MONDAY 21 DECEMBER 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: SFX's money-lenders are busy hoping that Live Nation will acquire the flagging EDM powerhouse, according to Reuters. As much previously reported, this has been a tricky year for the dance festival operator and Beatport owner, after founder Robert FX Sillerman twice aborted plans to buy up all the shares he doesn't currently control and take the firm back into private ownership... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, but not as fat as this playlist I've just stuffed with eleven hours of excellent music. Yes, we're taking a break from writing about new music over the festive period, which gives you plenty of time to catch up with all the acts we included in the CMU Approved column in 2015. Pretty much all of them are featured... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: In the final CMU Podcast of the year, CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review both the week and the year in music and the music business, including the Copyright Royalty Board ruling in the US and Spotify's latest hire, plus the key developments and stories, and artists and releases, from 2015. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES SFX bondholders want a Live Nation acquisition for Christmas
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LIVE BUSINESS Ticketmaster takes the heat during unprecedented demand for Adele tickets Stateside
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BRANDS & MERCH EE recalls Power Bar portable chargers
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Beatles may stream this week
Universal winding down Sinfini Music as standalone site
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MEDIA Billboard publisher spun off into standalone company
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RELEASES PJ Harvey readying new album
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AWARDS DJ Mag presents its Best Of British Awards
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ONE LINERS NHS Choir, M83, Shane MacGowan, more
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AND FINALLY... Simon Cowell thinks Zayn Malik's 1D dissing was just "rude"
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Click JUMP to skip direct to a section of this email or ONLINE to read and share stories on the CMU website (JUMP option may not work in all email readers). For regular updates from Team CMU follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.
 
 
THE COLUMBO GROUP - PRESS OFFICER (LONDON)
We are looking for a highly motivated and creative individual to be the Press Officer for an exciting venue re-launch in London.
The ideal candidate will have at least a year's experience in the PR industry, with a passion for nightlife, music and food, and a keen eye for detail. We are looking for someone who has the ability to deliver excellent press coverage, offer fresh ideas for our communications strategies and thrive under a heavy work load.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
WARP - HEAD OF RETAIL MARKETING (LONDON)
Warp require an experienced person to lead promotions and marketing at physical retail and distribution, as well as the broad array of digital download and streaming services. This is a senior role in our sales and marketing team and you will be responsible for creating and implementing innovative retail focused sales and marketing campaigns, across new releases and catalogue, both in the UK and internationally.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
CONVERGENCE FESTIVAL - MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Taking place at multiple venues over 10-20 March 2016 Convergence is a celebration of music pioneers, visual artists and technologists. This role is required to implement Convergence 2016 marketing plan as set by the festival’s Marketing Director.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MARKETING MANAGER (MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL) (LONDON)
You will join a small, young and energetic team of events organisers to take over the delivery of the festival marketing strategy. Your skills and expertise will be used to build on our previous success and support the festival growth with increased ticket sales and a strengthening brand profile.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BASCA - MEMBER EVENTS/MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
The British Academy Of Songwriters, Composers & Authors is seeking a Member Events And Marketing Co-ordinator.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
ROCKFEEDBACK - HEAD OF MARKETING & EDITORIAL (LONDON)
A crucial role at the RFB, this is a role for an ideally experienced person in the music industry, working with the Head Booker and full team on liaising with Booking Agents, Managers and the wider industry on constructing and actioning marketing plans and creative marketing ideas.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
ROCKFEEDBACK - ASSISTANT BOOKER / EVENTS CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
We are hiring for a fantastic entry level position for someone looking to become fully employed in the live music industry. The role will be working directly with the Head Booker on the booking of new talent and bringing new acts into the fold, forging new relationships with industry - agents / managers / artists. Watching a wealth of new acts and looking to work closely with new music.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
B-LINE FESTIVAL BARS - PRODUCTION MANAGER (LONDON)
The Production Manager role at B-Line Festival Bars is an exciting opportunity for a person with the right experience and career interests to work on a number of major outdoor music festivals and brand activations through primarily the provision of public bars.

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

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
CMU Jobs is a proven way to recruit the best music business talent for roles across the industry at all levels, from graduate to senior management. To book an ad contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
 
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.
 
