TUESDAY 23 AUGUST 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Amazon is reportedly hoping to offer a mid-priced tier when it properly enters the on-demand streaming market later this year, with the discounted version of the service locked to the firm's proprietary hardware. Amazon already offers music streams, of course, as part of its Prime package, though users only have access to a relatively limited catalogue of tracks... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: William J Stokes and twins Imogen and Ellie Mason first met when the Masons' old band was supporting Stokes' old band. Two discontinued projects later, Wovoka Gentle was formed. The project is based loosely in Americana and folk, though experimental urges among all three members quickly layer numerous other influences over these foundations... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Amazon plans half price streaming service locked to Echo
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LEGAL Sleigh Bells sue Demi Lovato over song-theft claims
Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning admits further sexual offences against children
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DEALS BMG in theme tune frenzy following BBC deal
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Samsung to close Milk Music next month
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MEDIA New Norwegian TV talent show to use Spotify streams to pick winners
Mark Thomas guests as CMU publisher launches all-new culture podcast
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ARTIST NEWS Laura Marling launches podcast about the lack of women in recording studios
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ONE LINERS Absolute Label Services, Joni Mitchell, Carly Rae Jepsen, more
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AND FINALLY... Deezer US CEO jumps to e-cigarette company Pax Labs
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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.
 
 
K7 - DAY TO DAY ARTIST MANAGER (BERLIN OR LONDON)
K7 Artist Management supports a diverse range of artists with innovative and creative approaches across the music value chain. For our team in Berlin, or possibly also London, we are looking for an experienced day-to-day Artist Manager to support the management of our clients starting immediately. The successful candidate shall have one to two years experience in the field of artist management.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

   
SOLAR MANAGEMENT – OFFICE JUNIOR (LONDON)
An Office Junior is required for London-based artist, songwriter and producer management company Solar Management. The job will include general office duties as well as providing support to client managers, including the booking of travel, couriers, web/social media updates, registrations and general administrative duties.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

   

[PIAS] – RECEPTIONIST (LONDON)
[PIAS] is looking for a well-organised receptionist/administrator with 1-2 years experience. The position is based at the company’s London office and will suit someone looking for a first step into a great independent music company.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

   
X-RAY TOURING - ADMIN ASSISTANT (LONDON)
An exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic administrative assistant to support the busy team at one of the UK’s leading booking agencies, X-Ray Touring.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
O2 ACADEMY NEWCASTLE - GENERAL MANAGER (NEWCASTLE)
The O2 Academy Newcastle requires a General Manager to manage the venue both efficiently and effectively ensuring that the diary is commercially maximised and all statutory duties are discharged.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
KOBALT MUSIC GROUP – DIGITAL SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER (LONDON)
Kobalt is looking for a highly motivated individual to join our AWAL UK Operations Team, based in our London office. The Digital Supply Chain Manager will be responsible for maintaining and enhancing AWAL’s supply chain performance across audio and video platforms, ensuring timely and accurate delivery of content.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BLEEP - JUNIOR MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Bleep is looking for a junior marketing manager who will be primarily responsible for devising and implementing marketing strategies for Bleep.com with three key aims: customer acquisition, brand-building, and customer engagement.

or more information including a full job description and 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.
 
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.
 
26 Sep 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Music Business Explained – For Start Ups & Brands
CLICK FOR INFO
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
CLICK FOR INFO
10 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
CLICK FOR INFO
17 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
CLICK FOR INFO
24 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: From Napster To Now – The Battle With Music Piracy
CLICK FOR INFO
24 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
CLICK FOR INFO
31 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Merch, Live & Brands
CLICK FOR INFO
7 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
CLICK FOR INFO
14 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
CLICK FOR INFO
21 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Digital Deals, Dollars And Trends – Explained!
CLICK FOR INFO
21 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan Orientated Business
CLICK FOR INFO
 

Amazon plans half price streaming service locked to Echo
Amazon is reportedly hoping to offer a mid-priced tier when it properly enters the on-demand streaming market later this year, with the discounted version of the service locked to the firm's proprietary hardware.

