THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Spotify has finally filed its documents to become a public company. The streaming service submitted the required papers to list on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. As expected, it will arrive on Wall Street via a direct listing rather than a traditional IPO... [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.
   
CHINA, AI AND MUSIC EDUCATION - SETTING THE AGENDA
As CMU Insights publishes agendas for each of the conferences that it will present at The Great Escape later this year, CMU Trends outlines the background to each theme being explored: the future of music education in the UK, the AI technologies most likely to kick-start a revolution in music, and challenges and opportunities in the Chinese music market. [READ MORE]
   
AI - THE NEXT REVOLUTION IN MUSIC?
Music business conference Midem this week publishes a brand new white paper from our consultancy unit CMU Insights reviewing the potential impact various AI technologies will have on the music industry in the next decade. As a preview, CMU Trends presents some highlights. [READ MORE]
   
TOP FIVE STREAMING CHALLENGES
It's been a while since we've put the spotlight on challenges in the streaming sector. CMU Insights presented a new speed briefing on that very topic at the Output conference in Belfast this week. Based on that, here is a CMU Trends overview of the top five streaming challenges. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Spotify files for public stock market listing
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DEALS Concord Music signs Justin Parker
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS PRS and PPL officially launch joint performing rights licence
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MARKETING & PR Claire Coulton joins Purple
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ARTIST NEWS SZA not a big fan of her album
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RELEASES Chvrches detail new album, release collaboration with The National's Matt Berninger
Twin Shadow announces new album, releases Haim collaboration
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GIGS & FESTIVALS The Great Escape announces The Beach
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ONE LINERS Felix Jaehn, Classic Album Sundays, Kelela, more
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AND FINALLY... Keith Richards shrugs off drugs and regrets Mick snip quip
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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.
   
