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NEAR TRUTHS:
HOWDY, PARTNER
Redrawing the Mason-Dixon Line (5/23a)
A SHINY TOP 20
Ladies' choice (5/23a)
SONG REVENUE: TRIAD
They're in the money. (5/23a)
APPLE MUSIC’S BEST 100 ALBUMS SPURS DEBATE
Let's agree to disagree. (5/23a)
THE COUNT: UPPING THE HEADLINER ANTE
The latest action from the live sector (5/22a)
THE NEW UMG
Gosh, we hope there are more press releases.
TIKTOK BANNED!
Unless the Senate manages to make this whole thing go away, that is.
THE NEW HUGE COUNTRY ACT
No, not that one.
TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN PLAYLIST
Now 100% unlicensed!
Blighty Beat
BELLA FIGURA BANKROLLED
4/9/24

London-based label and publisher Bella Figura Music, led by Alexi Cory-Smith, has closed a significant equity funding round to expand its portfolio of music catalogs.

Private equity firm Freshstream (a previous investor of BFM) led the round, with co-investment secured from Canadian pension fund OPTrust, a strategic family office and a Dutch private equity investor.

Cory-Smith, who founded BFM in 2022 alongside Neelesh Prabhu following a successful tenure leading BMG U.K., said: “We have achieved a lot in just over two years but there is so much more we have planned. We aim to continue building and enhancing our catalog of beautiful music while generating significant value for creators and rights owners.

“Bella Figura is built for the digital music age, unburdened by legacy systems with a strategy that truly reflects how we all access and consume music in today’s world.”

In the last six months, BFM has acquired the music catalogs of Jeff Silverman (Aloe Blacc, Adele, Lee Fields, Truth & Soul) and Adrian Wright (The Human League).

They build upon the company’s existing collection, which include David Gray’s record label IHT, R3HAB’s pre-2022 recordings catalog, and Guy Chambers’ publish catalogue, which includes Robbie Williams hits such as “Angels,” “Feel” and “Let Me Entertain You.”

U.K. MIDWEEKS: LIBERTINES RETURN
4/8/24

The Libertines are heading for their first U.K. Official Albums #1 in 20 years as seven other new releases occupy slots in the midweek Top 10. Over on singles, Benson Boone, Beyoncé and Hozier are battling for the top spot.

All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade (EMI), The Libertines’ fourth set, could become their first #1 album since 2004.

The debut from indie rock band The K’s, I Wonder if the World Knows? (LAB), could hit #2 on Friday; Conan Gray’s Found Heaven (Island) is also new at #3. Feeder could score an 11th Top 10 album as Black / Red (Big Teeth Music) sits at #4. The Black KeysOhio Players (Nonesuch Records) is #6.

J. Cole’s Might Delete Later (Interscope) is #7 while Khruangbin’s A LA SALA (Dead Oceans) starts at #8 and Vampire Weekend’s Only God Was Above Us (Columbia) is #9.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles midweeks, Boone’s “Beautiful Things” (Warner Records) is set to return to #1 though “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” (Columbia/Parkwood) by Beyoncé and “Too Sweet” (Island) by Hozier are both less than 1k chart sales behind, at #2 and #3 respectively.

Artemas’ “i like they way you kiss me” (Parlophone) is up one to #5, while “Austin” (Warner Records) by Dasha is set to rise seven to #8. “Alibi” (Atlantic) by Ella Henderson and Rudimental is up to #9 from #14 thanks to a new remix featuring Natasha Bedingfield.

U.K. CHARTS: BEY BREAKS RECORDS
4/5/24

Beyoncé is the first Black artist to take a country album to #1 in the U.K. and has the first country Official Chart double with “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” topping singles.

COWBOY CARTER (Columbia/Parkwood) topped the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart on 40k sales this week. Over on singles, “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” logs a fifth non-consecutive week at the top, tallying 5.5m streams over the last seven days. It’s one of three tracks from the album in today’s Top 10: “Jolene” follows at #8 and “II Most Wanted” with Miley Cyrus is #9.

Elsewhere on albums, GUTS (Geffen) by Olivia Rodrigo lifts one to #2 following the release of its GUTS (spilled) edition.

