TUESDAY 25 APRIL 2017 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Now that the long-awaited new deals with the record companies are starting to fall into place, we need some new Spotify gossip to waste away the days with, so here's something. A job ad posted by the streaming firm suggests it has plans to move into proprietary hardware for the first time... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S CMU APPROVED: One of the initial signings to former Universal exec Becca Gatrell's new publishing company Wow & Flutter, Rinngs' debut single, 'Cutting The Cloth', demonstrates a deft skill in both songwriting and production. Using a limited pallet of sounds - largely just voice and percussion - the duo build a heavily-layered track around Karl Zine's vocals. [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 latest stats from the BPI that reveal that UK record industry revenues grew 5.1% in 2016, the upcoming revamp of Dailymotion, and why Coachella didn’t book Kate Bush in 2015, even though booking her was never actually an option. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
 
LATEST CMU TRENDS: Paid-for streaming is driving the record industry back into growth, though realistically, a significant slice of the market will never pay to stream. Assuming that free streaming will be part of the mix for the foreseeable future, could the music business do more today to boost this extra income stream down the line? CMU Trends considers the challenge. CMU Trends articles are available to premium subscribers. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Spotify considering move into hardware
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LEGAL RIAA follows BMG's lead, sues ISP for failing to stop repeat infringers
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DEALS Mac & Phil ally with Warner/Chappell to "fuck shit up"
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Former Columbia UK chief joins Kobalt
CI and Entertainment Intelligence partner up to join delivery and data for indies
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LIVE BUSINESS X-ray aligns with Paradigm
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Playlist marketing must focus on artists not songs, says Believe's Georges Tremblay
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MEDIA Years & Years' Olly Alexander to front documentary as part of BBC's Gay Britannia season
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ARTIST NEWS Elton John cancels shows to recover from "potentially deadly" bacterial infection
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AND FINALLY... Ant species named after Radiohead
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MUSIC CONCIERGE - MUSIC TEAM ASSISTANT (HERTFORD)
Music Concierge, the award-winning music consultancy for boutique hotels and luxury brands, is looking for a Music Team Assistant to join our expanding creative team. This is an excellent starter role giving the opportunity to work in the music industry with an exciting growing company.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MUSIC CONCIERGE - PLAYLIST DESIGNER (HERTFORD)
We are looking for a Playlist Designer to join our creative team at Music Concierge, the award-winning music consultancy for boutique hotels and luxury brands. You will have a natural passion for music, a strong music knowledge across a multitude of genres and a professional and motivational approach to work.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BLOKUR - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & STRATEGY MANAGER (LONDON)
Blokur is a funded startup applying blockchain technology to the challenges of IP rights and licensing. We are looking for a Manager, Business Development & Strategy to help us become the number one blockchain solution for the creative industries.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
PROPER MUSIC - INTERNATIONAL SALES CONSULTANT (LONDON)
The International Sales Consultant’s role is to develop strong direct relationships with key international distribution partners. This position requires strong communication skills, organisational and analytical capability and confidence in dealing with senior management internally and externally.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MUSIC PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION - GENERAL MANAGER (LONDON)
The Music Publishers Association is seeking a General Manager to be a tenacious voice for its members on music publishing within the UK, engaging members, industry stakeholders and the general public in the MPA’s work on policy, professional development, education and outreach and membership activities.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BELIEVE - FINANCE MANAGER (LONDON)
Believe Distribution Services is seeking a new Finance Manager. The ideal candidate will have relevant experience in accounting as sole accountant or in accounting firm as responsible for accounts of small size companies.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT - DIRECTOR OF CLIENT SERVICES & RELEASE MANAGEMENT (LONDON)
Kobalt Music Recordings is looking for a friendly, dynamic and experienced music industry professional to work closely with the International Marketing teams in London, NY and LA, KMR’s artist community and the London-based Digital Operations/Supply Chain teams to ensure accurate and timely build of all release products for digital and physical distribution.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
!K7 MUSIC - INTERNATIONAL SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER (BERLIN)
!K7 Music is looking for an experienced sales and marketing professional to help direct, implement and manage robust sales and marketing campaigns across multiple artist and label projects for both our in-house and partner labels.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
REALLY USEFUL THEATRES GROUP - HEAD OF PROGRAMMING (LONDON)
Really Useful Theatres Group has a great opportunity for a Head Of Programming to take responsibility for programming the London Palladium as well as our other theatres (outside resident performance hours), ensuring all bookings are in keeping with the company’s brand, strategic and commercial objectives.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
CHERRY RED - CATALOGUE CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Cherry Red Records is looking for an enthusiastic, self-motivated and creative individual to help run their back catalogue division. The role will involve overseeing compilations and reissues from idea to delivery, covering all aspects of their origination and marketing.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ERASED TAPES MUSIC PUBLISHING - PART-TIME COPYRIGHT ADMINISTRATOR (LONDON)
Erased Tapes Music is currently seeking a meticulous and highly organised individual to join our team as a part-time Copyright Administrator. The chosen candidate will oversee all aspects of catalogue administration.