Amazon already offers music streams, of course, as part of its Prime package, though users only have access to a relatively limited catalogue of tracks. But the company is now seeking to enter the streaming music market proper with a standalone service of the Spotify and Apple Music model, which will work in a similar fashion to those competitors, so on-demand access to tens of millions of tracks for ten dollars/pounds/euros a month.

However, according to Recode, the standalone Amazon streaming set up would also offer a package at around the $4/5 price point. This cheaper version would offer access to the same catalogue with the same functionality, but would only work on Amazon's wireless speaker device Echo, which has proven rather popular since being launched last year.

There have been various attempts at launching a cheaper subscription-based streaming music service over the years, of course, based on the assumption that the majority of consumers will never spend $10 a month on recorded music. The challenge with developing a $5 a month streaming set-up, though, is coming up with a service that is less good than what people already pay $10 a month for, but still better than the free-to-access ad-funded streaming services that are out there.

Some have tried personalised radio without the ads at the $5 price point, while others have offered on-demand streams but with less catalogue or less functionality. Or, as with what Amazon have planned, an ad-free on-demand set-up that works on fewer devices. For example, at one point you could subscribe to Spotify for £5 a month and lose the ads but not gain the extra mobile functionality that comes with £10 a month premium.

None of those mid-range offers have really gained any momentum, possibly because they entered the market too soon, or possibly because the more mainstream consumer is more likely to be attracted not by a cheaper price-point, but by bundling music in with other content-on-demand, as Amazon are already doing with Prime. But still, it will be interesting to see if Amazon finds any takers for its cheaper Echo-only streaming service, assuming the web giant secures the licences it needs from the labels and publishers to launch such a thing.

Elsewhere in mid-price streaming, that start-up pitching itself at more mainstream consumers interested in musical streams but not willing to spend $10 a month - Cür Media - seems to be imploding, perhaps unsurprisingly given that we knew the firm was already struggling to pay the advances it had promised the record companies.

Former Universal exec Jim Urie, who became the company's interim President, interim CEO and Chairman in May, has departed, as have other board members and pretty much all the firm's staff. Good times. Bring on some Echo streams, I say.

Sleigh Bells sue Demi Lovato over song-theft claims
Now, you all surely remember that day back in December 2015 when Demi Lovato's career reached its absolute peak as she was presented with the prestigious - and some would say, prestigious - Beef Of The Week prize by your best buds over at the CMU abattoir. She secured that accolade and the resulting career high simply by (allegedly) ripping off some Sleigh Bells tracks on her song 'Stars'.

Well, I bring this up now because the whole thing's just gone legal. Sleigh Bellers Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller are suing Lovato, her label and her producers - Carl Falk and Rami Yacoub - claiming that they lifted elements of Sleigh Bells track 'Infinity Guitars' without permission when making 'Stars'.

When the Sleigh Bells first accused Lovato of ripping them off - via Twitter, obviously - Falk and Yacoub told Entertainment Weekly that "we did not use any samples in Demi Lovato's song 'Stars'", before noting that the singer herself wasn't directly involved in the production of the track.

But, in their legal complaint, Sleigh Bells allege that 'Stars' nevertheless contains "compositional elements" of 'Infinity Guitars', which basically means - even if the Lovato track didn't contain any samples - its producers are still accused of lifting elements of the Sleigh Bells track, even if they then recreated them.

"A comparison of the two songs reveals that, at the very least, the combination of the hand claps and bass drum, structured as three quarter beats and a rest, with the bass drum providing a counter-rhythm to the hand claps, is at least substantially similar in both works", says the lawsuit.

The similarities, the lawsuit adds, "transcend the realm of coincidence". Which is actually a good name for an album, now I think about it. 'Transcending The Realm Of Coincidence'. I might suggest it to Ed Sheeran.

Lavato et al are yet to respond.

