TODAY'S TOP STORY: The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has published a new ruling regarding the way secondary ticketing websites present pricing information. It also demands that Viagogo stops using the words "official site" and "100% Guarantee"... [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.
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]
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]
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 Ad industry regulator demands some clarity from the secondary ticketing sites
LEGAL Judge recommends that record industry lawsuit against ISP Grande proceed
Billy McFarland pleads guilty to Fyre Festival fraud, facing 40 years but hoping for ten
DEALS Warpaint sign artist services deal with Caroline International
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Universal to share Spotify equity loot with artists, Sony with distributed labels too
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Anti-internet Japanese management company Johnny & Associates to launch YouTube channel
EDUCATION & EVENTS CMU Insights launches major new research project on redefining music education
GIGS & FESTIVALS Travis announce The Man Who nostalgia tour
ONE LINERS Dolly Parton, C3 Management, Jon Hopkins, more
AND FINALLY... Apple phases out iTunes LP sparking new 'downloads are doomed' chatter
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email or call 020 7099 0906.
Intermusica is seeking a self-assured, highly motivated and imaginative individual with a passion for bringing classical music to a wide audience through creative communication.

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CMU Insights provides training and consultancy to music companies and companies working with music. Find out about our seminars, masterclasses and primers here...
Monday 12 Mar 2018 at 6.30pm in London
The final in the latest series of CMU seminars takes place next week. It looks at how social and direct-to-fan tools, and the data they generate, should be used to inform an artist's business. It then provides tips on building and developing a direct-to-fan artist store and considers how the artist's business partners may be involved in D2F activity. CLICK HERE FOR INFO.

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.

Ad industry regulator demands some clarity from the secondary ticketing sites
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has published a new ruling regarding the way secondary ticketing websites present pricing information. It also demands that Viagogo stops using the words "official site" and "100% Guarantee".

The advertising industry regulator is the latest UK authority to put the spotlight on the ticket resale market. In addition to new laws passed by Parliament via the 2015 Consumer Rights Act and 2017 Digital Economy Act, both the Competition & Markets Authority and National Trading Standards have been investigating the operations of the big secondary ticketing platforms and the ticket touts who use them to resell tickets for profit.

Then, last month, the government's Department Of Business Energy And Industrial Strategy issued guidelines reaffirming and clarifying the rules contained in the CRA, while also introducing a new requirement for ticket resellers to declare ticket numbers. Meanwhile, in the advertising domain, Google recently introduced new rules for secondary ticketing websites to follow if they want to buy advertising on the web giant's search engine.

The ASA announced this morning that it was making new demands of eBay's StubHub, Live Nation's Seatwave and Get Me In, and pesky old Viagogo, "following formal investigations which ran concurrently as part of a sector-wide sweep". Those investigations found that advertisers in the ticket resale market "were not upfront and clear with consumers about additional ticket fees and charges that were added at the end of the booking process".

To that end, the ASA is demanding that secondary sites make the total price of buying a ticket clear from the outset, including any booking and delivery fees. Such 'first-screen' notification of the total price has been adopted for some time by most in the primary ticketing sector, where end-of-transaction booking fees also used to cause frustration.

On the misleading words used by Viagogo - something anti-touting campaigners have been criticising for a while - the ASA said it had banned the resale site "from using the claim 'official site', because it misleadingly implied it was an official primary ticket outlet rather than a second-hand ticket website".

It has also told Viagogo to stop "making the claim '100% Guarantee', which the ASA considered suggested that consumers were guaranteed entry to the relevant venue when there was in fact a reasonable risk that buyers might not be able to gain entry into an event". Concert promoters, of course, are usually allowed to cancel touted tickets under the terms of the original ticket sale. So tickets bought on Viagogo do not guarantee entry at all.

Commenting on today's ruling, ASA Chief Executive Guy Parker told reporters: "Many of us will recognise the frustration of being happy with the initial price of tickets on a secondary website only to be stung by hefty fees when we come to book. The message from our rulings is simple and it's clear: the price you see at the start should be the price you pay at the end".

The ASA ruling was welcomed by music industry-led anti-touting campaign FanFair, though - as with all the other recent moves seeking to regulate the secondary ticketing market - it stressed that such rules would only have effect if they are properly enforced.

FanFair said in a statement that it was "aware of thousands of UK music fans who feel ripped off" by the secondary ticketing sites. "Almost without fail, these victims share three recurring complaints: they were directed via Google advertising towards these sites, they thought they were purchasing from an authorised seller, and they were misled on pricing".

