TUESDAY 21 JUNE 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The war of words against YouTube continues unabated, with veteran artist manager Irving Azoff - an early advocate of public YouTube dissing and a leading voice in the US music industry's most recent campaign against the video site - running an open letter in a number of Washington-based magazines signed by no less than 180 big name artists. The letter... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: First approved almost exactly a year ago, it's worth jumping back into the world of Death Team once again. Having gone quite for a few months, they returned last week with new single 'Jump'. And thankfully, none of the over-the-top, infectious energy that originally made them interesting has yet dissipated. The track is a punishing, ultra-neon explosion of 90s... [READ MORE]
 
CMU TRENDS: Who the hell is buying all these CDs? In the final CMU Trends report based on presentations give by CMU Insights at The Great Escape this year, CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke looks at the physical market, and why CD sales remain healthier than we might have expected by 2016. To access CMU Trends become a premium subscriber for just £5 a month. [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including all the goings on at the Led Zeppelin song-theft court case, Apple Music's big revamp announcement at Worldwide Developers Conference, Foo Fighters' insurance litigation and some pop-related EU referendum news. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Big name artists sign open letter against safe harbours
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LEGAL Rapper accused over shooting at TI concert avoids murder charge
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DEALS Rita Ora signs to Warner Music's Atlantic
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Warner launches new artist services division
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LIVE BUSINESS SFX terminates Restructuring Support Agreement
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BRANDS & MERCH Nintendo signs up Ella Eyre as 3DS Ambassador
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Spotify userbase passes 100 million
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THE GREAT ESCAPE CMU@TGE: Reality check - who needs to play ball, and why would they?
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EDUCATION & EVENTS CMU:DIY x Urban Development return with another Industry Takeover Seminar
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ONE LINERS KT Tunstall, Bugzy Malone, Grumbling Fur, more
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AND FINALLY... Kelis to open pop-up burger restaurant in London
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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.
 
 
RESIDENT ADVISOR - AD OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE (BERLIN)
RA seeks an ambitious and detail-oriented ad-operations executive with a passion for music. Taking ownership of RA’s ad operations you will be responsible for trafficking online creative, campaign management, tracking, optimising and reporting for all client digital advertising on Resident Advisor.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PROPER MUSIC - E-COMMERCE CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
The E-commerce Co-ordinator will support the E-commerce Manager with all administration and operational processes required for Propermusic.com (PMC) to run effectively and efficiently. The successful candidate will be overseeing and managing the processing, picking, packing and despatching of all orders for PMC and other fulfilment services we offer to our clients.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PURPLE PR - ENTERTAINMENT PUBLICIST (LONDON)
Purple, who look after publicity for a roster of high profile international and domestic clients including Adele, Beyonce, Grimes, Pusha T, Major Lazer, Lewis Hamilton and Zayn are seeking an Entertainment Publicist.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BILLS PR - FREELANCE PUBLICIST (LONDON)
Bills PR has a position available for a Freelance Publicist to work across a range of clients and projects. The candidate should have at least two years music PR experience, covering both print and online.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
HART MEDIA - RADIO PROMOTIONS ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Hart Media is one of the UK’s leading Radio PR agencies. Our clients have included Joss Stone, Ward Thomas, Passenger, The Prodigy, Public Service Broadcasting, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Motorhead, Deaf Havana, Madness, Alison Moyet to name a few.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
FABRIC RECORDS / HOUNDSTOOTH - FABRICFIRST SECRETARY (LONDON)
The position involves managing the day-to-day running of the Fabric membership club, comprising electronic music lovers from around the World. The role is a mix of customer care through email, social media and telephone channels, database management, stock dispatching and control, and assisting on both fabric and Houndstooth record labels.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
FABRIC RECORDS / HOUNDSTOOTH - ASSISTANT ACCOUNTANT (LONDON)
Fabric Records / Houndstooth are looking for an Assistant Accountant to work alongside their MD, ensuring the smooth running of day to day finance operations. This is a great opportunity to develop your existing skills in a social, fast paced team within the much sought-after music industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
THE BREWHOUSE - EVENTS & LIVE MUSIC MANAGER (LONDON)
The Brewhouse at London Fields Brewery is one of East London’s most exciting event spaces. As the Events and Live Music Manager, you will be responsible for the booking, programming and promotion of our live music and club nights.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PROPER MUSIC - NATIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
Proper Music Distribution is now the largest truly independent, full service distributor of music on all formats in the UK. Reporting directly to the Head of Sales, the National Account Manager’s role is to develop strong direct relationships with key domestic retail partners. Customers include HMV, Fopp, Amazon and supermarkets.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PROPER MUSIC - ROYALTIES ACCOUNTANT (LONDON)
Proper Music Distribution is now the largest truly independent, full service distributor of music on all formats in the UK. The Royalty Accountant role exists to make sure that the companies’ contractual royalty obligations are interpreted accurately and on time.