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Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning admits further sexual offences against children
Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning has pleaded guilty to 21 sexual offences against eleven boys between 1969 and 1986. He is already serving thirteen years in prison for sexual assaults against 24 children.

As previously reported, Denning, who was part of the original line-up of Radio 1 presenters and left the station after two years, pleaded guilty two years ago to 29 offences involving boys aged from nine to sixteen between 1964 and 1987.

The conviction stems from the Operation Yewtree investigation launched in the wake of the posthumous allegations of sexual assault made against Jimmy Savile. He has previously also been jailed in the UK, the Czech Republic and Slovakia for sexual offences against children.

The latest charges arose during a separate investigation by Surrey Police into the Walton Hop Disco for teenagers in Walton-on-Thames between 1958 and 2001. Detective Chief Inspector Jo Hayes told the BBC: "Denning, who was looked up to and sometimes idolised by many young people, has used his status to prey on innocent children which he has now admitted to. We can never go back and take away the abuse these ... men suffered as boys but I hope, in some way, today's guilty plea brings some closure for them".

Denning denied three other charges, but will not face trial for those. He will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on 6 Oct.

BMG in theme tune frenzy following BBC deal
'Mrs Brown's Boys' has been named the best sitcom of the 21st century so far, in a public poll conducted by the Radio Times, as if - in this age of Brexit - we needed any more proof that the public really shouldn't be consulted about anything.

Anyway, this counts as music news today because BMG has just acquired the rights to the 'Mrs Brown's Boys' theme tune in a deal with the BBC's commercial division BBC Worldwide. Though not just the theme tune to 'Mrs Brown's Boys'. I mean, what would be the point of that? Other than pandering to popular opinion, I suppose.

No, the music rights firm has scored itself a nice little slice of BBC Worldwide's music publishing catalogue, which also includes the theme tunes to programmes like 'Luther' and 'Frozen Planet', and incidental music from shows like 'Doctor Who' and 'Wolf Hall'.

Composers whose works are amongst those now to be repped by BMG include Ty Unwin, Murray Gold, George Fenton, Paul Englishby and Debbie Wiseman.

Confirming all this, BMG UK chief Alexi Cory-Smith told reporters: "It's a real honour to be entrusted with these great BBC works from world class composers that have made numerous important contributions to British culture throughout their careers".

She went on: "Shows like 'Luther', 'Doctor Who', 'Mrs Brown's Boys' and many others in this catalogue are household names and the composers behind them have unrivalled track records. As with all our clients at BMG, we're committed to providing them with similarly unrivalled service and transparency".

Samsung to close Milk Music next month
Samsung has announced that it will close its Milk Music streaming service in one month's time.

Milk was originally launched in the US in 2014, powered by existing personalised radio service Slacker. It eventually launched in Australia and New Zealand too, as personalised radio services tend to, and seemed to be quite popular for a time (albeit among a small userbase). But last year Samsung began reducing the number of staff it had working on the service, and earlier this year there was speculation that it would be shut down completely.

Well, congratulations speculators, you correctly speculated that another streaming service was about to disappoint. Though, given that everyone is always speculating that streaming services are about to collapse into dust, it's not that great an achievement. And, truth be told, Samsung music services are more likely to disappear than most.

In a statement, Samsung says that it will be "sun setting" Milk Music in the US on 22 Sep, having already done the same in other territories. Is "sun setting" valid as a verb? When did we have the meeting to decide that? Does it really sound that much better than "kicking this fucking disaster into a ditch"?

The statement continues: "We have made the strategic decision to invest in a partner model focused on seamlessly integrating the best music services available today into our family of Galaxy devices. We believe that working with partners will accelerate innovation, enhance device sales and provide amazing new experiences for our customers".

So, prepare yourself for some amazing, dairy free experiences in the near future.

New Norwegian TV talent show to use Spotify streams to pick winners
A Norwegian broadcaster is launching a new talent show in partnership with the major labels and Spotify. Titled 'The Stream', the show aims to mimic the success of artists like Justin Bieber, by allowing contestants to be discovered online. Though in this case, being discovered online means A&Rs being forced to watch videos uploaded to the show's website, which isn't quite the same as someone in the industry spotting organic buzz growing around an artist on YouTube. But whatever.

