WEDNESDAY 6 JULY 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Warner/Chappell's Jon Platt is the latest senior music publishing executive in America to hit out at the news that the US Department Of Justice has decided not to make any amendments to the consent decrees that regulate collecting societies ASCAP and BMI, but instead has formally stated that the consent decrees as they currently stand oblige the two... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: A couple of years into a career that has been typified by a variety of strong, 80s-influenced singles and the good old homemade video, Miamigo take a step up with new single 'Forever' and their first music video proper. "The idea is to represent the belief of nothing lasting forever", say the duo. "The video centres around a young lady looking to buy... [READ MORE]
 
CMU TRENDS: Last week the American collecting societies BMI and ASCAP met with the US Department Of Justice to discuss the ongoing review of the consent decrees. But what are the consent decrees anyway? Why were they being reviewed? What was the outcome the music publishers wanted? And what is the outcome they are going to get? Premium readers can find out in this CMU Trends report. [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: In this week's special edition of the CMU Podcast, CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke chats to musician and vocal artist rights advocate David Lowery about the digital music market, his criticisms of the streaming sector, his lawsuit against Spotify, and whether he’s optimistic about the future of the music business. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Warner's Jon Platt adds to criticism of US consent decree review
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LEGAL Sentences for online piracy to increase via new Digital Economy Bill
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LIVE BUSINESS Mumford & Sons boycott Swedish festival over attacks on women
Artists to blame for secondary ticketing boom, says economics professor
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Guvera continues PR offensive, CEO moves to reassure shareholders
SoundCloud updates Stations feature
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EDUCATION & EVENTS CMU Insights announces autumn programme of seminars and masterclasses
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ARTIST NEWS Kathleen Hanna: I'm really sick of educating people about sexism in music
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RELEASES Pixies announce new album
New documentary explores The Curse Of The Chills
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ONE LINERS Spotify, WhoSampled, Iron Maiden, more
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AND FINALLY... Tame Impala "showered in cushions by 4000 French people"
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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.
 
 
TROXY - OPERATIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
An opportunity has arisen for an Operations Manager at one of London’s most versatile venue spaces. Troxy is based in East London, and the venue boasts a ground floor and circle area as well as a smaller event room and hosts events for 200 to 3100 people, such as corporate awards and dinners, live concerts, indoor sports events, club nights and weddings.

For more information and details on how to apply click here.
   
ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL - ASSISTANT BARS & EVENTS MANAGER (LONDON)
Islington Assembly Hall is looking for a dynamic, experienced Assistant Bars & Events Manager with a proven track record within a live music operation to work at one of the country's premier 850 capacity venues. This is a fantastic opportunity to work and grow in national touring venue owned and operated by Islington Council.

For more information and details on how to apply click here.
   
FABRICLIVE - SENIOR BOOKER (LONDON)
We are currently looking for a Senior Booker to join our promotions team to provide 360° delivery of Fabriclive Friday nights at Fabric. The role will involve helping to shape the night’s music policy as well as that of midweek events.

For more information and details on how to apply click here.
   
SONGKICK - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (LONDON)
The Business Development member will be responsible for leading the charge in researching, generating, and contacting potential clients that may benefit from Songkick’s ticketing technology and services. This team member has the ability to create and maintain important relationships within the industry and the knowledge, passion and insight to portray our value to major artist clients.

For more information and details on how to apply click here.
   
X-RAY TOURING - PA TO BOOKING AGENT (LONDON)
An exciting opportunity for an experienced PA with music industry experience and a flair for organising with military precision at X-Ray Touring.

For more information and details on how to apply click here.
   
BIMM GROUP - TUTORS (LONDON, BRIGHTON, BRISTOL, MANCHESTER, DUBLIN, BERLIN)
Calling experienced music industry professionals to join our talented tutor roster at the British And Irish Modern Music Institute. Now with over 5500 students studying at six fully connected BIMM colleges, we are again actively recruiting to appoint new specialist music industry tutors to join our roster – especially in the subject areas of music business, event management and music journalism.

