TODAY'S TOP STORY: Radio 1 and Radio 2 should stop playing so much popular pop music and put more time, effort, money, love, energy, commitment, passion, promotion, manpower, airtime, expertise, importance, caffeine and sodium into their specialist output, documentaries and laugh making shows. Not my words, people. Well, my words, but not my sentiment. I love popular pop music... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Born on the fair isle of Jamaica and raised in... Stratford, solo/SBTRKT 'feat' artist Denai Moore will, on 24 Nov, release her newest EP, 'I Swore', via London/Paris-based label Because Music, which in light of her signing appears to be moving with the times (aka away from SoKo, Uffie, et al), finally. Progressing from the likes of Moore's hushed Plan B co-productions 'Saudade' and 'The Lake'... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES RadioCentre questions Radio 1 and 2 output (again)
LEGAL Dr Fox arrested in relation to alleged sexual offences
Judge reviews MP3tunes ruling
Former Universal exec jailed for three years
LIVE BUSINESS Ticketmaster opens office in Qatar
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Online music video age rating pilot to begin this Friday
RELEASES U2 release album early because they believe they deserve awards
GIGS & FESTIVALS New Year, new Nick Cave solo shows
ONE LINERS Spotify in Canada, Cheryl, Avicii x Robbie Williams and more
AND FINALLY... Toronto mayoral candidates involved in fucked up debate
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Hospital Records are looking for a Business Affairs / Legal Assistant to join our dynamic team. Working directly with our Label Manager and Head of Business Affairs from our office in Forest Hill, South East London, the successful candidate will have experience and relevant training in areas of music business and entertainment law.

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Believe Digital is looking for an international manager to join its label services team in the UK. A deep knowledge of the independent music sector at international level, as well as the experience and knowledge to manage projects is essential as Believe continues to drive its label acquisition and marketing and distribution strategy worldwide.

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RadioCentre questions Radio 1 and 2 output (again)
Radio 1 and Radio 2 should stop playing so much popular pop music and put more time, effort, money, love, energy, commitment, passion, promotion, manpower, airtime, expertise, importance, caffeine and sodium into their specialist output, documentaries and laugh making shows.

Not my words, people. Well, my words, but not my sentiment. I love popular pop music, and despise specialist output, documentaries and laugh-making shows. More Fearne Cotton! More Harry Styles! More shit repetitive EDM! More mediocre melodies from tax-dodging has-beens! That's what I say.

But RadioCentre, speaking for (some of) the commercial radio sector, does not concur, and they bloody well told any Tories willing to listen at the party's Birmingham conference yesterday (well, those Tories not too distracted by the opportunity to exchange Womble stories with Mike Batt at the UK Music party).

It's no secret that the commercial radio groups dislike the BBC's big two national pop stations, they competing most closely with the main services provided by the likes of Global Radio and Bauer Media, and generally enjoying bigger overall audiences. And despite recent cutbacks, the big two BBC stations are still vastly better funded than their commercial rivals, with much more manpower to call on.

The BBC would argue that it uses most of those extra resources to make the kind of programming that you just don't find on commercial radio, in doing so making Radios 1 and 2 pretty distinct from commercial rivals.

Though RadioCentre would likely counter that while that might be true off-peak - when commercial radio stations fire up their jukebox machines as the Beeb pumps out hours of specialist programming aimed at niche audiences - turn on Radios 1 and 2 in daytime and it sounds pretty like Capital or Heart. That statement is not entirely true of course. But it's partly true. And RadioCentre presumably hopes that BBC-hating Tories won't analyse its topline statements too closely.

RadioCentre used the Conservative Party Conference to release new research that said that only a fifth of listeners surveyed could remember hearing any specialist show, documentary or comedy programme on Radios 1 and 2, despite both having remits to provide such output. The BBC quickly hit back by claiming its research showed otherwise.

Who to believe? I mean, surely more people than that could name a few non-pop shows on Radios 1 and 2. For starters there's thingimy and you know, whatsisname, who does that show with the music that goes didumdidumdidum. And does Radio 2 still have the Blackpool organ music hour? And no comedy? Why, 'Newsbeat' is the finest spoof news show I've ever heard.

But RadioCentre wants BBC overseer - the BBC Trust - to be stricter with the Corporation's big two music radio channels. Said the trade group's CEO Siobhan Kenny: "While nobody seriously suggests that certain bands should be 'off limits' to mainstream output like Radio 2, there is a balance to be struck and one that more specifically fulfils the criteria laid out for both Radio 1 and Radio 2".

