MONDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2017 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Following the collapse of HMV Canada last month, HMV UK is back under the spotlight because - even though the Canadian operation is very much a separate business - it is owned by the same parent company and high street entertainment retail remains challenging pretty much everywhere. Hence there was lots of chatter when Property Week reported on Thursday that HMV was planning on leaving behind London's Oxford Street... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S CMU APPROVED: Following on from a collaborative EP with vocalist Nicamoq, producer Yunomi has just returned with a new set of songs with Toriena in the form of the 'Oedo Controller' EP. It's filled with excellent musical flourishes, which jump out of the songs' pop structures. The title track in particular stands out, partly due to its sheer exuberance. [READ MORE]
 
LATEST CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including the collapse of HMV Canada and what it might mean for music retail worldwide, the top five contenders for the music industry's enemy number one in 2017, and the quirks of Facebook’s music video takedown system. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
 
LATEST CMU TRENDS: As legal reps for both sides in the US government's criminal case against KickassTorrents defended their respective positions in court last week a very familiar argument resurfaced. It's an argument that hasn't, in the main, worked well for the providers of file-sharing software or services in the past. But it could work this time. CMU Trends articles are available to premium subscribers. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES HMV in talks to depart Oxford Street, say sources
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LEGAL Major labels sue mixtape sharing app
Frank Ocean sued for $14 million by his father
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LIVE BUSINESS Ticketmaster launches new music division
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Spotify reportedly delaying IPO to 2018
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MEDIA Dave Berry quits Capital breakfast for Absolute show
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ARTIST NEWS Lady Gaga performs at the Super Bowl, announces world tour
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RELEASES Stormzy announces debut album
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ONE LINERS Suzanne Ciani, James Blunt, Naomi Pilgrim, more
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AND FINALLY... Ed Sheeran speaks out against secondary ticketing
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MPA GROUP - TRAINEE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTANT (LONDON)
The MPA Group of Companies (MPA, MCPS, IMPEL and PMLL) is seeking a trainee financial accountant to assist the Director of Operations with all of the finance functions across the four companies as well as providing assistance with other finance related projects.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE NOISE CARTEL - TV & RADIO PLUGGER (LONDON)
The Noise Cartel are looking for a Radio & TV Plugger (regional and national specialist) to join a growing team of dedicated and passionate professionals. The applicant will be working alongside the Head of Radio & TV on bands such as A Day To Remember, Asking Alexandria, Architects, Bullet For My Valentine, GHOST, Parkway Drive, While She Sleeps etc, and will also implement national specialist campaigns for Century Media artists and many more.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
UEA STUDENTS UNION - HEAD OF VENUES & LICENSED TRADE (NORWICH)
We have a fantastic opportunity for an experienced operations manager to manage our £5 million turnover live music and student club venues. You must be business minded, have a thorough grip of the numbers, and be able to manage and motivate a team of dedicated career staff.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
DOMINO - PARALEGAL/BUSINESS AFFAIRS ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Domino seeks a Paralegal / Business Affairs Assistant to join record label and publishing company assisting the Business Affairs department. Reporting to the Business Affairs Manager and Company Directors, the role will provide every opportunity for the successful candidate to develop their commercial and legal skills in the music industry.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING - GRASSROOTS PROJECT MANAGER (LONDON)
Attitude is Everything improves Deaf and disabled people’s access to live music by working in partnership with audiences, artists and the music industry. We have an exciting opportunity to join the team as Grassroots Project Manager, taking responsibility for delivering our Charter of Best Practice project to grassroots venues and playing a significant part in driving forward our new Breaking the Sound Barriers programme.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
  LEADING MUSIC MANAGEMENT COMPANY - SENIOR DIGITAL MANAGER (LONDON)
Renowned artist management company seeks Senior Artist Digital Manager to work across an exciting, international artist roster and join their busy London office. This is a fantastic opportunity for an experienced and passionate music individual to deliver innovative and creative digital campaigns for a truly global roster.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SIREN - MUSIC RESEARCHER (LONDON)
Siren is looking for a music researcher to join the team. We are one of London’s leading music production companies and work with some of the worlds leading agencies, production companies and directors.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MERLIN - HEAD OF ROYALTIES (LONDON)
Merlin, the global rights licensing agency for the independent sector, is seeking an experienced professional to head its royalties division. The Head Of Royalties plays an integral role within the organisation.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
TROXY - SALES & EVENTS CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Following a very successful 2016, an opportunity has arisen to join the busy sales and events team in a large east London venue. Working closely with the sales and events managers, this role will support the team in maximising sales opportunities and assist converting leads to confirmed events.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
TROXY - BAR MANAGER (LONDON)
An opportunity has arisen for an experienced Bar Manager to join Troxy's team. We are looking for an experienced candidate who will be tasked to directly control and plan the activities of the bar, its operation and its direction.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SOLAR MANAGEMENT - MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Management Assistant required for London based artist, songwriter and producer management company Solar Management. The job will include general office duties as well as providing support to client managers, including the booking of travel, couriers, web/social media updates, registrations and general administrative duties.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KINC - SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER (LONDON)
KINC is offering a three month cover role is as full time Senior Project Manager. The role will require the candidate to step in, manage and execute multiple large scale client campaigns simultaneously to a detailed plan under strict timelines.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE LEAF LABEL - PART-TIME FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATOR (LEEDS)
The Leaf Label is a Leeds-based music company, established in 1995, comprising record label, artist management and music publishing. We are looking for a part-time bookkeeper/financial administrator to manage our day-to-day financial accounts.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
FEATURED ARTISTS COALITION - CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (LONDON)
The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) is a not-for-profit organisation for featured recording artists in the music industry. The role of the CEO will be to lead the operations of the organisation and develop its strategy in conjunction with the board (consisting solely of respected recording artists), and the Artist In Residence.

