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VIVENDI EXPLORING MORE SALES OF UMG
They're looking for more than 10 cents. (10/17a)
TRAVIS' "ROOM" EARNS SECOND-BIGGEST BOW OF THE YEAR
Great Scott! (10/16a)
REVENUE CHART:
HIGHER & “HIGHEST”
Speaking of Travis... (10/17a)
TOP 20: ANOTHER FIGHT FOR #1?
Unexpected drama (10/17a)
MORE ABOUT MERCK'S MONEY
"More" being the operative word... (10/17a)
RIHANNA PREPARES TO RULE THE ROOST
What shoes go with dancehall?
WHAT'S NEXT FOR R&B?
How certain projects connect at streaming.
THE K-POP LANDSCAPE
농담은 한국어에서 더 잘 작동합니다.
THE NEW GRAMMY POWER
Change is nigh.
Blighty Beat
U.K. CHARTS: ELBOW ROOM
10/15/19

Elbow is looking at landing its third straight #1 album in the U.K. as its latest, Giants of All Sizes (Polydor), is outselling its closest competition 5:1. At Singles, Harry Styles is a contender for the top slot.

Elbow’s eighth studio album looks to follow the chart-topping feat of its predecessors, 2014's The Take Off and Landing of Everything and 2017's Little Fictions. Ed Sheeran's No.6 Collaborations Project (Atlantic) sits at #2.

Among the new arrivals are Japanese kawaii metal band Babymetal whose Metal Galaxy (Absolute) sits at #6, ahead of a new Freddie Mercury solo collection, Never Boring (Virgin) at #8. Freddie's remastered debut solo album, Mr. Bad Guy (Virgin), could also return to the Top 40.

Styles’ “Lights Up” (Columbia) is currently #2 behind Tones and I’s “Dance Monkey” (Parlophone), which is eyeing a third week at the top of the songs chart.

...Read more

U.K. CHARTS: KENNEDY SOARS TO #1
10/11/19

Dermot Kennedy flies straight in at #1 on this week’s Official UK Albums Chart with his debut album Without Fear (Island). Kennedy also scored his first U.K. Top 10 single­­ as “Outnumbered” hit #8.

He’s the first Irish artist to score a chart-topping debut album in almost 20 years: Ronan Keating did it last with Ronan in July 2000.

Three other new releases enter in the week’s Top 10 this week, beginning with Summer Walker’s Over It (Polydor) at #7. She also scores her first U.K. Top 40 single as “Playing Games” rockets 68 slots to #25.

 Simple Minds’ seventh live album, Live in the City of Angels I (BMG), opens at #8; and Easter Is Cancelled (Cooking Vinyl) is The Darkness’ fourth Top 10 album, opening at #10.

Last week’s #1, the 50th anni edition of The BeatlesAbbey Road (Apple), dropped to #2.

…Read more

FFRR PRESSES PLAY WITH DANIELL
10/9/19

Parlophone’s dance label FFRR Records has hired Defected RecordsAndy Daniell to lead the label. Daniell reports to Parlophone Head of A&R Elias Christidis.

At Defected since 2004, Daniell signed CamalPhat and Elderbrook’s song “Cola,” “Look Right Through” by Storm Queen, “Freak Like Me” by Lee Walker vs DJ Deeon and “Always” by MK.

“I want FFRR to be the most exciting and compelling destination for electronic and dance music creators in the UK,” said Parlophone Co-President Nick Burgess. “Andy has repeatedly proven to be one of the best A&R’s in the business. He lives and breathes music and, as a DJ and artist himself, already embodies Parlophone’s artist-first philosophy and spirit.”

Recent FFRR successes include Krystal Klear’s“Neutron Dance,” Disciples’ “On My Mind” and Oliver Helden’s “Gecko (Overdrive).”

