THURSDAY 8 OCTOBER 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Pandora is getting into the ticketing game via a $450 million acquisition of Ticketfly, the US-based ticketing service set up in 2008 by one of the founders of Ticketmaster's Ticketweb, Andrew Dreskin. So that's a thing. No, sorry, it's a "game-changer for music". I don't know why I just said "thing". And how do we know it's a "game-changer for music"? Well because Pandora CEO... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Get Your Gun are Danish brothers Andreas and Simon Westmark and together they've created a kind of slow blues-punk sound with a dense atmosphere. "You can tell we aren't from a city. We'd play a lot faster", says Simon of how their small town upbringing has influenced their music. And also, "we only write when we're frustrated". That must cause some... [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 Pandora moves into ticketing via Ticketfly acquisition
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LEGAL Former Blinkbox employees go legal against Guvera over streaming service's collapse
Full majors v vKontakte ruling published: both sides still claiming victory
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DEALS Deadmau5 quits Universal for Kobalt
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Sony Corp considering Sony/ATV sale
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ARTIST NEWS Chinese Megadeth show rumoured to have been censored
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RELEASES Rihanna announces that artwork has been created for her new album, which also has a title now
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Janet Jackson announces UK tour
Massive Attack announce 2016 tour
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ONE LINERS Loud And Quiet, Justin Bieber, Sinfini, more
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AND FINALLY... Please don't travel to France in an attempt to find Pete Doherty after reading this
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9PR - SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER / ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
9PR are looking for new additions to our growing team. Our roster includes key independent and major record labels, big name acts and hotly-tipped new artists. At least two years’ experience in either print or online PR is essential and those able to do both will get preference.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BUCKS MUSIC GROUP - HEAD OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS (LONDON)
Bucks Music Group, an international and independent music publisher with a rich musical heritage is seeking a Head Of Business Affairs. The candidate we are looking for should be legally qualified (with around three years PQE) or experienced to a similar level, with an understanding of the specific demands and requirements of an in-house business affairs function.

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

Pandora moves into ticketing via Ticketfly acquisition
Pandora is getting into the ticketing game via a $450 million acquisition of Ticketfly, the US-based ticketing service set up in 2008 by one of the founders of Ticketmaster's Ticketweb, Andrew Dreskin. So that's a thing.

No, sorry, it's a "game-changer for music". I don't know why I just said "thing". And how do we know it's a "game-changer for music"? Well because Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews said so. "This is a game-changer for Pandora - and much more importantly - a game-changer for music", he said yesterday. And I always believe guys named Brian.

"Over the past ten years we have amassed the largest, most engaged audience in streaming music history", he went on. "With Ticketfly, we will thrill music lovers and lift ticket sales for artists as the most effective marketplace for connecting music makers and fans".

Of course, better integrating streaming music platforms with artists' other online sales and marketing channels, whether it be downloads, CDs, vinyl, merch or tickets, or just social and other direct-to-fan platforms, has always seemed like a bloody obvious thing to do. And to be fair, most streaming services have dabbled in this space at one time or another, though so far with limited success.

A better tie up between streams and tickets in particular has been a talking point in recent months, with some other streaming platforms also thought to be plotting new functionality in this domain. For Pandora, the move into ticketing gives it another revenue stream alongside advertising and subscriptions. Although it is probably as much about trying to placate pesky music types who just won't shut up about the royalties the market-leading US streaming service pays (and it's never-ending attempts to keep royalty rates down).

Announcing its Ticketfly buy, Pandora said yesterday that bringing the two companies together would "solve the longstanding problem of event discovery by seamlessly connecting Pandora's nearly 80 million monthly active music fans to events they'll love - this will enable artists and promoters to sell out more shows and will strengthen the bond between artists and their fans".

The potential for streaming platforms to deliver an uplift in ticket sales is more about data than anything else, in that the streamers know where people live and what music they listen to, so can help artists and promoters target their marketing, and maybe offer targeted deals where ticket sales are slow. Pandora has been busy expanding its data services of late as well, what with the Artist Marketing Platform and its Next Big Sound acquisition, and all these developments could now integrate nicely.

There are always logistical issues with such integration, mainly getting each artist's various business partners to more closely collaborate, while Pandora going into the ticketing business itself might alienate promoters who have ticketing loyalties elsewhere. While all this might please the artists, it won't necessarily warm relationships with the labels who want higher royalties, because they don't customarily earn from live income. And although publishers do get royalties from live, ticket upselling isn't likely to stop them wanting better royalties either.

