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YOUR TOP 20 IS
MUY GRANDE
How will the Grammys affect who follows Ariana? (2/14a)
SONG REVENUE CHART: FEMALE POWER
Ari! Halsey! Billie! (2/15a)
UMG POSTS $7B YEAR,
WITH SALE ON TRACK
Who wants a piece of this? (2/15a)
FLIPOVER FRIDAY: NEW ARRIVALS AT iTUNES AND APPLE MUSIC
A pair of dynamic duos leads the pack. (2/15a)
HITS LIST KEEPS FALLING ON MY HEAD
These rainmakers are anything but all wet. (2/15a)
THE WINNERS
What the Grammys tell us about a changing landscape.
COMMITTED TO ROCK
The biz players who are determined to get the volume back up.
MANAGEMENT DO-SI-DO
Big changes among big acts.
THE NEW SUPERSTARS
The old pop rules just don't apply.
Blighty Beat
U.K. CHARTS: ARIANA'S NEW RECORDS
2/15/19

Ariana Grande has 65k combined first week sales with thank u, next (Island) debuting atop the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart, while breaking her own record for most album streams ever by a female artist in seven days with 59m. Over on singles, “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” is her fifth #1.

The feat marks a triumphant week for UMG overall, which has five of the Top 10 albums, and all of the Top 5 singles. thank u, next is Grande’s third #1 in the U.K. and her biggest opening week to date. It’s the third most streamed album first week of all time, behind Ed Sheeran’s Divide and Drake’s Scorpion.

On the Official Singles Chart, “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” has 85k combined sales to debut at the top. With “7 Rings” dropping to #2, Grande is the first female artist in U.K. chart history to replace herself at the top of the chart — Madonna is the only other who has held #1 and #2 simultaneously, with “Into The Groove” and “Holiday” in ’85.

"Break Up" is Ariana’s third #1 in four months, meaning she joins an elite group of artists who have racked up three chart-topping singles in under 100 days–only Elvis PresleyJohn Lennon and Justin Bieber have previously managed it. Here’s another fun fact: “Needy” also debuts in this week’s Top 10 at #8, making Ariana the first female since Ruby Murray way back in '55 to have three Top 10 singles as a lead artist in the same week. Phew.

…Read more

PEDDLE TO THE METAL
2/13/19

Fresh off a debate over the best Dokken lineup are, from left, ie:music co-founder Tim Clark, Leander Gloversmith and ie:music co-MD Michael Loney.

ie:music has welcomed a new manager into its wings with the hiring of rock and metal specialist Leander Gloversmith, while growing its artist roster with Neck Deep and Brighton band As It Is

In his new role, he will be focusing on U.K. pop-punk act Neck Deep, who played Wembley Arena this weekend and hit #4 in the US and the U.K. with their third album on Hopeless in 2017.

Gloversmith’s initial roster also includes Brighton post-hardcore group As It Is, and freshly signed Texan metal band Frost Koffin. While Gloversmith, who has 12 years' management experience and previously worked with British bands Architects and Lower Than Atlantis, will be based in the ie:music London office, Gloversmith will also operate from the firm's L.A. headquarters, ie:west, as bands embark on tours in the US.

Discussing the hire, Michael Loney, co-MD of ie:music and president of ie:west in Los Angeles, said: “He has proved time and again that he has an eye for what’s next. His roster will be able to avail of our world class artist services team who will apply experience developed across ie:music’s other artists to maximise their potential. It is particularly exciting to have two outstanding artists that already have a firm US fan base—Neck Deep and As It Is—and we are also thrilled to welcome Frost Koffin.”

Gloversmith added: “A lot is said about the diminished state of this scene, yet ie:music are doubling down on rock and metal as we believe it to be in rude health, birthing some of the most exciting and creative artists around, many of whom are quietly ascending to arena headline status without a drop of mainstream support. Paired with its passionate, multi-generational audiences, this is truly a world of lifers, on and off-stage.” 

 

U.K. MIDWEEKS: A GRANDE ENTRANCE
2/11/19

Ariana Grande is heading for her third #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with thank u, next (Island) outselling the rest of the Top 5 combined at midweek stage. Meanwhile, “7 Rings” and “Break Up With Your Girlfriend” are competing for the top singles spot.