For more information and to apply click here.
 
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HMV in talks to depart Oxford Street, say sources
Following the collapse of HMV Canada last month, HMV UK is back under the spotlight because - even though the Canadian operation is very much a separate business - it is owned by the same parent company and high street entertainment retail remains challenging pretty much everywhere. Hence there was lots of chatter when Property Week reported on Thursday that HMV was planning on leaving behind London's Oxford Street.

The property industry title said that it "understood" that the owner of the building occupied by HMV on London's most famous shopping thoroughfare was now negotiating a "lease surrender" through estate agents Savills, which would see the entertainment retailer depart the store and allow landlords Glory Step Investments to find a new tenant.

Although just one shop, HMV's base at 363 Oxford Street is notable because it was the famous music seller's first ever store when it opened as The Gramophone Company in 1921. The retail firm actually departed those premises in 2000 in order to expand its Oxford Street presence with a bigger unit down the road. But after the collapse of HMV plc, new owners Hilco moved the chain's Oxford Street base back to 363, cleverly spinning what was a downsize of its central London operation as a admirable return to the retailer's roots.

Nevertheless, HMV has had a flagship store on Oxford Street throughout its existence, with the exception of a two-year relocation to Bond Street in the 1930s as a result of a fire. Therefore, while a departure from Oxford Street might not mean much in commercial terms in 2017, it would still be symbolic of something.

For its part, Hilco told Music Week that there was "no agreement in place" for HMV to leave Oxford Street, though that doesn't necessarily mean those "lease surrender" negotiations aren't ongoing.

The spokesperson said: "While we don't usually comment on individual stores, there is no agreement in place to close the Oxford Street store. The HMV portfolio is constantly evolving in order to ensure it best suits the strategy of the business and there are at least two new store openings taking place this year, with more likely to follow".

It is definitely true that since Hilco bought HMV out of administration in 2013 with a streamlined network of stores, it has been reshuffling its property portfolio on a pretty regular basis. This has involved both closing and opening stores, and often moving HMV operations from expensive high street units to more cost efficient locations - Hilco having never made any secret of its bid to keep HMV's overheads down as much as possible.

Of course, while all that reshuffling has usually been reported in the local press, it rarely gets much attention from the London media and the London-centric music industry, which is another reason why a departure from Oxford Street has more symbolism - a lot more people in the record industry will notice. It remains to be seen if HMV does indeed depart 363 Oxford Street once again and, if so, whether it sets up shop somewhere cheaper in central London.

