WEDNESDAY 29 JULY 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Often controversial - in music industry circles, at least - Russian social networking giant and Facebook clone vKontakte has signed a 'goodwill agreement' with Sony Music which means, well, who knows what, lots of goodwill will be flowing between the two parties presumably. Enough, it would seem, to halt the major's legal action against the social network... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: The first single from composer and producer Jim Perkins' new album, due out on 6 Oct, 'Transfiguration' is another excellent example of his innovate approach to classical music. Written for string quartet, the recording has been broken down into individual notes, pulled apart and re-arranged, creating something new and completely enveloping. Having tackled... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including the FTC's investigation into Apple's 'tax' on in-app purchases, the race to improve songwriting royalty reporting, Spotify's new Discover Weekly playlists, and the pains of trying to get your One Direction remix competition entry heard on SoundCloud. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES Controversial Russian social network reaches 'goodwill agreement' with Sony Music
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DEALS Zayn Malik signs with Turn First Artists
BMG allies with MCN BroadbandTV on new artist development venture
Downtown allies with Latin-label Fania Records
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LIVE BUSINESS No more bidders come forward for SFX, allowing founder to proceed with buyback
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES ReverbNation unveils music discovery app
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MEDIA Russian musicians hit out at proposal to take major radio firm into State ownership
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INDUSTRY PEOPLE New Chair at BASCA
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ONE LINERS Bond theme betting, Game Music Connect keynote, new Kate Boy, and more
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AND FINALLY... Grandmaster Flash has rare vinyl stolen after car park mix up
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MUSIC GLUE - HEAD OF SALES AND MARKETING (LONDON)
Music Glue, the world’s leading D2F e-commerce platform, is looking for a Head of Sales and Marketing to lead our sales team. You will be an experienced and well-organised sales professional with wide ranging contacts, an excellent network in the music industry and a keen desire to make a name for yourself in a fluid, exciting role.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MUSIC GLUE - DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
Music Glue, the world’s leading D2F e-commerce platform, is looking for a Digital Communications Manager to join our team. We’re looking for an experienced communications professional who is searching for a job unlike any other in music or PR. Music Glue is a company at the forefront of the ongoing revolution in music and we want someone who is as comfortable evangelising our brilliant new features to our rapidly increasing user base as they are crafting the messaging and voice of the company as a whole.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BLUES KITCHEN - PROMOTIONS & MARKETING ROLE (LONDON)
The Columbo Group is seeking a talented and enthusiastic individual to join the Blues Kitchen marketing and promotions team.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
WARWICK SU - PROGRAMMING AND PROMOTIONS MANAGER (COVENTRY)
We are looking for an exceptional Programming and Promotions Manager to deliver a diverse and cost effective social provision programme across Warwick SU operation’s and outlets, including both regular and one off events that exceed the expectations of the student population and other customers.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
IQ - ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
IQ, a leading trade publication operating in the international live music industry, is seeking a dynamic, bright advertising sales executive to become an integral part of its growing team. The ideal candidate will have solid sales experience across both digital and print media.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA - VENUE MANAGER (NORWICH)
Are you looking for a change in your career? A unique opportunity to run a major venue on the live circuit. You will lead and develop enthusiasm in your management team and inspire them to make highly commercial decisions whilst also delivering an unforgettable experience to each and every customer.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
CMU Jobs is a proven way to recruit the best music business talent for roles across the industry at all levels, from graduate to senior management. To book an ad contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 

Controversial Russian social network reaches 'goodwill agreement' with Sony Music
Often controversial - in music industry circles, at least - Russian social networking giant and Facebook clone vKontakte has signed a 'goodwill agreement' with Sony Music which means, well, who knows what, lots of goodwill will be flowing between the two parties presumably. Enough, it would seem, to halt the major's legal action against the social network.

As previously reported, both the domestic music industry in Russia, and international labels and record industry trade groups, have hit out at vKontakte for allowing people to share music without licence across its networks.

For its part, the social networking firm has made various gestures over the years towards halting the file-sharing and introducing some sort of licensed music service on its platform, but none of that stopped the three major music companies from filing separate litigation against vKontakte in the Saint Petersburg & Leningradsky Region Arbitration Court last year. Those cases were due to be considered by the court this week.

But the Sony lawsuit, at least, has now seemingly been withdrawn because of the aforementioned 'goodwill agreement'. vKontakte confirmed to Billboard that an agreement had now been made with Sony, though there were few details as to what that agreement says, and whether it is a stepping stone towards the social media business becoming a legit music provider. Though local media reports reckon it is.

Despite past acrimony, vKontakte could be a useful partner for the labels in the Russian market if it could get a licensed royalty-paying streaming music service off the ground, Spotify having bailed on the country back in February.