It went on: "While we welcome today's ASA ruling and hope it goes some way to addressing this latter issue, what's absolutely crucial now is enforcement. Without proper sanctions, we fear that much-needed reforms will not be implemented, particularly by Viagogo, and the public will continue to be duped".


Judge recommends that record industry lawsuit against ISP Grande proceed
A judge has recommended that the record industry's legal battle with American internet service provider Grande Communications should be allowed to proceed, though with some elements of the litigation stripped out.

The Recording Industry Association Of America says that Grande has failed to deal with repeat copyright infringers among its customer base. This failure, the record companies argue, means the internet company should no longer qualify for safe harbour protection under US copyright law. Which means it could be held liable for the copyright infringement of its customers.

The case closely parallels that pursued by BMG against Cox Communications. BMG successfully sued Cox for failing to deal with repeat infringers among its customer base. And although that legal win was recently overturned on appeal, that decision was based on a technicality. The appeals court basically agreed with the arguments the music company had made regarding the net firm's liabilities.

Grande has been trying to get the RIAA case dismissed. However - according to Torrentfreak - US magistrate judge Andrew Austin has recommended that the lawsuit should be allowed to proceed. Although, he says the ISP's parent company should be removed as a co-defendant and that the RIAA's claim of so called 'vicarious infringement' should be dismissed. Claims of contributory or secondary infringement should remain though.

Citing BMG v Cox, the judge also said that Grande's claim that legal precedent meant it was protected from copyright claims of this kind was debatable. The judge's recommendation states: "The court acknowledges that this is not yet a well-defined area of the law, and that there are good arguments on both sides of this issue".

"However, at this point in the case, the court is persuaded that [record industry] has pled a plausible claim of secondary infringement based on Grande's alleged failure to act when presented with evidence of ongoing, pervasive infringement by its subscribers", he added.

Austin's recommendation now goes to a US district court judge who will make the final decision on whether the RIAA v Grande case should proceed.


Billy McFarland pleads guilty to Fyre Festival fraud, facing 40 years but hoping for ten
Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland has pleaded guilty to fraud charges, relating to the funding of the disastrous event and its associated businesses. He changed his plea as part of a deal struck with prosecutors, hoping to serve significantly less time in prison than the 40 years he is potentially facing.

McFarland faces two charges of wire fraud, both of which carry maximum sentences of 20 years. His lawyers and prosecutors have now reached a plea deal, in which it was recommended yesterday that he serve between eight and ten years. However, the court is under no obligation to follow the prosecution's recommendation.

Arrested in June last year, McFarland is charged with defrauding both investors and vendors before the collapse of the Fyre Festival in the Bahamas in April. He entered a not guilty plea in October, at which time it was indicated that the two sides were still attempting to reach a plea deal.

Now acknowledging that he had indeed engaged in fraud, he told the judge yesterday: "I deeply regret my actions, and I apologise to my investors, team, family and supporters who I let down". He added that he now accepts "full responsibility for several serious mistakes" made in the run up to Fyre Festival.

"While my intention and effort was directed to organising a legitimate festival, I grossly underestimated the resources that would be necessary to hold an event of this magnitude", he went on. "In an attempt to raise what I thought were needed funds, I lied to investors about various aspects of Fyre Media and my personal finances. Those lies included false documents and information".

Fyre Festival, of course, was the music event due to take place on an island in the Bahamas in April and May last year. Marketed as a super luxurious experience, the festival collapsed just as people were arriving, as it became clear management hadn't put in place the infrastructure for even a basic event, let alone the luxury set-up that had been promised.

Prosecutors say that McFarland took over $26 million from 80 investors. He also provided false information to a ticketing company, convincing it to hand over $2 million for a block of advance tickets for future editions of the event. That deal was done just days before the first edition of the doomed festival was due to take place.

In terms of what happened to that money, documents obtained by the New York Post show that McFarland spent $160,000 on hiring a yacht for headliners Blink 182 and $260,000 for carpet to be placed in tents.

When punters arrived they found that there was no running water on site, which was probably more important that the carpet. Blink 182 also never got to use the yacht. The band drew early attention to the festival's collapse by pulling out shortly before it was due to begin.

The festival was co-founded by McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, who were also collaborating on a talent-booking app under the Fyre brand, which the abandoned island adventure was designed to promote. Since the event's collapse, the Fyre companies and their founders have been on the receiving end of a stack of lawsuits from disgruntled ticket-buyers, suppliers and investors, in addition to McFarland's fraud charges.

Currently free on bail, McFarland is due to be sentenced on 21 Jun.