Kenny continued: "The BBC Trust should have more power to police this blend and mix more conscientiously, ensuring that the BBC sticks to its remit and allows an environment where all players in the market can flourish. This will enhance the BBC's reputation, allow commercial radio a level playing field and, most importantly, enhance listener choice".

A spokesman for the BBC, though, told The Guardian: "These claims bear absolutely no resemblance to our own regular research, our audience feedback or the behaviour of millions of listeners who tune into Radio 1 and 2's news, documentaries, speech programming and unique music mix every week - programmes that simply are not available on commercial radio".

They added: "Our research shows Radio 1 and 2 are utterly unique - for example, Radio 1 broadcasts around 20 times more specialist music than Capital, while 80% of the songs played in daytime on Radio 2 not played on any competitor station - and have been focussed on becoming even more distinctive in recent years".

At a debate on Radio 1 at The Great Escape in 2012 a panel of radio, music and PR experts agreed that the BBC service was actually two separate services, possibly because the station has two remits - to service a youth audience and to champion new music. The panel felt the station's world-leading off-peak specialist shows did the latter, while daytime was aiming to satisfy the former, and subsequent schedule changes probably make that even more true.

But, said the panel, Radio 1 could be more distinct in daytime if just a couple more wild-card tracks per hour were thrown into the mix. Though, radio experts Sammy Jacob and Matt Deegan conceded, even that simple a change would almost certainly result in a notable slide in audience figures. At the BBC that would be considered a failure, though RadioCentre, of course, would see it as a wholly positive result.

Dr Fox arrested in relation to alleged sexual offences
Police yesterday arrested presenter Neil Fox in relation to alleged sexual offences. The arrest took place at the studios of Magic FM, where he presents the breakfast show.

According to police, allegations against Fox were made by two separate women. As well as being taken into custody, properties in West London and Littlehampton, West Sussex were searched by police.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Magic's parent company Bauer Media said: "In the circumstances, Neil will be off air from tomorrow to enable him to devote his full attention to dealing with these matters. All other aspects of his contract will remain unchanged while matters are resolved. We can make no further comment at this stage".


Judge reviews MP3tunes ruling
A US judge has cut back the mega-damages MP3tunes founder Michael Robertson was ordered to pay for enabling rampant copyright infringement. Though the entrepreneur is still left with a pretty mega-damages bill. And while said judge did criticise the record industry in his ruling, he was pretty damning of the MP3tunes man too.

As much previously reported, Robertson was one of the early entrants into the music-specific digital locker market with his MP3tunes service. The record industry quickly called foul on the business on copyright grounds, though in the end much of the complicated copyright infringement lawsuit pursued by EMI centred on a spin-off service called Sideload and Robertson's own sharing of content on his platform.

The MP3tunes company went under during the litigation, but EMI successfully convinced the court to let it continue to sue Robertson personally. In the end he basically lost the case, and was ordered to pay damages which eventually totalled $48 million. Which definitely counts as mega-damages.

Robertson unsurprisingly appealed, asking the judge to set aside the jury verdict on the basis it was unsupported by evidence. In a lengthy review, the judge says that original case was very challenging for the jury because of the legal complexities, though says that both parties in the legal battle added to that problem by submitted unnecessarily lengthy arguments. Robertson's theatrics in court were also criticised.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, in his review the judge does question various elements of EMI's arguments, most notably the allegations Robertson was liable for "wilful blindness" to the copyright infringement his service enabled, one of the most interesting elements of the original judgement. Though in the end, on the key issue of damages, it was only the so called punitive damages, which added $7.5 million to the tally, that the judge deemed were inappropriate, proposing a figure closer to $750,000.

Though he offered the plaintiffs an opportunity to force the issue of punitive damages to be debated in a new trial, meanwhile Robertson may attempt a further appeal of the entire original ruling. So, more MP3tunes funtimes to come we suspect.


Former Universal exec jailed for three years
Former Universal Music exec Duncan Schwier has been sentenced to three years in prison for defrauding the company of almost £650,000.

As previously reported, Schwier, who worked for the production music division of Universal's publishing business, admitted to taking almost £650,000 from his employer over more than ten years. The fraud was only uncovered when Schwier was promoted last year and his successor, John Clifford, discovered a number of invoices that had been paid to two non-existent companies.

Last month, Schwier pleaded guilty to stealing £643,697.35 from Universal between 31 Dec 2001 and 31 Dec 2013. The court heard that the fraud was related to a diagnosis of Grave Disease, which can cause hyperactivity and affect judgement, and ended when he was diagnosed with what he believed was terminal cancer - though the judge ordered that exact details of his medical record be withheld.

