FRIDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: So, EDM powerhouse SFX has a little more cash to play with. The embattled festival promoter and Beatport owner yesterday announced it had secured $60 million in new financing and that it had refinanced its $30 million revolving credit facilities. So, quick, let's have a big EDM party before it's all spent. There has been much speculation about SFX's financial position... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Tru Thoughts artist Nostalgia 77, aka Ben Lamdin, heads to the East Side (of London) for a show with full live band. Lamdin's influences include free and spiritual jazz with a smattering of 60s funk and soul. Check his rather lush 'Sleepwalker' track here. He's been around producing since 2002 but, despite a prolific output, he's still flying a little under the radar to most... [READ MORE]
 
BEEF OF THE WEEK: It's amazing how fast things can move in this modern world, isn't it? One day you're saying how much you'd like to have a chat with the Russian president and then, within a matter of days, you've been on the phone to the Russian president; been told by the Kremlin that you weren't actually on the phone to the Russian president; been told by two Russian... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU’s Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including what the long-running dancing baby case tells us about takedowns and fair use, Aretha Franklin’s film woes, what Nielsen’s latest stats tell us about the streaming music sector, and Elton John not chatting to the Russian president. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES SFX secures $90 million in new financing
JUMP | ONLINE
LEGAL Record industry's next big piracy challenge could be a P2P-fed streaming service
JUMP | ONLINE
LABELS & PUBLISHERS City Slang opens US office, as label celebrates 25th anniversary
JUMP | ONLINE
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Deezer to launch UK TV ad campaign tonight
Spotify adds stats to artist profiles
Bandcamp rolls out subscription service option for all
It's battled on against all the odds, but Zune's days are numbered
JUMP | ONLINE
MEDIA Advertisers all line up for first edition of free NME
JUMP | ONLINE
EDUCATION & EVENTS Finding The Future line-up confirmed
JUMP | ONLINE
RELEASES Ed Sheeran to screen concert film in cinemas worldwide
JUMP | ONLINE
AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #270: Russia v Pranks
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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.
 
 
AEG - PROGRAMMING ADMINISTRATOR (LONDON)
AEG Europe seeks a Programming Administrator to provide business support information to the Arena Programming Director, Programming Manager and members of the Senior Leadership Team, paying particular attention to the analysis of key sales information, the reporting of ticket figures and the production of venue hire contracts.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
LISTEN UP - PRESS OFFICER (LONDON)
We are hiring an experienced Press Officer to join the press team at Listen Up. The candidate will need 2-4 years' experience in a similar role with a thorough knowledge of artist and label campaigns. We are looking for an enthusiastic and articulate individual with strong writing and organisational skills.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
THE O2 - EVENT SALES CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
The O2 is on the lookout for a fantastic new Event Sales Co-ordinator selling a diverse range of event spaces under The O2 tent; The O2 arena, Building Six (corporate hire), American Express Invites Lounge, Green Room, The Piazza and The Quadrant.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
DOMINO - INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS APPRENTICE (LONDON)
Domino Recording Co is seeking an International Promotions Apprentice to join the International Department based in the London office. This is an interesting and varied role that will offer a good introduction to the specific skills needed to work in promotions and international.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
DOMINO - INTERNATIONAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Domino Recording Co is seeking an International Marketing Manager to join the International Department based in the London office. A very exciting opportunity for a dynamic marketing manager to join the Domino International team. The ideal candidate will have at least two years’ experience in music marketing, be familiar with Domino's output, aware of its history and will complement the company culture.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
IMPRESSIVE PR - SENIOR MUSIC PUBLICIST (LONDON)
We need an experienced Senior Music Publicist who knows the job, has excellent music media contacts and potential to bring in their own clients. The role is all about personality - organised, friendly, positive, "can do" attitude, great journalist contacts and being able to juggle artists promo schedules, multiple releases and generate high volumes of coverage.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
MERLIN - HEAD OF ROYALTIES (LONDON)
Merlin, the global rights licensing agency for the independent sector, is seeking an experienced professional to head its royalties division. Based in the company’s central London office, the successful candidate will demonstrate a deep knowledge and understanding of both practical and technical aspects of processing digital royalties, along with proven experience in a senior role within this sphere.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
DOMINO - WAREHOUSE MANAGER (LONDON)
We are looking for a bright, energetic warehouse manager with plenty of enthusiasm to supervise our warehouse operation. The role could suit someone with existing warehouse experience, but also someone with a music retail background.