Oxford rock band Ride are #8 with their seventh record, Interplay (Wichita Recordings). Sum 41’s final set, Heaven :x: Hell (Rise Records), is their highest-charting album in eight years, landing at #26.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart, “Too Sweet” (Island) by Hozier jumps four to a new peak at #4.

DJ Artemas has his first U.K. Top 10 single with “i like the way you kiss me” (Parlophone) rising seven to #6. Irish DJ duo NewEra rise into the Top 20 with “Birds in the Sky” (Warner Records) at #20.

UMG TOPS U.K. Q1 BESTSELLERS
4/4/24

At the end of Q1, Noah Kahan has the bestselling single and album in the U.K. It’s the cherry on the cake for UMG, which counts nine out of the top 10 albums YTD.

“Stick Season” (Republic) is #1 on the singles Q1 Top 10 with over 850k U.K. sales in 2024 alone. It’s the most-streamed song of the year so far, with 99m streams since the beginning of January. Since its release, the track, which spent seven weeks at #1, has tallied over 1.4m chart units in total (it first charted at #69 in the U.K. in October last year).

Stick Season, Kahan’s third album tops the Q1 U.K. Top 10 with 123k 2024 sales. It’s the first of an impressive nine entries for UMG, which span releases from The Weeknd, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Eminem, Elton John, ABBA and Ariana Grande.

UMG also rules the singles Q1 Top 10 with four entries. The remaining three are “Murder on the Dancefloor” (Polydor) by Sophie Ellis-Bextor at #3; “yes, and?” (Republic) by Grande at #8; and “Cruel Summer” (EMI) by Swift at #10.

Sony and Warner have three singles each in the Top 10. Warner counts the final albums entry with 50 Years — Don’t Stop (Rhino) by Fleetwood Mac at #6.

Official Singles Chart 2024 to End of Q1

  1. “Stick Season” (Republic), Noah Kahan
  2. “Lose Control” (Atlantic), Teddy Swims
  3. “Murder on the Dancefloor” (Polydor), Sophie Ellis-Bextor
  4. “Beautiful Things” (Warner Records), Benson Boone
  5. “Lovin On Me” (Atlantic), Jack Harlow
  6. “Prada” (Ministry of Sound), Casso/Raye/D-Block Europe
  7. “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” (Columbia/Parkwood), Beyoncé
  8. “yes, and?” (Republic), Ariana Grande
  9. “Greedy” (Ministry of Sound), Tate McRae
  10. “Cruel Summer” (EMI), Taylor Swift

Official Albums Chart 2024 to End of Q1

  1. Stick Season (Republic), Noah Kahan
  2. The Highlights (Republic/XO), The Weeknd
  3. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) (EMI), Taylor Swift
  4. Guts (Interscope), Olivia Rodrigo
  5. Curtain Call: The Hits (Interscope), Eminem
  6. 50 Years: Don’t Stop (Rhino), Fleetwood Mac
  7. Diamonds (Mercury/UMR), Elton John
  8. Gold: Greatest Hits (Polydor), ABBA
  9. Eternal Sunshine (Republic), Ariana Grande
  10. Midnights (EMI), Taylor Swift

DUA LIPA INKS DEAL WITH WCM
4/3/24

Dua Lipa’s media and management company, Radical22, has signed a global administration deal with Warner Chappell Music for its publishing arm.

Warner Chappell Music CEO Guy Moot and Lipa’s manager (and father) Dugi Lipa arranged the bespoke agreement. It follows the previously announced news of Lipa acquiring her publishing outright from Tap Publishing.

“It’s been a long road, but I am very happy to finally own my publishing thanks in large part to the dedication of my manager, Dugi’s work over the past two years,” Lipa said. “My music is my life’s work, and it’s important for me to be the person who decides what happens with it. The creation of Radical22 marked an exciting time for me personally and professionally, and I am looking forward to the work my team and I will do and to having a home base for my creative endeavors.”

In addition to Radical22 Publishing, Lipa has added Radical22 Productions to the company’s umbrella along with global style, culture and society editorial platform Service95, all of which are fully owned by the British artist.

Among the first of Radical22’s production projects is the recently announced Disney+ documentary series Camden. Produced by Lightbox in association with Day One Pictures and Radical22, in which Dua and Dugi both serve as executive producers, the series tells the story of how one small corner of North London shaped the lives and careers of many iconic music acts.

