FRIDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Pandora boss Brian McAndrews played down reports that the streaming music firm is up for sale on an investor call yesterday, when asked to comment on a New York Times report that said the company had engaged Morgan Stanley to sound out potential buyers. The paper's sources conceded that "talks are preliminary and may not lead to a deal", while McAndrews, after... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Well, love is in the air - apparently - and to mark the occasion Familia is holding a masked ball at Egg in London, calling upon the Valentine's weekenders to don flamboyant disguises, adding to the visual delights of the night, and perhaps a little... romantique? Moon Harbour Recordings boss Matthias Tanzmann will be jetting in for a showcase of the talent... [READ MORE]
 
BEEF OF THE WEEK: Look, I don't want to alarm you, but the artistic credibility of One Direction has been called into question. Sorry for just coming out and saying it, but I thought it was the best way. Just get it out there. Then we can sit here together and work this thing out. The claim that members of One Direction might not be driven entirely by art for art's sake came from Matt Healy of leftfield... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including Warner and Sony's commitments to share any cash from selling Spotify shares with their artists, Bloc's move out of the festival market, SoundCloud's make or break year, and (for some reason) Martin Shkreli. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES Pandora boss plays down reports his firm is up for sale
JUMP | ONLINE
LEGAL Blurred Lines lawyer argues against the Gaye family's claim for legal costs
JUMP | ONLINE
LIVE BUSINESS Eventbrite acquires Queue
JUMP | ONLINE
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Time Inc buys MySpace (somewhat inadvertently)
JUMP | ONLINE
MEDIA Shift to free secures NME its highest ever ABC
Johnston Press in "advanced talks" to buy i
JUMP | ONLINE
ARTIST NEWS Aidan Moffat to premiere Scottish folk film
JUMP | ONLINE
RELEASES Future Of The Left are releasing a new album
Efterklang offshoot Liima announce debut album, release video
JUMP | ONLINE
AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #293: The 1975 v One Direction
JUMP | ONLINE
 
