WEDNESDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: France's Minister Of Culture And Communication Fleur Pellerin yesterday formally announced an Agreement For A Fair Development Of Online Music, a snappily titled government-led initiative that puts pressure on record companies to be more transparent with artists over their digital deals, and to play fair in sharing any kickbacks like advances and equity stakes. The French... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Boots is set to release his debut album 'Aquaria' on 13 Nov. I guarantee you've heard his work before though: in recent times he's played guitar for Run The Jewels, produced FKA Twigs, and was a songwriter and producer on a sizeable chunk of Beyonce's last album. Listening to 'Aquaria', you can see how he's adapted his style to suit all of those different artists. On the album... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including the ruling that 'Happy Birthday' is out of copyright in the US, record sales at gigs being included in album chart data, Deezer beating Spotify to become the first European streaming service to announce an IPO, and the fate of Father John Misty's covers of Ryan Adams' covers of Taylor Swift... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES French government launches code promoting "clarity and fairness" in digital music
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LEGAL Fake Sheikh to stand trial after collapse of Tulisa drugs case
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DEALS Sony Music signs global deal with in-flight entertainment firm
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Harry Fox Agency downsizes after SESAC acquisition
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LIVE BUSINESS Randy Phillips steps down as Global Entertainment CEO
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Amazon signs up Universal to Prime
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MEDIA Zane Lowe "not sure" if Apple Music needs Beats 1
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RELEASES Guy Garvey to release solo album
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GIGS & FESTIVALS World Sight Day show to take place in London
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ONE LINERS Nonesuch Records, Una Tickets, Disclosure, Deerhunter, more
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AND FINALLY... British Eurovision song choice to go back to public vote
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KUDOS RECORDS - SALES MANAGER (LONDON)
Kudos Records is an independent music distribution company (est 1992). We provide physical and digital distribution services to a hand-picked selection of quality, independent record labels. We are seeking a diligent, analytical, scrupulously organised individual to drive our physical and digital sales efforts.

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KUDOS RECORDS - SALES AND MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Kudos Records is an independent music distribution company (est 1992). We provide physical and digital distribution services to a hand-picked selection of quality, independent record labels. We are seeking a Sales and Marketing Assistant. This is an entry level position, ideal for a new graduate.

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BOOMTOWN FAIR - PR AND MARKETING ASSISTANT (BRISTOL)
BoomTown Fair are looking for an experienced PR and Marketing Assistant. This role is key to supporting all promotional and marketing activity of the company. The right person will extend the reach of the marketing campaigns, further the engagement of the festival via all media and be a team player with enthusiastic approach to creative thinking.

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AEG EUROPE - MANAGER, BUILDING SIX (THE O2, LONDON)
This position will be responsible for managing a range of events that take place within Building Six. Originally designed as a state of the art nightclub, this 3000+ space has hosted corporate events from leading global blue chip companies such as Telefonica and Mediacom as well as the nation’s cutting edge DJs such as Skrillex.

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DOMINO - SENIOR PUBLICIST (LONDON)
Domino is hiring a Senior Publicist to join their busy in house promo team in London. The ideal applicant will have at least three years' print and online experience, have excellent writing, communication and organisational skills and an impressive list of contacts.

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French government launches code promoting "clarity and fairness" in digital music
France's Minister Of Culture And Communication Fleur Pellerin yesterday formally announced an Agreement For A Fair Development Of Online Music, a snappily titled government-led initiative that puts pressure on record companies to be more transparent with artists over their digital deals, and to play fair in sharing any kickbacks like advances and equity stakes.

The French government, for its part, pledges to work to ensure a strong copyright framework domestically, in Europe and worldwide, while "seeking clarification to rules applicable to online content distribution platforms", aka reviewing safe harbours.

The agreement has been put together by Marc Schwartz, who was asked by the French government to facilitate talks between corporate rights owners, performers and digital platforms back in May.

According to the International Artist Organisation, which backs the initiative, "the new code sees the major labels and the digital platforms agreeing to play fair with artists in areas that have up until now been highly contentious, such as the lack of clarity over the sharing of multi-million dollar advances, as well as the equity stakes taken by the majors from the platforms".

Meanwhile, speaking for those pesky majors, the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry said that the voluntary agreement would see the wider music community "work together to help foster a sustainable music industry, diversity and innovation, clarity on revenue distribution and a fair value for music recordings".

Quite how different parties will now interpret the commitments to "clarity" and "fairness" at the heart of this new code remains to be seen, though a committee chaired by Pellerin will oversee the implementation of the agreement and ensure discussions continue for the foreseeable future, as the digital music sector further evolves.

