MONDAY 15 JANUARY 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Well, this is no fun at all. Songkick has settled its long running legal battle with Live Nation in a reported $110 million deal that will also see the live music giant acquire some of the start-up ticketing firm's assets. It means that what could have been a very enlightening trial indeed will now not go ahead... [READ MORE]
Available to premium subscribers, CMU Trends digs deeper into the inner workings of the music business, explaining how things work and reviewing all the recent trends.
   
FIVE CONTENDERS FOR MUSIC'S ENEMY NUMBER ONE - UPDATE!
A year ago, CMU Trends identified five contenders for enemy number one of the music industry. This week we review what has happened in the subsequent twelve months, and ask whether relations between the music community and its potential enemies improved or worsened in 2017. [READ MORE]
   
TOP FIVE MUSIC LAWSUITS TO WATCH IN 2018
As 2018 gets underway and we start to look at the music year ahead, let's not forget the stage that is the courtroom. What litigation and legal wrangling could have an impact on the music business this year? CMU Trends picks five big cases, reviews the story so far and considers the possible ramifications of each legal battle. [READ MORE]
   
ONLINE MUSIC PIRACY - PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
While the music industry has shouted a lot more about safe harbours than piracy in recent years, that could be about to change. But if the music community gets vocal about piracy once again, what kind of piracy will dominate the conversation? CMU Trends reviews developments in online piracy from the rise of Napster to the new services gaining momentum today. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Songkick settles Live Nation litigation
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LEGAL Heritage artists galore intervene in pre-1972 case in California
Pirate Bay web-block extended to other ISPs in Netherlands
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DEALS Primary Wave buys into Bob Marley catalogue through Chris Blackwell deal
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LIVE BUSINESS Royal Albert Hall to be investigated over trustee seat ownership
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EDUCATION & EVENTS Urban Development and CMU:DIY return with Industry Takeover Seminar
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AWARDS BRITs 2018 nominations announced
So Sigrid will be Sound Of 2018, says BBC
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ONE LINERS Kevin McCabe, Reservoir, Sony Music, more
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AND FINALLY... Crytocurrency themed pop group launches in Japan
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Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 0906.
   
LIVE NATION UK - SOCIAL AND CONTENT MANAGER (LONDON)
Live Nation UK's Social and Content Manager is responsible for managing and building the LN UK social channels and LNTV publishing platform. You will also support the shared team goal to grow reach, engagement and first party data.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
IDOL - HEAD OF DISTRIBUTION (PARIS)
To keep abreast with the current business and technological expansion, IDOL is creating this position. The main purpose of this role is to manage, co-ordinate and optimise IDOL’s core activity.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT FESTIVALS - MEMBERSHIP & PROJECTS CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
The Association Of Independent Festivals is looking for a new Membership and Project Co-ordinator to assist the General Manager of AIF with the day-to-day organisation and administration of the association.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THRILL JOCKEY RECORDS - DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & PROMOTIONS, EUROPE (LONDON)
Thrill Jockey Records is seeking an experienced person for Director of Marketing and Promotions for Europe to be based out of our East London office.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
PROPER MUSIC - ROYALTY ADMINISTRATOR (DARTFORD)
Working as part of the overall Finance and Business Affairs team, reporting to the Head of Department, the successful candidate will oversee royalty processes and reporting for all group companies.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
WARP RECORDS - INTERNATIONAL MARKETING & PROMOTIONS CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Warp Records is looking for an energetic and enthusiastic individual to join its international team based in London. Your role will be to help us deliver great campaigns for our artists internationally.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
INVOLVED GROUP - ROYALTY & ACCOUNTS ASSISTANT MANAGER (LONDON)
Owned and managed by global DJ trio Above & Beyond and James Grant, Involved Group is looking for an experienced Royalty & Accounts Assistant Manager to join our busy and growing Finance Team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON - ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER (LONDON)
Academy Music Group is recruiting for an Assistant General Manager to assist in all aspects of the operation of the building in relation to events staged at O2 Academy Brixton.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE ORCHARD - CLASSICAL LABEL MANAGER (LONDON)
The Orchard has an immediate opening for a classics specialist to manage key classical label relationships across Europe and beyond. Essential to this role is an extensive knowledge of classical repertoire and a thorough understanding of classical metadata and the unique needs of classical labels and orchestras when it comes to digital operations and marketing.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MUSIC PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION - MUSIC PUBLISHING EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
The Music Publishers Association is seeking a highly organised, pro-active, efficient and positive team player to work as its Music Publishing Executive, taking responsibility for specific licensing related duties as well as offering admin support to its staff and assisting with the smooth running of its office.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SJM CONCERTS - VIP ASSISTANT (MANCHESTER)
SJM offer exclusive VIP ticket packages across many of our major tours for artists such as Take That, One Direction, Little Mix and Coldplay which over the last year has amounted to over 60,000 packages. Working as an assistant to the VIP Manager within our VIP department, the VIP Assistant is responsible for the day to day administration of our exclusive VIP packages, as well as providing general office admin support.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ISOBEL GRIFFITHS LTD - TRAINEE ORCHESTRAL FIXER (LONDON)
A Trainee Orchestral Contractor (aka Fixer) is required to join an office of six staff, based in the Chelsea Harbour area of SW10. The company books freelance orchestral and specialist musicians for feature films, video games, TV film scores, records and TV commercial recordings.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MAMA FESTIVALS - HEAD OF CREATIVE PRODUCTION (LONDON)
MAMA Festivals is one of the UK's leading festival businesses. The Head Of Creative Production works alongside managers and consultants to deliver creative aspects of Lovebox, Citadel and Wilderness festivals.