18 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminars: How The Music Business Works Programme
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18 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Making Money From Music
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20 Jan 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
CLICK FOR INFO
25 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
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1 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
CLICK FOR INFO
8 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
CLICK FOR INFO
10 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Key Developments In Music Rights
CLICK FOR INFO
15 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Live Sector, Brand Partnerships & Fan Services
CLICK FOR INFO
22 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
CLICK FOR INFO
29 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
CLICK FOR INFO
6 Mar 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
CLICK FOR INFO
6 May 2016 CMU Insights @ Canadian Music Week 2016
CLICK FOR INFO
19-20 May 2016 CMU Insights @ The Great Escape 2016
CLICK FOR INFO
 

SFX bondholders want a Live Nation acquisition for Christmas
SFX's money-lenders are busy hoping that Live Nation will acquire the flagging EDM powerhouse, according to Reuters.

As much previously reported, this has been a tricky year for the dance festival operator and Beatport owner, after founder Robert FX Sillerman twice aborted plans to buy up all the shares he doesn't currently control and take the firm back into private ownership.

The insecurity those plans created, coupled with some disappointing financials, has resulted in the firm's share price tanking. As a result its debt pile of around $300 million is now nearly ten times the market cap valuation of the company, ie the total value of all shares issued, which currently stands at $32.63 million.

SFX recently confirmed it had asked its bankers to investigate a possible restructuring of its debts. Then it was rumoured that Cream founder James Barton - currently a Live Nation executive - was in talks to join the company, possibly replacing Sillerman as CEO. Certainly the consensus is that shareholders and money-lenders no longer trust the SFX founder to run the company.

Another option, it seems, is for Barton's current employer to take control of SFX, which would be history repeating itself, given that media giant Clear Channel bought Sillerman's original SFX venue business back in the day, subsequently spinning that venture off as a standalone company, aka Live Nation.

It is thought that the live entertainment giant was among the companies to express an interest in SFX's assets when the latter's directors were accepting bids earlier this year. Though, given the EDM firm's liabilities, Live Nation is seemingly in no major rush to complete any deal, preferring to wait and see what the bankers can do with SFX's debts.

But, says Reuters, for SFX's bondholders, a Live Nation acquisition would be the best possible option, because they could get their money back - and a profit - as part of any complete takeover of the EDM firm. Though, if Live Nation were to pick off SFX's most successful festival brands and buy them individually instead, bondholders might be deprived their pay day.

Live Nation has been boosting its EDM credentials in recent years, not least by acquiring Barton's Cream business, and an SFX buy would make it a dominant force in the dance music sector. Though, given the US-led EDM bubble arguably burst this year, it remains to be seen just how much Live Nation would be willing to pay. Buying a few slices of SFX, and avoiding the EDM firm's debt liabilities, would likely be attractive.

Ticketmaster takes the heat during unprecedented demand for Adele tickets Stateside
I often think, the main reason for using Ticketmaster to sell your tickets is that they are already the music brand everyone loves to hate, so if and when things go wrong - because there's too much demand for tickets, or there's a screw up on individual transactions, or people don't like a promoter's pricing - the Live Nation subsidiary soaks up all the consumer rage, and the promoter, venue and artist walk away with their reps untarnished.

Last week, Ticketmaster took the heat as Adele tickets went on sale in the US. This time it was the ticketing firm's own servers that were the problem, though they only struggled because demand was so fucking high.

According to Billboard's sources, over 10 million fans went online to try and buy one of the 750,000 tickets available, with four million New Yorkers reportedly online at the same time doing the refresh dance in a bid to secure a ticket or two. Bloody Adele, not satisfied with breaking all those album sales records, now she's insisting on breaking all the ticketing records too. Leave at least something for someone else Adkins.

Aware that fans were venting loudly on social media about Ticketmaster's lethargic and crashing website (the firm denies it ever crashed), the company's President for North America, Jared Smith, sent a memo to staff telling them they'd all done very well indeed, despite the unprecedented demand causing servers to wobble.

In the memo, published by Billboard, Smith writes: "I know it must be frustrating to read that we crashed during Adele's onsale and that fans are upset with us because they couldn't get tickets. I want you all to know that [Live Nation CEO] Michael [Rapino] and I, and more importantly our partners, know just how well the systems (and you all) performed yesterday. Thanks to your efforts - even with what I'm told was easily an all-time record of ten million+ fans rushing to our site - we delivered a good experience for as many fans as possible".

Confirming the official excuse for the wobbles, he went on: "Unfortunately, when there is such a exceptional artist with unprecedented demand against short supply, there are inevitably going to be disappointed fans".

The good news is that Team Ticketmaster are presumably used to being at the receiving end of consumer-hate, so they'll just let the Adele-fan-rage wash over them and get on with their jobs. Well done one and all.

