TUESDAY 31 JULY 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Universal Music parent company Vivendi has confirmed plans to cash in on the renewed interest in music rights by selling off up to 50% of the music major, though it will do so through private deals rather than an initial public offering... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Vivendi confirms it will sell a slice of Universal Music, but not by IPO
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Sony confirms acquisition of Jackson estate's share of EMI Music Publishing
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Troy Carter to exit Spotify
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MEDIA Abrupt closure of Radar Radio costs half a million in fees and redundancies
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ARTIST NEWS Test Icicles' Sam Mehran dies
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RELEASES Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry announces two solo albums
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ONE LINERS Toto, Spiritualized, Phosphorescent, more
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AND FINALLY... Sky Ferreira sends SOS to Soundcloud via Instagram
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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.

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ERASED TAPES MUSIC PUBLISHING - PART TIME LICENSING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Erased Tapes Music is an independent music company that was founded in 2011 as the publishing arm of Erased Tapes Records. We are currently seeking a meticulous and highly organised individual to join our team as a part-time Licensing Assistant.

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SENTRIC MUSIC - ROYALTIES MANAGER (LIVERPOOL OR LONDON)
Sentric Music are looking for a Royalty Manager to join our Finance Team. Based in the creative areas of the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool - or Soho, London - the Royalty Manager will be integral to managing the accounts for our international client base.

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AEG EVENTIM APOLLO - ASSISTANT TECHNICAL MANAGER (LONDON)
Eventim Apollo are recruiting an Assistant Technical Manager to support and in the absence of the Technical Manager oversee the Technical aspects of a production from start to finish.

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ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL - ASSISTANT VENUE MANAGER (LONDON)
Islington Assembly Hall is looking for an Assistant Venue Manager to oversee all ticketing and box office activity, as well as managing social media posts and supporting overall marketing strategy.

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RAYMOND GUBBAY LIMITED - EVENTS ADMINISTRATOR (LONDON)
Raymond Gubbay Ltd, London's leading promoter of popular classical music, dance and trail events, is seeking to appoint a full time enthusiastic Event Administrator to join its busy event department.

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CRC RECORDS - DIGITAL MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
CRC Records is looking for a Digital Marketing Assistant to join our ever-growing team, working across our record label, management and publishing arms.

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KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - SENIOR MECHANICAL ASSISTANT (LONDON)
AWAL serves a growing roster of emerging talent and established independent artists from all over the world and we are now expanding our London based UK team to include a new Senior Mechanical Assistant, reporting to the Royalty Manager.

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DOMINO PUBLISHING - SYNCRONISATION MANAGER (LONDON)
The Domino Publishing Company Ltd is looking for a self-motivated, proactive synchronisation person to further expand the procurement of film, commercials, TV and games licensing opportunities.

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DOMINO - D2C CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Domino is looking for a D2C Co-ordinator to join our D2C team. This is a full-time role based in the London office. The candidate will report to the D2C Manager and work across all D2C campaigns.

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KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - INTEGRATIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
As part of Kobalt’s significant expansion of AWAL - our recorded music division - the Integrations Manager will support the growing operations team by ensuring accurate and timely review and cleanse of all incoming catalogue/label distribution deal releases for digital and physical distribution.

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VMS LIVE - GENERAL/VENUE MANAGER (EXETER)
An experienced General Manager/Venue Manager is required to work in our new Exeter venue The Lemon Grove. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record in venue management.

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Vivendi confirms it will sell a slice of Universal Music, but not by IPO
Universal Music parent company Vivendi has confirmed plans to cash in on the renewed interest in music rights by selling off up to 50% of the music major, though it will do so through private deals rather than an initial public offering.

There has been speculation for some time that Vivendi would sell a slice of the Universal Music Group, which includes the Universal record companies and music publishing business, the Bravado merchandise empire, and various other what nots and thingamajigs in music, music entertainment and music partnerships.

Speculation heightened last year when Vivendi bosses started discussing a possible valuation for its music business in the wake of the streaming-fuelled resurgence of the record industry and the resulting renewed interest among investment types in owning and controlling music rights. Said Vivendi bosses subsequently confirmed that they were looking into the possibility of selling off some of Universal by listing the company on a stock exchange.

However, a possible IPO is no longer on the cards, with Vivendi yesterday announcing plans to instead sell off chunks of its music company to one or more "strategic partners". Floating the business on a stock exchange would just be too complex, it explained.

The French firm told investors that its sale of some of Universal Music will likely begin this autumn, with the intention of having any offloading of equity completed within the next eighteen months. You know, before the steaming market crashes and the record industry is sent spiralling back into a period of doom and gloom.

The Universal Music business is a key asset of Vivendi, which also owns French TV channel and movie studio Canal+, the DailyMotion website, some ticketing and live music interests, and - as of last year - marketing and comms group Havas.

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Sony confirms acquisition of Jackson estate's share of EMI Music Publishing
Sony Corp has confirmed that it has now agreed a deal that will give it complete ownership of the EMI Music Publishing business, subject to regulator approval.