For more information and to apply click here.
 
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6 May 2017 CMU Insights @ SPOT+
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20 Jun 2017 CMU:DIY x Urban Development: Where Labels & Publishers Fit In
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Spotify considering move into hardware
Now that the long-awaited new deals with the record companies are starting to fall into place, we need some new Spotify gossip to waste away the days with, so here's something.

A job ad posted by the streaming firm suggests it has plans to move into proprietary hardware for the first time. Having heard on the grapevine of the new hardware ambitions, the Zatz Not Funny website spotted a recruitment ad for a Senior Product Manager - Hardware who will lead "an initiative to deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers; a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo and Snap Spectacles".

Of course, those are three quite different products, so it's not entirely clear what kind of gadgets Spotify currently has in mind to make. Though the ad probably means that the streaming firm wants to create a new bit of hardware that is as "category defining" as the Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo and Snap Spectacles, but not necessarily a watch, a speaker or a pair of specs. Indeed, Team Spotify may themselves not yet be entirely clear on what that gadget may be exactly.

The since removed job ad went on: "You will define the product requirements for internet-connected hardware, the software that powers it, and work with suppliers/manufacturers to deliver the optimal Spotify experience to millions of users. Above all, your work will affect the way the world experiences music and talk content".

So, nicely vague and no official comment to date; perfect for fuelling a whole new genre of random Spotify speculation. Let's do it, let's speculate. Not here, I'm busy. But feel free to speculate on your own time.

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RIAA follows BMG's lead, sues ISP for failing to stop repeat infringers
The major labels are seemingly following the lead of BMG in taking on American internet service providers who don't do enough to tackle piracy on their networks, as the Recording Industry Association Of America goes legal against Texas-based ISP Grande Communications.

As much previously reported, BMG successfully sued US net firm Cox Communications over its slack approach to dealing with repeat copyright infringers amongst its userbase. In the landmark litigation, which is still subject to appeal, Cox was shown to deliberately turn a blind eye to repeat infringers. As a result it lost the safe harbour protection in America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act that says internet firms can't be held liable if customers use their servers to distribute content without licence.

In the new case against Grande Communications, the RIAA writes that "defendants have been notified that their internet customers have engaged in more than one million infringements of copyrighted works over BitTorrent systems, including tens of thousands of blatant infringements by repeat infringers of plaintiffs' copyrighted works".

"Despite their knowledge of repeat infringements, defendants have permitted repeat infringers to use the Grande service to continue to infringe plaintiffs' copyrights without consequence", the legal claim continues. "Neither Grande or its management company Patriot has taken any meaningful action to discourage this continuing theft, let alone suspend or terminate subscribers who repeatedly commit copyright infringement through its network, as required by law".

The RIAA adds: "Upon information and belief, this is so even where defendants have specific and actual knowledge of those subscribers' blatant, repeat infringement. Defendants' effective acquiescence in this wholesale violation of plaintiffs' rights, coupled with their failure to adopt and reasonably implement a policy to stop repeat infringers, excludes defendants from the safe harbour protections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act".