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 ORCHARD - VIDEO SERVICES ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
We’re looking for a smart, creative and analytical forward thinker to fill a new position within our European Video Services team as Account Manager. Based in London, UK, the post-holder will help lead and develop our European video service business, executing on a value proposition that drives client satisfaction, engagement and revenue.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BELIEVE DIGITAL - INTERNATIONAL MANAGER (LONDON)
Believe Digital is looking for an international manager to join its Label Services team in the UK. A deep knowledge of the independent music sector at international level, as well as the experience and knowledge to manage projects, is essential as Believe continues to drive its label acquisition, marketing and distribution strategy worldwide.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
TROXY - BOX OFFICE MANAGER (LONDON)
This is a fantastic role for an experienced Box Office Manager to join the team at Troxy London, a unique venue in East London. We’re looking for someone with Box Office experience, and you will come from an environment where the customer experience is key.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
WALLACE PRODUCTIONS - SENIOR MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Wallace Productions require an experienced day-to-day Artist Manager / Senior Management Assistant to join the management team. This is a wonderful opportunity for someone with 3-4 years’ experience wishing to grow and develop in a busy and internationally focused role.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DHP FAMILY - PROMOTIONS CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Building on our success DHP are looking for an enthusiastic and pro-active Marketing Co-ordinator to work with the current marketing team and deliver marketing solutions and campaigns for our London based business.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BUCKS MUSIC GROUP - PAID INTERNSHIP (LONDON)
Mute Song is seeking a dynamic individual to join the company as Music Publishing Assistant. This position presents a terrific opportunity for a bright and engaging person to embark on a rewarding career in music publishing.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MUTE SONG - MUSIC PUBLISHING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Mute Song is seeking a dynamic individual to join the company as Music Publishing Assistant. This position presents a terrific opportunity for a bright and engaging person to embark on a rewarding career in music publishing.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BEGGARS MUSIC - COPYRIGHT AND ROYALTIES ANALYST (LONDON)
Beggars Music are looking to hire an experienced Copyright and Royalties Analyst, based in their London office. The role would be best suited to someone with experience of either working within music publishing administration or a collection society.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
LISTEN UP - PRESS MANAGER (LONDON)
We are hiring an experienced Press Manager to join the press team at Listen Up. The candidate will need 2-4 years' experience experience in a similar role with a thorough knowledge of artist and label campaigns. We are looking for an enthusiastic and articulate individual with strong writing and organisational skills.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AEG LIVE - TICKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
We are now hiring a Ticketing Assistant to join our team. The successful candidate will support the day to day operations of the ticketing team for events within AEG Live & Goldenvoice.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
YOUR ARMY - MUSIC EVENTS AND PRESS OFFICER (LONDON)
Your Army is seeking a dynamic Music Events And Press Officer to join its expanding and busy Press Department and Promotions Team. The successful candidate will have a minimum of 2-3 years experience working across national music events and festivals alongside an adept understanding of both new and established artist campaigns.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
FMLY - BOOKING AGENT (BRIGHTON)
FMLY London is a booking agency based in Brighton and we are looking to expand our team and currently have an opening for an established booking agent.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SECRET ROAD - MUSIC LICENSING CREATIVE (LONDON)
Secret Road Music Services, Inc is a boutique music services company based in Los Angeles, California that focuses on music licensing, music publishing and artist management. We are seeking a Music Licensing Creative to join our London team working out of offices in Kings Cross.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
CIRCUS RECORDS - PART-TIME PAID INTERNSHIP (LONDON)
Electronic record label seeking a pro-active, knowledgable intern for 20 hours per week to help out in all departments including label management, social media, press and merchandise. Main responsibilities will include, but are not limited to assisting the label team with DJ and club promotion, press, social media and other more general label activities.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING - COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT (LONDON)
In April 2016 we’ll be launching an Artist Engagement project to help us elicit support for our campaigns from prominent musicians. Esmée Fairbairn have awarded us funding to build on the success of our #MusicWithoutBarriers and Club Attitude campaigns. We are seeking a part-time Communications Assistant to work with us for two years.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING - ARTIST ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNITY CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
In April 2016 we’ll be launching an Artist Engagement project to help us elicit support for our campaigns from prominent musicians. Esmée Fairbairn have awarded us funding to build on the success of our #MusicWithoutBarriers and Club Attitude campaigns. We are seeking a freelance Artist Engagement And Community Co-ordinator to work with us for two years.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
CREAM - SOCIAL MEDIA & DIGITAL EXECUTIVE (LIVERPOOL)
Do you live and breathe social media? Have a passion for electronic music and festivals? Have a flair for design? Work well as part of a team? Enjoy working in a fast paced commercial environment? Then this could be the perfect job for you. Rare opportunity to join the Cream marketing team based in our new Liverpool offices.

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.
 
15 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Live Sector, Brand Partnerships & Fan Services
CLICK FOR INFO
17 Feb 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
CLICK FOR INFO
18 Feb 2016 CMU Insights @ Output 2016
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
16 Mar 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
CLICK FOR INFO
17 Mar 2016 CMU Insights @ Convergence 2016
CLICK FOR INFO
13 Apr 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
CLICK FOR INFO
14 Apr 2016 CMU Insights @ Music 4.5: Playlists 2
CLICK FOR INFO
18 Apr 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Music Business Explained - For Brands
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
 

Pandora boss plays down reports his firm is up for sale
Pandora boss Brian McAndrews played down reports that the streaming music firm is up for sale on an investor call yesterday, when asked to comment on a New York Times report that said the company had engaged Morgan Stanley to sound out potential buyers.

The paper's sources conceded that "talks are preliminary and may not lead to a deal", while McAndrews, after initially declining to comment on the speculation, told analysts, according to the Financial Times, "it's just not something we are focused on. We are focused on working as an independent company and driving our business. We are a public company and all that that entails".

Like most other free-to-access streaming services, Pandora is faced with the tricky challenge of turning impressive user numbers into equally impressive revenues.

Though Pandora is feeling more pressure than most, partly because it is publicly listed and so is very much in the glare of Wall Street, and partly because its user-growth has slowed of late (and at one point user-numbers dipped), meaning it can't placate investors with the "yeah, we're losing money but look at all those lovely new users!!!!" line.

While it continues to try to further grow its current core revenue team - ad sales - Pandora's main strategy at the moment is to try to find other sources of income, mainly by moving into on-demand streaming to make its premium offer more compelling, while also having a go at ticketing, hoping that its platform's reach and data will be attractive to concert promoters.