Sony, of course, led a consortium of investors to buy the EMI Music Publishing company back in 2012. Since then Sony's own global music publishing outfit, Sony/ATV, has administrated all the EMI-controlled song rights.

Back in May, Sony confirmed it had agreed to buy out most of the other members of that consortium in a $2.3 billion deal that would give the Japanese conglom a 90% stake of the EMI songs business. As a result, EMI Music Publishing would become a "consolidated subsidiary of Sony".

The remaining 10% of EMI was controlled by the Michael Jackson estate. The estate owned half of Sony/ATV at the time of the EMI transaction in 2012, Jackson having originally merged his ATV songs business with Sony's music publishing division back in 1995. Sony bought the Jackson estate out of Sony/ATV in 2016, but that deal did not include the estate's concurrent stake in EMI Music Publishing.

However, in its latest financial report to investors, Sony has now confirmed a separate deal to acquire the Jackson estate's slice of EMI, which will make the publisher a wholly owned subsidiary that will likely be properly merged with Sony/ATV down the line.

However, Sony's big bid to take complete ownership of the EMI song catalogues is still subject to regulator approval. The indie music sector will oppose the deal, though it seems likely that - if anything - regulators will force the offloading of some catalogues rather than blocking the transaction outright.

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Troy Carter to exit Spotify
Spotify has confirmed that Troy Carter will stand down as its Global Head Of Creator Services in September, though he will continue to advise the company after his departure. One of the firm's higher profile music industry hires, the artist manager and entrepreneur joined Spotify in June 2016.

With a number of senior execs at the company exiting since it listed on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year, there has been much speculation that Carter would be among them. And, of course, there was rumour that he'd resigned in protest during the hoo and the haa that surrounded Spotify's controversial (though popular in some quarters) 'hateful conduct' policy when it was launched in May.

Confirming he was leaving Spotify, Carter told reporters: "I came to this company to help bridge the gap between Spotify and the creative community. Over time, that goal evolved from fixing a challenge to building a global team focused on changing the game for artists around the world, partnering with them to help bring their creative visions to life in new and innovative ways".

He went on: "I'm very proud of what we've achieved but with so much accomplished, it was the right time to move out of the day-to-day into an advisory role. The knowledge, relationships and personal experiences will remain with me and I know that this talented team is committed to continuing this important work".

Boss man Daniel Ek also did some commenting on the news, stating: "By all measures, Troy has made a tremendous impact at Spotify. When he joined our team, there was skepticism from the artist community on streaming overall. Troy has been instrumental in changing that perception and his efforts to establish true partnerships across the industry will be felt for years to come".

Ek added: "He's built a very capable, global team that embodies an artist-first approach and this philosophy has been adopted across Spotify. We are in an excellent position to build on the momentum we've established well into the future".

Carter's departure will also see the merger of his creator services team with Spotify's original content and playlisting unit, which will all be led by Nick Holmsten.

News of Carter's departure follows confirmation last week that here in the UK former 1Xtra exec Austin Daboh, who joined Spotify two years ago, has been promoted to the role of Head Of Shows & Editorial. His promotion follows the departure from Spotify of his former BBC radio colleague George Ergatoudis, who has jumped ship to big bad Apple Music.

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Abrupt closure of Radar Radio costs half a million in fees and redundancies
Radar Radio paid out an estimated £270,000 in redundancy payments following its abrupt closure earlier this year, according to a Companies House filing made by the media firm.

The London-based urban-music-skewed online radio station suspended broadcasting in April after presenters left en masse following accusations of sexual harassment, homophobia and racism. At the time the station said it had "made the decision to suspend broadcasting until we are in a position to address the recent commentary around aspects of the station".

That commentary had begun earlier the same month when DJ collective Pxssy Palace announced that they were leaving the station after "a string of disappointing experiences".

Among a long list of accusations, they said that Radar aired "sexist, homophobic and transphobic shows", had a culture of "organisational racism", and had created "an uncomfortable and toxic environment which has led to the departure of many women of colour staff". When expressing these concerns to senior execs at the station, they said there had been a "consistent reluctance to negotiate or properly discuss these issues".

According to The Times, the new Companies House filing from the Radar Radio company states that the station made a loss of just over £1.3 million, up from £826,337, in the year to 28 Apr 2017. It then confirms that the business has had to "cease broadcast operations" since the end of the financial year outlined in the filing, paying out £270,000 in redundancy costs and £230,000 in professional fees as part of that process.

Radar Radio was set up by Oliver Ashley, the son of Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, and was supported by loans from the latter's company Mash Holdings. The broadcaster currently has debts of £4 million, mainly to the Mash Holdings company. The filing said Mash would continue to support the Radar Radio business in the short term, adding that Ashely Junior "has not determined what the future plans are for the company".

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Approved: Hiro Kone
Electronic artist Nicky Mao has been working under the name Hiro Kone since 2011. She released various EPs before unleashing last year's debut album, 'Love Is The Capital'.

