WEDNESDAY 9 MARCH 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Spotify may write a cheque for $5 million in a bid to make the mechanical royalties mess in the US go away, or at least to curtail the number of new lawsuits being filed over the sector-wide failure by streaming services to properly comply with the terms of the compulsory licence that covers the mechanical rights in songs in America. As previously reported, numerous streaming... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Our sister website ThisWeek London asked me to pick out the five things that particularly stood out from this year's Convergence festival programme as part if its TW:Guide To the event, which you can read here, by the way. Having done some approving for them, I'm now sharing those recommendations with you here too. And today I want to seriously approve an... [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 Spotify could pay $5 million to settle mechanical rights dispute
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS IFPI and SoundExchange collaborate on publicly available sound recordings database
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LIVE BUSINESS Attitude Is Everything rallies MPs to support its Access Starts Online campaign
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MARKETING & PR Pre-release promo platform adds team accounts
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES PledgeMusic acquires NoiseTrade and Set.fm
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INDUSTRY PEOPLE Industry pays tribute to "fifth Beatle" George Martin
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ARTIST NEWS Dr Luke reps points to Clive Davis memoir over Kelly Clarkson comments
Lamb's Andy Barlow discusses technological and industry shifts ahead of Convergence show
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Janet Jackson cancels European tour
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AND FINALLY... 50 Cent explains cash-filled photos to the judge overseeing his bankruptcy
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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.
 
 
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.
   
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.
 
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.
 
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
 

Spotify could pay $5 million to settle mechanical rights dispute
Spotify may write a cheque for $5 million in a bid to make the mechanical royalties mess in the US go away, or at least to curtail the number of new lawsuits being filed over the sector-wide failure by streaming services to properly comply with the terms of the compulsory licence that covers the mechanical rights in songs in America.

As previously reported, numerous streaming services are now on the receiving end of litigation from US songwriters who claim that – because the streamers didn't comply with the terms of the aforementioned compulsory licence, in particular the requirement they alert a copyright owner before using their work – those services are liable for copyright infringement, and that means being liable for up to $150,000 per song streamed.

The digital services insist that they always intended to pay the mechanical royalties at the rate set by the compulsory licence, but that the lack of decent music data has hindered that process. In particular, while there are, in fact, databases in the US that tell you who owns what song, there isn't a database that tells you what song is contained in what recording.

Critics argue that the compulsory licence acknowledges that issue by saying that, if a service can't identify a song, it should send paperwork and royalties to the US Copyright Office instead, which no one did. Which means the songwriters pursuing infringement action against Spotify et al do seemingly have a good case.

Though plenty of people in the music publishing sector acknowledge that the industry itself is at least partly to blame for the mechanical royalties issue, not least because this is a uniquely American problem, and publishers and collecting societies elsewhere in the world have been able to provide a system via which mechanical royalties from streaming services can be collected and distributed.

And, of course, many of the streaming services hired the Harry Fox Agency – then owned by the National Music Publishers' Association – to handle mechanicals in the US. Something it then seemingly did with an impressive level of incompetence.

Which is possibly why the NMPA is now trying to help Spotify settle this matter out of court. According to Billboard, the proposed settlement might see the streaming service pay $5 million in damages on top of the up to $25 million in mechanical royalties it is thought may have gone unpaid.

As previously reported, the deal would also formalise Spotify's commitment to set up a database to enable efficient payments moving forward, something some publishers and songwriters argue the well-financed streaming services should have done years ago.

The specifics of the Spotify settlement remain unknown, though Billboard's sources say that any deal it strikes up with the NMPA will likely form a template that the trade group will then take to other streaming set-ups facing their own mechanical royalty issues.

Assuming that such settlements are reached, publishers and songwriters in control of their own copyrights will then have to decide whether to opt into the NMPA's arrangement, or to join one of the class action lawsuits that have been filed on this issue.

As also previously reported, in its first strike against the mechanical royalty litigation, Spotify is attempting to persuade the courts to deny the cases class action status, which would mean only the songwriters specifically pursuing the legal action could benefit from any win in court. That would then likely persuade more publishers and songwriters to go the settlement route, leaving just a handful of outstanding cases to fight in court, probably long after any settlement arrangement has been finalise.

But how the courts will respond to Spotify's request in that regard remains to be seen. Meanwhile, details of the NMPA settlement could be incoming pretty soon.

IFPI and SoundExchange collaborate on publicly available sound recordings database
Record industry trade group IFPI and the US collecting society SoundExchange are joining the data party with the launch of a new publicly accessible online database that will list information about nearly 20 million sound recordings.

