TUESDAY 1 MAY 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: R Kelly's management team have responded to a campaign that is calling on people to boycott the singer's music. The #MuteRKelly campaign received new attention yesterday after it was backed by the Women Of Color group within Time's Up, the entertainment industry-led initiative that is demanding proactive measures to stop sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace... [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.
   
SPOTIFY - PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
As Spotify finally lists on the New York Stock Exchange, CMU Trends reviews Spotify's business to date, considers what its SEC filing might tell us about its current direction, and speculates what a Spotify of the future might look like. [READ MORE]
   
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: music education, AI and the Chinese music market. [READ MORE]
   
AI - THE NEXT REVOLUTION IN MUSIC?
Midem recently published 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. CMU Trends presents some highlights. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES R Kelly speaks out against campaign to boycott him
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
LEGAL Canada still appears on US government's copyright watch list
Legal battle between Idol maker and its former creditors continues
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
BRANDS & MERCH Nike scrapped FKA Twigs directed ad that "pushed the boundaries of marketing"
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Tencent inviting bankers to pitch to work on its musical IPO
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
ARTIST NEWS Doctor asks Kanye West not to use his image as album cover
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
GIGS & FESTIVALS The Streets announce new tour dates
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
AWARDS Entries open for 2018 Mercury Prize
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
ONE LINERS Charli XCX, Guns N Roses, Christina Aguilera, more
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
AND FINALLY... Miley Cyrus retracts apology for 2008 Vanity Fair photo-shoot
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
Check out all the latest classified ads with CMU Classifieds. To advertise here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 0906.
   
COOKING VINYL - OFFICE SPACE TO RENT (WEST LONDON)
Cooking Vinyl is pleased to offer a newly refurbished office space in Acton, West London. Ideal to share with other likeminded creatives in a hot desk environment, or alternatively to rent the space as a whole, comfortably fitting 30+ desks.

For more information and to apply click here.
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.
   
NUCLEAR BLAST - SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
Nuclear Blast is looking for a young, dynamic and creative Social Media Communications Manager to handle online promotion and new media for its rapidly diversifying roster.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - RELEASE MANAGER (CATALOGUE) (LONDON)
As part of Kobalt’s significant expansion of AWAL - our recorded music division - the Release Manager (Catalogue) will support the growing operations team by ensuring accurate and timely build of all catalogue acquisition releases for digital and physical distribution.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MELODIC RECORDS - LABEL ASSISTANT/PRESS OFFICER (MANCHESTER)
Melodic Records / Melodic European Labels is looking to hire a Label Assistant & Press Officer to work at our office in Manchester city centre.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING - ARTIST DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (LONDON)
Attitude Is Everything is excited to announce an opportunity to join our growing team and lead on a new area of work for our organisation.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
PITCH & SYNC - SENIOR MUSIC SUPERVISOR (LONDON)
Pitch & Sync is looking for a dynamic and inspiring Senior Music Supervisor who will join its growing music synchronisation business operating across advertising and brand sectors.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ONE LITTLE INDIAN - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
One Little Indian is seeking a Digital Marketing Manager to develop and manage the digital campaign strategy for the record label and its diverse roster.

For more information and to apply click here.
CMU Insights will present three full-day confernces as part of The Great Escape's convention programme this May. Get your tickets here.
   
CMU INSIGHTS PRESENTS THE EDUCATION CONFERENCE
Wednesday 16 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
This full-day conference will put the spotlight on music education, and discuss how business and entrepreneurial skills could and should be integrated into the music curriculum. [READ MORE]
   
CMU INSIGHTS PRESENTS THE AI CONFERENCE
Thursday 17 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
This full-day conference will look at how big data and AI will impact on music, including audio-recognition, fan-messaging, data-driven recommendations and music composition tools. [READ MORE]
   
CMU INSIGHTS PRESENTS THE CHINA CONFERENCE
Friday 18 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
The full day conference will provide a beginner's guide to the Chinese music market, looking at copyright, streaming services, media and social media, and the touring circuit. [READ MORE]

R Kelly speaks out against campaign to boycott him
R Kelly's management team have responded to a campaign that is calling on people to boycott the singer's music. The #MuteRKelly campaign received new attention yesterday after it was backed by the Women Of Color group within Time's Up, the entertainment industry-led initiative that is demanding proactive measures to stop sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace.

