FRIDAY 16 DECEMBER 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Your old mucker Barack Obama has found time in his busy schedule of wondering what the fuck's going to happen to his entire frickin country as of 20 Jan next year to sign into law the previously reported new legislation that will outlaw the use of ticket tout bots in the US. As previously noted, attempts to regulate or limit the resale of tickets online in the US have... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Every day this week in the CMU Approved slot, we've been looking at one of our five favourite artists of 2016. Today, Frank Ocean. The story of Frank Ocean in 2016 has been a fascinating one, with many twists and turns along the way, and various elements that are yet to fully reveal themselves. He began the year as a once hotly-tipped artist who had... [READ MORE]
 
BEEF OF THE WEEK: Well, 2016's been quite a ride, hasn't it? We've had ups and... wait, did we have ups? There were probably some ups. I guess a lot of the bad things that have happened have led to some enjoyable Beef Of The Week columns. That's what they always say, isn't it? The more to the right politics move, the better the beefs get. I've definitely heard people say that... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including what the future may hold for SoundCloud now that talks for Spotify to buy it are off, the latests revamps at Sony Music, and the government's opposition to adding the consideration of "cultural benefits" to live music licensing rules. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
 
CMU TRENDS: The story of the music industry is one of regular technological leaps that change the music-making process, the consumer experience and the business, meaning that just as everyone gets used to one set-up, something comes along that changes everything. We review the tech about to have a significant impact on the music industry. CMU Trends articles are available to premium subscribers... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Barack Obama signs US ticket touting bots ban into law
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS !K7 launches new division focused on neo-classical
New appointments at Syco as Sonny Takhar departs
As radio industry prepares for fight with Global Music Rights, announces new deal with ASCAP
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Afrikaans label launches new digital platform in South Africa
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ARTIST NEWS Stones waive song royalties on charity cover in aid of Jo Cox Foundation
John Legend criticises Kanye's Donald Trump meeting, but RZA says it was OK
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RELEASES Spotify unveils exclusive Coldplay live session
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ONE LINERS Warner Music, BPI, Eventbrite, more
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #336: The Year In Beefs
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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.
 
 
ATC LIVE - MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANT (LONDON)
ATC Live is recruiting for a Management Accountant to take responsibility for our daily artist accounting process. This is a new post within the finance team at ATC; the successful candidate will have final responsibility for all daily accounts processes associated with our artist's bookings.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
THE TICKET FACTORY - SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT MANAGER (LONDON)
The Ticket Factory is looking for a new Sports & Entertainment Manager. This is a great opportunity to join a dynamic part of the live entertainment industry, enjoying the fun along the way and driving the future of The Ticket Factory in the capital.

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

   
IDOL UK - GENERAL MANAGER (LONDON)
IDOL is seeking a new General Manager to look after its UK operations that recently reached a new milestone with the signing of a partnership with a key independent actor of the market. Reporting directly to the Paris-based Head Of International, the candidate will manage a label manager and gradually develop the UK team according to the activity growth.

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

   
ELEVEN SEVEN MUSIC - DIGITAL MARKETING & SALES MANAGER (LONDON)
Eleven Seven Music Group are seeking a Digital Marketing & Sales Manager to join their team in London. Eleven Seven Music Group is an independent record label headquartered in New York City with offices in Los Angeles and London.

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

   
OUTPOST GROUP - MUSIC SERVICES ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
We are looking for a sharp, motivated and ambitious music industry professional to lead a new music services company, to launch early 2017. You will need a minimum of two years experience in a music role with good all-round knowledge of the music business, particularly PR.

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

   
CR2 RECORDS - DIGITAL CONTENT/RIGHTS MANAGER (LONDON)
Cr2 Records is looking for an experienced Digital Content / Rights Manager to manage the scheduling and delivery for digital releases to all retailers ensuring quality control and accurate, timely delivery. The applicant will also be responsible for producing detailed sales data and also registering all repertoire with relevant collection societies for both copyright and publishing.

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

   
THE O2 - MARKETING MANAGER, BRANDS & ATTRACTIONS (LONDON)
We are now looking for a Marketing Manager – Brands and Attractions, to join the Marketing team based at The O2. You will play a pivotal role in bringing to life the brand proposition across all veins of the business, driving footfall to the venue and driving ticket sales for Up at The O2.

