MONDAY 7 MARCH 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The number of high street stores selling music, video and games in the UK continues to rise, the latest annual report from the Entertainment Retailers Association has confirmed this morning, with the 14,800+ shops now flogging entertainment products constituting an all-time high. And this despite all that new-fangled mail-order, downloading and streaming that people... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Producer Omaar has been putting out tracks, mainly via SoundCloud, with a couple of releases on NAAFI, for the last few years. Not bound by genre, his sound shifts according to wherever his ideas take him and whatever sample – from car sounds to scavenged vocal clips – happens to take his fancy. Recent track 'Heartbreak' is a standout among his collection. Helpfully... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including the confusion around whether or not ATP has been cancelled, Sony's acquisition of Cooking Vinyl's independent label services business Essential, Tidal's mechanical rights lawsuit and the all important Boyzlife venture. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES Number of high-street stores selling entertainment products at all-time high, says ERA
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LIVE BUSINESS Pontins confirms first of next month's ATP festivals definitely happening
New report on Bristol's live music scene calls for more political support for grass roots venues and promoters
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Samsung denies plans to buy Tidal, but could shut down its Milk Music platform anyway
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MEDIA Culture minister calls ad-blocking technology a "modern-day protection racket"
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RELEASES Dum Dum Girls' Dee Dee shifts alliteration to Kristin Kontrol
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Convergence boss discusses Gil Scott Heron project, as TW:Guide to the festival goes live
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AWARDS Arthur Awards presented at ILMC
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ONE LINERS Warner Music, SoundExchange, Black Sabbath, more
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AND FINALLY... Eminem to re-release 'Slim Shady LP' on cassette
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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.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SECRETLY GROUP - INTERNATIONAL MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Secretly Group are looking for an International Marketing Co-ordinator. The role involves regular travel to mainland Europe, Japan and Australia.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AUDIO NETWORK - MIX ENGINEER (LONDON)
Audio Network is looking for an audio professional with experience in mixing and mastering music in a wide variety of styles to the highest level. The company has an especially strong reputation for its orchestral and live recordings which are produced at Air and Abbey Road Studios and with composers and artists from around the world.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SUPAPASS - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (NORWICH OR LONDON)
SupaPass is looking for an ambitious Digital Marketing Manager to drive growth marketing and conversion rate optimisation for our fast growing startup. We’re a dynamic passionate team, and we're looking for someone who has an intense passion for music and tech and is looking to get involved in an early stage startup to grow the business.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
ROCKET PR - NATIONAL RADIO PLUGGER (LONDON)
Rocket PR have a fantastic opportunity for a national radio plugger to join their successful team. Rocket is one of the UK's leading radio and TV promotions companies, working with top independent labels and exciting new and established artists.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AWAL - SENIOR CLIENT MANAGER (LONDON)
Joining AWAL, one of the world leading rights management and music services companies, this role will be a main point of contact for our artist and label clients and responsible for the co-ordination of releases, client support and product development.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AWAL - CLIENT MANAGER (LONDON)
Joining AWAL, one of the world leading rights management and music services companies, this role will be the point of contact for our clients and will support the co-ordination of releases.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MUSIC GLUE - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
We’re looking for an experienced Digital Marketing Manager with a passion for music and who is inspired by the opportunity to join a dynamic independent music-tech company. You will be responsible for driving international engagement across all of our digital marketing platforms.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MUSIC CONCIERGE - MUSIC TEAM ASSISTANT (HERTFORD)
We are looking for a Music Team Assistant to join our expanding creative team. This is an excellent starter role giving the opportunity to work in the music industry with an exciting growing company.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
KOBALT LABEL SERVICES - SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER (LONDON)
Joining Kobalt Label Services this Senior Product Manager will be instrumental in the conception and implementation of creative marketing campaigns for KLS releases in the UK.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AWAL - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
AWAL is one of the world leading rights management and music services companies offering a transparent, straight to market solution for artists and labels. As part of our growth we are seeking a Digital Marketing Manager to provide digital marketing, technical insight and creative inspiration to AWAL, its artist and label clients and releases.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
CMS MUSIC MEDIA - MEDIA PLANNER/BUYER (LONDON)
Rare opportunity to join a fast paced entertainment advertising agency working across an array of clients labels, distributors, live promoters and festivals. CMS is a leading specialist arts and entertainment media agency offering marketing and advertising services to the music industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BOILER ROOM - LEAD BOOKER (LONDON)
We are looking for a full-time Lead Booker to join the music team at Boiler Room. The successful applicant should enjoy working in a fast-paced, busy and vibrant music company exploring underground music worldwide.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
JAZZ CAFE - SENIOR LIVE BOOKINGS MANAGER (LONDON)
As a member of our live events team, you will be responsible for the booking, programming and promotion of our live music calendar, working alongside a small team of very passionate people. You will have experience at booking and contracting live events and will have a strong network of contacts in the music industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AEG LIVE - SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
We are recruiting for a Senior Communications Manager to join the Communications team, based at The O2, to cover a period of maternity leave. You will be responsible for implementing our communications strategies both internally and externally and measuring their success.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BELIEVE DIGITAL - UK SALES & LABEL MANAGER (LONDON)
Believe Digital is looking for a Sales & Label Manager to join its label management team in the UK. A deep knowledge of the independent music industry and key labels, as well as the experience and knowledge to sign content, is essential as Believe continues to drive its label acquisition strategy in the UK and internationally.