EE recalls Power Bar portable chargers
In 2014, as part of its Glastonbury sponsorship, mobile network EE launched an initiative to make charging your devices at the festival less painful. Just buy yourself a portable battery called a Power Bar and when that ran out, well, you could come and swap it for another fully charged one. And that was all great. But now it turns out those things might be a fire risk.

So much so, EE is recalling all its Power Bars, offering a £20 voucher to redeem against other accessories in its store. Says the company: "If you have a Power Bar, you should stop using it straight away and hand it in to one of our stores. We are taking this action because we are aware of a very small number of further incidents where Power Bars have overheated in circumstances that could cause a fire safety risk".

Further details here.

Beatles may stream this week
The Beatles are set to party like its 2008 by finally arriving on the streaming platforms this very Christmas Eve, according to sources speaking to Billboard.

There has been speculation for some time as to when the Fab Four's catalogue might finally arrive on the streaming services. Some expected Apple - which finally persuaded the band's reps to let them sell Beatles tracks on iTunes in 2010, and which has enjoyed exclusivity ever since - might have a Fab Four-themed announcement when it put Apple Music live earlier this year, but that didn't come to pass.

Then, when the Beatles website suddenly had a countdown clock in September, there was new chatter that this could be a big streaming announcement, but it turned out to be linked to the recent release of a repackaged version of their '1' hits collection.

However, say sources, new discussions about the streaming of Beatles recordings have been underway all year, Rob Wells kickstarting negotiations before departing Universal Music back in February. The mega-major now controls the catalogue, of course, in partnership with the band's Apple Corps company, since its EMI acquisition in 2012.

While many expected an exclusivity deal to be struck up with just one streaming service, probably Apple, the latest consensus is that multiple and possibly most platforms will be given access to Beatles albums at the same time. I wonder if that will include any 1965 unreleased rarities, which need to be made public this month to ensure they stay in copyright in Europe. We'll see, I guess.

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

Universal winding down Sinfini Music as standalone site
Classical music website Sinfini Music - which set out to make classical more accessible to those unfamiliar with the genre - has stopped commissioning new editorial content, according to Classical Music Magazine.

The Sinfini website was actually a Universal Music-owned initiative, though its editorial covered releases and events across the classical genre. Earlier this month it also launched a new playlists service called Pitched, powering classical tracklistings on Spotify and Deezer.

The mega-major says that the Sinfini Music team will now focus on creating content for the website of its classical label Deutsche Grammophon, seemingly instead of running a standalone editorial service. It's possible that the Pitched service could also become a standalone project, given Universal's wider interests in curating playlists on key streaming platforms.

Classical Music quotes a Universal Music spokesman as saying: "Sinfini Music will now power the launch of the English language element of Deutsche Grammophon's comprehensive site. Sinfini's unique content will amplify and enhance the online presence of this already iconic label".

Billboard publisher spun off into standalone company
The current owner of US music industry magazine Billboard is spinning off the title - as well as other trade mags like The Hollywood Reporter and awards producer Dick Clark Productions - into a new business that will be controlled by the current president of its media unit.

The arrangement will create a standalone company led by Todd Boehley, who is currently President of Guggenheim Digital Media, which has to date overseen the media assets of US finance firm Guggenheim Partners.

The new business will have four units, one running Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, another controlling Adweek, Mediabistro and the Clio Awards, and then Golden Globes maker Dick Clark Productions. The fourth will be film distributor A24, of which Boehley is already a co-owner. Boehley will cease to work for Guggenheim as a result of the deal, though he will retain links with the finance firm, not least as a shareholder.

Confirming his new business, and its acquisition of Guggenheim's media assets, Boehly is quoted by Billboard as saying: "I'm very excited about this. These are tremendous brands with huge growth potential, especially as they expand into video. My goal is to invest and build something even more special than what we have now".

  CMU Approved in 2015 playlist
Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, but not as fat as this playlist I've just stuffed with eleven hours of excellent music. Yes, we're taking a break from writing about new music over the festive period, which gives you plenty of time to catch up with all the acts we included in the CMU Approved column in 2015. Pretty much all of them are featured, with just the odd track here and there that's not yet on Spotify.

Nestled within are names you'll recognise, alongside others which are less familiar or who you just forgot about. And, of course, there are our five favourite acts of 2015, revealed over the course of last week. Plus right at the end you'll find the two best songs released in 2015. But I suggest you switch on shuffle, hit play and let each track hit you at random. It's all good. All of it. You will not dislike one thing.

Get listening here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

PJ Harvey readying new album
PJ Harvey is going to release a new album in early 2016. Which we already knew, but it still seems surprising and a bit exciting. Maybe I'm just letting the festive spirit get to me.