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

   
GIGREV - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (LONDON)
The Business Development Manager will be responsible for leading the charge in researching, generating, and contacting potential clients that benefit GigRev’s services. Our client base is artists, bands and vloggers.

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

   
THE O2 – SPECIAL EVENTS TICKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
We are looking to hire a Special Events Ticketing Manager on a six month fixed term contract. You will manage the event ticketing process for special events to include but not limited to exhibitions, corporate/private events (arena and non-arena) and external site wide events.

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

   
THE O2 – MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
We are looking for a Marketing Assistant, to join the Marketing team based at The O2 for a one year fixed term contract. You will support all areas of Marketing and Communications across the AEG Europe businesses, including, The O2, AEG Live and Thames Clippers.

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

   
ATC LIVE - GENERAL MANAGER (LONDON)
ATC Live is a live booking agency based in Camden, London, created to provide artists with a new style of representation, bringing an unparalleled level of creative and strategic thinking to our artists. Due to expansion we are looking for a General Manager.

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.
 
Jan-Mar 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: The How The Music Business Works Programme
CLICK FOR INFO
23 Jan 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Making Money From Music
CLICK FOR INFO
30 Jan 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
CLICK FOR INFO
6 Feb 2017 CMU Insights Masterclass: The Key Developments In Music Rights
CLICK FOR INFO
6 Feb 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
CLICK FOR INFO
13 Feb 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
CLICK FOR INFO
20 Feb 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Merch, Live & Brands
CLICK FOR INFO
27 Feb 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
CLICK FOR INFO
6 Mar 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
CLICK FOR INFO
13 Mar 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
CLICK FOR INFO
 

Barack Obama signs US ticket touting bots ban into law
Your old mucker Barack Obama has found time in his busy schedule of wondering what the fuck's going to happen to his entire frickin country as of 20 Jan next year to sign into law the previously reported new legislation that will outlaw the use of ticket tout bots in the US.

As previously noted, attempts to regulate or limit the resale of tickets online in the US have generally occurred at a state level, with New York State probably having done the most work in this domain. It recently ramped up its own ban on the use of the so called bots - software that enables ticket touts to buy up large quantities of tickets from primary sites - so that using such technology could result in jail time.

However, lawmakers in Washington have been increasingly talking about banning the bots as well, very possibly because someone came up with the name the 'Better Online Ticket Sales Act' (yeah, that's the BOTS Act) and couldn't resist using it.

The new law means that the use of tout bots will be defined as an "unfair and deceptive practice" under the Federal Trade Commission Act, which will empower the FTC to pursue cases against people using such technology.

The act got Congressional approval earlier this month, while Obama gave his approval to the legislation yesterday. His press rep said that the new US-wider measure would "prohibit the circumvention of control measures used by internet ticket sellers to ensure equitable consumer access to tickets for certain events". Good times.

The bots ban is the least controversial bit of secondary ticketing regulation, in that it is generally supported by the resale sites like StubHub, Viagogo and the Ticketmaster-owned touting platforms, which otherwise oppose efforts to regulate or limit the resale of tickets for profit by third parties.

Proving that fact, Live Nation's Ticketmaster was quick to welcome the passing of the BOTS Act Stateside, telling reporters: "On behalf of artists, venues, teams, and especially fans, Ticketmaster is pleased that the BOTS Act is now a federal law. Ticketmaster worked closely with legislators to develop the BOTS Act and we believe its passage is a critical step in raising awareness and regulating the unauthorised use of bots".

Though cynics - and I met a cynic once - might argue that the secondary sites supporting the bots ban is mainly a diversion tactic, to keep other forms of regulation off the agenda. Because while bots are definitely part of the problem, ticket touts have other ways to access large quantities of tickets to in-demand events, either by simply employing a team of individuals to log-on and buy them, or by getting a brown envelope stuffed full with tickets off helpful contacts within the music industry.

