Overnight news from around the world: Friday, July 15

Overnight news from around the world: Friday, July 15

Music accounts for quarter of sales in ERA H1 2016 entertainment sales chart

The ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association) has published its entertainment sales chart for 2016 so far. And only two of the Top 10 are music releases. Now That’s What I Call Music 93 is the highest charting music release in the ERA’s first half of 2016 chart, coming in at No. 3, behind DVD and Blu-ray releases for Spectre (No.2) and Star Wars – The Force Awakens (No.1). The other music release to make the Top 10 is Adele’s 25 at No.7. Other music releases to make the Top 40 include David Bowie’s Blackstar (No.12), Justin Bieber’s Purpose, Bowie again with Best Of Bowie (No. 19), Coldplay’s A Head Full Of Dreams (No 20), Jess Glynne’s I Cry When I Laugh (No. 24), Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Sing Your Heart Out 2016 (No.31), Drake’s Views (No. 33), Little Mix’s Get Weird (No. 37) and James Bay’s Chaos And The Calm (No 38). Overall, music accounted for 25.2% of unit sales, with the entire Top 40 accounting for 15.8 million units. Games accounted for 16.6% of unit sales for the Top 40, while video sales accounted for the lion’s share with 58.2% of the total. The top six titles and nine of the Top 10 were released in 2016, although in a quiet first half for major music releases, eight of the 12 best-selling music titles were released in 2015 or, in the case of Best Of Bowie, as long ago as 2008. (Music Week

Cooking Vinyl signs Feeder

Cooking Vinyl has signed a worldwide artist services deal with Feeder. The band’s new album, All Bright Electric – their first with the indie label – will be released on September 30, joining Cooking Vinyl’s current output with new offerings from The Cult, Lissie, Richard Ashcroft and Turin Brakes. The first single from All Bright Electric will be Universe of Life, while the band also kick off am autumn tour on September 28, just before the album drops. Feeder first shot to fame in 1996 with debut EP. Since then, they’ve had 25 Top 40 hits, with the likes of Feeling A Moment, Just The Way I’m Feeling, Just A Day and Buck Rogers. The band have amassed over five million record sales, along with three platinum and two gold albums.

Sony/ATV promotes Michael Abitbol to SVP, Business & Legal Affairs

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has promoted Michael Abitbol to SVP, business & legal affairs, digital, based in the company’s New York head office. The promotion is said to reflect the growing importance of digital to Sony/ATV’s business and will see Abitbol working across all aspects of the company’s interests in the sector, including negotiating and drafting license agreements with major digital music services such as Apple, YouTube, Spotify, Amazon and Pandora. He will continue to report to Peter Brodsky, executive vice president, business & legal affairs. Abitbol, who was previously vice president, business & legal affairs, joined Sony/ATV in 2012 following the takeover of EMI Music Publishing, where he had worked for more than five years overseeing digital issues. Prior to joining EMI he spent seven years as an attorney at New York-based law firm Davis & Gilbert in a role that included drafting and negotiating various entertainment and advertising-related agreements. Before starting his legal career, Abitbol handled day-to-day management of acts including Maxi Priest, Third World and Big Mountain at 21st Century Artists and other talent at his own management company, King’s Flavour Management, both based in New York City.

Katy Perry and Britney Spears singles are latest Apple Music exlusives

New singles fom Katy Perry and Britney Spears are released today – and Apple Music has them both exclusively. Katy Parry’s Rise, her first release since 2013’s Prism, is a tie-in with NBC’s coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics, which kick off next month. At the time of writing, the video for Rise had not yet been debuted, but Britney Spears’ Make Me, the first single from her upcoming ninth studio album, is available on Vevo for those fans without an Apple Music account. 

Vevo relaunches with new design and app features

Vevo has sharpened up its look with a new logo and more in-depth app experience for users - and more of a focus on curation than ever. Testing out the app, the biggest difference was the ability to view videos in portrait as well as landscape, with either a zoomed-in full-screen version, or a smaller video that allowed for more browsing and the reveal of a video playlist. Personal accounts are now more important too, with the ability to set usernames and profile pictures, as well as choosing the genres and artists you like when you set up accounts. As with other ad-based products, adverts were seen as pre-rolls every third or fouth video - not too intrusive, but perhaps there enough to push fans to sign up when Vevo launches its subscription tier later this year. More original content is set to roll out with the new design, as well as curation from the likes of Rob Copsey (Official Charts), Digital Spy's Lewis Corner and Sian Anderson, with short interview videos such as :60 With Schoolboy Q already available. 

Ticket Utils acquired by eBay

Digital retailer eBay has acquired Ticket Utils, an independent software provider that purports to help large ticket sellers manage inventory and distribution. With the acquisition, large ticket sellers on the eBay-owned StubHub can access tools and features to more easily manage ticket inventory, pricing and distribution. Its POS system also includes local language and currency support, which should benefit StubHub sellers as it expands internationally. The acquisition of Ticket Utils is the latest in a series of technology innovations and acquisitions that StubHub has announced over the past year, including the global acquisition of TicketBis, debut of a blended ticketing platform, and rollout of the Virtual View feature. 

The Ticket Factory claims ticket touting is leaving venues to clean up mess

Following the launch of FanFair Alliance yesterday (July 14), Stuart Cain, managing director at The Ticket Factory, has claimed that ticket touting is damaging the reputation of venues that are left to clean up the real mess. In a statement, he said: “Ticket touting is not just affecting artists, agents and promoters but it’s tarnishing the reputation of venues that have to deal with furious customers who can’t gain access to a gig or performance.” Cain noted that touting has evolved over the years, from stereotypical “dodgy dealers” to “global, well-financed organisations and cyber-warriors”. He added: “The buck shouldn’t just stop with the government though – venues also need to step up and stop feeding secondary sites with tickets. They need to work with managers and ticketing agents such as The Ticket Factory to create technical and operational barriers that suffocate the secondary market. The launch of FanFair Alliance reinforces the seriousness of the issue and will unite a force of industry leaders and representatives to call on the government to take measures and commit resources to enforce existing legislation.”

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