So, yes, more than 1200 hopeful contestants have uploaded videos of themselves to the website of 'The Stream', with the 100 highest rated (from what I can tell, ratings are based on how long anyone can bear to listen to each track) going forward to the next stage of competition. From this group, A&Rs from Warner, Sony and Universal will choose 40 artists they'd like to work with. At the end of each week, each label will sign three of the acts and release their music.

Once the music is out there, the acts' progress will be determined by the number of streams they get on Spotify, with the least streamed artist each week deemed to be too awful to continue working with and sent back to whatever boring life they had before.

You are indeed correct, this does sound like a terrible idea for a TV show, and an even worse approach for discovering new talent, but it's too late to stop it now. And I'm sure it'll be on prime time BBC One just as soon as Gary Barlow's terrible new talent show is out of the way.

If you like, you can watch some of the crappy audition videos on the show's website. Seriously, the number one act as I write this is fucking dreadful. Be warned though, it's quite addictive. I just got through 40 videos before I realised what was going on. One of them was pretty good.

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

Mark Thomas guests as CMU publisher launches all-new culture podcast
CMU's sister publication ThreeWeeks has been celebrating its 21st year covering the Edinburgh Festival this month, and to mark the occasion it has launched a brand new podcast.

The TW:TALKS podcast will accompany ThreeWeeks Edinburgh each summer, and year-round cultural recommendations service ThisWeek London, by talking to great people from the worlds of comedy, theatre, music, musicals, cabaret and spoken word. The whole thing is launching with five interviews recorded at the Edinburgh Fringe itself last week, with five comedians who have appeared on the cover of ThreeWeeks over the last 21 years.

The first of those interviews is with Mark Thomas, which went live last week, with conversations with Brendon Burns, Susan Calman, Lucy Porter and Mark Watson all set to follow in the coming weeks. In each edition each guest talks through their Edinburgh Fringe experiences past and present, with Thomas beginning with his first memories of the Festival all the way back in 1982.

The podcast is hosted by CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke, though in his guise as TW co-Editor, so there'll be no sneaky questions about copyright and digital licensing. Though he did discuss the role of direct-to-fan in comedy with Burns and Watson, and Calman brings up the impact of Netflix and Amazon on the comedy industry.

You can tune in and sign up to the podcast at thisweektalks.com. And talking of podcasts, the CMU Podcast is set to return on 9 Sep with a catch up edition looking at key music business developments over the summer, before properly returning with a weekly summary of music industry gubbins on 30 Sep. Sign up for that at completemusicupdate.com/podcast

  Approved: Wovoka Gentle
William J Stokes and twins Imogen and Ellie Mason first met when the Masons' old band was supporting Stokes' old band. Two discontinued projects later, Wovoka Gentle was formed.

The project is based loosely in Americana and folk, though experimental urges among all three members quickly layer numerous other influences over these foundations, leaving only glimpses remaining.

"Wovoka Gentle is an evolving project that demonstrates the importance of risk, experimentation and growth, challenging boundaries and opening up questions", say the band. "We want to experiment enough to involve you. Our roots remain in traditional soil - we love the structure in songs, we love songwriting - but we want you to find your own narrative in our music and join in with us".

Having released two EP's last year - 'Yellow' and 'Blue' - their new single, 'When Cameron Was In Egypt's Land Let My Cameron Go' sees them team up with producer and engineer Gareth Jones, known for his work with Depeche Mode, Wire, Erasure, These New Puritans and more.

Listen to 'When Cameron Was In Egypt's Land Let My Cameron Go' 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
 

Laura Marling launches podcast about the lack of women in recording studios
Laura Marling has launched a new podcast called 'Reversal Of The Muse', in which she interviews female musicians, producers and studio engineers to discuss why there are so few women working in studios.

