An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Wednesday 16 Jul 2014

TODAY'S TOP STORY: The UK's Music Managers Forum has responded to the letter sent last week by Sony/ATV chief Marty Bandier to American songwriters allied to the music publisher, in which he said that complete withdrawal from the performing right collecting societies Stateside was an option if current efforts to reform collective licensing rules were not successful. As previously reported, the big music... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Clean George IV's 2012 debut album, 'God Save The Clean', remains an album I return to regularly, for the simple reason that it is excellent. That's a pretty good reason, I reckon. So it's a record that's managed some post-release longevity, at least in my house, but it's also a record that had a long genesis over several years. Therefore it's perhaps unsurprising that since it came out the... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES MMF challenges Sony/ATV's threat to withdraw from collective licensing
Independents launch Fair Digital Deals Declaration
LEGAL Conor Oberst rape accuser retracts claims
MARKETING & PR Play It Again Sam appoints new Senior Press Officer
MEDIA Radio Academy appoints Gloria Abramoff as interim CEO
ARTIST NEWS Lethal Bizzle unveils new track on PingTune
RELEASES Perfume Genius announces new album, tour dates
Ting Tings announce third album details
GIGS & FESTIVALS Bombay Bicycle Club announce Earls Court show
Agnes Obel to play Shepherds Bush Empire show
Pissed Jeans to re-issue debut album, announce UK shows
Interpol announce 2015 UK shows
AWARDS Polaris Music Prize shortlist announced
AND FINALLY... Weird Al Yankovich brings grammar's blurred lines into focus
Click JUMP to skip direct to a section of this email or ONLINE to read and share stories on the CMU website (JUMP option may not work in all email readers). For regular updates from Team CMU follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.
A series of evening seminars providing a complete overview of the music business in 2014 - covering all key revenue streams, music rights in detail, music PR and social media, direct-to-fan and artist deals.

For more information and to book on to individual seminars click here.
Machine Management is looking for an experienced day-to-day Artist Manager to join the management team. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with minimum 2-3 years' experience to develop in this very busy and internationally focused role. Based in offices in East London, the position will be working primarily with one of the company's biggest talents, is very much a 24/7 role and will involve some travel.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
For ten years, Essential Music & Marketing has been at the forefront of the evolving distributor and label services models for releasing music. We are seeking a highly motivated Label Manager to join our growing team.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
MAMA & Company is seeking a Food & Bars Manager for the Jazz Café in London. The purpose of the role is to all aspects of the bars operation of the building, assist in all aspects of food operation within the kitchen and restaurant.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Marathon Artists is seeking a Community Manager to work across all the label's socials and websites. The successful candidate will be able to engage and start conversations with Marathon and our band's communities, and will send weekly reports to the team. The candidate will also need experience setting a social calendar and strategy for the label across all digital platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Google+

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Academy Music Group is recruiting for a General Manager at London's O2 Academy Islington. Candidates should have at least three years' experience of live and club venue management.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Wilful Publicity is seeking a new member of staff to join the team, and work across a wide and diverse roster of both established artists and new talent. Dependent on experience, the role has the potential for the successful candidate to quickly develop their own roster of artists and would suit a candidate with some previous experience working in a record company or independent music PR, looking to take the next step in their career.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Newcastle Upon Tyne-based music development agency, Generator, is looking for a commercially minded individual with strong industry contacts to develop and implement its Artist Development programme. The candidate will manage a bespoke service that includes mentorship, release support, building sustainable teams, developing live strategies and providing digital marketing support. Experience of supporting artists at various levels will prove useful to this role.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
London-based independent record company Sunday Best Recordings are seeking an experienced Product Manager to join our dedicated, creative and hardworking team. The successful candidate will initiate and drive album marketing campaigns, liaise with international partners, commission assets and implement creative digital strategies.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are looking for an enthusiastic and dynamic individual, to lead on the planning and management of the Music Programme for young people. Working with professional artists and other creative organisations, you will develop projects, workshops and performance opportunities, to establish pathways and progression routes for young people locally, nationally and internationally.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
UK ticketing agent Eventim are looking for an ambitious graduate to fill a three month paid internship position, starting asap. Based in central London, the successful candidate will gain valuable experience working across the E-commerce and Operations departments, assisting the team in maximising sales for our clients across the country.