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.
 
7 Mar 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
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16 Mar 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
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17 Mar 2016 CMU Insights @ Convergence 2016
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13 Apr 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
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14 Apr 2016 CMU Insights @ Music 4.5: Playlists 2
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18 Apr 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Music Business Explained - For Brands
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6 May 2016 CMU Insights @ Canadian Music Week 2016
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19-20 May 2016 CMU Insights @ The Great Escape 2016
CLICK FOR INFO
 

Number of high-street stores selling entertainment products at all-time high, says ERA
The number of high street stores selling music, video and games in the UK continues to rise, the latest annual report from the Entertainment Retailers Association has confirmed this morning, with the 14,800+ shops now flogging entertainment products constituting an all-time high. And this despite all that new-fangled mail-order, downloading and streaming that people continue to insist is the future.

Though, of course, records are still being broken in this domain mainly because of the ever-increasing number of non-specialist retailers giving over some shelf-space to CDs, DVDs and games. ERA notes that Argos, Boots, Burton, Moto, Primark and Urban Outfitters are amongst the retailers now chart-returning.

In terms of music, ERA reckons that 14,727 stores are now selling CDs and/or vinyl in the UK, about a hundred less outlets than stock DVD. Though, of course, many of the non-specialists will only stock a small selection of releases for consumers to pick from.

But, says ERA boss Kim Bayley, these are nevertheless "astonishing numbers". She adds: "Conventional wisdom has always suggested that the internet spelled the end for physical entertainment stores, but these numbers show that traditional retail still has a place, particularly for impulse purchases and gifts. After all, you can't gift-wrap a download or a stream".

Of course, for the recorded music industry, it is still premium streaming services that are providing the big growth revenue stream, combating slumping download income, and the continued decline in CD sales. Though, at the same time, those declining CD sales are still probably higher than many people expected they would be by 2016, both worldwide and even in the UK, where you can't argue that CD-heavy markets like Germany and Japan are skewing the stats.

Noting this fact, Bayley adds: "It is simplistic to suggest digital is simply replacing physical. The fact is, digital is best for some purposes, physical for others. The latest figures on store numbers show that physical formats still have many years of life left in them".

The gifting Bayley mentioned - coupled with in-car listening - may well explain why CDs are still selling pretty well in the UK market and beyond. Though we'll look at this phenomenon – and the opportunities it possibly presents – in much more detail at The Great Escape in May.

Pontins confirms first of next month's ATP festivals definitely happening
Organisers of the ATP festivals posted on update on Friday confirming that Pontins had now informed its customers services department that the first of the two ATP events that are incoming is definitely going ahead. The second event is also definitely going to occur, ATP chiefs say, though a few more "organisational details" need to be worked through to get Pontins to confirm that one too.