For more information and details on how to apply click here.
   
ONE LITTLE INDIAN - PRESS OFFICER (LONDON)
One Little Indian is looking for a Press Officer. A passionate music lover, and a strong communicator, with an extensive network of contacts across the broad spectrum of music media. The ideal candidate must have a proven track record of working with both new and established artists across print and online.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
EINSTEIN'S GARDEN/GREEN MAN - MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
We are looking for a creative and motivated Marketing Assistant to join our friendly team, which organises events across the country including Wales’ largest music, arts and science festival, Green Man. You will need to have experience in digital marketing, event promotion and brand development. Previous experience working with science, music, or cultural events is preferred.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
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.
 
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.
 
11 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
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18 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
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25 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
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26 Sep 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Music Business Explained – For Start Ups & Brands
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27 Sep 2016 CMU Insights @ Music 4.5: The Politics Of Licensing
CLICK FOR INFO
Oct/Nov 2016 CMU Insights Seminars Programme: How The Music Business Works
CLICK FOR INFO
3 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Making Money From Music
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10 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
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17 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
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24 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: From Napster To Now – The Battle With Music Piracy
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24 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
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31 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Merch, Live & Brands
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21 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Digital Deals, Dollars And Trends – Explained!
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Warner's Jon Platt adds to criticism of US consent decree review
Warner/Chappell's Jon Platt is the latest senior music publishing executive in America to hit out at the news that the US Department Of Justice has decided not to make any amendments to the consent decrees that regulate collecting societies ASCAP and BMI, but instead has formally stated that the consent decrees as they currently stand oblige the two performing rights organisations to operate a 100% licensing system.

As previously reported, the US publishers had called for various changes to be made to the consent decrees, arguing that the collective licensing rules are outdated in the digital age. A key change the big publishers were pushing for was the flexibility to withdraw their digital rights from the collective licensing system while continuing to license conventional broadcasters, live performance, clubs and bars through the societies. The US rate courts have previously ruled that this isn't possible under the current wording of the consent decrees.

The DoJ declined to make that and other changes, but instead concurred with the opinion put forward by various licensees about 100% licensing. This is the principle that says that a licensee with a BMI licence - say - can make use of all and any songs in that society's repertoire, even where songs were actually co-written with songwriters represented by other American PROs like ASCAP, SESAC or GMR. Previously publishers and the societies were of the opinion that, with co-owned works, a licensee would need a licence for all the societies representing songwriters with a stake in any one song.

In an open letter to the songwriting community, Platt writes: "As you may be aware, for the last two years, ASCAP and BMI have been in discussions with US Department of Justice regarding the decades-old consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI's licensing practices. The objective was to have the consent decrees amended and updated in order to make them more responsive to today's fast-moving, and increasingly digital, music business. However, in a hugely disappointing decision, the DoJ has declined to implement any of the changes requested by ASCAP and BMI".

"But what's more, the DoJ has determined that the consent decrees require ASCAP and BMI to license their repertoire on a 100% basis. This means that any licensee would be able to obtain a license for 100% of any song from ASCAP or from BMI, even if that society only controls a small portion of the song. This determination is completely inconsistent with the manner in which ASCAP and BMI have issued public performance licences and threatens to undermine the very system by which songwriters have, for many years, been compensated for the public performance of their songs".

He goes on: "It is especially alarming that the DoJ has come to this determination despite the overwhelming concerns expressed by ASCAP, BMI, the National Music Publishers Association, publishers, songwriters and even the US Copyright Office. In January, the Copyright Office advised that: 'Such an approach would seemingly vitiate important principles of copyright law, interfere with creative collaborations among songwriters, negate private contracts, and impermissibly expand the reach of the consent decrees'".

