WEDNESDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2014
TODAY'S TOP STORY: YouTube has signed a licensing deal with indie label digital rights agency Merlin for its much-delayed subscription streaming service, or so says the Financial Times. As previously reported, a big slice of the indie label sector, via global trade body grouping the World Independent Network, went public in May with concerns over what were described as "unnecessary and indefensible" negotiating... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Looking, some have said, like a young, kinder-faced Will Self (if Will Self made crinkly indie-pop songs in a room), Oscar Scheller started releasing the first offshoots of his one-man laptop clickings last year, making a big localised impact with his first single 'Never Told You'. Framed by the world's most unsmiling video, shot in Oscar's room (in which all the magic happens, or doesn't), the track sifts... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Merlin reportedly signs up to YouTube's subscription service
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LEGAL Gary Glitter pleads not guilty to new sexual offence charges
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DEALS Cradle Of Filth sign to Nuclear Blast
JUMP | ONLINE
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Spotify's Daniel Ek responds to Taylor Swift and other critics
Grooveshark not impressed with Daniel Ek's 'piracy' jibe
MMF issues statement on Taylor Swift's Spotify takedown
Bandcamp formally reveals its direct-to-fan subscription platform
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ARTIST NEWS Nicki Minaj apologises over controversial Only video
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ONE LINERS Ghostface Killah, Ja Ja Ja Festival, Kanye x Lorde and more
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AND FINALLY... Louis Tomlinson tells reporter who didn't mention his sexuality: "I am in fact straight"
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OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE
Office space to rent with Full Time Hobby and SALT Films. Music and film companies looking for another likeminded company to share a new office space at Tileyard Studios. £400 per desk including most bills (phone separate). For full information click here.
 
For information on placing classified ads in the CMU Daily contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
 
MERLIN - TECHNICAL OPERATIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
Merlin is seeking a qualified, enthusiastic Technical/Operations specialist to assist in maximising the effectiveness and success of Merlin’s agreements. Candidates must carry an excellent working knowledge of the technical and operational aspects of the digital music industry. This should include working knowledge and substantial experience in managing content delivery and operational maintenance of agreements with digital services. A proven set of established relationships in the sector would be advantageous.


For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO HIGH PROFILE MUSIC AGENT (LONDON)
This is a fantastic opportunity for an exceptionally organised administrative assistant with previous office experience in the creative industries. The ideal candidate will be flexible, self-motivated, with a good knowledge and understanding of the music industry, impeccable attention to detail, the ability to prioritise and remain calm under pressure.


For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
   
DHP FAMILY - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (NOTTINGHAM)
A creative individual who has a love for the opportunities that digital media presents. Primarily working on our concerts & festivals, you will be responsible for our social media channels, e-mailouts, websites and online advertisements. We expect you to be able to deliver reach, growth and engagement with our online community, and be able to lead the development of our online marketing strategy going forward.


For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
THE ARCHES - MUSIC PROGRAMME MANAGER (GLASGOW)
The Arches is looking for a dynamic and enterprising person with strong experience and a passion for all types of music to join the Music Programming team. As our Music Programme Manager, you will be responsible for the day to day negotiation, planning, administration and delivery of a broad programme of live music and club events.


For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MOOD MEDIA - MUSIC CONSULTANT (KESTON, KENT)
Mood Media are looking for a full-time Music Consultant to join the UK team. The role will involve working with some of the world's biggest brands, curating playlists across a very broad range of genres and styles. Previous experience would be preferable, but not essential.


For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
OVAL SPACE - FINANCIAL CONTROLLER (LONDON)
You will be the man or woman at the helm of the finances for Oval Space and its group concerns. You will part or fully qualified ACA or CIMA and be comfortable taking accounts to sign off stage. You will be a dab hand at cash flow management and be comfortable preparing and presenting numbers internally and externally.


For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
London based independent music company seeking a Digital Marketing Manager to work alongside Product and Digital teams, to originate and manage pioneering online campaigns across a varied mix of musical styles and genres. The ideal candidate will have at least two years in music or complementary industry.