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
 

SFX secures $90 million in new financing
So, EDM powerhouse SFX has a little more cash to play with. The embattled festival promoter and Beatport owner yesterday announced it had secured $60 million in new financing and that it had refinanced its $30 million revolving credit facilities. So, quick, let's have a big EDM party before it's all spent.

There has been much speculation about SFX's financial position of late, of course, amid the company's slumping share price and all the confusion around founder Robert FX Sillerman's attempts to take the business back into private ownership. As much previously reported, Sillerman's initial attempt to buy all the SFX shares he doesn't currently own was abandoned after he failed to secure financial backing for the plan, not least because the share price slump made his original rather generous offer unrealistic.

The new $90 million comes from both new and existing investors, SFX said yesterday, and ensures funding "for new initiatives and operating and working capital needs".

Sillerman himself added: "This round of financing from these sophisticated investors reflects a level of confidence and provides growth capital to support many of the exciting new initiatives SFX is undertaking".

SFX's board is still accepting offers to buy the company or any "assets not central to its core business", with 2 Oct still the deadline set for such proposals. Sillerman is also expected to come up with a new buy-back plan for that date too. Confirming that various options for his company's future were still being considered, the SFX chief added that the new financing "solidifies SFX for the short and long term, so we can focus on producing great festivals and events and operating globally recognised digital properties".

Meanwhile SFX's CFO Richard Rosenstein added: "With the success of many of our festivals in the current quarter and this added financial flexibility, SFX is better positioned to continue growing our powerful brands and support our extraordinary team members who are focused on executing on our strategic plans. This also eliminates all operating distractions as we explore proposals from interested strategic partners".

So, there we go. SFX's share price did rise after the new financing deal was announced, though stills sits at 62 cents per share, compared to $3.70 at the start of the year.

Record industry's next big piracy challenge could be a P2P-fed streaming service
So, expect much chatter in the coming weeks about Aurous, which has already been dubbed as both the "new Grooveshark" and the "Popcorn Time of music", and is perhaps most interesting in that it's raising money on Indiegogo to fund the build of Android and iOS app versions of the service.

The new music platform is set to go live on Mac, Windows and Linux - albeit in alpha - from next month. It's basically a streaming service that pulls content off P2P networks, making the file-sharing experience more akin to streaming than downloading. It's not the first service to do this - the Grooveshark clone that popped up after proper Grooveshark was forced offline by the record industry was thought to work in a similar way - though it looks like Aurous will very closely mimic the Spotify experience, except with only banner ads, so no audio commercials interrupting the music.

The developer behind the service seems keen to call it a sophisticated "search engine", presumably in a bid to avoid liability for copyright infringement. Some have already speculated that because Aurous, unlike Grooveshark, won't actually host any music, perhaps it won't have the same copyright woes. But it will. Given the "but we don't host the music" line has been unsuccessfully used in countless file-sharing copyright cases.

And while - if it provides a takedown system for rights owners - Aurous might be able to cry "safe harbours!", in reality the service looks more like an evolution of the LimeWire file-sharing client and Pirate Bay search engine, both of which most courts agree are liable for contributory or authorising copyright infringement.

Which poses an interesting question: Given rights owners have, in the past, gone after the financial backers of copyright infringing services, what, if any, might be the liabilities of people who throw in a few pounds for the app build on Indiegogo?

City Slang opens US office, as label celebrates 25th anniversary
German record label City Slang has announced the opening of a North American office as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. As well as the new base in Bloomington, Indiana, the company also has offices in Berlin, Paris and London, the latter of which opened two years ago.

The new US base will be overseen by Secretly Group's former General Manager Kevin Dune, who says: "I've long admired the art-first, truly artist-friendly approach propagated from City Slang in Berlin. I couldn't be more pleased to be presented with the opportunity and responsibility of cultivating the same path for our artists in the Americas".

Meanwhile City Slang founder Christof Ellinghaus adds: "I can't believe we didn't do this much earlier. If only Kevin had been available to us ten years ago, we would be sitting on a mountain of Grammys and returns by now".

Upcoming releases from the label include albums from Naytronix, Cristobal And The Sea, Anna Von Hausswolff, Tindersticks and Junior Boys.