For more information and to apply click here.
CMU Insights provides training and consultancy to music companies and companies working with music. Find out about our seminars, masterclasses and primers here...
   
CMU SEMINARS: MAKING MONEY FROM MUSIC COPYRIGHT
Mondays 5, 12, 19 Feb 2018 at 6.30pm in London
These three CMU Insights seminars together provide a user-friendly guide to how music copyright works and how music rights make money. You can book into each individual session at £49.99 per seminar or you can book a place on all three at the special price of £125. CLICK HERE FOR INFO.
   
CMU SEMINARS: BUILDING A FANBASE AND FAN BUSINESS
Mondays 26 Feb, 5, 12 Mar 2018 at 6.30pm in London
These three CMU Insights seminars together provide an overview of how to build a fanbase for new artists and new music. They also look at how artists can use these channels to build a direct-fo-fan business. You can book into each individual session at £49.99 per seminar or you can book a place on all three at the special price of £125. CLICK HERE FOR INFO.
   
CMU PRIMER: KEY MUSIC BUSINESS TRENDS 2018
These are courses we can run in-house at your company
As we head into 2018, CMU Insights is now offering music companies a special two-hour primer session reviewing five key areas of the music business, summarising important developments from the last twelve months and looking at the challenges that lie ahead in the next year. Including: the streaming business, piracy, safe harbour, ticketing and data. CLICK HERE FOR INFO.

Songkick settles Live Nation litigation
Well, this is no fun at all. Songkick has settled its long running legal battle with Live Nation in a reported $110 million deal that will also see the live music giant acquire some of the start-up ticketing firm's assets. It means that what could have been a very enlightening trial indeed will now not go ahead.

The Songkick company - which combined the original Songkick gig recommendations service and the Crowdsurge direct-to-fan ticketing platform - sued Live Nation in 2015, accusing the live music major of anti-competitive behaviour.

The key allegation was that Live Nation - as a concert promoter, venue operator, artist manager and Ticketmaster owner - was exploiting its market dominance to stop artists from working with Songkick on ticket pre-sales to fan club members.

As it went through the motions, the original lawsuit was both streamlined and extended. The additions were mainly new allegations made by Songkick that staff at Ticketmaster stole trade secrets from the start-up and used them to develop its own rival service. These claims centred on a former Crowdsurge employee who had subsequently joined Ticketmaster.

As the legal wrangling continued, last July it was announced that Warner Music had bought the Songkick app and brand. Warner Music owner Access Industries was a key investor in the Songkick business. The ticketing platform previously known as Crowdsurge was not part of the deal, and it subsequently announced that it was winding down its operations, blaming the conduct of Live Nation and Ticketmaster for that turn of events.

The lawsuit stayed with the company operating the ticketing platform after the Warner deal. Renamed Complete Entertainment Resources Group, that company insisted it would continue to pursue its legal battle, even though it no longer had any active operations itself.

There was plenty of interest in the lawsuit, even though it always seemed ambitious on Songkick's part, because there are plenty of other people in the music community who dislike the ever-acquisitive Live Nation's market dominance in live entertainment, especially in some key markets.