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 ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 

Merlin reportedly signs up to YouTube's subscription service
YouTube has signed a licensing deal with indie label digital rights agency Merlin for its much-delayed subscription streaming service, or so says the Financial Times.

As previously reported, a big slice of the indie label sector, via global trade body grouping the World Independent Network, went public in May with concerns over what were described as "unnecessary and indefensible" negotiating tactics. The labels accused YouTube of threatening to block their music from its entire platform (both the new subscription audio service and the existing free-to-access video platform) if they did not sign up to the new venture on terms that the indies argued were out of kilter with industry norms.

YouTube owner Google subsequently indicated that it was more than willing to pull indie label content from its market-leading video platform ahead the launch of the new audio service. But when the indies called Google's bluff, all stayed as it was and negotiations behind the scenes continued, with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki saying at last month's Re/code conference that she was still "optimistic" that the subscription service would launch "soon".

Although Merlin and YouTube have not commented, the FT says that the deal is now done, bringing the digital rights agency's 20,000 member indie labels into the new YouTube service. What that means for the launch of said service isn't entirely clear, nor what concessions have been made by either side to get the deal done, though it does remove a considerable stumbling block for YouTube.

Gary Glitter pleads not guilty to new sexual offence charges
Gary Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, appeared at Southwark Crown Court yesterday, entering a plea of not guilty to ten new sexual offence charges, reports the BBC.

As previously reported, the newly alleged incidents took place between 1977 and 1980, when the women involved were aged between twelve and fourteen. The charges in relation to the younger of the two women include one count of administering a drug or similar in order to facilitate sexual intercourse, and one count of sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of thirteen.

Gadd remains free on bail.

 

Cradle Of Filth sign to Nuclear Blast
Metal band Cradle Of Filth have signed a new worldwide record deal with German label Nuclear Blast. The contract will cover the release of their eleventh studio album, due next year.

Announcing the news, frontman Dani Filth said: "Nuclear Blast owner Markus Staiger has been trying to snare the band ever since I flew over to see him way back in 1996 ... after we left Cacophonous Records. He [just] missed out due to the close proximity to the band of Music For Nations, the label that Cradle stayed with until 2001. Now, not only do Nuclear Blast have offices all over the world, but the one in London is actually dead opposite to the old MFN building! Which is weird!"

He added: "For the full frontal assault we have planned for the awesome new album, Nuclear Blast are the perfect war stallion to carry us screaming into the heart of the next chapter of COF's dark, enigmatic history. Next year is going to be a massive year for the band and the black flags start flying here, with the announcement of our unholy union with Nuclear Blast who have already done great things with my Witch County band, Devilment".

It's not actually the first time Cradle Of Filth have worked with Nuclear Blast, the label handled the band's last album, 'The Manticore And Other Horrors', in the US under a licensing deal with the band's former record company Peaceville. But they are now directly signed to Nuclear Blast worldwide. The new record, as well as being the first to be directly released by Nuclear Blast, will also be the first since the (second) departure of founder member and guitarist Paul Allender earlier this year.

Spotify's Daniel Ek responds to Taylor Swift and other critics
Spotify boss Daniel Ek yesterday came forth and presented a defence of his company's business model in a lengthy blog post. This is something the pro-streaming camp had been calling for ever since Taylor Swift pulled from the streaming platform last week, initiating some of the most high profile debate to date on the pros and cons of the 'access' approach to music (Spotify's initial love letter and mixtape to Taylor doing little to address the issues involved).

"Taylor Swift is absolutely right", he begins, referring to remarks the singer made in a Wall Street Journal op-ed and Yahoo interview. "Music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it. We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it. So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time".

As well as going into detail, once again, about how the Spotify payment model works, Ek also revealed some up to date stats. One is that Spotify has now paid out $2 billion to the music industry since launching in 2008, $1 billion of that in the last year. Plus he confirmed rumours that Spotify now has 50 million active users, 12.5 million of whom are paying subscribers - an increase of ten million and 2.5 million respectively since the last lot of official figures released back in May of this year.