Deezer to launch UK TV ad campaign tonight
As Apple Music ramps up its marketing activity as people actually have to start paying for the on-demand streaming service, Deezer is also set to launch a UK TV ad campaign, thanks to that previously reported deal it did with Channel 4 earlier this year, which gives the streaming service screen time in exchange for equity or revenue.

The campaign will list things that rhyme with Deezer, starting with a ‘geezer’. The first of four ads will screen during the first break in tonight’s ‘Gogglebox’ and apparently mimics 1970s public information films. The ads are also supposed to be very British, hence the geezer. What could be more British than that? Well, a freezer, a crowd pleaser and a lemon squeezer, which are all things that will appear alongside him.

“[The adverts] are quite stylised but with a character who is a recognisable English character, a geezer”, says Deezer’s MD for the UK and Ireland, Christian Harris. “We’ve deliberately created a campaign specific to the UK market. Deezer hasn’t done TV advertising in the UK, and it is also a first in that no major music streaming service has done a mass-market UK TV campaign”.

So, prepare yourself for that. Presumably Deezer will eventually show adverts on more TV channels than even exist in the world.

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Spotify adds stats to artist profiles
Spotify has announced an update to the currently fairly rubbish biography pages that appear on the service's artist profiles. The updated pages will now feature all kinds of stats about how an artist is being listened to on Spotify itself.

As well as being able to read biographies and look at pictures, you'll now also see information on monthly listeners, the artist's global rank that month, which playlists people are discovering the artist in, and which cities are most into the artist's music.

So those are all things that might be mildly interesting for a few seconds. I'm sure everyone in the music industry will be pleased to see this information being added, rather than full credits for the people involved in the record beyond the featured artist. Then again, perhaps the industry itself needs to get better at providing that data,

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Bandcamp rolls out subscription service option for all
Direct-to-fan platform Bandcamp has rolled out its subscription service option to all users, it turns out.

First revealed last November and in beta since then, this new set-up allows artists selling tracks and such-like direct to their fans via the Bandcamp platform to offer a subscription option, so people pay a set sum of money each year or each month for access to all new tracks, and/or back catalogue, and/or other exclusives, whatever the DIY artist chooses and/or thinks his or her fans would like.

The approach has drawn some parallels with the buzzy-for-a-while Patreon platform, where fans pledge to make a payment each time an artist creates (or they can make a monthly contribution there too). Though really the Bandcamp subscriptions option is a new way of delivering the good old fashioned fan club, something that has seemed ripe for better exploitation ever since digital direct-to-fan channels first emerged.

Announcing that it was now rolling out the subscription option for all, Bandcamp also posted this video explaining how it works.

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It's battled on against all the odds, but Zune's days are numbered
You should probably get a tissue before you read what I have to say next. There will be tears. I can barely see what I'm typing, so filled with tears are my eyes. Just the thought of telling you this is setting me off again. Oh, maybe I shouldn't put you through it. Maybe you can't handle it. No, I'm sure you'll be strong. Maybe we can set up a support group. But that's not something for now. Let's just get this out in the open...

Microsoft is shutting down Zune.

What do you mean you thought it had already been shut down? You heartless bastards. Well, yes, I suppose there was that thing back in 2012 when it looked like it was being replaced by Xbox Music. But no, Zune actually outlived that. Who would have thought it?

In a statement, Microsoft said: "As of 15 Nov 2015, Zune services will be retired. You will no longer be able to stream or download content to your device from the Zune music service. However, Zune devices will still function as music players and any MP3 content that you own on the Zune device will remain there. You'll also be able to transfer music to and from your Zune player".

Oh, good news about all our Zune players still working. That'll be a relief.

And lest you had forgotten what an utterly awful idea DRM on downloads was, the company added: "Content that was purchased with DRM may not play if the license can't be renewed".

Meanwhile, if you have a Zune Music Pass subscription it will be converted to a Groove Music Pass. Hello? Are any of these words making sense?

Advertisers all line up for first edition of free NME
So, the all-new New Musical Express is out now everybody, available to pick up for free from your favourite HMV, Topman, railway station, university or Academy music venue.

And what's inside? Well, let me tell you. Hunter! L'Oréal! P&G! eBay! Google Play! Universal Pictures! JVC Headphones! Renault! BMW Mini! You did want a list of the advertisers, right? There are a lot to choose from because, says NME publisher Time Inc UK, the first free edition of the music weekly has five times more ads than the corresponding issue last year, generating the most ad revenue for a single edition of the magazine in fifteen years. So, good news for ad fans.