As previously reported, there was much speculation last week that the two ATP festivals due to take place in April may have been cancelled, after Pontins put chalets at its Prestatyn park on general sale during the weekends when ATP is due to occur there.

When asked why that had happened, Pontins initially said that the festivals' promoter had cancelled the events, but then clarified that there was an overdue payment which had put ATP on hold on its system.

Team ATP have insisted throughout that the two festivals were still going ahead as planned, though admitted that a payment had been delayed. Friday's announcement presumably means payments are now up to date on the first ATP festival, with an additional payment possibly still due on the second; though organisers referred instead to "organisational difficulties".

But those going to the Stewart Lee curated festival can take heart that Pontins have now said that "our customer services department has been made aware that the event on 15th April is going ahead so any queries we receive we will inform them of this".

Meanwhile those hoping to go to the Drive Like Jehu curated event a week later will have to take ATP at its word when it says "we would like to assure customers who have purchased tickets, or those who intend to, that this event will be going ahead".

Fears that the two ATP festivals might not happen following Pontins' initial announcement last week were in part down to the promoter having cancelled past events at short notice.

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

New report on Bristol's live music scene calls for more political support for grass roots venues and promoters
A new report by UK Music and Buckinghamshire New University focused on the live music scene in Bristol has revealed that 50% of the city's venues have been affected by development, noise or planning issues, which – says the study – "poses a huge threat to the future of this vibrant ecosystem".

The music industry group teamed up with the university to conduct a census of live music in Bristol on the back of the various concerns expressed in recent years about the challenges facing grass roots venues in the UK. It picked the South West city because it was "known for its vibrant and influential live music scene".

The report, which will be formally published later today, reckons live music in Bristol generated £123 million of revenue for the local economy last year, plus is responsible for 927 jobs in the city. The census found 94 venues staging music events, while nearly a quarter of the people attending gigs in the city came from outside the Bristol area. About a third of gig-goers surveyed said that they spent between £20 and £50 a month on concert tickets, while the average sum then spent on merch at the venue on the night was £18.

Which is all great news but, says Teresa Moore of Bucks New University: "Our research found that the unintended consequences of changes to planning legislation have created a real threat to the future of small venues, which are central to the city's future".

UK Music boss Jo Dipple added: "Our project with Bucks New University delves for the first time into a local music ecosystem, Bristol. It reveals what we might all assume, that Bristol supports a sizeable music economy. Bristol's vibrant grassroots live music scene has been a bedrock of a rich musical lineage. Our research, however, also shows that 50% of Bristol venues are threatened by development and planning issues".

UK Music obviously hopes that the new focused report will help persuade political types, both nationally and locally, to do more to help support the grass roots live music scene, and to help combat the challenges key venues and promoter face. Dipple added: "Given the contribution to the wider economy, it has never been more important to address such issues critical to grassroots music".

Samsung denies plans to buy Tidal, but could shut down its Milk Music platform anyway
Samsung has denied the latest rumour that it is acquiring streaming service Tidal. "The rumour of Samsung acquiring Tidal is not true", said a spokesperson for the consumer electronics giant.

Though note "rumour" in the singular there. And as we all know, there have been many rumours about Samsung buying Tidal since, well, pretty much ever since Jay-Z acquired the digital firm. So the "rumour" may indeed be untrue. But what about the rumour, the rumour and the rumour? Samsung will probably have itself a streaming music service by the end of the week.

Although another rumour doing the rounds just now is that Samsung actually won't have itself a streaming music service by the end of the week. In that various sources have told Variety that the tech firm's most recent streaming music adventure – the bizarrely named personalised radio service Milk Music – is set to be shut down.

Amongst the bits of gossip coming in from said sources are that the team working on Milk Music has already been downsized in recent months, and that Samsung bosses are disappointed that, while the freemium element of its latest play in music streams gained some traction, upsell to the paid-for version was slow.