He concludes: "Our loyalty - first and foremost - is always to you, our songwriters. Our understanding is that, because there are so many unanswered questions and implementation challenges, the DoJ is providing a one-year grace period for the industry to adapt to the DoJ's new interpretation of the consent decrees. We are and will be working on your behalf, independently and with ASCAP, BMI and NMPA, to explore all available strategies to preserve and grow your public performance revenue in the face of the DoJ's unfortunate determination".

The chiefs of all three major music publishers have now hit out at the DoJ's decision on the consent decrees. Last week Sony/ATV boss Marty Bandier told reporters: "We are incredibly disappointed by the unjust way the Department has decided to interpret the consent decrees. Its decision is going to cause a tremendous amount of uncertainty and chaos in a market place that has worked well for years and will adversely impact everyone in the licensing process, including PROs, licensees, music publishers and most of all songwriters who can ill afford to hire lawyers to figure out their rights under this inexplicable ruling. The decision raises more questions than answers".

Meanwhile Jody Gerson at Universal Music Publishing told staff in an internal email that she "believes that the DoJ's decision is bad for songwriters, and we are deeply disappointed". She added that enforced 100% licensing would lead to unfair pricing while also providing a "disincentive to songwriters to work with fellow writers who are signed with a different PRO".

So far so united. Though many of those on the licensee side of the equation are quietly welcoming the DoJ's rulings. Speaking to CMU last week, entertainment lawyer Paul M Fakler at Arent Fox LLP, who has represented various broadcasters over the years, argued that the decision to not amend the consent decrees to allow the withdrawal of digital rights was the right decision.

Says Fakler: "The only reason the publishers wanted [partial withdrawal] was so they could keep the benefits they get from using the PROs for certain types of licensing, while discriminating against certain types of licensees - ie digital music services - by forcing those services to license without the protection of the rate courts or other protections of the consent decrees. All of the licensees that submitted comments - including those who would not be directly affected - agreed that this would have been a terrible idea".

On the 100% licensing point, the legal man argues that the DoJ hasn't actually introduced a radical new policy, but instead has confirmed an interpretation of the consent decrees long held by the broadcasting sector. He said: "As various licensees demonstrated in their submissions on this issue, the language of the consent decrees, the language of the licences granted by the PROs, the PROs' agreements with songwriters and music publishers, and the PROs' internal operating documents all provide for [100%] licensing".

Since last week's news on the DoJ's decision, there has been some debate as to whether or not the ruling is good or bad news for the two smaller US collecting societies SESAC and GMR, which are not subject to consent decrees. The lack of reform of the BMI and ASCAP regulations might make joining the smaller societies more attractive for some songwriters, though the enforcement of 100% licensing would mean that - on any co-writes with writers who remain in BMI and ASCAP - creators may not actually enjoy all of the benefits of joining SESAC or GMR.

Though Fakler reckons that if too many songwriters do jump to the smaller societies to circumvent the consent decrees and the rate courts the regulations empower, then there would be case for regulating those other societies too. "It is only a matter of time before SESAC will be subject to some form of rate court", he reckons. "SESAC recently lost two major rulings in private anti-trust cases, but avoided any permanent remedy by settling. Eventually, it should be regulated the same way ASCAP and BMI are".

"The jury is still out on GMR", he adds, of America's newest collecting society. "The number of songs it controls 100% seems to be very small. To the extent that it develops a 'must have' repertory, however, that would simply argue for rate court supervision. Because one of the big takeaways from this review process is that, contrary to the publishers' constant claims, the consent decrees still serve a vital function".

The DoJ's decisions on the consent decree review are not yet final. BMI and ASCAP could as yet fight them, and the whole matter has to be approved by the aforementioned rate courts, which might provide another opportunity for the publishers to present their arguments. Though Fakler's comments demonstrate that there is a strong sentiment amongst broadcasters and other licensees that the DoJ has actually reached the right conclusions here, and the music industry will have to tackle those groups in any fight back.

Confused about what exactly these consent decrees are all about? This week's CMU Trends report explains it all, and reviews the DoJ's review. Premium subscribers can access the article here.

To become a premium subscriber for just £5 a month click here.