But hey, before we all get down on things, let's let the aforementioned Dreskin have has his glory-moment quote: "Pandora's entry into live events is a watershed moment for the music industry and will forever change the landscape for artists, promoters and fans. Ticketfly and Pandora are a perfect fit: two companies that are extraordinarily passionate about music and improving the experience for the entire ecosystem. The combination of Ticketfly and Pandora will be a marketing and event discovery powerhouse, giving venues and promoters unprecedented access to a massive and targeted audience of nearly 80 million music fans".

Former Blinkbox employees go legal against Guvera over streaming service's collapse
Nearly 100 former employees of defunct streaming service Blinkbox have filed a class action lawsuit via the UK Employment Tribunal against Guvera. The Australian company acquired the music side of the digital content platform from Tesco back in January as part of its plan to launch into the UK market, but then promptly shut it down in June.

A statement from law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite, which is representing many of the former employees, claims that "after the acquisition [by Guvera], the Blinkbox music service was taken from solvency (with a reported £3.5 million in the bank) to insolvency within five months. In this time, the business defaulted on substantial debts, including debts owed to a number of key creditors such as large music industry companies. At the point of the acquisition the employees received a written assurance from Tesco and Guvera UK that they would receive redundancy payments if cut backs were required. This agreement was not honoured".

Bates Wells Braithwaite Partner Paul Jennings added: "Nearly 100 staff were dismissed without any warning and without any notice or redundancy payments. Many of the employees are still owed wages. For a large number of these people, including those with families and mortgages, this had a devastating impact".

Suggesting that other legal action could as yet emerge in relation to the Blinkbox collapse, the lawyer went on: "We anticipate that there will be other claims arising from this situation. Aside from the appalling way in which these employees were treated, at the heart of this case is the data of two to three million users of the Blinkbox music service. We have no doubt that, as the case develops and the evidence emerges, customers and investors will want to understand precisely what occurred".

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Full majors v vKontakte ruling publishes: both sides still claiming victory
Both sides continue to claim victory in the previously reported mixed-bag ruling in the legal battle between the major record companies and Russian social network vKontakte.

As noted, this is possible because while the St Petersburg court did tell the social media firm to ramp up its anti-piracy systems (a win for the labels) it didn't award the rights owners any damages for past infringement (a win for the social network).

The full ruling has now been published, and various reasons have been given for why the court rejected the claims for damages made by Universal Music and Warner Music.

These include vKontakte not being aware of the infringing content being distributed on its network. Although presumably that means the specific infringements raised in the litigation, given that the labels have been banging on about the distribution of unlicensed content on the social network for ages, so it couldn't have been blind to the general problem.

However, the court said that the labels didn't sufficiently engage with vKontakte about the specific content listed in their complaints before going legal. They also failed to identify actual precise infringements of the tracks they sued over.

With all that in mind, vKontakte reckons it was the winner in this court battle, not least because it says it has already introduced the extra anti-piracy tools the court has also requested. The firm's boss Boris Dobrodeev said: "We are pleased that the court has ruled in our favour and are satisfied with the content of today's legal reasoning. The court's findings confirm the lack of basis of the applicants' claims and back up our position that we have taken throughout the case".

He went on: "We will continue to establish constructive dialogue with the record companies and look to agree mutually beneficial terms for co-operation. With regard to the system to prevent the repeated uploading of deleted content, vKontakte has already developed and implemented a digital fingerprint system. The technology is in operation and we continue to improve it on an ongoing basis".

But speaking for the labels, the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry insisted vKontakte still had work to do to meet its anti-piracy commitments.

The CEO there, Frances Moore, said: "The written judgment has confirmed the court's finding that VK must implement effective technology to stop infringements on its service. The court states clearly that VK's technology is not effective, and we know this to be the case because of the mass infringement occurring on the service on a daily basis. While in its statement on the judgment VK has focused on other details in the decision, the most significant point for music companies is that VK is now required to put in place a comprehensive system to stop infringement. For the music industry this far outweighs any other aspect of the decision".

Deadmau5 quits Universal for Kobalt
Deadmau5 has departed Universal Music in order to strike out on his own, handing administration of his recording and publishing rights over to Kobalt. The producer's own record company, Mau5trap, will also use the company's label services division.

"The label does what's good for the label. Always", Deadmau5 told Billboard of his decision to leave the major. "It's instilled in the industry that that's the only way to do it. Well, not anymore".

