FRIDAY 21 AUGUST 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Following rumours to this effect earlier this week, the United Talent Agency has acquired The Agency Group, in a deal that makes UTA an immediate major player in the live music space, it being better known to date for representing actors rather than musicians. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the acquisition has been enabled by a new investment into UTA by Jeffrey... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: With half the CMU camp currently operating from north of Hadrian's Wall, I feel the club tip should also head to Edinburgh. And the Nightvision guys, feeling the need to stage a Fringe party, tonight team up with Ulster's Bicep boys, who pride themselves in showcasing electronica that spans forgotten disco, Chicago house and Detroit techno. Gerd Janson also makes his Edinburgh... [READ MORE]
 
BEEF OF THE WEEK: So, as you almost certainly noticed, there was a lot of chitter chatter, and also some binter banter, which I've just decided is now a thing, earlier this month about the declining number of nightclubs in the UK, mainly after a BBC report on the trend. Was it because of draconian new licensing rules, or that young people had less money to spend in these times of austerity, or just... [READ MORE]
   
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including the long-awaited launch of Baboom, the longer awaited deletion of MegaUpload, the further protracted buy-back of SFX, and unexpected departure of Tom Jones from ‘The Voice’. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES Talent agency UTA boosts music credentials by acquiring The Agency Group
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LEGAL Indonesia introduces web-blocking
Rightscorp drops appeal over whether or not DMCA subpoenas can be used for anti-piracy letter sending programme
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS ASCAP announces revamp of customer support functions
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Pono makes a promise
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RELEASES Eight new compositions to emerge in just one week via Bigo & Twigetti collaborative project
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ONE LINERS Universal Music, NME.com, PRS For Music Foundation, and some cover versions
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #266: Tinder v Music
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AIR MEDIA - PR MANAGER (LONDON)
Air Media is a creative, forward-thinking music and entertainment PR agency working with a variety of international stars, cutting edge bands, venues and festivals. We are looking for a music-obsessed individual with at least two years’ PR experience to join our small team in West London.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PARAMOUNT ARTISTS - BOOKING AGENT (BRIGHTON)
Paramount Artists is a booking agency based in central Brighton. We arrange worldwide tours for DJ’s and electronic musicians. We are looking to expand our team and currently have an opening for a booking agent.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MAMA & COMPANY - ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGERS, ARTS CLUB, LIVERPOOL; HOXTON SQUARE BAR & KITCHEN AND THE BORDERLINE, LONDON (TEMPORARY CONTRACT)
MAMA & Company are looking for a dynamic, experienced Assistant General Managers with a proven track record within a live music operation to work at Arts Club, Liverpool and at our London venues. This is a fantastic opportunity to work and grow with an exciting company that owns some of London’s most established venues.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MAMA & COMPANY - ASSISTANT BAR MANAGERS, LONDON VENUES
MAMA & Company is looking for Assistant Bar Managers for its London venues. You will have some experience of maximising bar, cloakroom and other revenues while minimising all relevant costs. You will have exceptional stock and staff management and must be driven to achieve the best results for the venue in support of the Bars Manager. Some experience of duty management within a live music venue would be beneficial.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MAMA & COMPANY - PROMOTIONAL MANAGER - ARTS CLUB (LIVERPOOL)
MAMA & Company are looking for a dynamic Promotional Manager ideally with some experience within a live music operation to work at Arts Club, Liverpool. This is a fantastic opportunity to work and grow with an exciting company that owns some of the UK’s most established venues.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
OUTPOST - GRADUATE TRAINEE OPPORTUNITY (PUBLISHING & DISTRIBUTION) (LONDON)
Fast growing music company is looking for a sharp graduate to join our team on our three month paid Graduate Trainee Scheme. Working in our publishing and distribution departments, you will also gain first-hand experience in our PR department, working across print, online, radio and TV. Training in general office management will also form part of the role.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MUSIC CONCIERGE - CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER (HERTFORD)
Music Concierge, the award-winning music consultancy for boutique hotels and luxury brands, is looking for a Client Services Manager to manage our expanding creative and account management teams and oversee the smooth day-to-day operations of the business, whilst liaising at senior level with world-class brands.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
THE ORCHARD - ACCOUNT CO-ORDINATOR, VIDEO SERVICES (LONDON)
As an Account Co-ordinator in the Video Services department, you are vital in helping to scale our fast growing Video Services business in Europe; executing on a value proposition that drives client satisfaction, engagement and revenue. You are a positive, smart, creative and analytical forward-thinker, and an Orchard evangelist in and outside of the company.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AIR ARTIST AGENCY - PERSONAL ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Air Artist Agency is an innovative live music agency. The agency represents the cream of today's jazz musicians, cutting edge innovators and mainstream established artists. With an extensive worldwide network of contacts, we book for emerging talents as well as established artists. We are looking for a personal assistant to one of our directors.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AUDIO NETWORK - PRODUCT AND A&R MANAGER (LONDON)
Working in our London office, we are looking for a music industry professional with passion and experience to join the Audio Network Music Team, primarily as cross discipline (B2B and B2C) Product Manager but also in support of all A&R functions.