Speculation that Samsung would shutter Milk Music as part of revamp of its music strategy may well have, in part, fuelled the latest rumours of the firm being in talks to buy Tidal, rumours which seem to circulate every time Jay-Z has a meeting with the company, even though we all know the Roc Nation chief has had various brand partnership deals in place with the firm.

Culture minister calls ad-blocking technology a "modern-day protection racket"
The government's Culture Secretary John Whittingdale last week hit out at ad-blocking technologies during a speech at the Oxford Media Convention, dubbing some of the companies making such software a "modern-day protection racket".

The use of technology to block out ads online isn't especially new, but the media sector in particular has become more vocal on the use of such software of late, partly as more people seek to block the ads on free-to-access websites, and partly as publishers become ever more reliant on their online rather than print operations. Though Whittingdale noted that the use of ad-blocking tech affected the wider content industries too, including free-to-access music services like YouTube.

According to The Guardian, the minister said: "Quite simply – if people don't pay in some way for content, then that content will eventually no longer exist. And that's as true for the latest piece of journalism as it is for the new album from Muse. Ten years ago, the music and film industries faced a threat to their very existence from online copyright infringement by illegal file-sharing or pirate sites" he noted, and now ad-blocking technology posed a "similar threat".

But Whittingdale isn't advocating the outlawing of such tech – perhaps aware such bans are incredibly hard to enforce – though he hopes to encourage some self-regulation by those companies making and distributing the software, with a particular focus on those ad-blocker makers offering to 'white-list' specific ad networks or publishers in return for payment. The minister says he plans to bring together different stakeholders to discuss the issues and seek a voluntary solution.

  Approved: Omaar - Heartbreak
Producer Omaar has been putting out tracks, mainly via SoundCloud, with a couple of releases on NAAFI, for the last few years. Not bound by genre, his sound shifts according to wherever his ideas take him and whatever sample – from car sounds to scavenged vocal clips – happens to take his fancy.

Recent track 'Heartbreak' is a standout among his collection. Helpfully flagged up by Jon Hillcock's All Back No Front podcast last week, the track closes a compilation from new label Brace.

On it, Omaar takes a clip from an interview with Selena Gomez on Ryan Seacrest's radio show. It's a heartfelt, tender summary of where she sees her relationship with Justin Bieber today and, through the track he places underneath it, Omaar makes it sound terrifying.

Listen to 'Heartbreak' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column in 2016 by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.
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Dum Dum Girls' Dee Dee shifts alliteration to Kristin Kontrol
Dum Dum Girls leader Dee Dee, aka Kristin Welchez, has unveiled the first track from her new project Kristin Kontrol. 'X-Communicate' is taken from her debut album under the name, out via Sub Pop on 27 May.

"For me as leader of Dum Dum Girls it felt very stoic and serious, and I am serious, but anyone who really knows me knows I'm silly, too; I smile a lot", explains Welchez. "As the years went on, it was so weird that I kept so much of me out of what I was doing creatively".

On her inspiration for the music, she says: "The first music I really identified as my own was very poppy, classic 80s, from Debbie Gibson and Tiffany to Janet Jackson and Madonna. I didn't want to make a record with typical rock vocals".

But what does it sound like? Huh? Huh? Well, if you'll just let me put this heavy SoundCloud player down, it sounds like this.

Convergence boss discusses Gil Scott Heron project, as TW:Guide to the festival goes live
London's Convergence festival kicks off this week, with ten days of concerts, talks and exhibitions that aim to bring together the worlds of art, music and technology. CMU's sister publication ThisWeek London has produced a TW:Guide to this year's festivities, with interviews and features going live each day this week.

"Convergence's origins lay very much with the Ether festival which took place at the Southbank Centre from 2002 to 2011, and which I oversaw for nine years" Convergence director Glenn Max tells TW London. "It was an attempt to experiment with the social architecture of a very staid institution for which the electronic and dance community had no reason to visit. It was equally a challenge to the electronic music community to try doing something performance-based, which is what concert halls require. In 2011, when Southbank cancelled the festival, I thought the time was right to revisit the idea in the context of East London".

