THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC www.musicweek.com
TALENT 12 THE PIERCES Having been on the verge of giving up, The Pierces are back and gunning for the top
PROFILE 15 COOKING VINYL MW’s celebrates the indie’s 25th anniversary with pull-out tribute
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24 INDIES REIGN After a great start to 2011, MW looks at the indies’
intentions for the year
FOO FIGHTERS’ DAVE GROHL HAS TOLD MusicWeekthe global music industry needs to listen more to its audience and focus on the music.
In a candid interview – 20 years to the week since he began recording Nevermind with Nirvana – he told MW, “I think it is important to listen to the kids. You have to let the audience decide some of this, you have to let the people guide you.
“Sharing music with people is important. I think that there is too much emphasis on how to keep people from getting the music. No one’s really thinking about the music. They are thinking about technology or money, not thinking about the music.”
Grohl was speaking ahead of his band’s first UK festival appearance of 2011, headlining this weekend’s Radio 1 Big Weekend in Carlisle.
The band’s new album Wasting Light released last month has sold 1.2m copies worldwide, went to number one in 12 countries and is their first to top the US charts in their 17-year-career.
Rock and Grohl
Rock and GrohlUSBUYERPLANNINGTO MAKE THE MOST OF WARNER’S DIGITAL EXPERTISE
Arguably the world’s number one rock musician, Grohl talks candidly about being reunited with Nevermind producer Butch Vig to make the new record in his garage, the music business and staying at the cutting edge of the alternative rock scene. • SEE PAGE 23. A FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT MUSICWEEK.COM.
Warner sold to Access for £2bn
LABELS ■ BY CHARLOTTE OTTER
ACCESS INDUSTRIES HAS revealed it is planning to tap into Warner’s digital music expertise following its purchase of the music group last Friday.
Len Blavatnik’s (inset) private equity group spent £2bn ($3.3bn) on the music major, with the acquisition expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2011. Access already has significant shares in a number of media organisations and was the most familiar with the music group out of all its bidders, having owned 2% of the major for the last seven years.
Although no changes are expected in the short term to either Warner’s management team or overall goals, a spokeswoman for
Access said the private equity group was particularly interested in Warner’s strength in the digital world. “Warner is the most progressive [of the majors] in this area in the US market and combining their expertise with Access’ interests and knowledge in this area would be extremely beneficial to both companies,” she said. Warner’s purchase means the spotlight has now moved onto EMI, with speculation mounting that the UK-based major could be next on the private equity group’s shopping list. Access refused to comment about a possible purchase of EMI.
Worries of the possibility of a renewed bid for EMI by Warner Music prompted Impala to issue a warning, stating it expected the European Commission to closely examine any deal that would reduce the number of majors from four to three.
Impala executive chair Helen Smith cautioned that “any attempt to combine EMI with Warner would similarly be blocked unless there are substantial remedies to solve the competition problems”. • Log on to MusicWeek.com for more coverage on the acquisition. firstname.lastname@example.org
SPOTIFY COVETS iTUNES USERS IN STRATEGIC REJIG
TWO OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN THE digital arena – Spotify and Facebook – relaunched their music offerings last week, in a potentially game-changing move for the digital music sector.
Spotify was the most aggressive, announcing changes to its player that, according to CEO Daniel Ek, made it “the only music player you’ll ever need”, allowing users to sync their iPods via Spotify and taking back control of their download sales from 7digital.
The change was widely seen as a move to challenge iTunes’ dominance of the digital music sphere by securing as much of their users’ music consumption time as possible.
Analysts were divided on whether iTunes could be shaken.
But intriguingly there were reports towards the end of last week that Spotify could partner with Virgin Media on the latter’s long-delayed music service, potentially bringing an ISP into the mix.
Meanwhile, Facebook, one of the world’s most important social networking sites with 600m users around the world, relaunched its Music On Facebook platform, significantly expanding the offering which first arrived in 2008.
»See pages 5 and 6 for analysis of these stories
INSIDE » 02AIMING HIGH Indie AGM: the sector is no longer a shrinking violet
04MUSIC MATTERS Rebooted: the ambitious new plans for industry campaign
2 WEEKS TO GO UNTIL THE MUSIC WEEK AWARDS • ROUNDHOUSE, CAMDEN • 24.05.11 • www.musicweekawards.com