|FRIDAY 7 APRIL 2017||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Assuming the other big rights owners now follow Universal Music's lead and sign up to new multi-year licensing deals with Spotify, all eyes will then be on the streaming music company's long anticipated IPO on Wall Street. Though that might not go quite as had been expected, according to sources who have spoken to the Wall Street Journal... [READ MORE]|
|RECRUIT YOUR TEAM RIGHT HERE: 020 7099 9060 or firstname.lastname@example.org|
Spotify's IPO could be a non-IPO
As previously reported, the costs of servicing a round of debt financing taken on by the digital firm last year become more expensive the longer Spotify waits to list on a stock exchange, which is why an IPO is expected next year at the latest. The new licensing deals with the record industry were widely seen as the main delay in getting the flotation under way.
However, sources have told the WSJ that Spotify is seriously considering an alternative way to become a publicly listed company rather than a conventional Initial Public Offering. Spotify may opt for a 'direct listing', which enables existing shareholders - including the major record companies - to start selling their shares in the company on the investment market, but no new shares are issued and therefore no new mega-bucks finance is raised.
Although the direct listing approach is unusual, it does have some advantages for companies which want a public listing for one reason or another - maybe it has obligations to money lenders or investors eager to sell out on the open market - but which doesn't actually need to raise a big new pile of cash.
A direct listing doesn't dilute the shareholdings of or put limitations on existing investors, and removes some of the risks associated with a traditional initial public offering. Though it does land Spotify with the extra scrutiny of being a publically listed company without providing a nice big cash boost at the outset.
Needless to say, Spotify hasn't commented on the latest gossip about its IPO, or non-IPO.
Elton John and Sophie Ellis Bextor among new batch of phone hacking litigants
As you may remember, the phone hacking story began in 2006 when the Sunday tabloid the News Of The World admitted that its royal correspondent had been using a private investigator to hack the voicemail accounts of the rich and famous. Bosses at Murdoch's UK newspaper business insisted that just that one single journalist was in the business of hacking phones, until five years later when chapter two of the phone hacking saga exploded, and it then admitted that phone hacking had been rife across the NOTW, which was then promptly closed down.
Meanwhile News UK insisted that while journalists at NOTW may have liked hacking phones for fun times, reporters at sister title The Sun never did any such thing. The management over at rival tabloid the Daily Mirror also said their hacks never hacked, until three years later when they admitted that, actually, they did, quite a lot.
News UK continues to insist that The Sun wasn't involved in the phone hacking fad, but the latest round of legal action from celebrities who allege their voicemail messages were illegally accessed by journalists include allegations relating to stories that appeared in Murdoch's daily tabloid too.
Both News UK and Trinity Mirror have previously settled with a stack of celebs whose phones were hacked by News Of The World and Mirror journalists respectively. But there are now a whole load more legal claims being made against the Murdoch company, partly because it wound down its voluntary compensation scheme for phone hacking victims, and partly because a High Court judge last year said there was sufficient evidence for cases to be pursued against The Sun as well as the News Of The World.
John and Ellis-Bextor have been recently confirmed as being among the celebrities involved in the latest round of litigation against News UK, which is set to reach court in October.
One of the lawyers representing some of the celebrities involved in the latest chapter of the phone hacking story, Christopher Hutchings, told the BBC this week that "this surge in the number of claimants is a reflection of the expansion of the case to cover The Sun", while adding that some claimants were seeking damages not only for the actual phone hacking, but also over allegations News UK bosses were involved in "concealment and destruction of evidence" in a bid to cover up or contain the scandal.
British DJ sentenced to year in jail after including Muslim call to prayer in his techno set
London-born and Berlin-based Dax J, who had fled Tunisia before the matter went to court, has already apologised for including the remix of the adhan in his techno set, insisting that "it was never my intention to upset or cause offence to anybody".
Officials shut down the club where the Orbit Festival took place after footage of the DJ's set appeared on YouTube. The owners of the venue and promoter of the event were also charged over the incident, though according to the AFP those charges were dismissed by the court, but the prosecution has indicated they plan to appeal that ruling.
The promoters of Orbit apologised over the inclusion of the adhan in Dax J's set earlier this week, adding that the DJ "did not realise it might offend an audience from a Muslim country like ours". The promoters added that they did not accept responsibility for any offensive music at their event, as they did not know what the DJ planned to play.
Though prosecutors have argued that that is no excuse, as the promoters should have checked Dax J's setlist before the show.
Google launches its streaming music service in India
Well, those streams are now streaming to streamers in India, where Google Play Music initially went live last year, but originally only as a download store. Now the subscription streaming element is available too.
Spotify is yet to launch in India, which remains an emerging market for the global record industry, but one which many reckon could be a key territory in the relatively near future. Apple Music is live in the country, though the global streaming music brands have to compete with some established locally-based services, of which Saavn has probably enjoyed the most attention outside of India.