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.
 
27 Jun 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
CLICK FOR INFO
4 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Merch, Live & Brands
CLICK FOR INFO
6 Jul 2016 CMU Masterclass: Navigating The Digital Market
CLICK FOR INFO
11 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
CLICK FOR INFO
18 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
CLICK FOR INFO
25 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
CLICK FOR INFO
 

Big name artists sign open letter against safe harbours
The war of words against YouTube continues unabated, with veteran artist manager Irving Azoff - an early advocate of public YouTube dissing and a leading voice in the US music industry's most recent campaign against the video site - running an open letter in a number of Washington-based magazines signed by no less than 180 big name artists.

The letter, also endorsed by nineteen music companies and organisations, again calls for lawmakers to reform the safe harbour rules in US copyright law which allow YouTube to operate an opt-out rather than opt-in streaming service. Echoing an artist-backed correspondence previously submitted to the US Copyright Office's review of safe harbours, the open letter begins: "As songwriters and artists who are a vital contributing force to the US and to American exports around the world, we are writing to express our concern about the ability of the next generation of creators to earn a living".

It goes on: "The existing laws threaten the continued viability of songwriters and recording artists to survive from the creation of music. Aspiring creators shouldn't have to decide between making music and making a living. Please protect them. One of the biggest problems confronting songwriters and recording artists today is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This law was written and passed in an era that is technologically out-of-date compared to the era in which we live".

"It has allowed major tech companies to grow and generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters' and artists' earnings continue to diminish. Music consumption has skyrocketed, but the monies earned by individual writers and artists for that consumption has plummeted".

"The DMCA simply doesn't work. It's impossible for tens of thousands of individual songwriters and artists to muster the resources necessary to comply with its application. The tech companies who benefit from the DMCA today were not the intended protectorate when it was signed into law nearly two decades ago. We ask you to enact sensible reform that balances the interests of creators with the interests of the companies who exploit music for their financial enrichment. It's only then that consumers will truly benefit".

Of course, since the US industry joined its European counterpart in lobbying hard for safe harbour reform earlier this year, a plethora of artists have stepped forward in one form or another to voice their concerns about safe harbours and YouTube, partly in a bid to confirm that they back the labels on this one.

Although most of those celebrity critics to date have been successful heritage artists insisting they are speaking up for struggling new talent. But that approach - while grabbing headlines - comes with risks, because arguably YouTube, while not working at all for veteran acts, has its upsides for newer talent. New artists - while not necessarily happy about the royalties they earn via the Google-owned platform - nevertheless recognise the marketing benefits. Which possibly enables YouTube to turn around to lawmakers and say "these old guys all claim to speaking for the young creators, but look at all the young creators who love working with us".

The new letter is signed by some more contemporary acts, Taylor Swift being perhaps most notable, while Deadmau5, Pharrell, Lady Gaga, Kip Moore and Omi are also among the signatories. Though even most of them pre-date the era when YouTube was quite so significant in building a fanbase for new artists, and the whole campaign could probably benefit from the backing of some of those acts who, in one way or another, launched themselves via the video sharing platform.

Nevertheless, it's another high profile assault on the YouTubes. And - while sources in both Brussels and Washington remain pessimistic about there being any speedy reform of safe harbour rules in a way that would actually help the music industry in its licensing battles with YouTube - Azoff's starry letter will further increase the PR pressure on Google, which may or may not have a more immediate impact.

In the meantime, don't forget there's a big fat summary of the music industry's tortuous relationship with YouTube to date in this CMU Trends report. And Azoff has tweeted his letter here.

