Major Label Video Site Vevo Received Investment from Abu Dhabi Media

vevo abu dhabiUniversal Music Group, Sony Music, and the other two major labels (who are expected to join Vevo before it launches), plus Google, have found the key investor they have been looking for: Abu Dhabi Media, owned by the Abu Dhabi government.

The Abu Dhabi Media company has been reported to have bought in to the service on a pre-launch value of $300 million. Google is also involved, in that it will operate the back-end of the site in return for a share of revenue, but does not own part of Vevo.

Obviously the $300 million valuation seems very high for a site that is yet to launch, but Vevo is no ordinary site. Vevo will easily become the worlds largest site for music videos online and with a large majority of YouTube’s views coming via music videos, it is surely going to be a hit. I really just hope Vevo ties in the videos nicely with purchasing options such as iTunes and Amazon, as well as giving artists the option to place whatever advertising they want next to their videos.

Editors Have UK Number 1 Album, While Alexandra Burke Had The Fastest Selling Single Of The Year

Birmingham, England rock band Editors achieved their second consecutive No. 1 debut on the new U.K. album chart yesterday, while pop vocalist Alexandra Burke scored a new singles bestseller.

“In This Light and On This Evening” (Kitchenware), Editors’ third album, entered at the summit, just as “An End Has A Start” did in July 2007. U.K. rapper Chipmunk, who had last week’s No. 1 single with “Oopsy Daisy” (Jive/Sony Music Entertainment), followed up with a No. 2 start for the album “I Am Chipmunk.” With Madonna’s “Celebration” (Warner Bros.) down 2-3, there was also a new entry at No. 4 for Shakira’s “She Wolf” (Epic/Sony Music Entertainment).

Last week’s No. 1, Barbra Streisand’s “Love Is The Answer” (Columbia/Sony Music Entertainment), fell to No. 7. Female pop band the Saturdays opened at No. 9 with “Wordshaker” (Fascination/Polydor/Universal), while British R&B star Taio Cruz, recently No. 1 for three weeks in the singles chart with “Break Your Heart” (4th & Broadway/Universal Island), came in at No. 14 with his second album “Rokstarr.”

On the other hand Alexandra Burke who had the Christmas No. 1 last year with “Hallelujah” only days after winning the 2008 series of “The X Factor”, made it two chart-toppers from two singles as “Bad Boys” (Syco Music/Sony Music Entertainment), featuring Flo Rida, went straight to the chart peak with sales of 185,000 units, according to the Official Charts Company – the biggest weekly sale for a single this year. Burke’s debut album “Overcome” is released in the U.K. today (Oct. 19).


Battle of the Bands: Rock Band vs Tapulous on the iPod

Tapulous has had the music rhythm game scene to itself on the iPod for a long time, but now Harmonix and EA have ported their phenomenally successful Rock Band game to Apple’s iPhone, meaning that you can embarrass yourself pretending to be a Rock star on the train now.

The iPhone game will feature the same 4 instruments (guitar, bass, drums, vocals) as the console version, so if you’ve got 3 friends with the game you can nerd out in the doctor’s waiting room, or on the schoolbus. Rock Band costs $9.99 in the US app store and features the following songs:

Ace of Spades ‘08 – Motorhead
All The Small Things – Blink-182
Attack-30 Seconds To Mars
Bad Reputation – Joan Jett
Bad to The Bone – George Thorogood & the Destroyers
Cherub Rock – Smashing Pumpkins
Debaser – Pixies
Everlong – Foo Fighters
Girls Not Grey – AFI
Give It All – Rise Against
Hanging on the Telephone – Blondie
Hymn 43 – Jethro Tull
Ladybug – Presidents of The United States of America
Lazy Eye – Silversun Pick Ups
Learn To Fly – Foo Fighters
Move Along – All American Rejects
Sabotage – Beastie Boys
Simple Man – Lynard Skynard
Take The Money and Run – Steve Miller Band
We Got The Beat – The Go Go’s

If you don’t have any mates with iPhones, or your mum drives you to school, Tapulous have released the 3rd version of their Tap Tap Revenge Game, which looks equally shiny, flashy and comprehensible only to Japanese people and those under the age of 20.  Tapulous’ offering costs a tenth of EA’s game (99c), and has 100 free songs, as well as ‘premium‘ tracks from bands like Blink 182, Fall Out Boy, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, No Doubt, Tiesto, The KillersKorn, Megadeth, QOTSA, Weezer, AAR, AFI, Keith Urban, Crystal Method, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Pledge Music Is Another Music Service Trying To Help Bands Fund Themselves

The new UK based Pledge Music has launched their latest platform which aims to help artists raise cash for a new recording project from fans. Pledge doesnt really offering anything too innovative, as Sellaband and Slicethepie have been doing exactly the same thing for a while now.