Still, the anti-tout brigade see the ban of bots as a good first step. Here in the UK it is hoped that a similar new law will come into effect via the in-development Digital Economy Act, despite government ministers saying the use of such software may already be illegal under the Computer Misuse Act.

!K7 launches new division focused on neo-classical
Independent music firm !K7 has launched a new division called 7K! which will put the focus on the contemporary classical music movement, or 'neo-classical' if you prefer, which it's always possible that you might. The new division will include a label, a sync and label services business, and an artist management unit.

Announcing the new venture, !K7 said that "having worked with German trio Brandt Brauer Frick over the last six years, !K7 has been an innovative force in the contemporary classical movement since before the genre had a name. In order to build on that experience and to offer the best possible service to artists and signings in this vein we have launched 7K!"

The new venture's first release will be an album from Italian composer and multi-instrumentalist Luca D'Alberto, who is also managed by 7K! Horst Weidenmüller, !K7's CEO, says that on hearing D'Alberto's music his team quickly "said to each other 'we have to work with Luca - he's genius'", but that "no one felt confident to A&R his album".

"So I ended up listening to days worth of music and became the executive producer for this album", he continues. "A job I'd never done before within my company. This new experience opened me up to so many amazing sounds that I decided to dedicate an entire department to this beautiful music".

As for deciding to brand that entire department as !K7 written backwards, he adds: "The reason why we chose to mirror the !K7 brand with 7K! is because this music speaks to the !K7 audience, but it is not '!K7' in the strictest sense. But 7K! most certainly will mirror the world of !K7 in new classical music as well as in ambient and experimental projects. We want to show our audience that it is the same !K7 dedication and spirit behind the projects, but that it is also something different".

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New appointments at Syco as Sonny Takhar departs
As Sony Music UK made a bunch of new senior appointments at its Columbia and RCA divisions recently, Simon Cowell obviously looked on with jealousy. "Why can't I make a bunch of new senior appointments", he murmured, with a glimmer of despair in his eyes. But then that despair slowly turned to something more confident. More determined. More arrogant. "Hang on", he declared, loudly. "I'm fucking Simon Cowell, I can appoint whoever the fuck I like!"

And so it came to pass that yesterday Simon Cowell announced a bunch of new senior appointments at his Sony Music joint venture Syco. There's this other crazy story going around that this executive rejig is entirely the result of Cowell's long-time ally and collaborator Sonny Takhar deciding to leave Syco to go and set up his own new LA-based entertainment venture, but I mean, that's an entirely suspicious version of events.

So, to the announcements. Tyler Brown has been named as the new MD of Syco Music, he having originally joined the business as A&R Assistant in 2008. His new gig as MD follows his most recent promotion to Head Of A&R in 2015. Those with a keen eye for detail will notice that promotion means Syco now needs a new Head Of A&R, and it's Anya Jones who will fill that role. While Cowell's final bit of news this week is that Guy Langley has been promoted to the job of Senior A&R Manager.

Running with the 'this is all because Sonny is leaving' conspiracy theory, Cowell said yesterday: "When I first decided to build Syco, it was my wish to create a place where young, talented executives could learn and grow their talent. Sonny has been there every step of the way with me - and in this business loyalty is rare - but I'm lucky that Sonny and I have had an incredible two decades of friendship and success together. He's one of the most talented, loyal and hardworking music executives I have ever met and I wish him every success for the future in his new venture. And we will continue to work together!"

Meanwhile Takhar - also sticking to the story that he's somehow leaving Syco - paid tribute to his boss of the last two decades, who he worked with at S Records before helping to create the Syco music and TV business in 2004. "Over the last 20 years, Simon has been an incredible mentor and friend to me", said he. "I owe him so much. I am extremely proud of the company that we have built and the unprecedented success that we have achieved together. More importantly, I have made lifelong friends at Syco and across the Sony family. I leave the business in the safest possible hands with a team that has a huge appetite for winning. This isn't goodbye".

Yeah, whatever, what about the newly appointed guys? That's who I'm here to talk about today. "Tyler has shown his ability to deliver global hits and I'm delighted he will be leading Syco Music along with such a talented team", said Cowell, smiling big time now that he'd got to make a bunch of senior appointments. "His dedication, talent and passion along with that of the rest of this ambitious team is exciting for the company. I'm incredibly happy to have so many talented people now at the top of Syco, all of whom started their careers with us, including Tyler, Anya and Guy. This team's talent, passion and ability to launch worldwide artists is unmatched - and I'm really excited about the company's future together".

