THURSDAY 10 MAY 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Tidal has dubbed a newspaper article that accuses the streaming firm of fiddling the figures related to two albums where it had scored exclusives as "ridiculous" and a "smear campaign". Although said paper has seemingly already pushed back on legal efforts to kill its investigation... [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 Tidal denies fiddling the figures, accuses newspaper of "smear campaign"
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
LEGAL RIAA hopes to beef up Grande Communications litigation with new evidence
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Blue Raincoat revives Cooltempo label with Armada Music alliance
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
LIVE BUSINESS Eventbrite integrates with Instagram for extra ticketing flogging goodness
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
THE GREAT ESCAPE CMU's guide to Wednesday at the Great Escape Convention
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
ARTIST NEWS Frightened Rabbit appeal for information on missing frontman Scott Hutchinson
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
RELEASES Bastille return with new late night single
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
AND FINALLY... Labels and fans dwell on records for too long, says Elton John
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.
   
NINJA TUNE - SYNC CREATIVE (LONDON)
Ninja Tune is looking for a sync creative working in its new production music arm. The position will sit within the wider label, publisher and bespoke sync team, focusing on the newly launched production music catalogue.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
STREAMING STARTUP - MARKETING EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
We are a new music streaming platform aimed at the world of independent music set for launch later in 2018 and are looking for a Marketing Executive to join our team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - EVENT MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Joining a growing, global marketing team in our first ever events focused role, you will help us create a better music industry as well as bring it into the digital age by taking complete ownership of Kobalt and AWAL’s UK and Europe events schedule supporting emerging artists from all over the world.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
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]

Tidal denies fiddling the figures, accuses newspaper of "smear campaign"
Tidal has dubbed a newspaper article that accuses the streaming firm of fiddling the figures related to two albums where it had scored exclusives as "ridiculous" and a "smear campaign". Although said paper has seemingly already pushed back on legal efforts to kill its investigation.

The newspaper in question is Norwegian business title Dagens Næringsliv, which has followed the evolution of the Tidal business particularly closely because, of course, the Jay-Z led streaming service grew out of a Norway-based start-up called WiMP.

The report relates to the officially recorded usage data for Kanye West's 'The Life Of Pablo' and Beyonce's 'Lemonade', both of which were initially available to stream exclusively on Tidal (and the latter still is). DN alleges that Tidal data relating to those records was manipulated resulting in hundreds of millions of false plays being reported.

The allegation is based on a lengthy investigation by the paper, which also involved the Norwegian University Of Science And Technology. That investigation was seemingly motivated by chatter that occurred around the launch of the two albums to the effect that the stats being put out by Tidal seemed unrealistically high given the service's own declared userbase at that time (and even more so given claims in some quarters that Tidal was exaggerating its number of active subscribers).

As part of its investigation, the paper says it somehow acquired a hard-disk full of internal Tidal data, which correlated with figures received by the record industry. It then approached individual Tidal subscribers who - the stats said - had heavily streamed the Beyonce and/or Kanye albums to see if they really had rinsed the hell out of those records. At least some of those subscribers seemed confused by the data, insisting they hadn't listened to those albums anything like what the stats suggested.

Then entered the academics at the Norwegian University Of Science And Technology, who seemingly analysed the Tidal data that the newspaper had acquired. DN says that the boffins employed "advanced statistical analysis" to determine that the data had been manipulated to the benefit of the Beyonce and Kanye releases.

Of course, if the number of plays secured by 'The Life Of Pablo' and 'Lemonade' were indeed heightened, that wouldn't just result in some dishonest stats bragging. It would also affect the royalties paid to the labels which released these records, and also the royalties paid by Tidal to everyone else.

The core streaming business is revenue share based on consumption share. The service takes all the money it has generated in any one month and then divides it between all the rights owners, based on what percentage of overall listening came from each individual rights owners' catalogue. Once that has been done, the streaming firm shares those allocated monies with each rights owner subject to their revenue share agreement.

Advances and minimum guarantees sometimes complicate the process further, but if Tidal monies were being shared out according to the core model, artificially boosted play counts for two records would mean those albums would account for a higher portion of overall consumption. That would mean they would be allocated a higher share of that month's monies, and everyone else would be allocated less.

For its part, Tidal is vehemently denying the allegations made in the new DN article, while seeking to damage the newspaper's credibility by citing remarks it has previously made about the company's execs, principally COO Lior Tibon and owner Jay-Z. It also accuses the newspaper of manipulating the data it sneakily acquired.

The digital firm said in a statement yesterday: "This is a smear campaign from a publication that once referred to our employee as an 'Israeli intelligence officer' and our owner as a 'crack dealer'. We expect nothing less from them than this ridiculous story, lies and falsehoods. The information was stolen and manipulated and we will fight these claims vigorously".

So tough talking. Let the vigorous fighting commence.

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RIAA hopes to beef up Grande Communications litigation with new evidence
The Recording Industry Association Of America wants the US courts to consider its newly beefed up complaints about internet service provider Grande Communications, in a bid to also beef up some ongoing litigation that was recently subject to some judicial butchering that left quite a lot less beef on the table. Yeah, there ended up being far too much beef in that sentence.

