6 MAR 2013

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Having once fronted the band Tom & The Tides, it's since London-based Tom Odell went solo that he's been ticking so many 'ones to watch' boxes, getting a name-check in the BBC Sound Of 2013 poll and taking the BRITs hack-voted Critics' Choice Award. Following all the buzzy buzz from late last year, Odell will now capitalise on all that interest with his first full-length release, 'Long Way Down', coming your way via Columbia on 15 Apr, alongside a plethora of festival appearances, not least at the good old Great Escape in May more>>
Ah, Smith Westerns. Looking at the LPs they've presented so far, a grainy eponymous entrée and 2011's higher-quality 'Dye It Blonde', they're an act that are - depending on their choices, flair and personal enthusiasm - perhaps fated to be great, or, alternatively, that'll just fade faddishly away. If the band were naïve 'sophomores' at the time of making 'Dye It Blonde', then their new LP 'Soft Will' (released 11 Jun) is probably going to be a diploma in collegiate pop-smarts, especially if new track 'Varsity' is anything to go by more>>

- Hands chats about his EMI adventure
- Speculation continues as to why Bieber show went up late
- Blythe comments on acquittal in fan death case
- Sony sues Swedish file-sharer over Beyonce leak
- Jepsen and Train pull out of US Scouts show over gay ban policy
- Christian music chart to launch
- Imagem signs Peace
- Diplo remixes Gangnam Style
- Lilacs & Champagne talk new LP Danish & Blue
- Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs to release LP
- Lenny Kravitz off Gaye biopic
- Craig David lists international dates
- Fallulah to headline new Ja Ja Ja night
- Festival line-up update: Forbidden Fruit, The xx's Night + Day, Exit and more
- Warner owner invests in Beats streaming platform
- Warner strikes new deals with Google
- Nicki Minaj fires stylist, make up artist
Involved Management is one of the world’s leading electronic music management companies, with an artist roster that includes Above & Beyond, Mat Zo and Dusky. Involved also shares an affiliation with Anjunabeats, one of the biggest independent dance labels in the UK and currently number one in the iTunes US dance album chart.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Sydney based company representative for Australia, New Zealand and Asia. This position supports the activities of the company globally under the supervision of the London based Director, Label and Project Management. The role will cover supporting activities surrounding master rights owners as well as retail accounts. It will also have a business development aspect to the role.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Berlin based company representative for Europe. This position supports the activities of the company globally under the supervision of the London based Director, Label and Project Management. The role will cover both supporting activities surrounding master rights owners as well as retail accounts. It will also have a business development aspect to the role.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Merlin, the global rights licensing agency representing independent labels, is looking for a talented individual to join our London team through its work experience scheme. The two month placement would involve assisting staff in the central London Merlin office for two days a week, in particular in the areas of administration, royalty reporting and general operations. The role would suit a music business student or recent graduate looking to learn more about the digital music industry, as well as new and emerging services and markets.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Listen Up is seeking an energetic and enthusiastic radio intern to primarily assist our radio department across various promotional campaigns. If you are looking to get your first foot in the door in the music industry then this could be the opportunity for you.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Killing Moon is a London-based record label, artist management company, club night promoter and (nearly) award-winning new music blog. Due to recent expansion and gradually-increasing output through our record label, we are now seeking several spritely and talented individuals to learn about and assist on all of our operations.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
With a split role of business development and ongoing client relationship management, the candidate will be the UK based point person for INresidence artist projects, as well as being the liaison for projects with a physical component.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The senior person in the international office for all Sales & Marketing activities. This position will work closely with label representatives and product managers to ensure maximum visibility for key projects. He/she will also manage relationships with various teams for the external clients as well as internally at INgrooves Fontana and support business development activities.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are looking for someone to provide operational and administrational support for the Music Team through the planning, delivery and execution of all Roundhouse music events. The successful candidate must have professional experience in music booking and promotion, event management and artist liaison; strong working knowledge of the live music industry and a good understanding of contemporary music genres; a solid understanding of technical and production elements involved in live music.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are a fast growing and innovative company currently looking to recruit a Digital Music Content Manager. The successful candidate will report directly to the Directors & General Manager and should have the ability to work effectively on their own and also within a team environment. We require someone who possesses strong attention to detail and ability to build business relationships. You must have three or more years experience in a similar role within a relevant sector for this position.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Domino Recording Co is seeking a skilled individual for the full-time role of Digital Operations Assistant in their London office. This position will oversee the management and generation of creative digital assets for the label under the direction of the Head of Digital with a specific focus on the label’s video catalogue, label and artist apps, image and data assets.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Colluded Talent is the artist agency division of Defected Records and represents a broad roster of leading house music and electronic music DJ/producers and performers and Defected In The House branded events. We are looking for an experienced Booking Agent to join our team.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Eight week evening course with music journalist Lulu Le Vay (Guardian, Independent, Observer, i-D, Sleaze Nation, The Face, DJ magazine). Learn how to source hot music stories, network with industry insiders, interview artists, write reviews and features, and deliver copy under pressure. You will also get to pitch your interview and feature ideas to editors at our partner publications: Clash Magazine, Dummy, Resident Advisor and DJ Mag. Guest tutor: Matt Bennett, Deputy Editor, Clash Magazine. 