This will include the so called ISRC code for each track, the unique code labels allocate to every record they release, to enable the industry to identify which recording is which, given you have multiple recordings of the same song, not to mention multiple songs with the same title and different versions of the same recording.

There has been much debate of late, of course, about the lack of a one-stop global database of music rights, let alone one that is publicly accessible. This has always been an issue, but bad copyright data is becoming a bigger problem in the digital age where people are paid per play rather than per sale, and where tiny micro-payments are the norm, meaning the industry needs much more efficient reporting and payment systems.

The new publicly accessible ISRC database from IFPI and SoundExchange isn't that one-stop global database by any means – and the holy grail remains the database that will link ISRC codes to the ISWC codes attached to songs, so there is an efficient way to know what songs are contained in what recordings – but any move to make more music data publicly available is a good move.

Bigging up the new data venture, IFPI boss Frances Moore told reporters: "The ISRC Search Site will give a new level of accessibility to help musicians, performers, managers, music publishers, and many others understand where their music has been used whilst also facilitating more accurate reporting by users of digital music. With the quantity of data expected to grow as we move deeper into the digital age, this tool will be vital to ensuring better communication throughout the music ecosystem".

Meanwhile SoundExchange CEO Michael Huppe added: "We created this critical resource to improve our own efficient royalty processing, and we are delighted now to give the music community access to this data. This is part of our ongoing commitment to develop products and services that help the music industry move forward. We eliminate friction through better and more efficient technology solutions, so creators in the music community can focus on the music".

Attitude Is Everything rallies MPs to support its Access Starts Online campaign
Attitude Is Everything has used a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Music to call on those MP types to support its Access Starts Online campaign.

As previously reported, Attitude Is Everything, the charity that encourages the live music sector to improve accessibility to its events for deaf and disabled music fans, launched its Access Starts Online campaign last year, calling on venues and festivals to ensure decent access information is provided on their websites.

Such a simple thing can open up shows to music fans who may otherwise choose to stay away because of concerns over access. Yet, in AIE's recent State Of Access report, it was revealed a third of venues and festivals fail to provide any such information, while less than a fifth are providing top quality info.

AIE boss Suzanne Bull used the recent APPG meeting to call on MPs to contact venues in their local constituencies to raise awareness of the need for better access information, and to let them know about the resources her charity offers to help with that process. Bull also stressed that, while providing decent access information online was the right thing to do anyway, it's also commercially beneficial, because it enables venues and festivals to sell tickets to music fans currently not buying because of access concerns.

Says Bull: "A growing number of live music businesses in the UK are improving their access facilities and reaping the commercial benefits, but there is still a major problem with venue and festival websites not providing comprehensive access information. Music should be for everyone, but without these essential details many disabled fans will be dissuaded from buying tickets in the first place - which is why we are calling on MP's to support Access Starts Online and help get our message out into their constituencies".

Amongst the political types supporting the initiative is Blackpool MP Paul Maynard, who told reporters: "Attitude Is Everything's 'can-do' approach has helped massively increase the numbers of deaf and disabled people attending live music events. However, as the charity's recent State Of Access Report pinpoints, there are still areas where more can be done, and especially when it comes to festival and venue websites providing detailed access information. Rectifying this situation is extremely cost effective and would, at one stroke, obliterate a major barrier faced by disabled audiences - which is why we are calling on all UK live music businesses to support the Access Starts Online campaign".

Pre-release promo platform adds team accounts
Previously reported pre-release music promo platform Byta, the latest service that enables labels to provide new tracks to media and industry contacts ahead of release, has just added a new 'team accounts' facility.

The service's founder, Marc Brown, explains why the new functionality has been added, noting that: "Label heads repeatedly tell me they are unsure who has access to audio across their company and partners. Our 'team accounts' enable organisations to better manage a worldwide networks of users, improving efficiency without sacrificing security".

Brown adds that: "Companies require solutions adapted to their needs, not the other way around. Byta is unique in offering them that". More info at byta.fm.

PledgeMusic acquires NoiseTrade and Set.fm
Direct-to-fan firm and pre-order campaign specialist PledgeMusic has acquired data-gathering platform NoiseTrade and instant live performance service Set.fm so that, says the company, its "model of enabling individual fans to directly support artists" will see "exponential growth across all levels of the creative community and consumer landscape". Pledge says that by bringing the three companies together, the business will be providing services to over 50,000 artists, with a user-base of over 3 million super-fans.

Confirming the buys, Pledge founder Benji Rogers says: "In bringing our three companies together under a single roof we are building a unique platform that adaptively supports the full lifecycle of recordings, tours and the constantly-changing forms of artistic output. It is our shared belief that PledgeMusic now offers musicians at all stages of their careers the most robust home to bring their visions to life and reach their commercial objectives. Revaluing music for fans equals revenue for artists and the ecosystem we've created makes me more optimistic than ever about the future business of making music".