Anyway, as you may remember, the RIAA sued Grande Communications over its failure to deal with repeat copyright infringers among its customer base, arguing that the net firm should be deprived safe harbour protection and be held liable for its users' infringement. The RIAA case very much mirrored BMG's action against another American ISP, Cox Communications.

Grande tried to have the entire case dismissed, but failed. However, the courts did cut down the RIAA's lawsuit somewhat, by removing Grande's parent company as a defendant and ruling that the record industry could only sue for contributory infringement and not vicarious infringement. Which might sound like mere semantics, but would likely impact on any potential damages.

Whether Grande could be deemed liable for both contributory and vicarious infringement depends on whether you believe the ISP commercially benefited from failing to deal with repeat infringers. When cutting the lawsuit back, the court ruled that that commercial benefit couldn't be proven.

The RIAA now says that it has extra evidence gathered during the discovery phase of the litigation that it thinks strengthens the case for vicarious infringement, and also for holding the parent company equally liable. That includes the fact Grande seemingly was taking action against repeat infringers up until 2010, and has been again since the RIAA's lawsuit was filed, suggesting its failure to act between 2011 and 2016 was a deliberate decision, possibly made to ensure the retention of pirating customers.

The RIAA writes in a new legal filing: "Defendants' policy of refusing to take meaningful action against repeat infringers protects a significant revenue stream that Grande receives every month from its many infringing subscribers".

If the court accepts the RIAA's new evidence, Grande will have to respond anew to the specific allegations linked to it.

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Blue Raincoat revives Cooltempo label with Armada Music alliance
Independent music firm Blue Raincoat has announced that it is reviving the Cooltempo label as a dance music focused imprint. The company acquired the brand and its former catalogue as part of its acquisition of Chrysalis Records back in 2016.

It's nearly 20 years since a record was last released under the Cooltempo umbrella. The first release from the revived label is Francesca Lombardo single 'Eye Ring', with her debut album to follow. Blue Raincoat will work with Amsterdam-based Armada Music on the revived imprint, which will provide distribution services.

Blue Raincoat boss Jeremy Lascelles says: "Cooltempo is a great brand with a great name. We are very pleased to continue its legacy by releasing such a wonderful album from Fran. We are also delighted to be continuing our relationship with Armada".

Maykel Piron at Armada Music adds: "I still remember playing lots of Cooltempo releases on vinyl back in the day and it's great to see the legendary imprint making its return. We are really excited and proud to be part of this and we're sure Cooltempo will continue to cement its position as an electronic music staple".

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Eventbrite integrates with Instagram for extra ticketing flogging goodness
Instagram has integrated itself with a bunch of e-commerce platforms meaning companies will be able to transact with their followers on the social network, should that be something they are keen to do.

That transacting might take the form of flogging a ticket, with ticketing service Eventbrite - already integrated with Instagram's sister service Facebook - among the platforms being newly integrated on the image-centric social media platform.

Which is how Las Vegas-based music festival Life Is Beautiful is now selling tickets via the Instagram app. Whether that innovation means life now actually is beautiful you can decide for yourselves.

"Life Is Beautiful has a highly engaged and enthusiastic community on Instagram", the festival's boss Justin Weniger told Billboard. "It has long been one of the most powerful channels for us to reach fans. The Eventbrite integration with Instagram has proved to help deliver an even better ticket buying experience".

Well, isn't that lovely? But is it beautiful? No, we agreed you were going to decide that for yourselves. I can't do everything for you.

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CMU's guide to Wednesday at the Great Escape Convention
As The Great Escape comes well and truly into view, the CMU Daily will guide you through the wider convention programme day-by-day. Today: Wednesday's activities.

Don't forget, the Great Escape Convention kicks off a day earlier this year, with a day of talks and debates on Wednesday 16 May before the TGE festival gets going.

At the heart of Wednesday's proceedings is the first of three CMU Insights conferences that will be presented this year: The Education Conference at the Dukes at Komedia cinema complex. CMU Insights has teamed up with Urban Development and BIMM to present this conference, which will explore all the recent headlines that had declared there to be a 'crisis' in music education, while seeking to bring together both music educators and music employers.

The first half of the day will answer the question, what do we even mean by music education? CMU Insights has been busy mapping the wider music education sector, and will present an overview of the all the different kinds of music education that currently exist in England, including music classes, extra-curricular lessons and programmes, GCSEs and A-Levels, college courses and university degrees, industry-led initiatives and continued professional development. Having identified all the segments, we'll then talk to some of the people working in each different area of the sector.

The second half of the day is focused on music careers, and the plethora of roles and opportunities in the business of music, both on and off stage. Are young people being made aware of all those opportunities, let alone being provided with the skills and knowledge they need to capitalise on them? Where that is successfully happening, could those initiatives and teaching programmes be made available across the board? Having explored the career options, that's the big debate that will close the day.

Once the conference is complete, all attention will then switch to Brighton Beach where a brand new TGE venue will open its doors for the first time: called The Beach. This will be first opportunity for delegates to experience this new hub, which comes complete with two venues, bars, food stalls, hang out areas and pop up performance spaces. BIMM is also co-hosting the welcome party, alongside Jimmy's Beer and Republic Of Music.

