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The digital music store connected to Neil Young’s pricey and strange looking ‘high end’ Pono Player has launched- the bad news is that you’ll need more than a heart of gold to shop there! To complement the $399 (approx. £264) price tag of the Pono Player device, the PonoMusic World Store went live this week, with album prices ranging from $17.99 (just under £12) (for Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA) to over $27 (just under £18).
The Official Charts Company has revealed that for the first time ever, British artists claimed the entirety of the Top Ten selling albums in the UK last year. To the surprise of precisely no-one, the biggest selling album of the year was Ed Sheeran’s second album ‘x’, which has sold 1.7m (1,689,124) copies in the UK since its release in June last year and spent 14 weeks at the top of the album chart.
As download sales peak and streaming rises, it wouldn’t be a New Year without a glance back at 2014’s biggest industry stats- so hold on tight for a predictable parade of Spotify, Sheeran and Swift. The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) reported that last year, the UK download sector dropped by 14.9% to £338.1 million, whilst streaming revenues increased by 65.1%, contributing £106m to the industry.
Not ones to take a near miss BBC bashing lying down, the organisers of next year’s BRIT Awards have announced that Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith will all perform at next year’s awards ceremony. Taking place on Wednesday, February 25th at The O2, the BRITS will also be exclusively broadcast on ITV.
In this week’s streaming wars update and hot on the heels of Beats snapping up Topspin, Spotify has announced that it has purchased “music intelligence company” The Echo Nest. The Echo Nest is essentially an algorithm-based music recommendation engine that already powers Spotify Radio.
The Association of Independent Music (AIM) has announced initial details of its Music Connected conference this year, including speakers from Warp, Cooking Vinyl and a keynote from Merlin’s Charles Caldas. Taking place on April 30th at Glaziers Hall in London, the 12th annual conference will offer an entire day of conferences and networking, covering topics from making sense of data to breaking an act for under £1000.
Approximately five minutes after the first ever The Fly Awards, MAMA has abruptly announced that the free monthly magazine is to close after 15 years in business as a result of “current market conditions”.
As The Gen trudges through entire swamps of announcements so that you don’t have to, we prove that, for this month at least, industry conferences are the new awards ceremonies. The organisers of Music Matters have announced that Universal Music Group International Chairman and CEO Max Hole will deliver a keynote address at their event in Singapore this year.

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