In May she put out new EP 'The Ghost Of George Bataille', a collaboration with Coil's Drew McDowall, and now she's back again with 'Pure Expenditure', the title track from her new LP.

'Pure Expenditure' sees her team up with Japanese experimental trio Group A, who pull her further towards the harder edges of her own style. The results sound like the soundtrack to an industrial dystopia - nimble but nervous.

Listen to 'Pure Expenditure' here.

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

Test Icicles' Sam Mehran dies
Former Test Icicles member Sam Mehran has died, his label GunkTV has confirmed. He was 31.

Mehran was a founder member of Test Icicles with Dev Hynes and Rory Attwell. The band released one album before splitting in 2006. Since then, Mehran had recorded as Outer Limits Recordings, releasing an album through GunkTV in 2016.

Writing on Instagram, GunkTV boss Zak Mering said: "RIP Sam Mehran. You will be sorely missed and loved by many forever. The most talented musician I've ever had the pleasure of being close friends with. I know you're in a better place brother. You will not be forgotten".

Meanwhile Mehran's former bandmate Hynes also paid tribute on Instagram, writing: "Every time I was with you we were seventeen again. You were such a gift to this world. The floor has gone and I don't know where to stand".

Mehran recently co-produced Ssion's latest album, 'O', which was released in May.

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Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry announces two solo albums
Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry has announced that he will release two new solo albums over the next year. 'Quiet River Of Dust Vol 1' is set for release on 21 Sep and will be followed by volume two next spring. Ahead of them both, he's released two songs from the first volume: 'Sai No Kawara (River of Death)' and 'On The Ground'.

The seeds of these two releases date back to Arcade Fire's first tour of Japan, when they visited a monastery on a break from shows. Here, he says, he and his bandmates experienced "the biggest silence you've ever heard". He adds that "the song 'On The Ground' was inspired by an encounter with ghost voices in a Japanese forest near a temple on the mountain Koya-S?n".

Referencing the director of the video that accompanies the tracks, he goes on: "I told director Caleb Wood the story - of being alone in this magical environment of giant cedar trees and hearing a loud chorus of powerful harmony singing that sounded inexplicably identical to my late father's folk band the Friends Of Fiddler's Green, who were the soundtrack to my entire childhood and upbringing".

He adds: "I'm lousy at sitting still and being nothing. But being out in the natural world or being immersed in music is the meditation for me. That's the heart of this record: the experience of transcending the place that you're in, getting lost in the feeling of where you end and where the world begins, in a dreamlike world of music and thought".

Watch the video for 'Sai No Kawara (River of Death)' and 'On The Ground' here.

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Toto, Spiritualized, Phosphorescent, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• After Weezer covered Toto's 1982 hit 'Africa' earlier this year, Toto have now confirmed that they've recorded a cover of Weezer's 2001 single 'Hash Pipe'.

• Spiritualized have released new single 'Here It Comes (The Road) Let's Go', taken from upcoming new album 'And Nothing Hurt'. The band will play the Hammersmith Apollo on 21 Sep.

• Phosphorescent will release new album 'C'est La Vie' on 5 Oct. From it, this is 'New Birth In New England'.

• Connie Constance has released the video for her single 'Yesterday'.

• Petite Noir is back with new single 'Blame Fire'. The track is taken from his new EP, 'La Maison Noir', which is out on 5 Oct.

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

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Sky Ferreira sends SOS to Soundcloud via Instagram
Sky Ferreira sent out an SOS to Soundcloud this weekend, claiming that she had been locked out of her profile on the platform and needed help getting back in. And if you're thinking Ms Ferreira should do a better job of managing her logins and passwords, according to the musician the lock-out was the fault of her label, who changed the passwords and didn't tell her what the new login info was.

In a post on Instagram, a frustrated Ferreira said that she was forced to let her label control her Soundcloud presence following the release of debut album 'Night Time, My Time' in 2013. She doesn't name the label she's aggrieved with, though Universal's Capitol released that record. Either way, while in control of the page this label apparently changed all the account gubbins and, now that Ferreira wanted to get back in there to post some new music, the person who did the changing was nowhere to be found.

Her Instagram-delivered call for help stated: "I can't access my own account that I started and uploaded everything myself ... I was forced/told I had no choice to hand over my account information to my label after my album came out. They gave me the wrong information and changed it so I can no longer access it. The person who changed the login is unreachable and the contact no longer exist. I need it back ASAP".

Appealing to Soundcloud's 'we're the creator's friend' mantra, she concluded: "I earned the hundreds of thousands of people that follow the account without my label and have never had help for anything on social media or whatever. I think of Soundcloud as the website that allows musicians to have freedom. Please help xx".

But hey everybody, there's a happy ended here. "Thanks to my fans and Soundcloud for helping me get my login back so quickly" she declared yesterday, and on her Soundcloud page too, proving this happy ending was definitely for real. She celebrated by posting a new track on that SoundCloud page, with more new music promised. This follows indications that the long-awaited follow up to 'Night Time, My Time' might finally be released this year.

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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.
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