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SPOTIFY Q1 PROFIT TOPS $1B; SUBS HIT 239M
How Swede it is. (4/23a)
HITS LIST IN
PLAYOFF MODE
Will scoring records be broken this week? (4/23a)
THE COUNT: ALL THE DESERT'S A STAGE
The dust settles on the Indio Polo Grounds. (4/22a)
ROCK HALL UNVEILS
2024 INDUCTEES
Class of '24 comes alive. (4/22a)
NEW RELEASES:
SWIFT UPS THE ANTE
Does she ever. (4/22a)
THE NEW UMG
Gosh, we hope there are more press releases.
TIKTOK BANNED!
Unless the Senate manages to make this whole thing go away, that is.
THE NEW HUGE COUNTRY ACT
No, not that one.
TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN PLAYLIST
Now 100% unlicensed!
Blighty Beat
RCA U.K. TAPS DAVIES TO HEAD A&R
4/18/24

Harri Davies, former senior director of A&R at Concord Music Publishing, has joined RCA Records U.K. as head of A&R.

In his new role, Davies will be responsible for steering the Sony label's A&R strategy and signing talent. He reports to RCA Co-Presidents Glyn Aikins and Stacey Tang.

"Harri embodies the globally minded, creative spirit that has always been at the heart of RCA U.K.,” Aikins and Tang said. “His understanding of the music landscape and passion for nurturing artists will undoubtedly have a positive effect, steering our team and artists towards further global success.”

Notable artists and producers Davies has signed include Krept & Konan, BRIT Award-winning Chase & Status and Grammy winners Imanbek, Alex Metric and Flowdan. He also facilitated the signing of 2023’s global breakout star, Tyla. Prior to Concord, Davies helped shape the roster at Bucks Music Group.

ICE SPICE SIGNS WITH PPL
4/18/24

U.K.-based music licensing company PPL has signed Ice Spice for the collection of international neighboring rights royalties. She joins a host of artists who signed with the org recently, including Lewis Capaldi, Libianca and Central Cee.

Headquartered in London, PPL licenses the use of recorded music in the U.K. and collects neighboring rights royalties on behalf of performers and recording rightsholders worldwide.

On signing with the org, PPL says Ice Spice will benefit from the expertise of its 200+ team, cutting-edge data processing technology, and a network of over 110 agreements with collective management organizations internationally. The company will collect royalties on her behalf for the use of her music on radio, TV and in public spaces around the world.

Signed to 10K Projects and Capitol, Ice Spice closed 2023 with the most Hot 100 Top 5 singles: “Barbie World” with Aqua & Nicki Minaj, “Boy’s A Liar, Pt.2” with PinkPantheress, and a remix of Taylor Swift’s “Karma.”

RSD U.K. TO DELIVER £9.7M BOOST
4/17/24

Record Store Day in the U.K. is expected to deliver a £9.7m boost to indie record shops this weekend thanks to 443 exclusive releases, according to data from the Digital Entertainment and Retail Association (ERA).

The annual celebration, which takes place Saturday (4/20), will involve more than 270 record shops. The £9.7m figure is an estimate of the sales value of the vinyl releases issued for the day, which will be available from the likes of official RSD 2024 ambassador Kate Bush plus Noah Kahan, Ringo Starr, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Gabriels, The 1975 and more.

The estimate does not include incremental revenue of non-Record Store Day titles made on the day, nor money generated by food, drink and other items. Thus, the actual total through store tills is likely to be higher.

“Record Store Day is a cultural phenomenon which draws in tens of thousands of music fans across the country, but it is also a financial lifeline for a vital element of music’s unique ecosystem,” ERA CEO Kim Bayley said. “Without Record Store Day, many would find it difficult to stay in business.”

In 2023, ERA estimates that exclusives sold on RSD accounted for nearly 10% of annual sales of all physical music product through high street stores. Last month, ERA announced that indie store numbers have hit a 10-year high of 461, in part propelled by RSD. Across the same period, the total number of physical outlets selling music in the U.K. has dropped by 76%.