Even though, as it evolved, the lawsuit seemed to focus more on the allegations of industrial espionage than the original claims of anti-competitive behaviour, many were anticipating some interesting revelations about Live Nation's operations and exclusivity deals once the dispute properly got to court. After various delays, that was due to happen later this month.

But not now. On Friday it was announced that "Live Nation Entertainment and Complete Entertainment Resources Group, and related entities formerly known as Songkick, announced today that Live Nation has acquired certain assets from CERG, including CERG's ticketing commerce platform, anti-scalping algorithm, API applications and patent portfolio. The two companies also announced that they have agreed to a settlement resolving litigation that was scheduled to go to trial later this month".

Speaking for Live Nation, Joe Berchtold told reporters: "We are pleased that we were able to resolve this dispute and avoid protracted and costly legal proceedings, while also acquiring valuable assets".

Meanwhile Matt Jones, the founder of Crowdsurge and subsequently CEO of the combined Songkick business, added: "We are glad to have resolved this litigation and thank all the employees, artists and industry partners who contributed so much to our many successes over the last decade".

So, no fun at all for fans of messy music business litigation. Quickly, someone sue Ed Sheeran just to help fill this new pop courts vacuum. Yeah again. You can't have too many Ed Sheeran plagiarism lawsuits.

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Heritage artists galore intervene in pre-1972 case in California
A plethora of heritage artists, including Carole King, The Beatles, Grateful Dead and The Doors, and the estates of Hank Williams and Judy Garland, have put their names to one of those amicus briefs, seeking to weigh in on the pre-1972 copyright debate in California, where the matter is heading to the state's Supreme Court.

US-wide federal copyright law only protects sound recordings released since 1972, with older tracks protected by state-level copyright law. In America, AM/FM radio stations don't pay royalties to artists and labels, but online and satellite stations do. However, because that rule comes from federal law, online services like Pandora and satellite broadcaster Sirius decided that they didn't have to hand over any payment whenever the tracks they were playing pre-dated 1972.

The music industry felt that was sneaky, and two musicians in particular - one time Turtles, Flo & Eddie - went legal on the matter in multiple states. They argued that state law also required Pandora and Sirius to pay royalties to artists and labels. Though, as older state copyright laws don't make a distinction between AM/FM radio and online/satellite stations, that would basically require the court to conclude that all radio services should have been paying royalties to the record industry, whenever they played golden oldies, all this time.

Despite that fact, Flo & Eddie won their lawsuit against Sirius in California, and also initially had some success in New York state too. Though subsequently both New York and Florida ruled that there were no recording royalties due for airplay - however delivered - under those two states' respective copyright systems.

Meanwhile, back in California, Flo & Eddie's separate lawsuit against Pandora continues to go through the motions, and last year the Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeal asked the state's Supreme Court to settle the matter once and for all.

Which is why a flurry of big name heritage acts have now put their name to a court filing requesting that the state's top judges do provide artists and labels with royalties from online and satellite radio platforms.

Lawyers and labels involved in the case have focused on copyright law technicalities, but some of those acts backing Flo & Eddie have gone with more ethical arguments. According to Billboard, one of those artists, Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick, told the music writer who compiled the amicus brief, Steve Hochman, that "It's basically simple ... if you are making bucks off of my stuff, guess what? I deserve a portion of it".

While legal wranglings continue in California, efforts are also underway in Washington to amend federal copyright law so that the obligation on online and satellite radio to pay royalties to artists and labels would be extended to all recordings still in copyright, not just those released since 1972. It's the CLASSICS Act that seeks to make those amendments.

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Pirate Bay web-block extended to other ISPs in Netherlands
More internet service providers in the Netherlands have been ordered to block access to The Pirate Bay, even though the country's Supreme Court is yet to make a final ruling on whether web-blocking should be allowed as an anti-piracy tactic in the country.

Whereas in most countries ISPs have reluctantly accepted court orders forcing them to block customers from accessing copyright infringing websites, Dutch net firms Ziggo and XS4ALL decided to fight a Pirate Bay blocking injunction secured by the country's anti-piracy agency BREIN back in 2012.

In 2014, an appeals court sided with the internet firms, ruling that the Pirate Bay web-block that had been put in place by a lower court was "ineffectual" and might "constitute an infringement of [people's] freedom to act at their discretion".

BREIN then took the matter to the Dutch Supreme Court, which in turn asked the European Courts Of Justice whether European law had any issues with web-blocking, and the possible "infringement of people's freedom to act at their discretion" it might cause.