NoiseTrade founder Derek Webb added that the three businesses now combining were "cut from the same cloth", and that "aligning our massive combined reach around one vision represents the start of something unprecedented". Set.fm boss Matt Peterson, meanwhile, is "THRILLED" about the tie up, concluding that "the combined network-effect of the three services will uniquely empower artists to be successful at all stages of their creative process, while rewarding and engaging fans with the products and experiences they want most from the performers they love".

The two acquisitions follow the recent news that US investment firm Magna Entertainment has pledged its support for Pledge by taking a "major position" in the company. Still not sure what Pledge was offering in return for that pledge, though a user-base of 50,000 artists and 3 million super-fans is a pretty good start. And I bet they got a dinner with Benji too, which is worth half the pledged amount at least.

Industry pays tribute to "fifth Beatle" George Martin
The music industry has been paying tribute this morning to UK record industry veteran and legendary record producer George Martin, who has died aged 90.

With Martin perhaps best known for his work with The Beatles, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney led the tributes. The former took to Twitter to declare "God bless George Martin", adding with the customary "peace and love" that "George will be missed".

Meanwhile McCartney posted a longer statement on his website, in which he wrote: "I'm so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin. I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever. He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family".

Noting that Martin is one of a number of people who have been dubbed "the fifth Beatle" over the years, McCartney went on: "If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George. From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I've ever had the pleasure to know".

Having started his record industry career at EMI and Parlophone, both as a label exec and a producer at the label's Abbey Road Studios, Martin then set up his own music business and studio facilities in the form of Air Studios.

Abbey Road Studios are now owned by Universal Music, of course, and this morning a spokesman for the complex paid tribute to one of the most famous producers to be associated with the facility, stating that: "Abbey Road Studios wish to express their deepest condolences to the Martin family on hearing the sad news that Sir George passed away yesterday, aged 90".

The statement added: "Sir George transformed music recording with his creative flair, innovation and passion and we want to express our deep sadness at losing such an immensely talented, charming and warm man. We are committed to ensuring Sir George's visionary legacy lives forever at Abbey Road Studios, and we are hugely honoured to be part of his story".

  Approved: Comfortably Spun at Convergence
Our sister website ThisWeek London asked me to pick out the five things that particularly stood out from this year's Convergence festival programme as part if its TW:Guide To the event, which you can read here, by the way.

Having done some approving for them, I'm now sharing those recommendations with you here too. And today I want to seriously approve an audio/visual installation that sounds particularly interesting.

In 'Comfortably Spun' at the Red Gallery, Noise Of Art's Ben Osborne presents electronic music made using samples recorded in a Portuguese textile factory, while the visual element comes in the form of carpets made by textile artists Cavalcanti as the sounds were collected.

The free installation will be open each day from 12 to 20 Mar, info here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column in 2016 by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Dr Luke reps points to Clive Davis memoir over Kelly Clarkson comments
The public relations element of the ongoing legal battle between Dr Luke and Kesha continues, with a spokesman for the former responding, sort of, to those claims by one time American Idol Kelly Clarkson to the effect that Dr Luke isn't a nice person and is hard to work with.

As much previously reported, Kesha Sebert accuses Lukasz Gottwald of plying her with drugs and alcohol and raping her as a teenager. Gottwald claims that the allegations and resulting lawsuit are an attempt by Sebert to get out of her contract with his Kemosabe label, a Sony imprint.

Clarkson – also signed to a Sony label and a past collaborator with Gottwald – discussed the case in an interview with an Australian radio station. She didn't specifically comment on Sebert's claims, nor did she make any similar allegations against the producer. However, she did say that Gottwald wasn't a nice person, and that she had been pressured into working with him by her record company.

Asked by Digital Spy for a response to those comments, a rep for the producer simply provided an extract from the 2013 autobiography of record industry veteran and Sony Music exec Clive Davis. In it, Davis discusses the tensions between Clarkson and Gottwald - and his fellow producer/songwriter Max Martin - concluding that they were caused by Clarkson being out of her comfort zone when in the studio, and that while Gottwald and Martin put pressure on the singer, they did so to get the best performance from her.

Writes Davis: "[Gottwald and Martin] are intent on getting perfect vocal performances, and are relentless in that pursuit. It was hard for Kelly, who had come from the high of winning 'American Idol' and then having a double platinum album... But then suddenly you're in an entirely different world of making records in a studio, and you have to take direction. Kelly didn't like it". The results of that process, he added, were magnificent.