Soon after the fraud was uncovered, Schwier repaid all of the money he had taken, in part by selling his house. It also emerged that none of the money taken had been spent on himself or his family - he maintaining a fairly modest lifestyle throughout - with £400,000 being spent on bonuses, meals, gifts and parties for staff, while another £100,000 was donated to charity.

According to the Daily Mail, Schwier's lawyer, Lawrence Selby said: "It is a fairly depressing read that unfortunately nobody was able to effectively diagnose Mr Schwier. He reacted badly to medication, and things went worse from one thing to another. It was the sort of decade that you would not want to experience either personally or through those closest to you. He was working in a pressure cooker industry, unable to cry for help, unaware he was suffering in the way that he was, and these acts were a release for the stress and pressure".

Judge Aidan Marron concurred, but said that the nature of the crime made a prison sentence unavoidable, concluding: "I accept that on the medical evidence put before me that throughout this period you suffered from serious medical disability that impacted on your judgement and ability. But at the end of the day, with such a serious breach of trust over more than a decade, I'm afraid that a custodial sentence is inevitable".

It is not known if Schwier plans to appeal.

Ticketmaster opens office in Qatar
Live Nation's Ticketmaster has opened an office in Qatar because, well, why not? Based in the Qatari capital Doha, the ticketing giant's new base will be run by Ulas Karaoglu.

Confirming this just for you, Live Nation boss man Michael Rapino told reporters: "As Ticketmaster continues to deliver innovative products and services, more venues in more countries are choosing Ticketmaster solutions. We have had good success in this region in a short period of time, and we are looking forward to expanding our business into Qatar's rapidly growing market where there is an ever-increasing demand for live events".

Online music video age rating pilot to begin this Friday
The BPI and British Board Of Film Classification's pilot scheme for slapping age ratings onto online music videos will go live this Friday, it has been confirmed. It had been expected to begin today, though as back in August no one seemed to have any idea how it was going to work, a two day delay doesn't seem that bad.

The pilot scheme will be run with participating labels, Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music (ie all three majors) and apply to all music videos released by those labels in the UK. Which likely means that the bulk of the more problematic music video releases of recent times, released in the US and originating with the major's local subsidiaries there, will not be covered by the scheme. Still, this is just phase one, so maybe that'll be fixed further down the line.

Videos that are deemed to need a rating will be given a 12, 15, or 18 certificate, while anything containing content that would not attract a 12 classification or above will not have to be submitted to the BBFC for review. Once ratings have been applied, the labels themselves will pass these on to Vevo and YouTube, which will display them whenever the videos are played - though this will not actually happen until phase two of the three month pilot, which is due to be announced at a later date.

BBFC Assistant Director David Austen said: "Our most recent large scale research, carried out in 2013 and involving more than 10,000 people, highlighted access to music videos containing sexualised imagery, self-harm, drug use and violence as a key concern for parents. Parents are eager to have more input over the types of content their children access, particularly online. By applying understood and trusted BBFC age ratings to online music videos this pilot is a vital step in meeting this demand for choice and child protection".

BPI big man Geoff Taylor added: "We want to give parents the information they need to make more informed decisions about the music videos they are happy for their children to see. That's why we introduced the Parental Advisory Scheme almost 20 years ago and why we are now working with the BBFC and with video platforms to pilot age ratings for UK music videos. We hope that if the pilot is successful, video services will consider introducing parental filters as a key next step".

It's estimated that around 20% of the videos submitted during the pilot will require a rating.

  Approved: Denai Moore
Born on the fair isle of Jamaica and raised in... Stratford, solo/SBTRKT 'feat' artist Denai Moore will, on 24 Nov, release her newest EP, 'I Swore', via London/Paris-based label Because Music, which in light of her signing appears to be moving with the times (aka away from SoKo, Uffie, et al), finally.

Progressing from the likes of Moore's hushed Plan B co-productions 'Saudade' and 'The Lake', the EP's candid, slow-climaxing title track shows off a new forthrightness to her writing, and to the way that manifests in her singing.

It was taped at XL Studios with go-to XL producer Rodaidh McDonald, who first namechecked "this girl Denai" back in July. He inevitably throws the same blinding, 'no place to hide'-style spotlight on her voice in a similar way to his collaborations with King Krule, The xx and especially Denai's SBTRKT peer Sampha, whose higher pitch and beautiful 'graininess' of tone are similar to Moore's own.