In the article, Ek goes on to skirt a fine line by calling out the widely discussed (by Bono most recently) problems with how streaming royalties are declared and shared out to artists once the money has left Spotify's bank account, without specifically laying into the labels who are arguably doing the bad job of declaring and sharing the loot, but which are also key partners in his business, both as content providers and shareholders.

"The music industry is changing - and we're proud of our part in that change - but lots of problems that have plagued the industry since its inception continue to exist", he writes. "As I said, we've already paid more than $2 billion in royalties to the music industry and if that money is not flowing to the creative community in a timely and transparent way, that's a big problem. We will do anything we can to work with the industry to increase transparency, improve speed of payments, and give artists the opportunity to promote themselves and connect with fans - that's our responsibility as a leader in this industry; and it's the right thing to do".

As previously reported, the reason that Swift and her label Big Machine pulled the singer's entire catalogue off Spotify (and others) is the existence of its freemium tier, which allows users to access music without paying a penny. "If this fan went and purchased the record, CD, iTunes, wherever, and then their friends go, 'Why did you pay for it? It's free on Spotify', we're being completely disrespectful to that superfan who wants to invest", said Big Machine's Scott Borchetta last week.

Ek points out that, while consumers can access music at this level for free, the artist does still earn a royalty from each play their music receives. In comparison, he adds, a play on a free-to-access US radio station will earn the artist nothing, which is half true, the songwriter earns a royalty from American radio. And, of course, in other countries labels and recording artists are also paid royalties by radio stations, so his statement only really applies to America. Though, streams on Spotify will also earn a label/artist more money compared to the equivalent number of listeners on a Radio 1 play.

"Here's the overwhelming, undeniable, inescapable bottom line: the vast majority of music listening is unpaid", he writes, continuing on his point, noting that Spotify's main competitors are radio, YouTube and piracy. "If we want to drive people to pay for music, we have to compete with free to get their attention in the first place". Spotify's free tier is vital to driving people to pay, he continues, saying: "More than 80% of our subscribers started as free users. If you take away only one thing, it should be this: No free, no paid, no $2 billion".

All of which is true, Spotify has generally enjoyed faster growth in any market where it launches than its competitors almost certainly because it has a very compelling freemium option to hook people in. Indeed, many of its rivals have added their own free options to help sell premium down the line. Though it does remain a fact that giving so much away gratis poses problems for the future development of the streaming sector, which almost certainly needs to fit some £3, £5, £8 options in the mix to go truly mass market.

Away from the freemium debate, Ek also goes on to address claims that streaming doesn't pay enough for an artist to earn a living by taking Swift as a case study: "At our current size, payouts for a top artist like Taylor Swift (before she pulled her catalogue) are on track to exceed $6 million a year, and that's only growing - we expect that number to double again in a year".

Of course, it's a top heavy model, most artists are earning much more modest sums from streaming, but then again, the music industry is a top heavy business.

The final criticism Ek addresses is the line that streaming is cannibalising download sales, a point that has been raised again recently after it emerged that iTunes' music revenues had dropped by 14%. This, he says, is "is classic correlation without causation". He writes: "Canada is a great example, because it has a mature music market very similar to the US. Spotify launched in Canada a few weeks ago. In the first half of 2014, downloads declined just as dramatically in Canada - without Spotify - as they did everywhere else. If Spotify is cannibalising downloads, who's cannibalising Canada?"

"Who's cannibalising Canada?" sounds like a song title. Someone write that one, please. And then put it on Spotify.

Ek concludes by pointing out that Taylor Swift is the only artist to have sold a million albums this year, whereas she would have been one of many a decade or more ago. "People's listening habits have changed - and they're not going to change back", he says. Then, having held back from calling out the labels earlier, he does call out some rival streaming services, saying: "[Swift's] songs are all over services and sites like YouTube and SoundCloud, where people can listen all they want for free. To say nothing of the fans who will just turn back to pirate services like Grooveshark". That last point, Grooveshark has, as you might expect, taken exception to.

