TODAY'S TOP STORY: So, after all that, turns out Robert FX Sillerman doesn't want to buy back his EDM company SFX. I wish he'd make his mind up. Does he realise how many words I've now written about this buy-back business? Think of the journalists, as my granny used to say. So yes, Sillerman has withdrawn his latest offer to acquire all of the shares in SFX he doesn't currently control, according to a... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: I haven't written about Julia Holter and her latest album 'Have You In My Wilderness' much this year. Which worries me - you might think I don't like it, or that I was ignoring her because the quality of her output has started to dip. I'm sure you were busy wondering about all that. You were, right? Right. Oh. Well, anyway, I do like it and the quality of her output... [READ MORE]
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including Victory Records' victorious return to Spotify in the US, Apple Music's Android app and Apple's motivations for creating it, more on Sony/ATV's direct licensing deal with Pandora, and the unlikely but really happening reunion of Busted. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES Robert FX Sillerman withdraws latest offer to buy back flagging SFX
LEGAL Survivor man sues Mike Huckabee over song use
LIVE BUSINESS Industry figures comment on secondary ticketing review, as public consultation closes
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Dan Le Sac asks, do subscriptions to individual musicians give value for money?
MEDIA Male suicide awareness charity CALM launches #dontbeastatistic campaign with SBTV and Rapman
NME announces new Digital Editor
BBC sells Adele special to thirteen other countries
ARTIST NEWS Eagles Of Death Metal issue statement on Bataclan attack
ONE LINERS Universal Music Publishing, TuneCore, Society Of Ticket Agents And Retailers, more
AND FINALLY... Morrissey nominated for Bad Sex award
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.
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A guide to upcoming events from and involving CMU, including seminars, masterclasses and conference sessions from CMU Insights and workshops from CMU:DIY, plus other events where CMU journalists are speaking or moderating.
20 Nov 2015 CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke appears at Finding The Future
21 Nov 2015 CMU:DIY x The Roundhouse Artist Toolkit Day
23 Nov 2015 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
30 Nov 2015 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
07 Dec 2015 CMU Insights Masterclass: Navigating The Digital Market
10 Dec 2015 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
18 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminars: How The Music Business Works Programme
10 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Key Developments In Music Rights
5 May 2016 CMU Insights @ Canadian Music Week 2016

Robert FX Sillerman withdraws latest offer to buy back flagging SFX
So, after all that, turns out Robert FX Sillerman doesn't want to buy back his EDM company SFX. I wish he'd make his mind up. Does he realise how many words I've now written about this buy-back business? Think of the journalists, as my granny used to say.

So yes, Sillerman has withdrawn his latest offer to acquire all of the shares in SFX he doesn't currently control, according to a filing made with the US Securities And Exchange Commission this week. The SFX founder, who floated his latest entertainment venture back in 2013, has been trying to take back control of the business, and take the firm back into private ownership, away from the public glare of being a publicly listed concern, ever since February.

His initial offer for all the shares he doesn't currently own met with a frosty reception from Wall Street, so he upped his bid to a generous $5.25 a share. But then, partly because of all the insecurity around the buy-back plan, the SFX share price tanked, making that offer not only very generous, but entirely unrealistic. In August, Sillerman confirmed he couldn't finance the plan, and the SFX board announced it was considering all and any offers for the firm. Sillerman returned with a new $3.25 per share offer.

But, after recovering a little, SFX's share price subsequently returned to just above the 50 cents point, especially after the EDM festival maker and Beatport owner released its financials for the summer season last week. "At these low prices the time is not right to go forward on [the buy-back] path", Sillerman said yesterday, in a memo seen by the Wall Street Journal.

The SFX founder, who continues to lead the flagging firm, went on: "We will instead focus all energy on righting the ship and reversing the disappointing results of this year". He would "revisit things as they develop", Sillerman added, keeping his options open, but "for now we will rededicate ourselves to providing the best possible experiences for our fans".

SFX's share price hit an all-time low of 41 cents as news of Sillerman's latest announcement started to circulate last night. Speculation has been rife about the firm's financial position for months now, with the board's invitation of offers for some or all of the business spun by some as a "fire sale". Talk of imminent bankruptcy has circulated in recent weeks, and some analysts now reckon that might be the best outcome for firm's ongoing sale process, because it owns a number of valuable assets that could prosper again if cut free from the parent company's debts.