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
 

Talent agency UTA boosts music credentials by acquiring The Agency Group
Following rumours to this effect earlier this week, the United Talent Agency has acquired The Agency Group, in a deal that makes UTA an immediate major player in the live music space, it being better known to date for representing actors rather than musicians.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the acquisition has been enabled by a new investment into UTA by Jeffrey Ubben of San Francisco-based ValueAct Capital, which has previously invested in a number of tech and media companies. Though Ubben is investing in a personal capacity here, joining the UTA board as a non-voting member.

UTA boss Jeremy Zimmer told the Reporter that: "[This is] not a typical institutional investment that comes with all kinds of restrictions and voting rights. This investment is really about bringing a smart, seasoned investor into the company to help us consider our future growth. It's a much more comfortable and organic relationship".

Under the deal, The Agency Group will merge with UTA's existing music division, which will then be headed up by TAG founder and President Neil Warnock, who basically takes over as the firm's Head Of Worldwide Music from Rob Prinz, who left UTA back in April. Though TAG's CEO Gavin O'Reilly won't joint the combined venture and will leave the company.

Zimmer called the deal "a quantum leap forward for us in the music business", adding that "there are so many different areas of expertise that go into being a top-shelf music agency, and we were able to find all of those in one place at The Agency Group, along with a tremendous reservoir of real veteran leadership".

Prior to being acquired itself, TAG had grown significantly over the years, and especially in recent years, by buying up other smaller music-based booking agencies, an acquisition spree that arguably helped make the privately-held firm an attractive purchase for UTA.

Indonesia introduces web-blocking
Indonesia has joined the web-block party, with The Pirate Bay amongst the sites internet service providers in the country have been ordered to stop users from accessing.

The government in Indonesia started to become more proactive in combating online piracy a few years back, amidst international pressure to do more to protect intellectual property rights. Web-blocking has been promised for a while now, and this week the country's Ministry Of Communications published a list of sites that ISPs were being ordered to block.

It includes some usual suspects like The Pirate Bay and IsoHunt.to, though many of the sites subject to web-blocks are better known locally. Indeed, the Ministry Of Communication said that its top priority in web-blocking on copyright grounds was to protect the country's movie industry, and sites enabling the infringement of domestic films were most likely to be subject to subsequent blockades down the line.

Moving forward, rights owners will able to file complaints against infringing sites to the Ministry Of Communications, where the Director General Of Intellectual Property, Ahmad M Ramli, will seemingly be personally empowered to issue web-block orders, possibly within 24 hours of receiving a complaint.

Web-blocking, of course, has been a common anti-piracy tactic in many countries, especially in Europe. Though in the main some sort of judicial process is involved in issuing web-blocking orders, to reassure critics that websites have a platform via which to defend their operations if they believe they are being unfairly accused of enabling copyright infringement. But it seems this element will not be required in Indonesia.

Ironically, given pressure from the US has in part persuaded countries like Indonesia to ramp up anti-piracy rules, in America web-blocking still isn't an option for rights owners and, as previously reported, plans by Hollywood to try and secure a blockade in court without an actual change in copyright law was called off this week, after a number of big tech companies hit out at the plan.

Of course web-blocking is no panacea, with consumers often able to circumvent the blockades via a simple Google search. Though rights owners insist they remain an important tool in hindering piracy, and educating consumers as to what are legit and illegitimate sources of music and movie content online.