Though it remains to be seen whether similar exchanges of goodwill are incoming between the social network and Warner and Universal Music. The same court considering those two lawsuits this week recently ruled against vKontakte in a legal battle with a Russian record company, which might be partly behind the social media firm's current goodwill frenzy.

Zayn Malik signs with Turn First Artists
Zayn Malik has engaged new management to help kickstart his solo career, presumably having tired of being "a normal 22 year old" having "some private time out of the spotlight".

Or perhaps he wants someone official to make announcements and release new material on his behalf, rather than collaborator Naughty Boy just posting it all to Twitter. Or perhaps he suspects there could be four more former 1D boys having a go at the solo career thing very soon, so he ought to get his off the ground pronto.

Either way, rather than signing up with One Direction overseers Modest! Management, Malik is putting his solo ambitions into the hands of Sarah Stennett at Turn First Artists. Though, despite the new management arrangement, it is thought the former IDer could continue to work with Simon Cowell's Sony imprint Syco if and when he gets round to releasing some new tunes.

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BMG allies with MCN BroadbandTV on new artist development venture
Multi-channel network BroadbandTV has announced a new joint venture with BMG which will "accelerate the careers of emerging music artists" via a "model set for the digital age". So that's definitely at thing. Called Windfall, the new joint venture constitutes "a comprehensive and technologically-advanced alliance". So, those are all words, aren't they?

Among its various YouTube networks, BroadbandTV runs hip hop focused Opposition and EDM-happy WIMSIC, and with Windfall it will look to collaborate with artists that come through those operations, also offering the publishing, rights management, promotion and distribution expertise that sits within the BMG empire.

Confirming the tie up, and using more of those words, BroadbandTV CEO Shahrzad Rafati said: "This deal is another shining example of our commitment in advancing the online video ecosystem, and is an exciting addition to our growing portfolio of services. The launch of Windfall supports our goal to more than double the size of our music network over the next twelve months. Not only does this partnership with BMG break new ground in expanding the relationship between artists and labels, it's a big step forward in the music industry as a whole where online video has become such a massive strategic component to engage with fans. With Windfall, we're not just creating music stars, but media stars".

Busy preparing his HQ for all those "media stars" who will soon be lining up outside, BMG boss Hartwig Masuch said of the deal: "For many artists and music fans, music is now an audio-visual artform. With online video emerging as a breeding ground for new talent, our partnership with BroadbandTV brings an innovative new offering to the market, creating an artist-friendly suite of online video services which we believe will be a game-changer".

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Downtown allies with Latin-label Fania Records
Downtown Music Publishing recently announced a worldwide publishing agreement with Codigo Music, which acquired the seminal New York-based Latin label Fania Records back in 2009. Under the deal, Downtown will administrate and represent Fania's songs catalogue.

Confirming the new alliance, Downtown CEO Justin Kalifowitz told reporters: "Fania was a New York City institution. Their investment, promotion and celebration of some of New York's greatest talents played an enormous role in the development of our city's diverse musical heritage. I am honoured that we can play a small part in promoting this incredible piece of New York City history".

No more bidders come forward for SFX, allowing founder to proceed with buyback
Robert Sillerman is ever closer to taking his EDM-lovin music business SFX back into private hands, after the firm confirmed on Monday that it hadn't received any competing offers to acquire the company.

As previously reported, Sillerman announced earlier this year that he wanted to buy back his latest entertainment venture, which he previously floated in 2013, making an offer for the nearly 63% of the company he doesn't currently control. Not all the firm's investors were impressed with the deal (one went legal), but the company's board backed the proposal after Sillerman increased his offer to other shareholders.

However, that backing was subject to a 45 day window in which a special committee appointed by the board would sound out other possible bidders for the company, who might want to compete with Sillerman to acquire the EDM event and festival promoter and Beatport operator. But no such second bidder came forward.

Though there was interest, it seems, in buying some of SFX's assets - proposals the special committee is now reviewing - but it nevertheless seems likely that Sillerman will soon be able to start approaching individual shareholders in a bid to regain ownership of the entire company. Insiders say he hopes to have the business back in private ownership by the end of the year.

ReverbNation unveils music discovery app
US-based direct to fan platform ReverbNation has launched a new music discovery app, which, the firm says, "enables music fans to find their new favourite band before everyone else does". And why not, I say. The app, called EchoMusic, basically aims to make it easier to navigate the ReverbNation community via a smartphone, checking out artists distributing their content on the D2F platform.

There's some human and automated curation going on in their too, with the app - says ReverbNation itself - "utilising a combination of big data and a three-tiered review system by music experts in every genre from all across the country to identify the best tracks in the company's extensive existing catalogue, as well as from the 30,000 new artists that join the site every month".