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As radio industry prepares for fight with Global Music Rights, announces new deal with ASCAP
While Irving Azoff's mini-performing rights organisation Global Music Rights prepares for what is a definite contender to be next year's stand out battle in the pop courts - ie his fight with the US Radio Music Licence Committee - bigger PRO ASCAP has only gone and announced a new five year deal with the same radio industry body.

The American song rights collecting society confirmed the new deal with the RMLC, which represents US broadcasters, yesterday. It explained that "the agreement covers the five-year period 2017 to 2021 [and] provides for increases in the rates paid by radio stations to perform music by ASCAP members via terrestrial, over-the-air broadcasts as well as certain digital transmissions".

The new deal also, the PRO said, "for the first time expressly affirms the percentage share of radio performances represented by ASCAP - at a level that reflects that ASCAP licenses more performances on broadcast radio than any other performing rights organisation".

ASCAP boss Elizabeth Matthews said that reaching a voluntary agreement with the radio industry was good for her membership, which is probably true, but no fun for us. Where's my messy legal battle? "Reaching a voluntary agreement with the terrestrial radio industry enables ASCAP to stabilise and grow revenues for our members, while continuing to aggressively advocate for regulatory reform to modernise the music licensing system", she said.

She added that "we are confident that our new agreement will provide enhanced financial benefits to ASCAP songwriters, composers and music publishers at a time of tremendous disruption in the music industry".

For his side, RMLC Chairman Ed Christian added: "This agreement demonstrates how the creative and music user communities can work together in good faith to produce an outcome that is positive for both sides. The increase in ASCAP fees is consistent with ASCAP's established spin share on radio. We are pleased to close this deal ensuring that there will be no interruption in ASCAP music being performed on American radio at a time when the music licensing landscape has become increasingly complex".

Did anyone choose to infer any "fuck you Irving Azoffs" in any of those statements? No, me neither. Well done ASCAP. Now, let's bring on the big GMR v RMLC court battle. I might even buy a new hat.

Afrikaans label launches new digital platform in South Africa
South African record company Coleske Artists and TV channel kykNET, both of which focus on Afrikaans repertoire, have launched a new digital platform called Groot Tunes. The new service sees much of the Coleske label's own content digitised for the first time, but it will also offer music from other record companies, with the South African divisions of Universal and Warner both signed up to provide tracks.

Groot Tunes ("groot" means "big" in Afrikaans, if you wondered) has gone live in South Africa as a download store with streaming due to be added in the new year. The plan is to then launch both elements of the service in the UK, US and Australia, likely expanding the catalogue of music available as it goes.

The new digital venture follows the recent 20th anniversary of Coleske Artists, the label set up by musicians Arnold and Ewald Coleske. The downloads and streams are powered by digital music provider Allexis Music, which describes itself as "a global white label music platform for artists, content owners and brands, which uses the latest cloud technology to deliver a diverse selection of services on both web and mobile devices".

Confirming the new venture, Coleske Artists Label Manager Paulo Azevedo said: "South Africa has capitalised on physical sales longer than most, but Coleske knew the shift to digital had to happen, and soon. After a long search, Allexis Music presented the only way that made sense: a transparent, scalable system that would allow us not only to enter the digital world safely with our hard earned content, but also to expand internationally. We know that when our media partners pull the trigger, it's going to explode".

Meanwhile Allexis Music boss Enzo Vailati added: "We are very proud to have been able to launch this innovative platform in South Africa. It was exciting to build such a consumer-focused site with Coleske Artists, and to work with labels such as Universal and Warner on the project. We look forward to bringing the platform to the UK early next year".

  Approved 2016: Frank Ocean
Every day this week in the CMU Approved slot, we've been looking at one of our five favourite artists of 2016. Today, Frank Ocean.

The story of Frank Ocean in 2016 has been a fascinating one, with many twists and turns along the way, and various elements that are yet to fully reveal themselves.