Warpaint sign artist services deal with Caroline International
Warpaint have announced a global artist services deal with Universal's Caroline International. The company will provide marketing, promotional and distribution services to the band.

The outfit's Theresa Wayman says in a statement: "[Caroline co-MDs] Jim Chancellor, Michael Roe and their team have long reputations for being great 'record people'. We're very excited to open new doors, make new sounds and pave new roads with Caroline International".

Chancellor adds: "We here at Caroline International are beyond excited to have the opportunity to work with Warpaint, who are one of the finest bands in the world right now. We're really looking forward to helping the rest of the world fall in love with them".

You might argue that the world already fell in love with Warpaint through the three albums they've released to date through Rough Trade, and it's that which has enabled them to go the artist services route on this record, rather than signing a more conventional record deal. But Chancellor isn't entirely clear where he means by "the rest of the world", so it's hard to say.

The band's most recent album, 'Heads Up', was released in 2016.


Universal to share Spotify equity loot with artists, Sony with distributed labels too
With Spotify now in the process of listing on the New York Stock Exchange - and with the record companies then able to cash in the equity in the streaming firm they secured as part of their original licensing deals - that big question has been raised once again: who gets to share in all that lovely money?

Why not throw it all in a pot and just have a massive three-day party for the entire music community? Every artist. Every songwriter. Every record producer. Every session musician. Everyone working in this business of music. And, of course, those who diligently write about this nonsense every day of the week. Don't forget those who diligently write about this nonsense every day of the week. OK, we didn't really contribute anything. But let's not forget how diligently we wrote about this nonsense every day of the week.

Actually, I don't like parties. Can we make it a sit-down dinner? I like sit-down dinners. But not one of those award-show sit-down dinners with tiny portions. A proper decent sit-down dinner. In a big fuck off ballroom. Actually, it'll have to be really big fuck off ballroom if we're inviting every artist, songwriter, record producer, session musician, music industry exec and all those people who diligently write about this nonsense every day of the week.

But what a dinner it would be! And then, when this whole streaming malarkey collapses into a sorry mess of broken dreams and bankrupt visions, at least we'll all have that one night in Prague. We're having this dinner in Prague, right? I really fancy a trip to Prague. Can we do it in Prague? Maybe wait until it's summer. Let's all meet this summer in Prague for the biggest fuck off sit-down dinner and toast the real future of the music industry. The cassette revival.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, so the three majors and indie-label repping Merlin all got some equity in the Spotify business when they first licensed their catalogues to the then streaming start-up. If and when they sell that equity, who gets to share the money?

By which we mean, will the artists see a cut? Yes said the indie label community back in 2014 when it launched its Fair Digital Deals Declaration. Well, what it actually said was that labels signed up to said Declaration promised to "account to artists a good-faith pro-rata share of any revenues and other compensation from digital services that stem from the monetisation of recordings but are not attributed to specific recordings or performances".

Then, in 2016, Warner Music and Sony Music made similar commitments. But what about Universal Music? Despite Sony quickly following Warner's lead on equity-share with a "of course we're gonna share it - who ever thought otherwise!" statement, Universal remained silent on the issue. Although off the record it was implied that the mega-major would follow its rivals' lead. Yesterday that was confirmed when a spokesperson told Music Business Worldwide that "consistent with UMG's approach to artist compensation, artists will share in the proceeds of a [Spotify] equity sale".

So that's all lovely. But hey, here's a question, what about independent labels distributed by the major labels. Will they get a share of the Spotify loot, so that they can in turn share it with their artists? That's a supplementary question that hasn't had an answer to date, and yesterday the Worldwide Independent Network - while renewing its commitment to the aforementioned Fair Deals Declaration - asked it anew.

WIN stated: "All three major labels have committed to sharing revenues from the sales of Spotify shares with the artists directly signed to their companies but WIN has further called on Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music and Universal Music Group to give the independent labels distributed by them, and therefore those artists they represent, their corresponding share of any payout received".

This time Sony Music took the lead by answering this second question in the affirmative. Yes, it will share its Spotify equity cash with the labels it distributes. In some way. Or, at least, that is what the major told Billboard yesterday.

Of course, even if Universal and Warner follow suit and commit to share the profits of their Spotify equity sale with both artists and distributed labels, the devil remains - as ever - in the detail. Despite all these commitments, for most artists and managers it remains unclear exactly how any equity sale profits will be shared out.

