• Apr 4

    According to FSCS research, payment protection insurance had not yet reached its peak in the United Kingdom. FSCS executive Mark Neale said that the Financial Services Compensation Scheme’s research cannot give an accurate mark on when will the UK see the peak of PPI claims, but the research indicates it will not be in 2014 or even in 2016.

    The FSCS estimates that they will receive an increase of 28% in the number of consumers making a payment protection insurance claim with them and the FOS. The FSCS, like the FOS, also deals with conflicts between financial institutions and consumers. The FSCS handles processes in majority, while the FOS handles financial products in general.

    Tony Boorman, Chief Ombudsman replacing ex-Chief Natalie Ceeney, said that the Financial Ombudsman received the last half of 2013 40% less of the complaints it received during the first year. At least 263,000 PPI complaints have dropped to 190,000 by the end of December. Despite the improvement, Boorman said the numbers were still “depressingly high.”

    PPI or payment protection insurance repays loans, mortgages and credit cards in case consumers get sick, become unemployed or have an accident. However, because of bank employees trying to increase work volume, most consumers ended up with an insurance policy they do not have any use for.

  • Mar 6

    The Canadian Country Music Association had named London to host the 39th annual Country Music Week, which is one of Canada’s largest music events. CCMA President Don Green said that they are very thrilled with the engagement of the City of London and they are excited to host the event in the city of Ontario

    Tourism London’s John Winston said that it was quite a big relief to say that after four months of keeping everything in the lid, they can finally talk about the details of the Country Music Week.

    The Canadian Country Music Week will run from September 8-11, 2016. A four-day event, it would mean great exposure for the Ontario city. According to Winston, the event will use all venues as they are expecting 600 people from North America to participate in the country music festival.

    The CCMA also expects to have over three million Canadians to watch the awards show to happen in the Budweiser Gardens.

    London City had defeated other cities in bids to host the Canadian Country Music Week. According to local observers, it is the first time the Country Music Week will be held in southwestern Ontario.

    The CCMA expects the economic impact of the event to be approximately $6-8 million, including 2,000 hotel room nights, employment boosts, transportation, food, beverage and other expenses.


  • Feb 4

    Every single day, I could see this girl in the subway, looking at her phone with her big, open-sided headphones. She was listening to some new indie band’s music. I could hear it and it really sounds great. I’m a musician myself; I play guitar and compose my own music, and I say to myself that people like her is the key to spreading music.

    I work as a writer for an advertising firm in the morning. My bandmates and I play gigs whenever we can. The scenes are small. Local city or town bars showcasing local talent including us. We get lucky being snagged along huge stages for significant corporate events with other big named bands. We look up to them and say that they’ve got the life.

    But then again, I made the choice to compromise my passion and my need to fill my stomach and pay the rent. Working in the corporate world helps give me the income I need, but it also drains me the energy I have. We barely make anything playing in independent events. We get lucky if we manage to get some free food, or the organizers give us some $5 to split with each other. We’re very, very lucky if we get $30 too.

    Sure, there’s the internet. There are a ton of ways to earn money from a music album through the internet. But then, you’ll need to invest in them too. I can’t pay at least $50 bucks to sell my album for now. I have to admit though that it is very good publicity.

    If you’re living the life of a band in the 21st century, you could produce your album at home with made-more-affordable audio equipment at the ready. The Internet is there to give you pointers. You could record your performance on video and post it in the internet. But still, it only saturates the media already present.

    With so many bands doing the same thing as you, earning $30 is already lucky, and the chances of making it big are very, very slim. This is why I still have a day job.

  • Jan 3

    Springsteen’s new songs will be aired in snippets in CBS’ critically-acclaimed drama The Good Wife. Being one of the most unusual spots to listen to his songs, Springsteen’s 18th studio album, named High Hopes, observers expect to fare well in terms of anticipation before its January 14 release.

    The album could be streamed at http://www.CBS.com/springsteen from 10PM Sunday until 7PM ET on January 13.

    The unusual listening spot was a part of a deal between Columbia Records and CBS to allow for wider exposure of the album. With The Good Wife having a majority of Bruce Springsteen fans as its viewer base, the airplay for both the series and the album both companies expect to rise.

    CBS paid a customary fee for the songs in the episode.

    The High Hopes album contains 12 songs, with covers from The Saints and Suicide. According to Springsteen “this is music I always felt needed to be released” and “I felt they all deserved a home and a hearing.

    Co-creator and Executive Producer Michelle and Robert King said they had a “super-secret” listening session of the album a few weeks ago and they originally planned with Columbia Records to have only one song. However, Robert said “We got greedy” and got three songs for the series.

  • Dec 18

    Music is not just for entertainment and for keeping your ears and mind busy while you are at work. Many studies regarding its undeniable health benefits are everywhere. Here’s how music actually helps you.

    1. Pain
    The perceived intensity of pain and anguish dealt by possibly a strong physical blow or verbal abuse is reduced by music. In a geriatric care or in a private hospital room, music could help ease an operation’s pain.

    2. Workouts
    Intense workout music actually helps your body raise adrenaline much faster, helping your metabolism and heart levels increase as you jog or bike along with the song. Cardio exercises often have music, which helps your mind maintain the rhythm of your body. These processes help burn fat and consume energy faster.

    3. Sleep Quality
    When you sleep, listening to classical music stimulates nerves in your brain that helps your mind focus and relax. Most people listening to classical music actually woke up feeling refreshed the following day.

    4. Eating
    Playing soft music and keeping the lights to a minimum actually helps people slow down while eating. Further studies show it helps people eat less as eating slower makes one feel fuller.