Sentences for online piracy to increase via new Digital Economy Bill
Another Digital Economy Bill? Oh yes. The UK government, which is apparently still operational, despite all signs to the contrary, yesterday unveiled its latest Digital Economy Bill, which, ministers say, is part of an "ambition for the UK to be the most digital nation in the world". Well, it's good to have ambitions.

Like the previous Digital Economy Act in 2010, the new legislation covers various areas of law related to the damn internet, with a whole load of stuff about digital infrastructure, the way government makes use of data, and yet more measures to protect the kids from all that porn. And in among it all there are some amendments to copyright law too.

That includes proposals to increase the possible sentences for online copyright infringers to bring them in line with the penalties for those who bootleg CDs and DVDs. Former MP Mike Weatherley noted the disparity between the possible sentences for those running industrial-level online piracy operations as opposed to those illegally producing physical product in his reports on intellectual property law back in 2014, resulting in a report by the Intellectual Property Office on the issue the following year.

Launching the new bill, Digital Economy Minister - that'll be that Ed Vaizey - said: "We want the UK to be a place where technology ceaselessly transforms the economy, society and government. The UK has always been at the forefront of technological change, and the measures in the Digital Economy Bill provide the necessary framework to make sure we remain world leaders".

The government hopes that the new bill could become law next spring. You know, assuming we haven't abolished all laws and are just hoping everyone voluntarily behaves by then.

Mumford & Sons boycott Swedish festival over attacks on women
Mumford & Sons have said that they will boycott Swedish festival Bravalla until assurances can be made about the safety of attendees in future. This follows reports that five women were raped and twelve sexually assaulted at this year's event last week.

"We're appalled to hear what happened at the Bravalla Festival last weekend", said the band in a Facebook update. "Festivals are a celebration of music and people, a place to let go and feel safe doing so. We're gutted by these hideous reports".

They continued: "We won't play at this festival again until we've had assurances from the police and organisers that they're doing something to combat what appears to be a disgustingly high rate of reported sexual violence".

Meanwhile Swedish singer songwriter Zara Larsson has responded to reports that one of the attacks took place during her performance at the event, writing in Swedish on Twitter: "Fuck you who shamelessly raped a girl in the audience. You deserve to burn in hell. Fuck you for making girls feel insecure when they go to a festival. I hate guys. Hate hate hate".

"How am I supposed to take it seriously when you say 'not all men', 'I'm a nice guy, I don't rape'?" she continued. "Where do all the 'nice guys' go when girls are raped? Are you too busy telling women how nice you are? It's not fucking hard to be generalised. It's hard to feel insecure about a festival where you just wanna go to have fun and enjoy. BUT YOU CAN'T, BECAUSE OF MEN. UGH".

As well as the reports of attacks at Bravalla, there were also reports of 35 sexual assaults at another Swedish festival, Putte I Parken, with one woman telling local media that a friend had been dismissed by bouncers when she tried to report an attack.

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Artists to blame for secondary ticketing boom, says economics professor
US-based economics professor Mark J Perry has blamed artists for the boom in the secondary ticketing market. An interesting perspective that I'm sure will be welcomed by all artists reading. You idiots don't play enough shows and you don't charge enough to get into them. See, so simple.

"Economic logic tells us there are only two conditions that can create a secondary market for concert tickets selling above their list price", writes Perry on the American Enterprise Institute's blog. "One, the number of concert tickets being offered for sale is too low relative to the number of fans who want to attend the concerts of popular musicians, and/or two, concert tickets must be under-priced relative to their true market price".

He continues: "I would suggest that both of those conditions are completely under the control of the artists, and their managers and promoters, in which case we are led ineluctably to this conclusion: musicians and their representatives are 100% responsible for the conditions that guarantee a secondary market where concert tickets to Adele to Beyonce concert are sold above their face value".

"Stop under-supplying the number of tickets available for your concerts ... and the secondary market will naturally evaporate", he concludes. "You'll know you've supplied enough tickets to meet fan demand when your concerts have unsold seats. Until then, don't blame natural market forces and ticket scalpers, blame yourselves for creating the market you so frequently complain about".