--------------------------------------------------

Rightscorp drops appeal over whether or not DMCA subpoenas can be used for anti-piracy letter sending programme
While the US doesn't have web-blocking as an anti-piracy deterrent, in recent years there has been a prolific letter sending programme by rights owners to suspected file-sharers, in which web users receive letters telling them they are suspected of infringing copyrights online and must stop or face litigation. The letters also sometimes demand a nominal fee be paid to compensate rights owners for past infringement, which is where the letter-sending campaign has, at times, been a little controversial.

With most of the big ISPs in the US, those letters have been sent via the Copyright Alert System, a voluntary programme set up by the content industries and the big cable companies (many of which are, themselves, in the content business).

But not all net firms are part of that programme, and with those other ISPs the music and movie industries have had to find alternative ways to get their letters out, because although they can link infringing activity to a specific IP address, only the internet provider knows the identity of the person connecting to the net at that location.

Some rights owners – and especially anti-piracy agency Rightscorp – have tried getting subpoenas under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to force those other usually smaller ISPs to hand over the contact information of suspected file-sharers, and some net firms have complied with those court orders.

But, as previously reported, one net firm – Cbeyond, owned by Birch Communications – argued that the subpoenas being used by Rightscorp had no actual power in this kind of file-sharing case, and therefore it wasn't obliged to hand over any contact information for its file-sharing customers.

And earlier this year a US court agreed with Birch's viewpoint, while in May another court rejected a number of arguments Rightscorp made against that earlier ruling. Unsurprisingly, given it had used this tactic against a number of ISPs by this point, Rightscorp then set about appealing the May judgement.

But, according to Torrentfreak, the anti-piracy firm has now dropped that appeal, which suggests it has accepted the limitations of the DMCA subpoenas that previously proved so useful to them and their clients.

A spokesman for Birch told Torrentfreak: "The DMCA did not provide any basis to require an internet service provider in Birch's position to open its files to private litigants. Rightscorp dropped its appeal of the May 2015 decision and the court issued an entry of dismissal in the case".

ASCAP announces revamp of customer support functions
US performing rights organisation ASCAP has announced the "centralisation of all global customer service support functions into a single global unit" which, you might wonder, means what exactly? Well, I can help you there. This new unit will "deliver a best-in-class customer service experience that will result in rapid resolution of customer inquiries". Oh, of course.

Says ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews: "ASCAP's goal is to establish a new standard for exceptional customer service support for songwriters, composers, music publishers and performing rights societies globally".

She went on: "The music rights business is more complex than ever and, as a result, we are working to proactively transform our operations and organisational structure in order to simplify the experience of working with ASCAP. We want key ASCAP customers – writers, publishers, global PRO partners and licensees – to have the most efficient and responsive customer service team available in order to enhance the customer experience".

All collecting societies are under increased pressure, of course, to improve efficiency and transparency in the way they collect and distribute royalties from those services and operations licensed through the collective licensing system, not least as some publishers and rights management firms talk up the efficiency and transparency of their own systems. And the latest developments at ASCAP are presumably part of those efforts to ramp up customer service for rights owners and licensees alike.

Pono makes a promise
Neil Young's super high quality download operation PonoMusic has announced a new pledge, to resupply music to its users whenever it becomes available in an even more super high quality format. It's called the PonoPromise.

Says the company behind the proprietary Pono digital music player and its accompanying download store: "With interest in high-resolution music growing, an increasing amount of the music is being released and then reissued by the record labels at higher resolutions. That creates a dilemma for consumers. Should they buy the best album resolution available now and worry they might have to re-purchase if it is released at a higher resolution later?"

But dilemma yourself no more. "The PonoPromise, introduced by Neil Young, solves this problem. Customers can buy PonoMusic knowing they will never have to purchase the same music again". Though, do note, "to be eligible, a customer needs to have made the original album purchase from PonoMusic.com".

So there you go.

CMU Editor Andy Malt is away at the moment, so can I just take this opportunity to say what a brilliant idea Pono is, how everyone can definitely tell the difference between 320kps MP3s and high quality WAV files, how a high def download store is definitely what the music industry needs in 2015 whatever you tedious streamers say, and that a triangular digital music player is just genius. All of which is dog shit of course, but it'll annoy Andy if we all go around saying that. So, join with me one and all: "PONO IS FUCKING AMAZING".

