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Some like it hot. (1/27a)
Two at the top. (1/27a)
Eyes on the Prize, 2021 edition (1/27a)
Festivals wave the caution flag. (1/27a)
He's first in line at the DMV. (1/27a)
Bring your umbrella.
After the snubs, the show.
It's the way all the biggest mob bosses did it.
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
Blighty Beat

British PRO PRS for Music has launched a new online live concert license for small-scale livestreamed gigs, seeking to impose a flat fee equal to a minimum 9% tariff. The Music Managers Forum and Featured Artist Coalition aren’t happy.

The tariff applies to events originating in the U.K. that take in revenues of less than £500 and intends to cover online music usage fees for PRS members’ repertoire. The cost is £45 for events taking in between £251 and £500 and £22.50 for those earning less than £250, depending on ticket sales. The tariff is said to be temporary until the live sector can reopen.

“In normal circumstances, online live concerts are an incremental revenue stream to live performance,” a statement from PRS reads. “PRS for Music, however, recognizes that as long as the physical live sector remains closed, livestreamed concerts, whilst still a different form of exploitation to a physical gig or concert, are in part substitutional for physical gigs and concerts.”

…Read more


Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license” (Polydor) has earned a second week at the top of the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart, while British rock outfit You Me at Six enter at #1 on albums with Suckapunch (Underdog/AWAL).

“drivers license” shifted 117k in chart sales this week, three times more than its closest rival, “Don’t Play” (Atlantic) by Anne-MarieKSI and Digital Farm Animals, a new entry at #2.

With 13.7m streams, “drivers license” has the biggest one-week figure for a #1 single since Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” (Island) debuted at the top with 16.9m streams in January 2019.

Grande’s “34+35” rounds out this week’s Top 3 after rising eight places thanks to a new version of the song featuring Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat released on 1/15.

Elsewhere in the Top 10, there are new highs for The Kid LAROI's “Without You” (RCA) at #5 and Meduza’s “Paradise” f/Dermot Kennedy (Island) at #6.

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Electronic duo Bicep and British rock band Bring Me The Horizon are locked in a tight battle for this week’s U.K. Official Albums #1. Over on singles, TikTok star Nathan Evans looks set to claim the highest new entry.

Bicep is currently #1 on the midweek albums chart with Isles (Ninja Tune), which is the most downloaded and highest-streamed release of the week so far. BMTH’s EP Post Human: Survival Horror (RCA) is just 103 sales behind, buoyed by its physical release (it arrived digital-only in October, peaking at #5).

Following his 80th birthday this past weekend and BBC special honoring the occasion, Neil Diamond’s All-Time Greatest Hits (Capitol/UMC) is set to return to the Top 40, currently at #4.

Acoustic album Under A Mediterranean Sky (InsideOutMusic) from guitarist Steve Hackett is at #7 midweek, and a vinyl reissue of David Bowie’s 1975 album, Station To Station (Parlophone), is spurring it back into the Top 10 at #8.

Norwegian folk group Wardruna could enter the Official Albums Chart for the first time, currently at #10 with their fifth album, Kvitravn (Sony).

On the U.K.’s Official Singles midweeks, Evans—who kick-started viral craze sea shantying on TikTok (dubbed ShantyTok)—is sitting at #4 with “Wellerman” (Polydor).

Leading today’s chart is Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license” (Polydor), while The Kid Laroi is set for his highest chart position to date as “Without You” (RCA) scales three places to #2.

Irish DJ Shane Codd’s “Get Out My Head” (Polydor) is on track to rebound three slots to #7, while there are new peaks in the cards for Tiesto’s “The Business” (Atlantic) at #14 and Doja Cat’s “Streets” (Ministry of Sound) at #19.


Glastonbury Festival has been officially called off for 2021 due to the pandemic, casting doubt on the entire festival season in the U.K. The event’s organizers, Michael and Emily Eavis, revealed the news in a statement today.

Set to take place at the end of June, the 2021 event had already announced Paul McCartney as a headliner alongside a slew of other performers including Diana Ross, Camila Cabello, Muse, Dua Lipa, Primal Scream, Pet Shop Boys and Thom Yorke.

Earlier in January, Emily Eavis denied claims by Spice Girls member Mel B (who were rumored to be playing the Sunday night Legends slot) that the event was going to be cancelled. She confirmed the news this morning in a tweet. “In spite of our efforts to move Heaven & Earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the festival happen this year. We are so sorry to let you all down.”

Those who secured a ticket in October are being offered the opportunity to roll their £50 deposit over to next year and guarantee the chance to buy a ticket for 2022. The Eavises said, “We are very appreciative of the faith and trust placed in us by those of you with deposits, and we are very confident we can deliver something really special for us all in 2022!”