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

MMF challenges Sony/ATV's threat to withdraw from collective licensing
The UK's Music Managers Forum has responded to the letter sent last week by Sony/ATV chief Marty Bandier to American songwriters allied to the music publisher, in which he said that complete withdrawal from the performing right collecting societies Stateside was an option if current efforts to reform collective licensing rules were not successful.

As previously reported, the big music publishers in the US have called on the country's Department Of Justice to review the so called 'consent decrees' that regulate the collective licensing dealings of American performing right societies BMI and ASCAP in America. The DoJ has now requested information from the societies and big publishers as part of that review.

The current campaign for reform was motivated by court rulings that said that the US publishers couldn't withdraw just their digital rights from the collective licensing system. The major publishers in America want to start licensing some digital services - and especially Pandora - directly, because they reckon they could get a better deal if they negotiate without the extra rules that govern collecting society deal-making.

Indeed, some publishers, including Sony/ATV and its EMI Music Publishing subsidiary, had already started the direct licensing process before a judge told them they were obliged to licence through BMI and ASCAP. But so keen are the publishers to move into direct licensing for digital, the threat has been made that if the DoJ doesn't provide the reforms they need, they will seriously consider withdrawing from collective licensing completely. And that threat was reaffirmed in Bandier's letter last week.

However, some reckon that the threat is a bluff. Partly because no publisher really wants to have to licence every radio station, gig promoter and music-playing bar who plays their works in public. And partly because some lawyers reckon there are all sorts of legal complications with a complete withdrawal from the collecting society system. Indeed, some argue just digital withdrawal of a publisher's complete catalogue isn't technically possible either.

The complications come from the way contracts between songwriters and publishers are written, and how deals differ in Europe from the US, especially when it comes to the distinctions made between so called 'mechanical' and 'performance' rights. Publishing contracts have also evolved over time.

In a statement issued yesterday, the MMF said that it agreed with Sony/ATV that the consent decrees governing US collective licensing were in dire need of reform, and that it hoped the DoJ's review would do so. But the trade group added that it was "alarmed at the suggestion by any music publisher, especially one with such considerable market power as Sony/ATV, that they would withdraw from the performing right organisations".

The MMF points out that a move, by the publishers, to direct licensing, where blanket licences are required, would further complicate the music licensing eco-system. Plus the MMF argues that Sony/ATV doesn't actually have the right to withdraw many of the works in its catalogue by non-US writers, because those writers have likely retained control over the allocation of their performance rights, even though the publisher shares in the revenue.

Where such writers have then appointed a non-US society to administer their performing rights, that society - not Sony/ATV - allows BMI or ASCAP to licence the song in America. Says the MMF: "Publishing contracts outside the USA only give the publisher a right to share in the revenue from the performing right, but not ownership of the right itself. As long as [songwriters] continue as members of their local [societies], no US publisher can issue licences for their work".

The organisation adds: "As far as we're aware, the letter from Sony/ATV was not sent to non-US writers, once again highlighting the complications posed for licensees of territorial posturing in a global digital marketplace".

In addition to the contractual challenges collective licensing withdrawal in the US would cause - which at best would result in a further division of catalogue (with many non-US works having to be licensed differently to US works, which is particularly tricky where you have a co-write between American and non-American songwriters) - the MMF has other reasons to be against moves in the publishing sector to shift from collective to direct licensing. Indeed, the artist manager trade group has previously criticised the record labels for mainly licensing digital directly, and for the same reason.

And that is that when big rights owners licence digital services directly, especially start-ups, they often negotiate large advances and equity, the benefits of which are rarely shared with artists and songwriters. Indeed some managers might argue that while direct dealing with digital may be more lucrative for Sony/ATV, artists and songwriters could be worse off.

The MMF statement says: "Writers' contracts routinely state that they are not entitled to be paid a share of revenue that is paid as advances, lump sums or is not able to be 'directly and identifiably' attributed to their work. How confident can writers be that they will be paid their shares of direct licence monies?"

All of which means that collecting society reform in the US - whether nominal or radical - could have considerable impact beyond the States. And could further complicate the already too complicated music licensing framework.