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Musika presents Feel My Bicep at La Belle Angele
With half the CMU camp currently operating from north of Hadrian's Wall, I feel the club tip should also head to Edinburgh. And the Nightvision guys, feeling the need to stage a Fringe party, tonight team up with Ulster's Bicep boys, who pride themselves in showcasing electronica that spans forgotten disco, Chicago house and Detroit techno. Gerd Janson also makes his Edinburgh debut. He recently produced a decent compo from which I suspect he'll sneak a few tracks this evening. Should be a good one.

Fri 21 August, La Belle Angele, 212 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1NB, 11pm - 5am, £12-15.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Eight new compositions to emerge in just one week via Bigo & Twigetti collaborative project
Next week the Bigo & Twigetti label will be bringing together a stack of artists and collaborators to write, arrange, perform, record, edit and master an album from scratch in just seven days. Though it will be a special form of collaboration, in that each artist gets their own moment to move each track forward, before passing it on to the next musician.

We actually mentioned this when approving of Bigo & Twigetti's Jim Perkins last month, and set to join him on the project next week are Antonymes, Beatrice Chaume, Chris Perren (Nonsemble), Leah Kardos, Lucy Claire, Richard Talbot (Marconi Union) and Tiny Leaves.

Perkins told CMU: "The original idea for this came from an EP I did about the notion of emergence in 2012. I met with this guy called David Yates, who was a doctor of philosophy at Kings specialising in emergence. I wanted to run some compositional ideas by him to see if, from what I'd read, I'd understood anything at all about what emergence means".

He goes on: "So I explained that I would create some music, pass it to the animator Em Cooper, who would then respond with animation and send that back to me, and I would then change the music and pass it back to her to take the animation further, and we'd repeat this process several times. Once David had concurred that that was, indeed, a valid example of the processes used to produce emergent phenomena, I decided that was the process I would use for that EP".

"And this idea of going back and forth a lot of times is one I now use a fair bit in collaborations with visual artists - as opposed to sending over a finished piece of music and asking them to make a video - it is time consuming, but the piece ends up more effectively integrated and connected, and in my experience the process produces a better piece of art than just making a video to a fixed piece of music".

Which brings us to next week's project. "I thought, what about creating an album in this way, but rather than just having two artists going back and forth, I thought it might be more interesting if the creators only got one chance each to add their input to the creative process. Obviously that would require many more composers and producers to take part. I also thought it would be more interesting to make this project very time limited, so that the creation had to be, to some extent, reactive/responsive/improvised, forcing composers to make quicker decisions and hopefully adding an energy and excitement to the music".

And so that is exactly what will be happening next week. "We've tried to pick artists whose natural style fits with the aesthetic of the label" Perkins adds, "as we need to share it with an audience that will be interested in something like this. We did a test run in March with just three artists over 48 hours and the results were excellent. This time it's on a larger scale with eight artists and eight tracks in a week".

You can pre-order the final work – out on 31 Aug – on Bandcamp already. Plus there will be clips and videos from the project going online next week via the label and participating artists' social media. Keep watching, this one should be very interesting.

Universal Music, NME.com, PRS For Music Foundation, and some cover versions

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Universal Music has announced it will be getting lots of "commercial, strategic, operational and analytical insight" from it's new COO for Asia, Franck Villet, who previously held similar roles in the gaming industry. Operational insight is my personal favourite. Though I'll accept analytical if needs must.

• NME.com Editor Greg Cochrane is leaving the buzzy new free music mag after two and half years to become Digital Director of rival title Loud And Quiet. He also plans to do more freelance stuff. And why the devil not, say I. It's thought all NME staffers will now work across the online and print channels as the latter is goes all freebie.

• The PRS For Music Foundation has promoted current staffers Joe Frankland and Flora Ward, to Senior Grants & Programmes Manager and Grants Co-ordinator respectively. Meanwhile Naomi Belshaw moves from PRS itself over to the Foundation to be Grants & Programme Manager, and Leyla Atamturk joins the charity as Administrator. Foundation boss Vanessa Reed is both "delighted" and "excited". And who wouldn't be? Me, that's who. No, not really. I'm super-delighted and uber-excited. All the fucking time.