With Glastonbury gone, the question remains whether it’s viable for any mass-scale event to take place this year. In an interview with The Guardian, Association of Independent Festivals CEO, Paul Reed, said bigger festivals are likely to make decisions this month, while smaller festivals are likely to wait until the end of March.


Sony/ATV Music Publishing U.K.
has renewed its global deal and launched a joint publishing venture with multi-platinum production duo CamelPhat.

Consisting of Mike Di Scala and Dave Whelan, the pair is best known for songs like the Grammy and Ivor Novello-nominated “Cola” with Elderbrook, as well as their many contributions to the electronic and dance scene. CamelPhat has also collaborated with artists like Jake Bugg, Rhodes, Noel Gallagher and Yannis Philippakis of Foals.

Recently, CamelPhat saw success with the release of their debut album, Dark Matter. The 21-track collection featured new songs with the likes of Skream and Gallagher, while also including several of their previous hits such as “Easier” f/LOWES and “Be Someone” with Bugg.

“David and Mike are heroes in the electronic/dance world, and it is a true honour for us to officialise and step up our relationship. Outside of their CamelPhat artist act, they have been excelling in songwriting and in production, but also in A&R and collaborating with and for other artists.” shared Sony/ATV Music Publishing U.K. President, Co-Managing Director, David Ventura.

“We're really happy to continue working with David and his team,” added CamelPhat. “We're really excited to make it official, and with our own publishing imprint, it was important for us to help find and nurture the new, fresh and emerging talent. We look forward to what the future holds together.”

“The passion, expertise and energy of David Ventura and his team made this an easy decision to make and were excited to see the journey unfold,” said Anton Powers, Manager, CamelPhat Music.


The three U.K. major label CEOs—David Joseph, Jason Iley and Tony Harlow—today appeared before a Government select committee to justify their share of the streaming pie and answer MPs’ probing (and often misguided) questions.

Speaking on behalf of Universal, Sony and Warner, the execs appeared in the third witness session for the ongoing inquiry into the economics of streaming. PPL’s Peter Leathem and PRS for Music CEO Andrea C Martin also gave evidence.

In response to the accusation that the major labels, and Spotify, are essentially operating an oligopoly, Iley said: “There is more competition in the music industry now than in my 30 years of doing this job. The independent sector is brilliant and signing some of the best acts and there are opportunities for artists to sign to majors, independents or distribute their own music.”

When questioned about whether the economics of the music industry have caught up with the growth of streaming, Iley said that 80% of Sony’s U.K.  revenue comes from streaming and that the label spends more money on A&R and marketing “than I’ve ever seen in my career.”

Over the course of his three years as CEO, Iley said he’s spent more than £190m in A&R, increased Sony’s labels to 15 from six and spent more than £170m marketing acts. On average, he said, he signs over 50 artists per year and it’s “rare” that an advance for an album deal is less than £200k, while single deals can reach up to £300k.

…Read more


Ahead of today’s evidence session for the British Government’s ongoing inquiry into the economics of streaming, trade body BPI has issued some figures to illustrate the way in which streaming is benefitting artists and resulting in a more "democratic" market. Three U.K. major label CEOs addressed the government today.

Around 1,800 artists achieved more than 10m streams in the U.K. alone in the past 12 months—72% more than the total of 1,048 artists who achieved the equivalent 10k album sales in the CD, LP and download market of 2007, BPI stats show. Streaming, says the BPI, has also made the market more democratic: the top 10 artists were dominant in streaming (5%) in 2020 than in CD sales in 2005 (13%).

Moreover, BPI global streaming data shows that the top 1,500 artists in the U.K. generate, on average, nine times as many streams outside the U.K. as they do at home, with 300 British artists now achieving 100m global streams or more annually. Around 400 artists, drawn from rock and pop’s mainstream but increasingly also from rap, hip hop, dance and indie, were streamed more than 50m times in the U.K.

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Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” (Polydor) is set for another week on top as British rock group You Me At Six is heading for this week’s U.K. Official Albums #1 with Suckapunch (Underdog/AWAL).

Sleaford Mods’ Spare Ribs (Rough Trade) is behind You Me At Six at the halfway point at #2, followed by Why Don’t We’s  The Good Times and the Bad Ones (Atlantic) at #4.

London post-punk outfit Shame are in line for their highest-charting album to date with Drunk Tank Pink (Dead Oceans) at #6 and David Bowie’s live album LIVEANDWELL.COM (Parlophone) could become his 35th Top 10 album, now at #8.

Zayn Malik’s Nobody Is Listening (RCA) is the most-streamed new release of the week at #10 and Ashnikko’s debut mixtape, Demidevil (Parlophone) is #11.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles midweek chart, this week’s highest new entry looks set to be a new collaboration from Anne-MarieKSI and Digital Farm Animals, “Don’t Play” (Atlantic), which starts at #2.

…Read more