At launch in India Google is offering a "discounted subscription offer" of Rs89 a month, approximately £1.10, after which the subscription rate with be Rs99 rupees, or £1.23, which is in line with the India-based streaming set-ups but a little cheaper than Apple Music.
Ronan Keating to host Magic Breakfast
"Ronan and Harriet are the perfect pairing for Magic breakfast", says Magic Radio Content Director Tony Moorey, which is fortuitous. "He's an internationally famous singer and presenter, she's an incredible, award-winning radio broadcaster and together they share a fantastic mix of humour, a passion for those huge songs our listeners love and a genuine talent of creating entertaining shows for the audience".
Keating adds: "I can't wait to get started with the new Magic Breakfast show. We'll make sure you get the perfect start to your day with plenty of laughs, and all the songs you love".
Meanwhile, Scott says: "Sitting alongside Ronan is going to be a great way to start the day. I'm really excited to be launching this brand new show; it's going to be a huge amount of fun and I can't wait to get started".
Everyone's excited. I'm so glad. Current breakfast host Nick Snaith is going to move into the 10am-2pm slot, giving him a bit longer in bed. The shifting around will see current daytime presenter Gary Vincent out on his ear (amicably, I'm sure) after over a decade at the station.
Harry Styles has a chat and plays a song
The Grimmy started with a strong opener, asking if it was true that Styles once had sex with Barack Obama. Although because it was first thing in the morning, The Grimmy said "dated". He meant sex though, just so we're clear.
"I'm not allowed to talk about that", replied Styles, disappointingly. Especially given he talked about it quite a lot when the rumour first emerged in the National Enquirer back in 2014. What's happened since? Oh well, on to easier questions. Is it true that Styles takes all of his dates on helicopter rides? I'm not sure if sex is implied here or not.
"No I've never done that", responded Styles, staying tight lipped.
"Not even with Barack?" shot back Grimshaw.
"No", replied Harry. "It was his helicopter".
Busted! That's the rumour confirmed then. And I guess the question over what happened in the helicopter is answered too. Now let's find out if the former One Directioner has ever smeared sheep placenta on his face.
"No, I've never had a sheep placenta facial". Sure, Harry. Sure.
There were some questions he didn't answer with a simple denial. For example, he revealed what Adele got him for his 21st birthday.
"She gave me one of her albums, '21', and said, 'I did some pretty cool stuff when I was 21, good luck' and I was like, 'oh geez, no pressure'".
Before that, Styles had noted that he doesn't even really know Adele all that well - "I've spoken to her a little bit, she knows one of the guys that I wrote [my solo album] with a lot" - which possibly means she sends copies of her albums to everyone who hits the relevant age. Which would certainly explain how she shifted so many units. Come to think of it, isn't '21' exclusively about a break-up? Does Adele not think Harry and Barrack should be together?
Anyway, that was some chatting. Here's the song you actually wanted.
TLC set album release date, but still can't think of a title
As previously reported, the surviving members of the group, Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins and Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas, raised over $400,000 on Kickstarter for the album back 2015, with plans to release it later that year. As you've probably guessed, that didn't happen. But finally this year the planets aligned and the big comeback/finale for the group was set in motion.
The duo's manager, Brian Diggins, revealed the news of the definite release date in an update on Kickstarter. He also added that various bits of good fortune - including Ed Sheeran handing over a cut of publishing rights in 'Shape Of You' to the writers of 'No Scrubs' and TLC's upcoming London show selling out - meant that "it was a blessed month for us and we finally feel a little wind at our back".
Yeah, same for me. I think I drank a bit too much beer last month, and that always plays havoc with my guts. But hey, now all's fine and nothing more needs to be done. Oh, besides settling on a name for that bloody album.
"We need your help - let's hear your suggestions for the album title", writes Diggins. "Tionne and Chilli are still undecided so [are] looking to you for inspiration".
Uh, okay. How about we call it 'A Little Wind'?
Denai Moore tackles anxiety on new single
The song is presented as a break-up letter to Moore's personal demons, setting her past problems with anxiety behind her and walking forward towards the future.
"I've never written about this before and it was a massive weight off my shoulders", she says. "I've always wanted to write about it, and I think a lot of people can relate to it because people are more open now about mental health issues. I think it is empowering".
Kendrick Lamar, Gorillaz, Everything Everything, more
Other notable announcements and developments today...
• "Y'all got till April 7th to get y'all shit together", rapped Kendrick Lamar on his surprise single 'The Heart Part 4' last month. It turns out there's been an extension granted on getting your shit together though, because this morning he announced that his new album will be out next Friday.
• Gorillaz have put out another new track. Here's 'Let It Out', featuring Mavis Staples and Pusha T.