Meanwhile, expansion beyond the US, Australia and New Zealand is back on the agenda, which poses licensing challenges (and costs), though would probably result in a new period of userbase growth, allowing that "yeah, we're losing money but look at all those lovely new users!!!!" line to be wheeled out once again.

Nevertheless, despite this diversification strategy, and some key acquisitions to help make it all happen, investors remain hesitant about Pandora's future, a fact seen in its share price, which has slumped of late, so that the company's market cap valuation now stands around $2 billion, compared with over $7 billion two years ago.

It may be that Pandora management secretly reckon that diversification would be easier if the firm was in private ownership, and even more so if it was part of a bigger entity, like a Facebook or a Google, or maybe part of Sirius XM, or even Live Nation, all of whom analysts have reportedly tipped as possible bidders.

Though, for the time being, McAndrews seems set on making Pandora pay as an "independent company". Officially speaking at least.

Blurred Lines lawyer argues against the Gaye family's claim for legal costs
Having been (eventually) awarded $5.3 million in damages and 50% of future publishing royalties as a result of winning the high profile 'Blurred Lines' plagiarism battle, the Marvin Gaye estate should shut up and go home happy. Not my words ladies and gentlemen, but the words of lawyer Howard King. Well, my words, his sentiment.

King - the legal rep for 'Blurred Lines' creators and, in the eyes of the US courts, song stealers, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams - has responded to a claim by the Gaye family for a further $3.5 million in legal fees to be paid by the losing side. He doesn't think his clients should pay up.

Why? Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, King said in a legal filing this week: "If ever there was a case where the close nature of the dispute, the novel legal issues, and the important matters at stake merited denial of fees, this is that case. If fees are awarded here, it would send a message to anyone accuse[d] of infringement that, regardless of any legitimate basis to defend or serious questions as to the merits, a loss will necessarily result in an award of fees".

King has a particular issue with his clients being asked to cover a six-figure fee to the musicologist who spoke up for the Gaye family in the case. She was the expert who insisted that 'Blurred Lines' was sufficiently similar to Gaye song 'Got To Give It Up' to constitute copyright infringement. But King claims that Judith Finell was the fourth musicologist the Gaye family hired, because the others didn't agree about just how similar the two songs were.

However, says Gaye family lawyer Richard Busch, commenting on his client's claim for legal costs to be covered, let us not forget that it was Thicke n Pharrell who first went legal in the 'Blurred Lines' song-theft dispute. They sought court clarification that their hit didn't infringe the copyright in 'Got To Give It Up'. And in that original legal claim, the popstars demanded that their legal fees be covered.

The Reporter quotes Busch as saying: "They made it a point of asking the court to award them fees if they won, and, as we pointed out in our motion, used the threat of fees proactively. As a result, we believe they really have no right to now argue that it is not fair for fees to be awarded to the Gaye family".

And so, the most entertaining copyright dispute in recent history continues to go through the motions.

Eventbrite acquires Queue
Ticketing platform Eventbrite has acquired event management app Queue, which it plans to incorporate into its own online set-up later this year. This will bring Queue's currently US-only tools to a wider audience.

"Queue builds on Eventbrite's commitment to deliver the most innovative event solutions to our broad range of customers", says Eventbrite's VP of Strategy Randy Befumo. "Queue has built a suite of industry-leading products, designed specifically with the complex needs of venues in mind. We are THRILLED to welcome their talented team to the Eventbrite family and believe their expertise in music will substantially enhance our ability to deliver for customers".

Queue CEO Greg Patterson adds: "Joining Eventbrite enables us to focus on our primary mission of providing great promoter tools that help organisers run their events more efficiently, and now we can do it at scale. Queue shares Eventbrite's passion for live experiences and a maniacal focus on providing customers with innovative products and data-driven insights that improve their business".

Time Inc buys MySpace (somewhat inadvertently)
NME publisher Time Inc has bought the company that ended up owning MySpace. Why? Data, man. It's all about the data.

You all remember MySpace, right? We used to have a column dedicated to a different MySpace profile each day. Imagine that! They were crazy times. Then Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace. Then MySpace became a streaming music service. Then MySpace died. Then MySpace got sold. Then Justin Timberlake came in to rescue it all and make MySpace top dog all over again. Then Justin Timberlake failed to rescue it all and make MySpace top dog all over again. Then everyone forgot about MySpace. Until I reminded you, just there.

