Tony Wadsworth To Join Sony Music?

Could Tony be joining Sony? That’s the big question doing the rounds this week. 

The surprise departure of Nick Gatfield from the top job at Sony Music’s U.K. affiliate has created a void at the music major, and an opportunity for one power player. Tony Wadsworth’s name has been thrown into the hat as a top candidate for that role (in the days after Gatfield’s exit, Sony Music U.K. appointed Nicola Tuer as COO). 

The British exec has some serious runs on the board. With Wadsworth in charge of EMI’s U.K. company, the music major had international success with such artists as Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Blur and Kylie Minogue.

The industry stalwart has a reputation as an executive who won’t compromise artistic development, a guy who has the backs of his musicians. And his artists love him.  

Wadsworth was appointed chairman and CEO in 2002 until his departure in 2008 as part of the “ongoing restructuring“ of the company under its then chairman Guy Hands. He joined EMI in 1982, becoming Parlophone marketing director in 1987 and then managing director of the label in 1993. He was appointed EMI Records U.K. President in 1998. From 2000 to 2003, Wadsworth held the post of Brit Awards Chairman and he is currently chairman of the BPI.

Music Week has since ruled out the move, quoting a source saying Wadsworth has "no desire whatsoever to return to a major record company position."

Billboard.biz reached out to Wadsworth for comment on the speculation. We’ll all have to wait a little longer for the response.

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Max Hole To Deliver Music Matters Keynote

Max Hole, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group International, will deliver the opening keynote speech at the Music Matters conference in Singapore.  

The British exec knows the turf well. Earlier in his career, the company veteran served as president of Universal’s Asia Pacific region, and in recent years he established a regional business development unit in Singapore.

Hole’s keynote speech will take place at 10.00am on the second day of the event, which happens May 21-23 at the Ritz Carlton Millenia.

The music conference is recognized as Asia’s No. 1 event of its kind. As recently as 2012, Music Matters boasted 1,200 attendees, 175 speakers, 40 performing musical acts and 400 participating companies across 30 countries.

Music Matters was established in 2006, with the then-Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman delivering the inaugural keynote.

Industry speakers this year include Merlin CEO Charles Caldas, William Morris Endeavor head of music Marc Geiger, Glassnote Entertainment founder Daniel Glass and Radiohead co-manager Brian Message. The full program can be seen here.

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Google Wants No Part of Australian ‘Three-Strikes’ Policy

While Australia’s government considers whether a “graduated response” policy is a fair and viable solution to curb copyright infringements, decision-makers can add another name to the list of objectors -- Google. 

In a recommendation to the Australian Government, Google has warned that tough anti-piracy measures would be counterproductive. "There is significant, credible evidence emerging that online piracy is primarily an availability and pricing problem," Google states in a letter, which came about after the Federal Minister for Communication invited several companies to share their thoughts on a range of issues.  Future legislation on copyright was one such topic.

The letter, published by TorrentFreak, suggests the Government implements more transparent takedown measures, and dump plans for anti-piracy legislation. 

“We would be disappointed if the Government decided to go down the route of overly harsh regulation to combat piracy without considering the evidence from around the world that this would likely be costly for businesses to implement and with little effect,” the search giant continued.

George Brandis, who serves in the dual role of attorney-general and minister for the arts, recently announced strict new measures aimed at curbing online piracy. In a Feb. 14 speech, Brandis raised the possibility of a "graduated response" scheme and an Internet piracy filter.

Google has an ally in Choice Magazine. The publication of the Australian Consumers Association is claiming “three-strikes” would “push Australia into the digital dark ages” and has launched a petition.

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APRA Awards Head North

For the first time in its 32-year history, the APRA Music Awards will head north to Brisbane -- Australia’s third city. 

The birthplace of the Bee Gees, the Go-Betweens, the Saints and Powderfinger will host the event June 23, at Brisbane City Hall. 

There are more changes in the works. From 2015, the APRAs will shift from its usual southern mid-winter timeframe to March. The change should help create some breathing space in the industry’s crowded calendar of events, organizers say.