor, who also oversees the BRIT Awards and the Mercury Prize, will remain in place until the new year to help new Chair YolanDa Brown find a successor.

“It has been a great privilege to lead the BPI during such a transformational period for British music,” Taylor said. “After much reflection, I have decided that running the BPI for 15 years is enough for any moderately sane individual.”

UMG U.K. Chief David Joseph praised Taylor for his “calm leadership, insight and dedicated work in support of labels right across the country. He has made a significant contribution to our industry, for which we are hugely grateful.”

Sony U.K. boss Jason Iley noted that it takes “real tenacity” to lead an organization for “so long through rapid digital disruption” while maintaining a “tight grip” on the big issues. “The whole industry has benefitted from the BPI’s work combatting piracy, campaigning for export funding, running the BRIT and Mercury prizes to showcase artists and supporting music education,” he added.

Warner U.K. boss Tony Harlow thanked Taylor for his “insightful and forward-thinking leadership” and “unwavering commitment” to ensuring music remains one of the U.K.’s “greatest success stories.”

Prior to leading the BPI, Taylor was General Counsel at the organization and previously held positions at IFPI and U.S. law firm Wilmer Hale.

DANCE MUSIC HAS GENDER ISSUES
8/3/22

 

Female and non-binary artists were the primary performers on just 5% of the most popular dance and electronic tracks in the U.K. from 2020 to 2022, according to a new report on gender representation within the genre.

In contrast, 58% of the tracks analyzed in the report by The Jaguar Foundation—set up by BBC Radio 1 DJ Jaguar Bingham—had an exclusively male performer as the primary artist and feature.

In total, 95% of tracks included a male name, while 42% included a female or non-binary artist as the primary or featured artist (this latter definition counted for the majority).

On radio, the picture is similar. While 44% of the top 200 dance/electronic airplay tracks across 2020-21 feature a female or non-binary artist, less than 1% featured non-male acts exclusively. Over 99% of tracks included male artists, while 55% featured male artists exclusively.

In 2022, the average percentage of female and non-binary dance and electronic music artists performing at sampled festivals was 28%, which has risen from 14% in 2018.

Read more…