Last year European judges basically gave the all-clear for national courts in the European Union to instigate web-blocks on copyright grounds if they so wished. And so the case returned to the Dutch Supreme Court, which still needs to decide whether forcing Ziggo and XS4ALL to block The Pirate Bay is a proportionate sanction in this specific case.

While that final judgement is still pending, last September the appeals court said that its 2014 decision was now largely obsolete and that, therefore, the 2012 web-blocks against The Pirate Bay should be reinstated, pending the Supreme Court ruling.

Last week the web-blocking order was extended to cover other ISPs in the country, including KPN, Tele2, T-Mobile, Zeelandnet and CAIW. Some of those companies objected to web-blocking in court, but their concerns were dismissed by judges.

Which means the wider web-block party can get underway with immediate effect. Although, all of this is still subject to that final Supreme Court judgement on the matter.

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Primary Wave buys into Bob Marley catalogue through Chris Blackwell deal
US music firm Primary Wave has acquired 80% of Island Records founder Chris Blackwell's share in Bob Marley's songs and the Blue Mountain Music publishing company. The deal is worth a reported $50 million.

Blue Mountain Music was founded by Blackwell in 1962, and has a roster of songs by artists including Toots & The Maytals, Free, Babba Mall, The B-52s, John Martyn, John Grant and Marianne Faithful, as well as Marley. The Bob Marley estate also retains a share in the late musician's catalogue.

As part of the deal, Blue Mountain and Primary Wave will also jointly sign new acts, with the latter actively pushing those artists.

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Royal Albert Hall to be investigated over trustee seat ownership
The Royal Albert Hall has been referred to the Charity Tribunal in relation to concerns over the fact that many of the trustees of the charity that runs the London venue also privately own seats in the Hall, allowing them to sell tickets for them at inflated prices.

When the Royal Albert Hall was built in 1860, members of the public were offered the opportunity to fund the project in something like a nineteenth century Kickstarter campaign. In return, they were given ownership of seats in the venue, which they could pass down to future generations or sell off to the highest bidder.

According to the Telegraph, around a quarter of the venue's 5000 seats are still owned in this way. Of the Royal Albert Hall charity's trustees, nineteen are also seat owners - between them owning about 140 of the potentially profitable chairs.

The issue being raised now by the Charity Commission specifically relates to the fact that those trustee seat owners hold a majority on the Hall's governing council, which the charity regulator says is "an inherent unresolvable conflict of interest".

A spokesperson for the Charity Commission told the BBC: "The question is whether these arrangements enable the council to be perceived as furthering the purposes of the charity for the public benefit. We have been engaged with the Hall for some time and, while progress has been made in some areas, the central issue of how to deal with the conflicts of interest, and suggested private benefit, remain unresolved and the hall has shown minimal appetite to address these".

Commenting on the news that this matter would now go to the Charity Tribunal, a former president of the venue, Richard Lyttelton, told the Telegraph: "This goes a long way towards vindicating a lengthy campaign to bring the issues of governance at this iconic national institution to light. Through an archaic constitution and more recent opportunities afforded by online ticket sites, certain commercially minded members have been able to profit by selling tickets to their seats, sometimes at many times face value. Apart from the questionable morality of this practice it is clearly not what the charity was designed for".

However, the Royal Albert Hall itself says it is disappointed by the latest development. A spokesperson for the venue said: "Over many years, the Hall has engaged in a meaningful way to resolve what is a complex set of issues, however the Commission has chosen to refuse to meet us, whilst pursuing what will be a costly and drawn out route. Whilst we will, of course, co-operate with this process, our focus will remain on entertaining audiences and to enhance our considerable charitable activities".

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Urban Development and CMU:DIY return with Industry Takeover Seminar
The Industry Takeover Seminar from Urban Development and CMU:DIY returns this week, with six monthly sessions now set to take place through to June at London's Red Bull Studios.

The Industry Takeover Seminar is aimed at aspiring artists and future industry talent. Each edition focuses on a different aspect of the music business, and kicks off with a CMU:DIY guide to that side of the music industry. Then a panel of experts are questioned, first by CMU's Chris Cooke, and then by the audience.

Says Cooke: "Urban Development's Industry Takeover Seminar is one of my favourite events that we are involved in. Our CMU:DIY education programme is all about sharing our knowledge and insights with the next generation of artists and industry leaders, and each edition of the ITO Seminar is packed out with those very people".

