6 things we've learned about music this week
The trials and tribulations of the Pirate Bay have been inescapable this week (and there's even more on that after the jump), as has an unhealthy obsession with money.
Below you'll find a "wrinkly" rich list, global music sales figures and, to kick-off, what is probably Simon Cowell's biggest banker this year…
1. Britain's Got YouTube Hits
So the entire world's gone nuts about a Scottish crooner called Susan Boyle after she walked onstage in front of Simon Cowell on Britain's Got Talent (looking, well… not entirely blessed with traditional popstar features) and sang a very nice rendition of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables. She's since had 786 billion hits on YouTube. Watch it here. Oh, you've already seen it. Twice.
2. Global music sales down 8% - depression on the up, then?
2008's global music sales fell by more than 8% to $18.42 billion (£12.67 billion). CD and vinyl sales dropped a whopping 31% in the US (15% globally) and while digital downloads are on the up, the 24% didn't make up the shortfall.
This is, apparently down to the fact that downloads cost less and people tend not to buy entire albums online, as the Official Charts Company's figures show: "10.3m albums were downloaded in the UK last year, compared to 110.3m singles, or individual tracks." Oh, and people are still sharing music illegally, of course…
3. Pirate Bay founders claim 'mistrial', demand retrial
Following the jail sentence and the 'massive BitTorrent exodus' that ensued, it turns out the judge in charge of the case, Tomas Norström, is a member of several copyright protection organisations and therefore biased. Lawyers representing the Pirate Bay's founders have appealed for a retrial.
4. Wrinkly rockers still rule the rich list, but slightly less rich
Of the top 50 music millionaires in The Sunday Times' 2009 rich list, only seven have avoided losing wealth, and only three – Simon Cowell*, the Gallagher brothers (Noel and Liam) and Judy Cramer (Mama Mia producer) – have managed to increase it. The list's compiler, Philip Beresford, said: "it's just the same old wrinkly rockers year in year out (cue photo of Mick Jagger)." Duffy and Amy Winehouse "scrape in" at four and five million respectively.
*Apologies for mentioning Simon Cowell three times in one article. It never rains, etc.
5. Calvin Harris working with Dizzee Rascal again (maybe, probably)
The duo's last collaboration Dance Wiv Me just received an Ivor Novello nod for best contemporary song, so an attempt to replicate its success is a no-brainer, surely? Looks like Calvin Harris is letting fans no subtly, via Twitter:
6. Korn are recording two new albums in a 'portable studio'
The band are taking a recording studio on the road when their tour with Avenged Sevenfold kicks-off this Saturday. They'll be "laying down ideas" for a follow-up to 2007's Untitled and starting work on a covers album. NIN's Head Like A Hole, Faith No More's We Care a Lot and Psychedelic Furs' Love My Way are all expected to feature - Billboard has the skinny.