To secure safe harbour protection internet firms must provide copyright owners with a takedown system via which infringing works can be removed and infringers targeted. It's Grande's alleged failure to do this that - the RIAA hopes - will convince the court to deprive the ISP of safe harbour protection, in the same way the courts did with Cox.

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Mac & Phil ally with Warner/Chappell to "fuck shit up"
Warner/Chappell has signed one of those worldwide publishing agreements that all the cool kids are talking about with songwriting/production duo Matthew Holmes and Phil Leigh, who all the cool kids insist on calling Mac & Phil. The duo are good mates with the naughty boy that all the cool kids like to refer to as Naughty Boy, and they have also worked with The Chainsmokers, Ella Henderson and Emeli Sandé, among others.

They also know how to speak in perfect unison, and as such declared as one yesterday that: "We started making music because of our undying desire to connect with everyone, and to one day have a big impact on the world, spreading love, peace and partying. So it's an honour and a privilege to start our next chapter with such like-minded souls at Warner/Chappell; they are a company that truly value how important songwriters are and understand that ultimately, we're here to fuck shit up".

Also presumably excited about all the shit that can now be fucked up, Warner/Chappell UK MD Mike Smith added: "There is a new wave of young songwriters transforming music around the world right now and Mac & Phil are at the forefront of that. They have written world class songs with Emile Sandé and The Chainsmokers, and their ambition going forward knows no boundaries. They are an inspiration to work with".

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Former Columbia UK chief joins Kobalt
Having departed Sony Music last year, former Columbia UK co-President Alison Donald is joining that there Kobalt in a Head Of Creative role that will see her working with artists allied to both the recording and publishing sides of the music rights business in the UK.

Confirming the hire, Kobalt top dude Willard Ahdritz says: "This is a big day not only for Kobalt but for all of our artists, and songwriters. Alison's great experience in cultivating and breaking artists elevates Kobalt's already accomplished global creative team even further. I am very excited to welcome Allison because she also is a great, fun and honest person to work with - a perfect fit for Kobalt".

Donald herself adds: "Having been able to watch Kobalt from the beginning, I can honestly say that today, artists and songwriters are in a better environment because of them. Kobalt is obsessed with helping creators thrive in this complex music industry, and that aligns with my beliefs and approach. It's also fantastic that I'll be reuniting with Sas Metcalfe who gave me my first job in publishing and has continued to encourage and inspire me throughout my career".

Oh yes, Sas Metcalfe. Why haven't we mentioned Sas Metcalfe? She is, after all, Chief Creative Officer at Kobalt. And look, she's here with a quote too: "Over the years, I've seen Alison sign some of the most musically respected and successful artists in the industry. Her knowledge, expertise, and fantastic reputation coupled with her ability to identify and sign successful long-term career artists, makes her the perfect fit to lead the creative team for recordings and publishing in the UK".

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CI and Entertainment Intelligence partner up to join delivery and data for indies
Digital music delivery specialists CI, which helps indie labels and distributors get their music onto the digital platforms, has announced a "strategic alliance" with Entertainment Intelligence, which aims to help indies process all the sales and usage data that flows back in from the streaming services.

Under the alliance, the data firm will become a 'preferred partner' of CI, plus "both companies will be working closely together so that CI's clients will be able to easily use Entertainment Intelligence for sales and usage data analysis if desired, with the latter's services tied closely to CI's best-in-class infrastructure and technology". So now you know.

Says CI General Manager Kieron Faller: "Entertainment Intelligence provides analytics from sales and usage information provided by music services that are highly relevant and valuable to rights holders. By ensuring their service can seamlessly access the data our clients have placed in the CI platform we are able to offer our rights holder clients easy access to Entertainment Intelligence's analytics tools, matching sales report data with their definitive catalogue metadata".

Erik Gilbert over at Entertainment Intelligence added: "We're THRILLED to be working with such a well-regarded partner to the independent sector. CI has enviable strength in both their technology and their blue-chip independent client base, and by wrapping our analytics services closely with them we are able to offer business intelligence that adds true value to labels and rights owners".