This week's edition - tomorrow night (16 Jan) at the Red Bull Studios - is all about 'Making Money From Music' with input from Lloyd Murray from Relentless Records, Kate Bond from Evelyn Productions and Chris Oyekweli from Bravado.

Future sessions are focused on streaming, building a fanbase, making videos, gigging and label deals. For more info and tickets, click here.

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Approved: Made In Paris
Rising techno and deep house producer Paris Forscutt - aka Made In Paris - is set to release new EP 'Erratic' on 1 Feb on her own Upon Access label. Ahead of that comes the mesmerising title track.

With a string of releases to her name over the last couple of years, she closed 2017 with the dark but melodic 'Mass Movement'. 'Erratic' continues in a similar vein tonally, but moves things up a level with a greater intensity and depth of sound. Far from being erratic, the track slowly twists and morphs naturally across six enticing minutes.

If you happen to be in Australia, which you might, you can catch numerous Made In Paris DJ sets over the next couple of months.

Listen to 'Erratic' here.

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

BRITs 2018 nominations announced
The BRIT Awards nominations are out, ahead of next month's ceremony. I always find that's the best way around to have those things. That year when they announced the nominations six months after the event is one I think we're all happy to forget.

The big news is that Dua Lipa has managed to score five nominations, despite having no discernable personality and a collection of songs that just happen and then stop. Behind her is Ed Sheeran, who has four nominations, plus J Hus and Rag N Bone Man, who have three apiece. All four of them, inexplicably, are up for Best British Album.

As the solo careers of the former members of One Direction slowly emerge, we're still talking about how they fare against each other, despite the group having split up about 700 years ago now. Zayn Malik, Harry Styles and Liam Payne are all up for Best Video. Payne has also somehow managed to get a Best Single nomination for 'Strip That Down', which just makes a mockery of the whole thing.

In other rivalry news, Liam Gallagher has one nomination and Noel Gallagher has none. That seems about the right balance, as Liam's solo album was just about bearable and Noel's latest effort was like stabbing yourself in the ear repeatedly.

"So I hear I've been nominated for British Male Solo Artist at the BRITs this year - YOU GOTTA BE IN IT TO WIN IT", tweeted Liam. Of his brother, he added: "So the creepy one gets blanked at the BRITs. Oh well, was looking forward to hurling abuse at him and his poshos from across the room. I know I'm not gonna win, just pointing out to the gobshite who said nobody gives a fuck what Liam Gallagher thinks".

Putting a more positive spin on things, Sony Music UK boss and Chair of the BRITs, Jason Iley, says: "This year's nominations are representative of an exciting, genre spanning and vibrant year in British music with a strong mix of established acts alongside new and emerging artists who are set to become the big names of the future".

The show will take place at the O2 Arena in London on 21 Feb, as well as being broadcast live on ITV1. Obviously, I can't wait for the big night and will diligently consume every second of it. Meanwhile, here are all the nominations, not one of them deserved:

British Male Solo Artist: Ed Sheeran, Liam Gallagher, Loyle Carner, Rag N Bone Man, Stormzy

British Female Solo Artist: Dua Lipa, Jessie Ware, Kate Tempest, Laura Marling, Paloma Faith

British Group: Gorillaz, London Grammar, Royal Blood, Wolf Alice, The xx

British Breakthrough Act: Dave, Dua Lipa, J Hus, Loyle Carner, Sampha

International Male Solo Artist: Beck, Childish Gambino, DJ Khaled, Drake, Kendrick Lamar

International Female Solo Artist: Alicia Keys, Björk, Lorde, P!nk, Taylor Swift

International Group: Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, Haim, The Killers, LCD Soundsystem

British Single Of The Year: Calvin Harris feat Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean - Feels, Clean Bandit feat Zara Larsson - Symphony, Dua Lipa - New Rules, Ed Sheeran - Shape Of You, J Hus - Did You See, Jax Jones feat Raye - You Don't Know Me, Jonas Blue feat William Singe - Mama, Liam Payne feat Quavo - Strip That Down, Little Mix - Touch, Rag N Bone Man - Human

British Video Of The Year: Anne-Marie - Ciao Adios, Calvin Harris feat Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean - Feels, Clean Bandit feat Zara Larsson - Symphony, Dua Lipa - New Rules, Ed Sheeran - Shape Of You, Harry Styles - Sign Of The Times, Jonas Blue feat William Singe - Mama, Liam Payne feat Quavo - Strip That Down, Little Mix - Touch, Zayn and Taylor Swift - I Don't Wanna Live Forever

Album Of The Year: Dua Lipa - Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran - Divide, J Hus - Common Sense, Rag N Bone Man - Human, Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer

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So Sigrid will be Sound Of 2018, says BBC
The sound of this year will be Sigrid. By which I mean she's won this year's BBC Sound Of poll. The Norwegian pop musician has already gained a great deal of praise and had already sold out her March UK tour before the prize was announced. Bad luck, latecomers.

