The Official Charts Company launches Lightning Live!

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Albums sold at live events across the UK will now be eligible for the Official Albums Chart.

Lightning Live has launched, a new service used to track album sales happening on live events and enabling chart eligibility, taking into account consumer behaviour within the Official Charts. This means that any registered album products sold at live events such as gigs and tours could be counted towards the official charts ranking. This system was put in place to support labels and artists using their shows to reach out to fans, as well as using traditional retail methods.

A quick overview of how it works:

  • The Official Charts will only count venue sales from labels where no more than 5 different albums products are being sold
  • Only product relating to the headline or support acts can be submitted via Lightning Live
  • Official Charts will only accept sales that occur, and are reported via Lightning Live, during the chart week period of Friday through to Thursday
  • Lightning Live can only be used to track venue sales for album purchases

Official Charts Company chief operating officer Omar Maskatiya says: “The launch of Lightning Live follows approaches from both independent and major labels, who are increasingly using live events as a route to get their products to fans and new audiences. We strive constantly to ensure that the Official Charts reflects and responds to consumer behaviour and this move, following just a few months after the integration of streams, further underlines this strategy.”

Find out more about Lightning Live on the Official Charts Company Website

The Story of Indie on BBC Four

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BBC Four celebrates the origin of Indie music and the rising of Independent labels in a three-part documentary; The Story of Indie.

This three-part documentary series, presented by BBC Radio 6 Music’s Mark Radcliffe, focuses on the evolution of alternative and independent music within the industry back in the 70s and how the rise of the independent record labels such as Rough Trade and 2 Tone Records aided the boom of indie music that arose in the 80s and has been one of the most popular genres ever since.

Presenter Mark Radcliffe says: “This is really a story that’s been waiting to be told. We’re always hearing about the seismic shifts the music business is undergoing, but in many ways, this was the first – when the egalitarian independent spirit of punk and DIY broke the stranglehold of the men in suits in the posh offices of the major labels in that there London, creating the soundtrack of our lives along the way.”

Alongside interviews with artists that helped curb the genre of indie/alternative, this series focuses on the influential music industry figures that participated in rise of indie music and labels primarily throughout the UK.
These include:
– Pete Waterman
– Peter Saville (Factory Records’ designer )
– Seymour Stein (Music Entrepreneur )
– Daniel Miller (music producer and Mute Records founder)
– Nathan McGough (former Happy Mondays manager
–  Alexis Petridis and Sian Pattenden (journalists)
– Vaughan Oliver  (record sleeve designer)
– James Endeacott (formerly of Rough Trade Records)
– Jeff Barrett (founder of Sony BMG subsidiary record label 1965 Records, Heavenly Recordings’)
– Alan McGee (Creation Record’s)
– Richard King (indie music author)

The first part of this 3 part documentary titled “The DIY Movement” airs tomorrow at 10pm on BBC Four and throughout the series there will be exclusive interviews from well established artists in the indie genre including Pauline Black from The Selecter, Carl Barat and Echo and the Bunnymen, a few of the artists we’ve worked with here at Essential Music and Marketing.

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To read more about the series head over to BBC Four website and tune into BBC iPlayer to stream after broadcast.

The MOBO Awards 2015

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It’s time for the 20th Annual MOBO Awards 2015 to begin and the nominees have been announced!

The annual awards ceremony that celebrates urban music and culture primarily in the UK. This year the awards will be taking place in Leeds on November 4th at the First Direct Arena. Voting starts tomorrow, October 1st so get voting and select your ultimate winners!

We are very proud to announce that some of our talented artists have been nominated for this years MOBO awards:

Best Male Act
 Jme and Skepta

Best Grime Act
Jme and Skepta

Best RnB / Soul Act
Joss Stone

Best Album
Jme ‘Integrity>’


Best Song
Jme ‘Man Don’t Care’

Skepta ‘Shutdown’

To see the full list of nominees, head over to the official website:

Gavin Clark and Toydrum’s Evangelist: Exclusive stream

God_Song_Single_Evangelist is the latest music project from the late Gavin Clark (UNKLE, Clayhill, Sunhouse), with Pablo Clements and James Griffith (Toydrum, UNKLE).

God Song is the first track to be released from the forthcoming Evangelist album, out in December, and it’s been featured on the Channel 4 series This Is England ’90. For those in the know, this won’t be surprising considering the long collaboration history between This Is England creator Shane Meadows and Gavin Clark.

The Guardian are hosting a exclusive stream of the song here –

Twitter Webinar on how to #TweetSmarter!


Last week we watched a Twitter webinar with the best tips and tricks on how to tweet smarter when working with Twitter Ads. We’ve put together a few notes to share these useful hints to help people get the most out of their advertising campaigns on Twitter!

4 essential tips for tweeting smarter when using Ads:

  • Keep tweet copy text short
  • Use photos and videos
  • Engage with users – Twitter is a conversational platform so re-tweeting and hashtags are all important for being part of the discussions
  • Use website cards to drive traffic

Before setting up a twitter advert campaign, it’s important to:

  • Think about campaign mission
  • Create value proposition
  • Set an objective
  • Define your metrics for success
  • Get organised e.g. planning budgets or outsourcing developer resources

With twitter ads, you can now target over 200 global markets, so getting these key features correct is important to optimising your ad for the right target audiences.When using website cards to drive traffic to your website, different tips are recommended for use with images, calls to action and the tweet copy text itself.