For more information including a full course description and how to book click here.
Interested in gaining marketing and promotional experience? Then a three month internship with one of the country’s leading music festivals maybe just what you are looking for. Experience what it is like in our busy, friendly office, and how to market a music festival.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Mute is hiring. Do you have experience of working in a digital environment and have a good understanding of music marketing? Do you have a passion for music and love the idea of working within a creative and independent environment? We have a vacancy for a Junior Digital Product Manager to work within the marketing and promotions team on our wide-ranging roster.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
A rare opportunity to join the UK’s leading music and entertainment PR Agency, LD Communications. LD Digital, a division of LD Communications is expanding. We are seeking a talented and creative digital PR Account Executive with at least two years experience to join the team. If your network of digital media contacts is unrivalled and the latest social trend is another great opportunity to gain visibility, then we would like to hear from you.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

Guy Hands. Remember him? Oh go on. What a guy. Well, what a Guy. He's called Guy. Plus I know quite a few former EMI execs who'd gladly thrown him on a bonfire.

Anyway, he was the boss of equity group Terra Firma, the dude who threw a few billion away acquiring the British music major, before sacking everyone, saddling the company with impossible debts, and then suing the bank that all the money was owed to in a disagreement over biscuits. Well, it's possible I've mixed some of that up.

But whatever, Hands, has been chatting rather candidly about his short-lived dabblings with the music business, now happy in the knowledge that the EMI debacle - which, to be fair, was a rare if high profile screw-up for the Terra Firma business - is well and truly behind him. And other Terra Firma investments have been doing fine thank you very much, notes Hands: "We increased the value of our equity last year by almost double what we lost on EMI".

But in an interview with Bloomberg, Hands freely admits that he and his team made some major mistakes when acquiring EMI in 2007 in a debt-laden multi-billion deal, though, he reckons, somewhat ironically given the backgrounds of Team Terra Firma (ie mainly City boys), most of the mistakes involved misjudging the state of the financial markets rather than the issues affecting the music rights industry.

Hands tells Bloomberg "our ability to come up with strategy actually was pretty good", adding that the British major's market share "went from 9% to 17%" between his purchase in 2007 and when Citigroup sold the company on last year, and "that's an extraordinary movement in a declining market - so the strategy worked".

It's true that the EMI that emerged from the turmoil created by Hands' arrival, and the axing of a plethora of senior execs at the major, was actually a pretty healthy business, with more joined up senior management and especially interesting developments in the label-services domain, an increasingly important part of any major's operations. Though whether that was the result of a clever design thought up by Terra Firma twonks in 2007 is debatable.

Hands always seemed to have a good handle on the problems EMI faced, but less of an idea on what the solutions might be, other than instigating the brutal down-sizing that the bloated EMI arguably did need (though possibly not quite so much overnight). And it did seem from the outside that things only properly took shape once Hands, rather late in the day, decided to give EMI Publishing chief Roger Faxon control of the whole company.

But whatever, Hands is right to say the really big problem for EMI was that it owed so much money to one lender, Citigroup, whicho became increasingly reluctant to lessen the draconian terms of the music company's debts (and who ultimately repossessed EMI and split it up for sale).

And that occurred because of the infamous credit crunch, with radical shifts in the financial markets shortly after the EMI deal was completed in 2007 making it impossible for Hands to spread the load in terms of the music company's debts, piling on the pressure. And also providing some big PR challenges, it being very simple for journalists, artists and people everywhere to grasp that owing billions to one bank during one of the worst economic crises in history is a bit of a problem.