Upon receiving the prize last week, Sigrid said: "It's a lot to take in to have won something as prestigious as BBC Music Sound Of. I feel honoured as there are so many other artists I look up to who have won this before me, and honestly, I'm just really happy and proud of what my team and I have achieved together".

"I'm from a small town called Ålesund in Norway", she continued. "I'm still 21 and it's quite crazy to get this recognition. I'm very excited about the year ahead and sharing new music with everyone. I want to thank the panel for voting and the team involved in BBC Music Sound Of 2018".

BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra's Head Of Music Chris Price commented: "I'm absolutely THRILLED that Sigrid has been crowned BBC Music Sound Of 2018 winner, showing that tastemakers in the UK and internationally share the excitement that has lit up Radio 1 since 'Don't Kill My Vibe' was made 'Hottest Record In The World' last February".

Talking up the Beeb's support for her to date, he continued: "Following Tunes Of The Week from Annie Mac, MistaJam, Scott Mills and Greg James - not to mention a Piano Session for Huw Stephens last summer - Sigrid's new single 'Strangers' sits on the Radio 1 'A' list, her third playlist here. Sigrid is a captivating performer and I can't wait to introduce BBC audiences to her incredible live show".

The top five in this year's Sound Of poll was:

1. Sigrid
2. Rex Orange County
3. IAMDDB
4. Khalid
5. Pale Waves

Sigrid's 'Strangers' was originally release last November. Watch the video here.

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Kevin McCabe, Reservoir, Sony Music, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Caroline International's Kevin McCabe has left the Universal division to set up his own radio and TV promotions company, Kevin McCabe Promotions. Clients at launch include Kylie Minogue, Gaz Coombes and Franz Ferninand.

• US music rights set up Reservoir has promoted Rell Lafargue to President of the company. He will continue to work as Chief Operating Officer, a position he's held since 2008. "It has been a remarkable year", says Lafargue, getting ahead of himself.

• Former Universal Music exec Daniel Lieberberg has been named Sony Music's new president for Continental Europe and Africa. "Daniel is one of the most outstanding creative and futuristic executives in Europe", says Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer. Futuristic!

• Taylor Swift's shunted out a video for 'End Game', featuring Ed Sheeran and Future.

• Marshmello has released his collaboration with the late Lil Peep, 'Spotlight'. "Peep brought an excitement to music that was unparalleled to anybody I've ever met", says the producer. "We started an idea together, that unfortunately we were never able to officially finish together. When I listen to this track now I get chills wishing he could hear it".

• Dua Lipa has released the video for 'IDGAF' from her debut album.

• After several years of trying to break free of their previous record deal, The Radio Dept have now released their first single on their own Just So label, 'Your True Name'.

• EMA has released new single 'Dark Shadows', taken from new EP 'Outtakes From Exile', due out on 2 Feb.

• Cosmo Sheldrake has released new single, 'Egg And Soldiers'. His debut album, 'The Much Much How How And I' is out on 6 Apr.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.

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Crytocurrency themed pop group launches in Japan
It's good to have a gimmick when you're trying to get noticed as a new pop act. And the world of J-pop puts the rest of the planet to shame in that regard. Black metal themed girl group? Sure. Sentient mannequins sent to defend their people from humans? Of course. Now there's Virtual Currency Girls, a group - ahem - cashing in on increased interest in Bitcoin and its ilk.

Making their live debut last week, the eight members of the group each perform in maid costumes and masks representing different cryptocurrencies. Their songs also extol the virtues of decentralised digital money. Tickets for shows, and merch once inside, are all priced up in Bitcoin, obviously.

Members of the group are also reportedly paid in Bitcoin, which may or may not prove beneficial in the long run. For now, they're on message, with Reuters reporting that Rara Naruse told fans from the stage: "[Crytocurrencies are] so convenient you kind of have to wonder why we didn't have them before. We want everyone to learn more about them".

So, if you like your pop to come with financial advice, this may be the group for you.

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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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