  • Use associations within the images as users will recognise these brands and will be more likely to engage with the ad. For example, if tweeting about bands touring, add image of the band at the venue/festival


  • Make sure to match call to action to desired action. What is it that you want the person to do? E.g ‘Read More’, ‘Learn More’, ‘Download Now’, ‘Buy Now’ etc…
    Be specific to gain the most out of the call to action buttons that will appear on the ad.


  • Convey a sense of urgency e.g. give people a reason to take immediate action drive traffic to your website
  • Minimise distractions. Don’t use too many handles or hashtags, as you want the main focus of the ad to be the image, call to action and the tweet copy text itself. If you use too many handles and hashtags, user might be driven to click on these instead of clicking through to the desired destination of the advertiser.
    Stats showed that ads with less handles and hashtags in the tweet copy gained more clicks through to the website.
  • Ask questions! Twitter is a conversational tool so by asking users questions it will drive them towards your advert and make them walk to click through to the destination.

Key things to take away when setting up a twitter ad campaign:

  • Start off with clear goals and keep audience in mind.
  • Make the most of your tweets and website cards elements
  • Experiment and test! Set a minimum of 4 tweets per campaign, twitter will then optimise and display the highest performing ads. Each tweet should have the same image and call to action, but experiment with different text ideas for the tweet copy to see which works best when targeting this type of audience.

For more information visit:

New Digital service: KKBOX


Digital content distributed by Essential is now available on KKBOX, the leading music streaming service in Asia. It was established in 2004 and it’s currently available in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, with over 10 million users.

There will be promotional opportunities available, that your label manager will keep you updated about.

More information about KKBOX

Google search rankings rewarding ‘quality content’


Google are considering what they call ‘quality content’ more than ever, when it comes to returning results on searches.

What does a site need to be considered ‘high quality’? There are lots of parameters taken into account, like the amount of external sites linking to it, the time spent by a visitor on each page, high accessibility, lack of disruptive ads etc.

If you want to improve your sites’ ranking in search results, the best rule you need to follow is to publish a site that offers a great user experience. Rich, original content that responds to the visitor search terms (use only relevant keywords) and gets them engaged (so they spend more time on each page and share your site), from whichever device they’re accessing the site.

Here are a couple of helpful links to find out more:

Explicit Content on Music Videos

Vevo have just introduced a Explicit tag for videos, that we must use if the content is considered Explicit. Please let your label manager know whenever you submit a video that could be considered explicit.
This is related to a UK Government scheme being rolled out, in partnership with YouTube, Vevo, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which aims to protect underage viewers from watching unsuitable content.
The scheme is being implemented for videos released through UK major labels: the videos are sent to the BBFC for classification, ahead of release, and then the rating and guidance given is passed on when releasing their videos to Vevo and YouTube. The Government will also announce a six-month pilot, to roll out the new system to independent record labels.

Deezer Sign New Telco Deal In Brazil

Bundling streaming services with smartphone plans is a successful strategy that is helping to reach out casual music listeners, that might not sign up for a standalone music streaming subscription. 


Deezer will launch UOL Musica Deezer with the Brazilian ISP and internet portal UOL. UOL Musica Deezer, will be an on-demand music platform that will replace Radio UOL, one of the streaming music pioneers in the country. 

The premium version of the service will also enable music downloads and listening offline, at a price of BRL 14.90 per month.


Spotify have recently launched partnerships with Rogers in Canada, Telecom Argentina and ETB in Colombia, and Apple Music inked their first telco deal with Telstra in Australia just last month.

Skepta to receive ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ award!

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The Association of Independent Music Awards 2015 are fast approaching on the 8th September and we are proud to announce that Skepta will be honoured with the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’.

Following the release of his new single ‘Shutdown’, Skepta has proven once again to be a dedicated, hard-working artist and has been named to be ‘one of the independent sector’s finest artists’

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Long before Skepta stormed the stage for Kanye West’s blazing “All Day” BRITs performance and his surprise London gig at KOKO just days later, he was already a fixture in the UK’s grime scene. His 2011 album, Doin’ It Again, featured a handful of chart-topping numbers in “Bad Boy”, “Rescue Me”, and “Cross My Heart”, and his forthcoming ‘Konnichiwa’ album has already spawned a street anthem in ‘It Ain’t Safe’ and a chart hit single in “That’s Not Me” featuring brother and Boy Better Know CEO JME.

Now, with eyes both east and west of the Atlantic firmly watching his next move, the English MC has let loose a new song called “Shutdown”. Ushered in by a sample of one of Drake’s own Vine videos, the track wastes no time in getting down to business. It’s hard-hitting and fast-footed, effectively commandeered by Skepta’s pointed flow.

This is the start of a new dawn for the global music industry, let alone the UK urban scene. Grime has just taken the lead once again.

Read more about the Outstanding Contribution award to Skepta here!

See who has been nominated for the AIM Awards 2015