Who knew it was so easy? Read the full blog post here.

Guvera continues PR offensive, CEO moves to reassure shareholders
Guvera's PR offensive continues, and for its latest YouTube videos the company has found members of staff better able to explain what the company actually offers. Though it's an update to shareholders from CEO Darren Herft that proves most interesting.

As previously reported, as parts of the company were placed into administration, after Guvera was blocked from raising new investment by IPO, the streaming firm attempted to counteract negative reporting in the press with a series of videos from execs.

In his video, founder Claes Loberg said: "We're a model that actually allows advertisers to exist in a world where people just click past everything, and we're a model trying to monetise the 95% of people in the world that get free content ... I mean, we do stream music, sure. But just the way that Ikea sells hotdogs. They're not a hotdog company, and we're not just a streaming company".

Chairman Phil Quartararo added in a second video: "Music fans are fans. They're not consumers only. They're fans. Which means they're fanatics. They're fanatical. They're driven by passion. We're not selling widgets. We're not selling diapers. We're not on a shelf somewhere at Wal-mart. We are selling something that people care about".

With very little clarified in those two videos, Guvera then rolled out Product Director Robb Snell and Head Of Brand Partnerships Richard Unwin, both of whom seem to have a clearer idea of what they're doing.

"Guvera's a brand-funded music entertainment platform", says Snell succinctly. "Guvera has two key stakeholders, those being the listeners and the brands. Unlike most platforms that have just listeners as the key stakeholder, Guvera is designed to have brands integrated seamlessly into the platform".

"[Brands] need to re-engage with their audience on a daily basis", he continues. "The problem is, over the last couple of years brands have ventured into the app space, and they've created their own apps, or they've always created their own websites. It's just that those apps and those websites don't typically stick with the audience, and they don't drive regular traffic. So they need to be on a platform that does drive daily engagement with the audience, and Guvera does that".

Concluding his video, Unwin adds: "To me, what Guvera actually allows you to do, and allows a brand to do, is wrap their whole message around something cool that everyone loves, which is music".

So that was pretty simple, and no one felt the need to start banging on about hotdogs.

All of this, of course, is aimed at promoting confidence in Guvera among investors as accountants at Deloitte assess the future of the business and prepare for tomorrow's creditors' meeting for the two subsidiaries in administration.

CEO Herft also recorded a video update, seen by CMU, which was somewhat longer than the others, and which was not made public but instead sent specifically to shareholders to assure them that everything was fine and the future of the company is bright. It also serves as a gauge of how many times one man can say thank you to his shareholders in a the space of 20 minutes. The answer is ten, if you're interested.

In the video, he again asserts that Guvera has a more sustainable business model than other streaming services, because it has an additional revenue stream from brands who wish to piggy back on its platform. This revenue is separate from the standard advertising income that all free streaming platforms generate, he says, and which is used to pay rightsholders.

"The latter component ... is where we pay fees to the music labels, and there from the music labels to the music artists", he says. "That has been questioned in other music streaming services as to their ability to build sustainable long term revenue, due to the high costs of being involved in the music industry. From an early day, Guvera saw this as a strategic advantage to be able to provide music the way that people want access to music, but to do so in a way through brands that allows Guvera to have a more sustainable financial business model for the future by being able to split our revenues between the brand channel component strategy reporting aspect, and the more traditional digital advertising aspect".

And that may well be true, but those other streaming services aren't the ones who've currently got the administrators in. In terms of the company's current finances, he said that dramatic restructuring in the last two weeks had brought the company's monthly overheads down from more than AUS$5 million to AUS$1.5 million, with the aim of making future cuts in the near future.

"It has meant we've had to cut back on certain markets and territories", he says. "Which means we'll be refining our strategy [regarding] the execution and deployment of the Guvera music platform into certain key territories, with a particular focus on emerging markets, in the next six months".