Finally, addressing artists directly, he says: "The more we grow, the more we'll pay you", adding: "We're going to be transparent about it all the way through".

I'm not sure if that was him quietly announcing something there, because however grand your blog posts may be, I'm pretty sure all those NDAs with the labels remain standing. Still, it will be interesting to see if this response from Ek does shift the debate more onto other entities, especially as YouTube and SoundCloud start announcing their new developments.

Or will Spotify's status as the most visible streaming player, in Europe at least (the Hoover of streaming, if you like), mean it can't shake off the problem of being at the receiving end of all criticism of the streaming model in general. Even if it can circumvent some criticism in the short term, it's likely to all kick off again once any IPO is formally on the agenda.

Meanwhile, read Ek's blog post in full here.

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Grooveshark not impressed with Daniel Ek's 'piracy' jibe
So that's all very interesting isn't it? By hey, woah, hold it there, let's do a quick rewind shall we to what he said in paragraph fourteen. "To say nothing of the fans who will just turn back to pirate services like Grooveshark". That's what he said. I know it, because I saw it.

Of course, most of Spotify's music industry partners would have no problem with always controversial user-upload streaming service Grooveshark being defined as a 'piracy' platform, after all, the majors are currently busy trying to sue the US-based digital company out of business. But - somewhat unsurprisingly - Grooveshark is not so happy with that label.

Grooveshark, of course, argues that it is no different to YouTube. Although users can upload any content they like to its platform, rights owners can order content be removed if they don't have a licensing deal in place with the digital company.

And even though Grooveshark doesn't offer rights owners anything like YouTube's ContentID to simplify the takedown process, it claims it still operates within US copyright law. And it's a strong claim, demonstrated by the fact the major labels have sued on technicalities rather than based on the argument the firm's core business model infringes copyright.

Nevertheless, the 'opt-out-rather-than-opt-in' approach to streaming, also operated by YouTube and SoundCloud, remains controversial. And Grooveshark is the most controversial operator of that system, with some rights owners arguing that it is exploiting loopholes in US copyright law, operating a deliberately shoddy takedown system, and not entering into serious licensing talks with the labels and publishers about legitimatising its approach (though it does have some licences, was once fully licensed by EMI, and still has some major publishers on board).

Either way, the firm does not appreciate being called a piracy operation by Ek. The firm's EVP Corporate Communications, James A Pearson told VentureBeat last night: "We would normally never comment on a competitive service and their dust-up with one of the world's most popular artists. But as Spotify's CEO - who, it's worth mentioning, is the recent CEO of uTorrent - an app used by over 100 million people, which had similar perception issues - called Grooveshark 'a pirate service' in his blog response to Taylor Swift today, we had to comment on that element".

Pearson went on: "Copyright laws are complex, and many companies that are now household names in the space - such as YouTube, Pandora, and SiriusXM - have had to defend themselves at one point or another, just as has Grooveshark. Had Mr Ek any actual factual information about our business model he would know Grooveshark currently has active licenses with thousands of music labels, publishers and rights holders, as well as tens of thousands of individual artists. We respect musicians and work to create new ways to get their music heard by a worldwide audience - that's the driving force behind our existence".

Ek's time working for uTorrent, a popular BitTorrent client owned by the BitTorrent company itself, has been brought up a couple of times in recent months, previously mentioned by American artists critical of Spotify. Most Torrent technologies have legitimate uses, of course, though have been linked to piracy ever since the rise of BitTorrent file-sharing.

The fact that Ek worked for uTorrent prior to the proper launch of Spotify isn't really relevant to anything, though does perhaps illustrate - as Pearson wishes - that legitimate businesses may be unfairly deemed piracy operations. Though, as we say, most major labels get a whole lot more animated discussing Grooveshark than they would any Torrent client.

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MMF issues statement on Taylor Swift's Spotify takedown
And one more from the Swiftify file. Having been watching debates and developments in the streaming music world this month, the UK's Music Managers Forum has issued a statement giving its view on matters.

