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UMG-TENCENT DEAL CLOSES; MORE SALES AHEAD?
This could be the start of something big. (3/31a)
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, PART 4
Lenny's tips for getting through this (3/31a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
THE COMING FIGHT
Historical parallels from I.B. Bad (3/31a)
iHEART'S LIVING ROOM CONCERT RAISES $8M
Live music on TV! (3/31a)
VIRTUAL CONCERT AND LIVESTREAM ROUNDUP (UPDATED DAILY)
Giving home entertainment new meaning (4/1a)
WE FOUND SOME TOILET PAPER
Also known as back issues of HITS.
SOCIAL DISTANCING
We turn out to be pioneers.
STREAMING STORIES
The music doc shows new muscle.
ELECTION 2020
Not postponed yet.
Blighty Beat
U.K. CHARTS: HORAN HEATS UP
3/20/20

 

Niall Horan has emerged victorious in this week’s chart battle in Blighty as Heartbreak Weather (Virgin EMI) claims the Official Albums #1. Over on singles, Saint Jhn is reigning champ.

Heartbreak Weather,  Horan's second solo album, betters the #3 peak its predecessor reached in 2017.

It was a close call this week on albums, with just 2.3k combined sales separating the Top 3. Lewis Capaldi ended up being Horan’s closest competitor, with Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (Virgin EMI) ending the week at #2. The Shires, whose Good Years (BMG) held the midweek #1, are new at #3.

Circa Waves claim their first Top 5 with Sad Happy (Prolifica) at #4, followed by Lil Uzi Vert’s  Eternal Atake (Atlantic) at #5.

UMC’s Matt Monro collection Stranger in Paradise­—The Lost New York Sessions charts at #8. Scottish indie four-piece The Snuts make their Official Chart debut at #14 as Mixtape (Parlophone) is this week’s best-selling album on vinyl.

…Read more

GLASTONBURY POSTPONED
3/18/20

Glastonbury has confirmed that its 50th anniversary event, due to take place at the end of June, has been postponed due to the coronavirus. The festival will happen in 2021 instead.

The news was announced today via Twitter in a letter from Michael and Emily Eavis. “Clearly this was not a course of action we hoped to take for our 50th anniversary event, but following the new government measures announced this week—and in times of such unprecedented uncertainty—this is now our only viable option.”

The festival was set for June 24-28 at Worthy Farm with Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar headlining. A host of other acts were announced last week, including Dua Lipa, Pet Shop Boys and Mabel.

…Read more

LABEL INCOME RISES 7.3% IN '19
3/17/20

Record label income in the U.K. grew by 7.3% in 2019 to hit nearly £1.1b, marking the fourth consecutive year of growth, according to figures from the BPI. Cash earned from streaming rose by 21.8% to represent nearly 60% of the market at £628.9m.

British record labels earned £1.07b from the sale of music last year—the highest trade income since 2006 when the combined total was £1.166b. 

Subscription streaming revenues grew 21.7% in 2019 to £568.8m (90% of the streaming pie) while ad-supported rose 29.7% to £24.7m (4%). Video streaming was up 18.8% to £35.3m (6%).

…Read more

TRADE ORGS DEMAND BAN CLARITY  
3/17/20

 

British trade organisations have called for clarity from the British Government over rules on mass gatherings during the coronavirus epidemic after Prime Minister Boris Johnson stopped short of issuing an outright ban. Insurers could avoid paying out on losses is there is no ban.

UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl said “the Prime Minister’s latest advice on mass gatherings has resulted in huge uncertainty and confusion over what exactly it will mean for the music industry. We need urgent clarity from Government about what exactly these new changes will mean.”

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) CEO Paul Reed said, “The Prime Minister’s announcement amounts to a ban on live events and while we understand the measures taken, we also urge the Government to classify it as such.

"The lack of such clarification creates widespread confusion and greatly harms promoters' efforts to weather this unprecedented storm.”

…Read more

U.K. EYES GATHERINGS BAN
3/16/20

The U.K. Government has joined many countries across Europe in considering a ban on mass gatherings to slow the spread of coronavirus.

There's no word on what size gatherings the ban will include, but there are clues elsewhere. In Scotland, the rule is for more than 500 people, while in Germany and France there’s a ban on events with over 1,000 people.

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend is the first big festival to be cancelled in Blighty, and there's now a question mark over Glastonbury, which takes place at the end of June, as well as a long list of other summer festivals.

...Read more

BIG WEEKEND SCRAPPED
3/13/20

BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend, due to take place on 5/22-24, is the first big festival to be scrapped in the U.K. thanks to the corona virus pandemic. An official statement reads...

“After careful consideration we have come to the decision that Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2020 in Dundee will not go ahead. This decision has been made in conjunction with our event partners, in line with the advice from the Scottish government, and while we know fans looking forward to purchasing tickets will be disappointed, it is important that we prioritize the health and safety of all those involved.”

The event was going to be held in Dundee, Scotland. Headliners included Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Camila Cabello, Calvin Harris, AJ Tracey and Biffy Clyro. Its cancellation follows a ban on events of over 500 people from Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who issued the rule to alleviate pressure on emergency services resources. There's no such advice for the wider U.K. yet, with other large events, including Glastonbury, currently operating business as usual.

U.K. CHARTS: HEATON & ABBOTT AT #1
3/13/20

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott have claimed their first U.K. #1 as a duo with Manchester Calling (Virgin EMI) topping the Official Albums Chart with 20.5k combined sales. Over on singles, Aitch and AJ Tracey are new at #3.

Manchester Calling is the former Beautiful South members’ fourth album as a duo. It reached the top of the chart with 94% physical sales.

Lil Uzi Vert’s surprise release, Eternal Atake (Atlantic) debuts at #3, while Scottish band Deacon Blue have a sixth Top 5 album with City of Love (Ear Music) at #4.

Lauv’s debut, How I’m Feeling (AWAL), lands at #9 and Jhené Aiko has her highest charting album in Blighty with Chilombo (UMG) at #13.

On the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart, The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” (Island) has a fifth week at the top on 60.5k combined sales, including 6.7m streams.

Aitch and AJ Tracey f/Tay Keith “Rain It” (NQ Records) claims the highest new entry at #3.

Further down, Dua Lipa has her eighth U.K. Top 10 with “Physical” (Warner Records) rising five places to #8, while her "Don't Start Now" is back up one spot to #5.

OFFICES CLOSE, SHOWS GO ON
3/13/20

The three major labels are closing their offices in the U.K. beginning Monday, and other than Country to Country Festival and BBC's Big Weekend being postponed, large gatherings are proceeding.

UMG’s Kings Cross office is closed for two weeks, and Warner Music’s office in Kensington will close for “at least” two weeks. Sony's London workers have been instructed to work from home next week until further notice.

Tonight, shows by Lewis Capaldi, Elvis Costello and Bryan Ferry are all happening, and Morrissey will play the SSE Arena Saturday. Sam Fender, Van Morrison and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds are amongst acts with big upcoming gigs within the next month.

…Read more