21 MAR 2013

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So, we might sit here and mock the nonsense spouted when musicians and brands get into bed together, but are brand partnerships really such a bad thing? Aside from the fact that money is nice, what else does the artist get out of it? In an interview with WWD to announce her new "groundbreaking" deal with MAC Cosmetics, which will see her 'develop' four makeup collections with the brand, Rihanna addressed exactly that point more>>
You don't have to stare too hard at Sydney band Dark Bells' kaleidoscopic new 'Wildflower' vid to realise that they are, in fact, quite into the 'psych aesthetic'. Effects-hazed camera pinwheels, stroppy coifs, a cubist blouse, all the signs are present. But still... my mean clichés be damned, because the track itself is great - a MBV-sy mirage given gloss and shine by its glistening innards; the pulled-taffy syllables, the winding, binding guitar chains more>>

- Hilco now the only HMV bidder, though not clear if deal will be done before rent day deadline
- SONGS man raises royalty issues over booming MCNs on YouTube
- Ten Michelle Shocked shows cancelled after anti-gay remarks
- Girls Aloud split
- Arcade Fire camped at DFA studios
- Wiley leaks LP
- John Legend shares new track
- Iamamiwhoami to release AV Kin 'prologue'
- Little Boots adds little live dates
- Ben Howard playing shows in London, Blackpool
- Festival line-up update
- Universal extends Disney partnership
- SFX takes 75% of ID&T, announces US Tomorrowland
- Fierce Panda announces anniversary film, Pledge campaign
- Ex-Anorak director announces new PR agency
- YouTube passes billion viewers a month mark
- Popbitch to launch tablet magazine
- Kym Lomas still not interested in Hear'say reunion
Kilburn’s live music venue Power’s Bar is looking for a live music booker. Candidates must be music driven, with knowledge of the music scene and be a night owl. They will be responsible for corresponding and coordinating events, booking the best up-and-coming bands as well as established acts. The successful candidate will also be responsible for listing and promoting the events organised at Power’s bar, both online and in print.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Distiller Records is on the hunt for a new marketing intern that can also help us out with all manner of things. We want bright, motivated and creative folks who want hands on experience in how an independent label works. We’re looking for people who have a passion for music and a crazy love for the internet.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We’re looking for a bright, enthusiastic part qualified accountant with a love of music to join our finance team. Working across all the companies in the group the main duties will include: Cash book and bank reconciliation, purchase and sales ledger processing, HMRC returns – VAT, Intrastat, writing cheques/setting up online payments, intercompany postings and reconciliations, dealing with customer and supplier queries.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Ultra DJ Management is an independent company that is part of the Mission Control Group of companies including Mission Control Artists Agency and ASM Damage Ltd. We represent some of the world’s leading recording artists and producers and our roster includes multi-platinum album selling and award winning touring artists. We are recruiting for a booking agent with a good knowledge of dance music, the club and festival scene who possesses excellent negotiation skills and a high degree of professionalism.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Building on our success of being voted Live UK’s National Promoter of the Year, DHP are looking for a Concerts Assistant to assist in the promotion team with our growing number of concerts.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
This post heads the Ticketing operation for the DHP venues and Concert Promotions. DHP has its own Box Office system – alt-tickets and marketing (which this role is involved with) is carried out in-house. This role involves close working with DHP promoters on marketing events and generating sales.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
ReverbXL are seeking a full time Intern to work in our London office based in Chiswick. This is an ideal entry level position for a graduate looking to gain employment in the music industry. The position will give the chosen candidate a diverse range of experience in how a music publisher, record label and management company operates.

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

So, it's been assumed for a while that this week is something of a deadline for the Deloitte administrators trying to rescue HMV, because next Monday is the big quarterly rent day, the first since the entertainment retailer collapsed, and in the ideal world any deal to sell the company would be done by that date.

It's also been assumed pretty much since HMV fell into administration that HMV Canada owner Hilco would snap up the HMV UK business, albeit in streamlined form, the restructuring specialist having bought up most of the company's bank debts, meaning it is now in talks with Deloitte as both bidder and creditor.

Many of those assumptions remain, in that, despite those recent reports that ASDA might put in a rival bid for the HMV business, and a Deloitte-penned update that revealed there had been 33 expressions of interest in some or all of the company, insiders say only Hilco is in serious talks to buy the firm and, not only that, but negotiations are moving at full pace with an eye on this weekend's deadline.