More than 80 events are set to take place on Saturday. They include all-day parties, local music and performances and various artists taking part in signing sessions. Across the weekend, BBC’s 6 Music will host a three-day celebration of vinyl and records on air.

INDIE SECTOR RISES FOR SIXTH YEAR
4/16/24

Independently released music claimed 29.2% of U.K. recorded music consumption in 2023, up from 28.6% in 2022 and nearly a third higher than in 2017, according to figures from the BPI.

Last year was the sixth consecutive year of growth, when using the Album Equivalent Sales metric (AES), for the British indie sector. Figures come from the BPI’s recently published yearbook, All About The Music 2024.

According to BPI analysis based on Official Charts data, more than 60 albums released by independent labels made the weekly Top 10 of the Official Albums Chart in 2023. These included seven chart-topping releases by rapper Ren, rock bands Enter Shikari and The Reytons (pictured) and Kylie Minogue.

Other Top 10 albums came from rapper Casisdead, singer-songwriter PJ Harvey, pop star Claire Richards and punk rock veterans The Damned.

Independent successes on the Official Singles Chart last year included a #1 hit for record-breaking BRITs winner RAYE and Top 10 entries for Central Cee and Bugzy Malone & Teedee.

There was an even greater presence for the independent sector in the physical music market, which counted for 35% of all album sales in 2023. Nearly four in every 10 (39.1%) vinyl LP bought was an independent product, with more than 200 indie titles selling at least 1.5k copies last year. Independent releases made up nearly one-third (32.8%) of CDs sold in 2023.

Other insights from the yearbook include vinyl sales rising in 2023 for a 16th consecutive year. That's partly attributed to the rising popularity of pop releases: The genre’s share of vinyl sales lifted to 23.7% from 19.6% in 2022, headed by releases from Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo and Lewis Capaldi.

Hip-hop grew its share of the vinyl market to 5.3% in 2023, led by a re-issue of De La Soul’s 1989 debut, 3 Feet High and Rising (Chrysalis), although rock remained comfortably the biggest genre with a 55.5% share. That’s reflected by the 10 biggest-selling vinyl artists of 2023, Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles and Pink Floyd.

U.K. MIDWEEKS: JAMES POPS IN
4/15/24

James and Mark Knopfler are battling it out for this week’s U.K. Official Albums #1. Over on singles, Hozier is set for a second week at the top.

James’ 18th album Yummy (Nothing But Love Music) leads the charge at today’s halfway point. Should it hold onto its position for Friday, it will be the Manchester band’s second #1.

One Deep River (EMI) from the former Dire Straits leader Knopfler is just 3k sales behind at #2.

British rock band Kris Barras Band could have their first Top 10 with Halo Effect (Earache) a new entry at #4. Linkin Park’s Papercuts (Singles Collection 2000-2023) (Warner Records) could become their ninth U.K. Top 10, starting at #5 today.

English Teacher’s This Could Be Texas (Island) is new at #6; Scottish band Gun are #7 with Hombres (Cooking Vinyl); and Maggie RogersDon’t Forget Me (Capitol) is #8.

Lifeblood (Sony) by Manic Street Preachers is in the Top 10 for the first time at #9 thanks to a 20th anniversary reissue. WE STILL DON’T TRUST YOU (Boominati/Freebandz/Republic/Epic) by Future & Metro Boomin is #10.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles midweeks, “Too Sweet” (Island) by Hozier is heading for a second week at #1.

“Supersonic” (Big Brother) by Oasis, who are celebrating 10 years since the release of their debut single, might enter the Top 10 for the first time at #6. The track peaked at #31 in 1994.

Little Mix member Perrie could claim this week’s highest new entry at #7 with her debut solo release, “Forget About Us” (Columbia), which was co-written with Ed Sheeran. Dua Lipa’s “Illusion” (Warner Records) could be the third consecutive Top 10 single from her upcoming set, Radical Optimism. It’s on track to debut at #8.