Anyway, as you'll remember, Harvey did that whole 'recording in a box' thing at the start of the year at Somerset House in London. This was, it turns out, the final stage of a much longer writing process, which saw her travel to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington, DC.

Here's a short clip of some behind the scenes photos and a little bit of new music.

DJ Mag presents its Best Of British Awards
DJ Mag held its Best Of British Awards last week, a celebration of all the things that are both dance music and British. So, it was a bit like the magazine's annual DJ Poll, but with categories and no Dutch DJs in the house to steal all the accolades.

And who won the prizes? Well, I'll tell you who would the bloody prizes. These guys...

Best DJ: Eats Everything
Breakthrough DJ: Jasper James
Best MC: Skepta
Best Producer: Nocturnal Sunshine, aka Maya Jane Coles
Breakthrough Producer: Palms Trax
Best Live Act: Chemical Brothers

Best Album: The Revenge - Love That Will Not Die
Best Tune: Bicep - Just
Best Remix: Eats Everything feat Tiga vs Audion - Dancing
Best Compilation: Slam present Transmissions - Glasgow

Best Radio Show: Annie Mac
Best DJ Mag Live Stream: Carl Cox

Best Large Club: Fabric
Best Small Club: Sub Club
Best Dance Festival: We Are FSTVL
Best Boutique Festival: The Social
Best Club Event: Circus

Best Label: Defected
Breakthrough Label: Dixon Avenue Basement Jams

Industry Icon: Greg Wilson
Outstanding Contribution: Fabio & Grooverider

NHS Choir, M83, Shane MacGowan, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• The Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir is currently on track for the Christmas number one position with 'A Bridge Over You' - a mash-up of Coldplay's 'Fix You' and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' by Simon & Garfunkel. This year, thanks to the chart's shift to Friday, the big reveal will come on Christmas Day itself.

• The new M83 album is finished and is apparently "quite different" to any of Anthony Gonzalez's previous works, it being influenced by 60s and 70s TV shows "like 'Punky Brewster' and 'Who's The Boss'".

• Sunn o)))'s Stephen O'Malley has released a vinyl-only album, titled 'Fuck Fundamentalist Pigs' in response to the attacks on Paris (where O'Malley lives) last month. Find out more about the release here.

• Balam Acab has put out his first new release in four years. Check it out on Bandcamp here.

• Specific Records has released a new EP by CMU approved Japanese pop-rap duo Suiyoubi No Campanella called 'Jugem Je T'aime'. It's out on limited edition vinyl right now.

• Benga will continue his tentative return to music in February, playing a headline DJ set in a Tectonic-hosted room at Fabric on 12 Feb.

• Dental surgeon Darragh Mulrooney has spoken to The Independent about climbing "the Everest of dentistry" by putting teeth back in the mouth of Shane MacGowan.

Simon Cowell thinks Zayn Malik's 1D dissing was just "rude"
Simon Cowell thinks that there Zayn Malik is just a little bit "rude", what with his dissing of One Direction's music making and him calling his former group's sound "generic as fuck".

As previously reported, Malik, now pursuing his solo career of course, recently gave an interview with Fader magazine in which he talked about his time inside the boyband powerhouse.

Describing his frustration with the 1D music making process, he said that he'd sometimes try to put his own spin on a song when recording it in the studio, but that the band's bosses would keep getting him to re-record his bits "until there was a straight version that was pop, generic as fuck, so they could use that version".

But Cowell denies that 1D members had so little creative influence on their output. The Mirror quotes the Syco chief - responding to Malik's Fader chat - as saying: "It is a bit rude to the people who wrote all the hits with them. And to the other band members. I mean they all wrote a lot of the stuff".

Don't worry though, Malik will probably change his tune over time. "I think once he has had a chance to reflect on everything he will probably reconsider what he's said", says Cowell. And that's probably true. Just before the inevitable mega-bucks reunion tour, presumably.

Meanwhile, don't be thinking Mr Syco is sitting at home every night fretting over what the boy Malik has been saying this week. "To be honest, I don't even think about it too much, because as soon as he left we sorted him out with a label who really were enthusiastic about him and then my loyalty was back with the boys".

So there you go. But here's the question of the day: what do you make of Cowell's label-boss-responding-to-bitter-former-signee remarks? Yeah, I know, generic as fuck.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

For details of the training and consultancy services offered by CMU Insights click here - Andy and Chris are also available to provide music business comment, just email them direct.

To promote your company or advertise jobs or services to the entire UK music industry via the CMU bulletin or website contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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