MONDAY 5 OCTOBER 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The ongoing review of the rates paid by online radio services in the US that are licensed via the SoundExchange system - which includes personalised radio platforms like Pandora - has taken an interesting turn, after it emerged that the Copyright Royalty Board has asked the US Copyright Office whether it could set different rates for different content providers. Which many... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: It's good to start Monday with something a bit calming. Although the track I've placed at the end of this Approved column, by cellist Julia Kent, is taken from an album themed around difficulty and conflict. So, let's hope I'm not prophesising your week here. Kent's latest album, 'Asperity', is due for release though The Leaf Label on 30 Oct. Its title is a word... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU’s Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including France's new government-led initiative on transparency in digital music deals, controversy over the funding of T In The Park, rumours on YouTube's music streaming plans, Amazon Prime Music's Universal Music deal, and Justin Bieber's thoughts on life, the universe and everything... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES "Could majors get better Pandora rates than indies?" asks rate setting board
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LEGAL Defence begins in MegaUpload extradition hearing
Neil Fox accused of further sex offences
JUMP | ONLINE
LABELS & PUBLISHERS INgrooves expands partnership with Chinese distributor R2G
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ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL HMV planning international expansion of retail website
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LIVE BUSINESS Ticketscript appoints new Director for UK and Ireland
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Rob Wells joins Crowdmix
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ARTIST NEWS Benga calls for better awareness of mental health issues
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Foals announce first arena tour
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AND FINALLY... Childish Gambino offers free festival tickets to fans disappointed by DJ set
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7DIGITAL - LABEL & PROMOTIONS MANAGER (FRENCH SPEAKING) (LONDON)
7digital is looking for an enthusiastic and experienced Label & Promotions Manager to join our team based in East London. The Label & Promotions Manager will be solely responsible for all relationships with French labels and well as the French store management. This includes co-ordinating promotions and store updates for our own website and apps as well as providing curation services for partners.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MPA GROUP OF COMPANIES - COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER (LONDON)
Working alongside the Chief Executive and General Manager, you will be the gateway for communications about the MPA Group of Companies comprising MPA, MCPS, IMPEL and PMLL, and their work to their members, industry stakeholders, the press and the general public.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
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.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
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.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
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.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
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.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
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.

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
 

"Could majors get better Pandora rates than indies?" asks rate setting board
The ongoing review of the rates paid by online radio services in the US that are licensed via the SoundExchange system - which includes personalised radio platforms like Pandora - has taken an interesting turn, after it emerged that the Copyright Royalty Board has asked the US Copyright Office whether it could set different rates for different content providers. Which many reckon could mean one rate for the majors and another for the indies.

In America, a compulsory licence exists for online radio, including Pandora-style services, meaning labels are obliged to licence such set ups via the SoundExchange collective licensing system at rates ultimately controlled by the Copyright Royalty Board.

Although digital services, if they so wish, can try to do direct deals with the labels, and some have done so, usually by offering marketing benefits in return for slightly better rates, or by bundling online radio services in with wider label deals covering terrestrial radio, downloads or the kind of fully on-demand streams that fall outside the SoundExchange licence.

Many rights owners still licence many services via SoundExchange. And while the labels constantly complain that the compulsory licence has led to them receiving below market rates from many such services, the digital service providers - and Pandora in particular - argue that they have to pay too much, and constantly lobby for royalty obligations to be reduced. These debates are particularly vocal at the moment because the Copyright Royalty Board is currently reviewing what services should pay.

As previously reported, last month Pandora was told it could present direct agreements it has reached with rights owners as evidence to the Copyright Royalty Board, as it argues for lower statutory rates. Particular attention has been put on the deal Pandora did with indie label digital rights agency Merlin, which it's thought gives the streaming service a slightly better rate overall in return for promoting music by Merlin-repped record companies.

The CRB took advice from Maria Pallante at the US Copyright Office on whether such deals should be considered in the current review. And - seemingly in inquisitive mood - it's emerged that this is not the only question the Board has posed. Last month it also asked Pallante whether any US copyright laws stopped it from setting different rates for different categories of licensors. Interested stakeholders - licensees and licensors - had until Friday to offer their thoughts on that question, before Pallante gives it her consideration.