Independents launch Fair Digital Deals Declaration
The Worldwide Independent Network - which brings together indie label trade bodies worldwide - this morning launched a new Fair Digital Deals Declaration, which hundreds of indie labels around the world have already signed up to.

The initiative is partly about addressing some of the issues raised by a CMU artist panel survey for The Great Escape back in May, led by Dan Le Sac, in which it became clear that there was a lot of confusion in the artist community as to how deals between labels and digital services are structured, and what is being paid by which services for what usage. Most of the commitments labels signing the Declaration are making are about better communicating how digital deals and royalties are working.

Though the high profile launch of the Declaration is also likely about promoting that the indies are more artist-friendly in the digital domain than the majors, who have been accused by an increasing number of artists and managers of hiding behind NDAs, and profiting from advances and equity arrangements while their acts' only receive their cut of low per-play royalty payments.

Key points in the Fair Digital Deals Declaration include:

1. We will ensure that artists' share of download and streaming revenues is clearly explained in recording agreements and royalty statements in reasonable summary form.

2. We will account to artists a good-faith pro-rata share of any revenues and other compensation from digital services that stem from the monetisation of recordings but are not attributed to specific recordings or performances.

3. We will encourage better standards of information from digital services on the usage and monetisation of music.

4. We will support artists who choose to oppose, including publicly, unauthorised uses of their music.

Announcing the initiative, Alison Wenham, boss of the UK's indie label group AIM, and Chairman of WIN, told CMU: "A healthy commercial relationship based on mutual trust and partnership between artists and labels is critical to the long term financial health of our industry".

She went on: "We believe that this new initiative, which seeks to put in place simple, fair and transparent guidelines for labels dealing with third party digital partners is a template for best practice. We invite companies - majors and indies - to join the hundreds of companies who have already signed and put a stop to the practise of diverting revenues from the artists without whom we would not have a business".

Meanwhile the boss of pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA, Helen Smith, added: "This initiative reflects the close relationship between artists and their labels in the independent sector and it's great to have such a high take up from Europe already. Nearly two thirds of the signatories so far are European labels".

Conor Oberst rape accuser retracts claims
A woman who made online comments accusing former Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst of raping her as a teenager has issued a statement, via Oberst's lawyers, retracting her claims.

As previously reported, Oberst filed a libel lawsuit over the allegations in February, seeking $1 million in damages. The accusers comments were originally made below a post on the xoJane website, before being deleted.

Issuing the statement to Spin, Oberst's lawyers said that the retraction came "after seven months of attempts to reach" the defendant, whom we are choosing not to name.

The woman herself said: "The statements I made and repeated online and elsewhere over the past six months accusing Conor Oberst of raping me are 100% false. I made up those lies about him to get attention while I was going through a difficult period in my life and trying to cope with my son's illness".

She went on: "I publicly retract my statements about Conor Oberst, and sincerely apologise to him, his family, and his fans for writing such awful things about him. I realise that my actions were wrong and could undermine the claims of actual sexual assault victims and for that I also apologise. I'm truly sorry for all the pain that I caused".

It is not clear whether or not Oberst's lawsuit will now be dropped, or if he will continue to pursue legal action. The musician came under criticism from US domestic violence awareness charity Right To Speak Out after he said he would donate the damages from the case to such organisations, saying: "It is offensive to imply that filing such a lawsuit is a respectable way to procure money regardless of what he declares he intends to do with it".

The charity went on to say that launching a $1 million lawsuit, regardless of whether the claims against him were true or not, would only add "to the problem of under-reporting that enables sexual assault to proliferate at alarming rates" in the US.

Play It Again Sam appoints new Senior Press Officer
PIAS label Play It Again Sam has announced the appointment of a new Senior Press Officer, Paddy Davis.

Davis joins from Hall Or Nothing PR, where he spent the last five years, following sixteen at Bad Moon Publicity. He will work in conjunction with Play It Again Sam's online PR, Lucius Yeo.

PIAS Managing Director Peter Thompson says: "Paddy brings everything we are looking for in a press officer. With our desire to develop new and exciting artists having Paddy on board will greatly enhance this commitment".

Davis adds: "Play It Again Sam has an unrivalled reputation and wide ranging roster, having met Peter and his team, it felt like a great fit. I can't wait to get started and look forward to a new chapter for both parties".