SFX itself it yet to comment on the latest developments.

Survivor man sues Mike Huckabee over song use
Survivor's Frankie Sullivan has reportedly gone legal over US presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee's use of his hit 'Eye Of The Tiger' at a political rally back in September.

As previously reported, the Huckabee campaign used the Survivor track to introduce Kim Davis to the stage, like some kind of war hero, at a September rally in Kentucky. Davis, of course, is the Kentucky county clerk who spent six days in prison for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licences.

At the time, Sullivan took to Facebook to declare: "NO! We did not grant Kim Davis any rights to use my tune 'The Eye Of The Tiger'. I would not grant her the rights to use Charmin!"

According to the Associated Press, Sullivan's company Rude Music filed a lawsuit against Huckabee in connection to the September rally yesterday. Specifics of the legal claim are not yet known, but it is thought the musician is seeking both damages and an injunction banning Huckabee from ever using the song in public again.

As much previously noted, while many an artist has expressed frustration or outrage at their music being used by politicians at rallies, it's debatable whether there is anything said artists can do under copyright law, providing such rallies secure the right licenses from performing rights organisations like BMI and ASCAP. And those societies usually provide blanket licences, so no explicit permission is required to play specific songs in public.

Though when Donald Trump made use of an Aerosmith track at his rallies, Steven Tyler's lawyer Dina LaPolt came up with various reasons why said usage might still infringe her client's rights, in a cease and desist letter sent to the American presidential race's comedy candidate. Trump backed down though, so Tyler never actually went legal on the issue.

It seems unlikely any political candidate would ever fight a lawsuit of this kind - who wants a public battle with a popstar? - so it seems unlikely we'll ever get clarity on all this through the courts. Though it will still be interesting to see how Huckabee responds.

Industry figures comment on secondary ticketing review, as public consultation closes
Just in time for the deadline for submissions to the latest government review of secondary ticketing, here comes Harvey Goldsmith with his view on the matter.

Actually, this submission was to BBC Radio 4's 'Front Row' programme, but I think he's posted something off to the government too. Anyway, he reckons that secondary ticketing websites are "a national disgrace".

As previously reported, this new review of the secondary ticketing market by the Department Of Culture, Media & Sport was announced last month. Some regulation of said market was introduced as part of the Consumer Rights Act at the end of the last parliament. That legislation also said a review of consumer protection measures in the secondary ticketing domain should follow the act becoming law. And so here we are.

Goldsmith pointed out that tickets for recent O2 Arena shows, which already had an utterly ridiculous face value price of £182 (he didn't say "utterly ridiculous", but that really was the primary ticketing price) were selling for £3000 on resale sites. Therefore, he said: "We're asking the government to pass a law which says you cannot sell a ticket for more than 10% of its face value".

Another problem with the secondary market, of course - and one of the issues highlighted in that recent Which? report on the online touting game - is that in some cases people are spending money on tickets which have already been cancelled by promoters who saw them on a resale site (reselling usually breaches the ticket's terms and conditions), or which never even existed in the first place.

"We had an event this year where 27 people bought tickets on a secondary platform", Paul Reed of the Association Of Independent Festivals told 'Front Row'. "They showed up at the festival and the secondary ticketing platform had essentially facilitated the sale of a piece of paper. It wasn't worth anything. The secondary platforms weren't contactable, they weren't accountable. But these tickets were fraudulent".

Ticketmaster says that protections in place on its Get Me In and Seatwave sites mean incidents of fraud like this are actually quite rare. Though this is far from the only issue.

"We don't want to stop people reselling tickets", says former manager and founder of primary ticketing service Dice, Phil Hutcheon. "There's lots of situations where fans can't make a show and want to pass the tickets on to another fan. Our thing is that, when someone is buying dozens or thousands of tickets and reselling them and distorting the market, that's a real issue. And they can get away with it because no one knows who's doing it".