However, says The Independent, "there is no guarantee a sale will happen", and the quarterly rent day deadline isn't as make-or-break as some have indicated, because HMV renegotiated many of its rents to be paid monthly, and for those still on a quarterly payment, it's too late to get out of the next quarter's rent obligations. Plus all the loss-making stores have already been shut down.

Though that doesn't mean we won't get some sort of announcement imminently, if only because us citing The Independent's sources as playing down the 25 Mar deadline is just the sort of thing that will result in a confirmation of sale arriving on the wire the minute this story is published.

So keep watching this space. Though don't get disappointed if there's no major news by Sunday night, as many had originally expected.

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The boss of US-based independent music publisher SONGS Music Publishing, Matt Pincus, has raised another concern about the way publishing royalties are paid, or not, on YouTube content in North America, having previously criticised the way song rights are handled by VEVO's operations on the Google-owned video platform. The concern this time is with so called 'multi-channel networks'.

In the UK, all of YouTube's output is, in theory at least, covered - as far as the copyrights in lyrics and musical compositions are concerned - by one licence from collecting society PRS For Music. This means the owners of publishing rights earn royalties whenever their content is used, whether in official pop promos or synced into videos uploaded by third parties and bedroom content makers (subject to the usual limitations of tracking such usage).

But in the US it is more complicated. The 'performance right' is collected by the collecting societies, but a second 'synchronisation right' is not, meaning music publishers also need to have direct deals with YouTube to collect all the royalties they are due for the use of their songs.

The majors, of course, have close relationships with YouTube on both the sound recording and publishing sides, and last year a deal between the Google-owned video site and the National Music Publisher's Association was struck enabling indie publishers to also collect all of their royalties when songs they own are synced in user-generated videos. So, all a bit complicated, but in theory that's everything sorted.

Except that, it turns out, content on YouTube managed by so called multi-channel networks is outside that arrangement. MCNs are businesses that have quietly emerged in recent years to capitalise on the small community of YouTube 'vloggers' and mini-programme makers that have scored themselves significant and sometimes massive online audiences via the Google video platform.

MCNs enter into formal alliances with the creators of this YouTube-only content (many of whom are one-man operations) and, exploiting a special partnership they have also struck up with Google, help the affiliated independent content makers better market and monetise their content, in return for a cut of the action. Which is a sound business idea, and some of these so called MCNs are sizable concerns with serious financial backing and some high profile media execs on their staff.

Many in the music industry first became aware of these companies' existence last month when Universal Music Publishing announced it had entered into licensing deals with two of the biggest MCNs, Maker Studios and Fullscreen Media. Why was such a deal needed? Because in the US the MCNs sit outside existing YouTube agreements when it comes to music rights. So, what about the flippin indies?

"There are currently billions of streams of music being watched by millions of people on YouTube, for which songwriters and their music publishers are receiving no money", notes Pincus in a Billbaord op-ed on the issue. "With backing from Google, Silicon Valley venture capital firms or large media companies, MCNs are distributing hundreds of hours of music-related content and selling tens of millions of dollars of advertising, with almost none of it going to songwriters and music publishers".

It's not clear why the MCNs are excluded from YouTube's music rights deals, though it may be because the MCN companies reckon they can negotiate better deals from labels and publishers, presumably by arguing that - unlike when someone syncs a track to footage of a friend falling off a skateboard - the sort of videos these networks represent have more substance, therefore the music is a less significant part of the mix, therefore we'll give you less of the ad money the video generates thank you very much.

Pincus also notes that, because the MCNs sit outside the other YouTube arrangements, not only do indie publishers not earn all the royalties they are due, but it's harder to monitor what content is being used, because the opt-out also means content distributed by the MCN businesses isn't flagged in YouTube's content management system which many rights owners now rely on to manage the use of their content on videos across the platform.

Of course if and when a publisher finds its songs being used in an MCN-distributed video it could issue a takedown notice to Google, which would - it's assumed - act upon it. But that requires the publisher to spot the usage manually, plus many publishers would rather get a share of ad revenue than be seen as the big bad rights owner who's stopping the kids from enjoying one of their favourite videos via a DMCA claim.

