An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Thursday 19 Jun 2014

TODAY'S TOP STORY: And so the YouTube conflict rumbles on, with much debate over the last 24 hours about who is to blame and what YouTube is or is not going to do to the indie labels. As much previously reported, most independent record companies have so far refused to sign up to YouTube's new audio-streaming service, and as a result risk having their content 'blocked' on the YouTube video site too... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Martijn Deijkers, or Matryn as you might know him, returns this week with his third album, 'The Air Between Words', the follow-up to 2011's rather excellent 'Ghost People'. Through eighteen years of DJing, Martyn has only been a producer for less than a third of this time, and since his last LP he has been exploring analogue-based sounds, mirrored in his DJing by moving back to vinyl rather than... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Discussion and debate over indie labels' YouTube dispute rages
LEGAL Williams and Thicke ask to see Gaye family's EMI correspondence
Aaliyah's family hire lawyer to block TV biopic
Dappy begins trial on assault charge
Charges against Paul Simon and Edie Brickell dropped
Parklife festival offers £20,000 reward in hunt for perpetrator of fatal attack
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Sony CEO heckled but endorsed at shareholder meeting
LIVE BUSINESS Arts Alliance hires former Deezer UK boss to head up 'event cinema' company
BRANDS & MERCH World Cup footballers banned from wearing Beats headphones
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Amazon launches Fire smartphone
THE GREAT ESCAPE Super early bird tickets on sale for The Great Escape 2015
RELEASES Pearl Jam and REM side-project Tuatura announce new album
Sinead O'Connor releases new single
GIGS & FESTIVALS Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly to vanish after one last show
AND FINALLY... Ozzy Osbourne to voice stinky TV fish, for the kids
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Discussion and debate over indie labels' YouTube dispute rages
And so the YouTube conflict rumbles on, with much debate over the last 24 hours about who is to blame and what YouTube is or is not going to do to the indie labels.

As much previously reported, most independent record companies have so far refused to sign up to YouTube's new audio-streaming service, and as a result risk having their content 'blocked' on the YouTube video site too. Numerous trade groups for the indie sector have subsequently hit out at the Google-owned company's negotiating tactics.

Increasingly, people are speculating that YouTube's 'blocking' of the indie labels will constitute stopping the music firms from monetising their content. In theory they will still be able to upload and stream videos via the site, but would not be able to tap into any advertising money, which means they probably wouldn't want to.

It's still not clear what that means regarding the labels having access to the Content ID system to monitor use of their recordings by third parties. If YouTube was to cut off access to that service it would make its claim to be the copyright-friendly video platform a bit wobbly.

But either way, who to blame for the stand off?

While many trade bodies have been vocally attacking YouTube directly, the president of the American Association Of Independent Music, Rich Bengloff, also took aim at the majors yesterday, who have signed up to YouTube's audio service on unknown terms. Speaking to Billboard, Bengloff suggested that a fear of the indie labels' growing market share had led, at least in part, to the majors entering an alliance with Google that gives them preferential treatment.

"We're kicking [the majors'] ass", he said. "Think about that - we've grown by ten points. That means the majors went down by ten points, and that's why they're constructing these licensing deals this way, to try and remain relevant and get an unfair amount of the compensation".

Though the indies aren't entirely without blame in this either, wrote music industry analyst Mark Mulligan, because they and the majors allowed YouTube to become too powerful.

"The record labels, indies included, have to take much of the blame here", he wrote. "They let YouTube get too big on its terms. The big labels had been determined not to let anyone 'do an MTV again' and yet they let YouTube do exactly the same thing, getting rich and powerful off the back of their promotional videos. Only YouTube's resultant power is far more pervasive".

"Labels are beholden to YouTube as a promotional channel", he continued. "They have turned a blind eye to whether its 'unique' licensing status might be stealing the oxygen out of the streaming market for all those services which have to pay far more for their licenses".

However, this may now cause problems for YouTube itself, as it tries to enter that audio streaming marketing with a subscription service. By offering so much content for free for so long, YouTube arguably faces an uphill struggle convincing users that they should now pay. Mulligan claims that "just 7% of consumers are interested in paying a monthly fee to access YouTube music videos with extras and without ads. The rate falls to just 2% in the UK".

Elsewhere, in a blog post about the whole debacle, CMU Business Editor notes the way YouTube is spinning the dispute, and wonders whether the creative community at large should see through the spin and worry about their partnerships with the Google firm.