The US side of Time Inc has bought up Viant, a group of companies that includes advertising firm Specific Media. And that's the ad agency that bought MySpace for $35 million in 2011, with bold plans to return the site to its former glory in a social media world by then dominated by Facebook and Twitter. Mainly by transforming it into a social network that revolved around music. Because that's a winning formula that never fails. Apart for that time when, well, always.

For its part, Time Inc is interested in the consumer data owned by the wider Viant business, and how that can be mashed together with its magazines' websites to create data-driven, platform-agnostic, content-rich, consumer-engaging, traction-templates that foster and facilitate meaningful brand activations through multiple touch-points, while enhancing the overall user-experience through an analytics-rich employment of content-nodules that deliver brand-messaging skewed to the targeted-demographical-segment of the client's specific top-line product-fulfilment agenda. Or something like that. You know, so people can sell you shit.

And yes, in case you wondered, this deal really is a "game changer". Because Time Inc CEO Joe Ripp said so. "Marketers are selecting media partners that have either data-driven capabilities or premium content", he added. "We will be able to deliver both in a single platform, and will stand apart from those that offer just one or the other".

Or in the words of Viant boss and Timberlake fan Tim Vanderhook: "The combination of Time Inc and Viant is all about the marriage of first party data and premium content".

Ain't that the truth. As for the MySpace angle, Tom was unavailable for comment.

Shift to free secures NME its highest ever ABC
For years now, the publisher of the NME has insisted that we shouldn't obsess too much about the ABC audited magazine circulation figures that come out from time to time.

Because, I mean, get with the moment granddad, in this inter-connected, multi-channel age, how many people pick up the paper edition of your media brand each week for a good old read isn't what matters. Just look at our total audience reach across the web, mobile, YouTube and the tweets. And you're obsessing about how many dead trees we distribute?

But oh look, "NME reports its highest ABC in 64 year history", brags the publisher of the NME. "The iconic music brand today announces its first free-distribution ABC release of 307,217". Ah, dead trees are back in fashion, are they?

So yes, Time Inc was yesterday keen to big up the ABC figure of its key music title, now that the whole thing has gone free, meaning it no longer languishes at the bottom of the music mag ABC chart, trying hard not to recall just how much those newsstand sales have slumped in the last 20 years. Because since last September's relaunch as a freesheet, NME circulation is at an all time high. And not just because the guy at my local tube station dishes it out with the promise of "free music!"

Of course, everyone at the paid-for titles, when noting that freebie rivals are out-performing them in terms of distribution, will mumble "yeah, but how many of those mags are really handed out, picked up and read?"

But Time Inc is keen to stress just how strong its distribution network for the NME really is, ensuring all those 307,217 mags at the very least end up in someone's bag. Dr Martens and Richer Sounds have been added as retail partners alongside Topman and HMV, it adds, and the title will be distributed at a plethora of festivals this summer.

And anyway, the advertisers are happy, and that's what really matters when you're publishing a music-centric entertainment-led content-orientated brand-engagement-platform. Ad firms Mediacom and Havas were both quoted in the NME's latest ABC release, bigging up the title's role as a seller of stuff.

Back at NME HQ, at least Time Inc exec Paul Cheal remembered it's really all about total audience reach. "Not only are we now reaching more people every week in print but there has been a compound effect on our other platforms", he said. "In December NME.com had 5.6 million unique users, up 25% year-on-year, and a combined social following of 2.1 million, an increase of 24% on the year".

Good times then. "And while NME continues to evolve, it also continues to spark debate, divide opinions", he added. "And - when you look at the array of talent on the covers - plays a key influential role in music, film and beyond".

Don't worry though, elsewhere in the music mag ABCs there was plenty of doom and gloom, as print circulations continue to decline. Though, Rocksound did see combined print and digital sales rise 3%, while print sales of Classic Rock were also up over the year ever so slightly too. So, good times indeed. And crazy times. Enjoy the times.

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

Johnston Press in "advanced talks" to buy i
Regional newspaper firm Johnston Press is in "advanced talks" to buy i - the Metro-meets-broadsheet paper than span out of The Independent in October 2010 - according to The Guardian. The prospect of the sale has led to a new round of speculation about the future of The Independent itself, fuelled by the news that bosses at the paper are now, well, considering the future of The Independent itself.