In addition to home country Australia, key focuses for the company now are Indonesia, India, UAE, The Philippines and Vietnam, while services in Singapore, India, the USA, Mexico, Russia and other countries will seemingly be cut back. Guvera, of course, does not operate in the UK, thanks to a failed attempt to launch via the acquisition of Blinkbox Music.

Herft also stressed that Guvera's parent company, Guvera Ltd, has not been placed in administration. This is important to shareholders, because that is the company in which they actually hold shares. The companies in administration are the company through which the streaming service operates in Australia, Guvera Australia, and the company through which staff are employed, Guv Services.

Herft does not address claims that Guvera Australia is the company that actually holds licences with record labels and publishers, for that market at least. Although he did note that payments of wages for staff are currently up to date. "We think it's very important that people who have worked for our company are rewarded and respected for what they've done", he says. "And both from a payments perspective and from an entitlements perspective, that is an area that we take very seriously, and we are from our perspective as a board ensuring that our team are looked after".

On the subject of paying people, he adds: "The board of Guvera Ltd has undertaken to endeavour to share with the administrators the amount of capital that the company can contribute to look after creditors. It is our intention to look after our creditors as best we can, but we will need to work with our advisors Deloitte, that are now managing the administration, to determine the exact path forward in that area".

Referencing the creditors the company's IPO prospectus said would be paid back had it floated, he notes that "the parent company, Guvera Ltd, is not exposed directly to these creditors".

He also says that the company is due a research and development grant of around AUS$6 million, which the company expects to receive "in late August or early September". "These funds, together with funds that are coming through from our existing shareholders, will ensure that the Guvera short to medium term requirements can be met from a financial perspective", he says.

"Our main strategic objective is to ensure that Guvera provides the best platform in the world for brands", he concludes. "The focus of the company going forward will essentially focus on key emerging markets, as we spoke about earlier. This includes Indonesia, India, the UAE, markets that are growing very quickly for Guvera right now. We see these as key marketplaces, marketplaces that we'd like to dominate with our unique, better and different business model, a complete focus on working with brands in those regions, and giving consumers access to music through those brands, on the Guvera platform".

So that's all very positive and upbeat about the future, though the real indication of the company's health will possibly come at tomorrow's creditors' meeting, where the company's new plans are expected to be fully outlined.

As previously reported, administrator Neil Cussen of Deloitte Australia told the Sydney Morning Herald last week: "Over the course of the next week we will be working with management to see if we can get a proposal that we can talk to the creditor group about in relation to a deed of company arrangement. I don't have any direct concerns today, but we have been spending [our time] in the subsidiary companies [so] we haven't had time to turn our thoughts to Guvera Limited at this stage".

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SoundCloud updates Stations feature
SoundCloud has announced an update to its Stations feature, which was added to the platform earlier this year.

As well as being able to use the service to play tracks similar to any you listen to on the platform, you can now also choose to play 'Artist Stations', which allow you to play tracks similar to the artist you're currently listening to. And if that sounds familiar, it's probably because you've used any of the various personalised radio services that have been around in the last fifteen or so years.

"Just like Stations you've started from tracks, Stations started from an artist profile will be saved to your Collection so that you can easily revisit them later", enthuses a blog post on the subject. "The tracks in a Station are refreshed every time you start one again and you can also skip as often as you'd like while listening".

Also, if you're thinking this all sounds a bit like the new Suggested Tracks feature SoundCloud launched recently, stop thinking that because you are wrong. "The algorithm behind Stations serves content in a different way than the Suggested Tracks feature we recently launched", scolds the blog post. "Stations serve a longer queue of songs that are a mixture of similar, new, and popular tracks related to the track or artist you started the Station from, for an experience closer to listening to the radio".

So that's you told. And if you're one of the four people using SoundCloud Go, you will have access to the entire 125 million+ track catalogue on the new service. Might take you a while to get through all of them though.