AEI GROUP - MARKETING EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a talented and experienced marketing executive to work in-house at AEI Group across our variety of global music brands and artists.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SUNDAY BEST RECORDINGS - MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Sunday Best is seeking an enthusiastic and creative member of staff to join a small team at a with minimum one year marketing experience in a record label.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BELIEVE SYNC - SYNC MANAGER (LONDON)
Believe Sync is looking for a self-motivated individual looking for a unique opportunity in the world of sync.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MUSIC MANAGEMENT COMPANY - ASSISTANT MANAGER (LONDON)
London based independent management company seeks assistant manager for roster of artists, writers and producers.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BROWNSWOOD RECORDINGS - SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER (LONDON)
Brownswood is looking for a driven and highly organised social media manager with great design and copywriting skills plus an instinctive understanding of the label's brand.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MPA GROUP OF COMPANIES - MUSIC PUBLISHING & SYNC CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
The Music Publishers Association is seeking a highly organised, pro-active, efficient and positive team player to work as its Music Publishing and Sync Co-ordinator Executive.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - BUSINESS AFFAIRS MANAGER (LONDON)
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Business Affairs Manager to join the fast-growing master rights division of Kobalt’s Business Affairs team in London.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
O2 APOLLO MANCHESTER - BOX OFFICE MANAGER (MANCHESTER)
The O2 Apollo Manchester is seeking a Box Office Manager to co-ordinate all venue box office and ticketing activities.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
INVOLVED GROUP - ROYALTY & ACCOUNTS ASSISTANT MANAGER (LONDON)
Involved Group is looking for an experienced Royalty & Accounts Assistant Manager to join its busy and growing Finance Team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN - 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 Forum Kentish Town.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT MUSIC RECORDINGS - INTERNATIONAL LABEL & PRODUCT MANAGER (LONDON)
Kobalt Music Recordings is looking for a flexible, confident and highly organised International Label & Product Manager, based out of our London office.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING - ROYALTY TRACKING MANAGER (LONDON)
Concord Music Publishing's Royalty Tracking Manager role will focus on maximising client royalties through the tracking of missing revenue. A good understanding of UK, and potentially European, music collection societies and royalty processes is essential.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
LISTEN UP - SENIOR PRESS MANAGER (LONDON)
Listen Up is currently recruiting for a highly motivated Senior Press Manager with a passion for electronic music and industry relevant experience to join our rapidly growing team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
HOUSE OF BESTIVAL - NEW BUSINESS PROJECT MANAGER (LONDON)
House of Bestival, the brand activation and creative prop house division of the Bestival group, is recruiting a New Business Project Manager with solid production expertise to bring innovative ideas to life in green fields and beyond.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - CLIENT ADMIN ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Kobalt Music Recordings (KMR) is looking for a detail-oriented and organised individual to assist with our royalty and accounting responsibilities within our Artist and Label Services department, incorporating the AWAL distribution business.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE ORCHARD - INTERNATIONAL ARTIST & LABEL MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
The Orchard is looking for a savvy, seasoned International Artist & Label Marketing Co-ordinator to promote The Orchard’s artists and labels in Europe and beyond.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE ORCHARD - LABEL MANAGER (LONDON)
The Orchard has an immediate opening for a label manager in our London office. Managing key relationships you will be the first point of contact for a number of labels, artists and managers.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
FIRE RECORDS - PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION ADMINISTRATOR (LONDON)
Fire Records is seeking a Production And Distribution Administrator, experienced in all areas of record production and manufacturing.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SHOGUN AUDIO GROUP - PRODUCT AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER (BRIGHTON)
Shogun Audio Group is looking to hire an experienced, highly motivated, passionate Product and Distribution Manager to join our growing team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ACADEMY EVENTS - TOUR MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Academy Events is seeking a Tour Marketing Co-ordinator to co-ordinate the sales and marketing function for tours, liaising with promoters, agencies, marketing depts and PR, seeking creative marketing opportunities, maximising ticket sales and other such revenues by developing and managing key marketing campaigns.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
WILDLIFE ENTERTAINMENT - FINANCE MANAGER (MATERNITY COVER) (LONDON)
Finance Manager for a successful artist management company based in Parsons Green. Accounting for artists, in particular touring for multiple active acts. This is a part time role, three days a week, for a nine month maternity cover contract commencing April 2018.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE MUSIC ROYALTY COMPANY - ROYALTIES ASSISTANT (LONDON)
The Music Royalty Company provides financial and administrative services to many record labels, distributors, publishers and recording artists. We require a dedicated Royalties Assistant eager to progress their career alongside other talented people.

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: BUILDING A FANBASE AND FAN BUSINESS
Mondays 5, 12 Mar 2018 at 6.30pm in London
These 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. Places are just £49.99. 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.

Spotify files for public stock market listing
Spotify has finally filed its documents to become a public company. The streaming service submitted the required papers to list on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. As expected, it will arrive on Wall Street via a direct listing rather than a traditional IPO.

Of course, going public means giving up lots of information about the running of your company. And Spotify's papers are full of it, giving potential investors a deeper look at what they could be getting themselves in for. And the rest of us things to chatter about.

The listing will give the company a valuation of $19.7 billion based on the midpoint of privately traded shares - although it adds that shares have traded at up to $132.50 each, which gives it a top end valuation of $23 billion.

In terms of users, Spotify says it currently has 71 million paying subscribers, with 159 million monthly active users in total across 61 territories, when its free subscribers are included in the mix. This, it notes, is far in excess of its closest rival, Apple Music, which has 36 million subscribers in total (that service not offering a free tier).

Despite this, the company acknowledges the threat it faces from Apple Music, as well as any music ventures led by Google, because both tech giants have the advantage of owning major app stores. Both charge third party developers transaction fees, which are not levied on their own services. This, in particular, makes Apple Music appear cheaper than Spotify, if bought through Apple's app store (although their price points are actually the same when bought direct), as Spotify passes the 30% cut taken by the tech giant on to consumers.

Spotify's filing also notes the possibility of other as-yet-unlaunched services taking market share from existing players, noting: "As the market for on-demand music on the internet and mobile and connected devices increases, new competitors, business models, and solutions are likely to emerge".