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Major labels sue mixtape sharing app
A digital platform specialising in the distribution of unofficial hip hop mixtapes is at the receiving end of the US record industry's latest big fat copyright infringement litigation, with the Recording Industry Association Of America accusing Spinrilla and its founder Jeffery Dylan Copeland of rampant copyright infringement.

The major labels' attorney James Lamberth writes in the record industry's legal complaint that: "Through the Spinrilla website and apps, users with an artist account can upload content that any other user can then download or stream on demand for free, an unlimited number of times. A substantial amount of content uploaded to the Spinrilla website and apps consists of popular sound recordings whose copyrights are owned by plaintiffs".

While the record industry has a long history of generally turning a blind eye to rising urban talent putting out unlicensed promotional mixtapes featuring tracks and samples from more famous artists - partly because those more famous acts often got started by putting out similar unlicensed mixes - the labels are presumably annoyed at Spinrilla building its own business around such unlicensed mixing.

The fact that an albeit nominally priced premium version is available likely added to the labels' wrath, as did the fact the Spinrilla app has appeared in a number of recommended music service lists of late, alongside licensed platforms like Spotify. Plus, of course, with sites like MixCloud and the now licensed SoundCloud, there are legitimate places for bedroom producers to post their unofficial mixes in 2017, and start-ups like Dubset are trying to get such mixes licensed and onto Spotify and Apple Music.

In a statement published by The Hollywood Reporter, the RIAA said of its legal assault on the mixtape app: "Spinrilla specialises in ripping off music creators by offering thousands of unlicensed sound recordings for free. Fans today have access to millions upon millions of songs from innovative platforms and services that pay creators - this kind of illicit activity has no place in today's music marketplace".

Presumably Spinrilla - which has a whole page on its website about how to submit takedown notices to it in accordance with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act - will plead safe harbour in response to the lawsuit. Whether it can afford to test that defence in the courts remains to be seen.

--------------------------------------------------

Frank Ocean sued for $14 million by his father
Frank Ocean is being sued by his father Calvin Cooksey for defamation, demanding $14 million in damages, over a claim that he used a homophobic slur in the early 90s.

In the wake of the attack on Orlando's Pulse nightclub last year, Ocean wrote a post on Tumblr, in which he said: "I was six years old when I heard my dad call our transgender waitress a faggot as he dragged me out a neighbourhood diner saying we wouldn't be served because she was dirty. That was the last afternoon I saw my father and the first time I heard that word, I think, although it wouldn't shock me if it wasn't".

Cooksey denies that this incident ever took place, accusing his son of staging a "publicity stunt in the wake of the Orlando attack ... [and] us[ing] his father as an instrument for personal connection in order to sell records".

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Cooksey said: "I have never discriminated against anyone transgender or heterosexual or homosexual. The events that [the] defendant describes on 21 Jun 2016, that I called a transgender waitress FAGGOT, NEVER HAPPENED ... The defendant is a scam artist, a fraud and a hypocrite who deceive[d] the LGBT community on 21 Jun 2016 for the financial success of [Ocean's album] 'Blonde'".

Back in 2014, Cooksey attempted to sue Russell Simmons for defamation, then demanding $142 million, after the Def Jam co-founder referred to him as a "deadbeat dad" in an interview. That case was thrown out before reaching court.

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Ticketmaster launches new music division
Ticketmaster in the US has announced that it is shifting a number of its existing services into a new unified music division, bringing in David Marcus to run it all. He'll oversee the OnTour artist services operation, the Venues & Promoters ticketing platform, and smaller venue ticketing service TicketWeb.

Marcus was most recently Chief Commercial Officer at ticketing start-up ScoreBig, following roles at Warner Music and the Entertainment & Intellectual Property Group. Prior to all that, back in 2005, he worked for Ticketmaster setting up the artist services division he will now be in charge of.