Radio Academy appoints Gloria Abramoff as interim CEO
The Managing Director of Tonic Media & Productions, Gloria Abramoff, has been announced as the interim CEO of radio industry group The Radio Academy.

She will work part-time while a permanent replacement for Paul Robinson, who stood down last month is sought.

Prior to working at Tonic, Abramoff worked in various roles at the BBC, including as Creative Director of Children In Need.

  Approved: CGIV - Change
Clean George IV's 2012 debut album, 'God Save The Clean', remains an album I return to regularly, for the simple reason that it is excellent. That's a pretty good reason, I reckon. So it's a record that's managed some post-release longevity, at least in my house, but it's also a record that had a long genesis over several years. Therefore it's perhaps unsurprising that since it came out the emergence of a follow-up has not come rapidly. But that drought could be about to end.

Perhaps as a time-saving measure, the man behind the project, George McFall, has shortened his moniker to CGIV. He's also just put out a new single, 'Change', a cover of a 1997 release by fellow Edinburgh-based outfit Dominic Waxing Lyrical. Upping the production values of the original considerably, McFall's version makes full use of the song's building venom to its full potential.

Having also produced Dominic Waxing Lyrical's new album, the first since their 1996 debut which is due out in the autumn, we should hopefully hear more solo material from McFall before the year is out. And then his own second full-length effort in 2015.

Watch the video for 'Change' here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online

Lethal Bizzle unveils new track on PingTune
Lethal Bizzle has unveiled his new single, 'Rari Workout', via music messaging app PingTune.

The rapper, who has a highly engaged fanbase across social media, gave the tip off to fans via Snapchat, before making the track available on PingTune, scoring over 21,000 plays in the first ten minutes. Which all sounds great, though I'm still not really sure what PingTune is for.

PingTune CEO Henry Firth told CMU: "We're really excited to exclusively leak Lethal Bizzle's new track 'Rari Workout' on PingTune. His incredibly active audience love the sneak previews. They're sharing it like crazy and the track has gone truly viral".

And now I'm not sure what the word "leak" means either.

Perfume Genius announces new album, tour dates
Perfume Genius, aka musician Mike Hadreas, has announced that he will release his new album, 'Too Bright', through Turnstile on 22 Sep.

Produced by Portishead's Adrian Utley, Hadreas describes making the record as being "like I had woken some ancient beast which began to rattle and threaten to rise". And you can hear him rattling and rising on the album's first single, 'Queen', which is playable here.

As well as a number of upcoming festival dates, there's a Perfume Genius headline tour incoming, the UK dates for which look like this:

1 Sep: Glasgow, Centre For Contemporary Arts
2 Sep: Manchester, Band On The Wall
3 Sep: Ramsgate Ramsgate Music Hall
23 Nov: Edinburgh, The Caves
24 Nov: Leeds, The Wardrobe
25 Nov: Birmingham, Oobleck
26 Nov: Brighton, The Haunt
27 Nov: London, Islington Assembly Hall


Ting Tings announce third album details
Are you ready for a new Ting Tings album? No? Well, tough, it's happening now and there's nothing, save the sweet release of nuclear apocalypse, that can stop it. It's going to be called 'Super Critical' and it'll be out from PIAS/Finca on 20 Oct.

Following a difficult time recording their 2012 second album, 'Sounds From Nowheresville', and a few false starts with this one, the duo eventually got things really rolling when they met ex-Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor. He guided the pair through the studio process.

Of working with Taylor, the duo's Jules De Martino says: "It felt like making a record while partying in your bedroom, which is pretty much exactly how we made the first album. In nine months we became like family. It was a massive education for us. His old analogue approach, the studio set-ups he used in the 80s with Duran were perfect for the sound we were looking for. That approach isn't around anymore. Studio people don't know how to achieve it".

So, there you go. The previously previewed first single will be available for purchasing and that on 18 Aug. You can watch the video for it here, if you want.

Bombay Bicycle Club announce Earls Court show
Bombay Bicycle Club have announced that they will headline a show at London's Earls Court on 13 Dec. Tickets for the gig will go on sale on Friday.

Guitarist Jamie MacColl says: "We seized at the chance to play one of London's most historic and important venues. This will be our first arena show so will be a momentous night for the band - just thinking about it gets the adrenaline rushing!"