In the meantime, both the labels and the artists are positive about the development. IFPI boss Frances Moore says: "The recording industry has succeeded in the digital world by embracing change, licensing music wherever it can and adapting its business to new models. Today's announcement in France is the latest step along that path and is a positive initiative, which we welcome".

She went on: "Record companies in France have agreed to work with performers' groups and digital services on important objectives: to enhance the value of music for all rights holders, further develop a successful and sustainable music landscape, and bring greater clarity and understanding on the distribution of revenues to different parties. They will also work to secure and improve the already diverse range of digital offerings among the hundreds of legal online services that are available to consumers".

Meanwhile IAO President Paul Pacifico said: "The music industry must pull together and work as one to get real value from the legal digital opportunities in front of us. This code represents a genuine opportunity for the industry to move forward together and agree not to repeat the sins of the past where artists have not benefitted equitably from the massive growth in the digital market".

Fake Sheikh to stand trial after collapse of Tulisa drugs case
Former undercover reporter for The Sun and News Of The World, Mazher Mahmood, better known as The Fake Sheikh, has been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. This relates to claims that he misled the court during the trial of Tulisa Contostavlos on drugs charges.

As previously reported, Contostavlos was put on trial accused of doing a deal to supply cocaine during a sting operation led by Mahmood as part of a Sun On Sunday investigation. However, the trial collapsed when the judge presiding accused Mahmood, who had given evidence against the one time N-Dubz member, of "serious misconduct to the point that the integrity of the court would be compromised by allowing the trial to go ahead".

It was claimed that there were inconsistencies in statements Mahmood had made to the court between a pre-trial hearing and the main trial. These related specifically to statements made by Contostavlos and overheard by the journalist's driver Alan Smith, which led the judge to believe that Mahmood had been "manipulating the evidence".

Both Mahmood and Smith are now due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on 30 Oct to answer charges of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

In a statement, Nick Vamos, Deputy Head of Special Crime at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "After carefully considering all of the evidence the CPS has decided that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to charge both men. This decision comes after it was alleged that Mr Smith agreed with Mr Mahmood to change his statement to police as part of a trial in July 2014, and that Mr Mahmood then misled the court".

Mahmood was suspended by The Sun following the collapse of Contostavlos's trial last year. And he remains so, a spokesperson for the tabloid's publisher News UK confirmed yesterday.

Sony Music signs global deal with in-flight entertainment firm
After going legal against one provider of in-flight entertainment to the airline industry, Sony Music has now announced a worldwide deal with another in-flight distraction peddler, Global Eagle Entertainment.

The Californian firm claims that this is the Sony record company's "first licensing pact with an in-flight entertainment content service provider and gives Global Eagle access to hit songs from leading recording labels, including Columbia, Epic, RCA, Masterworks, Legacy and Sony Music Nashville, for use in its airline inflight entertainment systems around the globe".

GEE says that ten airlines have already signed up to offer their customers Sony Music playlists via the firm's platform. Its CEO Dave Davis adds: "Sony Music is such a part of everyday life for millions of people around the world, and GEE is very pleased to strike an agreement that will offer unprecedented music choices and opportunities to airlines and airline passengers everywhere".

Meanwhile Sony Music's Exec VP Global Business Development & Digital Strategy Mark Piibe told reporters: "We are happy to be partnering with Global Eagle to make our catalogue available to its leading global network of airline passengers. This agreement gives millions of airline travellers who want more music as part of their passenger experience access to many of the most popular and beloved songs of today and of all time".

Harry Fox Agency downsizes after SESAC acquisition
Up to 30% of staff at US mechanical rights firm the Harry Fox Agency will go, according to Billboard's sources, following the company's acquisition by performing rights body SESAC. The downsizing is as a result of overlapping roles at the two music rights agencies, according to management at the merged entity. It is thought 20 employees departed last week, and ten more will go after a transition period.

SESAC CEO John Josephson told Billboard: "Following SESAC's recent acquisition of the Harry Fox Agency, several positions at HFA were identified as overlapping with existing resources at SESAC resulting in a determination that a reduction in staff was necessary. This staff adjustment will in no way affect the level of service delivered by HFA as we are committed to providing the same or higher service levels than our publisher clientele expect and which they have received in the past".

He added that a combined SESAC/HFA would be able to offer "a broader base of services in order to deliver the most efficient, multi-right, multi-territory licensing model possible", while adding that "HFA is fortunate to have an outstanding staff and we are grateful for the contributions of all HFA employees in making it the leading company it is today".