He writes: "Google's spin is this: YouTube is having an upgrade, its licensing deals with the labels therefore need upgrading too, and the pesky indies - which account for a tiny portion of the world's music (not true by the way) - are being stubborn about it all. But YouTube's users are demanding access to the all-new service sooner rather than later, so fuck the indies, let's just do this".

"But the labels tell a different story" he goes on. "So far, from where I'm standing, their version of events seems more plausible. What Google is doing here isn't just upgrading YouTube ... rather it is launching a brand new service, basically a Spotify competitor under the YouTube brand. [But] for the record companies video and audio are two very different things".

On YouTube's negotiating tactics - Cooke continues: "For creators of all breeds and magnitude, it should perhaps raise concern. Because who knows what ambitions YouTube may have in the future? If you are a film-maker or a comedian or a gamer or a video journalist building a business around your YouTube channel today, who's to say that tomorrow the Google firm won't decide it wants to be a Netflix or Comedy Central or CNN or whatever, and threaten to cut off your own channels if you don't licence your content to its new venture at super preferential rates?"

Finally, in its blog on the matter, digital distributor Kudos questioned the motives of the majors and those indie label distributors (some of them major label affiliated), which have signed up to the new YouTube licensing deal.

In a post, the company wrote: "It has been reported that many content suppliers have already signed up for YouTube's new service including the majors and a few of our digital distribution competitors. You have to wonder, did they strike a deal that was in their artist or distributed label's best interest, or were there incentives (advances, breakage) which benefited only their bottom line? For our part, we would like to assure our labels that any tangible benefit we receive from any deal concluded with YouTube will be fully distributed".

The YouTube v Indies dispute will be the lead topic for debate at next week's live recording of the CMU Podcast at The Roundhouse. Tickets to see the full, unedited discussion are available here.

Williams and Thicke ask to see Gaye family's EMI correspondence
Legal reps for Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have asked to see communications between the Gaye family and Sony/ATV/EMI in relation to the ongoing dispute over whether the two men's controversial hit 'Blurred Lines' ripped off Marvin Gaye's 'Got To Give It Up'.

As previously reported, the Gaye family first went legal over the alleged song theft last year, possibly because the Thickster told GQ: "Pharrell [Williams] and I were in the studio and I told him that one of my favourite songs of all time was Marvin Gaye's 'Got To Give It Up'. I was like, 'Damn, we should make something like that' ... we literally wrote the song in about a half hour and recorded it".

Thicke, Williams and the former's label and publisher Universal are all defendants in the litigation, and for a time so was the Sony/ATV music publishing powerhouse. Indeed the dispute between the Gaye's and Sony/ATV had extra layers, because the publisher represents both Williams and, through the EMI publishing company it acquired in 2012, the Marvin Gaye repertoire too.

EMI, it seemed, didn't think there was a case for saying 'Lines' coped 'Give It Up'. But the Gaye family accused Sony/ATV/EMI of failing to protect their copyrights, and indeed of even trying to stop the family itself from taking action, in order to protect the Williams hit. This, said the Gayes, meant they EMI "unworthy of the level of trust and professional conduct which is required of a copyright administrator".

However, at the start of the year the Gaye family reached an out-of-court settlement with Sony/ATV/EMI, removing them as defendants from the wider lawsuit. But Thicke and Williams want to know what was discussed during the settlement process, because if the EMI publisher maintained its viewpoint that there wasn't actually a song-theft case to answer, then that could negatively impact on the family's case.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the two men's lawyers say that access to correspondence between the Gaye family and Team EMI could "show [the family's] bad faith in pursuing their claims because their own music publisher, EMI, advised that the claims had no merit".

But legal reps for the Gaye family do not concur, arguing that any communications between them and EMI are now irrelevant because that side of the dispute has been settled, and anyway the Gaye estate is the legal owner of the 'Give It Up' copyright, so Sony/ATV/EMI's opinion on any song theft claim isn't relevant either.


Aaliyah's family hire lawyer to block TV biopic
The family of late R&B star Aaliyah have moved to block a TV movie based on the singer's life, and her tragic death in a plane crash in 2001.

Aaliyah's uncle and one-time manager, Barry Hankerson, has told TMZ that the family have hired a lawyer to stop American cable channel Lifetime from using Aaliyah's music in the straight-to-TV biopic, which they hope will stop it showing the film outright.

He claims that Lifetime failed to contact him asking for his approval on the film, which is to start shooting in the coming months with the working title 'Aaliyah: Princess Of R&B'. Hankerson and family are apparently happy to consider a "big, theatrical film" to be released in cinemas though. The world waits.


Dappy begins trial on assault charge
Dappy appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court to face charges of assaulting a man at the city's Chicago's nightclub earlier this year.