"I couldn't be more excited to rejoin Ticketmaster", says Marcus. "I've spent my entire career developing products and businesses that connect fans more closely with the artists they love, and I'm passionate about the opportunity to continue that work here. We're going to redefine the ticket buying experience in a way that makes it more rewarding to be a fan, helps artists build bigger and more dynamic touring careers, and ensures that our client venues and promoters have cutting edge tools and technology to generate outsized returns on their live events".

Ticketmaster North America president Jared Smith adds: "This new division will better position Ticketmaster to leverage our unique assets against the specific needs of the music ecosystem. We're building a team here that can help an artist and the first set of clubs they play in, and grow with them all the way to theaters, arenas and stadiums. We believe David's successful history of working with artists, fans, and technology gives him the ability to guide our investments to ensure we provide the most comprehensive solutions for all the various players in the live music lifecycle".

And it's all about the live music lifecycle and its various players these days, isn't it?

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Spotify reportedly delaying IPO to 2018
Spotify will not float on the stock market this year, as had been expected, reckons TechCrunch. That whole IPO thing's now being pushed back to next year, says the tech site.

The apparent reasoning for the decision is that in twelve months time the streaming service will be better able to demonstrate that it is on the path to profitability. According to TechCrunch, this includes renegotiating terms with the record labels, talks for which are ongoing and progressing rather slowly, and also introducing a new variable pricing model based on limiting the number of times a track can be played. It's hoped that an additional lower subscription rate would open up Spotify premium to a bigger potential consumer base.

The IPO had been expected this year because of the terms on some debt financing the streaming service took out last year. It raised $1 billion in the form of a loan, rather than new equity investment. Those who put up that money were already in line for a 20% discount if they converted that credit to stock upon IPO, and the discount is set to rise 2.5% every six months without an IPO after the first year.

It was indicated at that time that Spotify might be willing to let the discount run up to 25% - meaning a early 2018 IPO was always a possibility. However, TechCrunch's sources reckon that Spotify will now seek to renegotiate the terms of that financing - though possibly just the hefty interest on the loan, which also rises the longer the IPO is put off.

On the decision to delay, one source said: "Three to five years ago, you could have an IPO based solely on user growth and promises of the future. But the financial climate has changed now. Today you have to show some path to profitability, especially at the valuation that Spotify has been targeting. That may have caught up with the company a bit".

Spotify's last valuation in 2015 came in at over $8.5 billion. TechCrunch sources say that some at the streaming service are now hoping for something between $11 billion and £13 billion. However, estimates suggest that once the IPO becomes a reality that will drop to a lower, though still pretty ridiculous, level.

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Dave Berry quits Capital breakfast for Absolute show
Dave Berry is departing the London breakfast show at Capital FM for a new job over at rival station Absolute Radio. It's seemingly going to be a daytime programme, but we don't know what yet. So we can all go and take a look at Absolute's schedule and place bets on who's for the chop. Though Berry's current boss at Capital implies that part of the reason for the move is to get rid of the early starts, so presumably Absolute breakfast hosts Christian O'Connell and friends are safe.

Says boss man at Capital FM owner Global, Ashley Tabor, about Berry's departure: "Dave has been an absolutely fantastic host on Capital breakfast. After five years of getting up at 4am, he's decided the time is right [to depart]. We thank him for his service at the top of commercial radio and we wish him all the best for the future".

Berry bigged up his current but soon to be ex employer by saying: "Ten years ago I got my first job in radio on Capital. I've had an amazing time - it really is the best job in the world waking up my fellow Londoners. I'll miss our lovely listeners and everyone here at Capital a huge amount. I'm leaving to pursue some of my other passions and it's safe to say I'll be walking away with some incredible memories!"

About his soon to be employer in the radio domain, Berry said: "Absolute Radio is a great fit for me. I'm a lover of all things music and comedy and I am really looking forward to getting to work on building a brand new show".

Paul Sylvester over at Bauer-owned Absolute added: "It's great that we can finally talk about Dave joining Absolute Radio. He'll fit into the station and our presenter line-up perfectly because he shares the same values and passions as our audience".

Every single one of them? Really? Well, well done Berry on finding a station where every single listener shares your values and passions. Not like those terrible Capital FM listeners. No values or passions at all, that lot.