Randy Phillips steps down as Global Entertainment CEO
Randy Phillips is stepping down as boss man at Global Entertainment, the expanded music and live entertainment division of Capital Radio owner Global, which the former AEG Live CEO has been leading ever since its formal launch way back in, erm, February this year.

Global Entertainment built on the media firm's existing artist management and music publishing interests, with particular ambitions in the live music space. Phillips appointment as CEO also saw the company expand into the US market for the first time. But his stint in the top role was relatively short-lived.

According to reports, Phillips is stepping down as CEO to focus on a specific project, seemingly within the Global group, while the media company's overall chief Ashley Tabor will become interim CEO of its entertainment business.

Music Week quotes Phillips as saying: "I've had a superb start at Global and assembled a first class team for Global Entertainment - I'm looking forward to continuing to work with Global going forward in this new role". Meanwhile Tabor adds: "We want to thank Randy for the fantastic start he's brought to Global Entertainment and we look forward to working with him in his new role".

Amazon signs up Universal to Prime
So, Amazon may have started rolling out Prime Music beyond the US earlier this summer, but Universal still isn't signed up to the streaming music service. Well, it wasn't at the start of that sentence. It will be by the end of this sentence. Big things are happening as I type these words.

Yes, Universal Music has followed Sony Music and Warner Music in signing up to Amazon's streaming music play, the other two majors have been there from US launch in June 2014.

As previously reported, Amazon's streaming music service, which is made available as part of the online retailer's wider Prime set-up, offers a much smaller library of tracks than the likes of Spotify et al, with mainly catalogue releases, though there's still a million odd songs to choose from. But by not promising "all the music all the time", it was easier for Amazon to get away with not having any content from the world's biggest record company.

Universal is, now, however on board, though the major seemed keen to stress it was only making "a selection" of its catalogue available, and that won't include brand new releases. Even though we already know that's the deal with Amazon Prime Music.

With music being just one of many services Amazon Prime users have access to, and with Prime subscriptions actually costing less than a Spotify subscription, there is a lot less money for the labels with this particular streaming set-up. Though Amazon argues that its limited catalogue platform attracts consumers who would never sign up to a standalone $10 a month streaming service.

Zane Lowe "not sure" if Apple Music needs Beats 1
Zane Lowe said yesterday that he "hopes there's a future" for Beats 1 within Apple Music, but right now he's "not sure" that it's needed.

Lowe was being interviewed at the Radio Festival in London by his former boss, Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper. Asked why the Apple Music streaming service even needed a more conventional radio station like Beats 1, the presenter responded: "I'm not sure it does".

Admitting that they're currently "making it up as we go along", he added that he feels it's "absolutely working right now ... and over time we'll find out why [it's necessary]".

Answers may come sooner rather than later though, as Apple Music's free trial period comes to an end for day-one-adopters today. Yesterday the company sent out emails and push notifications to those users who have already switched off automatic payments for the service, urging them to commit to the £10 monthly subscription.

Beats 1 has been by far the most hyped and discussed part of Apple Music, and will remain available to non-paying users. If the radio station can hold onto and grow a userbase bigger than the on-demand element of Apple Music, but then persuade some of those people to upgrade to the premium service, well, then it would be serving a function for Apple, being a much cheaper to run freemium up-sell platform than that operated by Spotify.

If the radio service is too disconnected from the on-demand streams to achieve up-sell, well, then Lowe will be right to question whether the venture is actually needed long term.

  Approved: Boots - Bombs Away
Boots is set to release his debut album 'Aquaria' on 13 Nov. I guarantee you've heard his work before though: in recent times he's played guitar for Run The Jewels, produced FKA Twigs, and was a songwriter and producer on a sizeable chunk of Beyonce's last album.

Listening to 'Aquaria', you can see how he's adapted his style to suit all of those different artists. On the album your brain will quickly identify rock, hip hop, R&B, and pop, but further listening never gives enough purchase to hold on to any one of them, leaving your perceptions spinning and drawing you deeper inside.

Check out the latest track to be released from the album, 'Bombs Away', here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Guy Garvey to release solo album
Elbow frontman Guy Garvey will release his debut solo album, 'Courting The Squall', on 30 Oct. Leading up to this, he has released the video for lead track, 'Angela's Eyes'.

Explains the musician: "Elbow graciously gave me some time to write a solo album. I've wanted to try for years and I'm really proud of it. [I say] 'solo' because I wrote everything, but I was far from alone. I invited my favourite players outside of Elbow (many of them also my favourite people) and we moved fast, drank a lot and had what can only be described as a massive laugh along the way".