Rapper accused over shooting at TI concert avoids murder charge
Rapper Troy Ave, real name Roland Collins, has avoided a murder charge in relation to that shooting backstage at a TI concert, but he has still been charged with five felonies, including attempted second degree murder, which could result in a decades-long prison sentence if he is found guilty.

As previously reported, one person was killed and three, including Collins, were injured in the shooting at New York's Irving Plaza venue last month. The rapper, who had also been scheduled to perform at the show, was later arrested in relation to the incident. It is claimed he was targeting another rapper playing the gig, Maino, with whom he had been feuding.

Collins' lawyer subsequently told the court that his client was actually the victim of the shooting, noting that it was the rapper's own bodyguard - Ronald McPhatter - who had been killed. Alleging that a short video released by the NYPD was misleading, the attorney denied a theory that had been put forward that Collins had shot McPhatter by mistake.

The fact that Collins has not been charged with murder suggests further investigations have now disproved that theory, but that doesn't mean the rapper is off the hook. According to TMZ, a grand jury has indicted Collins of one count of attempted second degree murder and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

The rapper's lawyer, who will ask for his client to be released on bail at a scheduled hearing later this week, still maintains that Collins was the victim rather than the instigator of this shooting, telling TMZ: "The video does not show everything nor explain what happened in the VIP room before Troy came running out, as a victim, after he was shot".

Rita Ora signs to Warner Music's Atlantic
As expected, Rita 'Fuck You Jay-Z' Ora has signed a new record deal with Warner Music, having finally parted company with the label side of the Roc Nation empire following a small but well formed legal squabble.

As previously reported, Ora sued Jay-Z's music firm late last year, accusing the company of stalling her career by repeatedly delaying the release of her second album. Roc Nation retaliated with a countersuit saying that it had to date spent over $2 million on a new LP that she had failed to complete. But earlier this month legal papers filed at the New York Supreme Court confirmed that an out of court settlement had been reached.

Ora then announced on Snapchat that it was "contract time". A deal with a Warner label was much mooted, possibly because she is managed by First Access Entertainment, which counts Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik as a backer, though the management firm still works with an assortment of other labels across its roster.

But it is a Warner label that will be releasing the next helping of Ora, Atlantic Records UK to be precise. "Rita is a rare talent and a true global star", notes the label's President Ben Cook. "First and foremost she's a great singer who's hugely passionate about music and I'm delighted to welcome her to Atlantic Records. We look forward to getting in the studio with her and making an incredible album". Oh, it's going to be incredible, is it? Can't wait.

"Music is my first love", states Ora while confirming her new deal. "And I am looking forward to getting my new songs released. I'm thankful to my new Atlantic Records family for all their support and encouragement. The next chapter is going to be incredible".

And finally, First Access chief Sarah Stennett added: "I have worked with Rita since she was seventeen. She has always been a great entertainer with an electric personality; singing is at the heart of everything she does. I am THRILLED that Rita has Atlantic Records as her global record label in this next phase of her career".

Warner launches new artist services division
Ah, ancillary rights. What's not to like? "Can I have some ancillary rights?" I like to say. "Go on, I'll print you up a shitty t-shirt in return", I add. "Oh, alright then, here, have all my ancillary rights", they reply. That's how easy it is to negotiate record deals these days, people. Those new popstars, they'll do anything for you. Except sign a letter dissing YouTube. They're not so keen on that.

Anyway, Warner Music has launched a new global division called Warner Music Artist Services bringing together all of the mini-major's ancillary rights operations.

For record companies, 'ancillary rights' are the extra bits n pieces that have been added to record deals in recent years beyond sound recordings, which give the label a revenue share from and/or control over some of the artist's other revenue streams like t-shirts, tickets, fan clubs and other direct-to-fan gubbins.

The fact that many labels still basically refer to these rights as 'subordinate' suggests they often see these elements of the deal as just little extra pots of cash, rather than a big fat opportunity - as a key investor in a new artist - to get involved in a part of the business that might have way more potential than selling records and servicing streams.

Nevertheless, most of the majors have set up teams and bought in merch businesses to manage and exploit these ancillary rights, and with its new division Warner Music is seeking to combine those operations - including the fan club business if took control of back in 2010, Artist Arena - into one division, with a view to expanding its service offering, to both artists signed to Warner labels, and beyond.