Hands says he got it "completely wrong" when it came to predicting "what would happen in the financial markets". And on that front, many lessons have been learned, he told the business news channel: "Always take a ten-year view on any transaction, don't get saddled with massive debts to single lenders, and always ensure diversity in your wider portfolio. He concludes: "We've learned some very expensive lessons, we've been through a pretty severe whipping, but we've come out the other side".

EMI, meanwhile, basically ceased to exist last year, though it's name will live on via various regional labels within the Universal Music empire and as a unit of the Sony/ATV publishing business, while the major's iconic Parlophone brand will become part of Warner (regulator approval pending).

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So, as the Bieber reportedly took to The O2 stage early (by two minutes) last night, speculation remains as to why exactly his show on Monday night went up nearly two hours late, resulting in parents galore having to carry out crying Beliebers into the cold Greenwich night, rushing to catch trains just a few songs in to the pop teen and children entertainer's big show.

After radio silence from the official Bieber channels during the delay, immediately after Monday night's show and as the late start bizarrely became the biggest news story over British breakfast tables yesterday morning, Justin finally took to his Twitter feed at lunchtime. First, he claimed, reports that his show began nearly two hours late were not true, because he'd been due on stage at 9.35pm and his performance began at 10.10pm, meaning he was in fact "40 mins late to stage" (actually 35 minutes by those timings, but whatever). That delay, the Bieber said, was due to good old fashioned "technical issues".

He added over a series of tweets: "There is no excuse for [the 40 minute delay] and I apologise for anyone we upset. However it was great show and I'm proud of that, and tonight we will run on time and look forward to putting on an amazing show for everyone in attendance. I never have any intent to upset or let anyone down. And I'm not okay with things being exaggerated. Once again sorry for anyone upset".

So that's that. Though, whatever Bieber thought was his schedule, The O2's official website was certainly billing Bieber's show to begin at 8.30pm, which is presumably why so many parents were pissed off by the post-10pm start. Given that fact, one would assume said angry parents won't appreciate the Bieber telling them they actually only had to wait 40 (35) minutes longer than expected, nor that their kids - pulled out of the concert early due to the late kick-off - missed "a great show".

Not that it really matters for the Bieber machine, because the Beliebers themselves probably can't comprehend being angry with their hero, and will instead channel all their energies into getting angry with the negative media coverage of the late start. In which case they should check out The Sun, which is claiming that the "technical issues" that caused the delay were an increasingly tetchy and self-absorbed Bieber having a bit of a diva moment.

The tab quotes one unnamed staffer at the O2 Arena as saying backstage arguments caused the delay. Said that staffer: "He [Bieber] was arguing with members of his management, his family. It was a really uncomfortable atmosphere. His attitude was, 'I'm the star and I can do what I want'".

The tabloid also quotes a mother of a fan in the audience, who claims O2 staff told her the same. Said Belieber mum Lindsay Gilbertson: "We were told he was kicking up a real fuss. He was saying, 'It's my show, I'll go out when I want to'".

So that's all fun. Of course real technical problems do occur from time to time with big live shows, though in this day and age customers will expect updates on such delays via official social media channels, something the live sector is yet to get a handle on (yes, social media is good for communicating issues as well as updates on how brilliant everything is). Likewise if advertised start-times have been altered, pop fans surely have a right to have that communicated to them too, again utilising official social networks.

Of course for the celebrity press, the assumption is that the late start is another sign of a Bieber breakdown, the latest in a string of mini-controversies involving the pop star. Whether there's any truth in that, well, we might have to wait for the much more interesting post-fame memoirs to find out.

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Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe was yesterday acquitted of charges that he caused the death of a fan at a gig in 2010 by pushing said fan when he tried to invade the stage.

As previously reported, Blythe was accused of pushing teenager Daniel Nosek off the stage at a Lamb Of God show in Prague in 2010, causing Nosek to sustain head injuries that subsequently led to his death. The metaller was arrested over the charges when he returned to the Czech Republic last year. A trial began in the Czech capital last month but was postponed after a key witness fell ill, before resuming on Monday.

Blythe proclaimed his innocence from the start, though also expressed deep regret over Nosek's death, and insisted he would comply with the Czech justice system to prove his innocence, even if that meant risking a five year prison sentence.

Speaking towards the end of the trial, Blythe reportedly told the court: "I know I did not hurt or want to hurt anybody that night. I can understand the pain that the family of Daniel is experiencing. Daniel was a fan of my band. I had no wish to harm him. He was just a boy and I wish he was still here. If ultimately the Czech legal system sentences me to prison, I will do my sentence like a man".