While noting the Universal deal, Pincus says the MCNs, in the main, have not made any effort to sort out music licensing, despite the content industry veterans some of them employ (making it impossible for such firms to plead ignorance). "Maker Studios signed a deal with only one major music publisher two weeks ago", the SONGS chief writes, "[and] it has been in business for over four years, building huge audiences streaming a capella videos".

He continues: "Fullscreen Media, another leading MCN, has agreements with only two of the majors. Neither MCN has licensed more than a handful of independent publishers, and the terms of their agreements with majors have not been extended to the trade. Both companies should do so immediately and NMPA will be enforcing its rights to make sure that they do".

Concluding, Pincus writes: "If a six year old kid sings a song and puts it on YouTube, the writer gets paid. If she's any good and actually obtains an audience, an MCN like Maker Studios - with $35 million in VC funding from Time Warner, the Murdoch family and others - will sign her. Then, the money stops flowing to the writer, whether the video stops streaming or not".

Although the concerns raised by Pincus relate specifically to North America, the trend will also impact on UK indie publishers, because of the fact not all YouTube royalties in the US are collected through the collecting societies like BMI and ASCAP. The direct PRS deal with YouTube only covers videos watched in the UK, while PRS members whose content is watched in third party videos in the US will only receive any royalties collected by the American societies. To get all the cash they are due direct deals would be necessary, with YouTube for one, but - as Pincus has revealed - with every MCN too.

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American singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked has responded to outrage that followed seemingly homophobic comments she made at a gig in San Francisco last weekend which has resulted in ten of the eleven venues where she was due to play as part of a current tour to cancel her appearances.

It's not the first time the singer, real name Karen Michelle Johnston, has caused controversy with remarks relating to gay rights, her views on such issues being rather confusing, especially since becoming a born-again Christian in the 1990s.

Reports of the Sunday night gig in San Francisco claimed that Johnston told her audience: "When they stop [anti-gay-marriage legislation] Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilisation, and Jesus will come back", before alluding to the usually controversial slogan of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church by adding: "You can go on Twitter and say, 'Michelle Shocked says God hates faggots'".

Several fans duly tweeted, with the latter line in particular causing online outrage, so much so the operators of ten venues who'd book Johnston to play quickly announced that her show had been cancelled (the eleventh venue hasn't followed suit, though mainly because its manager is on holiday).

Despite the anger, there was some confusion online as to whether Johnston was trying to be funny or ironic in her on-stage comments, with some fans taking to the net to defend the singer as such. Though radio silence from the lady herself, except for retweeting some of the comments being made about the furore, escalated the scandal.

In a statement issued via her publicist, Johnston finally stated that her words had been misunderstood. She writes: "I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else). I said that some of His followers believe that. I believe intolerance comes from fear, and these folks are genuinely scared".

Continuing: "When I said 'tell Twitter that Michelle Shocked says God hates faggots', I was predicting the absurd way my description of, my apology for, the intolerant would no doubt be misinterpreted. The show was all music, and the audience tweets said they enjoyed it. The commentary came about ten minutes later, in the encore".

Apologising to any fans she "disappointed" with her remarks, she added: "I don't always express myself as clearly as I should. But don't believe everything you read on Facebook or Twitter. My view of homosexuality has changed not one iota. I judge not. And my statement equating repeal of Prop 8 with the coming of the End Times was neither literal nor ironic: it was a description of how some folks - not me - feel about gay marriage".

You can read the full statement on Buzzfeed, and make up your own mind by listening to audio of the incident here. It's not clear whether the sort of retraction/apology will result in any of the cancelled shows being reinstated.

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Girls Aloud have split, and properly this time, rather that just disappearing for a while. Or at least that's what a statement seems to say that was put out on the tweets following the conclusion of the girl group's tenth anniversary sort-of-comeback tour in Liverpool last night.

"Dear Alouders", the note began. "We just want to say from the bottom of our hearts Thank you! This tour has been an amazing experience and the perfect chance to say thank you for being on this journey with us through a decade. It has far exceeded any of our dreams and we hope we are forever your inspiration and reminder that dreams really do glitter! Your love and support will stay with us forever but we have now come to the end of our incredible time together. Love you lots".

A post-tour split announcement was sort of expected, especially in recent days, though most fans - particularly of the Liverpudlian variety - were hoping for some sort of emotional formal announcement during the last big show, rather than an extended tweet sent to their smartphones as they slept later that night. But whatever, that's it people, the Girls are now longer Aloud.

