Macca renews ASCAP agreement
Paul McCartney has renewed his agreement with ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, for representation of public performances of his songwriting catalogue in the US. McCartney has been represented by ASCAP for performing rights in the US for a number of decades. He is currently on tour in North America through October 2016.
Bowie's Blackstar tipped to win Mercury Prize
David Bowie's Blackstar is the odds-on favourite with the bookies to win tonight's Hyundai Mercury Prize at Hammersith's Eventim Apollo. Actor Michael C Hall, who played the lead role in Bowie's musical Lazarus, will perform a tribute to the singer at the event. Skepta, Anohni, Michael Kiwanuka, Radiohead, Kano, Bat For Lashes, Laura Mvula, Savages, The 1975, Jamie Woon and The Comet Is Coming are the other nominated artists.
MMF cautious over EC copyright proposals
The Music Managers Forum has given a cautious welcome to the draft proposals put forward by the European Commission regarding changes in copyright in the European market. MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick said “We call upon the other members of the value chain to recognise the need for these changes and to work together to strengthen not dilute them so creators can track and be remunerated for uses of their works.” MMF president Jon Webster added “ The MMF has been arguing for reasonable remuneration for the artists who helped build this industry in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and it is good to see that finally recognised. Transparency has all but disappeared in the last 10 years and that’s not acceptable. These measures should help to address that.” CISAC - the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – said the “Copyright Package" was "a good starting point towards addressing the unfair situation for creators in the digital market". CISAC also called European institutions to take further measures to secure fair remuneration and a better future for creators online.
Sony commissions new George Michael film
In celebration of the reissue of George Michael's Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1 album, Sony Music together with Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide have commissioned Freedom: George Michael (w/t). The new film, narrated by the singer, co-stars Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Mark Ronson, Mary J Blige, Tony Bennett, Liam Gallagher, James Corden, Ricky Gervais and the Freedom! ’90 video supermodels, among others. International distributor BBC Worldwide will also be making the film available to clients and broadcasters around the world.
Nonesuch Records hires Kris Chen
Warner Music Group imprint Nonesuch Records has hired Kris Chen as SVP in charge of A&R. Chen was previously head of US operations at XL Recordings, where he signed and/or worked closely with acts such as Vampire Weekend, Sigur Ros and Tyler The Creator. (Billboard)
ERA welcomes Sky and indie record stores
Sky Store and independent music stores David’s Music and Jumbo Records have joined the board of the Entertainment Retailers Association, which represents both global media companies and traditional physical stores. ERA CEO Kim Bayley said: “It is a remarkable fact about ERA that we represent every area of the entertainment retailing market from small independents, to specialists, supermarkets, internet retailers and streaming services. We are delighted to welcome our new board members.”
SoundCloud Go launches in Australasia
SoundCloud has launched SoundCloud Go in Australia and New Zealand. The free service will remain, and will now be supported by a range of advertising options. Australia and New Zealand will become the first markets in the Southern Hemisphere following successful launches in the US, UK, Ireland and France, and SoundCloud Go. It will be priced at AU$11.99 (£6.77)/ NZ$12.99 (£7.33) per month, with a free 30-day trial.
MUSEXPO Europe debuts next week
The inaugural edition of MUSEXPO Europe, presented by Music Week and A&R Worldwide. takes place from September 18-20 at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair, London. The event features a range of top music industry executives, with speakers including BBC music director Bob Shennan, BBC Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper, Virgin/EMI president Ted Cockle, Sony/ATV UK MD Guy Moot, Vevo's Nic Jones, Live Nation's Phil Bowdery and Ticketmaster MD Andrew Parsons. Darcus Beese will be honoured as European Executive Of The Year at MUSEXPO Europe’s gala closing dinner on the evening of Tuesday, September 20. To book your dinner tickets go here. To register for the conference, which features dozens of top music industry executives from across Europe, go here.