Two more new album are set for a Top 5 debut this week: AJ Tracey with his self-titled and self-released debut at #3, which ADA distributes, and Ward Thomas with third album Restless Minds (Sony Music CG) at #4.

Further down, Mercury Rev’s tribute to Bobbie Gentry, Delta Sweete (Bella Union), starts at #15, and AGrande’s Sweetener has rebounded eight places to #18.

On the Official Singles Chart, “7 Rings” is still #1 but by a tiny margin of 41 combined sales, as “Break Up With Your Girlfriend” starts high at #2. "Needy" is the third track from Ariana’s thank u, next in the Top 10 at #6.

…Read more

A HIP WAY TO WATCH THE BRITS
2/7/19

Did your invite to the BRIT Awards get lost in the post? Fear not, Nile Rodgers is hosting a viewing party at the swanky Ned hotel in London for those who aren’t in The O2 Arena on 2/20. The night will involve food, drinks, and is being held to aid The Brit School and We Are Family Foundation.

As well as music friends, the night is expected to attract suits working in the city, who Rodgers manager Merck Mercuriadis has been negotiating with following the successful launch of his Hipgnosis Songs Fund.

A drinks reception will precede a viewing of the BRIT Awards TV show, when guests will be served dinner, followed by a performance by International Group nominees Nile Rodgers & Chic and special guests. Places are limited to 400 people and you can get a ticket here. The inaugural event is expected to occur yearly.

...Read more

 

BASTILLE DIAL IT UP TO ELEVEN
2/5/19

Estelle Wilkinson  has partnered with U.K.-based Eleven Management to manage  Bastille, according to sources. The group parted ways with Red Light and manager James Sandom last year.

Signed to Virgin EMI, Bastille started taking meetings with potential reps after splitting from Red Light after two years; they were earlier managed by Black Fox. They have two U.K. #1 albums to their name, and a new full-length is on the way later this year, preceded by current hit Marshmello collab "Happier." A U.K. and European tour stops for two dates at the 5k-capacity Brixton Academy in London this weekend.

…Read more

FREEMIUM VS. PREMIUM
2/5/19

The paid-for streaming market in the U.K. is fast catching up with the freemium market, according to a survey on consumption from the Entertainment Retailers Association, which suggests that the former could overtake the latter by year-end. As of November last year, 21.5% of those surveyed stream for free, while 20.6% pay.

Those free streamers are down 0.2% on 2017, while premium users are up 2.3%.

Free streaming tiers count ad-funded, free trials and those who are one a family license paid for by somebody else. Paid counts single, paid family, student discount and bundled licenses.

The data comes from ERA’s entertainment survey which has quizzed a panel of 1,500 people on how they consume music video and games, tracking changing service and format preferences, every quarter for the past five years.

...Read more

NEW SUNRISE FOR HMV
2/5/19

Sunrise Records owner Doug Putman has emerged victorious in the bid to save HMV, and will buy 100 stores out of administration, while closing 27. The acquisition will save nearly 1.5k jobs, and part of Putman’s plan to revive the chain will be to stock more vinyl and deep catalog.

The 27 closures will result in 455 redundancies and staff will be told today which stores are closing. HMV has slimmed down considerably since it first fell into administration in 2013, when 250 stores were trimmed to 127 after it was saved by restructuring firm Hilco.

Putnam told BBC Radio 4’s Today program, “people like to come into a store, have an experience, talk with someone who understands music, loves music, loves video and entertainment. If you think online is the only future I don’t think that is the case. There is so much you get from come into a store that you can’t get online.”

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RAY OF HOPE FOR HMV
2/4/19

Another party has emerged in the race to save HMV with the head of Canadian retailer Sunrise Records, Doug Putman, submitting a bid for the British retailer.

Putman already has history with HMV. Through Sunrise Records, he took over about 70 HMV stores in Canada after the chain fell into administration there in early 2017. He has been President of Sunrise since 2014, and has helped revive HMV in Canada by offering a locally focused specialist stock that focuses on vinyl. Multiple reports suggest Putman could save up to 90 of HMV’s 125 stores in the U.K.

…Read more