PS: If any of the issues in this story have caused you emotional distress, Popjustice is on hand to offer possibly misguided hope regarding a future with Girls Aloud in it.

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So, James Murphy may have said last year that he wasn't "necessarily" party to the making of Arcade Fire's new LP, and I'm not saying he is.

What I am saying is that the band have, now that they've sold off the Quebec-based church in which 'Neon Bible' and 2011's 'The Suburbs' were taped, moved into his NYC-based DFA Records studio.

"Arcade Fire STILL with us at DFA", ran a tweet via the official DFA studio Twitter feed, adding a non-informative: "This is going to be one great sounding album!"

So far, so... encouraging.

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Wiley has 'done a Death Grips' and leaked his new LP, 'The Ascent', apparently because he was exasperated with iTunes over an error on one of its tracks, and wanted to give his 'people' a scare.

"I am leaking my album at 7pm... Americans do it so I am doing it", he tweeted late Tuesday night, adding that "a mistake" had been made on 'Rubicon' in the version iTunes had, and he wanted to change it.

"I hate being an idiot but sometimes people only listen when you are being a idiot", typed the maddened MC, who later said: "All day my label and manager have been ignoring me ya na and now they are talking to me lol fiuegfiugeuogfoegofgeuofgoegfoge. A million events have led up to this day as well".

Wiley has since seemingly complied with his label (that's Warner Music) and iTunes' wishes, and taken the 'Ascent' MP3 off the internet. But only because, he says, the 'Rubicon' gaffe has been set right.

He added yesterday via Twitter: "I can't have music going out that ain't correct... Dappy taught me that". Hmph, trust Dappy to muscle his way into this. 'The Ascent' is officially released on 1 Apr.

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"John Legend is back - this is 'The Beginning'", grandly proclaims the accompanying PR to R&B star John Legend's new track, 'The Beginning'.

And quite right, too, because Legend is just that; back, and set to release his first 'disc' since 2008's 'Evolver' in the still-tba 'Love In The Future', a production by Legend's GOOD Music superior Kanye West.

In the mean time, start with 'The Beginning' via this player.

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Very alt alt-pop artist iamamiwhoami, aka Sweden's Jonna Lee, is releasing a new audiovisual LP titled 'bounty'.

Acting as a "prologue" to last year's 'kin' LP, it contains nine tracks and a DVD featuring nine matching "visual chapters", and will be released via Lee's label to whom it may concern and Cooperative Music on 3 Jun. And, breathe.

Preview it all via this trailer and/or the LP's lead single 'y'.

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Modish synth-pop 'minx' Little Boots has added an aptly miniature set of pretty tiny dates to her live listings.

She'll play Manchester's Gorilla on 14 May and London's Bethnal Green Working Club (see, real intimate) the following night, as a kind of primer for bookings at festivals like Glastonbury, Bilbao BBK, and the Portugal-based Paredes De Coura, which all but wraps this particular 'Little Boots doing things' memo.

All but, but not quite, because wait... there's a new LB track on the scene. Yeah, really. Taken from her new LP 'Nocturnes', which is released on 6 May, this is 'Broken Record'.

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Singer, songwriter, surfer and BRIT-winner Ben Howard has rammed a pair of live dates, the highest capacity British shows he'll ever have played, into the midst of all the Brit festivals he's frequenting this year (namely RockNess, Isle Of Wight, Boardmasters, Belsonic and Green Man). Isn't that nice? Tickets went on sale yesterday.

And the new dates are:

11 Jun: Blackpool, Empress Ballroom
13 Jun: London, Hammersmith Apollo

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Aha, so Brighton's great Great Escape has shared a new chapter in its artist additions. It starts with Everything Everything - who are playing one of the festival's special Dome Shows - and Klaxons, who aren't, but who will have one of the standout shows of the festivities anyways, we're sure. Also notable are A*M*E, Girls Names, Chloe Howl, Big Deal, Tribes and the final phase of Polish émigrés presented as part of TGE and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute's 'Don't Panic, We're From Poland!' showcase; as features The KDMS, Pictoral Candi, Teielte and Enchanted Hunters. And don't forget the CMU Insights-programmed TGE convention!