• Christina Martinez and Jon Spencer recently released their first album as Boss Hog for seventeen years, 'Brood X'. Now they've made a video for 'Shh Shh Shh' from it.
• Everything Everything will play two low-key shows at Heaven in London on 20 Jun and Albert Hall in Manchester on 21 Jun. They'll be playing new material from their upcoming fourth album, as well as some songs you know.
• The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards were handed out on Wednesday. Al Stewart and Ry Cooder both got lifetime achievement awards. Check out all the action here.
Beef Of The Week: Pepsi v Something, I Guess
If you haven't seen it, here's a basic synopsis: Some young attractive people are marching in protest against, I don't know, something. Their placards mainly just say "join the conversation", which seems like a weird thing to march for, especially given that no one is talking. Some of them are carrying musical instrument cases, I'm not sure if this is relevant. No one plays any instruments on the march. Just like no one talks. They all just walk around looking like happy young, attractive, mostly white people.
One of the protesters sees Kendall Jenner on a photo shoot and wordlessly beckons her to join in. Realising this is a great opportunity to get 'young attractive people things' on the agenda, she does so without question. The march is stopped by a wall of police, so Jenner walks forward and hands a Pepsi to one of the policemen. He drinks it, smiles, and the crowd cheers. The oppression of young attractive people is over. At last.
Everyone involved attempted to defend their advert that reduced protest movements and recent controversies around policing in the US into a sugary canned liquid push, despite it clearly being a terrible idea from conception to realisation. Jenner even said she was "THRILLED", though she later changed her chosen adjective to "devastated". Then eventually Pepsi withdrew the ad, saying that it "did not intend to make light of any serious issue". Though the only specific issue it addressed in its apology was "putting Kendall Jenner in this position", which I'm not sure is what made so many people angry.
So that's that. As I said at the beginning, this is definitely the beef of the week. The only problem is, it isn't really music news. Kendall Jenner is not a musician. I don't think she is anyway. To be honest, I'm not really sure who she is. I realise that's quite an 'old person' thing to say, but it's generally a good indicator that someone isn't involved in music if I don't know who they are. I am terribly, terribly old, that's true, but I am also so immersed in this stupid music industry that I don't really know who anyone outside of it is. Email me some names, I'm sure I'll recognise none of them.
I've written five fucking paragraphs about all this now though, so I'd better get on with crowbarring something vaguely musical into this non-music beef of the week, otherwise I'll be outside my remit and my paymasters will be very upset. They'll probably start marching in protest against my writing. I put in that bit about the instrument cases, that'll do right? What, no? Fuck.
Ah, phew, the Chemical Brothers have already turned in a parody of the advert, so everything's fine. They're quick off the mark, those boys. So quick off the mark that they actually put their parody out into the world nearly 20 years ago.
In the 1999 video for 'Out Of Control', starring Rosario Dawson, what initially appears to be a protest - with young attractive marchers facing off against the police - turns out to be a soft drink commercial. So, well done to them for getting that bit of satire in before the world went totally stupid. Although this is all so strange that the teeth-clenched conspiracy theorist in me is now wondering if this is actually an incredibly elaborate promotional campaign for a Chemical Brothers 'best of' compilation.
Of course it's not. You'd never put 'Out Of Control' on a Chemical Brothers 'best of'. And also, several of those involved don't seem to be in on the gag.
In a statement to Fader, the video's director Wiz said: "The original inspiration for my Chemical Brothers film came from The Clash lyric: 'Huh, you think it's funny turning rebellion into money', crystallising a deep felt anger that when it comes to the profit margin, absolutely nothing is sacred, not even heartfelt expressions for social justice. We made this film in 1999, however today the inevitable has materialised: it's become a self-fulfilling prophecy".
He continued: "If you were ever in doubt about the carnivorous nature of advertising, then this Pepsi 'spot' says it all. It so insults everyone's intelligence that it's disturbing, what is this culture that we choose to live in that engenders such naked cynicism, is advertising the pornography of capitalism? Vanillarising our expressions of outrage, cashing in on the very frustrations that this system creates. Right now big business is laughing, clutching our hard earned dollar and hard earned dignity all the way to the bank. Our love, our sweat, our beauty is being sold back to us, two for the price of one".
Rosario Dawson also tweeted that the Pepsi advert was "eerily reminiscent" of the 'Out Of Control' video but "sadly minus the point". The Chemical Brothers themselves just used the opportunity to promote the original video, which brings us back to my 'best of' conspiracy again. GUYS! I'M KIDDING! Although they did do that.
Anyway, that's enough crowbarring, right? This is totally a music story now. I can do more, if you want. I mean, if you want references to Pepsi adverts looking a bit like other things, how about that time they cast David Bowie and Tina Turner in a bad rip off of 'Weird Science'? I'm not even making that up, that's a thing that happened. And learning about it is probably the most upsetting part of this whole story.