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X-ray aligns with Paradigm
London-based booking agency X-ray Touring has announced a new joint venture with the US-based Paradigm Talent Agency which, the two firms say, will provide X-ray's roster of artists with "access to new opportunities in branding, endorsements, digital content development and distribution, and other media". And who wouldn't want that?

Paradigm has expanded its influence in the live music space considerably in recent years through alliances with other agencies. In the US that includes AM Only and The Windish Agency - which as of earlier this year now operate under the Paradigm name - and in the UK it has a stake in the Coda agency.

Paradigm CEO Sam Gores says of the new tie-up with X-ray: "X-ray has a fantastic worldwide roster. We've wanted this partnership for quite some time and are THRILLED to grow our company while working in partnership with Steve Strange, Ian Huffam, Scott Thomas, Martin Horne and Jeff Craft to offer more creative and business opportunities to X-ray's artists".

Meanwhile X-ray's directors added in a joint statement: "We're delighted to find in Paradigm partners that share our ethos of complete commitment to the artist, providing them with every possible advantage in all aspects of their career. We look forward with great enthusiasm to collaborating with Paradigm and Yucaipa on this next stage of X-ray's global development".

If you are wondering why investment firm Yucaipa also gets a namecheck there, well, it's a shareholder in the Independent Talent Group, which recently announced an alliance with Coda, which is part-owned by Paradigm and therefore now also connected to X-ray. So they're all now one massive happy family. They'll need a big table for Christmas lunch.

Yucaipa top man Ron Burkle is also "THRILLED" about all this. Specifically, he is "THRILLED to be in business with Paradigm in the UK. The synergies with X-ray, ITG and Coda creates Europe's most comprehensive agency offering as well as a fund to invest in live entertainment assets in the UK and Europe".

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Playlist marketing must focus on artists not songs, says Believe's Georges Tremblay
Simply getting individual songs onto playlists is not enough to build a following on the streaming services, says Believe Digital Canada President Georges Tremblay. Your strategy needs to be smarter and consider how each placement pushes the artist, rather than the song.

As part of this year's Global Creators Summit at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, CMU Insights presented a series of sessions on the streaming market. Based on the 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' reports CMU Insights produced for the UK Music Managers Forum, representatives from the digital market, collecting societies, artist management and entertainment law spoke. The audience heard a detailed breakdown of how streaming services are licensed, conversations about ensuring that the streaming business works for all parties, and a discussion about ongoing transparency issues.

In an interview with CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke, Tremblay discussed how labels and artists find success via the streaming services, and how that feeds into a wider, more long term plan.

He noted that playlists do play a key role in driving listening on the streaming platforms, adding that getting music onto those playlists is a distinct new task for artists and labels, not just an extension of something else: "People think that pitching to playlists is like pitching to radio. It's a bit like that, but it's not exactly like that", he said. "Radio will likely pick songs because it fits their sound and it's going to fit well between other tracks. For playlists, it's user experience. Yes, they like your track, but they're also going to do it because it benefits their playlist in the end. If they get better playlists people will talk about them, and they'll share them with their friends. That's how it works".

But there is more to achieving success in the streaming domain than simply getting a track on to a playlist. "We find that labels are more effective when they're not just thinking, 'how do I get on a playlist?'. Because getting on a playlist is not the ultimate goal. Are you on the right playlist? Where are you on the playlist? Because not every user is putting it on shuffle. An artist marketing plan has to be bigger than the streaming services. If your main focus is to say, 'I'm gonna get on playlists', you're likely going to fail".

"Even though with streaming, we're talking singles, we're not just selling songs, we're selling artists", he went on. "And that has never changed. Ever since the birth of the music industry, it's always been how you get people to develop sentiment towards the artist, and that's how you're going to keep them".

The data and analytics offered by the streaming services can be useful in that regard, if used correctly. "I have a smartphone, but it's only smart because I know how to use it", he said. "Data is only good if you know how to use it. So we use that as a part of the strategy, it's not the strategy".