Next up in today's festival news is Latitude, which, it transpires, has chosen a co-headlining trio in Bloc Party, Kraftwerk and Foals, and other slightly less headlining acts like The Maccabees, Cat Power, James Blake, Jessie Ware, Efterkland and Yo La Tengo.

What an array; exciting, high in calibre and great in terms of festival etiquette, or so says Foals' Yannis Philippakis, who raves: "Latitude is always exciting, because they offer a very tasteful selection of acts. For our band, it's an honour to headline alongside someone of the calibre of Kraftwerk - they can do whatever they like, they're unique and you know they're going to put on an incredible show. Bloc Party will be fantastic headliners too".

Yum, headliners. Speaking of which, Primal Scream aren't headlining this year's Arctics / QOTSA / Killers-starring Benicassim, but will still play at it, the Spanish fiesta's head office confirms in the same breath as placing Bastille, John Talabot and others on the non-headlining part of its bill. Nice.

Oh, and the Tyne-and-Wear-based Evolution (26-27 May) has released a list of the artists set to make its preliminary (and free) one-day parallel, Evolution Emerging, particularly special this year. Nadine Shah, Shields, Let's Buy Happiness and Geoff Barrow's BEAK> lead the parade of acts playing at various live destinations across Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 25 May.

And now that's all done, we reach the best part, a tasty summary of updates via Jamie Oliver and Alex James' Big Feastival; Cornbury's cosy music fete; Finland's killer Flow; roving hardcore tour Slam Dunk; Yorkshire's green, pleasant and pliable Willowman and Gloucestershire's all-natural Wychwood:

THE BIG FEASTIVAL, Chipping Norton, 31 Aug - 1 Sep: Rizzle Kicks, Basement Jaxxx, KT Tunstall, The Feeling, Norman Jay, The Cuban Brothers.

BENICASSIM, FIB Heineken, Valencia, Spain, 18-21 Jul: Primal Scream, Bastille, John Talabot, Benny Benassi, Madeon, Little Green Cars, Ligers.

CORNBURY MUSIC FESTIVAL, The Great Tew Estate, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, 5-7 Jul: The New Forbidden, The Inflatables, Ran Kan Kan, The Brickwork Lizards, The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band, Ben Montague, The Knights Of Mentis, Blair Dunlop.

EVOLUTION EMERGING, various venues, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 25 May: Lets Buy Happiness, Nadine Shah, Shields, BEAK>, Eliza and The Bear, Rivals, Big Beat Bronson, Child, Blank Maps, Goy Boy McIlroy, By Toutatis, Tessera Skies, Faith Elliott, Micky Moran Parker, Agerskow, Dedmoon & Diagrams, Preqwal, Triptik DJs, Shields (DJ Set), Dionysus, Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Jive, Hndrsn, Whip Your Hair, Ken Masters, Lionhall, Tissue Culture, Alex Butler, Goodbye Chanel, Palace, Lisbon, Richard Smith, Abel Raise The Cain, This Little Bird, Arbeia, Terra T, Sam Wright, Dressed Like Wolves, Alex Dobson, Suntrap, WavesWavesWaves , Glishy Weather, O'Messy Life, 3200 Tigers.

FLOW FESTIVAL, Suvilahti, Helsinki, Finland, 7-11 Aug: Bat For Lashes, Hudson Mohawke, Julia Holter.

THE GREAT ESCAPE, various venues, Brighton, 16-18 May: Everything Everything, Klaxons, A*M*E, Aliment, Ain't No Love, Andreya Triana, Anushka, Beau, Black Atlantic, Balthazar, Big Deal, Bo Bruce, Coach Station Reunion, Cheatahs, Chloe Howl, Chris Cohen, Deap Vally, Eaux, Ewert And The Two Dragons, Enchanted Hunters, Endian, Evelinn Trouble, Girls Names , Glass Animals, Honningbarna, Jenny Hval, Jake Isaac, Jc Satan, Last Night In Paris, Lulu James, L'hereu Escampa, Mark E , Mary Epworth , Moxie, Nadine Shah, Oddisee, Palm Reader, Peter Kernel, PS I Love You, Pictorial Candi, Rdgldgrn, Roosevelt, Sean Nicholas Savage, Sega Bodega, Saint Raymond, Sons And Lovers, Spencer , The Blackout, The KDMS, The Physics House Band, The Rumour Said Fire, Trevino, Tribes, We Were Evergreen, The Nextmen, Velvet Two Stripes, Za!.