Presently in the midst of a series of SBTRKT-headlined shows (which she'll follow with three solo dates in the first week of December), hear Denai single-handed on 'I Swore', and as the silver lining to SBTRKT's 'The Light' (a track off his very new new LP 'Wonder Where We Land').
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U2 release album early because they believe they deserve awards
Still in the mood for surprises, U2 have quietly released their new album, 'Songs Of Innocence', on vinyl two weeks ahead of its official release date. This time not as a gift to the world though, rather because they feel the album should be given a Grammy Award (perhaps several Grammy Awards) and the release date cut off for eligible albums was yesterday.

According to Rolling Stone, a small number of vinyl copies of the album were made available in US record shops this week, ensuring that Grammy judges will have to consider the record for inclusion in the prize giving ceremony next February. So, bad luck Grammy judges who thought they'd cleverly removed it from their lives already.

A spokesperson for the awards explained: "As long as the album, be it CD, vinyl or digital, is available commercially for sale to the public by our eligibility cut off date at a nationally recognised retailer or website, then it's eligible for consideration".

In case you were wondering, the Grammy powers that be decided to render the free giveaway of the album to iTunes' 500 million users an ineligible release method for the album to be considered for their awards. Hence having to put out a few LPs. Similarly, 'Songs Of Innocence' has not appeared in the charts yet because you can't just give loads of people your album for nothing and then claim to be popular.

New Year, new Nick Cave solo shows
Saint Nick Cave of surreal cinematic fame has given fans an intimate gift, and no, it isn't an item from Britney Spears' new sleepwear line.

In reality, it's a big list of very rare and very Europe-based 'solo concerts' he's doing in spring 2015, on which he'll be joined on stage by only four members of The Bad Seeds - Warren Ellis on guitar/additional strings/loops, Martyn Casey on bass, Thomas Wydler on drums and Barry Adamson on keys. With them, he'll be in singing and playing solo songs AND tracks off his and The Bad Seeds' latest LP, 'Push The Sky Away'. So yeah, definitely 'solo concerts'.

"The aim is to try to create a unique show - something special and out of the ordinary", says Cave, stating the self-evident.

Tickets will go on sale this Friday, and listings for the UK part of the tour are as follows:

26 Apr: Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
28 Apr: Edinburgh, Playhouse
29 Apr: Gateshead, Sage
30 Apr: Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall
3 May: London, Royal Albert Hall

Spotify in Canada, Cheryl, Avicii x Robbie Williams

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Spotify is now available 'to all' in Canada. That's 'to all' as opposed to 'on an invite-only basis', aka the first stage of Spotify's Canadian influx, which had its soft launch back in August.

• 7Digital has announced a new deal with the US-based company Spanish Broadcasting System to provided "music offerings" including a radio-style streaming service under the broadcaster's brand.

• The pop singer formerly known as Cheryl Tweedy-Cole played her quite sweary new single 'I Don't Care' on the radio a bit earlier this morning, with the lark. Talking of which, I don't care if you listen to it via this link or not, really.

• Faith No More frontman Mike Patton is to release an LP as Tētēma, his and Australian pianist-composer Anthony Patera's collaborative alias. The "crazed" and v experimental 'Geocodial', as it's titled, will be available via Ipecac Recordings on 9 Dec.

• Having got on to his old pal Takashi Murakami, Pharrell Williams has released a video for his new single 'It Girl' featuring animations by the Japanese artist. Check P-Wizzy looking vivid in the clip here.

• Belle & Sebastian have revealed the basic rap-sheet on their new LP, starting and ending with its title ('Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance'), release date (20 Jan 2015), and the name of its producer (Ben H Allen). Oh, and a 'making of' trailer with a bit of an untitled new track on it. Watch that here.

• DJ and man-with-a-child-in-his-eyes Avicii is to team with Robbie Williams on his new single 'The Days', which will at least give Williams a stealthy stab at making the BBC Radio 1 playlist. The track, which is the lead single off of Avicii's forthcoming 2015 LP 'Stories', will 'premiere' this Friday.

Toronto mayoral candidates involved in fucked up debate
Candidates for the Toronto mayoral election all took part in a debate earlier this week, hosted by Fucked Up frontman Damian Abraham.

The event was staged by arts organisation ArtsVote, with the hour long conversation sticking to cultural topics rather than anything else. Still, it's an interesting thing to happen. It's a trend I think we should encourage over here too. Not just mayoral elections, everything. I want to see David Cameron answer to Mark E Smith.

Anyway, if you're interested in Toronto's future, you can watch the full discussion here. Sadly Abraham doesn't get naked and bleed over everyone, as he tends to when he performs live, but don't let that put you off.

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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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 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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