As previously noted, while Gottwald prevailed in court in the most recent chapter of his legal battle with Sebert, there has been a lot more public support for the singer than the producer, with a number of artists noting that – whatever did or did not occur while Gottwald was working with Sebert – it is well known that female artists often find themselves working within a misogynistic culture when navigating the music industry.

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Lamb's Andy Barlow discusses technological and industry shifts ahead of Convergence show
Lamb's Andy Barlow has spoken about how changes in technology and the music industry have altered the way he works with creative partner Lou Rhodes in an interview with our sister site ThisWeek London ahead of the duo's show at the Convergence festival next week.

Comparing the laptop-based production software he now uses to the second-hand 4-track Lamb used in their early days, he notes: "For me, a lot of soul gets sucked out of the songs if you spend too long on it, or have too many channels, or too much money being poured in; all of those things can make something fatty and stodgy and lifeless. So now that there are limitless tracks available to us, we try and use time as our creative force, the limiting factor. 'Okay, we've got two days and we're going to try and create a song in this time'. So, very much, time dictates what we can do, which in turn will dictate the creative process".

New technology also impacts the live show. "With live, it's obviously very different. Whereas back in the day we'd travel with a truck full of equipment and a dozen techs – which was ridiculous! – now we travel with different flight cases that we can fly around with, because computers have got so good we're not taking racks and racks of outboard. So, in that way, being able to fly in and out of gigs, rather than bus and truck to a gig, it changes the routing, and changes the boundaries of where it's possible to play".

Barlow also discusses how self-releasing recent albums compares to working with a major label back in the day. "Being with a major, it's great having a team, it's great being met in every country by someone who works for the label" he says. "It's great to have tour support and financial backing so you can do the nice videos and such like".

"But the downside" he goes on, "is that some ridiculous decisions are made on your behalf: 'Let's have this person remix it', 'Let's try and get this producer on board'... Shenanigans with artwork... so much red tape to wade through! [But] I don't regret that time; we got the benefits of that approach when we needed them. And since we've been doing it ourselves, we realise how much work it is to put out a record! There's a lot of – not just finance – but also time and energy and effort that goes in to promoting a record".

Although clearly enjoying the DIY approach now, he concludes: "For new bands doing it themselves, I would think one real challenge is that touring is really expensive, with the crew and the bus and so on. And that's risky while you are still finding your audience. Hats off to our old label – they gave us tour support for years, so we could actually build up a following in lots of countries, which means we can now tour in those places knowing we have an audience to buy the tickets. Being in a new band, without that support, I think it would be very difficult to break out of the ghetto of just touring in England, and getting out to Europe and the States, and bigger markets".

You can read the interview here. And Lamb play Convergence on 17 Mar at the Troxy, info here.

Janet Jackson cancels European tour
Janet Jackson yesterday announced she was cancelling her upcoming European tour due to some of those pesky "scheduling issues". The singer was due to kick off the UK leg of her 'Unbreakable' trek in Birmingham on 30 Mar. But, it turns out, the tour wasn't so unbreakable after all.

It was Ticketmaster who actually made the announcement, telling ticket holders, simply that "the event organisers have been in touch to let us know that, due to scheduling difficulties, they've had to postpone the Unbreakable tour. It is not possible to confirm new dates at the present time so we are refunding all ticket holders".

Late last year, Jackson was forced to postpone some US dates because she required surgery on her vocal chords, a development that led to speculation the singer may be suffering from throat cancer, rumours that were subsequently denied.

50 Cent explains cash-filled photos to the judge overseeing his bankruptcy
50 Cent is facing questions from a judge after posting pictures on Instagram showing him with piles and piles of cash.

The courts are interested in the snaps because, as previously reported, the rapper declared himself bankrupt last year, just as he was ordered to pay $7 million in damages to Lastonia Leviston after he published a sex tape in which she appeared. He posted the tape online as part of his ongoing feud with rival rapper Rick Ross, who didn't appear in the clip, but who has a child with Leviston.

It was seemingly Leviston herself who made the courts aware of the Instagram photos, which seem to conflict with 50 Cent's claims to be broke. And the photos caused judge Ann Nevins to note that: "I'm concerned about allegations of nondisclosure and a lack of transparency in the case".

But, according to the Daily Mail, the rapper insists the money in the photos is fake. He says in a court submission that the snaps were designed to maintain his 'brand', adding that: "Hip hop culture is widely recognised as aspirational in nature. The standard by which artists and fans engage is commonly tied to money, jewellery, products and advertising over social media. Just because I am sensitive to the needs of maintaining my brand does not mean that I am hiding assets or that I have lied on my filings in this bankruptcy case".

The court may as yet appoint an examiner to review the rapper's assets in more detail. Which would presumably go further than just his Instagram account.

 
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.

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