As new sexual abuse accusations against Kelly have emerged in recent months, so the campaign against him has also gained more momentum. On Friday, a planned show in Chicago was cancelled following protests. In their statement, reps for Kelly called it an "attempted public lynching of a black man".

"R Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time's Up movement", says the statement. "We understand criticising a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals - [but] in this case, it is unjust and off-target".

It continues: "We fully support the rights of women to be empowered to make their own choices. Time's Up has neglected to speak with any of the women who welcome R Kelly's support, and it has rushed to judgement without the facts. Soon it will become clear Mr Kelly is the target of a greedy, conscious and malicious conspiracy to demean him, his family and the women with whom he spends his time".

"R Kelly's music is a part of American and African-American culture that should never - and will never - be silenced", it concludes. "Since America was born, black men and women have been lynched for having sex or for being accused of it. We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture".

Numerous sexual abuse allegations have been made against Kelly over the years, including accusations involving underage girls. Although he has always denied any wrongdoing and when specifically charged over claims he had filmed the sexual abuse of an underage girl, he was acquitted in 2008.

However, the musician has nevertheless been on the receiving end of many civil lawsuits alleging sexual abuse, most of which have been settled out of court. American journalist Jim DeRogatis has been prolific in documenting the various accusations and litigation, most recently in a piece for Buzzfeed last year.

Earlier this year, an article in Rolling Stone and a BBC Three documentary detailed various accusations against Kelly, some of them new, including that he sexually abused a girl from the age of fourteen, later boasting to another woman that he had "trained" the girl to be his "pet". And in April he was sued by a woman claiming that he intentionally infected her with a sexually transmitted disease and that she had been "groomed to join [his] sex cult".

The statement from Women Of Color Of Time's Up explicitly lists a number of the accusations that have been made against the musician, saying that Kelly "married a girl under eighteen years of age; was sued by at least four women for sexual misconduct, statutory rape, aggravated assault, unlawful restraint and furnishing illegal drugs to a minor; was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography; [and] has faced allegations of sexual abuse and imprisonment of women under threats of violence and familial harm".

It calls on people to put pressure on companies associated with Kelly, including Sony's RCA label, Ticketmaster, streaming services Spotify and Apple Music, and the Greensboro Coliseum Complex where his next live show is set to take place on 11 May.

"The scars of history make certain that we are not interested in persecuting anyone without just cause", says the statement. "With that said, we demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R Kelly's abuse made by women of colour and their families for over two decades now. And we declare with great vigilance and a united voice to anyone who wants to silence us: Their time is up".

After his Chicago show was cancelled, Kelly appeared in a video on Twitter suggesting that he was considering legal action against the show's promoters.

BACK TO THE TOP OF THE BULLETIN

Canada still appears on US government's copyright watch list
The American government has published its annual list of countries that, as far as it's concerned, are currently sitting on the copyright naughty step. Canada is still on there. Although I think they just include their Northern neighbour for laughs.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative publishes a list each year of the countries that it feels are failing to protect the intellectual property rights of American creators and businesses. It sits alongside that separate 'notorious markets' list of websites that US copyright owners are most bothered about in any one year. Because the United States Trade Representative - like Buzzfeed and Forbes - knows that everyone loves a list.

Actually, this one is in itself two lists, respectively labelled the 'watch list' and the 'priority watch list'. America's Southern neighbour Mexico is on the former, but Canada currently sits on the latter, alongside the likes of China, Russia, India and Venezuela.

Specific concerns regarding Canada this year include: "Poor border and law enforcement with respect to counterfeit or pirated goods, weak patent and pricing environment for innovative pharmaceuticals, deficient copyright protection, and inadequate transparency and due process regarding 'geographical indications'".