As previously reported, the former N-Dubber was at the venue for a 'meet and greet' and live performance when the incident happened. The court was told yesterday that Dappy slapped George Chittock in the smoking area outside the club in the earlier hours of 27 Feb.

Dappy claims that he had acted in self defence, that Chittock had abused him on two occasions during the evening - the second seeing him thrown out of the VIP area - and that he felt threatened by his victim when he saw him outside later, according to the Daily Mail.

But Chittock denies calling Dappy "a mug" or saying that he would "knock him out" when the celeb first arrived at the club. He did admit to being thrown out of the venue's VIP area, but said this had been the result of a misunderstanding.

He also denied making comments about Dappy's deceased father, saying that he had no idea that the rapper's dad was even dead. Dappy then admitted that he had only heard about Chittock's alleged comments about his father second hand from a friend, but insisted: "My friend would not lie about my dead dad".

The court was shown CCTV footage of the incident, in which Dappy is seen, surrounded by his security team, to turn and slap Chittock. Prosecutor Jacquleine Carey said of the video: "When the defendant lashed out, he was not under any threat or any perceived threat of violence. The CCTV suggests he had no genuine and honest belief that he needed to use force to defend himself. He was effectively acting in a violent and unjustifiable manner".

Dappy, however, said that when he turned around he feared that Chittock was about to attack and possibly stab him, saying: "He was being threatening towards me. I thought he was going to hit me. He's right next to me. How can he get this close to me again? I lifted up my hand and tried to move him away from me. If it was an attack I would have repeatedly attacked him with closed fists ... I was scared someone was going to put a hole in me. I have had to deal all my life with people trying to cut me and taking cheap shots. I don't want to get stabbed. I don't want to get hurt again".

The rapper later repeated his claim that he had not slapped Chittock, rather had just "moved him away", and accused the prosecutor Carey of launching "a stitch up". He also denied the accusation that he had drunk half a bottle of vodka before the attack occurred, saying: "I was functional enough to go and do an amazing show, so I certainly wasn't drunk".

Dappy was not the only celebrity at the court yesterday, with Jim Davidson turning up to show his support for the rapper. He told reporters outside: "Dappy is a good friend of mine. We became close on '[Celebrity] Big Brother'. I don't know what's happened in this case but I'm just here to show him my support".

The case continues.


Charges against Paul Simon and Edie Brickell dropped
Disorderly conduct charges against musicians Paul Simon and Edie Brickell have been dropped, it was announced yesterday.

As previously reported, the married couple were arrested in April, after Simon called the police following a fight between them at their home. Both sustained injuries in the altercation, which Brickell said had started after Simon had done something to "break her heart".

Prosecutors told a judge in Norwalk, Conneticut yesterday that they would not pursue the case, meaning that the charges have now been dropped.


Parklife festival offers £20,000 reward in hunt for perpetrator of fatal attack
Organisers of the Parklife festival in Manchester have announced a £20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of a man who killed another attendee of the event, Robert Hart, earlier this month.

As previously reported, the incident took place in front of the main stage on the Saturday of the festival, and seemingly occurred after Hart's girlfriend was hit with an inflatable doll. Hart was then subjected to a "brutal assault" and died from his injuries several days later last week.

In a post on Facebook, the festival said: "From the start we believed that, out of the 70,000 people at the festival, there must have been one person who knows who was responsible for this cowardly act. After careful consultation with [Greater Manchester Police], who have in turn been in extremely close communication with the family, we are now able to offer £20,000 for information which leads the authorities to identifying the attacker and convicting him for the crime".

The attacker is described as a muscular man in his late 20s, around six feet tall, of mixed race, with short, curly black hair. He was wearing shorts and a blue bomber jacket with a white letter A on the front.

Anyone with information should contact the incident room on 0161 856 9283 or You can also provide information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Sony CEO heckled but endorsed at shareholder meeting
Sony Corp top man Kazuo Hirai was given a rough ride at the electronics and entertainment giant's Annual General Meeting earlier today, with some investors openly heckling the CEO, though shareholders nevertheless backed the senior management team and their current plans for moving the company back into profit.

Sony Corp has been struggling for a number of years now, with the electronics side of the business performing particularly badly. A temporary return to profit in 2012/3 was followed by more losses in the financial year just gone, and the company is expected to make a loss this financial year too. But beyond that, profits will return Hirai said today.

Noting Sony's heritage, according to the Associated Press, the CEO told his investor audience: "The best way to build our future is for Sony to remain Sony, and realise our motto to become a company that inspires and fulfils your curiosity".