But the Czech court ruled that Blythe could not be help responsible for Nosek's death, in theory vindicating the musician, though the prosecution intends to appeal the ruling.

Writing on Instagram after his acquittal, Blythe added: "I have been found not guilty and acquitted of all charges against me. I am a free man. Please remember the family of Daniel Nosek in your thoughts and prayers in this difficult time. I only wish for them peace. Thank you for your support - Randy".

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Sony Music has sued a Swedish file-sharer who is accused of leaking onto the net Beyonce's 2011 album '4' before its release. The man from Gothenburg, thought to have links to the music industry, is also being targeted by a criminal prosecution with regards to the leaking, via file-sharing networks, of the then new Beyonce record.

The music industry, of course, has sued tens of thousands of file-sharers worldwide over the last decade, while a handful more have been targeted with criminal actions. More recent litigation against individual file-sharers, though, has tended to focus on the leaking of new albums online before official release, with labels arguing this not only effects sales of the record, but also screws up expensive marketing plans.

According to Torrentreak, in this particular case Sony is suing for 1.5 million kronor, or $233,000, claiming that the defendant's actions impacted on its marketing strategy and sales revenue, plus hindered the major's relationship with Beyonce and her reputation.

Six and even seven figure damages in lawsuits against individual file-sharers are not unprecedented, of course, the most high profile such cases having occurred in the US. Though such levels of damages often result in long drawn-out appeals, with defendants often being unable to pay anything like that sort of money even if they wanted to. And, arguably, such high demands by labels does further PR damage for the industry (and further damage to both Sony and Beyonce's reputation), even if they are well and truly in the right, legally speaking.

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Carly Rae Jepsen and Train have both pulled out of a concert being held as part of an upcoming jamboree staged by the Boy Scouts Of America movement because of the American organisation's ban on gay members.

The US scouting movement's ban on gay people joining or working for the organisation has become increasingly controversial in recent years (more so than its bans on atheists, agnostics and girls), despite the group's right to have such discriminatory policies being upheld in the American courts. Both candidates in last year's US presidential election publicly criticised the policy, and recent reports suggest that there are now developments occurring within the scouting movement that might bring an end to the ban.

But for the time being it remains, resulting in campaigners calling on both Jepsen and American rockers Train to pull out of the Scouts' July festivities as soon as their involvement was confirmed. Train were first to announce they had withdrawn from the jamboree show on the basis of the scouting organisation's discriminatory policies on gay members, with Jepsen following suit yesterday.

In a series of tweets, Jepson wrote: "As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts Of America Jamboree this summer. I always have and will continue to support the LGBT community on a global level and stay informed on the ever changing landscape in the ongoing battle for gay rights in this country and across the globe".

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The Official Charts Company will next week launch the first ever UK Christian & Gospel Albums Chart, so that's a thing.

Launched in partnership with Compassion UK, an "international Christian child development and child advocacy ministry", the OCC says that the new countdown recognises a growing interest in the Christian music genre in the UK, noting that a "thriving live Christian music scene" also released no fewer than 600 albums last year, coupled with an apparent 3% rise in church attendance. Holy times.

The Christian music genre is, of course, big business in the US, though has traditionally been more under the radar over here, though that's not to say there aren't specialist labels for the genre in the UK, of which Integrity Music is the biggest. It's releases from these labels that will be counted in the new chart, alongside new records listed as Christian music by the majors and other labels (most likely coming from the Christian music imprints of their American divisions).

Confirming the new chart, which launches next week, OCC Charts Director Omar Maskatiya told CMU: ''The Official Charts Company is committed to profiling and celebrating all sectors of the UK musical landscape. The popularity of Christian and Gospel music to date has largely been demonstrated through its vibrant live sector, however with the launch of the Official Christian & Gospel Chart we can now, for the first time, shine the spotlight on those artists who are enjoying significant success through recorded music too. We look forward to working with Christian labels and supporting partner Compassion to bring the new chart and its featured talent to music fans of the UK".

On what records would be eligible for the new chart, he continued: "To qualify albums need to have a strong 'faith' content; so it's not a case of just including artists with Christian beliefs, it's more about the repertoire. We will take new release information from Christian labels directly and supplement that with data from the UK majors who may be distributing US signed Christian artists". Though as with any new chart, eligibility criteria will be reviewed as the countdown develops.

Welcoming the new chart, Jonathan Brown, MD of the aforementioned Integrity Music said: "This is a defining moment and changes the landscape for Christian and Gospel music in the UK. The development of this new chart will bring significant profile to this growing genre".