Or, in the words of the firm's CEO Mike Doernberg: "We have the world's largest catalogue of music from new artists. But we also recognise that it's not enough just to have a lot of music, there needs to be a way for music fans to be able to make sense of all of it. The EchoMusic app contains the very best artists in our community, hand-picked by our curation team, and served up in an accessible, easy to use way that helps music fans discover new bands before anyone else and share them with their friends".

Russian musicians hit out at proposal to take major radio firm into State ownership
A group of popular singers and musicians in Russia have appealed to the country's President, Vladimir Putin, to halt moves to put a major radio operator in the country into state hands, fearing it is part of a plan to prioritise Russian artists - and especially "patriotic" Russian artists - over Western talent on the airwaves.

The singers seemingly wrote a letter to Putin following the news that the state owned Goskontsert, which reports into Russia's Ministry Of Culture, was in talks to buy a majority share in the Russkaya Media Group, which owns several popular radio stations in the country as well as TV station RU.TV.

Although the Russian government controls all the major news channels in the country, it doesn't currently exert its power over music radio. But the move to put RMG into state ownership is - according to Moscow-based business paper Vedomosti - part of a wider initiative supported by both Goskontsert and some directors at the radio firm to develop and support "ideologically correct" pop idols with the goal of ensuring popular support for Russia's leadership.

The singers opposing the deal point out that RMG's flagship station Russkoye Radio already plays only Russian language songs, meanwhile many big names within the country's music community are plenty patriotic enough already, some performing in both the annexed Crimea and areas in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russia-backed rebels, despite the threat of being boycotted in Western countries by doing so.

A spokesman for Putin said he didn't have the power to intervene on a deal of this kind.

New Chair at BASCA
The British Academy Of Songwriters, Composers & Authors has itself a brand new Chair. Note the capital letter there. That's why this is news. Although I like to think they've bought Stephen McNeff a new chair too. He is an award-winning composer after all, he deserves something fully ergonomic.

McNeff takes over as Chair of BASCA from Simon Darlow, who has stepped down after two and half years in the job. Confirming McNeff's appointment, the association's CEO Vick Bain said: "It is my pleasure to welcome Stephen McNeff as the new Chair of BASCA. He brings with him gravitas, considered thinking and good humour. I look forward to working closely with him supporting his vision for composers and songwriters".

  Approved: Jim Perkins - Transfiguration
The first single from composer and producer Jim Perkins' new album, due out on 6 Oct, 'Transfiguration' is another excellent example of his innovate approach to classical music. Written for string quartet, the recording has been broken down into individual notes, pulled apart and re-arranged, creating something new and completely enveloping.

Having tackled solo piano on his debut album, 'Grains', this new record will see Perkins explore strings more deeply, with pieces written for a variety of combinations of the group of instruments from solo violin to 21 piece string orchestra.

He will also be involved in a collaborative album from his Bigo & Twigetti label, created by a group of musicians over the course of a week. This follows on from last year's 'Forty Eight' EP, which was created over a 48 hour period, with four musicians each creating their own track for the others each in turn to add their own touches. Also working on the new collaborative album will be Nonesemble, Leah Kardos, Antonyes, Lucy Claire, Tiny Leaves and more to be announced in early August.

Watch the video for 'Transfiguration' here.
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Bond theme betting, Game Music Connect keynote, new Kate Boy, and more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• William Hill has suspended bets on who will perform the new James Bond film for upcoming film 'Spectre' after someone placed £15,000 on Radiohead yesterday. This puts the band ahead of Ellie Goulding, who yesterday posted a picture of herself leaving Abbey Road Studios to Instagram with the caption, "that's a wrap", which many are taking to mean the song is hers.

• This year's Game Music Connect conference will feature a keynote speech from Director Of Music for Sony Computer Entertainment America Worldwide Studios, Chuck Doud. The event takes place at the Southbank Centre in London on 15 Sep. Details here.

• Kate Boy have posted a new track, 'Midnight Sun'.

• Following the recent release of his new album 'I Aubade', Elvis Perkins will head out on a short tour of the UK in November, finishing up at the Victoria in Dalston on 24 Nov. Info here.

• Grass House have announced a three week residency at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington. They will play shows on 11, 19 and 28 Aug, the last coinciding with the release of new single, 'Unknown In The Scene'. Listen to that here.

• Iggy Azalea has been bitten by a cat. This raises a surprising number of questions.

Grandmaster Flash has rare vinyl stolen after car park mix up
Grandmaster Flash has lost three crates of rare vinyl (and his car) after a mix up at a car park in New York when a valet gave the vehicle to another person.

The DJ told the BBC: "I came back and I proceeded to have the same guy who gave me the same ticket two hours ago and his eyes went as big as saucers and he says to me, 'I've given your car to the wrong person. He looked like you!'"

He said in an Instagram post that while the man who took his car had been dressed like him, he had no ticket and no ID to show that he owned the vehicle. Or the records inside.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin 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, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
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CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
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