Following the release of the album, Garvey will also head out on a short tour of the British Isles in December, kicking off with two nights at London's Shepherds Bush Empire.

Here are the full dates:

1 Dec: London, Shepherds Bush Empire
2 Dec: London, Shepherds Bush Empire
4 Dec: Manchester, Albert Hall
5 Dec: Manchester, Albert Hall
7 Dec: Dublin, Olympia
8 Dec: Glasgow, ABC

And now, here's the video for 'Angela's Eyes'.

World Sight Day show to take place in London
To mark World Sight Day on 8 Oct, a live show featuring a variety of performers will ask its audience to all pay for a restricted view. Raising money for the Royal National Institute For Blind People, Sound For Sight will provide attendees special glasses to simulate reduced vision.

Commenting on the show, which takes place for the second time this year, Laura Westcott of organiser Soundcheque says: "I accidentally created something incredibly special for a cause that's really important to me. I am delighted that the London event in 2015 looks set to be even bigger and better than last year".

RNIB Music Officer James Risdon adds: "As a blind musician I'm really excited about how Sound For Sight will challenge the way we listen to music. I hope the audience enjoys the chance to experience live music from a new perspective, even if it is just for a few minutes with the glasses on".

The bill so far includes Westlife's Markus Feehily, Babyshambles' Drew McConnell, 'Britain's Got Talent' winner Paul Potts, 'X-Factor' finalist Luke Friend and comedian Mark Watson.

It will all take place at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill on 8 Oct. You can find out more and book tickets here.

Nonesuch Records, Una Tickets, Disclosure, Deerhunter, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Bob Hurwitz is to step down as President of Nonesuch Records, the Warner Music label he has headed up for three decades. However, his departure will be gradual, and he will retain an A&R and producer role at the label.

• 7digital yesterday announced the promotion of Paul Langworthy to the role of COO. Previously VP Operations at the digital music and radio services provider, prior to joining 7digital Langworthy previously worked with YouView and Universal Music.

• Una Tickets will stage the second of its monthly Twitter debates on live industry issues tomorrow, 1 Oct, at midday, this time discussing the dominance of male artists on many festival line-ups this year. Follow @UnaTickets and #UnaAsks to join the debate.

• A video has been released for the Lorde-featuring 'Magnets' from Disclosure's new album, 'Caracal'. She's in the video and everything.

• Deerhunter have uploading a 'concept map' for new album 'Fading Frontier', which is out on 16 Oct.

• Sophie is selling an album, which you can procure via the purchase of various physical products. Have a look at them all here.

• Elle Exxe has released a new track called 'Home With You'. It's taken from a new EP called 'Love To Hate You', which is out on 20 Nov. She'll also headline Koko in London on 16 Oct.

• John Grant has announced new tour dates in the UK and Ireland in January and February next year.

British Eurovision song choice to go back to public vote
It is definitely true that the selection process for the British entry to the Eurovision Song Contest has been lacking somewhat in recent years. But there's a plan to turn it all around. I'm not sure it's a good plan, but that's just the way with plans, isn't it? Anyway, it's all going back to a public vote.

You can see why the BBC might think a public vote is a good thing. After all, the Great British public selected our last winner, Katrina And The Waves' 'Love Shine A Light', in 1997. But then the last time they were allowed to select the song, in 2008, they went for 'Even If' by Andy Abraham, which went on to come last. The year before that they chose 'Flying The Flag (For You)' by Scooch, which came second to last.

Basically what I'm saying is, the public can't be trusted. They are idiots. Awful, awful idiots who should never be asked for an opinion on anything. Even if they're given a selection of nothing but A-grade, world-beating songs, they'll still almost certainly manage to choose something awful that no one realised was there.

And anyway, it seems unlikely that the public will be choosing from such a prime line of new music. Especially if the people doing the behind-the-scenes shortlisting are the same people who have picked such awful songs as British entrants in recent years. What will probably happen is that the public will end up choosing the absolute worst song from a box someone pulled out of a bin.

Graham Norton's excited though. "I think it really shows that they take the competition seriously and the fact that the public will get the final say on who is sent to represent the UK in Stockholm next year is the icing on the cake!"

Well, that's fine for him to say, isn't it? Of course, the return to a public vote means more telly time for Eurovision, so more too for Norton, and therefore more fees for him. So he might be biased. Meanwhile, the rest of us will have to tolerate the inevitable embarrassment all this will result in without payment. Actually, it'll cost us money through the licence fee. Won't someone think of the children?

Anyway, Morrissey said he'll do it. Why haven't we just asked Morrissey?

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
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CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
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