Because, although the Consumer Rights Act added new rules ordering that information about tickets being resold online be displayed, the government stopped short of forcing secondary sites to reveal the identity of the seller. Which is a move some are pushing for, though it would likely reveal that at least some of those involved in industrial-level reselling come from within the music industry.

The public consultation on the matter closes tomorrow (20 Nov), so get your submissions in quick. We'll be making ours via this week's CMU Podcast, out tomorrow too.

Dan Le Sac asks, do subscriptions to individual musicians give value for money?
Dan Le Sac has returned to his position as CMU columnist, taking time out for a moment from streaming himself playing videogames on Twitch. Although he didn't leave it behind entirely, comparing the gaming platform's business model to Bandcamp's recent launch of artist-specific subscriptions. Is one artist, he pondered, worth $20 a year?

"Although to me [artist subscriptions are] a great idea, how will the average music lover justify giving just one artist Bandcamp's suggested $20 dollars a year subscription fee when you can have literally millions of songs for $120 a year on Spotify?" he asked. "We could think of this model as Patreon tailored entirely towards music - crowdfunding with sustainability maybe - but when we look outside the music industry to other subscription models, it does seem like music lovers are getting the shitty end of the value-for-money stick".

Twitch allows people to watch and interact with gamers. "When a broadcaster [on Twitch] grows to a certain size and has a decent number of concurrent viewers, they can become partnered with Twitch. In short, a partnered channel can earn ad revenue if they wish and its viewers can support the stream by paying an optional monthly subscription of $4.99 (of which half goes to the streamer)".

However, there is no obligation to pay, or even to sign up to the service, but a growing number of broadcasters on Twitch are still able to do it full time.

"The point, the lesson that Twitch can teach musicians, is basically this: humans aren't dicks", he says. "When given the opportunity to support someone they ultimately have respect for, they will support them, but we have to show faith in those humans in the first place".

Read Dan's article in full here.

Male suicide awareness charity CALM launches #dontbeastatistic campaign with SBTV and Rapman
Hey everyone, today is International Men's Day. Yes, like every day. But this official day of men sees the launch of an important media campaign highlighting the issue of suicide among young men from the charity Campaign Against Living Miserably.

Suicide remains the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, and three times more men than women take their own lives. CALM's latest campaign, 'Don't Be A Statistic', launched with SBTV and Unilad, urges men to talk about their feelings and to encourage a wider conversation about male suicide.

The campaign launched with a music video and new track by Rapman on the SBTV YouTube channel, called 'Rollercoaster'.

CALM CEO Jane Powell said in a statement: "In 2014, 76% of suicides were male, and suicide currently stands as the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in this country. That's why it's so important that artists such as Rapman and media platforms like SBTV and Unilad raise awareness for this endemic issue and spread the message that you don't have to be a statistic; reach out to friends, family and our support network if you are feeling suicidal".

Explaining his own involvement in the initiative, Rapman said: "I began to remember a friend of mine who started getting really depressed over a snowball of events including himself losing his job and his girlfriend. I knew he was down but just thought it was a phase until one night he called me contemplating suicide".

"I thought he was joking but soon sensed his tone and realised it was serious", he continued. "He told me he had been taking antidepressant medication for a while and had nothing worth living for. I sat on the phone to him for hours telling him things will be OK and he will eventually find a new partner and job. I went over there and after a lot of heart to hearts managed to talk him off the ledge".

He finished: "Months down the line he took me out to tell me thank you, that he's got a new job and girlfriend and if it wasn't for my words, he really would of killed himself. So I figured, how many other people are in this situation? I could tell this story with a twist and help someone else".

Of the video, SBTV's Jamal Edwards explained: "Rapman told me about his friend and we had a chat and came up with this video. Male suicide is a very important issue that desperately needs more attention and I'm glad SBTV can help and encourage men to reach out to their friends, family or support charities if they are feeling depressed or suicidal".

For more information, visit the website and follow the #dontbeastatistic hashtag on social media.

Watch the 'Rollercoster' video here.


NME announces new Digital Editor
Popular branded content platform NME has got itself a brand new Digital Editor in the form of Charlotte Gunn. She moves to the title from her role as Audience Development Manager for its publisher Time Inc UK's "lifestyle brands", where she has been "specialising in search, social and CRM growth strategies".