On copyright specifically, the US Trade Representative's report continues: "The United States also remains deeply troubled by the ambiguous education-related exception to copyright that has significantly damaged the market for educational publishers and authors. While Canadian courts have worked to clarify this exception, confusion remains".

"Additionally", the report continues, "Canada does not provide full and fair national treatment with respect to copyright and related rights, and has specifically denied US creators and performers remuneration to a greater extent than other countries. The United States urges Canada to reform these aspects of its copyright regime to compensate creators for their works fully and fairly".

Don't expect any Canadian lawmakers to be losing too much sleep over any of this. An internal memo from the Canadian government leaked last year, commenting on the country's previous appearance on the US copyright watch list, stated: "Canada does not recognise the validity of [this report] and considers the process and the report to be flawed. The report fails to employ a clear methodology and the findings tend to rely on industry allegations rather than empirical evidence and objective analysis".

But what other countries have this unclear methodology based on industry allegations rather than empirical evidence and objective analysis identified as IP under-performers? Well, since you ask, this lot...

Priority Watch List: Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, China, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Ukraine, Venezuela.

Watch List: Costa Rica, Egypt, Greece, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.

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

Legal battle between Idol maker and its former creditors continues
The legal wrangling continues in relation to Robert FX Sillerman's failed entertainment business. No, not that one. The other one.

What became known as Core Media was the company established by Sillerman in between him running the original successful SFX business and the one that went bankrupt.

The entertainment industry veteran bought stakes in the Elvis Presley and Muhammed Ali brands and acquired various media assets, principally Simon Fuller's 19 company and the 'Idol' talent show franchise it had developed.

He then successfully exited the business, which was bought by private equity company Apollo Global Management in 2011, freeing him up to go and play with all those EDM stars and launch the doomed SFX v2.

Back at Core Media, the new owners sold off the stakes in the Presley and Ali brands to focus on telly shows, later forging an alliance with another Apollo-owned media firm, Endemol, and 21st Century Fox's Shine Group.

Over time its flagship media brand - ie the 'Idol' franchise - started to wane, and with it the company's fortunes began to slip too. In 2016 it filed for bankruptcy protection. In September that year, the bankruptcy court in New York approved a reorganisation plan, which saw the firm's moneylenders receive significantly less than they were owed, in some cases pennies on the dollar.

Said money lenders were unsurprisingly unhappy with that outcome, and litigation then followed at the end of 2016, in which a group of Core's creditors accused Apollo of dodgy dealings, especially in relation to the merger with Endemol and Shine.

The creditors argued that Apollo and its directors at Core had made a number of decisions that deprived the money lenders of protections that had been included in terms associated with loans that enabled the original Core acquisition in 2011.

The case has been going through the motions ever since, and legal reps for the creditors were in court last week to run through their various grievances.

Those grievances include Core's decision to sell off the stakes in the Presley and Ali brands, and to then not re-invest the funds those sales generated. They also criticise the way the company settled a shareholder lawsuit and accuse the firm of improperly transferring the foreign distribution rights of one of its telly franchises - game show 'The Wall' - to its new business partner Endemol.

Summarising all those grievances, the creditors told the court - according to Law360 - "Apollo and the director defendants acted in their own self-interest rather than in a manner to preserve Core Media as a going concern".

BACK TO THE TOP OF THE BULLETIN

Nike scrapped FKA Twigs directed ad that "pushed the boundaries of marketing"
Nike has scrapped an advert created by FKA Twigs, despite it "costing [the company] millions of dollars" to make, seemingly because the finished film was just too weird. That's the sort of artistic freedom you get when you're profiting from all those over-priced trainers.

The video was intended to accompany the launch of Nike's new VaporWave shoe. According to a new report by the New York Times, what FKA Twigs turned in "featured few shots of the shoes and instead had a woman twirling on what looked like a stripper pole and male athletes in sports bras striking odd poses".

Says Nike spokesperson KeJaun Wilkins: "We have a history of pushing the boundaries in marketing, just as we do in product development. We create a lot of material that is not deployed in the marketplace".

If you want an idea of quite how far the musician might have had to go in order to make something too weird for Nike, you can watch an earlier ad she made that was, er, deployed in the marketplace. From January 2017, here's a video apparently promoting tights.

