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SPOTIFY SINGS A SONG OF ONG
Meet the streamer's new editor in chief. (10/22a)
HITS LIST, FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Grammy-themed, just like our latest print magazine. (10/22a)
GRAMMY COUNTRY ALBUM CONTENDERS
With Kacey out, who's a likely nominee? (10/22a)
STREAMING SONGS MADE "EASY"
Who said she wouldn't get streamed? (10/22a)
U.K. CHARTS: ADELE'S NEW RECORD
Massive on both sides of the pond. (10/22a)
ADELE ADELE ADELE
Adele; Adele Adele?
ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE
A... dele?
ADELE ADELE
Adele Adele; Adele.
ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE
(Adele.)
Blighty Beat
U.K. CHARTS: ADELE'S NEW RECORD
10/22/21

Adele’s “Easy on Me” (Columbia) has set a new record for streams as it hits #1 on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart while Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres scores the top spot on albums.

With 24m streams in the U.K. this week, the track breaks a record set by Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” (Island), which racked up 16.9m on release in 2019. “Easy on Me” has the biggest week of digital download sales in 2021 so far with 23.5k.

With 217.3k total chart sales, “Easy on Me” has registered the highest week one sales figure since Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” (Atlantic) hit the top on 226.8k sales in January 2017.

All the Adele excitement has sent two of her previous hits back into the Top 40: “When We Were Young” (XL) lands at #25 while “Someone Like You” bows at #34. On albums, her 25 jumps three places to #3, 21 is up eight to #6 and 19 rises 39 places to #15.

Elsewhere on singles, Coldplay’s BTS collaboration, “My Universe” (Parlophone), is up 10 places to #5 while their “Let Somebody Go” with Selena Gomez enters at #24 and “Higher Power” rebounds to #26.

On the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart, Music of the Spheres claims the fastest-selling album of 2021 with 101k sales, becoming Coldplay’s ninth consecutive #1 album.

The set is the first to surpass 100k sales in a week since Sheeran’s No.6 Collaborations Project scored 125k in July 2019. Of Coldplay’s total sales, 85% were physical and download, including 12.4k on vinyl.

The Super Deluxe Edition of The Beatles’ final album, Let It Be (UMG), returns to the Top 10 for the first time in 50 years at #2, and Daniel O’Donnell’s celebratory 60 (Demon) debuts at #4.

That's followed by the debut from South London newcomer Joy Crookes, Skin (Insanity), at #5, while Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes earn their third Top 10 album with Sticky (AWAL) at #8.

A&M AWARDS CROWN LITTLE SIMZ
10/22/21

British rapper Little Simz will be crowned Artist of the Year at the upcoming Artist and Manager Awards in the U.K., while Grace Ladoja MBE, co-manager of Skepta, Sarz and co-founder of Metallic Inc., will be given the 2021 Entrepreneur Award.

Simz is being honored for her self-released fourth album, Sometimes I Might be an Introvert (Age 101), which hit #4 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart in September. As part of a European tour, she plays three dates at London’s 5k capacity Brixton Academy in December.

Ladoja will be honored for her work in building bridges between Nigeria and the U.K. while developing Metallic into a global studio that specializes in music, culture and brands. Ladoja has fostered partnerships with Nike and Supreme, as well as delivering campaigns for her artists and founding the annual Homecoming Festival in Lagos.

…Read more

TAP SETS SIGHTS ON EUROVISION
10/21/21

The U.K.’s dire reputation at Eurovision could turnaround in 2022, when TaP Music, which reps Dua LipaLana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding, will be leading the search for a talented contender. 

TaP will act as consultants on the search for the U.K.’s representative for next year and is calling on the music industry to submit ideas for experienced live performers. The song performed at Eurovision will be released commercially through a partnership with a major label.

“For many years, we’ve witnessed the United Kingdom not doing as well as we would’ve liked [at Eurovision], when pop music is something we usually excel at,” Ben Mawson, co-Founder of TaP Music, said. “The simple fact is it’s time to show what we can do and the wonderful musical talent we have—ultimately we can’t blame politics.”

Noting the success of 2021 winners from Italy, Måneskin, TaP’s plan for the Eurovision campaign is to pull together an A-Team committee spanning artists, songwriters, creatives and media. TaP co-founder Ed Millett said, “Rather than viewing Eurovision as just a bit of fun, let's look at it for what it is; the world’s biggest live music event—200m viewers at last count, with an audience skewing younger each year. Win or lose or somewhere in between, we’re going to go for it.”

Despite its performance in recent years, the U.K. has had success at Eurovision historically. The country was crowned winner in 1997 with "Love Shine a Light" by Katrina and the Waves, in '81 with "Making Your Mind Up" by Bucks Fizz, in '76 with "Save Your Kisses For Me" by Brotherhood of Man, and was involved in a four-country tie in '69 with Lulu's "Boom Bang-a-Bang." Its first win was in '67 with Sandie Shaw's "Puppet on a String."

U.K. ALBUM DAY BOOSTS SALES
10/21/21

The BPI and Entertainment Retailers Association report that vinyl sales were up 34% on National Album Day  while CD sales rose 31%.

The fourth edition of NAD, which took place on 10/16, celebrated women in music. Best-selling albums released for the day included Kylie Minogue’s Fever (Parlophone)—reissued on white vinyl to mark its 20th anniversary—Amy Winehouse’s Black to Black (Island), and Garbage’s Garbage (BMG). All three sets made this week’s U.K. Official Chart midweek Top 40, joining a further three special reissues in the Top 200.