U.K. CHARTS: TONES DANCES TO #1
10/4/19

Tones & I's "Dance Monkey" (Parlophone) ends a nine-week climb to the top, reaching it with 50k combined sales, including 5.1m streams. The track entered the singles chart at #82 in August and this week leaps six places. It's the first #1 by an Australian artist in five years, since Iggy Azalea’s "Problem" (Island) with Ariana Grande.

And The Beatles have returned to #1 on the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart with the 50th anniversary edition of Abbey Road (Apple Corps), setting a new record in the process.

…Read more

BATTLE OF THE BRITS
10/2/19
There's currently a margin of 12k combined sales between Lewis Capaldi's Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent (Virgin EMI) and Ed Sheeran's No.6 Collaborations Project (Atlantic) in the U.K., which begs the question — who will claim 2019's biggest selling new album in Blighty?

With three months left until the end of the year, and no potential stratospheric releases on the horizon from British artists (unless Adele surprises us all), the title is almost sure to go to one of the two. Which one remains to be seen but you can bet Virgin EMI will be pulling out the stops in an attempt to add that coveted title to Capaldi's growing stable of accolades. 

On Friday, he released a Bruises EP with four different versions of the album's track, which will count towards its final sales. In addition, his pimped-out performance for BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge, alongside a symphony orchestra in Croxteth Park last week, had bumped the album up four places at Monday's halfway point. But Ed Sheeran is Ed Sheeran, and has clocked up his 396k sales in just under two months less than the time it's taken Capaldi to hit 408k, according to Official Chart Company stats. 
LAFAYETTE LANDS IN LONDON
10/2/19

London is getting a new venue in what's increasingly becoming a central cultural hub, Kings Cross. Lafayette will be a 600 capacity space that's being launched by Mumford & Sons member Ben Lovett following the success of his first live venue, Omeara.

The new space, which opens early next year, promises a tiered mezzanine, “impeccable” sight lines and a “world class” sound system. It arrives shortly after the closure of legendary 300 capacity venue The Borderline in Soho, which closed its doors after 30 years at the end of August due to rising rents and business rates and redevelopment plans in the area.

As is the case with Omeara, independent promoter Communion will be booking Lafayette, which will be located on Goods Way just off Pancras Square and Granary Square—next door to Universal Music's new U.K. HQ.

…Read more

AWAL POACHES POTTS 
9/26/19

Sam Potts has exited his role as Head of Radio Promotions at Columbia to join AWAL as VP of Promotion. He brings over 14 years of experience to Kobalt.

Based in London, Potts will run AWAL’s U.K. and international digital accounts team, driving promotional strategy with streaming platforms as well as overseeing radio and TV promotion strategy for AWAL releases.

He will also work closely with the U.K. and international marketing teams on audience development and growth strategies for AWAL artists.

Potts spent more than 12 years at Sony, where he led Columbia’s radio department as well as DSP promotion for artists including Calvin HarrisMark RonsonKings of LeonFoo Fighters and George Ezra.

“Sam is one of the most forward thinking and progressive executives in the business and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role,” AWAL General Manager Paul Trueman said. “His innovative and entrepreneurial outlook will add huge value to AWAL artist campaigns. I’m looking forward to working closely with Sam as we continue to develop and break artists.”

Potts is also known for co-founding music industry networking organisation Young Guns, which provides networking, education and opportunities for young people entering the industry, and he helped launch music tech event concept Buzz Jam, which brings together computer coders and musicians for live performances.

THE XX STAYS WITH UMPG
9/24/19

British group The xx have extended their global publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group following a decade with the company. Over the course of their tenure, the band secured a Mercury Prize win for their debut, which reached #3 on the U.K. charts and was followed by two #1 albums. 

Mark Gale, VP International A&R and Director of A&R at UMPG said: “We originally signed The xx purely on the basis of a set of songs we heard and loved. It’s been extraordinary to see the artist and individuals that they’ve evolved into. They are constantly looking forward and challenging themselves creatively.

"It’s a huge privilege and compliment that after 10 years they continue to trust all of us at Universal Music Publishing with their songs.”