He began the year as a once hotly-tipped artist who had probably left it too long to follow-up his 2012 debut album. He'd been working on it for so long, how could it possibly live up to expectations? It almost seemed like a misstep that there was little hope of overcoming. Supposed release dates for album two had come and gone in the years since 'Channel Orange', and they continued to slip as 2016 went on.

Even when Ocean put out a mysterious video, which could be nothing else but a sign that the album was now finally imminent, reports that this was the case spooked him and he delayed full release yet again, keen to make sure that the element of surprise remained intact as much as possible.

Then finally it came. Not called 'Boys Don't Cry', as had been originally announced, instead we had 'Endless', a visual album available only to stream on Apple Music - where it exclusively remains to this day. But wait, a rep for Apple let slip as that piece of work went live, there's more.

And more there was. Just 24 hours later, Ocean released another album: 'Blond'. Or 'Blonde', no one seems quite sure. An album in the traditional sense that it was a collection of audio tracks, it also began as an Apple exclusive, though eventually made its way out into the wider world.

There are many reasons to pay close attention to this, not least the ingenious scheme behind the release of both albums. Prior to their release, Ocean had replaced his entire team, worried about how his affairs were being managed. And then he negotiated his way out of his record deal with Universal's Def Jam.

He would deliver one more album to the major, then he would be free. Though it's still not entirely clear if the label fully understood that that one more album, ie 'Endless', would be immediately superseded by the self-released 'Blond(e)'.

Universal played down the drama, though the development coincided with an internal declaration from the major's top guard that exclusivity deals between labels and streaming services were now officially "a bad thing". Which may have or may not have been related to the fact Apple money had enabled Ocean to stage such a quick and high profile release of 'Blond(e)'.

Universal did get itself a new Frank Ocean album to release though, and arguably it's the better of the two (though it's a tough call). The final twist in this story may as yet come if and when 'Endless' gets a full release unlocked from its 'visual' status and Apple exclusivity arrangement. Ocean could get away with releasing two albums at once, but then also benefit from having separate campaigns for each of them a year apart. There is no reason why 'Endless' shouldn't be the album of 2017.

Because beyond the business dealings and misdirection that got these two albums out into the world, the most important thing to note is their quality. The production and songwriting on both are incredible. Which means, not only did he overcome fears he couldn't meet expectations with a second album in 2016, Ocean met expectations with both a second and a third long player, whatever the official status of 'Endless' may be.

The attention to detail is what makes both records worth returning to over and over. One of the stand out tracks on 'Blond(e)' - 'White Ferrari' - went through 50 iterations before Ocean got it right. "It didn't give me peace yet", he told the New York Times of one version rejected along the way. Elsewhere, on 'Ivy', he manipulated his voice to sound younger, in order to encapsulate the time he was writing about.

This year has also been about Frank Ocean retrospectively taking back some power over who he is. Already not one to put his whole life out on social media, the New York Times interview is the only time he has spoken to the press since his two album releases. Part of the mystery he cultivates is about taking control of his fame.

"Sometimes I'm fascinated with how famous my work could be while I'm not so famous", he said in that interview. "[I'm] super-envious of the fact that Daft Punk can wear robot helmets and be one of the most famous bands in the world, while also understanding that will never be my situation. It's too late. It's hard to articulate how I think about myself as a public figure. I've gotten used to being Frank Ocean".

Watch the video for 'Blond(e)' opening track 'Nikes' 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
 

Stones waive song royalties on charity cover in aid of Jo Cox Foundation
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards will waive their royalties from the charity cover version of Rolling Stones track 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'.

As previously reported, a group of politicians and musicians have come together to record the charity single in memory of Jo Cox, the MP who was murdered in her constituency earlier this year. Monies raised by sales of the record will be donated to a charity set up in Cox's name. And that will include the cut of the income usually due to the songwriters, as well as the portion that would usually be taken by the government through VAT.

SNP MP Pete Wishart, former Runrig member and keyboardist with 'parliamentary rock band' MP4, confirmed that Jagger and Richards were waiving their publishing royalties during a House Of Commons session. According to the BBC, he said: "I'm sure the leader of the house would also like to join me in thanking Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for waiving their royalties, ensuring that even more money goes to the Jo Cox Foundation".