    5. Meditation
    Slow musical beats and aural notes actually help your brain concentrate on your tasks more effectively. Rhythmic stimuli actually helps your mind reduce minor ailments, such as headaches and nausea, as you continue to listen to it.

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  • Nov 21

    According to startup music company Songkick, based in the United Kingdom, the application could probably get the concert industry twice the number of people if more people knew local events happening around their areas.

    The purpose of Songkick, according to CEO Ian Hogarth, was to promote fans and listeners of popular music to find events and gigs they could go to. The company had started in 2008 and had gained a huge following of 8.5 million people every month to their website and their mobile application for smartphones.

    Now, the Songkick application is allowing users to buy tickets to these events via smartphones. However, the only problem Hogarth’s company has is that only 10% of the total user base makes use of the ticket-selling service they provide. Hogarth estimates that 50% of Songkick users make use of their mobile application.

    Hogarth still plans to evolve Songkick further. The new Songkick update on both the iOS and Android allows music fans to discover events near their location through the use of their GPS and information from publishers both on social media, blogs and musician websites.

    Songkick’s ticket selling feature is its first time to store credit information details from users directly to Songkick’s database. Hogarth also promises that “bouncing” people from different web services will not be implemented in the ticket-selling features of the mobile Songkick application.

  • Oct 18

    It does not matter if you listen to pop or metal or jazz, as long as there’s music you actually get stimulated to do more unconsciously. According to a new research study from the Max Planck Institute in Germany, people’s muscles became more coordinated and systematic when music was playing while people worked.

    Music actually motivates manual workers the best according to the study. Lifting and moving around heavy objects and products requires very good body strength. While this will normally take great effort, with music in the background, the rhythm helps physical exertion less exhausting.

    Sportsmen and bodybuilders could also benefit from the new discovery.

    However, Max Planck Institute’s researchers did not use the idea that music takes the brain away from paying attention to the pain. Their new study actually suggests that rhythmic pulses in tune to songs allow manual workers to “sync” with the music their muscle movement, feelings and oxygen intake. The rhythmic pattern is actually beneficial to the body.

    The research revealed that people who exercised or manually carried items with music in the background had great muscle coordination and the best oxygen intake that allowed them less exhaustion after their workouts.

    So the next time you have to carry big items around the office, or you’re only looking to develop your muscles, blast some music in the background; it’ll make everything seem easier.

  • Sep 18

    Miley Cyrus’ controversial performance that made some audiences proud and some shake their head in disgust or disbelief had won lots of comments from different people all over the world. However, Cher had her own say about Miley Cyrus “disgusting” performance.

    Cher, at 67, said that Miley Cyrus’ performance with Robin Thicke at the VMA was “so bad”. However, she was not focusing on Miley’s scandalous and sexually-charged performance. She was talking about how the entire concept was not done well. She said that if someone was going to attempt a similar act, they better “think about it before doing it.”

    Cher specifically said that Miley should learn to dance as all she did was just to move around one side and doing the “twerk”. Even if Miley’s body was fit and pleasant to look at, to make a sexually-charged performance, it was not up to the task. Cher also said that the song also plays a huge factor in winning the attention of the audience.

    The diva had her own similar situations but she pulled such concepts off with flying colors. Her 1989 single “If I Could Turn Back Time” shot sailors aboard the USS Missouri battleship while she wore a body stocking over a swimsuit that left her skimpily clad.

  • Aug 26

    Increasing consumer products allow many musicians and bands to produce their music right from their home and have it published in their respective social media accounts and personal websites. With cheaper but effective equipment penetrating the market, how would this affect the quality of music that we listen to today?

    Equipment was the biggest issue for many musicians that made it big to this day. Only renowned producers who saw talent in people had the ability to provide the equipment they need to make it into the big scene. Producer’s eyes were really big on talents, but it was the scarcity of equipment and the demand of entertainment from people that made it easy for performers to reach fame quicker.

    The influx of so many great musicians will enhance the level of technicality of music found today, however, it could also create a culture of similarity. Musically, every one of these bands and musicians know how to play their music, understand the value of musical themes and the genuineness of their sound. They could all become professionals, but it could definitely decentralize crowds in the world.

    Even if the musician or band’s media is accessible in the Internet, the chances of getting famous worldwide are multiplied times the number of bands in the world today. While local fame, especially town and citywide fame could be easier, no trace of career success, except that of a bar regular, could be given to musicians today.


  • Aug 6

    Information in the Internet is accessible for anybody with an Internet connection and this particular networking principle had shaken the core of the music industry. Billions of dollars were washed away by mass piracy and established artists were earning less royalties by the minute because of these new ways to share music. However, is it all that bad?

    In reality, the Internet gave all artists a “level” ground to work with. Everyone, including established artists working on royalties, now have a chance to earn fame. It might be a Youtube video or a hit single that could go viral in social media networks. Regardless, a level ground allows many unseen talents to be found by local and international networks, not restricting the ability to earn an audience just by playing in front of record dealers.

    In my honest opinion, the best way the Internet actually changed the music industry was through this method. It also made music accessible for everyone. Record albums that sold at least $15 in the past now sell for $10 not because they are classics, but because a lot of competition exists out there and the price is not appealing especially for those who could just rip it off unsecured servers.

    Music also became honest with its fans. Artists’ ingenuities had allowed a steady stream of fans to support and fund their albums without having to require them to pay on part of the record label.

    In its own way, the Internet might be a threat to companies, but for the actual sake of music, it became a gateway for both fans and band members to shake hands and interact in a non-corporate setting easily.