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BLIGHTY BEAT
U.K. MIDWEEKS: GOTTA HAVE FAITH
11/20/17
Paloma Faith is eyeing her first U.K. Official Albums Chart #1 while a sales flash has pushed Morrissey's 11th album to #2 at the midweek mark. Rita Ora, meanwhile, is challenging Camila Cabello for #1 over at the Official Singles Chart. Faith’s fourth album, The Architect (RCA), has a lead of 4,000 combined chart sales ahead of Morrissey's Low in High School (BMG). Our Generation, the debut SYCOalbum from Britain's Got Talent winner Tokio Myers, is sitting at #3. The new live album Wembley or Bust (RCA) from Jeff Lynne's ELO shines a little love at #5 right behind Sam Smith’s The Thrill Of It All (Capitol). ... Read more
KANO HEADS DOWNTOWN
11/17/17
Downtown Music Publishing has inked one of the founding fathers of the Grime genre, prominent U.K. songwriter/rapper Kano. Kano is the first signing to Downtown from Daniel Lloyd Jones, who joined the company in August as head of A&R in the U.K. Kano's Made in the Manor broke the Top Ten U.K. albums chart following its 2016 release and was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize. Along with future releases and collaborations, Manor is included in the publishing deal with Downtown. Kano is set to be featured again in series three of Top Boy, which Drake is executive producing, and will air on Netflix in 2019.
SPOTIFY SPREADS OUT IN NEW DIGS
11/16/17
Spotify is indeed moving into a swanky new London office, as previously rumored, and plans to double its workforce over the next two years. The space is located in upmarket Westminster and overlooks the River Thames. Jobs will initially focus on engineering, machine learning and data, followed by design and research, according to a Bloomberg report. The rental cost of its new space in the heart of London is over £5m a year, and it's reportedly five times the size of its current 20k square foot office in Oxford Circus. From 2015 and 2016, the tech firm increased its revenue in Blighty by 27% to £237.8m from £187.2m the year prior thanks to rising subscription revenue, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Profits after tax stood at £1.9m—up from 2015’s £1.2m. Paid subscribers rose from 1.7m to 2.8m during that time while MAUs were up to 7.1m from 5.3m.
U.K. MIDWEEKS: TAYLOR ON TOP
11/13/17
Taylor Swift has shifted 65k combined sales of reputation (Virgin EMI) in the U.K. at the halfway stage. Can she top the 90k 1989 did to debut at #1 on the Official Albums Chart in 2014? Swift is set for #1 on Friday, which will be her third in Blighty after Red hit the top spot on 61k in 2012 and 1989 did the same with 90k in 2014. In terms of singles, releases from reputation have performed well so far when compared to prior album campaigns. "LWYMMD" awarded Swift her debut #1 in Blighty, followed by ".... Ready For It?" peaking at #7. After entering at #15 on the Official Chart, "Gorgeous" has since declined to #47. Radio support has been fair, if not heavy, with "Gorgeous" currently at #34 on the Radiomonitor charts and "LWYMMD" at #47 after peaking at #25. Over at singles, Camila Cabello is eyeing a third week at #1 with “Havana” f/Young Thug (Syco). … Read more
U.K. CHARTS: SAM THRILLS AT #1 ON 97K
11/10/17
Sam Smith’s The Thrill of it All (Capitol) has debuted at #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with 97k combined sales—just under the 102k his debut did first week in 2014. Smith’s sales were 64% physical, 21% downloads and 14% streaming equivalents. His first #1, In The Lonely Hour, has returned to the Top 20 this week at #15 while “Too Good at Goodbyes” rises three places to #3 on the Official Singles Chart. Over at singles, Camila Cabello is #1 for a second week with “Havana” (Syco). … Read more
BALL & BOE TOGETHER AGAIN AT #1
11/6/17
Decca’s Ball & Boe have pipped Stereophonics to the post by just 35 sales on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with Together Again scoring a second #1 for the duo. Together Again sold 43.8k this week. It's the second album from Ball & Boe, who debuted at #2 with Together last November on 45k sales, before becoming one of 2016's biggest sellers on 512k by year’s end. Stereophonics end at #2 with their 10th studio album and debut for Parlophone, Scream Above the Sounds, selling 43.76k—just short of the 45k its self-released predecessor, Keep The Village Alive, did first week in 2015. UMG label Decca has another high entry at #3 with Gregory Porter’s Nat King Cole & Me. Over on the Official Singles Chart, Camila Cabello has her first #1 with “Havana” (Syco) f/Young Thug. … Read more