Saying that the organisation is a "big supporter of streaming services", it accuses Taylor Swift and her label Big Machine of short-sightedness for pulling her content from Spotify, before again hitting out at the Non Disclosure Agreements that mask the deals between streaming services and the major labels.

"Few markets are perfect and yes the 'low rate issue' has conflicted many, but above all, streaming services are a fabulous tool that connects artists and creators with fans", the statement reads. "No longer restricted by physical barriers, streaming gives a voice to those that want to be heard and a platform from which to build multi-revenue businesses that cross borders. There are no guarantees of success but the opportunity is there for all that want to give it a shot".

Saying that Kobalt's recent report that its songwriters earned more from Spotify than iTunes in Europe in the first quarter of this year was "encouraging", the MMF statement continues: "We are disappointed to see Taylor Swift remove her catalogue from Spotify. Her label talked about not being disrespectful to her fans who purchased the album but we do wonder about the fifteen million Taylor Swift fans who are not listening to her music this week on Spotify or those near 20 million fans who have had her music ripped from their playlists".

"Whatever one thinks of the Spotify free, or more accurately termed ad-supported service, we wouldn't be surprised if this was more about, headlines, badge collecting and economics", it added.

Finally, the statement concludes: "Non Disclosure Agreements hide how the major music corporations license streaming services and we have grave concerns that the deals contain stipulations that both significantly reduce the amount artists ultimately get attributed and damage the growth of the streaming economy. The real fight is more likely between opacity and transparency, and we call on all major music corporations to take note and react in the best interest of their artists and shareholders".

Read the full statement here.

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Bandcamp formally reveals its direct-to-fan subscription platform
Enough of Spotify and all that streaming malarkey, the real future of the music business is in direct-to-fan, we all know that right? Because if Taylor Swift is worried that real fans are being ripped off if they buy her album when everyone can access it for free on Spotify et al, well, one solution is to pull out of Spotify, the other might be to add extra benefits for those who buy the record, such as - perhaps - access to members-only content pumped out via Swift's own digital channels.

Which brings us back to the idea of artists having their own subscription services, an extension of the old-fashioned fan club, and an idea that's been mooted for ages now but has been slow to gain momentum. Though perhaps direct-to-fan platforms like Bandcamp - which enable artists to sell downloads and such like themselves - can help with this subscriptions thing too.

Because at the SF MusicTech Summit conference yesterday, Bandcamp confirmed its previously reported move into helping artists offer direct-to-fan subscription services. Last month indie pop duo Candy Says became the first act to utilise this new Bandcamp functionality, with them saying in a blog post: "We would subscribe to our favourite bands if we could. We would happily send them a bit of money once a year, knowing that they would make music we love and send it to us. So that's what we're doing with Bandcamp".

Speaking to The Guardian about the artist subscription platform ahead of his spot at SF MusicTech, Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond said: "We're giving every artist the ability to create a subscription service of their own on the site". Participating artists will pick their own subscription rates and then make all of their music available to subscribers as and when it is released, either as a download or streaming over the Bandcamp mobile app. "Another element of this is that any artist can choose any number of items from their back catalogue to give to subscribers as a bonus when they subscribe".

Bandcamp isn't the first to provide a platform for direct-to-fan subscription services - most prominent is Drip.fm that has been particularly used by indie labels looking to offer subscription packages - though the D2F platform has a particularly big user-base of grass roots artists who may now consider the option.

And Bandcamp is looking to be as flexible as possible in how artists use the new service. Diamond continued: "We heard from another label who represents an artist who is really prolific, and for whom they don't even know what to do with the quantity of music the person is giving them. They were talking about $200 a year. We're excited to open it to everybody and see what happens: I suspect it'll be all over the map".

Of course direct-to-fan subscription and streaming set-ups won't really compete with the Spotifys of this world - serving, as they do, core rather than casual, let alone mainstream fanbases. But this set-up could possibly help overcome the issue of how to generate extra revenue from committed fans while making your music available for free elsewhere.