The CRB hasn't been especially clear what it means by "different categories of licensors". It's not thought this question was posed by any of the music rights owners or representatives which submitted evidence to the rate review, so it's not that one party has been proactively pushing for better terms than its competitors. Instead, it's thought the question occurred to CRB judges after reviewing various direct deals done between labels and digital services, and not just the Merlin deal, and not just deals with Pandora either.

However, everyone in the label community seems to have interpreted this question as whether or not the CRB should be allowed to set one rate for major labels and one for indies, or some sort of variable rate based on the rights owner's market share.

Because - while most of the direct deals that have been done with SoundExchange-eligible digital services have hinged on a kickback for the rights owner - in the wider digital market, where service providers don't have the benefit of a fall-back compulsory licence, market-share does have an impact on the deals rights owners secure.

Applying market-share metrics to a collective licensing system would be novel, because usually under such arrangements all rights owners earn the same per-play rate. And obviously, smaller rights owners are going to argue that that principle should be maintained with the SoundExchange system.

The mega-majors, however, having now been asked this specific question, are reportedly smiling on the variable rates idea, with Billboard reporting that Sony and Universal are working together on their response to the proposal. Though some sources say that that's not because the majors want a higher Pandora rate than the indies right now, rather they don't want the prospect of variable pricing under SoundExchange to be ruled out forever.

They unsurprisingly face a fight with the indie label community on this point. Confirming it had submitted a response calling for a single rate to be retained, the American Association Of Independent Music said on Friday: "Independent record labels and artists, who are individuals and small and medium-sized businesses, want a competitive market that places all sound recording owners and their artists on a level playing field".

It went on: "Statutory price differentiation based on category of licensors would not lead to such a competitive market. Rather, it would create a number of unintended and expensive issues for all market participants, especially when there is no market remedy available to any licensor who is not granted a 'top rate'".

In pragmatic terms, the concept of a variable rate throws up many tricky questions - who defines the majors, who defines market share, what about indies distributed by majors, or by a distributor partly or wholly owned by a major, and what about artist market share? - and you have to wonder if the Copyright Office and CRB really want to open up that can of worms. But this latest development makes the upcoming rate review all the more interesting to watch.

Defence begins in MegaUpload extradition hearing
The ongoing extradition hearing of the former MegaUpload management continues in New Zealand, with the defence now taking to the stand.

As previously reported, representatives for the US government have been busy running through their case against Kim Dotcom et al in relation the long defunct file-transfer service.

They argue that while MegaUpload told the music and movie industries it was removing unlicensed content from its platform, it was concurrently relying on the distribution of copyright infringing files over its networks to drive traffic and profits, and to that end was encouraging and rewarding users to upload pirated material. The Americans want to extradite Dotcom and his former colleagues to face charges of money laundering, racketeering and copyright infringement.

Kicking off the defence earlier today, lawyers for the MegaUpload men didn't tackle head on the allegations made against their clients. Instead they returned to their long-running argument that the defendants are being denied a fair trial because the Americans are still holding on to monies seized from the file-transfer business when it was shut down by the feds in 2012.

Although the MegaUpload managers have been given access to some of those funds to pay for legal fees, they are not allowed to spend the money outside New Zealand which, lawyers for the defence argue, means they cannot afford the kind of US-based legal representation required to respond to the prosecution's arguments based on American law.

Prosecutors counter that this case is all about New Zealand extradition law, not American copyright and criminal law. But Grant Illingworth, representing MegaUpload men Bram van der Kolk and Mathias Ortmann, does not agree. He told the court today, according to NZCity: "This is a complex and tricky area of US law, just looking at the definitions alone".

Illingworth and the other defence attorneys really want the entire extradition hearing postponed while their clients fight for access to more MegaUpload loot to hire American lawyers. Though so far the judge hearing the case hasn't been keen to adjourn.

The case continues.

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

Neil Fox accused of further sex offences
Former radio DJ Neil Fox appeared in court last week charged with further sex offences. The six counts of indecent assault are alleged to have taken place against three girls under the age of sixteen between 1987 and 1988.