• As part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, Jazz FM will air an interview it did with the late great Nina Simone back in 1998, ahead of what ended up being her last but one London performance. The archive recording will air on the up coming Bank Holiday Monday.

• Talking of Nina Simone, Lana Del Ray covers one of her tracks, 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood', on her upcoming new album 'Honeymoon', which will be released on 18 Sep and is now available for pre-order. It has other tracks too. Want to know the name of one of them? ''Burnt Norton' (Interlude)'. You're welcome.

• Talking of cover versions, you all presumably know Ryan Adams is covering Taylor Swift's '1989' album in its entirety, right? He's been posting snippets of said covers. Swift said she was excited about that project from the off, and has now told Entertainment Weekly: "Ryan Adams is one of the artists who shaped my songwriting. My favourite part of his style of creating music is his ability to bleed aching vulnerability into it, and that's what he's done with his cover project of my album '1989'".

CMU Beef Of The Week #266: Tinder v Music
So, as you almost certainly noticed, there was a lot of chitter chatter, and also some binter banter, which I've just decided is now a thing, earlier this month about the declining number of nightclubs in the UK, mainly after a BBC report on the trend. Was it because of draconian new licensing rules, or that young people had less money to spend in these times of austerity, or just because the kids don't like clubbing? I like to thing they're all at home crocheting. While high on smack.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a promoter in Melbourne also pondered on Facebook this week as to why 2015 is proving to be a challenging year for grass roots clubs and music venues, throwing another theory into the mix as to why that might be the case.

Writing on his venue's Facebook page, James Young documented a conversation he had had with another local promoter who had "posed a theory I had never heard before: 'Tinder has destroyed the live music and pub scene. Look at Grindr and the gay scene. Grindr came two years before Tinder. Commercial Road Prahran used to be a thriving late night gay hot spot. Now, it's as dead as a doornail. It's over. Now we are seeing the same thing with Tinder'".

Elaborating on this other guy's theory, the Facebook post goes on: "This is how young people 'pick up' these days. I see them in the office. They're on it all the time. They're not going out to clubs and pubs to pick up anymore. They're just picking up their phones. Tinder is killing off clubs and pubs all over Melbourne and Australia".

So, to conclude, when smug live music people used to brag to a struggling record industry that "ha, you can't replicate the clubbing or gig experience online, so we're safe", they were ignoring that fact that, for at least some punters, the clubbing and gig experience was mainly about finding someone to fuck, and that, ladies and gentleman, can definitely be replicated online. And through Grindr and Tinder it has been.

And even if we accept that Tinder is about dating rather than just fucking, it still has a negative impact on music venues - this theory goes on - because people who meet through a dating app can work out what, if anything, they have with common with their possible date beforehand. Which means they are more confident meeting said date for dinner, rather than deliberately picking a club venue where, if it turns out the date is the most boring dullard in the world, you don't have to talk to them anyway because, well, you know, loud music.

Young's mate's theorising goes on that, when the kids hook up through Tinder and go on a first date "they try to impress them with some chic dining experience, rather than a rowdy live music experience. I'm telling you, Tinder has a lot to answer for. It's bleak out their for club owners. These are dark and challenging times. We need to get young people off their phones and back into our bars to actually socialise or we're all going to go out of business".

In a later Facebook post, Young also notes that perhaps Netflix is part of the problem here. People hook up on Tinder, and then have a cheap night in bingeing on 'Breaking Bad' or suchlike, where the drink is much cheaper, and the potential to fuck much closer to hand. Good times. They're clever little bastards these young'uns.

But surely the entire customer base for live music and the clubbing economy wasn't just using these venues as a platform for hooking up?

No, Young concedes in the Sydney Morning Herald. But, "bars are fragile businesses and anything that affects even three or five percent of business on already thin margins can be hard to recover from. And what we are talking about is 10 per cent loss of business and, for some businesses, that's their profit margin".

So there you go. Of course, all of this is just anecdotal, and ultimately the theory of one unnamed Melbourne booker. What does he know? But it's definitely got people chatting. If rock n roll is to survive, and those aforementioned draconian licensing laws are cracking down on the drugs, then perhaps the music industry has to reclaim the sex. Sex, drugs and rock n roll, see. That's what I was attempting there. And if you don't like it, well, just swipe left.

 
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 | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@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 3CM UnLimited 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.

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