With the majority of its users not paying for a subscription, instead relying on the ad-funded free service, Spotify also talked up that aspect of its business model. Although still bringing in a significantly smaller portion of its revenue than premium subscriptions, the company says ad income grew 41% last year, from $359.9 million in 2016 to $507.5 million.

Total revenues were $5 billion last year, just over double those of 2015. But still, the company is yet to make a profit. The music industry is doing very well out of it all, though. Since 2008, the listing discloses, Spotify has paid out over $10 billion to rights holders. The cost of royalties grew 27% last year, despite new deals with labels securing lower cuts.

The filing shows that in 2015, Spotify was paying about 88% of revenues to rights holders. Last year, this shrank to 79%. This is still higher than the 70% its business model demands - the result of the advances and minimum guarantees it provides the music rights owners - but it possibly indicates a trend in the right direction.

Even if it does reach profitability year-on-year, Spotify admits that it has built up a deficit of $3 billion, due to "significant operating losses" over the last three years. These have risen of late, reaching $461.2 million last year. Total losses last year were $1.5 billion - $1 billion of which related to its equity swap with Chinese company Tencent.

"We cannot assure you that we will generate sufficient revenue from the sale of our premium service and advertising for our ad-supported service to offset the cost of our content and these royalty expenses", says the filing. "If we cannot successfully earn revenue at a rate that exceeds the operational costs, including royalty expenses, associated with our service, we will not be able to achieve or sustain profitability or generate positive cash flow on a sustained basis".

Despite Spotify talking up its advertising business, the streaming services really need to reach a certain number of paying users to become viable concerns. Spotify has attempted to attract different types of users in recent years through various discounted rates for its premium package. Students can join for half price, while the family plan reduces costs for users who use several subscriptions on one account.

Although a wider variety of options is probably needed to ensure greater mainstream growth, current offerings do seem to be working. The number of premium users cancelling their subscriptions each quarter is falling. In the last quarter of 2017, this rate fell to 5.1%, down from 6% during the same period in 2016, and 7.5% in 2015. Paid subscriptions, meanwhile, are growing at 46% per year, and free accounts 29%.

As well as simply seeing how well Spotify shares fare on the public market, there will be a great deal of scrutiny of the success of the direct listing too. Spotify itself notes that this is a risky move, saying: "As this listing is taking place via a novel process that is not an underwritten initial public offering, there will be no book building process and no price at which underwriters initially sold shares to the public to help inform efficient price discovery with respect to the opening trades on the NYSE".

As a result, it says, the company has hired Morgan Stanley "as a financial advisor to be available to consult with the designated market maker in setting the opening public price of our ordinary shares on the NYSE".

Trading is set to begin "as soon as practicable after this registration statement is declared effective".

This week's CMU Trends article will delve further into Spotify's public listing and what it tells us about the streaming business. CMU Premium subscribers will get instant access to this report - sign up to become one for £5 a month here.

With Spotify listing on the New York Stock Exchange, now is also the perfect time to read up on exactly how the streaming business model works. You can do just that by reading 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar', produced by CMU Insights for the Music Managers Forum. Buy the book on Amazon here.

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Concord Music signs Justin Parker
Concord Music has signed songwriter Justin Parker to a new worldwide publishing deal.

EVP of Worldwide Creative at Concord Music Kim Frankiewicz says: "Justin is a once in a generation songwriter. His songs have provided the soundtrack for so many; we are absolutely THRILLED to welcome him to Concord in what looks to be a very exciting year!"

Parker adds: "From the first moment I met Kim and her team I knew Concord was the right place for me. Their genuine passion for what I do and the idea of working with a more boutique publisher was the perfect combination, I'm really excited about the music we're going to make together".

The songwriter's big break was co-writing Lana Del Rey's 'Video Games' in 2011. Since then, he has written for artists including Rihanna, Sia, Linkin Park, Skrillex, Bat For Lashes and Banks, as well as continuing to work with Del Rey.