Aiming at a younger audience - with a cheaper price point and more short-form content than your average broadsheet - i has been something of a success story in a newspaper market that continues to struggle as its audience shifts from the once lucrative print titles over to online outlets where it's harder to charge for content and ad sales are more modest.

The future of The Independent itself has been in doubt before, when previous owner Independent News & Media agonised over what to do with the loss-making title. Its sale to Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev in March 2010 bought it some time, and the subsequent launch of i helped turn round the fortunes of the media company, which also owns the Evening Standard and the London Live TV channel.

But without i, which outsells The Independent by more than four to one, could the latter title continue to operate? The latest consensus is that Lebedev's son Evgeny, who runs his father's media business, is considering axing the print editions of the broadsheet, making it online only and then pumping some of the £25 million the i deal might deliver into growing the main title's international audience.

Meanwhile, if and when it is under new ownership, it will be interesting to see if i can really work without being able to tap into the journalism of its sister paper, which helps to ensure that - while stories in the more youthful publication may be short and snappy - they are still well researched and thought out. Would i still have access to journalists back at The Independent, or maybe from the Johnston Press's own broadsheet, Edinburgh-based The Scotsman, or would it need to truly stand alone?

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Familia Masked Ball at Egg
Well, love is in the air - apparently - and to mark the occasion Familia is holding a masked ball at Egg in London, calling upon the Valentine's weekenders to don flamboyant disguises, adding to the visual delights of the night, and perhaps a little... romantique?

Moon Harbour Recordings boss Matthias Tanzmann will be jetting in for a showcase of the talent on his label and an extended six-hour set. Why not check out his recent Essential Mix on Radio 1 for an idea of how good that will be? He'll be joined by Dan Drastic, who is also rostered on the fifteen-year old deep house label.

On the ground floor you'll find Fabio Ferro, Ben Grunnell and man of the moment Nick Tcherniak, while the terrace is hosted by Misfit and the Loft by Pakmun & Jamed.

Saturday 13 Feb, Egg, 200 York Way, Kings Cross, N7 9AX, 11pm-10am, £18-20. More info here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Aidan Moffat to premiere Scottish folk film
A film about Aidan Moffat's efforts to rewrite and perform some of Scotland's oldest songs is to premiere in Glasgow later this month. 'Where You're Meant To Be' follows the project, and Moffat's relationship with folk singer Sheila Stewart, who did not agree that this was such a great idea.

"Folk music has a pretty austere reputation, but I was struck by the humour in old Scots songs", says Moffat. "So I started out rewriting some classics to adapt them to modern city life, which mostly meant more sex, booze, drugs and swearing. There are sad ones, too, of course - I can't help myself - and even a couple of political messages in true folk tradition. Overall, though, the night seemed more like stand-up comedy than the gigs I'm used to playing".

The film's accompanying album will be released on 25 Mar. Listen to 'I'm A Rover' from it here.

Here are all the places you can watch the film:

19 Feb: Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom
24 Feb: Glasgow Film Festival
25 Mar: Aberdeen, Belmont Cinema
26 Mar: Cullerlie, Farm Park
27 Mar: Dundee, DCA
31 Mar: Skye Portree, Aros Hall
1 Apr: Drumnadrochit, Village Hall
2 Apr: Oban, Phoenix Cinema
3 Apr: Bo'ness, Hippodrome
6 Apr: Kirkcaldy, Adam Smith Theatre
8 Apr: Blairgowrie, Town Hall
9 Apr: Edinburgh, Filmhouse

A wider release for the film is planned for June. Watch a trailer here.

Future Of The Left are releasing a new album
Future Of The Left have announced that they will release their new album, 'The Peace And Truce Of Future Of The Left', on 8 Apr.

A statement accompanying this news informs us: "Recorded by Anthony Chapman at Monnow Valley studios in Monmouth it contains thirteen songs (you are welcome to call them 'tracks', only not near the band). It is, once again, their best one yet, obeying the universal law that the new album is always the best one, otherwise it wouldn't be released in the first place".

Check out one of the [looks around sheepishly] tracks from the album, 'The Limits Of Battleships', here.