This all means that, as the Spotify listing finally occurs, there will be lots of scrutiny over what happens to the record industry's shares and the profits from any share sales. Of course, it would be much easier to just all meet in Prague for one hell of sit-down dinner. Let's do five courses!

If all this digital licensing shenanigans still seems like a bit of a mystery to you, then what you need to do is buy yourself a copy of 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' - a bargain at just £15 over there on Amazon. And if enough of you buy a copy, I'll throw us all a dinner in Prague to celebrate. Promise.


Anti-internet Japanese management company Johnny & Associates to launch YouTube channel
Famously internet-phobic Japanese artist management company Johnny & Associates is launching a YouTube channel. A number of the company's newer acts will be allowed to create content for the channel, although it is not clear how much music will be available.

The internationally available channel (many Japanese music companies lock content to Japan only) will host videos featuring artists signed to the Johnny's Jr division of the company. Johnny's Jr is generally where new acts are developed, before they officially begin releasing music.

Five acts have been put forward to appear in videos on the new channel: Hihi Jets, Tokyo B Shonen, SixTones, Snow Man and Travis Japan. It seems that there will be some performance videos, but the groups will also create behind-the-scenes clips and videos in which they complete challenges.

"For YouTube, we will try to show another side of Tokyo B Shonen", says Yuto Nasu, of that outfit. "Our true characters which are not always portrayed on TV programmes and magazine articles. We will also try to answer audience demands to break new ground".

YouTube's Lyor Cohen adds: "We are excited and honoured that Johnny & Associates has the vision of connecting Johnny's talent to the world of consumers on YouTube, the world's biggest video platform".

The company behind some of Japan's biggest pop acts, the length to which Johnny's has gone to shun the internet to date are fairly impressive.

A long-time hold out from iTunes, the company's acts do now sell their music digitally in the domestic market. However, international fans are still expected to order CDs directly from Japan. That at least was made slightly easier earlier this year, when the company relaxed one of its rules and allowed online retailers to display the records' artwork.

At the same time as it announced plans to relax said artwork rules, Johnny & Associates also said that from the beginning of this year online publications would be allowed to use some approved photographs of its artists. Big moves.

Perhaps a more significant shift, however, was allowing three former members of one of the company's biggest acts, SMAP, to open social media accounts. A move that has been popular with fans, and possibly designed to counter any online presence built up by the other two former members of SMAP who quit Johnny's in 2016, leading to the group's split.

The Johnny's Jr channel will officially launch on 21 Mar.


CMU Insights launches major new research project on redefining music education
CMU's consultancy unit CMU Insights has announced a major new piece of research called 'Redefining Music Education', the first phase of which will inform The Education Conference taking place as part of this year's Great Escape in May.

The project will investigate how business and entrepreneurial skills could be better incorporated into the music and wider arts curriculum, and how doing so could help make a stronger case for increased investment in these subjects.

As a starting point, CMU Insights says it "believes that industry and entrepreneurial skills - and practical careers advice - should be incorporated into the music and wider arts curriculum. Doing this will better prepare young people to pursue careers in the music and creative industries. It will provide young people with the kind of transferable media, communication and IP skills that are increasingly important in the social media age. And it will ensure that music education is truly providing the next generation of creatives and business leaders for the music industry".

It goes on: "It is no secret that music education in England is suffering due to funding cuts and the down-grading of creative subjects in the way schools are assessed. We believe that our agenda would reframe the music education conversation with political decision makers. Because by more closely allying music education and the music industry, any investment in the former will become an investment in the latter. Our agenda creates an economic as well as social and cultural case for increased funding in arts education".

The research project will seek to identify what industry and entrepreneurial skills should be taught, exactly how these new elements could be taught, and how those who support this agenda can persuade educators, the industry and government to get on board. CMU Insights is currently seeking companies and organisations that would like to contribute to this research as partners, sponsors or participants. Full info is available here.

The Education Conference is one of three full-day conferences CMU Insights will present at the heart of the Great Escape Convention in May. Standalone tickets are available for The Education Conference, which takes place on Wednesday 16 May. They are £65 and are available here.

TGE delegates have access to The Education Conference on the Wednesday, plus The AI Conference on Thursday 17 May and The China Conference on Friday 18 May. Delegate and convention-only passes for TGE are available here.


Approved: Angie McMahon
Following on from her debut single 'Slow Mover', which came out at the end of last year, Angie McMahon returns with 'Missing Me'. Further showcasing her confident sound and excellent way with words, it further justifies the rapid ascent of her career in her native Australia.

"'Missing Me' is about releasing all that punchy sass and angst that bubbles under the surface when somebody isn't listening to you, or they're letting you down, or breaking your heart", says McMahon of the new single.