As an example of how data can be used to guide the marketing of an artist, rather than just a single song, he noted: "It's OK to get a high skip rate on a discovery playlist, but if you're on a mood playlist and your skip rate is high, maybe you should look at the song. Sometimes you have to have the humility to stop and say, that might not be the right track to push".

"You need to have a plan", he concluded. "And it has to be an artist marketing plan".

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Years & Years' Olly Alexander to front documentary as part of BBC's Gay Britannia season
Olly Alexander from Years & Years is one of the people due to take part in a series of programmes announced by the BBC yesterday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, the landmark legislation that partially decriminalised homosexual acts in England and Wales.

In a programme for BBC Three, Alexander will ask why the gay community is arguably more vulnerable to mental health issues. In 'Olly Alexander: Growing Up Gay', the singer will again discuss his own battle with depression, while sharing his experiences growing up as a gay man in modern Britain.

The Gay Britannia season will feature programmes on various BBC TV channels and radio stations, including new dramas like 'Against The Law' and 'Man In An Orange Shirt'; documentaries exploring the cultural impact of the LGBTQ community; and a documentary called 'Is It Safe To Be Gay In The UK?, which uses testimony and found footage to explore the rise of attacks on lesbian, gay and transgender people.

Commenting on the wider season of programmes, BBC Two Controller Patrick Holland said yesterday: "This is a rich and compelling set of programmes that challenge us all. From the heart-breaking testimony of the men who lived through the years before partial decriminalisation in 'Against The Law' and Patrick Gale's intensely personal 'Man In An Orange Shirt', to a documentary revealing the experience of people facing discrimination in the UK today, this season is a powerful examination of how far we have come - whilst also exploring how much further we have to travel".

Meanwhile Leila Monks and Laura Jones, executive producers of Alexander's documentary, added: "We are hugely proud to be representing BBC3 as part of the Gay Britannia season and very excited to be working with somebody as talented as Olly on such an important film".

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Approved: Rinngs
One of the initial signings to former Universal exec Becca Gatrell's new publishing company Wow & Flutter, Rinngs' debut single, 'Cutting The Cloth', demonstrates a deft skill in both songwriting and production.

Using a limited pallet of sounds - largely just voice and percussion - the duo build a heavily-layered track around Karl Zine's vocals. The gathering of sounds stick to the song itself, pulsing and twitching to create a slow-paced pop track, that steps confidently through the downbeat, seething lyrics. It's early days but this is a very bold beginning.

Listen to 'Cutting The Cloth' here.

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

Elton John cancels shows to recover from "potentially deadly" bacterial infection
Elton John has been forced to cancel a series of shows after a "potentially deadly" bacterial infection resulted in two days in intensive care.

According to the musician's management, John became violently ill at the conclusion of a South American tour last week. He subsequently returned to the UK for urgent treatment, where he was placed in an intensive care unit. Specifics of the condition are not known, except that the infection was "rare and potentially deadly".

A spokesperson added that, "thankfully, Elton's medical team identified [the infection] quickly and treated it successfully. He is expected to make a full and complete recovery".

John is now resting at home and is hoping to return to the stage for his 3 Jun show at Twickenham. But nine North American gigs will have to be cancelled to allow time for a full recovery.

In a statement, John himself said: "I am so fortunate to have the most incredible and loyal fans and apologise for disappointing them. I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well".

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Ant species named after Radiohead
Radiohead have had a species of ant named after them, which pretty much means they've achieved everything now and can retire.

What will now be known as 'sericomyrmex radioheadi' were discovered in the Venezuelan Amazon and documented by Ana Jesovnik and Ted R Schultz of the Smithsonian Institution's Ant Lab.

The scientists decided to name the ants after the band partly because they like their music, but also to acknowledge the outfit's eco credentials, which are not limited to, but include, once writing the lyric "no killing moths or putting boiling water on the ants".

Said Jesovnik: "We wanted to honour their music. But more importantly, we wanted to acknowledge the conservation efforts of the band members, especially in raising climate-change awareness".

The newly discovered ants are fungus farmers. There's a joke sitting somewhere in that fact, and I'll memo it to you just as soon as I find it.

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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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