U.K. CHARTS: LIBERTINES HIT #1
4/12/24

Two charts, two new #1s. The Libertines have their first U.K. Official Albums #1 in 20 years and Hozier has his first top-charting single.

All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade (EMI) is The Libertines’ second U.K. chart-topper. The first was their self-titled second set, which hit #1 in 2004.

Beyoncé’s COWBOY CARTER (Columbia/Parkwood) slips down one to #2 today.

Earlestown band The K’s are new at #3 with their debut, I Wonder if the World Knows? (LAB). Conan Gray has a career-best with his third set, Found Heaven (Island), at #4.

  1. Cole’s Might Delete Later (Interscope), charting at #7, is his fourth Top 10. Feeder’s Black / Red (Big Teeth Music) rounds off this week’s new Top 10 entries at #8.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart, “Too Sweet” (Island) is Hozier’s first #1. The track rose three places this week to top the chart on 61k sales and 6.7m streams. It’s Hozier’s second Top 10 single following “Take Me to Church,” which peaked at #2 in 2014.

DJ Artemas has jumped into the Top 5 for the first time with “i like the way you kiss me” (Parlophone) rising one to #5 today.

Dasha’s “Austin” (Warner Records) is up seven to #8, entering the Top 10 after a seven-week climb.

“Belong Together” (Hundred Days Records) by TikTok sensation Mark Ambor moves up eight to #14. Irish DJ duo NewEra also have their first Top 20 with “Birds in the Sky” (Warner Records) up two to #18.

PPL PULLS IN RECORD REVENUES
4/11/24

British CMO PPL set a revenue record in in 2023, pulling in £283.5m, the highest total in the org’s 90-year history.

The growth of 4% over 2022 was driven by a rise in income from the use of recorded music in public places , which is up 11% to more than £111m in 2023, surpassing the pre-pandemic high.

PPL’s revenues from the licensing of recorded music for radio, TV and online increased 2.5% to £96.4m in 2023, partly driven by the negotiation of several new licenses for TV services.

International revenue, collected by PPL for the use of members’ music around the world, reached £75.4m last year, which is down 3% on 2022. Growth in collections from the majority of CMOs in 2023 was offset by the impact of declining revenues from monies for past periods, combined with the residual effect of several years of disrupted collections due to the repercussions of COVID-19.

“While much has changed in the 90 years since PPL was formed, the power of music to drive commercial value for businesses in the U.K. and beyond remains ever constant,” said PPL CEO Peter Leathem. “Research repeatedly shows that music increases both consumer dwell time and propensity to buy, and also drives greater productivity and attention to detail in the workplace. More and more businesses are investing in the power of music and its benefits.

“In these somewhat precarious times for performers, we are proud to deliver a consistent stream of income for them and recording rights holders.”

The results follow on from PPL’s 2023 distribution numbers, which hit £276.6m in 2023, up 14.3% year-on-year.

AIM PUTS DAVY IN CHARGE
4/11/24

Association of Independent Music COO Gee Davy is taking over the org as Interim CEO following the resignation of CEO Silvia Montello, who is stepping down for personal reasons.

Davy, who joined the org in 2017, has also been appointed to the new position of Chief Policy Officer and will continue to lead the organization’s work in championing the independent music community in key policy discussions.

“It’s unfortunate that we are losing Silvia so soon into her tenure, but on behalf of the board I wish her well in her next endeavors,” said AIM Chair and Beggars’ Director of Live Licensing Ruth Barlow.

“I’m very pleased that Gee Davy has agreed to step up into a newly expanded role. The board and I are working closely with Gee and the AIM team as we continue to support and promote the independent music sector, delivering and creating value for our community via our membership events and activities schedule, industry affairs work and beyond.”

Montello took over from Paul Pacifico, who left the helm of AIM at the end of 2022, and has led AIM in advocating for its members in ongoing discussions over streaming reform and successfully reformatted the AIM Independent Music Awards.