Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Gabriella Cilmi Song is the Most Played in the UK 2009

Gabriella Cilmi's 'Sweet About Me' was the most played song in the UK this year, according to the body that collects royalties for songwriters.

The track, which was released in June 2008 and was a number six hit for the Australian singer, beat the likes of Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida', Girls Aloud's 'The Promise' and Take That's 'Shine' and 'Greatest Day' to the title.

PRS for Music compiled the list based on the number of plays and performances of a song on radio, TV, online, or in concert in the past year. Eight of the top ten were released in 2008.

Moloko's 2000 single 'The Time Is Now' played frequently on Sky Sports, appears third on the list, followed by Duffy’s ‘Mercy’ and Take That’s ‘Shine’.

Girls Aloud's ‘The Promise’, which was named best British single at this year's Brit Awards, was number six while No Air, by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown, was the seventh most-played.

Rihanna, Sugababes and Take That, each had four entries in the top 100.

However there was no place for Michael Jackson despite a surge in the popularity of his hits after his death in June.

Top 10 Most Played Songs of 2009

1. Sweet About Me - Gabriella Cilmi
2. Viva La Vida - Coldplay
3. The Time is Now - Moloko
4. Mercy - Duffy
5. Shine - Take That
6. The Promise - Girls Aloud
7. No Air - Jordin Sparks
8. The Man who can’t be Moved - The Script
9. Greatest Day - Take That
10. Spotlight - Jennifer Hudson

Ticketmaster and Live Nation Merger Gets Go-ahead

The UK Competition Commission has executed a U-turn by approving the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation; just two months after claiming the deal would harm consumers.

The commission announced yesterday that it no longer believed that the public will suffer if the two companies combine forces. But, with opponents in America trying to derail the deal, it still faces an uncertain future.

Ticketmaster, the world’s largest seller of tickets, and Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, announced plans to merge back in February.

The commission originally opposed the merger, ruling that the deal would also prove to be anti-competitive as it would prevent German company, CTS Eventim, from operating in the British market.

Since that October announcement, however, the commission said the partners provided evidence showing CTS Eventim would not be harmed.

The Commission also concluded that it would not be in the interests of the merged company to shut out other agencies from selling tickets to its UK concerts.

In the US, the Department for Justice is probing the deal after critics claimed that the two companies would have unrestricted control over ticket prices if they are allowed to join forces. It could create a near-monopoly on large-scale concerts which would force consumers to pay more for tickets.

The Department for Justice has been in talks with Live Nation and Ticketmaster. A decision had been expected later this year, but looks more likely to come in 2010.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Owen Pallett Drops Final Fantasy Name Over Copyright Issues

Owen Pallett, the creative genius known mostly under the moniker Final Fantasy, will release his upcoming album Heartland under his own name. The album, due out on January 18, will be the first release using his name.

The string arranger, who has worked with the likes of Arcade Fire and The Last Shadow Puppets, has announced he will no longer be recording as Final Fantasy following copyright issues with a computer games manufacturer.

The Square Enix video games firm release the Final Fantasy game series and own the rights to the name.

In a statement Pallett said, "The laws of trademark infringement exist for good reason, and so I am voluntarily retiring my band name. In the New Year my record 'Heartland' is coming out [on January 18], and it is my first to be released in many territories, including Japan. With this in mind, I feel it is in my own best interests to definitively distinguish my music from Square/Enix games.

"So, I am no longer playing shows as Final Fantasy. Subsequent releases, including 'Heartland', will be issued under my own name, Owen Pallett. Prior releases will sometime soon be repackaged and reissued."

BPI Reports, No Decrease in Illegal Downloading

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has issued a new report showing that illegal P2P filesharing in the UK is not declining. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that non-P2P methods of sharing are on the increase.

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said the findings were "disappointing" and expressed concern at a rise in illegal downloads from blogs and newsgroups.

A survey conducted for the BPI by Harris Interactive found that one in three consumers access or share music on P2P or via other web sources.

More than 3,000 people aged between 16 and 54 took part in the online poll.

The survey also found that in the past six months the use of non-P2P sources all increased significantly. Foreign MP3 pay sites saw the biggest increase in usage (47%), while MP3 search engines grew by 28% and blog links to cyberlockers increased by 18%.

Just under half (47%) of respondents in the survey said they use P2P to acquire music on a weekly basis. Of those who acquire music online illegally, some 31% do it on a daily basis.