Kaiser Chiefs' Ricky Wilson, KT Tunstall, David Gray and Cockney Rebel's Steve Harley were among the artists to join the Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus, MP4 and 20 other MPs from across various parties, to record the charity record in Cox's memory.

The record is released today and is therefore a contender for the Christmas number one slot next week. To that end, bookmaker William Hill has announced it will also donate any money staked on the single topping the festive chart to the Jo Cox Foundation.

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John Legend criticises Kanye's Donald Trump meeting, but RZA says it was OK
RZA has defended Kanye West over his recent catch up with President-Elect Donald Trump.

Despite the Wu-Tang leader himself endorsing Hillary Clinton in the run up to the recent American presidential election, he told TMZ: "Trump is the President, so we're going to have to talk to him, deal with him. If Kanye went in to speak for our community then bong bong". Yeah, exactly, bong bong.

As previously reported, although Trump insisted that his catch up with West was just two old friends "discussing life", the rapper later said: "I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues. These issues included bullying, supporting teachers, modernising curriculums, and violence in Chicago. I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change".

RZA's comments followed John Legend criticising West for allowing Trump to use him as a distraction tactic, with West's meeting with Trump pushing concerns about the President-Elect's cabinet appointments, and the conflicts of interest between his new job and his business interests, down the news agenda.

Speaking to a French TV programme, Legend said, according to NME: "I don't think it's impossible to talk to [Trump] about issues, but I won't be used as a publicity stunt. And I think Kanye was a publicity stunt".

On West previously saying that he would have voted for Trump, had he bothered to vote in the Presidential election, Legend added: "I'm pretty disappointed with Kanye that he says he would have voted for Trump. I think Trump has been corrosive, his message has been corrosive to the country, and I think the things he's promised to do have been very concerning for a lot of people. And for Kanye to support that message is very disappointing. Whatever was in his mind, I disagree with him".

Spotify unveils exclusive Coldplay live session
So, is this Spotify making steps towards becoming a record label in its own right, or a further sign of the streaming platform becoming a new-style radio platform, getting bands to play exclusive live sessions just like radio stations always have? If you can discuss that in no more than 1750 words and have your essays on my desk by 5pm, that would be great.

Coldplay and Spotify have just released 'Coldplay Live From Spotify London' exclusively on Spotify. It's five tracks from Coldplay which, we're guessing, were recorded live at Spotify London. Actually, we're not guessing, that's exactly what it is.

The "five-track collection of unique, stripped-back live recordings, performed in front of a small audience at Spotify's London headquarters in November 2016" features unique, stripped-back live recordings of 'Everglow', 'Viva La Vida', 'Adventure Of A Lifetime', 'Yellow' and 'Christmas Lights'. All stripped-back and live.

The exclusive session proves that Coldplay love Spotify and every single Spotify subscriber, despite then making said subscribers wait an extra week for their new album this time last year. And Spotify users love Coldplay back because, says the streaming platform: "Coldplay is the most-streamed band of all time on Spotify, and reached a total of five billion streams earlier this week".

The release of the Spotify session follows Coldplay winning the much sought after Entirely Pointless Award at the BBC Entirely Pointless Awards earlier this week.

Warner Music, BPI, Eventbrite, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Warner Music has announced that the MD of its Australasia division, Tony Harlow, will relocate to New York next March to become President of artist and label services arm WEA Corp, replacing Matt Signore, who starts his new gig as COO of Warner Music Nashville next month.

• Record industry trade group BPI has promoted its Head Of Digital, Giuseppe De Cristofano, to the new role of Director Of Digital. Meanwhile Darren Kruse, currently with media firm Global, is joining the trade body as Digital Communications & Content Manager.

• Hey, don't be thinking that's all the BPI news today, oh no. Tim Cooper is departing his role of Head Of Content Protection, a job he only began earlier this year. He's going off to protect more sporty content for the Premier League.

• Ticketing platform Eventbrite has itself a new London-based Head Of Music Partnerships, and it's Paul Everett, who formerly worked at Beggars and management firm SuperVision, and most recently as a director of Wonderland Management, a role he will continue to perform.