The new division will be run by Matt Young, who's been with Warner since 2008, but before that worked in the merch domain. Confirming his new gig, Young said: "We're evolving what it means to run an integrated artist branding campaign. We're a one stop solution made up of the best tour and VIP experts, branding specialists, web designers, CRM marketers, analytics teams and merchandise staff in the business. I'm so excited to work with the artists and all the folks on this new team".

His new boss, WEA President Matt Signore, added: "We are committed to constantly improving the services we provide to artists and I believe in this current environment, our newly unified structure will enable us to move faster and experiment more. It's no secret how amazing Matt Young is, I know he's going to bring the teams together and drive this growing part of our business forward".

SFX terminates Restructuring Support Agreement
Never let it be said anything SFX does is dull. You know how the dance music firm had itself a nice Chapter 11 Restructuring Support Agreement when it applied for bankruptcy protection earlier this year? Well, now it doesn't.

In something of a surprise move, the company announced last week that it had cancelled that agreement in a bid to provide more "flexibility" in its ongoing negotiations with bondholders and creditors. Which possibly suggests some of those bondholders have decided they don't like the plan set out in the Chapter 11 Restructuring Support Agreement. And some are speculating that the bit they don't like might be that founder Robert Sillerman, although out as CEO, stayed on as Chairman.

Confirming the latest development, the company said in a statement: "This provides SFX the flexibility for more comprehensive negotiations with all of its constituents with the goal of developing a consensual plan of reorganisation. The company, its ad hoc group of bondholders and the Official Committee Of Unsecured Creditors continue to work co-operatively".

Go ad hoc group of bondholders! Quite what all this means for the chances of SFX coming out of all this as a going concern isn't clear. Though last week's statement also noted that the company had "no set timeline" for coming up with its new plan of reorganisation.

As previously reported, SFX applied for bankruptcy protection in February, after two failed attempts by Sillerman to take the company back into private ownership, during a period which saw the company's share price tumble sharply.

A plan to downsize was implemented, aiming to sell off a number of the businesses SFX had bought during its rapid growth period. This proved more difficult than hoped, with the sale of digital music service Beatport cancelled. Digital marketing agency FameHouse was offloaded onto Universal Music, while ticketing firm Flavorus was eventually acquired by Universal parent company Vivendi.

Following the announcement that SFX had terminated its Restructuring Support Agreement, IQ reports that the company's share price dropped to its lowest ever price - an impressive $0.0125 per share. Less than a year ago, Sillerman was offering $5.25 per share in his first failed buy-back plan.

Nintendo signs up Ella Eyre as 3DS Ambassador
Nintendo has signed up Ella Eyre as the new ambassador for its 3DS handheld console. So that's happened. Her first job is to try and make life simulation game 'Tomodachi Life' sound like fun, which she has definitely had a good go at.

In a video, also featuring singer Chloe Howl, Eyre explains that she set up her copy of the game with characters representing people from her real life, including Howl and her boyfriend, Rixton's Lewi Morgan.

"I'm away from home a lot, so I love things that give me a sense of familiarity", she says. "It really makes me laugh to see my favourite people being silly - it reminds me that even if I'm not with them, I can still watch them mess around together".

Sure, yeah. But it's not all plain sailing, because - amazingly - the Mii avatars in the game don't always represent what is going on in real life.

"My Mii character is having a really tough time getting a boyfriend at the moment", she says. "Lewi keeps knocking me back, so I have to think up ways to get him to like me. I've sung him songs, visited his island and even taken him his favourite snack spring rolls to try and tempt him - trying the classic 'the way to a man's heart through his stomach' tactic, but so far... nothing!"

Instead, Lewi's digital version is dating Chloe's digital version, which could make a frequent traveller paranoid. Not Ella though: "With all the break-ups and dating, it feels a bit like an episode of a soap. I'm hoping the Ella Mii can have a happy ending and meet someone new to have some wonderful times with!"

Ella is going to make a series of videos for Nintendo to plug a variety of games. Get started with the first - for 'Tomodachi Life' - which will initially make you think, 'What does this have to do with a Nintendo game?', then eventually you'll think, 'Oh right. Really?' Watch here.