A standout event from this year's programme is an original commission celebrating the life and work of the late great Gil Scott-Heron. "That project came about partly through having produced Gil's concerts twice in my life, and partly from the feeling I had – and many had – around the time of his death that his 2010 album 'I'm New Here' felt like the start of a new era for Gil" Max says. "With that new era being cut short, and Gil's relevance looming large on a political front and a musical front, I felt some sort of original celebration would have some resonance. And when I spoke to Dave Okumu from The Invisible about curating the project, we both became convinced that this was something that just had to happen!"

You can check out the TW:Guide To Convergence, which today includes the full interview with Max and CMU Editor Andy Malt's top five recommendations from this year's programme, by clicking here. And don't forget CMU Insights is also presenting a session as part of the Convergence talks programme this year, putting the spotlight on the challenges media face in the digital age. Get the basics on that here, look out for details of who is speaking later this week, and get your tickets here.

Arthur Awards presented at ILMC
It was the International Live Music Conference over there in Kensington last week, and in amongst the festivities the annual Arthur Awards were presented to the great and the good of the live music community.

Says ILMC chief Greg Parmley: "We received thousands of votes worldwide this year, so what began as a tongue-in-cheek affair is clearly now taken far more seriously. This year's Arthurs were a warm and poignant occasion and The Savoy proved a fantastic setting for another great night".

But who won? Well, these guys...

Venue (First Venue to Come into Your Head): The O2, London
Promoter (The Promoters' Promoter): Steve Tilly, Kilimanjaro Live
Festival (Liggers' Favourite Festival): Rock am Ring
Agent: (Second Least Offensive Agent): Steve Strange, X-ray Touring
Production Services (Services Above and Beyond): Beat the Street
Professional Services (Most Professional Professional): Ben Challis, Glastonbury
Assistant (The People's Assistant): Amber McKenzie, ITB
Ticketing (The Golden Ticket): Ticketmaster
New Business Talent (Tomorrow's New Boss): Joanna Young, Live Nation UK
The Bottle Award: Jules Frutos

Warner Music, SoundExchange, Black Sabbath, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Warner Music in the US has appointed Heath Kudler to the brand new role of EVP of Global Repertoire Acquisition. The former Sony and Universal exec is "THRILLED" about his new job seeking labels and catalogues for Warner to acquire.

• The recently appointed new CEO of US indie label trade group A2IM, Richard James Burgess, has formally joined the board of SoundExchange, the collecting society which collects royalties Stateside from digital services operating under America's compulsory licence for online radio.

• What with that big farewell tour they're doing, you might have thought Black Sabbath was coming to an end. Not necessarily. Tony Iommi is hoping to get together with former frontman Tony Martin to record some new tracks for a couple of re-issues. You all remember Tony Martin, yes?

• Meghan Trainor has released a new single, 'No'. It is not awful.

• Silly me, I forgot to put this new Yeasayer track in the one liners last week. Here's 'Silly Me'.

• Exciting news! Three Trapped Tigers have released another track off their upcoming new album. Here's 'Engram'.

• Dubstep originators Horsepower Productions have a new album called 'Crookes, Crime & Corruption' coming out on 29 Apr. From it, this is 'Change'.

• She may have been pipped to the Mercury, but Soak has won Ireland's Choice Music Prize for her debut album 'Before We Forgot How to Dream'.

Eminem to re-release 'Slim Shady LP' on cassette
Eminem is re-releasing the 'Slim Shady LP' on, well, cassette. Why? Well, why not.

After all, we have just celebrated the all important seventeenth birthday of the seminal album, and we all know there is a whole generation who have only ever enjoyed tracks like 'Guilty Conscience' and 'Just Don't Give A Fuck' via MP3, Spotify stream or YouTube, and now they too will be able to experience those songs in that extra special flat, dull and uninspiring sound quality that only the good old fashioned cassette could ever deliver.

Though if you click on the link the rapper tweeted last week to sign up for updates on the impending cassette release, and other incoming merch options, you have to confirm you're aged 13 or over. But what about all the twelve year olds missing out on some quality cassette-based rap action? Now there's something Eminem should have a guilty conscience over, if only he could give a fuck.

 
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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