On the Official Vinyl midweek chart, Fever, Back to Black and Garbage all appear in the Top 10, alongside Dido’s reissue of No Angel (Arista). There are 16 NAD releases in the Top 40, including Mariah Carey’s Emotions (Columbia), Kirsty MacColl’s Tropical Brainstorm (V2 Music), Siouxsie and the BansheesTinderbox (Polydor) and Katie Melua’s Ultimate Collection (BMG).

The arrival of Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres (Parlophone) helped boost the 31% rise in CD sales, which were up 83% on the album’s arrival on Friday. National Album Day was supported by content on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 2, among others.

KOKO REBORN
10/21/21

Famed London venue KOKO, which has been shut for three years, will reopen in the spring following a £70m investment. The revamped space will encompass four performance spaces and a studio.

Four new venues for the public will exist on the ground floor—the original theater, The Fly Tower venue, a new shop featuring artist collaborations and DJ space, and a late-night pizzeria and bar hosting intimate live performances. These join a total of nine performances spaces in the building, which encompasses 50k square feet across four stories.

Artists will be able to co-produce, stream and distribute their music via a partnership with content company SISTER, which is behind productions such as TV series Chernobyl and Giri/Haji. The firm has also recently invested in production company, South of the River Pictures, and podcast studio, Campside Media.

In addition, a new KOKO radio station aims to help break new and emerging artists, while its charity The Foundation has a mission to empower future generations of artists and protect the environment. 

Founded by CEO Olly Bengough, KOKO, which is located in Camden, has overcome a wealth of challenges during its three years of construction and restoration, including a fire, water damage and a global pandemic. 

Bengough said of the launch: “We are as committed as ever to protect our 120-year cultural legacy and to support the next generation of musicians and London’s dynamic and ever-growing music scene.”

 

CAPALDI WINS BIG AT ASCAP LONDON
10/20/21

Lewis Capaldi was the big winner at this year’s virtual ASCAP London Music Awards, taking home four gongs including Songwriter of the Year for his two U.K. #1 hits, “Someone You Loved” (UMG) and “Before You Go.”

“Someone You Loved” also scooped Song of the Year and Top Streaming Song, while “Before You Go” was named a Winning Hot 100 Song. Both are on Capaldi's phenomenally successful debut, which is due to be followed up with a new set next year. 

“RITMO” (Epic), co-written by Pete Glenister and performed by Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin for the Bad Boys For Life soundtrack (and featuring a sample from ’95 hit “Rhythm of the Night”), was given two awards for Top Hot Dance/Electronic Song and Winning Hot 100 Song.

The 2020 summer anthem “Head & Heart” (Asylum) by Joel Corry f/MNEK was named Winning Hot Dance/Electronic Song, honoring its writers MNEK, Neave ApplebaumRobert HarveyLewis Thompson and Leo Kalyan.

Top songwriter Steve Mac was also honored with a Winning Hot Dance/Electronic Song Award, along with Bastille’s Dan Smith, for the chart-topping “Happier” (UMG) by Marshmello f/Bastille. 

Other winners included Becky Hill alongside co-writer Conor Blake Manning for “Lose Control” (Polydor) with Meduza (Winning Hot Dance/Electronic Song), Jasmine Thompson for co-writing “Funny” (Atlantic/Interscope) (as performed by herself and Zedd), and Sam Gray for co-writing “Takeaway” (Disruptor/Columbia) (Chainsmokers & Illenium f/Lennon Stella).

You’ll find the full list of winners, including those in the composition for film and TV and production categories, here

COVID WIPED OUT 69K MUSIC JOBS
10/19/21

The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out 69k jobs in the British music industry, one-third of the workforce, according to a new report from trade body UK Music. Economic contribution fell by 46% last year.

This Is Music 2021 reveals that employment in music plunged by 35% from 197k in 2019 to 128k in 2020. Sectors most affected by the drop in employment were music creators (down 40%) and live music (down 35%).

In addition, the U.K. music industry’s economic contribution fell to £3.1b (GVA) from £5.8b, while music exports dropped 23% to £2.3b from £2.9b year-on-year.

“In a year when we’ve seen just how important music is to all our lives, it’s more important than ever that we take the necessary steps to protect, strengthen and grow the industry,” UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said in calling for swift Government action to help the industry return to growth post-pandemic.

The org is asking for:

Tax incentives for the music industry to stimulate growth and jobs;

Urgent action to remove the barriers to touring the EU;

A permanent reduction in VAT rate on live music event tickets

More funding and support for music exports;

Boosting funding for music education and for the self-employed to help secure the talent pipeline.

MORE SCRUTINY FOR STREAMING
10/19/21

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching a market study into music streaming, which will see it scrutinize whether competition within the sector is “working well.”

The move follows a recommendation from the U.K. Government that the CMA conduct a study on the economic impact of major music groups’ dominance following the damning report on music streaming, which was released in July.

Market studies are a tool used by the CMA to identify—and, if appropriate, consider how best to tackle—any competition and consumer issues. It will examine why particular markets may not be working well for consumers and may lead to a range of outcomes, including:

  • Making recommendations to the Government to change regulations or public policy
  • Encouraging businesses in the market to self-regulate (which is what label trade body BPI has argued for)
  • Taking consumer or competition law enforcement action against firms
  • Making a reference for a more in-depth (phase 2) market investigation
  • Or conclude a “clean bill of health”

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: “We want to do everything we can to ensure that this sector is competitive, thriving and works in the interests of music lovers.

“Over the past decade, the music industry has evolved almost beyond recognition, with streaming now accounting for more than 80% of all music listened to in this country. A market study will help us to understand these radical changes and build a view as to whether competition in this sector is working well or whether further action needs to be taken.”