Spotify userbase passes 100 million
So, if you've been going around saying Spotify "probably has about 100 million users overall", well, you can drop the 'probably' and the 'about' everybody, because Spotify has a 100 million users overall.

The most recent previous stats brag from the streaming service was back in March, when boss man Daniel Ek nonchalantly confirmed on Twitter that his company now boasted 30 million paying users. That the overall active userbase now tops 100 million was revealed yesterday.

Allowing for ongoing growth since then, that presumably means over 30% of the firm's customers are premium users, ie the kind of customers who are actually contributing to the record industry's booming streaming revenues.

It also means that more than two thirds of those users are on freemium, which is basically a loss-leader for both Spotify itself and the music industry - even though labels and publishers usually have minimum guarantees on free streams - with the freemium level basically a very expensive marketing platform for upselling premium.

Though the timing of the 100 million users stats brag - and what it tells us about Spotify's freemium audience - is possibly significant, given that the ad industry is amassing on the Med this week for the Cannes Lions conference. And Ek, who doesn't do many conferences these days, is on the bill. Which is presumably confirmation that Spotify is keen to further ramp up its advertising business in a bid to reduce the costs of servicing those freebie streamers.

This, and other recent moves to step up the company's brand relationships, may be, in part, a bid to placate those at the majors who don't like free streaming or Spotify's freemium-sells-premium business model. Or it may be more about showing potential investors ahead of any IPO that the loss-leading side of the Spotify business need not be so loss-leading.

But anyway, 100 million users, woo! Buy yourself some ad spots to celebrate.

CMU@TGE: Reality check - who needs to play ball, and why would they?
Look out for insights, advice and viewpoints dished out at this year's CMU Insights @ The Great Escape conference here in the CMU Daily throughout June. Today we look at the final panel from the data focused strand.

Titled 'Reality check - who needs to play ball, and why would they?', our last discussion in the CMU@TGE data and transparency strand considered what barriers stand in the way of the bold new visions we'd heard about during the day for the way music rights data could be collated and digital royalties distributed. Beyond the technical issues of utilising the blockchain, what spanners is the music industry likely to throw into the works, and is it possible to overcome them?

A theme that had come up earlier in the day returned for much of the debate, that however good a blockchain solution to the music rights data problem may be, someone still needs to input good data to start with. And the metadata currently provided to digital services is a big issue that causes numerous problems.

"We clearly need a single view of the truth of metadata around music, that's without doubt", said PPL's Chief Technology Officer Mark Douglas. "Is blockchain the answer? Well, the features that blockchain brings to bear - so 7000 nodes, all with identical copies, that's publicly available - they've never been the problems, or the barriers in the way of achieving a single view of data".

He continued: "There's this big cry for transparency and public availability, the harsh truth of today is people have to work damn hard to fill in the gaps, resolve the rights conflicts, and do all that stuff to get that data right. The people calling for that data to be publicly available aren't suggesting how that work gets paid for. I'd rather see us talking about the actual problems and how we solve them, rather than this 'let's solve world famine and world peace with blockchain' type approach, which too many people are adopting".

Instead he praised services like Auddly, whose founder Niclas Molinder spoke earlier in the day, which are working to ensure that better data is being attached to new musical works from the point at which they are created.

Commenting from the audience, lawyer Nigel Dewar Gibb, who had spoken earlier in the proceedings, agreed, saying: "When that studio engineer or producer creates that final mix, they should be putting the ISWC code [the unique identifier code for songs] on it. That is the place it belongs. Get that attached at birth. One of the problems is we've had some very poor behaviours around core parts of the data. Tracks are issued again and again and again with new ISRCs [the unique identifier code for recordings]. 'Another One Bites The Dust' by Queen - 59 versions. Guess what: they were only in the studio once. There is one sound recording that was committed in the studio, but that thing has got 59 ISRCs".

Believe's Stephen King added: "If you look at the data that's provided to Spotify by the distribution companies, by everyone, it's absolutely appalling. It's shocking. We deliver twelve million tracks worldwide and we have 37 people whose only job is to clean our data for our clients. We had an Indian client who delivered 130,000 tracks, it took us seven and a half months to get it data correct. There are fundamental issues".