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PRS and PPL officially launch joint performing rights licence
PRS For Music and PPL have officially launched their new joint venture company. The imaginatively named PPL PRS Ltd will provide one licence to cover all public performance rights.

The new company will administer the joint licence - called TheMusicLicence. This will mean anyone wishing to play recorded music publicly - such as bars, offices, gyms, fishmongers and music venues - will only have to sign one agreement. This will then cover them for the performing rights in both recordings and songs.

Previously, it was necessary to get two licences - one with PPL for recording rights and another with PRS For Music for publishing rights. Plans to launch the new joint venture were originally revealed in early 2016. In May last year, it was announced that they'd finally settled on the PPL PRS Ltd name, and that Suzanne Smith would run the show, joining from credit rating company Experian.

Yesterday, the new company officially launched at its Leicester HQ, offering the new joint licence to anyone who wants to come and get it.

"We are very excited to now offer customers of both PPL and PRS For Music a more streamlined approach for licensing their businesses to play and perform music", says Smith in a statement. "With the launch of TheMusicLicence we are providing one licence and one contact, enabling companies and organisations to enhance their customer and employee experience by playing music in their premises".

PRS For Music chief exec Robert Ashcroft adds: "We have invested years of effort and millions of pounds to simplify music licensing for UK businesses and on behalf of PRS For Music, I am delighted to launch what is the largest joint venture of its kind in the world. This is the beginning of a new era in public performance licensing, which will bring real benefits to our members and customers alike".

Businesses can apply for the new joint licence via the PPL PRS website. Those which already have separate deals with PRS and/or PPL will be transitioned to a joint agreement as their existing licences expire.

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Claire Coulton joins Purple
Entertainment PR firm Purple has announced that it has hired Claire Coulton as a new Senior PR.

"I'm really excited to be joining Purple Entertainment", says Coulton. "They not only have an amazing music roster but a brilliant entertainment and sports division and I'm also really looking forward to working internationally in my new role".

Claire has worked in a number of music PR roles, most recently at Murray Chalmers. She takes up the new position next week. Her roster will include Lewis Hamilton, Alicia Keys, Adwoa Aboah's Gurls Talk, Karryn, Ama Lou and Keir.

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Approved: Aïsha Devi
Aïsha Devi released 'Of Matter And Spirit', her debut album under her own name, in 2015. Previously she had worked under the name Kate Wax, although ahead of that album's release she announced that she was "putting Kate Wax to rest for a consequent amount of eternity". A phrase I'd like you to think about next time anyone goes "on hiatus".

Already acclaimed for her leftfield electronic music while known as Kate Wax, as Aïsha Devi she stretched things to new levels. Things got decidedly weirder, as the attack and pull of her production also increased. Now she returns with 'Inner State Of Alchemy', the first track from her new album 'DNA Feelings', which is due out on 11 May.

News of the album comes with an "artist statement", which says things like "we live in a paraexistence spleen" and "I think, therefore I am a superconductor". Delve further into that, if you like. Or just give yourself over fully to the utter majesty of 'Inner State Of Alchemy'. As a piece of work, it sees Devi once again develop her sound in new directions, and puts her on a completely new level in terms of quality.

You can catch Devi live at Oslo in London on 14 Jun. Listen to 'Inner State Of Alchemy' here.

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

SZA not a big fan of her album
SZA's 'Ctrl' album was among the most acclaimed of last year. Although she's still confused as to why, not thinking much of it herself.

Interviewed as The Fader's latest cover star, she says: "I'm thankful that people don't think it sucks, but I'm gonna have to achieve a ten in my brain. I just made a gang of songs over the course of four years. Heard em all together and I was like, 'Huh, alright'".

In fact, she's a bit miffed that you like it so much: "I didn't even fuck with my own album, so I was so confused and almost, like, angry that everyone fucked with it so much. It meant everything I felt about myself was wrong. And it was just like, 'If that's not the truth, then what is the truth? I think when 'Love Galore' went platinum, Donald [Glover] texted me like, 'Do you still think it sucks?' And I was like, 'I dunno'".