It's customary in CMU reports on Christian music to end with some lame gag about God not being available for comment, but we sent that out on Twitter last night to save us the bother here.

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Independent publisher Imagem Music has signed up that buzzy band they call Peace to a worldwide publishing deal.

And if you don't believe me, just take a look at what Imagem's Head Of A&R Michael Morley told CMU yesterday: "When I first heard Peace's 'Bloodshake' I just knew these guys were a far from ordinary guitar band. They obviously drew their influences from a wider range of sources than pop, whilst writing what is already an anthem. Their musical ambition was obvious, and their groove is inspirational in its own right".

Confirming the deal, the band's co-managers Phil Hutcheon and Russ Tannen added: "When we first had a meeting with Michael he texted to say he'd be the man in the blue hat, yellow jacket and red shoes, and we just said 'you had us at blue hat'".

Signed to Sony's Columbia label, Peace's debut album 'In Love' is released later this month.

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Divisive DJ-ing type Diplo - the man partly to blame for the blight of love-or-hate 'Harlem Shake' vids (in that his label released the track) - has made over another 'viral hit', K-pop star Psy's 'Gangnam Style'.

Diplo's 'Gangnam Style' restyle - as had a digital release yesterday as part of this 'GS' remix EP - features rappers 2Chainz and Tyga, and a beat derivative of the 'trap' genre. So, that's nice. Hear it via Only if the internet hasn't eaten itself, that is.

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CMU Approved last year on the basis of the eponymous first LP, instrumental 'funk and pop' samplers Lilacs & Champagne are back with a new set of scents (aka tracks) titled 'Danish & Blue'.

One half of the band, Emil Amos, envisions this of his and L&C collaborator Alex Hall's new disc: "We want to twist the knife as far as it can go into sample-based methodology, by taking pieces of loner music history and empowering them to shed light on both the pathetic side of human life and its improbable beauty".

'Danish & Blue' is released via Mexican Summer on 22 Apr, but in the meantime, give one of its tracks, 'Sour/Sweet', the once over:


Metaphysical Transitions
Le Grand
Better Beware
Alone Again And...
Police Story
Hamburgers & Tangerines
Honest Man
Refractory Period
Danish & Blue
Metaphysical Transitions II

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Psych advocates Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs are all set to release their Edwyn Collins-supervised first LP, 'Clarietta', and will, in fact, do so via Heavenly Recordings on 20 May.

Fans can hear parts of it in advance in one of two ways, via the video for first track and past single 'Things We Be', and/or by going to one or all of the band's forthcoming live shows, the first of which is at The Quietus' Wire: Drill special at London's The Lexington on 21 Mar.

Things We Be
I've Got A River
Go Blow A Gale
You Haven't Got A Chance
A Lion's Way
I Watch You
Be A Complete Dream
Be Glamorous
The Central Tonne

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Lenny Kravitz has resigned his starring role in a new Marvin Gaye biopic, apparently backing out over resistance to the divisive film by Gaye's relatives.

As previously reported, the movie has so far been opposed by the late singer's ex-wife Janis Hunter and son, Marvin Gaye III, who last year criticised its makers proposal to mainly highlight a "low" time in Gaye's latter life.

According to Deadline, director Julien Temple is still set to begin filming 'Sexual Healing' "later this month", he having replaced Kravitz with actor Jesse L Martin.

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'Born To Do It' star Craig David - who only last month started a new joint venture with his manager, Colin Lester, and Universal Music Publishing - is at 'it' again. Playing live shows, I mean. He'll have a go at doing that in late May as part of an 'international' tour that'll take him to "Indonesia, Australia, Europe and the UK".

Anyway, its UK-based dates are thus:

19 May: Birmingham Institute
20 May: Manchester Ritz
21 May: Southampton Guildhall
22 May: London IndigO2

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London can carry on its love affair with all-things Nordic and sonic on 28 Mar, when promoter Ja Ja Ja will host another night at The Lexington. The show's star attraction is CMU Approved artist (circa 2010) Fallulah, aka Danish alt-popstar Maria Apetri, whilst Iceland's Pascal Pinon and fine Finnish band Delay Trees will also play live.

You can shop for £5 advance tickets at this link. This, meanwhile, is 'Superfishyality', as features on Fallulah's 2012 LP 'Escapisms'.