"I sign up record labels and I do their digital distribution, so publishing isn't an issue for me inherently, but it's always an issue because there's always issues with the publishing", he continued. "So more and more we would like to be able to deliver all the information across everything across every track. I think it's easy to do and I don't think you need blockchain to do it. I think you need a commitment from the labels that they want to do this and they want to do it properly, and in the end someone's got to pick up the cost, because the money we would save each other would be massive".

The way in which business is carried out across the recording and publishing industries came in for a kicking too. Lawyer Amanda Harcourt took aim at the slow pace with which the industry often works, saying: "Working to acquire licences from the music publishing industry is Hell on Earth. It took me fourteen months to clear rights in probably the most well known catalogue in this country, and even then one really famous song, which I was told one publisher owned for the world - a week before the deadline I was told, 'Oh there's six countries that we don't own it in'. It was ridiculous and embarrassing and the industry should be ashamed of itself".

Once deals are done, there are too many points at which money can be held up as it filters thought the system, added Cooking Vinyl boss Martin Goldschmidt. Referencing the dispute over mechanical royalties which led musician David Lowery to sue Spotify, he expressed particular anger at the system for these payments in the US.

"Every other country in the world there's a collection society and at least there are adequate databases to make sure most of the publishers and songwriters get paid accurately most of the time", he said. "In the US you've got a system of [the] Harry Fox [Agency], which has allegedly 70% of the rights. The other 30% of publishers and songwriters won't engage with Harry Fox, so Harry Fox doesn't even have a complete data set, no one does. Harry Fox is, in my humble opinion, run dreadfully - we've been trying to pay them money for five years and failed, so that money is not getting through to publishers and songwriters".

Bringing it back to the quality of data, he added: "Part of the problem is the US publishers want a solution that digs holes in the ground and fills them in again instead of just having a one stop shop. And if people aren't going to put good data in, it doesn't matter what database you've got, you can use a pencil, you're going to get the same results".

Music Managers Forum CEO Annabella Coldrick brought up the issue of transparency, and the NDA culture that leaves artists and managers in the dark about how money flows from digital services down to them. "When we're talking about transparency in this case, it's the ability of artists and their managers to be able to understand what is going on, to be able to see what happens between the services and the labels", she said. "Then being able to understand how the money flows from the labels, what deductions are made, and how it then makes its way through to artists. Being able to reconcile the two is critical".

"I think if there are deductions being made, and I am auditing on behalf of a client, I don't think it's unreasonable for the rightsowner to justify, to demonstrate what it is that's come off the top", added Harcourt on this point. "Now, I know in a global industry that sometimes a lump sum arrives in England and it's been generated in America and the English office doesn't necessarily know what the original amount was. But I don't think it's unreasonable to ask them to demonstrate how they arrived at the number they want to put on the cheque".

"We're often told, 'We can't share this information with artists and their managers, NDAs are essential, because otherwise we'll get in trouble with competition law and antitrust', and actually I think it's the other way round", said Coldrick. "I think it's anti-competitive not to share the information with artist. The major labels do not share this information, and that's predominantly the largest source of investment, and if you have a hot new artist who hopefully has the interest of several labels and you're wanting to do a deal, you cannot make a comparison. So you're actually stopping competition".

Continuing on the subject of deals and deductions, Harcourt said: "There's a phrase I discovered this week from the financial sector, which I'm in love with: the dark pool of liquidity. It's all those transactions that operate outside the regulatory system, and in this industry its known as 'the black box'. If you cannot allocate your lump sums to each track or each songwriter, then it goes to the bottom line. We can't ignore the fact that as companies, your obligation is to maximise the return to your shareholders".

"We ran an exercise on that", said King. "And while we get incomplete information back from the services, we managed to allocate everything but 0.2% of income back to our clients. So, if you spend the money it's possible to do it. But some companies choose not to do it, because it goes to the bottom line. The worst bit is that, when you track income across multiple sources, there's a bit lost at every single stage. So if I track income around the world and look at 30 sources of income on the same recording, I can see a drop off at every point".