A further hearing is due to take place tomorrow to decide if these new charges should be considered at trial. The presenter is already due to go on trial on 5 Nov on charges of seven counts of indecent assault and two of sexual touching without consent.

Fox was bailed until tomorrow's hearing on the condition he does not contact his accusers.

INgrooves expands partnership with Chinese distributor R2G
Distribution firm INgrooves has expanded its partnership with Chinese digital distributor R2G to provide content to music services in the country.

The agreement covers over one million recordings, which will be distributed to digital music services and mobile operators in China. R2G will also oversee the payment and collection of licensing fees - something INgrooves says is "showing signs of improvement" in this market.

INgrooves' International MD Alex Branson said in a statement: "We are excited to be part of the new changes that are happening in China with regards to licensing. INgrooves is optimistic that with R2G's expertise and network, we can better integrate with this developing market and make our clients' music catalogues available to fans via the various music services R2G reaches".

R2G President Mathew Daniel added: "We are happy to be working with INgrooves and taking this exciting step forward to give their artists the opportunity to reach more music services in China, and for them to be paid accordingly for it. INgrooves has a very extensive catalogue that will certainly give millions of music fans in China a much wider selection".

HMV planning international expansion of retail website
HMV is planning to launch its retail website in ten new, mainly European countries. The mail-order site was relaunched in the UK back in June, following a trial in Ireland.

According to HMV's PR department, aka The Telegraph, this is a further sign of the retailer's dramatic resurgence after being bought by Hilco two years ago. The revival has seen it open fourteen new stores in 2015, with three more planned before Christmas.

This latest international expansion follows that licensing deal which is taking the refreshed HMV brand into the Middle East market.

Ticketscript appoints new Director for UK and Ireland
Ticketscript has appointed Charlie Sefi as its new Director for the UK and Ireland. He joins from event discovery app YPlan, of which he was a co-founder.

Says Chief Commercial Officer Jason Thomas: ''We are excited to have Charlie on board in what is a very exciting time for the company. His vast digital e-commerce experience will undoubtedly help continue our significant growth and ensure Ticketscript remain Europe's leading self-ticketing platform".

Sefi adds: "Ticketscript are at a really exciting stage with their continuing international expansion. I can't wait to join the team, and I'm relishing the opportunity to help event organisers, venues and promoters sell more and grow their business through our unique data-rich ticketing solutions".

Rob Wells joins Crowdmix
Former Universal Music digital chief Rob Wells has joined Crowdmix as its Global Chief Commercial Officer and CEO for The Americas. Crowdmix is another one of those ill-advised attempts to create a social network for music fans.

The company aims to "unify the currently fragmented social media landscape around music" by fragmenting people's interest in music off from every other aspect of their lives. It has so far raised $20 million in funding to help do this, and expects investors to cough up another $20-30 million before the year is out. It then plans to launch an app in the first quarter of 2016.

Crowdmix founder Ian Roberts said in a statement: "This appointment massively strengthens our senior team. Rob has been one of the most high profile and respected music industry executives of recent years with a well-deserved reputation for innovation and forward thinking. Bringing talent of his calibre into our team is thrilling and demonstrates our ambition for Crowdmix".

Rob Wells added: "Initially sceptical, I quickly became incredibly excited by the scale of Crowdmix's ambition, its ridiculously talented tech team, music industry support, strong funding and vision to give fans the social experience they crave. Helping build something truly unique is a very exciting proposition and I am looking forward to revealing more about our platform and plans as we move closer to launch early next year".

Wells announced his departure from Universal in February, later showing up as an advisor for marketing data platform Revelator and music content maker LoveLive.

  Approved: Julia Kent
It's good to start Monday with something a bit calming. Although the track I've placed at the end of this Approved column, by cellist Julia Kent, is taken from an album themed around difficulty and conflict. So, let's hope I'm not prophesising your week here.

Kent's latest album, 'Asperity', is due for release though The Leaf Label on 30 Oct. Its title is a word that can relate to roughness in anything from temper to a physical surface. "I was thinking about the concept of difficulty. Whether in life or in nature - of conflict, of being troubled. The idea of friction", explains Kent. "Also in geology, an asperity is some part of a fault line that doesn't move that can create an earthquake, which is an evocative concept".