And good news for Time Inc too, given that taking its music title free and ramping up its circulation to 300,000 was all about reinvigorating a brand that had long been flagging in print and boosting ad revenues enough to overcome the loss of newsstand revenues. Enhancing the wider NME brand is also part of the plan, with plenty of editorial in the freebie print edition pointing people to the publication's online outlets.

Rihanna is the first cover star, demonstrating NME's "access to the biggest artists in the world" says Time. It's an interesting choice, and while NME - despite its indie rock core remit - has led with popstars before, it maybe that more mainstream acts now grace the title's cover more often, in a bid to boost pick up and ensure maximum exposure for the advertisers featured inside.

Given that core NME readers can be hard to please at the best of times, that presents editorial challenges - ie can you pull in a wider readership while retaining your new music credentials (interestingly its a challenge Xfm is also about to embark on with its rebrand as Radio X) - though it's not necessarily an impossible task.

And while a music industry relatively excited about this big relaunch of a classic music media brand might wish for the newer talent it is pushing to be more upfront in the magazine, if a much wider audience is flicking through the title as a result of the cover stars, the new acts championed further in benefit too.

So, interesting times ahead. Can free NME achieve 300,000 pick up, maintain the current level of ad interest, and enhance its online audience by being free in print? Time will tell.

Finding The Future line-up confirmed
The line-up has been announced for this year's edition of the Finding The Future programme, staged by City Showcase for future music and music business talent at the Apple Store, this time the one in Covent Garden.

Taking place from 18-20 Nov, among the panels and interviews on offer will be CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke chatting to Henry Semmence from Absolute Label Services about his career in music, from retail to labels to label services, and the innovative and game-changing businesses he founded along the way.

And if you think it's cheeky of me to [a] lead with my interview and [b] refer to myself in the third person, well, tough, this is going to be a really interesting session, so I'm putting it first and there's nothing you can do about it.

Though there are plenty more great people speaking over the three days, including legendary Mute founder Daniel Miller, leading artist manager Neil Simpson, Insanity Group's Josh Brandon, Sony/ATV's Janice Brook, Ministry Of Sound's Ben Bodie, and Morna Cook and Caryn Tomlinson from Universal Music.

Full info at www.findingthefuture.co.uk

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Nostalgia 77 at Rich Mix
Tru Thoughts artist Nostalgia 77, aka Ben Lamdin, heads to the East Side (of London) for a show with full live band.

Lamdin's influences include free and spiritual jazz with a smattering of 60s funk and soul. Check his rather lush 'Sleepwalker' track here. He's been around producing since 2002 but, despite a prolific output, he's still flying a little under the radar to most.

He's worked with Alice Russell, Bonobo, Keith and Julie Tippett, Lizzy Parks and Prince Fatty, and still finds time to nurture talent on his own Impossible Ark label.

This is definitely a live show worth checking out.

Friday 18 Sep, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green, London, E1 6LA, 7pm-11pm, £14.50. More info here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Ed Sheeran to screen concert film in cinemas worldwide
Not content with having nearly 300,000 people see him play over three nights at Wembley Stadium earlier this year, Edward 'Ed' Sheeran is now planning to screen a live film cut together from those shows. Titled 'Jumpers For Goalposts', the film will be shown in cinemas around the world on 22 Oct.

A special live event surrounding the premiere of the movie will be held in London's Leicester Square, which will also be beamed to cinemas. It'll feature red carpet interviews and a performance form Sheeran, before you watch another performance from Sheeran. Some might call that overkill.

Anyway, tickets go on sale next Thursday from www.edsheeranmovie.com, where information on participating cinemas will be released the same day.

Here's a trailer.

CMU Beef Of The Week #270: Russia v Pranks
It's amazing how fast things can move in this modern world, isn't it? One day you're saying how much you'd like to have a chat with the Russian president and then, within a matter of days, you've been on the phone to the Russian president; been told by the Kremlin that you weren't actually on the phone to the Russian president; been told by two Russian TV personalities that you were, in fact, on the phone to a fake Russian president; and had a recording of your conversation with the fake Russian president broadcast around the world. I'm sure it's happened to all of us once or twice. This week it happened to Elton John.