Throughout the discussion, panellists noted that the blockchain cannot itself solve most of these issues. Summing it up, Goldschmidt said: "Looking at the word transparency, I don't think that data is the problem, it is one facet of the problem. There's a lot of people who are just happy stealing the money, there's myriad problems. I don't think blockchain is the solution".

Between this discussion and the earlier interview with Robert Kaye of Musicbrainz, there was quite a level of cynicism towards the blockchain. With various organisations and individuals currently working on blockchain-based data and royalty solutions for the music industry, we will find out soon enough if that is justified.

CMU:DIY x Urban Development return with another Industry Takeover Seminar
CMU:DIY teams up with Urban Development once again tonight for another Industry Takeover Seminar, this time taking place at the Big Think Hub in Shoreditch.

These regular nights provide new artists with a guide to building fanbase and planning their careers, and an introduction to the various strands of the music industry that they may work with down the line, with CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke kickstarting the proceedings with a short talk before questioning a panel of experts.

Tonight the theme is getting on stage, with Cooke noting in a pre-event blog post: "Most new artists hope to work with various music business partners once their careers gain momentum, including labels, publishers, agents, promoters, merchandisers and management. But these days artists need to get that momentum going for themselves, by writing great songs, recording great music, and then finding that initial fanbase".

He goes on: "While you'll need to get your social and digital channels sorted as part of that process, by far the best way to reach and engage new fans is to get on stage and put on a great show. The digital channels are there so that - if and when you excite a new audience - those people can connect with you online and stay in touch with you moving forward".

But how do you get on stage? That's the topic for tonight, and joining the panel are Raj Chaudhuri from Boiler Room, Ross Murray-Jones from YPlan, Nigel R Glasgow from B Flat Productions and Kelly Wood from the Musicians Union. You'll find more info and tickets here.

  Approved: Death Team - Jump
First approved almost exactly a year ago, it's worth jumping back into the world of Death Team once again. Having gone quite for a few months, they returned last week with new single 'Jump'. And thankfully, none of the over-the-top, infectious energy that originally made them interesting has yet dissipated.

The track is a punishing, ultra-neon explosion of 90s piano house riffs and handclaps, topped off with so many quotable lyrics that even after listening to the track fifteen times in a row, I'm still cursing myself that I can't keep enough of them in my head.

"I'm CEO baby, and you're not even hired" is one. "I wanna fuck, you wanna use the wifi" is another. "I'm having tea, and you're a fucking loser" is another. And... fuck! Here comes listen number sixteen.

Listen with me here.

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KT Tunstall, Bugzy Malone, Grumbling Fur, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• KT Tunstall has released the video for 'Evil Eye', taken from her forthcoming new EP 'Golden State'.

• Grumbling Fur, aka Alexander Tucker and Daniel O'Sullivan, have announced their new album 'Furfour'. It'll be released on 16 Sep. Here's first single 'Acid Ali Khan'.

• Jagwar Ma have announced UK tour dates later this year, which will finish up at the Electric Ballroom in Camden on 26 Oct.

• Bugzy Malone will be heading out on a UK tour in November, including a show at Village Underground in London on 6 Nov. The rapper also recently signed a deal with JD Sports to distribute his own clothing designs.

Kelis to open pop-up burger restaurant in London
Kelis is opening a pop-up burger restaurant in London with "French American fine diner" Le Bun.

The musician's menu will be on offer at Le Bun's Leicester House restaurant for four evenings in July - 6, 7, 13 and 14 Jul to be precise. She's due at a festival in Portugal on the last of those dates by the way, if you were wondering whether she might be there flipping burgers herself.

"I've been looking forward to bringing my cooking to London for years", says Kelis. "This July I'm over for lots of festivals and it's the perfect time to finally make this pop-up restaurant dream a reality. The Le Bun guys are the perfect partners and I can't wait for everyone to have a taste".

Oh yes, live dates. There are plenty of those. She's got four nights at the Jazz Café in July in addition to those festivals, and her restaurant will be moving to the Standon Calling festival at the end of the month.

"I've been into Kelis' music for years", says Le Bun co-founder Andy Taylor. "It's wicked that we see eye to eye on ingredients and I'm really excited to chef with her. I love what she cooks and it's going to be great to collaborate on a totally unique pop-up".

Will she be serving up her own milkshakes though? Probably not. But book a table here anyway.

 
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