BACK TO THE TOP OF THE BULLETIN

Tencent inviting bankers to pitch to work on its musical IPO
Tencent Music, the music division of Chinese web giant Tencent and owner of the biggest streaming platform in China, has invited investment banks to pitch to work on its planned IPO, according to Reuters.

Tencent is expected to spin off its music business - which also distributes global music catalogues in the Chinese market and has its own label ventures - later this year via an initial public offering in the US. Reuters reckons the IPO could raise between $3 billion and $4 billion, with a market cap valuation of about $25 billion.

Tencent declined to comment on the IPO plans, but bankers interested in working on the big musical stock market listing - which will go the conventional IPO route rather than employing Spotify's weird direct listing approach - are expected to pitch next week.

Sources say that Tencent originally considered listing its music business on the Hong Kong stock exchange, but has now opted for a US listing. Partly because that's where Spotify is listed, and partly because of newly introduced rules in Hong Kong in relation to weighted voting rights.

BACK TO THE TOP OF THE BULLETIN

Approved: Oliver Way
Oliver Way is one half of the Detroit Grand Pubahs outfit and has been involved in the music scene in various capacities for over 25 years. But only now does he present his debut solo album, 'From The Shadows'.

It's a really diverse record, taking in dub, jazz and varying forms of techno. Now resident in the Netherlands, Way has roped in some big hitters to collaborate with along the way, including Freddy Fresh, DJ Nasty and Ben Long. The finished product chops and changes its musical direction with each track.

"I wanted this album to cover the different styles of electronic music that I have been into over the last 25 years", he says. Citing the "Pubahs' ethos of an album being an opportunity to experiment and take the listener on a bit of a journey", he adds: "In this case [it's] a musical timeline of my life".

A real stand out is club banger 'Music Is So Special', which - amid its heavy tribal beats - samples the 80's disco Peech Boys track 'Life Is Something Special'

Listen to that track here.

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

Doctor asks Kanye West not to use his image as album cover
The doctor who operated on Kanye West's mother Donda shortly before her death - Jan Adams - has declined the opportunity to have his face featured on the cover of the rapper's new album. In a letter provided to The Blast, he tells West to "cease and desist" using his image to promote his music.

Last week, West posted a screengrab of an iMessage conversation he had had with collaborator Wes Lang, in which West says that he wants to use an image of Adams on his new record in order to "forgive and stop hating".

Initially asked for comment by The Blast, Adams simply said "it's a MacGuffin", referring to the movie term for an item that is inconsequential in itself but is used as a device to further the plot. However, he has subsequently responded in much more detail. In an open letter to West, he denies responsibility for Donda West's death.

He points to the coroner's report and instead blames the rapper's cousin, Stephan Scoggins, who was acting as her primary carer when she died.

"I don't want to seem ungrateful", he says of his decision to block the use of his image. "I just think that if, in fact, this conversion to love is genuine on your part, then it's inappropriate to drag the negativity of the past into it ... Perhaps you should put your cousin's picture on your next album. Don't put my picture out there and claim you are about love. Love deals with the truth".

He says that he has "tolerated" false claims in the media that he "botched" a plastic surgery procedure he carried out on Donda West the day before her death "out of respect for the doctor-patient privilege and your mother". He then accuses "people in your own camp" of "persist[ing] with the charade in order to hide their own guilt".

Following its publication, West posted Adams' letter on Twitter, saying in response: "This is amazing. Thank you so much for this connection brother. I can't wait to sit with you and start healing".

Meanwhile, West continues to troll Hot 97.1 presenter Ebro Darden, the guy who recently said the rapper is still a Donald Trump fan. Yesterday, the DJ revealed on his show that West had made a video call to him to show that he was with right wing commentator Candace Owens.

BACK TO THE TOP OF THE BULLETIN

The Streets announce new tour dates
Mike Skinner has announced a load of new Streets tour dates for the beginning of next year. That's forward planning. By then, the new album - and the film it is set to soundtrack - might even be out.