Yeah, so Jamie's contribution to the announcement was an enthusiastic, if slightly generic quote. He wants to take a leaf out of keyboard player Louis Bhose's book, who made a celeb-filled, comic video. Watch it and weep, MacColl.


Agnes Obel to play Shepherds Bush Empire show
Approved singer-songwriter Agnes Obel has announced that she will play a show at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire on 22 Oct.

Tickets will be available, as they so often are, on the Friday after this is published. So that's next Friday. As in this Friday. The 18th. Bloody hell, do I have to spell everything out for you? Look, the link is here. No, I know you can't get them from there yet. As I said, the tickets don't go on sale until FRIDAY.

You can also catch Agnes at Latitude this weekend, if that's your 'bag', and you can watch the video for new single 'Words Are Dead' below. That's out on Monday. No, Monday. Oh, let's not start that again.


Pissed Jeans to re-issue debut album, announce UK shows
Pissed Jeans have announced that they will re-issue their debut album, 'Shallow', plus a couple of bonus tracks, through Sub Pop on 6 Oct. Although, if you pre-order the vinyl edition from Sub Pop's website, you'll get an immediate download of all the tracks, which is nice.

So, that's one way you can hear Pissed Jeans before October. Another is to book tickets to see them performing live when they hit the UK next month. Here are the dates:

13 Aug: Brighton, The Haunt
14 Aug: Manchester, Gorilla
15 Aug: Birmingham, Institute
16 Aug: London, Jabberwocky Festival

And from 'Shallow', here's 'Boring Girl'.


Interpol announce 2015 UK shows
Interpol have announced that they will play three UK shows next January. Yeah, that's six months away, but it'll give you plenty of time to get to grips with the songs on new album, 'El Pintor', which is due out on 8 Sep.

Tickets go on sale on Friday, here are the dates:

6 Jan: London, Roundhouse
8 Jan: Manchester, Albert Hall
10 Jan: Dublin, Olympia

Speaking of that new album, here's the video for one of the tracks on it, 'All The Rage Back Home', which is due out as a single on 18 Aug.

Polaris Music Prize shortlist announced
The shortlist has been announced for this year's Polaris Music Prize. That's the Canada's version of the Mercury Prize, of course. You know the drill: Twelve albums, all of them deemed worthy of $2000 in prize money, one of them deemed worthy of $30,000.

Actor Jay Baruchel, who will host this year's ceremony on 22 Sep, said: "As both a music nerd and a patriot the decision to be a part of this award that honours the best in our country's music was an easy one. I am beyond flattered and more than a little nervous. Above all else I am honoured to be hosting the Polaris Music Prize Gala. Here's to me being arguably the least hip person in the room come awards night".

Here's the shortlist in the fullness of entirety:

Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Basia Bulat - Tall Tall Shadow
Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
Drake - Nothing Was The Same
Jessy Lanza - Pull My Hair Back
Owen Pallett - In Conflict
Shad - Flying Colours
Tanya Tagaq - Animism
Timber Timbre - Hot Dreams
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - Uzu

Weird Al Yankovich brings grammar's blurred lines into focus
A common defence of - or at least guilty mumble about - 'Blurred Lines' is that, if you ignore the dubious lyrics, it's still a great pop song. Well good news, conflicted people, that melody has finally been put together good use by Weird Al Yankovich on his new album, 'Mandatory Fun'.

The second of eight videos the parody veteran is releasing from the LP over an eight day period, his take on the Robin Thicke track, 'Word Crimes', is a lesson in the proper use of grammar. Yeah, sure, it ignores a bit of natural language evolution and will give rise to yet more pedantry on social media, but it's still a step up from the original.

Have a watch here.

ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email (except press releases, see below)
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.
Email (except press releases, see below)
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.
Email (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
Email or call 020 7099 9060
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.
Send ALL press releases to - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

For details of the training and consultancy services offered by CMU Insights click here - Andy and Chris are also available to provide music business comment, just email them direct.

To promote your company or advertise jobs or services to the entire UK music industry via the CMU bulletin or website contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email
© UnLimited Publishing at division of UnLimited Media

CMU, Fl2 Unicorn House, 221 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ.
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales) |