He added that some of the frustrations with his former label stemmed from how his music had been used by Universal: "I am very strict on what products I want to associate myself with, and I felt that some things [Universal put out] were just to make a buck. Then, we'd only get a little trickle [of royalties], and I'd be like, 'Wait, I look this stupid for only that much? Why am I looking stupid in the first place?'"

"I'm not saying I'm never gonna get fucked again", he continued pragmatically. "But I do like the freedom that, if I do fuck up, it's my fault rather than the fault of someone who bought that responsibility from me. I've got $130 million in the bank and a whiteboard full of cool ideas for emerging markets and technologies where we're gonna test the waters and see what happens. And that's how you become the first - not by using the old traditional broken-ass model".

Billboard also spoke to the producer's manager, Three Six Zero's Dean Wilson, and asked if he might move more of his artists over to Kobalt. "I feel a little bit of guilt that we haven't", he said. "After looking at the back end and meeting everybody... my God it's like somebody's awakened the sleeping side of my brain. It's like, actually, there's a different way to put records out".

Kobalt, of course, has been very bold in its claims of being able to do things differently. Sort of repositioning itself as a tech company has helped get that message out - particularly in the usually music-industry-averse tech press. The company promises to provide real-time stats on music usage, where possible, and to more efficiently process and report royalties, and it recently bought its own collecting society, AMRA, to help improve that side of things.

Sony Corp considering Sony/ATV sale
Sony Corp is considering selling off its half of music publishing giant Sony/ATV after triggering a clause in its contract with its co-owner, the Michael Jackson estate, which allows one party to buy the other out.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony told its moneylenders last month that the buy-out clause had been triggered, though so far all negotiations have been between the entertainment conglom and the Jackson estate. It's far from certain that the talks will result in Sony selling its half of the business, and under the two shareholders' agreement either side can counter offers to buy the other party's share, and bid for the half they don't own.

The music publisher has been valued at around $2 billion. Sony/ATV, which operates autonomously from the Sony Music record company, also controls EMI Music Publishing, although there are other shareholders in that part of the business and it's not clear how all that would work if any Sony/ATV sale did go ahead.

Parent company Sony Corp has been flagging for a number of years now, mainly because of problems in its consumer electronics business, so a billion dollars would come in useful. And while bosses there have generally rejected past suggestions they sell off some of their US-based entertainment assets, when those Sony emails were leaked last year it was revealed some senior execs had been contemplating a possibly Sony/ATV sale.

  Approved: Get Your Gun
Get Your Gun are Danish brothers Andreas and Simon Westmark and together they've created a kind of slow blues-punk sound with a dense atmosphere.

"You can tell we aren't from a city. We'd play a lot faster", says Simon of how their small town upbringing has influenced their music. And also, "we only write when we're frustrated".

That must cause some scheduling issues. But they thrive on that sort of thing. "People ask me after live shows, 'Why do you have that big jacket on, aren't you dying with heat?'" says Andreas. "And I say 'Yes, that's what I like'. I don't want things to be too easy. It has to be a fight".

The band's debut album, 'The Worrying Kind', is due out on 20 Nov through Louder Than War, and you can catch them live in London this very Friday at The Garage.

Right now though, this is the very brilliant 'Black Book'.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Chinese Megadeth show rumoured to have been censored
There is speculation that Megadeth have become the latest Western act to be censored by the Chinese government, although on this occasion the band did actually make it to the stage.

According to The Beijinger, the band appeared to end their set abruptly when playing at the MasterCard Center in Beijing earlier this week. It is also reported that a number of songs were performed as instrumentals, extended guitar solos making up for the lack of vocals.

Implying the concert may have ended early to meet restrictions, frontman Dave Mustaine apparently closed the show by saying to the audience: "Thank you for leaving so that we can come back and play again".

The band are due to play in Shanghai tonight, before heading to Japan to headline the Loud Park festival this weekend. They were last booked to perform in China in 2012, though that show was cancelled.

Last month Bon Jovi cancelled shows in Shanghai and Beijing. Although no specific reason was given, it's thought China's Culture Ministry pulled the shows over suspicions that the band sympathise with the Dalai Lama. Maroon 5 also had a show in Shanghai pulled earlier this year after frontman Adam Levine tweeted birthday wishes to the Dalai Lama. And then there was that whole thing with Björk in 2008.

Rihanna announces that artwork has been created for her new album, which also has a title now
That Rihanna has revealed the title and artwork for her new album. It's called 'Anti' and the artwork was designed by artist Roy Nachum. There's no release date or anything, and I can't offer you any new music.

But look, I'm still writing. Why am I still writing? Because this isn't just any artwork and title reveal, this is a Rihanna artwork and title reveal. It is An Event. It was a genuine event, actually. The unveiling was done at a "private view" in LA last night.