  1. The fan is only charged once the pledge target is reached.
  2. Pledge takes a 15% commission of funds raised.
  3. Artist retains 100% of their rights.
  4. Artist chooses where to record and with whom
  5. Artist can opt in to making a charitable donation.
  6. Pledge recommends third party services to help complete the release process.
  7. The second time you use Pledge our fee reduces to only 10%, provided your first project was successful.

I think that this platform is a great start but really needs a lot of work to really take on the likes of Sellaband.

pledge music

Wolfmother UK And Ireland Tour Dates


Wolfmother have announced that the UK will be the first place they’ll entertain in the new year.

January 13th sees the Aussies begin their 7 date mini-tour in Dublin at the Olympia where they move on to Glasgow (14th), Newcastle (15th) , Manchester (17th), Leeds (18th), Birmingham (19th)  and climax in London (21th) . Tickets go on sale from October the 23rd via the gigwise gig guide.

The tour is the first big attempt to launch the new album in the UK, Just before the band head back home to support AC/DC on the Black Ice tour. Some dates for the tour are already sold out, gigs dates and locations are all available from the bands officail site.

Digital Music Store Focus –

Record Store dot co dot uk London based company Digital Stores Limited has been building online shops for various high profile clients for the best part of a decade (they were incorporated in ’97), and have put up their own record shop, selling both digital and physical releases. Their catalogue seems to include material from all of the majors – indeed, I had to think quite hard before I caught their search function out (they don’t have any Zetan Spore, a trance band from down here in Cornwall). Album prices range between £4.95 (indie mp3 album download) to £12.49 (mainstream CD order).

A nice addition to their retail arsenal is a signed exclusive section, where they list special artist-signed editions of new releases (as I write Biffy Clyro, Athlete, Idlewild and Maps are among the artists listed in this section). Prices don’t seem inflated from regular retail cost, so this seems like a great way of picking up something a bit more special for a fan who’ll appreciate having an artifact rather than just a download. Other than this little bonus, I can’t see much to distinguish from the competition – prices are reasonably similar, the range is pretty comprehensive, but you could get the same service from Amazon. On the other hand, I support them on the same principle that makes me buy food from the farmers market rather than ASDA, the smaller retailers care more, and I think small businesses are a good thing for keeping a marketplace varied, vibrant and full of innovation. Much as we are a smaller enterprise but provide an alternative digital music distribution solution to the bigger players like the Orchard.

The Eddie Kramer Collection – Waves Audio Signature Series Software Plug-ins

The second collection from the Waves Audio’s ‘Signature Series’ explores the mindset and production genius that is Mr Eddie Kramer. Kramer, through his inspired engineering and production, helped sensationalise contemporary rock music in the 60’s adding the quality of sound that, until then, rock music had never been truly explored with or revealed by.

Kramer has worked and helped produce albums for Hendrix, Led Zeplin, Kiss, Santana, Bowie, Clapton and The Beatles to name a few, which has clearly earnt him the homage of a Waves Signature Series.

“As a producer/engineer, my main function is to interpret the artist’s vision, and give them the sonic palette to help realize their dreams. If I can make that happen, then I’ve done my job.” – Eddie Kramer

Built on a very similar looking platform and interface it is clear that Waves are definitely attempting to keep the collection consistent throughout and many aspects of this new Kramer Series mirror those from the Maserati Series. The Kramer Series offers 5 plug-ins for each area of a classic rock mix.

• Eddie Kramer Guitar Channel

• Eddie Kramer Drum Channel

• Eddie Kramer Effects Channel

• Eddie Kramer Bass Channel

• Eddie Kramer Vocal Channel

I would have to say that the simplicity in parameters renders this edition of the Signature Series very task specific and will mainly appeal to lovers of Kramer’s work or engineers attempting to recreate the earthy rock sounds of the 60s/70s. Whereas, Maserati’s Series, although still not greatly, offered slightly more diversity in sound (I know I’ll get ripped for that).

