John Kennedy scoops inaugural Arqiva Commercial Radio Music Champion Award
John Kennedy of Radio X has beaten off the strongest competition to win the new Music Champion Award, sponsored by 7Digital, at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards 2016. The Music Champion Award celebrates the importance of commercial radio’s relationship with music and will be awarded to someone whose knowledge and passion for music stands out as exceptional. It seeks to award an individual who champions new music, an individual whose passion for music is evident in their programming and presentation, or someone who introduces listeners to less well-known music. The category has been judged by members of both the music and radio industry looking for a winner who has music in their blood and an obsession for sharing it with others. The judges unanimously believed that Kennedy was the obvious winner for this award in its first ever year. Ricky Wilson of The Kaiser Chiefs will present him with the award next week.
7digital appoints Philippe Decottignies as Chief Technology Officer
7digital has appointed Philippe Decottignies to the role of chief technology officer. Formerly serving as the recently-acquired Snowite’s CTO for five years, Decottignies will divide his time between 7digital’s Paris, Lille and London offices and will assume responsibility for the company’s technology operations globally. Since beginning his career in telecoms research and development for Hewlett Packard, Decottignies has held senior technology roles within various companies, including FORE Systems, Net.com, ZALA Telecoms, Access360 and Athéos. His expertise ranges across the VoIP (voice over IP), identity management and network equipment sectors. In addition, he has served as CEO for Samber Valley, a start-up focused on stream computing for big data. Decottignies has been involved in the digital music industry since 2002, starting with his role as CEO for start-up Agilea, which delivered digital music services with IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology for Snowite.
Ministry Of Sound Recordings and Sigala sign world licence deal with Sony/Columbia/Ultra Records
Ministry Of Sound Recordings and Sigala have entered into a multi-million pound world licence deal (excl. UK and Australia) with Sony/Columbia/Ultra Records. The young British producer has now chalked up three Top 10 hit singles in seven months, with over two million sales worldwide. His new single, Give Me Your Love feat. John Newman and Nile Rodgers, follows recent hit Say You Do (feat. Imani and DJ Fresh) which has just gone Silver in the UK. All four singles are in the OCC singles chart Top 200, with Give Me Your Love due to impact in June. His debut single Easy Love debuted at No.1, broke Ministry Of Sound’s pre-order record, and is now certified Gold. Sigala has recently been in the studio with Craig David (who joined the producer for his first Radio 1 Live Lounge session), Felix Jaehn, Fuse ODG, and more, as well as putting the finishing touches to his debut album.
Sum 41 sign to Hopeless Records
Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, Sum 41 signed to Los Angeles’ Hopeless Records. This will mark the band’s first album in five years, following 2011’s Screaming Bloody Murder, which featured the Grammy nominated song Blood In My Eyes. The upcoming album was written, engineered and produced by lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Deryck Whibley. On the signing, Whibley says, “It’s crazy to think that we started this band 20 years ago and so much has happened, and it all happened really fast. When I look back at everything it still feels like it’s all so recent. I think this a good thing because it still feels like there is still so much to do...which is why I am excited for a new album and to be releasing it with Hopeless Records.” The band reportedly average more than 300 live performances every year, with a US tour planned for summer 2016, including appearances at Warped Tour.
Party Smasher Inc. signs global deal with Cooking Vinyl
Party Smasher Inc., the multi-faceted collective founded by Ben Weinman (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Giraffe Tongue Orchestra), has announced a global partnership with Cooking Vinyl. Party Smasher Inc was established by Weinman in 2009 as a way to “unite and empower creative people doing things their own way”. Its record label has announced three key releases for 2016 including the debut album from Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, a sixth album from The Dillinger Escape Plan and the physical release of post-hardcore band Primitive Weapons’ second album, The Future Of Death. Rob Collins, director of Cooking Vinyl, said: “We completely share the vision that Party Smasher has. They bring the art; we bring the commercial muscle. I couldn’t be more excited about this partnership!”
AEG sells equity in Bounce to Concord Bicycle Music
US independent music company Concord Bicycle Music has acquired an equity interest in live entertainment giant AEG's live event and broadcast production division, Bounce. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed, nor was the percentage of shares changing hands. AEG will maintain a controlling interest of Bounce's Board, which will be comprised of three members designated by AEG, including CEO Tim Swift, and two members designated by CBM. Swift will remain as CEO of the joint venture. Bounce and AEG have successfully collaborated on past projects featuring artists on Concord labels, including James Taylor, Paul McCartney and Carole King, among others. According to a statement, Bounce will continue "its core business of providing production services to corporate, music-industry and broadcast clients, while also focusing on creating new content and events with AEG and CBM as well as unaffiliated clients”. With the combination of AEG's global reach and CBM's music and artist portfolio, Bounce will have “greater opportunity to produce and distribute content through both live events and broadcast channels while developing new platforms for CBM's artists in addition to designing unique experiences for brands and consumers".
MQA scores first major label deal with WMG
Warner Music Group (WMG) has signed a long-term licensing deal with music technology specialists MQA. The agreement – the first between MQA and any major music company – will reportedly significantly increase music fans’ access to hi-resolution music on a global basis. The agreement paves the way for recordings from WMG’s roster of artists and its catalogue to be made available in studio master quality through MQA distributors. MQA purports to deliver master quality audio in a file small enough to stream or download. MQA music is currently available via High Res Audio, Onkyo Music, e-Onkyo, 7digital, 2L and Technics Tracks. Over the coming months, MQA will expand to more streaming platforms and into download stores worldwide.