It features a black and white image of Rihanna as a child, holding a balloon, with a crown over her eyes. Red covers a large part of the image like bloody dripping down, and there's all braille on it and stuff.

"In her collaboration with Roy Nachum, Rihanna has changed the history of album art", claimed information handed out to attendees of The Event. "By continuing to follow her own instincts, her work strives to make an impact by doing the very antithesis of what the public expects".

You might be confused as to how this has actually "changed the history of album art". Luckily, Rihanna's people later thought to clarify, explaining that this is "the first time an album has ever incorporated physical braille".

So that's how history was changed last night. I mean, obviously that statement isn't actually true. It's not the first. I would guess it's not even the tenth. I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't the hundredth. But facts aren't important in situations like this, are they? What's actually important is that there is a new Rihanna album coming out and that it is going to be groundbreaking in every way possible.

The braille on the artwork is actually a series of poems by artist Chloe Mitchell. And it may well be the first album artwork to feature poetry in braille. Although that doesn't make for such a snappy soundbite.

"The whole idea behind the braille is that people who have sight are sometimes the people who are blindest", said Rihanna last night. And I think that's something we should all go and thing about for at least 20 minutes now. In the dark.

Janet Jackson announces UK tour
Janet Jackson has announced that she will kick off a European tour with four UK shows next spring. Her London date will take place at the O2 Arena, where her brother Michael's ill-fated 'This Is It' residency was due to take place in 2009.

The shows follow the release of her new album, 'Unbreakable', which came out last week. Tickets go on sale this Friday.

Here are the dates:

30 Mar: Birmingham, Barclaycard Arena
31 Mar: London, O2 Arena
4 Apr: Glasgow, SSE Hydro
5 Apr: Manchester Arena

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Massive Attack announce 2016 tour
Massive Attack have announced a European tour, kicking off early next year with two weeks of UK and Ireland shows. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.

These are them:

19 Jan: Dublin, Olympia Theatre
22 Jan: Glasgow, Academy
25 Jan: Leicester, De Montfort Hall
27 Jan: Leeds, Academy
28 Jan: Manchester, Apollo
30 Jan: Birmingham, Academy
31 Jan: Portsmouth, Guildhall
1 Feb: Brighton, Dome
3 Feb: London, Brixton Academy
4 Feb: London, Brixton Academy

Loud And Quiet, Justin Bieber, Sinfini, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• From 23 Oct to 13 Nov, an exhibition titled 'Ten Years Of Loud And Quiet Magazine: A Photography Exhibition' will be on display at Oslo in Hackney. It is a photography exhibition marking ten years of Loud And Quiet magazine, don't you know?

• Justin Bieber has had "Purpose" tattooed on his stomach. This is also the title of his new album, or so people are saying.

• Classical music website Sinfini and the Barbican Centre have put together a quiz to identify your 'musical personality', ahead of 'Sound Unbound: The Barbican Classical Weekender', which takes place 31 Oct - 1 Nov.

• Majical Cloudz have announced UK tour dates, which includes a show at St John At Hackney in London on 18 Nov. Details on further dates are on their website. And here's their new video for 'Downtown'.

• George Osborne might be best mates with Dr Dre now, but it seems David Cameron was refused a guestlist place for Johnny Marr's show in Manchester this week. He'll probably just sneak in without paying anyway.

Please don't travel to France in an attempt to find Pete Doherty after reading this
Pete Doherty has asked fans not to try to visit him in the small French village where he now spends some of his time. The plea comes after the name of the village was mentioned in interviews with the French media.

The name was also mentioned in the statement asking fans to stop coming there, which means I'm going to say it now. But please don't go there after reading this. He probably won't even be there.

"Peter recently discussed living in Melun in an interview for a French publication and during a French TV show 'Le Grand Journal' mentioned the small village where he resides", says the statement. "For clarity; Peter does spend time there with his girlfriend, who is the tenant of the house, but also has a registered address in the UK, obviously his time spent in either location works around commitments throughout Europe and the rest of the world".

It continued: "Unfortunately, much to our dismay a journalist from another French publication has detailed the exact location of the property in a very inappropriate and bizarre recent online article. Whilst Peter is a public figure he also reserves the right to a private life and if you love and respect him please do not visit".

If you want to see Pete(r) Doherty in an appropriate manner, you can buy tickets for one of the Libertine's upcoming live shows in January. I hear the shows will have a French village theme and everything. So don't forget to take a baguette with you.

 
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.

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