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Approved: Yunomi
Following on from a collaborative EP with vocalist Nicamoq, producer Yunomi has just returned with a new set of songs with Toriena in the form of the 'Oedo Controller' EP.

It's filled with excellent musical flourishes, which jump out of the songs' pop structures. The title track in particular stands out, partly due to its sheer exuberance.

However, the one that really keeps me coming back, 'Sayonara Invader', is buried further down. A bit softer than the other tracks, although still gripped with heavy bass and skittering drums, its chorus lifts out of the song like no other on the release.

Listen to 'Sayonara Invader' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column in 2017 by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Lady Gaga performs at the Super Bowl, announces world tour
Lady Gaga performed her Super Bowl half-time show last night, complete with light up drones and a swan dive into the stadium. Oh, and a keytar. It all seemed to go off without a hitch, which is no fun to write about at all. Where's Left Shark when you need him?

Watch it here, it's quite good.

Of course, no major televised performance would be complete without some sort of PR announcement. And Gaga did not disappoint, using her twelve minutes on stage at American football's big bash to promote new world tour dates. Some of those dates are in the UK, so I will list them for you now:

9 Oct: London, O2 Arena
15 Oct: Birmingham, Barclaycard Arena
17 Oct: Manchester Arena

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Stormzy announces debut album
Stormzy has announced that he will release his debut album, 'Gang Signs & Prayer', on 24 Feb.

"This is the moment that I have been waiting for my whole life", says the rapper. "I am now ready to certify my position as a credible artist and someone who is here for the long run".

Watch the video for new single, 'Big For Your Boots', here.

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Suzanne Ciani, James Blunt, Naomi Pilgrim, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• A new documentary about electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani, 'A Life In Waves', is to be premiere at this year's SXSW. Here's the trailer.

• James Blunt has released the video for 'Love Me Better'. You're welcome.

• Naomi Pilgrim has released a rework of The Specials' 'Racist Friend', featuring Sa-roc and Yugen Blakrok.

• Cosima has released a new track, 'To Build A House'. She'll be supporting Ray BLK at her upcoming London shows this month and next.

• The always brilliant Death Team have released new single 'Work'. "Hi we made a song about working", confirm the duo.

• Dear Reader has released new single 'Then, Not Now'. New album 'Day Fever' is out on 24 Feb.

• Ghost Culture will release new EP 'Nucleus' on 24 Feb. From it, this is 'Coma'.

• Giggs has announced UK tours for April, which will finish up at the Hammersmith Apollo on 21 Apr.

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Ed Sheeran speaks out against secondary ticketing
Tickets for Ed Sheeran's UK arena tour went on sale last week and, you'll never guess what, loads of them immediately appeared on secondary ticketing sites for massively inflated prices. That's Sajid Javid MP's "classic entrepreneur" mates hard at work once again, making nothing but an honest buck.

This is nothing new, of course, but by the end of last year the resale market for tickets had come in for increasingly negative attention, including in the UK parliament, and around the world. And with fans increasingly speaking out against the practice, artists are under more pressure to denounce it too. Which is difficult for those artists who are complicit in it.

Not-at-all-complicit Ed Sheeran reckons touting is well shit, though. A rep for the musician told the Press Association last week: "We are vehemently opposed to the unethical practices that occur in the secondary market. We have written to each of our partners, be they promoters, venues or ticketing companies, detailing the way in which we expect tickets to be sold: direct to fans".

It might be a bit late for that, but whatever. The spokesperson added that Team Sheeran are working with Twickets to help fans who missed out to buy resold tickets at face value. Though with so many tickets bought up by the industrial touts, who aren't likely to place tickets on sale at face value, the problem remains.

Still, Sheeran fans are being warned not to use sites where higher prices are being charged. The rep went on: "We are aware and deeply concerned about the websites in question and have urged all fans not to engage with them in order to avoid being ripped off with higher prices or, potentially, counterfeit tickets. Once again, we urge all fans to only purchase tickets through official vendors".

Of course, when some of the secondary ticketing platforms are owned and operated by 'official vendors', it's not quite as clear cut as that.

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ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
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