As previously reported, Sony has already sold off its laptop business and is spinning its television division (the bit that makes TV sets, rather than programmes) into a separate company. Though Hirai confirmed again at the AGM, in response to a shareholder question, that selling off some or all of Sony's US-based entertainment business, which includes the Sony music firms, is not on the agenda, despite the previously reported claims by American investor Daniel Loeb that that would be good move.

Arts Alliance hires former Deezer UK boss to head up 'event cinema' company
Investment firm Arts Alliance Ventures has announced that Deezer's former Managing Director for the UK and Ireland, Mark Foster, is to head up its newly streamlined 'event cinema' business.

As previously reported, Foster left Deezer last month. He will act as CEO of new company Arts Alliance, which merges the existing music and arts-focused production company Mr Wolf Presents and cinema broadcast logistics company Arts Alliance Media.

Arts Alliance Ventures Chairman John Woodward said of the news: "The arrival of Mark Foster as the CEO of the newly integrated business is a watershed moment for us. Mark's expertise and experience developing new business and marketing models for the content sector makes him the ideal person to lead the business. In addition the consolidation process announced today also means that for the first time the music and arts-based production sector will be able to deal with a well-resourced, one-stop-shop which will provide finance, production support, worldwide distribution, marketing budgets and campaign execution".

Foster himself added: "I am delighted to be joining Arts Alliance at a time when event cinema is a growing business, reaching out to new consumers, particularly for the arts. I am passionate about working with our new and future partners to create exciting new, multi-dimensional content in all genres, from opera and ballet through dynamic exhibitions and theatre productions to rock and pop events, growing our global distribution network and supporting them with innovative marketing. We have a committed and enthusiastic team at Arts Alliance, and this new company structure will enable us to continue to develop, market and distribute world-class shows to audiences around the world".

Previous Arts Alliance cinema broadcasts, under the Mr Wolf Presents brand, include Bruce Springsteen documentary 'Springsteen & I' and performances from the Royal Opera House.

World Cup footballers banned from wearing Beats headphones
Football players at the World Cup have reportedly been banned from using Beats headphones, due to an agreement between FIFA and one of its sponsors, Sony.

Players were apparently sent free pairs of Sony headphones ahead of the tournament, though few have been seen using them. Beats, meanwhile, also gave free headphones to key players, which have proven more popular. However, FIFA have banned any players from wearing Beats accessories when inside stadiums for matches or at other official events, according to Reuters.

This follows a similar move by Beats at the 2012 Olympics, where many athletes were given the distinctive headgear and often seen using it, despite rival Panasonic's official sponsorship of the event.

Amazon launches Fire smartphone
Amazon yesterday announced the launch of its first smartphone, the Fire Phone, which, as well as calls and texting and stuff, will give users special access to the company's range of services, including the new Prime Music streaming app that went live in the US last week.

The key feature of the phone is that it helps users to buy stuff from Amazon. Inbuilt 'Firefly technology' will enable the recognition of text, barcodes, films, TV shows, music and more. This identification will largely then be used to drive traffic towards the company's various streaming and purchase offers, as well as some key third party partners. Streaming music service iHeartRadio and secondary ticketing platform StubHub are two the companies using Firefly in their apps for the phone at launch.

The phone will be available to US customers from 25 Jul, exclusively on the AT&T network. A 32GB phone will cost $199 with a two year contract, plus a monthly contract tariff starting at $27.09. Initial customers will also receive a free Amazon Prime account for twelve months, giving access to faster delivery, plus streaming music and movies.

Super early bird tickets on sale for The Great Escape 2015
So, assuming you've just about recovered from this year's Great Escape festivities, how about we do it all again next May? 14-16 May to be precise, when the music industry will again gather in Brighton for three days of new music, new ideas and new business.

And super early bird tickets are now on sale, with delegate passes - which get you access to the whole festival plus all the panels, parties, conversations, insight strands and networking events in the convention - now available for the unbelievably good price of just £125. But only a limited number mind, so get them quick at this link.

And don't forget, you can still check CMU's coverage of the TGE Convention 2014 online, plus look out for more reports from the CMU Insights-programmed convention strands in the next edition of the CMU Digest Report later this month - sign up here to receive that.

Oh, and if you like CMU-instigated debates about the music business, don't forget the very first CMU Podcast: Live at the Roundhouse this coming Tuesday - book your tickets for just £10 right now here.

  Approved: Martyn - The Air Between Words
Martijn Deijkers, or Matryn as you might know him, returns this week with his third album, 'The Air Between Words', the follow-up to 2011's rather excellent 'Ghost People'.