It's not uncommon for artists to say that they don't think their early work was up to much. Although they usually do that when talking up later albums, rather than while still promoting their debut.

Last July she explained to The Guardian that the album only came out because her label took the hard drive with all of her recordings on hostage. Top Dawg Entertainment seemingly felt that she'd done enough, while she continued to tinker and record new music.

Nonetheless, she tells GQ in a new interview that she was “mad as hell” when she walked away from this year’s Grammys with no prizes – despite being nominated in five categories. “You feel like you’re really falling short and you fucking failed [your fans],” she says.

However, she goes on, afterwards she started to feel like this changed her perspective on the success she had (perhaps why she’s now back to being a bit down on the record).

“I felt a shift”, she says. “Like, I came a really long-ass way. I didn’t imagine this album doing much anyway. I was so grateful to even have been honored by being nominated and having so many people fuck with my music. I feel like at some point you start to get sucked up into the accolades and you’re like, ‘Oh, this is what this is about, and this is what quantifies my success or me as an artist or a human being’”.

Actually, it’s made her realise that just having people listen to her songs is the most important thing: “We reached a billion streams on Spotify. The United States fucks with my songs. We’re changing little girls’ lives across the world, and we didn’t even know what we were doing when we started. This is something much bigger than me and a fucking trophy. I’m appreciative of the opportunity. But shit happens”.

So, I guess the positive view of this is that SZA still wants to push herself to make better music. Depending on how hands-on the label is willing to get, it might be a wait though.

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Chvrches detail new album, release collaboration with The National's Matt Berninger
Chvrches have announced details of their new album, 'Love Is Dead', and released a new collaboration with The National's Matt Berninger called 'My Enemy'.

"[The album is about] coming to terms with the fact that there are great things in the world and there are awful things in the world and that you can't get one without the other", says vocalist Lauren Mayberry.

Of working with Berninger, she adds: "We've all been huge fans of The National for a long time. We had played a few festivals together but really got to know Matt when we were involved in Seven-Inches For Planned Parenthood, a fundraising and awareness campaign that he spearheaded. It's really inspiring and reassuring to meet other artists you admire and realise that they are trying to do some good in the world".

"We kept in touch after that and, when it came time to record 'My Enemy', Iain and Martin suggested I email Matt to see if he'd like to sing on it", she goes on. "We never realistically thought he'd have time to do it but he replied right away and recorded the track at his house the next day".

'Love Is Dead' is set for release on 25 May. Listen to 'My Enemy', featuring Matt Berninger, here now.

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

Twin Shadow announces new album, releases Haim collaboration
Twin Shadow has announced that he will release his fourth album, 'Caer', on 27 Apr. Accompanying the news, he's released two new tracks, one of which features Haim. The album's title is taken from the Spanish word meaning 'to fall', which he says references observations both of himself personally and the wider world currently.

"Sometimes I feel like I have to take a fall to essentially get to the next phase of my life", says the musician of the album. "It's happened over and over. I've been through so many musical phases and through so many relationships with friends and lovers. I always feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff, looking down and thinking, 'this is the only way forward: onto the next thing'. It's sort of destructive, but I guess I thrive on rebirth".

"The patriarchy is falling apart", he goes on. "Our perceptions of who we are as human beings, because of technology and machines, are falling apart. We're living at a breaking point, and a lot of the themes on the album are talking about these fault lines".

Of his Haim collaboration, 'Saturdays', he adds: "It's a love song. 'Saturdays' is the heaven place you go to when you're in love or even with friends, feeling your youth. But it's also about my feeling that the world is starting to tear itself apart and maybe we're falling through the cracks. But when you're lying in bed next to someone you care about, none of that seems real".

Listen to 'Saturdays', and the other new track, 'Little Woman'.