LATITUDE, Henham Park Estate, Suffolk, 18-21 Jul: Bloc Party, Kraftwerk, Foals, The Maccabees, Hot Chip, Cat Power, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, James Blake, Local Natives, Yo La Tengo, Modest Mouse, Alt-J, Beach House, I Am Kloot, Steve Mason, Jessie Ware, Efterklang, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, Japandroids, The Tallest Man On Earth, Villagers, Mark Lanegan, Disclosure, Beth Orton, Veronica Falls, Akron Family, Willy Mason, Everything Everything, Daughter, White Denim, Matthew E. White, CocoRosie, mum, iamamiwhoami, Laura Mvula, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Bo Ningen, Cat Power, Chvrches, Clean Bandit, Dan Croll, Dark Dark Dark, Drenge, Fimber Bravo, Friends, Hookworms, Jagwar Ma, Josephine, King Creosote, Malcolm Middleton, Marika Hackman, Mikhael Paskalev, Moon Duo, Purity Ring, Rachel Zeffira, Serafina Steer, Sinkane, Stealing Sheep, Sweet Baboo, Swim Deep, Tamikrest, Temples, The 1975, The Bots, Wave Machines, Widowspeak, Willy Mason, Young Wonder.

SLAM DUNK, Leeds University/South Hertfordshire University/Wolverhampton Civic/ O2 ABC Glasgow/Cardiff University/ The Academy Dublin, 24-29 May: Kids in Glass Houses, Cancer Bats, Bury Tomorrow, Heights, Heart In Hand, Tonight Alive, Heroes For Hire, House Vs Hurricane, Chunk! No Captain Chunk!, Spunge, Blitz Kids, Gnarwolves, The American Scene.

WILLOWMAN, Hillside Rural Activities Park, Knyaton, North Yorkshire, 20- 23 Jun: Biscuithead And The Biscuit Badgers, Hayley Gaftarnick, The Lindsay Tin, Nico Cara, Alex Dobson, Pip Mountjoy, Stefan Melbourne, Mimi O'Malley, Leigh Freda, The Broken Broadcast, T G Elias.

WYCHWOOD, Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire, 31 May - 2 Jun: Soul II Soul, Toploader, Dreadzone, Lo'Jo, Thrill Collins, The Dualers, Paul Ewing, Sivu, Mausi, Welcome To Marathon, Jake Watson, Lady Black, Nina Condron, Stressechoes, Andy Oliveri, Joe Summers, David Richards, Emily Lynn, Swift Manouver, KSH & The Going Goods, Calum Longshaw, Tom Muddle, Lexx Keane & Rich Howie.

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Universal Music yesterday announced an expansion of its ongoing relationship with the Disney Music Group, which includes Hollywood Records, Walt Disney Records and Disney Music Publishing.

The new "long-term global commercial and creative agreement" will see the two businesses work more closely together in various ways, especially on a creative level, most likely to involve pop acts signed to Disney labels collaborating with songwriters and producers represented by various parts of the Universal Music empire.

Confirming the new arrangement, Universal Music top dog Lucian Grainge told CMU: "We are delighted to take our successful and long-standing relationship with Disney to the next level. Providing access to our creative resources on a global scale, this new agreement takes our relationship with Disney beyond simply the commercial and fosters collaboration on a musical level".

Meanwhile Disney Music Group top, erm, mouse Ken Blunt added: "Universal Music Group has been a valuable and trusted collaborator of the Disney Music Group for over eighteen years. And we are excited to expand our association to bring greater collaboration and strategic planning to our collective businesses".

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Robert FX Sillerman's rapidly expanding EDM business SFX has taken a 75% stake in European dance promoter ID&T, as the two companies confirmed the launch of a US edition of Tomorrowland, the Dutch firm's flagship event, the Europe edition of which takes place in Belgium in July. The US version, to be called TomorrowWorld, will take place in Atlanta in September.

We already new the new SFX had struck up an alliance with ID&T as part of its bid to capitalise on the recently buoyant EDM market in North America, but the 75% stake is news. According to the New York Times, the acquisition is worth $97.5 million.