Through eighteen years of DJing, Martyn has only been a producer for less than a third of this time, and since his last LP he has been exploring analogue-based sounds, mirrored in his DJing by moving back to vinyl rather than laptop. On 'The Air Between Words' he has come up trumps once again, melding a soundscape that adds techno and dubstep, and some 2step in to boot.

There are a lot of different textures and moods on the record. The Juan Atkins-influenced 'Two Leads And A Computer' features sparse and stripped down beats, while Four Tet collaboration 'Glassbeadgames' nods towards M25 rave culture, and 'Forgiveness 2' leans towards the chugging pulses of Warp's Autechre.

It's a real grower, truly better on repeated listening and really makes Martyn one to follow. His sound is still shifting and morphing - and is very much all the better for it.

Listen to the album in full here.
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Pearl Jam and REM side-project Tuatura announce new album
Featuring members of REM, Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees and Luna, instrumental band Tuatura have announced their first album for seven years. Entitled 'Underworld', the 20 track release will be available from 4 Aug.

Formed in 1996, the band's line-up currently features former Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin, REM guitarist Peter Buck, Luna bassist Justin Harwood, tenor sax player Skerik, and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready. Their debut album, 'Breaking The Ethers', came out in 1997, with 'Underworld' marking their eighth release.

Watch the video for album track 'She Dreams Of Snow' here.


Sinead O'Connor releases new single
A red-haired femme fatale bearing a tiny resemblance to Sinead O'Connor in a wig (it is Sinead O'Connor in a wig, by the way) has released a stream of her new single 'Take Me To Church'.

It's the first to arise off O'Connor's forthcoming LP, which, having had a stealthy revamp since it was initially confirmed with the title 'The Vishnu Room', is now going by the infinitely bossier (I mean, boss-like) 'I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss'.

As I was saying, play 'Take Me To Church' ahead of the LP's release on 11 Aug, here.

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly to vanish after one last show
Get Cape. Fold Cape. Place Cape In Cabinet For Safe-keeping. Indeed, yes, this is the news that Sam Duckworth is parking his Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly project, after ten years performing under the moniker. But only after one final show. Which, whilst sad, at least means an end to this series of increasingly desperate CMU headlines.

Anyway, I digress. Here's the fact sheet on that special live finale. It takes place at The Forum in London on 12 Sep, and will feature a greatest hits set by Get Cape and preliminary appearances by Shy FX, Jehst, The Xcerts, Sean McGowan, Dave House and Ritual Beating System DJs. Tickets are priced at £20, and are available right this minute via this Get Cape-given link.

Reminiscing on his time as GCWCF, Duckworth, says this: "The last decade as Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly has been amazing. I've had the pleasure of making music with some incredible people and sharing the journey with many good folk. There have been challenges, triumphs and parasites".

He went on: "I have decided that it is time to transition into life as Sam Duckworth. It's easier to explain to strangers and it's starting to feel more comfortable. So... I figured it best that we throw one giant going away party for Get Cape. Wear Cape Fly. We'll have some of the best live musicians on the planet joining us. It's very eclectic but all are on the top of their game, so it should feel a bit like a mini festival and a chance to enjoy music of different styles".

Ozzy Osbourne to voice stinky TV fish, for the kids
Ozzy Osbourne is to voice an animated fish with a mohawk in an American kids' TV show named 'Bubble Guppies', so that's very nice, very 'PG'. More so than his last, far less animated collaboration with marine life, anyway.

Ozzy will guest star as Sid Fishy, a "rock n roll fish who loves being rotten", in the Nickelodeon series in the new year, causing a ruckus and spraying all the naive guppies with a bright green 'stink sauce'. Sid's diabolical main aim is to slime every citizen of Big Bubble City, simply, confirm the show's makers, "to make them stinky". Such unimaginable evil.

Letting Rolling Stone in on the big, stinky secret, Mr O says: "The whole reason I did the show was for Pearl [his two year old granddaughter]. She has Nick Jr on 24/7. I can't wait to see her reaction when she hears my voice come from Sid Fishy's mouth".

"I've always smelled a bit fishy", he added.

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.
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CHRIS COOKE | Co-Publisher, Business Editor & Insights Director
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business, and is MD of CMU publisher UnLimited Media.
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ALY BARCHI | Staff Writer
Aly reports on artist news, coordinates the festival, gig and release round up columns, and contributes to the CMU Approved column. She also writes for CMU's sister title ThisWeek London.
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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
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of UnLimited Media she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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