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The Great Escape announces The Beach
The Great Escape has announced that it will host a new complex on Brighton beach during this year's festival. The 2000 capacity venue will feature performances from acts including Superorganism, Tom Grennan, Nilüfer Yanya, and Goat Girl.

"With demand and drive for new music and an ever-expanding festival, creating our first, very own festival site on the beach is the most exciting news in TGE's history and we couldn't have a more perfect spot than right on the seafront", says MAMA Festivals CEO Rory Bett. "The Beach will become a magnet for music lovers during the festival and we can't wait to open the doors".

Programming at The Beach will be curated in partnership with a number of partners, including Island Records, Dr Martens and AWAL.

Delegate passes for this year's Great Escape are still available. They not only get you access to all of the shows at the festival, but also the convention, including the CMU Insights conference strands. This year we will be focusing on music education, China and AI.

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Felix Jaehn, Classic Album Sundays, Kelela, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• German DJ Felix Jaehn has signed a global publishing deal with Warner/Chappell. "I can't express how excited I am", says Warner/Chappell's Lars Karlsson excitedly.

• Universal Music UK announced the promotion of Rob Fleming and Nickie Owen to co-Presidents of International Marketing earlier this week. "All our artists have a global footprint from day one and our absolute priority is to support them in amplifying the potential of this changing world map for music", says CEO David Joseph.

• BMG has appointed Alistair Norbury as its President, Repertoire & Marketing for the UK. "I am lucky", says Norbury. "I am confident", adds BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch.

• Classic Album Sundays is putting together a social media campaign around International Women's Day next week. They ask that people submit a selfie with their favourite album by a female artist or an act featuring a woman or women. Email that, plus text of up to 200 characters on why you love that album, to alan@classicalbumsundays.com by 3 Mar.

• Kelela has released a new video for 'Frontline', the opening track from last year's brilliant 'Take Me Apart' album.

• Young Fathers have released new single, 'Toy'. Their new album, 'Cocoa Sugar, is out next week.

• Rapper Dave has returned with new track, 'Hangman'.

• So Below is back with 'Close'. The track is taken from her new EP, 'II', which is due out on 9 Mar.

• Laurence Pike has released a live video of his track, 'Life Hacks'. His debut album, 'Distant Early Warning', is out on 30 Mar.

• Bill Ryder-Jones is heading out on tour in September, including a date at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall.

• The nominations for this year's Jazz FM Awards are out, with the public vote now open until 2 Apr. Cast yours here.

• Marmozets have announced new tour dates for May, kicking off in Norwich on 4 May. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

• Here's iPod inventor Moby being all amazed by the iPod in 2001.

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

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Keith Richards shrugs off drugs and regrets Mick snip quip
With the Rolling Stones' first UK tour in over a decade announced earlier this week, the interviews with individual band members are rolling in. Slowly, we're building up a picture of all the things they're not fussed about. For Charlie Watts, for instance, it's the Rolling Stones. While for Keith Richards, it's all these drugs they have now.

"Drugs are not interesting these days", he tells the Telegraph. "They are very institutionalised and bland. And, anyway, I've done em all".

He goes on to describe sobriety as "novel", which it turns out is a pretty accurate description. When he says he's not interested in doing drugs anymore, he means he's not had any since Christmas.

"I'm not saying I'm definitely off all of this stuff", he continues. "In six months' time, I might be on it again. But at the moment, for a couple of months, I haven't touched it".

One thing that hasn't changed is that he's still making digs at Mick Jagger. Although something that is different now that he's stopped taking drugs is that he's feeling regret afterwards. In a Wall Street Journal interview earlier this week, Richards suggested that his bandmate should have a vasectomy - Jagger having had his eighth child aged 72 in 2016.

"Mick's a randy old bastard", said Richards. "It's time for the snip - you can't be a father at that age. Those poor kids!"

He's since reconsidered, and decided that you can be a father at that age, tweeting yesterday: "I deeply regret the comments I made about Mick in the WSJ which were completely out of line. I have of course apologised to him in person".

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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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