"'Reversal Of The Muse' began as conversations between friends about female creativity", says Marling. "In reversing the muse it became an experiment. As a small part of the global conversation about women in the arts, it became an obsession. It occurred to me that in ten years of making records I had only come across two female engineers working in studios".

She continues: "Starting from my experience of being a woman I began to ask myself what difference it might have made had I had more women around, if any. I wanted to know why progress has been so slow in this area and what effect it would have on music".

The first two episodes of the podcast have already been published, with Marling speaking to Haim and studio engineer Vanessa Parr.

Absolute Label Services, Joni Mitchell, Carly Rae Jepsen, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Absolute Label Services has partnered with classical artists Carly Paoli, Parker, Jonathan Antoine and Gavin Greenaway and their respective record labels. "We're THRILLED", says Absolute Label Services Director, Mark Dowling.

• Ditto Music has launched a new service aimed at DJs and producers, called Ditto DJ Plus. The service provides digital distribution to electronic music focused stores like Beatport and Juno, as well as mainstream digital platforms.

• Joni Mitchell made her first public appearance at the weekend since been hospitalised after a brain aneurysm last year. A photograph of the singer attending a Chick Corea show in LA was posted to her official website on Sunday.

• To mark the first anniversary of her 'Emotion' album, Carly Rae Jepsen has announced that she is releasing 'Emotion: Side B' this Friday. What is that? Stop asking questions, you already know too much.

• Jimmy Eat World will release a new album on 21 Oct. This is the first single from it, 'Get Right'. They're playing two London shows next month, Bush Hall on 7 Sep and then Islington Assembly Hall on 8 Sep.

• Teenage Fanclub have released 'Thin Air' from their upcoming new album 'Here'.

• Jagwar Ma will release their second album, 'Every Now And Then', on 14 Oct. This is first single 'Give Me A Reason'.

• The Dillinger Escape Plan will play The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch tomorrow, ahead of their Reading and Leeds appearances this weekend.

• Following the release of their new album, '25 25', last week, Factory Floor will play London's ICA this Thursday (25 Aug).

• Effie will play a launch show for her 'Could Be You' EP at the Old Blue Last on 14 Sep. Watch the new video for lead single 'Pressure' here.

Deezer US CEO jumps to e-cigarette company Pax Labs
The CEO of Deezer's North American division, Tyler Goldman, has left the company a mere month after the streaming service finally went properly live in the States. Why? Because it's depressing managing streaming service number eight in such a competitive market place where everyone else seems to have more cash and/or celebrity friends? No, not at all. It's just he got the calling. The calling to make the world a better place through the wonder of e-cigarettes and related products.

Because yes, Goldman is now CEO of loose leaf e-cigarette maker Pax Labs, which makes products popular with marijuana smokers. Deezer hasn't commented on its former American CEO's new gig, but Pax has been bigging up its latest hire in a press release.

"Tyler has a tremendous track record in the tech industry, building premium brands by delivering products in new categories that super-serve consumers", said Pax Labs co-founder James Monsees. "We have set out to do the same from day one, achieved a great deal of success in a short period of time and are confident that Tyler is the ideal executive to further accelerate our growth and lead us into our next stage".

Goldman himself added: "Over one billion people in the world smoke. Almost all are looking for a better solution. While early, Pax Labs' platform is offering these consumers better solutions and, in so doing, the company is transforming the smoking business. Pax Labs already has scale with two market-leading products, has developed incredible IP we can continue to leverage to better meet existing needs and address new needs, and is growing at a rapid rate - what's not to like?"

Go on, admit it, you can't think of anything. This isn't Pax's first music-linked move. Last year the company partnered with The Weeknd on a limited edition vaporiser, which I see now costs less than $300. Bargain. Cancel your Deezer account and start saving up for that instead.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

For details of the training and consultancy services offered by CMU Insights click here - Andy and Chris are also available to provide music business comment, just email them direct.

To promote your company or advertise jobs or services to the entire UK music industry via the CMU bulletin or website contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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