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Fierce Panda has announced an alliance with Document Films and PledgeMusic to create a movie documenting the history of the respected discovery label, with plans to release the documentary next February as part of the record company's twentieth anniversary celebrations. A soundtrack album featuring highlights from the Fierce Panda catalogue and a spin-off book are also planned.

The venture will be partly funded by pre-orders for the soundtrack, movie (on DVD) and other related goodies, which are now being offered on PledgeMusic, the popular fan-funding-come-pre-order platform that Fierce Panda has worked with in the past on artist-specific projects.

Introducing the campaign, Fierce Panda founder Simon Williams writes: "We're pleased, and not a little amazed, to announce that we are making a big grown-up film to celebrate turning 20 years old, and that film is going to be called 'Endangered: The Story Of Fierce Panda Records'. Now what we want is for you, the people of the Pledge musical universe, to become part of that film-making process by pre-ordering our film on download or DVD or by pledging your hard-earned cash on all manner of 'Endangered:'-themed products such as t-shirts, tote bags and the all important soundtrack album".

More here.

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Anorak London co-founders and directors Emily Cooper and Laura Martin have announced the launch of two new PR agencies, named Everything Counts and Real Life PR. This following the announcement earlier this week that Anorak is to close at the beginning of next month. Though Cooper and Martin are operating separately now, they will still work together on some projects

Of her new company, Everything Counts, Cooper told CMU: "I'm excited about being able to dedicate all of my time to working with artists and events again as opposed to running a large team - it's the reason I got into the industry in the first place. I'm also a digital geek and this is a natural direction for me to take".

Martin added: "We've had an extremely successful ten years and broken countless artists over this time. We have had high levels of success as a business in this ever changing industry but it has come to a point where we would both like a change - we want to quit whilst we are ahead in order to pursue new personal challenges".

At launch, Everything Counts will represent LIFE, Pascal, and Young Knives, while Real Life PR will work on Foals, Metronomy, Rainy Milo, Bugged Out Weekender, Optimus Alive (Lisbon) and The Comedy Hullaballoo. Both companies will work together on Øya Festival and Pitchfork Music Festival: Paris.

More information and contact details here:

Everything Counts
Real Life PR

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YouTube now has a billion viewers a month, says the Google-owned video platform, up from 800 million monthly uniques in October 2011. It's not clear how many of those new 200 million viewers are just stuck in a 'Harlem Shake' hole.

The stat brag came at an event in LA where YouTube was showing off its in-development premium channels to potential advertisers.

The figure puts YouTube's reach pretty much in line with main rival (in the advertising space) Facebook, though presumably the latter's users engage more frequently than the former's. That said, according to Billboard, Google exec Robert Kyncl did stress at the event that average viewing time was up as well as viewer numbers.

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Weekly gossip email Popbitch has launched a Kickstarter fund to raise money to launch a new tablet magazine, aiming to bring in £25,000 to get the project off the ground. Once up and running, subscriptions will be charged for access to the magazine.

Say Popbitch's publishers: "We've kept Popbitch independent and free to readers for twelve years. This independence is something we're keen to keep, which is why we're turning to you ahead of any multinational media giants or billionaire oligarchs with money to burn and a political agenda to push".

Of the magazine, they said: "We will continue to put stupid jokes, funny rumours and scurrilous tales from the media and entertainment world into the mix, but this will also greatly increase our capacity to commission exciting and original journalism, proper investigations and innovative features".

Contribute money and find out more here.

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With Girls Aloud no more, how about a reunion of the other winners of the short-lived 'Popstars' franchise? I mean, who wouldn't want to see the original Hear'Say line up reform to sing their song?

Well, Kym Lomas née Marsh for one, who has reaffirmed to Digital Spy that she has no ambition to regroup with her former bandmates, despite the plethora of tedious regroupings instigated by ITV show 'The Big Reunion' of late.

Says now 'Coronation Street' star Lomas: "I've been asked about ['The Big Reunion'] a lot actually. People keep saying, 'Why aren't you doing it?' It's hard work being in a pop band. You're away from home a lot. It's not great when you have children. I love what I'm doing now and I don't miss it".

So, those of you who keep a 'Never-Gonna-Reform' list, you can slot Hear'Say in between Abba and The Smiths. Or they can fill the gap left when The Stone Roses went back on past commitments on that front. Yes, you heard it hear first, Hear'Say are the new Stone Roses.

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