CMU Insights announces autumn programme of seminars and masterclasses
CMU Insights has announced details about its autumn programme of seminars and masterclasses which together provide a comprehensive overview of the music business in 2016.

The masterclass programme - supported by Lewis Silkin - consists of half-day sessions focused on a specific topic that explain in detail recent developments, current trends and best practice. This autumn's masterclasses include a session explaining the music industry for start-ups and brands, a review of the long-running battle against online piracy, and a guide to music licensing and the digital market. Early bird tickets are available to all three right now - click here to find out more.

The 'How The Music Business Works' evenings seminars programme consists of eight two-hour seminars which together cover: the various ways the music industry generates revenue, building and engaging a fanbase, the business partnerships artists form with music companies, and how the artist/label relationship is changing. They take place each Monday evening in October and November in Shoreditch. For more info click here.

Introducing the autumn programme, CMU MD and Business Editor Chris Cooke says these exact words: "The music industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and staying on top of things requires an understanding of how the wider music business works, as well as being up to speed with all the latest developments. That's where our seminars and masterclasses come in. I look forward to sharing all of our many insights with music business professionals, and people seeking to work with the music sector, this autumn".

Premium CMU subscribers get a 20% discount on all CMU Insights masterclasses and seminars using the passcode that appears in the CMU Premium bulletin each Monday morning. To become a premium subscriber for just £5 a month click here.

  Approved: Miamigo
A couple of years into a career that has been typified by a variety of strong, 80s-influenced singles and the good old homemade video, Miamigo take a step up with new single 'Forever' and their first music video proper.

"The idea is to represent the belief of nothing lasting forever", say the duo. "The video centres around a young lady looking to buy something tangible that'll last, with the couple on the shopping channel representing some surreal unrequited love. We're very much inspired by 80s/90s slasher movies and we felt a dark ending was necessary to add a little twist to the vibrancy".

The track itself is a sloping, bass-heavy number with a chorus that throbs out of the groundwork done by the verse. If this is the point at which Miamigo's dark pop tales are brought to a wider audience, I'm all for it.

Watch the video for 'Forever' 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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Kathleen Hanna: I'm really sick of educating people about sexism in music
As an artist who has long written about feminism in her lyrics, any interview with Kathleen Hanna will eventually turn to that subject. Though her latest album with The Julie Ruin arrives since feminism became a hot topic in the media again, and she's now fed up of being asked questions by people ignoring the solutions.

Speaking to Bandcamp's blog, she says: "Someone wrote to me recently about how they wanted to interview me, and it was all women-in-the-music-industry horror stories. And I was like, 'I'm really sick of educating people about sexism in music'. They always ask, like, 'How's it changed?'"

"I feel like every time we have a conversation about sexism in the industry, that's the sound of my songs being eaten by mice", she continues. "Why don't a bunch of straight white dudes, with all the vast resources available to them, read a bunch of books and then start coming up with solutions? We're already working".

"There's actually things that can happen, and it's not for me to do", she adds. "It's for you to do. It's not up to me to hand-hold these dudes who all of a sudden want to do some good deeds. Read some books about people who are different than you".

Straight white dudes, go find a book. For everyone else, here's the video for 'I Decide'.

Pixies announce new album
Pixies have announced a new album, 'Head Carrier', the follow up to 2014's 'Indie Cindy', which was the band's first album since 1991.

"[It was] a wonderful luxury, for us to have the time to be able to really work these new songs out", says drummer David Lovering of making the new LP. "By the time we started recording, we all knew the songs backwards and forwards, so it took half as long for us to make this album as it did to make 'Indie Cindy'".

The record is their first with Paz Lenchantin, who replaced The Muffs' Kim Shattuck (who replaced original member Kim Deal) at the tail end of 2013, and has been a touring member ever since.

Commenting on her time with the band, she says: "I was very nervous in the beginning when I went to that first rehearsal. There were these shoes I felt I had to fill and I tried to do the best I could for the fans, to make the live performances sound true to the originals. I spent three years learning to understand what being a Pixie meant, and now, my heart, spirit, and love for their music is embedded in me and I feel like I have become a Pixie. We had been more about the history of the Pixies, but now, we are about going forward".