There are tour dates as well, because Future Of The Left know how to do things properly:

15 Apr: Bristol, Thekla
16 Apr: Norwich, Arts Centre
17 Apr: Nottingham, Bodega
19 Apr: Newcastle, Riverside
20 Apr: Liverpool, East Village Arts Club
21 Apr: London, Electric Ballroom
12 May: Cardiff, Club Ifor Bach
13 May: Manchester, Night & Day

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

Efterklang offshoot Liima announce debut album, release video
"What was that new band three members of Efterklang formed with Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönnkö?" That's the question that's been plaguing you for weeks now. And because you're apparently too lazy to Google it, let me just tell you, it's Liima.

While we're on the subject, I might as well tell you that they're releasing their debut album, 'ii', on 18 Mar. They've also just released the video for their first single 'Amerika'.

"Rasmus [Stolberg from the band] and I kept going back to this idea that everybody's anxious and that whatever we're doing to distract ourselves from these anxieties is no longer working", says the video's director Olivier Groulx. "That feeling of not being able to outrun it is what got us started".

And then this video is where they finished.

CMU Beef Of The Week #293: The 1975 v One Direction
Look, I don't want to alarm you, but the artistic credibility of One Direction has been called into question. Sorry for just coming out and saying it, but I thought it was the best way. Just get it out there. Then we can sit here together and work this thing out.

The claim that members of One Direction might not be driven entirely by art for art's sake came from Matt Healy of leftfield experimentalists The 1975. And this isn't just some Jake Bugg-style scattergun insult, it stems from a meeting that occurred while 1D were working on their 2014 album 'Four'.

"They got me in, and they said, 'We really like your band. Would you write a song for us?'" Healy told Spin. "[But] they didn't seem to be actually that interested; they just wanted to play me this song that they said was really, really inspired by us".

He means 'Change Your Ticket', by the way, which sounds a bit like The 1975's 'Girls', but much better.

'"Listen guys, fill your boots, the song doesn't sound that much like 'Girls'", Healy recalls telling them. "'But the guitar and the whole vibe of it is a complete lift. So take the guitars off, and we're good'".

Apparently the group agreed to this, which would be a weird thing to do, given that it's the guitar part that drives the track. Presumably they realised this fact later, because the song appeared as a bonus track on 'Four' with guitars very much still in place. "It would have been a bad 1975 song", said Healy of the finished product. Which isn't correct, because, as I've already noted, it is definitely better than 'Girls'.

"They're nice guys", he added. "[But] they're four guys who queued up outside an arena to sing in front of Simon Cowell. Do they really have any artistic credibility? That sounds like a mean thing to say, but it's a good question. Like, do they?"

It's not a good question, because no they don't. Nor should they. When was it decided that boybands should have artistic credibility? This is all Gary Barlow's fault, isn't it? Healy's mistake was assuming that One Direction were the creative directors of their own record and would therefore be able to simply remove the guitars from a track.

Also, what was the purpose of this meeting? Why would they invite him in, to ask him to write them a song, and then just whip out one they'd already done out like, "Ah mate, we don't even need you"? Did they do this to The Who and Def Leppard too?

And what does this meeting say of Healy's songwriting in the first place? He has strived all of his life to kick against the mainstream, but then he accidentally formed a commercial sounding band who signed to a major label and release songs that sound like a boyband could perform them. Perhaps Healy is actually mirroring his own fears onto One Direction. Does Matt Healy really have any artistic credibility? That sounds like a mean thing to say, but it's a good question. Like, does he?

I suppose, to answer that good question, we have to start by arriving at a clear definition of terms. What is 'artistic credibility'? Is it writing songs that don't show any signs of outside influence? In which case, everyone's fucked. Is it not making music for commercial gain? Again, not sure that's much good for anyone here. Could it perhaps be, as Healy suggested, not queuing up to perform for Simon Cowell? Perhaps. But do you just stop at Simon Cowell, or do we include the courting of any record label exec?

Can entertainers be artists? Can artists be entertainers? It's a minefield, isn't it? I think the only safe way to ensure artistic credibility is to perform songs alone in a locked room. No one should enjoy it, no money should change hands, and no one should ever know it happened.

And if we all agree on that - which we do - then we can agree that no one has any artistic credibility and the notion of such a thing is stupid. Therefore everyone is in the same boat as One Direction. Bad luck, Tchaikovsky.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins 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, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
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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