Anyway, this is a great tool, worth a try for any engineer experimenting with a rock band, check the Waves website for the finer details.

Infuriatingly priced at $800 means I’ve only had a go at the demo whilst looking for a good torr…. nevermind.

The Lego Exodus: Lego Blur Is Here

So many bands are starting to become “stuck” (sorry, Lego joke) in the Lego trap, and so am i. To start off i had decided that everyone was just milking the Guitar Hero/Rockband goat as far as it would go. But for us its now gone full circle. When the Game first came out it was full of, who we considered, has-beens who hadn’t really released anything for a while, but some juicy bands are starting to sign up and now we find ourselves thinking, wouldn’t it be awesome if this band joined? Imagine a Lego Satriani slamming away!

The Initial line-up was Iggy Pop, The Automatic, Sum 41, Pink an other sickly pop groups like lego iggy popKaiser Chiefs and you seem to get the impression that they made the game for the hell of it with whoever they could “stick” in (sorry) at the time, a bit like Guitar Hero 5 really. Or the U2 Rock band if they ever get there “I’m Jealous of Aerosmith” way about it. But as you dig deeper you start to get the impression that The Lego Rockband guys have more of a sense or humour than that. Other acts include Europe (Final Countdown), and Ray Parker Jr. (The Ghost Busters Theme dude) which both must have been added for comedy value, surely. Some acts actually have some integrity too like The Foo Fighters and Vampire weekend. I wonder if Bloc Party will Appear! (Aw come on, that was funny). Here is a Lego Blur.

Sky Songs: New Music Streaming Service from BSKyB Launching on Monday

Sky Songs is the new music streaming and download service from BSkyB which will be launching on Monday. Sky has been developing this music service for the past nine months and the service seems to be shaping up ok, but there isnt really anything to innovative here!

The Sky Songs service is not free to use, but it does have some decent features which might be useful to a certain type of client.

Sky Songs is web based

For most people services list Spotify aren’t able to be used at work, mainly because it is a downloadable application which most corporate IT departments tend to lock down. However, because Sky Songs is web based  it should be a lot more accessible at work, unless your miserable IT department blocks the specific URL.

Sky Songs recommends music

Unlike services like Spotify, Sky Songs has the ability to recommend music too you. Once the Sky Songs interface is loaded you will see playlists created by its team of music journalists They range from introductions to new genres to topical playlists, such as memorial collections for recently deceased celebs. Sky Songs also includes a recommendation engine, powered by Gracenote, which will react to the songs you’re hearing with a decent suggestion of other tracks you might like.

You can mark your own favourites

With Sky Songs you have the ability to build playlists and then mark your favourites with a simple heart icon. Once you’ve picked a few favourites, the service will collate them for you, putting all your favourite artists in one place, as well as your most-loved genres and albums. Think of it as an auto-playlist generator, it’s much quicker than building a list of songs by hand, and means all your favourite sounds are just a couple of clicks away.

Sky Songs integrates with iTunes and Windows Media Player

Sky Songs doesn’t just stream music, you can use it to buy tracks to own too. They’re downloaded as DRM-free MP3 files, and will even drop into the correct place on your computer for iTunes and Windows Media Player to find them.

When you first set up your Sky Songs account, you’ll be asked which music management software you use. From then on, all your downloads will automatically appear in your existing music library, ready to be synced to your iPod, iPhone or MP3 player.

It offers more, for less

This is a biggie, and will certainly be the decider for some people: Spotify is already under pressure from cheaper streaming services, and Sky Songs increases the competition even more. It’s offering unlimited streaming from £6.49 a month which also gives you one £6.49 album or 10 tracks to download and keep. Compare that to Spotify’s £9.99 price tag, with no extras included.


The Self Indulgent Friday Playlist – Mostly Otis don’t know whether anyone else is enjoying these playlists, or how long we’ll carry them on, but here’s something to phase out your Friday in a painless, soulful way. It reflects my limited knowledge of modern soul, and the fact that I am a sucker for a bassline, Otis Redding’s voice, and ridiculously long mixes. Also probably that I listen to music on headphones rather than speakers at the office. If anyone fancies making a playlist for me then post something in the comments; if I like it, I’ll give it it’s own post 🙂