"Paz is a joy to be around", adds Lovering. "She's very funny, and we're having more fun than we've ever had as a band, we all have a blast together, on and off stage".

Well that's nice. Here's the first track to be released from 'Head Carrier', 'Um Chagga Lagga'.

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New documentary explores The Curse Of The Chills
A new documentary charting the career of New Zealand musician Martin Phillipps and his band The Chills - 'The Curse Of The Chills' - is to be screened in London next month, ahead of its official release next year.

The film charts The Chills' initial success in New Zealand to being on the brink of international stardom, and the depression, anxiety and addiction that followed when that didn't work out.

"I thought we were building a reputation that would sustain us through the expected highs and lows of any sort of career", says Phillipps of the band's rise to fame in the film's trailer. "But it wasn't like that. If I'd even read more proper rock history I would have known more about the pitfalls, and I didn't. I really just thought I was forging my own trail. And, for better or worse, I kinda did".

Phillipps himself will also appear for a Q&A and live performance at Mile End's Genesis Cinema on 26 Aug.

Watch the trailer here.

Spotify, WhoSampled, Iron Maiden, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• A 58% gain in overall streaming was "juiced" by a 108% swell for audio streams, says the new Buzz Angle report on the US digital music market so far this year. We'll be discussing the report on this week's CMU Podcast, but you can download a copy for yourself here.

• J Herskowitz, founder of open source digital music software Tomahawk, has joined Spotify. "THRILLED to be part of the team dedicated to delivering more insight, fan engagement and $ to artists", he tweeted yesterday.

• WhoSampled has launched a new Six Degrees Of Separation feature, in which it promises to link any two given artists in six moves or less. For example, there are only three degrees of separation between Selena Gomez and Darkthrone. See if you can outsmart it here.

• Iron Maiden have released a new mobile game for iOS and Android, called 'Legacy Of The Beast'. "We've always wanted to make a quality Maiden mobile game", says bassist Steve Harris. Well the 40 year wait is over, download it here.

• Boy George won't be joining Will.i.am on the next series of 'The Voice', he's got something else on.

• Alexis Taylor has covered rare Prince song 'Old Friends 4 Sale' for Low Four. "The song was recorded originally by Prince in 1985 for potential inclusion on the album 'Parade'", says Taylor. "It remained unreleased until around the late 90s when he changed the lyrics and re-recorded an inferior version which was much more tame lyrically. My cover is of the original unreleased version which has circulated on bootlegs since the late 80s". Watch here.

• Ida Long has released a new video for 'Woman', taken from her album 'Rainbows & Tears'.

• Girl Friend have released new single, 'Hello Stranger', which you can listen to here.

• Chicane will play his only live show of 2016 on 9 Sep at Koko. Backed by a full band, the show will follow the release of a new compilation marking the producer's 20th anniversary.

• YouTuber KSI has announced a UK tour in November, finishing up at The Garage on 8 Nov. Luckily, we've already put together some handy tips on taking a YouTube act live.

Lady Gaga has a drivers' licence now.

Tame Impala "showered in cushions by 4000 French people"
Bruno Mars once had to ask fans to stop throwing toy grenades at him while he was performing his song 'Grenades'. "At first it was cute now it's beginning to spook my band out", he said. Well, maybe he should head to Lyon, because the missiles are altogether less intimidating there.

Tame Impala yesterday posted a video to Instagram from their show at Lyon's Théâtres Romains de Fourvière venue depicting them being "showered in cushions by 4000 French people".

The venue provides cushions for audience members to sit on, which has apparently given rise to the practise of throwing those cushions at acts as a sign of approval.

The band later posted a photograph of the aftermath of this 'approval' with the caption, "Crowd standin there all guilty like a puppy dog sittin next to a pile of poo".

Which may or may not be an indication of what they throw if they don't like you.

 
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