While other ways of acquiring music illegally are on the rise, P2P remains the dominant route, with users downloading an average of nine tracks each a month this way. This drops to six tracks a month on average being sourced from forums and blogs and 4.9 songs from MP3 pay sites.

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor says, “The growth in other, non-P2P methods of downloading music illegally is a concern and highlights the importance of including a mechanism in the Digital Economy Bill to deal with threats other than P2P.”

Despite the levels of piracy, the BPI was able to announce in October that we are living in "the era of the digital single", after figures revealed 2009 was biggest ever year for UK singles, with more than 117m sold.

Of those, 98.6% were purchased in digital formats. However, the BPI estimate there are still more than a billion illegal downloads every year in the UK.

Mr Taylor said that figure demonstrated how the market could "explode" if the government tackled illegal filesharing.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Race for Christmas No.1 – Too Close to Call

The race for Christmas No 1 between Joe McElderry’s ‘The Climb’ and Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name Of’ is ‘too close to call’ and has become ‘the most intense chart battle of the last 25 years’, says a chart expert.

In any other year Joe McElderry would have been assured of a Christmas number 1, but it does not look as if that is certain to happen in 2009, even although he was selling as many singles as past X Factor winners.

Unfortunately for McElderry, his much deserved win of the X Factor has coincided with an internet campaign against the X Factor single going to number 1 this year.

‘Killing in the Name Of’ has been doing so well due to a Facebook group who are targeting Simon Cowell and what they call his manufactured music.

Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine has announced that all profits from this re-release will go to charity in order to help aspiring young musicians.

He also denied that he has anything personally against Simon Cowell or McElderry, though he considered the way in which that kind of music is promoted is a spoof.

Earlier this morning frontman Zach De La Rocha and the band played the song, including the swear-filled chorus, live on UK radio.

Simon Cowell has slammed the campaign, calling it "stupid", "cynical" and "very Scrooge".

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Ellie Goulding wins Brit Awards Critics' Choice prize

Singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding has won the Brit Awards Critics' Choice prize for the act most likely to break through in 2010.

The winner has been announced two months before the ceremony, with Delphic and Marina & The Diamonds named as runners up.

Goulding, who has yet to make the top 40, will collect her award live at the Brits Award ceremony on February 16.

The 22 year old will also perform at the Brits nomination launch at The IndigO2 on January 18 which will be televised on ITV2.

The previous two winners, Adele and Florence and The Machine, have both had massive success in their careers so far.

The award is for emerging acts which music critics, plus radio and TV music supremos, believe will make a breakthrough in 2010. It is open to signed acts who release their debut albums in the coming year.

Ged Doherty, Brits chairman said: "We have no doubt that Ellie Goulding will follow in the successful footsteps of Adele and Florence and the Machine”.

He added “we wish her all the best."

Monday, 7 December 2009

BBC Sound of 2010: Longlist Announced

The BBC has released the longlist for its Sound of 2010 poll, a yearly competition designed to highlight the most exciting musical talent for the coming year.

The fifteen acts on the list were chosen by a panel of 165 UK-based tastemakers, who each named their favourite three new acts, and those with the most votes were put on the list. The top five and winner will be unveiled in January.

The panel’s choices were based on strict criteria. The act can be a performer of any description, band, singer, MC etc. The act must not have had a UK top 20 single or album, and they can be from any musical genre and from any country.

They must not already be famous e.g. member of a hit band going solo, or a TV soap star. Contestants of X Factor and American Idol were strictly forbidden.

This is the 8th year of the BBC’s Sound of… competition. Previous winners have gone on to major chart success. That list includes Little Boots, Adele, Keane and 50 Cent.

Daisy Dares You, Delphic, Devlin, The Drums, Everything Everything, Giggs, Gold Panda, Ellie Goulding, Hurts, Joy Orbison, Marina & the Diamonds, Owl City, Rox, Stornoway and Two Door Cinema Club.

The fifteen best rising music stars announced as the longlist for the BBC's Sound of 2010, are:

- Daisy Dares You
- Delphic
- Devlin
- The Drums
- Everything Everything
- Giggs
- Gold Panda
- Ellie Goulding
- Hurts
- Joy Orbison
- Marina & the Diamonds
- Owl City
- Rox
- Stornoway
- Two Door Cinema Club