In an interview with Mr Porter last month, Skinner said: "The reason I finished The Streets was to make a film, and the reason I started The Streets up again was to make a film. I got so angry with myself for not making a film in seven years. I started thinking, 'What do I know about the most? What's the most interesting thing for me to write about?' And I came up with DJing".

Anyway, here are the dates:

18 Jan: Birmingham, Academy
19 Jan: Birmingham, Academy
21 Jan: Glasgow, Academy
25 Jan: Manchester, Apollo
26 Jan: Manchester, Apollo
28 Jan: Newcastle, Academy
29 Jan: Sheffield, Academy
31 Jan: Bournemouth, Academy
2 Feb: London, Brixton Academy
3 Feb: London, Brixton Academy
5 Feb: London, Brixton Academy

Tickets on sale on 4 May.

BACK TO THE TOP OF THE BULLETIN

Entries open for 2018 Mercury Prize
As entries for the 2018 Mercury Prize open, organisers have announced that this year's ceremony will take place at the Hammersmith Apollo on 20 Sep.

Hyundai returns as the event's sponsor for the third year, and the BBC will again provide all the TV and radio coverage you could possibly want. Assuming you want "some".

But what are awards without nominees? Nothing, that's what. It'd just be a load of people gathering in a room, eating dinner and drinking. Can't see that catching on. The good news is, entries for this year's Mercury are now open.

Albums by British or Irish artists released between 22 Jul 2017 and 20 Jul 2018 are eligible. Submissions close on 25 May. Email entries@mercuryprize.co.uk for more details.

BACK TO THE TOP OF THE BULLETIN

Charli XCX, Guns N Roses, Christina Aguilera, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Get a daily news summary, our latest job ads and more via our Messenger bot. Click here to get started.

• Charli XCX has signed a new deal with Full Stop Management, according to Billboard.

• Billboard also suggests that the original Guns N Roses line-up might be about to reform. Oh, hang on, that's a billboard. In London. Of course, it might just be promoting a re-issue.

• Christina Aguilera is gearing up to release a new album, 'Liberation'.

• Ed Sheeran has released the video for 'Happier' from his last album.

• Mastodon have released a video for 'Clandestinty', from last year's 'Emperor Of Sand' album.

• Young Fathers have released the video for 'Toy', from their third album 'Cocoa Sugar'.

• Parquet Courts have released the video for 'Mardi Gras Beads', taken from their upcoming album, 'Wide Awake'.

• Frankie Cosmos have released the video for 'Apathy', ahead of UK tour dates in May.

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

BACK TO THE TOP OF THE BULLETIN

Miley Cyrus retracts apology for 2008 Vanity Fair photo-shoot
Miley Cyrus has marked the tenth anniversary of her apologising for a controversial photo-shoot by retracting that apology.

Then fifteen years old, Cyrus was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for a Vanity Fair article, in which she was shown wrapped in a sheet, partially exposing her naked back. In the article itself, asked if she was nervous about the shot, she said, "No, I mean I had a big blanket on. And I thought, 'This looks pretty, and really natural'. I think it's really artsy".

However, when it was splashed on the front page of the New York Post two months ahead of the Vanity Fair publication under the headline "Miley's Shame", the accompanying article featured an apology from the then Disney star saying that she felt "so embarrassed".

Tweeting a photo of that NYP cover as its tenth anniversary passed, she added, "I'm not sorry. Fuck you".

BACK TO THE TOP OF THE BULLETIN

 
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
 
CMU supports the music community by providing news, business intelligence, training and education.

CMU Daily covers all the latest news and developments direct by email.

Setlist is a weekly podcast dissecting the biggest music business stories.

CMU Premium gives you access to the weekly CMU Digest and CMU Trends.

CMU Insights provides training and consultancy for music companies.

CMU:DIY provides workshops and resources for future music talent.



© UnLimited Media, a division of 3CM Enterprises Ltd

UnLimited Media, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

Send press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

Email advertising queries to ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

Email training and consultancy queries to insights@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

publishing@unlimitedmedia.co.uk | complaints@unlimitedmedia.co.uk