Kent is a member of Rasputina and Antony & The Johnsons, as well as an in demand session musician and film composer, and 'Asperity' is her fourth solo album. Using layers and loops of cello, electronic and found sounds, she creates an engrossing exploration of friction and release. And here, as promised, is something more on the latter side of that coin, 'Initiation To The Voyage'.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Benga calls for better awareness of mental health issues
Benga has spoken further about the mental health problems that led him to announce his retirement from music last year.

As previously reported, the producer and DJ revealed his diagnoses of schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder on Twitter last month. He explained that prior to his decision to step back from his career, he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He blamed heavy drug use and a hectic touring schedule for triggering his breakdown.

Now tentatively returning to music, playing a DJ set at last month's Bestival and preparing to release a "future funk" album created before receiving treatment, he called for more discussion and awareness of mental health in dance music and club culture.

"We have a [party] culture where it's not about having fun, it's about outdoing your mates and going on unnecessary benders", he told The Guardian. "If I'd heard of more cases it would've made me think more about what I was consuming."

Before receiving treatment, he began giving away valuable possessions randomly to people in the street, and later turned violent, which was how he came to be detained in a specialist hospital. However, there had been signs that all was not right earlier, which had gone unchecked.

"I started to get anxiety and paranoia [in my mid-20s]", he explained. "I found myself getting high because of it - I'd be in a situation and I'd be anxious, so I'd think: 'Let's get out of it'. People would say to me: 'You need to slow down', but I didn't recognise that anything was wrong".

From there, things spiralled out of control. Now he hopes that by speaking about what he's been through, other people might spot signs that they should seek help for themselves or friends earlier. And that recovery is possible.

"I never thought it would happen to me", he says. "As a kid, I remember there was one lady in Coulsdon who used to walk around with a doll, and that's what I used to think when I thought about mental health. We think of mental patients in films; we need to see people like myself. People need to see that I can function and I'm not manic now, and that this can happen to anyone".

"I would plead with anybody who sees anything wrong with their mates, their family members, to act on it straight away", he continued. "That way you can limit the damage that's done. Too many people are blasé. I see it in other people now more than ever. I see the mood swings and the paranoia and I think to myself: 'You're on a bad road'".

Read the full interview here. Find out more about mental health issues and their treatment via the Mind website here.

Foals announce first arena tour
Foals are following their latest album release with their first ever arena tour next year, with support from Everything Everything. That's quite a line-up.

Tickets for the shows go on sale on Friday. Here are the dates:

10 Feb: Dublin, 3Arena
12 Feb: Glasgow, SSE Hydro
13 Feb: Manchester Arena
16 Feb: London, Wembley Arena
19 Feb: Birmingham, Barclaycard Arena
20 Feb: Leeds, First Direct Arena

Childish Gambino offers free festival tickets to fans disappointed by DJ set
Childish Gambino has apologised to fans who were disappointed by a show in Newcastle, Australia, offering them free tickets to see him at a festival this weekend. Apparently led to believe they were seeing a full headline show from the rapper, ticket holders were instead treated to an "ensemble DJ set".

Promoters at the Cambridge Hotel venue where the show took place were apparently equally surprised, saying in a statement afterwards: "To everyone who came to see Childish Gambino show last night we are as disappointed as all of you. We had the opportunity to present Childish Gambino to Newcastle in an intimate gig and we jumped at the chance as we aim to bring the best possible acts to Newcastle for music lovers. As seen last night, unfortunately we have no control over the acts performance once on stage".

They added that the show had been "promoted in the exact same way as part of his current tour" and therefore had no reason to believe it would be anything different to other performances.

Gambino's team refused to take responsibility for the mix up, but did say in an email to ticketholders: "Regardless of whose error in communication that was, Gambino's team takes it very seriously when fans are disappointed".

According to Music Feeds, the email then told fans that they could see Gambino performing live with a full band at this weekend's Listen Out festival for free, which was nice of them, I suppose. Though that festival is over 100 miles away in Sydney.

 
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
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