Having already supported the likes of Bon Jovi, Father John Misty and The Shins, and with headline dates in Australia coming up later this month, McMahon is set to announce her first European shows soon. Her debut album is also on the way later this year.

Listen to 'Missing Me' here.

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

Travis announce The Man Who nostalgia tour
It's nearly 20 years since Travis released their second album, 'The Man Who'. I know this, because the band have just announced plans for the traditional nineteenth anniversary tour of that record. They will head out around the UK the play its songs in June and December this year.

"Songs are like emotional bookmarks in time", says Fran Healy. "When you hear a song you are transported to those times and feel strong echoes of the feelings you felt. Rarely does an album have this ability, so performing 'The Man Who' once again will be a joy!"

I'm not sure if that means the album will transport you back or it won't. Maybe it'll be "a joy" because the album has no emotional resonance for him at all. But he seems to be saying that its songs do. He must have a very complicated relationship with this album. I'm not sure he should be playing it at all.

Anyway, here are the dates:

10 Jun: Liverpool, Philharmonic
12 Jun: London, Royal Festival Hall
14 Jun: Folkestone, Leas Cliff Hall
19 Jun: Plymouth, Pavilion
20 Jun: Brighton, Dome
21 Jun: Ipswich, Regent Theatre
25 Jun: Birmingham, Symphony Hall
26 Jun: Oxford, New Theatre
12 Dec: Portsmouth, Guildhall
13 Dec: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
15 Dec: Newcastle, City Hall
17 Dec: Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall
18 Dec: Hull, City Hall
19 Dec: Manchester, Apollo
21 Dec: Glasgow, SSE Hydro


Dolly Parton, C3 Management, Jon Hopkins, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Dolly Parton has signed a new deal with booking agency WME, having been without an agent since 2016. "We believe that WME is uniquely positioned to help elevate Dolly and her brand at this wonderful stage in her career", says her manager Danny Nozell.

• US management company C3 has announced that it is expanding. Artist managers Simon White, Matt Sadie, Chris Gentry, John Scholz, Tyler Goldberg and Martin Anderson are joining the company. Scholz and Goldberg will head up a new LA office, while Gentry will run a new London office. Among the new artists this brings to the C3 roster are Justice, Phoenix and Wye Oak.

• Jon Hopkins will release his first album since 2013, 'Singularity', on 4 May. Here's first single, 'Emerald Rush'.

• Stylo G has released the video for 'Stone Cold Lover', taken from his 'Ten Year Later' EP.

• Hinds have released new single 'The Club'. The track will be the opening track on their new album 'I Don't Run', out on 6 Apr.

• SaraSara is back with new track, 'Love'.

• Peluché have released new single, 'Keep Making Me Happy'.

• Animal Hack have released new track, 'Evil'.

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


Apple phases out iTunes LP sparking new 'downloads are doomed' chatter
Apple is phasing out the good old iTunes LP. Remember that? No, me neither. It was when labels put out special editions of album releases on iTunes with some exclusive multimedia gubbins thrown in for no apparent reason. They were big news for at least a week in 2009. Actually, that's unfair. It was probably a fortnight.

With its focus now very much on streaming service Apple Music, the tech giant can no longer be bothered with iTunes albums that have some multimedia on the side. And who can blame them? Not I.

This news has kickstarted a modest flurry of new speculation about when Apple might give up on music downloads entirely and shut down the iTunes store. That was sparked by Metro, which - although conceding that iTunes was dropping iTunes LPs rather than LPs at large - headlined its article "End of iTunes?"

It went on: "Although this one decision does not spell immediate doom for iTunes, music industry sources and experts said it's evidence which chimes with rumours that Apple is intending to stop selling music downloads and shift to a subscription model".

"This would mean users would have to pay a monthly fee, rather than buying individual songs", it then explained. "But it also could mean that people who spent a fortune buying songs on iTunes had basically wasted their money, because pretty much everything they purchased is now available for £9.99 a month". So, to paraphrase, bad news may be incoming for older music consumers when downloads are finally kicked into the dustbin by big bad Apple.

Although the older music consumer may remember previously wasting their money on vinyl records that became defunct when they starting wasting their money on cassettes that became defunct when they started wasting their money on CDs that became defunct when they started wasting their money on downloads. All you can do is enjoy the ride, I reckon. Just keep your downloads safe and sound on a dusty hard-drive in your garage ready for the MP3 revival that's pencilled in for 2036.


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 (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.
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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 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.
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