And, indeed, it could be that some kind of integration of generic and artist-specific subscription services (so, perhaps, artist-specific subscribers can even access their premium content via the Spotify platform) are where we are ultimately heading. Which again explains why the debate shouldn't be 'to stream or not to stream?', but rather 'what should the streaming future look like?"

  Approved: Oscar
Looking, some have said, like a young, kinder-faced Will Self (if Will Self made crinkly indie-pop songs in a room), Oscar Scheller started releasing the first offshoots of his one-man laptop clickings last year, making a big localised impact with his first single 'Never Told You'.

Framed by the world's most unsmiling video, shot in Oscar's room (in which all the magic happens, or doesn't), the track sifts that tone of drab, rainy-day longing that darkens all moods at one time or another into a plain, yearny and quaint unrequited pop song made from the ABC building blocks of any great unrequited love song. Only copy and pasted over the top of the looped beat from Eric B and Rakim's 1987 hit 'Paid In Full', or one quite like it.

Anyhow, watch/listen to 'Never Told You', and stream Oscar's latter '146b' EP - and within that, paint-streaked floor-gazer 'Sometimes' and the genius push-pull of 'Open Up' (and 'Heartache', for fans of Deep Blue Something's 'Breakfast At Tiffanys') - ahead of two shows he's playing, at London's Shacklewell Arms on Friday (with Girlpool) and Hackney place Oslo on 24 Nov (with Tops and Wampire).
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Nicki Minaj apologises over controversial Only video
Nicki Minaj has said a big contrite 'sorry' to all those who might've taken against the animated lyric clip to her new track 'Only', which many have criticised for apparently featuring Nazi-like imagery. Namely, shots of marching troops, banners carrying a 'YM' motif (for Minaj's label, Young Money), and of Minaj sitting on a throne, all shown in distinctive red, black and white colours. Hmmmm.

It's imagery that, Nicki has since said, wasn't intended to in any way mirror or glorify so-called Nazi iconography; and was instead inspired by American cartoon show 'Metalocalypse' (which looks like this) and also graphic novelist Frank Miller's red, black and white 'Sin City' series. So, the sum of an unhappy coincidence and a series of rather naïve creative choices, made by her team - it's vital to note - not Minaj herself. Hmm.

Speaking via Twitter yesterday both to cite the apparent origins of the clip's aesthetic, and above all to apologise (and also a bit to establish that her part in making the clip was minimal), Minaj said: "I didn't come up with the concept, but I'm very sorry and take full responsibility if it has offended anyone. I'd never condone Nazism in my art".

She added that: "Both the producer, & person in charge of overseeing the lyric video (one of my best friends & videographer: A Loucas), happen to be Jewish".

Now I can't find a single trace of an 'A Loucas' anywhere online, which makes him literally not available for comment. Or it was a typo. Anyway, since the 'Only' video is still live, I guess your choices are either to watch it or not watch it, and/or share your opinion on it or don't share, or just think it over, all whilst considering Minaj's apology, and many wider historical, political and social points. And the fact that the track has Chris Brown on it.

I'll just leave this here, then.

Ghostface Killah, Ja Ja Ja Festival, Kanye x Lorde and more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• R&B star Usher is hiding copies of his new single 'Clueless' in packs of Honey Nut Cheerios cereal, but only those sold at Walmart, and only in the United States Of America. This furthers an illustrious band-brand link-up that began with an Usher/Cheerios promo clip back in August. No idea.

• Ghostface Killah has made it so; that he'll release a 'revenge concept album' titled '36 Seasons' on 9 Dec, ie the week following the release of Wu-Tang Clan's new ensemble record 'A Better Tomorrow'. The fourteen track set finds Ghostface "re-imagined as a hip hop superhero for the 21st century - a Staten Island vigilante inspired by a quest for personal retribution and bent on saving his community from the grips of crooked authority and urban decay". And this is the first song to appear off it, 'Love Don't Live Here No More'.

• Kanye West has remixed Lorde's 'Yellow Flicker Beat', a track off of the Lorde-curated soundtrack to 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1', the movie. Listen to West's 'rework', titled 'Flicker', here.