And I'm sure you, like me, can't wait to see what impact this new hire will have on NME's all-important CRM growth strategy. For old-timers like myself, I always hark back to the 1990s, when I think NME's CRM growth strategy was at its all-time peak. But now that the print extension of this leading consumer engagement tool has enabled free D2C distribution mechanics and fulfilment, we might just be set for something even bigger and better than anything and everything that went before.

Which is presumably why Editor In Chief Mike Williams is so delighted. "I'm delighted to announce Charlotte Gunn as the new Digital Editor of NME", he said. "Charlotte's track record is very impressive, having driven massive growth and masterminded key new product launches in her previous roles. Coupled with her deep understanding of the NME brand - both its rich history and exciting future - her credentials become all the more impressive. This is an absolutely key appointment for NME and reinforces our commitment to the digital-first strategy that we outlined in July. I can't wait to start working with her".

Gunn replaces Greg Cochrane, who departed as NME's digital dude just before the print mag went free in September. It goes without saying, surely, that she is thrilled about her new job. "I'm thrilled to be joining NME at such a momentous time in its legendary history", she said. "This is the brand that got me into music, so to now be tasked with helping Mike and the team drive its digital growth is an absolute honour. We've got aspirations to be the biggest and best multi-channel millennial brand in the world, and I'm excited about being part of the team that gets us there".

Elsewhere in Time Inc UK news, since you insisted on bringing the publishing firm up, the media business is planning on relocating 30 of its titles and 300 of its staff to a new HQ outside of Central London in a cost saving move. Though the relocating titles will unlikely include NME, or the other entertainment magazines owned by the group, because when you're busy upgrading your CRM growth strategy you don't want to be stuck out in the provinces where people still talk about "magazines".


BBC sells Adele special to thirteen other countries
Taking time off from single-handedly saving the British music industry, Adele has now stepped in to rescue the BBC from its impending doom at the hands of the terrible Tories. She's even agreed to work with Graham Norton to make this happen, such is her commitment to pulling the UK creative industries out of the shit soup they've got themselves into.

Which is to say, the Beeb has flogged tomorrow's Graham Norton-hosted and BBC1-aired 'Adele - Live At The BBC' show to broadcasters in thirteen other countries. The programme, Adele's first TV performance in two years, will feature previous hits and songs from new record '25', and is being repackaged as 'Adele - Live In London' for telly networks in France, Spain, Canada, Italy and nine other countries.

Music man at the Corporation's commercial division BBC Worldwide, Salim Mukaddam, is obviously "thrilled" by the Adele venture. "We're thrilled to be able to work with Adele and the BBC to bring this extraordinary piece of prime time television to a global audience", he said.

BBC Worldwide profits help fund the BBC itself, of course, and the Adele show licensing deals were confirmed just at the Corporation was announcing all the stuff it will have to axe in a bid to meet the budget cuts forced on it by the licence-fee-hating Conservative government. But if only Adele could be persuaded to do a telly special three times a month, all those popular BBC services could be saved. Come on Adele, do it for the red button.

  Approved: Julia Holter
I haven't written about Julia Holter and her latest album 'Have You In My Wilderness' much this year. Which worries me - you might think I don't like it, or that I was ignoring her because the quality of her output has started to dip. I'm sure you were busy wondering about all that. You were, right? Right. Oh. Well, anyway, I do like it and the quality of her output has far from dipped. So now you know.

'Have You In My Wilderness' is an impressive album among a catalogue of consistently impressive albums. So it's a close call, but I think it's probably nearer the top of the list of her best work than the bottom.

Need an example? Well, just yesterday she put out the video for 'Silhouette', a song which perfectly displays her ability to delicately arrange instruments so that it sounds like they're floating. Her voice then orbits this cloud of music like a bird.

Oh, and have you seen her live? You should totally do that. Luckily, she's just announced some UK and Ireland tour dates for next February too. Here's the 'Silhouette' video.
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Eagles Of Death Metal issue statement on Bataclan attack
Eagles Of Death Metal have issued a statement on the violent attack that occurred at their show at Bataclan in Paris last Friday - their first update since a brief message in the hours following the incident.