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Festivals, festivals, festivals. Always adding artists, when will it end? Never, that's when. Look at Ireland's Bulmers-backed Forbidden Fruit, for instance, as has just revealed its co-headlining acts (Kasabian, Primal Scream) and the varied likes of James Blake, Crystal Castles, Austra, Mykki Blanco, and the Nile Rodgers-featuring Chic.

Speaking of chic - as in the adjective rather than the 1970s disco band - The xx have shared the names of the first players at the London edition of their modish Night + Day mini fests. And those names are Mount Kimbie, Poliça and Kindness.

Going as far away from Chic/chic as can be gone, Serbia's diversely-billed Exit fest has taken on a new headliner in reggae creature Snoop Lion né Dogg, who aligns with listing kingpins Atoms For Peace, Seth Troxler, DJ Fresh, and Matador. What a treat.

And now, have several extra FLUU-based treats via this lot:

EASTERN ELECTRICS, Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, 2-4 Aug: Richie Hawtin, Kerri Chandler, Jackmaster, Spencer, Kyle Hall, Chez Damier, Gerd, Brian Sanhaji, Matt Tolfrey, Christophe & Lukas.

EXIT FESTIVAL, Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia, 10-14 Aug: Snoop Lion, Bloc Party.

FORBIDDEN FRUIT, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin, Ireland, 1-2 Jun: Kasabian, Primal Scream, Crystal Castles, James Blake, Neon Neon, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, iamamiwhoami, Le Galaxie, Fight Like Apes, Kormac's Big Band, Tieranniesaur, Girls Names, Chic feat Nile Rodgers, Four Tet, Everything Everything, Woodkid, Austra, Daphni, Daughter, Cyril Hahn, Mykki Blanco, Bondax, New Jackson, Frank B.

NIGHT + DAY, Osterley Park, London, 23 Jun: Mount Kimbie, Kindness, Poliça.

OFF FESTIVAL, Katowice, Poland, 2-4 Aug: My Bloody Valentine.

PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL, Union Park, Chicago, USA, 19-21 Jul: Joanna Newsom, The Breeders, Swans, El-P, Killer Mike, TNGHT, Chairlift, Sky Ferreira, ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Rustie, Mac DeMarco, Foxygen, Angel Olsen, Trash Talk.

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Beats has secured $60 million in new investment to help develop and launch its new streaming music service, which should go live later this year. With the working title Daisy, Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine recently said the service would actually just go with the Beats brand when it launches.

As previously reported, development of the Beats streaming platform is being led by Topspin founder Ian Rogers with creative input from Trent Reznor. It will operate through a separate company, a subsidiary of the headphone-making Beats Electronics firm, and it's likely that is what the new investors have bought into.

A number of investors have provided the $60 million, though perhaps most interesting on the list is Len Blavatnik's Access Industries, which has already invested in another streaming music company Deezer, and more importantly owns Warner Music. Blavatnik said of his latest investment: "Beats has the vision, the brand, the management team and now the investor group to effectively change the expectations and experiences of a music subscription service".

Rogers, Reznor and Iovine have promised that their new streaming platform, most likely developed out of the existing MOG set up Beats bought last year, will crack the discovery thing in a way none of their more established competitors so far have. Time will tell.

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Warner Music has reportedly reached two deals with Google in relation to two new subscription services. It is thought the first relates to plans to launch a pay-to-use premium version of YouTube, while the other is likely linked to reports the web-giant is planning on adding a streaming audio element to its Google Play platform.

Warner, often the hold-out on new digital services, and the last major to licence the Google Play download store and digital locker service, is reportedly the first to do a deal regards the new propositions.

Talks are reportedly ongoing with both the Universal and Sony music companies, both of which will also likely want to do direct deals over publishing royalties as well as recording rights, the publishing businesses of the two mega-majors looking to withdraw from the collective licensing system in the US digital space.

Sony and Universal may also want to consider any plans for a new premium music video element to YouTube in the context of VEVO, the music video platform the two majors co-own, and which operates in part as a spin-off of the main YouTube website. Warner Music has never joined the VEVO party, as either an investor or content provider.

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Following a dramatic 'parting' of ways (bad hair joke) with her 'wig-creator' Terrence Davidson back in January, R&B Barbie-doll Nicki Minaj's desire to be taken seriously as an earnest pop artiste meant her styling and make-up teams were also given the sack last week. Or so says The Sun, anyway.

And following those reports, Minaj's new Facebook profile photo is certainly pretty 'au naturel' in the grand, lurid scheme of past Nicki Minaj ensembles. Of which there are many.

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