• Christopher Owens has released a track that's separate from his latest LP 'The New Testament', and titled, simply 'America'. It was written while Owens was living in Slovenia, dreaming of moving "for the first time at the age of sixteen, while he was busking to raise money for his plane ticket". Stream it here.

• Frankenstein's boyband McBusted have released a new track titled 'What Happened To Your Band', telling the story of what happened to their band. Hear it now and fill the waiting time for 'McBusted', McB's first LP as a single combined 'mass', on 1 Dec.

• Limited free tickets for a special screening of Bjork's 'Biophilia' movie at this year's all-Nordic Ja Ja Ja Festival, which kicks off in London with a now-sold-out day of shows tomorrow, have been released. Book yours here, and check out the full line-up for the wider three-day event, here.

• Liverpool prog rockers Anathema will review "every single era" of their time as a band via 'Resonance', a big old show at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire on 16 Apr 2015. Speaking with considerable gravitas, lead guitarist Danny Cavanagh says: "From the present day musical landscapes, back through time to the dawn of the group's formation, we hope you will join us for this once in a lifetime celebration".

• Scandinavian pop alien Yung Lean and the various boys (Yung Sherman, Bladee et al) of his bolt-on Gravity Boys mob will play 'all the hits' at the Barbican in London on 25 Feb, this in the wake of his latest LP 'Unkown Memory', which came and went earlier this year.

Louis Tomlinson tells reporter who didn't mention his sexuality: "I am in fact straight"
One Direction's Louis Tomlinson traded angry tweets with Independent journalist Jenn Selby earlier this week, after the newspaper published a report on a t-shirt the singer wore recently.

On Sunday, the Independent published an article headlined, "Louis Tomlinson supports gay Apple CEO Tim Cook - days after Harry Styles' comments on gender and sexuality". In it, Selby noted that Tomlinson had worn a t-shirt bearing Apple's original, rainbow-coloured logo to the 'X-Factor' studio.

This, she went on, was clearly tacit support of Apple CEO Tim Cook, following the publication of an article in Businessweek where he declared that he was "proud to be gay". And that the t-shirt wearing came after Harry Styles made an offhand comment in an interview that everyone has decided was him coming out as bi-sexual only proved that fact further.

Tomlinson, taking issue with the article, tweeted to Selby: "The fact that you work for such a 'credible' paper and you would talk such rubbish is laughable. I am in fact straight. Google 'original apple logo' and you will see the one printed on my shirt that you reported on. Trying to look for a promotion?"

Now, no one ever mentioned Tomlinson's sexuality here, and no one ever got a promotion for guessing about what a t-shirt might mean, but apart from that... well, that was good use of grammar for a popstar, wasn't it? He then added in a tweet visible to all of his followers "fucking ridiculous I even have to tweet that shit!" Though if you look at his timeline now, without his reply tweets showing, it sort of seems like he's complaining about having to promote One Direction's new album.

Anyway, Jenn Selby responded thus: "Hi @Louis_Tomlinson thank you for your tweet. I'm sorry you found our article in any way insulting. At no point did we insinuate anything about your sexuality or mention your relationship, and nor would we. We were merely speculating as to whether you'd shown your support to a brave man facing some persecution for his decision to come out in public recently".

It has to be said that "speculation" did sort of come across as "fact" in print, but whatever. She added: "I'd like to remind my readers That being called 'gay' should never be insulting and that standing up for LGBT rights is an admirable thing to do. I'd also like to remind Directioners that calling a woman a 'bitch' is never OK - and neither are death threats. And to thank those Rainbow Directioners who have tweeted it for their support. It is much appreciated".

I would explain to you now what the 'Rainbow Directioners' are, but we all know 1D peaked eleven weeks ago and all my efforts have now been diverted to understanding factions and cliques within the 5 Seconds of Summer fanbase. But to conclude: Louis Tomlinson off of One Direction is definitely NOT gay, even if no one - not even the Independent - says he is.

 
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 andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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 chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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 aly@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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 sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk 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.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - 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 ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
© UnLimited Publishing a division of UnLimited Media

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

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