As previously reported, the Bataclan venue was a number of sites attacked in the French capital last weekend, as attackers took control of the building and killed 89 audience members. Among the dead were the band's tour merchandiser and three current and former employees of their label, Universal, who were all referenced in the statement.

"While the band is now home safe, we are horrified and still trying to come to terms with what happened in France", they wrote. "Our thoughts and hearts are first and foremost with our brother Nick Alexander, our record company comrades Thomas Ayad, Marie Mosser, and Manu Perez, and all the friends and fans whose lives were taken in Paris, as well as their friends, families, and loved ones".

They continued: "Although bonded in grief with the victims, the fans, the families, the citizens of Paris, and all those affected by terrorism, we are proud to stand together, with our new family, now united by a common goal of love and compassion".

Finishing, they said that the support they received during and after the attack proves "once again that love overshadows evil", concluding: "Vive la musique, vive la liberté, vive la France, and vive EODM".

Read the full statement here.

As you might expect, all currently scheduled Eagles Of Death Metal shows have been cancelled.

Universal Music Publishing, TuneCore, Society Of Ticket Agents And Retailers, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Universal Music Publishing Group has signed an exclusive worldwide deal to represent and administer the musical works of LA-based TV and movie studio STX Entertainment. STX President Sophie Watts is "thrilled" but UMPG CEO Jody Gerson is only "very pleased". Make of that what you will. I advise nothing.

• Digital distribution and rights management firm TuneCore has opened an office in Atlanta, which will be headed up by a new VP at the company, Phillana Williams. "Constantly", said top man Scott Ackerman. "Striving to help artists", since you asked.

• The Society Of Ticket Agents And Retailers has appointed a new Chairman in the form of Adrian Sanders, the ex-Lib Dem MP who sat on the culture select committee and was a member of the APPG On Ticket Abuse during his eighteen years in Parliament.

• Good news everybody, the in-development social network for music fans Crowdmix has got itself a Dick Wingate. The former major label exec and digital music specialist will lead "strategic collaboration with a broad coalition of music industry stakeholders" in the US. Don't know what that means, but then I don't know what Crowdmix is for either.

• Tidal's Chief Investment Officer Vania Schlogel - aka the only non-artist who spoke during that relaunch fiasco - left the streaming service earlier this year, she has confirmed to the New York Times. She is the latest in a number of key execs to depart from the company.

• Sandi Thom, of crying on video fame, has released a video in which she doesn't cry. I don't think she does, anyway. She's made it one of those 360° ones, and appears in different guises all over it, so it's quite hard to check.

• Tom Parker, formerly off of The Wanted, has released his first two solo tracks as a house producer, 'Undiscovered' and 'Finally'. The latter is a cover of the CeCe Peniston track. So, that's some information.

• Savages will perform one of those live show things at The Dome in Tufnell Park on 3 Dec. Also, look, a new song.

• Queen Kwong will play what I'm told is their first UK tour next month. I could have sworn they'd toured the UK before. Well, let's not think about it too much. Let's just listen to new single 'Bells On' instead.

• Rick Astley is touring the UK next March and April performing his greatest hits AND songs from his new album. Best of both worlds.

Morrissey nominated for Bad Sex award
Morrissey has, quite unsurprisingly, been nominated for the Literary Review's 2015 Bad Sex In Fiction Award.

The musician published his debut novel, 'List Of The Lost', earlier this year to roundly disapproving reviews. In a recent interview, he claimed that this was because critics don't like him, and had very little to do with his story of a demonically possessed sports relay team.

A nomination for a Bad Sex award doesn't necessarily prove him wrong, but he did receive it for references to, among other things, "one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation", "a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation', and of course, who could forget, one of his character's "bulbous salutation".

Moz's book is up against 'Before, During, After' by Richard Bausch, 'Book Of Numbers' by Joshua Cohen, 'Against Nature' by Tomas Espedal, 'Fates And Furies' by Lauren Groff, 'The Making Of Zombie Wars' by Aleksandar Hemon, 'Fear Of Dying' by Erica Jong, and 'The Martini Shot' by George Pelecanos.

The winner will be announced on 1 Dec.

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
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.
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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.
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