U.K. MIDWEEKS: STEREOPHONICS AT #1
10/30/17
Stereophonics are leading an all-new Top 3 on the U.K’s Official Albums midweek chart with their 10th studio album and debut for Parlophone, Scream Above The Sounds; it has sold 34k combined since Friday. Decca duo Michael Ball & Alfie Boe are #2, followed by another Decca/Blue Note release, Gregory Porter’s Nat King Cole & Me. Should Scream Above The Sounds maintain its top spot, the album will be Stereophonics’ seventh #1. Ball & Boe’s second album, Together Again, is currently 11k sales behind. Porter is set for his highest charting album yet with his album featuring covers of Nat King Cole classics. ... Read more
U.K. CHARTS: GEORGE IS BACK AT #1
10/27/17
George Michael has returned to the top of the U.K. charts with what’s said to be the biggest week one sales for a reissue in British chart history. Listen Without Prejudice (Sony Music CG) is a reissue of Michael’s 1990 album, Listen Without Prejudice vol.1, which hit #1 27 years ago. The new version awards Phil Savill’s Sony imprint a third Q4 success story in as many years. Elvis was the benefactor of Sony Music CG’s Q4 blockbuster, If I Can Dream, selling 79k during its first week in 2015, and The Wonder of You: Elvis Presley notching up 63k sales week one a year later. P!nk takes the second spot this week with Beautiful Trauma (RCA) sitting 30k combined sales behind. That gives you an idea of what Niall Horan’s debut, Flicker (Capitol), did in its first week, ending at #3. … Read more
SAM'S A SELLOUT
10/27/17
Sam Smith has added two extra London dates to the Europe leg of The Thrill Of It All tour after already selling out two at the 20k cap. O2 Arena. The run has also been extended by one date in Glasgow, Dublin, Manchester, Birmingham and Amsterdam. (Click the image for a larger view.) Smith’s live career has been quite the success, and officially started with three Brixton Academy 5k cap. shows in London during his debut album tour in 2015. Four shows at the O2 is a jump of 65k tickets (if the dates sell out). The other additional U.K. dates add 76k tickets. For comparisons sake, between her first and second album, Adele went from 535 to 2k, before jumping to eight nights at the O2 on 25, the tour for which also culminated in two dates at the 75k cap. Wembley Stadium. Ed Sheeran was playing three sold out shows at Wembley for his second outing, X Tour. He’s returning to the venue in 2018 for four shows in support of ÷, and played four O2 shows earlier this year.
W/C U.K. PROMOTES MACKAY
10/26/17
Warner/Chappell Music has promoted U.K. exec Eric Mackay to EVP, Global Digital Strategy. Reporting to Jon Platt, Mackay will be responsible for leading the publisher’s global digital strategy, expanding commercial partnerships for the benefit of its songwriters and overseeing the global digital team. He joined Warner/Chappell in 2015 as Head of Digital, Europe, before being promoted to Vice President, Digital, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia-Pacific in September 2016. Mackay previously worked at Vevo, CELAS, White Noise and Integral Management. “Eric’s strong relationships in the digital world and deep understanding of technology will help us open new opportunities that properly recognize the value of songwriting and music,” Platt said. Mackay added: “There are a vast number of innovative services who are inventing different ways for fans to enjoy music and our goal is to partner with them to help drive more revenues and exposure for our stellar roster of songwriters. We’re at a crucial time, with digital services better appreciating the pivotal role songwriting plays in their success, and I believe we’re the publisher of choice for songwriters looking to maximize the value of their works through digital platforms.”
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