Yeah, that's right, Elton John got pranked. What a hoot! The singer revealed in an interview with the BBC that he wanted to discuss how Russia could improve its gay rights record by talking to the guy at the top - that Vladimir Putin bod - and then, when a call promptly came through from someone claiming to be the president himself, the musician lapped it up.

So much so, in fact, he not only agreed to a face-to-face meeting with the fake Putin, he went on Instagram to tell everyone about the progress he, at that point, thought he had made. But then, after the president's spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that Putin had made any such call, the prank was revealed. Russian TV hosts Vladimir Krasnov and Aleksey Stolyarov - better known as Vovan and Lexus - came forward to announce that it had been them on the phone after all. Krasnov had pretended to be Putin, speaking only in Russian, while Stolyarov played the role of Peskov, acting as translator.

Now, we all know how prank calls work. You start off with something vaguely plausible and then, once you've got the person at the other end of the line convinced, you make the conversation increasingly bizarre, in the hope that the pranked caller will go from bemused to frustrated to angry - sweary angry if you get it right - before you unleash the big reveal. And then all involved get to have a nice big laugh about it.

Except that, having fooled John into taking the call, Vovan and Lexus's pranking was primarily admin-based. Stolyarov tells John that Putin would be happy to meet with him, that November would work for the president, and that it could coincide with a Pride event in Moscow. That sounds like a good plan, says John, and both sides put it in their diaries.

I know senses of humour can differ between countries and cultures, but it's quite hard to see where the actual joke kicked in here. Perhaps we're meant to laugh at the idea that someone as important as Putin would be phoning up a mere popstar. But then, given his campaigning and charity work, and the fact politicians love schmoozing with popstars, it's not entirely arrogant of John to believe Putin might give him a bell.

Oh but that muffled Russian voice was so clearly not Putin, said Stolyarov in an interview with Russia Today, seeming to suggest that that is why the prank call was so funny. Though the pranker himself concedes, "It is clear that Elton John has never talked to Vladimir Putin and that is why it was hard for him to establish who was really calling". Well, erm, yes.

For his part, the man Stolyarov pretended to be, Peskov, was not especially impressed at being mimicked in the prank call. He told reporters: "I would recommend [Vovan and Lexus] offer to apologise to Elton John. He is a singer who's respected and loved by the Russian audience. It was not good to hoax him like that".

But what does John make of all this, now the prank has been revealed? Well, he said on Instagram yesterday: "Pranks are funny. Homophobia, however is never funny. I love Russia and my offer to talk to President Putin about LGBT rights still stands. I will always stand up for those that are being degraded and discriminated against".

And then he added: "If this unfortunate incident has helped push this vital issue back into the spotlight, then I am happy to be pranked on this occasion".

How's that for taking it on the chin? And, it would seem, the issue has indeed been pushed back into the spotlight, because twice during this whole farce - first when denying the call, and then again after the prank was revealed - Peskov has said: "The Russian president is ready to meet John and clarify all questions he has", adding that they'd have offered such a meeting earlier if they'd known the singer wanted a chat. Even though this isn't the first time John has proposed such a meeting, suggesting you need to be pranked to truly get onto the Russian presidency's radar.

So, a positive outcome. Except, Vovan and Lexus, in the name of cultural diplomacy, you really need to raise your game in the pranking domain. And to help, we've got together Great Britain's top three pranksters to show you how it's done.

1. Scott Mills annoys a takeaway owner
The prank: Scott Mills repeatedly calls up a Scottish takeaway pizza place and says things that annoy the guy who works there.
Why it is funny: Because the way they bleep the name of the takeaway makes it sound like it's called Pizza Cunts.

2. Steve Penk shouts at people for not having a TV licence
The prank: Steve Penk calls people up and pretends to be from the TV licensing agency demanding to know why they don't have a licence.
Why it is funny: Well, hmmm... because people are poor?

3. Noel Edmonds promotes a haggis shoot
The prank: An Australian man who has recently moved to Scotland is invited to a "haggis shoot".
Why it is funny: Erm, mainly because Australians are ignorant of Scottish cuisine.

Now I come to think of it Vovan and Lexus, let's just all agree prank phone calls are rarely funny and assume that this was all just a ruse to help Elton get a meeting with your old prez.

 
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.

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
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