U.K. MIDWEEKS: COWBOY DOUBLES UP
4/2/24

Beyoncé is set to claim the #1 slots on the U.K.’s Official Albums and Singles Charts on Friday, with COWBOY CARTER (Columbia/Parkwood) outselling the rest of the Top 5 combined at the halfway point.

Should it hold onto its midweek lead, COWBOY CARTER will become Bey’s fifth solo #1 in the U.K.

Oxford rock band Ride are tracking for a career best with their seventh record, Interplay (Wichita Recordings), set to debut at #2.

Sum 41 could score their highest-charting album in 23 years with their final release, Heaven :x: Hell (Rise Records), at #10 today. The sixth album from While She Sleeps, SELF HELL (Spinefarm), is #18.

BTS member j-hope is eyeing his first solo Top 40 album with HOPE ON THE STREET VOL. 1 (BIGHIT) at #20.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles midweeks, Beyoncé’s “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” has bounced back two places to #1. Friday would be its fifth non-consecutive week at the top.

Two more tracks from COWBOY CARTER could impact the Top 10: a cover of the Dolly Parton classic, “Jolene,” is #5, while the Miley Cyrus duet “II MOST WANTED” is #8.

The self-released “i like the way you kiss me” by DJ Artemas is set to lift six places to #7, while Irish DJ duo NewEra could fly into the Top 20 with “Birds in the Sky” (Warner Records) at #19.

U.K. CHARTS: FOURTH #1 FOR ELBOW
3/29/24

Elbow have their fourth U.K. Official Albums #1 with AUDIO VERTIGO. Over on singles, Benson Boone spends a second week at the top.

Future and Metro Boomin’s WE DON’T TRUST YOU (Epic/Freebandz) is new at #2 on albums. In the absence of a physical release, the record secures its debut on streams and downloads alone.

Following the release of its deluxe GUTS (spilled) edition, Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS (Geffen) jumps 12 slots to #3. Glasgow Eyes (Fuzz Club) is The Jesus and Mary Chain’s highest-charting album in 37 years, landing at #7.

And Tyla has her first U.K. Top 20 entry as TYLA (FAX/Epic) debuts at #19.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart, Boone’s “Beautiful Things” (Warner Records) remains at #1. The track is the most-streamed song in the country, racking up 5.4m U.K. streams this week.

At #2, Teddy Swims’s “Lose Control” (Warner Records) returns to its previous peak.

This week’s highest new entry is “Like That” by Metro Boomin and Future, which debuts at #6. They have two more tracks in the Top 20: “Type Shit” at #18 and “Cinderella” at #20, both of which feature Travis Scott.

Hozier has his first Top 10 single in 10 years with “Too Sweet” (Rubyworks/UMG) landing at #8.

“Scared to Start” (Warner Records) by Michael Marcagi rises to #9, while Rodrigo’s latest single, “obsessed,” arrives at #10.

GENDER DISCRIMINATION REMAINS AN ISSUE IN MUSIC BIZ: REPORT
3/28/24

A new report provides further evidence that gender inequality remains a key issue in the U.K. music industry, with 51% of survey respondents experiencing gender discrimination and 33% sexual harassment while at work.

The Women Musicians Insight Report, put together by the Musicians’ Union and Women in CTRL, gathered responses from more than 2.5k women musicians. The data was taken from 2023’s Musicians Census.

Eighty-eight percent of women reported that their career had been restricted in at least one way, according to the findings. Experiencing or witnessing discrimination while working in music was reported by 87% of women, compared to 65% of men. While more than half of women reported experiencing gender discrimination, just 6% of men reported the same.

Disabled women are more likely to experience both disability and gender-based discrimination, while 38% of women from the Global Majority reported experiencing or witnessing racism.

Women reported an average annual income from music of £19.8k, compared to £21.7k for men. The gender pay gap is widest after £34k a year and in the highest income bracket, where women made up just 19% of those earning £70k a year or more from music.

Women are more likely to experience financial challenges than men, with 27% saying they don’t earn enough money to support themselves, compared to 21% of musicians overall.

In addition, while 47% of the census respondents were women aged 16-55, women’s representation drops significantly after the age of 54.

The findings echo those in the U.K. Government’s report, released in January, which described misogyny in music as “endemic.”