Both conference and party are open to TGE delegate pass holders, plus standalone tickets are also available to The Education Conference - click here.

Look out for CMU's guide to Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the TGE Convention over the next few days.

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Approved: Eartheater
Early last month, Alexandra Drewchin - aka Eartheater - returned with unsettling new track 'Claustra', which dates back to the recording of her last album, 2015's 'RIP Chrysalis'.

"I wrote 'Claustra' around the same time as 'RIP Chrysalis'", she explained. "However, the piece felt different from everything else I was making at the time. It was foreshadowing things I didn't fully understand about myself - things that are coming more into focus with upcoming projects".

The first hint of those upcoming projects came just a few weeks later with the release of 'CLIT'. A dark, searing track on which Drewchin’s vocals are lifted by its violently circling sound, it's the first to be taken from new album 'IRISIS', which is out on 8 Jun.

Listen to 'CLIT' here.

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

Frightened Rabbit appeal for information on missing frontman Scott Hutchinson
Frightened Rabbit are appealing for information on the whereabouts of their frontman Scott Hutchinson, after he went missing in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Hutchinson was last seen leaving the Dakota Hotel in South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, at around 1am yesterday, after posting two concerning tweets. He is now believed to be elsewhere in the Scottish capital, according to police.

The band tweeted yesterday afternoon: "We are worried about Scott, who has been missing for a little while now. He may be in a fragile state and may not be making the best decisions for himself right now. Please could Scott or anyone with any information on his whereabouts please contact Police Scotland (101)".

In a further update this morning, they confirmed that Hutchinson remains missing, saying: "We have no news to report on Scott's whereabouts this morning. Your support so far has been incredible and all we ask is you keep him in your thoughts, keep an eye out and keep sharing his picture online. Thanks for everything. Your kindness and positivity is keeping us going".

In a statement, Inspector Graeme Dignan from Drylaw Police Station, Edinburgh said: "We are keen to locate Scott as soon as possible to ensure he is safe and well and would urge anyone who can assist with our ongoing inquiries to come forward. If you believe you have seen him since the early hours of Wednesday morning or know where he currently is, then please contact police immediately. I'd also urge Scott to get in touch with family, friends, or with police, to let us know he is alright".

Hutchinson was last seen wearing a dark baseball cap, navy blue hooded jacket, grey or khaki trousers and white trainers.

Anyone with information can contact Drylaw Police Station by dialling 101 in the UK and quoting incident 0082 of 9 May.

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Bastille return with new late night single
Bastille are back with a new single, 'Quarter Past Midnight', pre-empting their still to be properly announced third album.

After the slightly despairing tone of last album 'Wild World', the new single hints at a more positive outlook. "It's just about trying to capture that 'Sliding Doors' moment on a night out", says frontman Dan Smith. "Some people are gonna go home; for some this is just the beginning. It became about being in someone's car, driving through the city, and I wanted to try and capture that sense of excitement, and that rush".

Of the late night theme, he adds: "It's way easier to escape in the night time. Places that aren't normally open are open to the world, and the places that you associate with reality and work are all shut down. There's a parallel universe that exists, and this other set of people who are out and about".

Listen to 'Quarter Past Midnight' here.

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Labels and fans dwell on records for too long, says Elton John
Elton John reckons that, over the last 20 odd years, the record industry has become too focused on squeezing every last penny out of popular albums, to the detriment of artists' careers long term. Fans shouldn't be left listening to the same songs for months, even years on end. It should be a few weeks and then on to the next thing.

Appearing on George Ezra's podcast, John says: "You get someone like Ed Sheeran and he wants to make records like we did, two a year, and it's harder to do that now because records stay in the charts, on the radio, for so long".

"It's really hard releasing more than a record a year, because people haven't stopped listening to the first, so the second one gets in the way", agrees Ezra. "I think that's a result of the playlists on Spotify, because they're governed by playlists that people are listening to. And that's why Drake can be number one for however long. It just stays there".

John, however, reckons the issue stretches back much further, with radio and labels particularly to blame. "Look at Alanis Morrissette, how long that ['Jagged Little Pill'] album [stuck around]", he says.

"They took five or six singles off that album and instead of moving on quickly to the next one, or [just] taking three or four singles" he goes on. "I think that impairs an artist ... I think the record company completely ruined her career with taking so many singles from 'Jagged Little Pill', which sold so many copies, and then the next album maybe sold six or seven million and was considered a failure. That is so wrong".

Rinsing one album, rather than churning out new hits, also means artists are left with less to live off when the public does eventually move on, he adds. "You have a heyday and then you have the rest, and the heyday can never be replaced ... It's cyclical; someone else will have three or four years. Ed will go through that. I've talked to him about that, I've said, 'There will come a time when this won't happen all the time'. You have to accept that".

So, hey, it's an interesting interview. Maybe when George Ezra's musical career is (inevitably, it seems) torpedoed, he has a future in the lucrative world of podcasting. Listen to the rest, including the fun bit where John calls Michael Jackson a "fucking idiot", here.

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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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