• Lady Gaga has released the video for 'Million Reasons'. You almost certainly know this.

• Bastille have released the video for 'Blame' from their 'Wild World' album.

• DJ Shadow has released the video for 'Bergschrund', featuring Nils Frahm, from his 'The Mountain Will Fall' album.

• Metronomy's 'Hang Me Out To Dry', featuring Robyn, has a video now.

• Frida Sundemo has released the video for her latest single, 'We Are Dreamers'.

• Nils Bech has written a Christmas song, 'O Helga Natt'. Here he is performing it.

• Billy Bragg and Joe Henry have announced some UK tour dates for January, performing songs from their 'Shine A Light - Songs From The Great American Railroad' album. They'll kick off at Union Chapel in London on 16 Jan.

CMU Beef Of The Week #336: The Year In Beefs
Well, 2016's been quite a ride, hasn't it? We've had ups and... wait, did we have ups? There were probably some ups. I guess a lot of the bad things that have happened have led to some enjoyable Beef Of The Week columns. That's what they always say, isn't it? The more to the right politics move, the better the beefs get. I've definitely heard people say that.

With all but a few formalities to go before 2016 is all wrapped up and we can get on with 2017, it's time to take our traditional look back through the last twelve months by way of its disagreements, fallings out, misunderstandings and needless shouting. Here it is, the year in pop beefs...

January: A misunderstanding about phones
Think back to the beginning of 2016. Oh the possibilities. Oh the delights and greatness that may still lay before us. At the time of our first Beef Of The Week of the year, David Bowie hadn't even died. All that had happened was Adele and Ed Sheeran had briefly fallen out over a misunderstanding about a flip phone. He had bought one for his year off from the internet, and not as some sort of dig at her 'Hello' video. Such innocent times.

February: One Direction quickly go in different directions
The BRITs came around, as they so often do, and One Direction were all set to win various awards. Given that they had just split up, er, I mean, gone on hiatus, it would have been a good demonstration of the group's continued friendship to all show up together to collect their prizes as one (even if it was just one prize in the end). Well, at least two of them made the effort. Though not the two who immediately sprang to your mind. Niall was on holiday and Harry just couldn't be bothered.

March: Whose job is it to carry the head on the plane?
Things took an unusual turn in March. A dispute over pirated software led Kanye West to tweet of Deadmau5: "# whose job is it to carry the head on the plane # hash tag # do you check the mickey mouse head or carry on # does it get hot?" Meanwhile, PJ Harvey was accused of being the Piers Morgan of music by a Washington politician who took exception to her ode to the city, 'The Community Of Hope'.

April: The seeds of complacency
Ah, April? Remember April? Back in the days when the smug metropolitan elite was still smug? To be fair, anyone supporting the Remain campaign in the EU Referendum had every reason to think that they were assured a win, given how bad a job the Leavers made of organising pop concert Bpoplive. More of which later. Over in the US, people turned up to a petrol station for a secret Limp Bizkit show that, unsurprisingly, was a hoax. Perhaps this should also have been a warning for the outcome of America's big election of 2016.

May: Trump finds few friends in music
Speaking of America's big vote, by May Donald Trump's campaign was really gathering steam, though few were yet expecting his win. Since that happened in November, the music community has been writing lots of letters asking him for sympathy in their battle against the tech industry. Just hope he doesn't remember how pretty much every musician was falling over themselves to shout about how much they hated him back in the summer.

June: Piss up v Brewery
That whole Bpoplive thing was still going on. Despite having lost its entire first line-up because of its obvious links to the Leave campaign, Bpoplive continued to claim it was just an event designed to convince young people to register to vote.

Though with that in mind there were two snags with the rescheduled version of the concert. One was that it had been pushed back to a date after the deadline to register to vote. Secondly, the new line-up consisted of two members of 5ive, East 17, Alesha Dixon, Sister Sledge and Rose Royce's Gwen Dickey. Hardly a youth-friendly line up. Not to worry though, they all pulled out within 24 hours of the new line-up being announced, to be replaced by the band legally known as Formerly Of Bucks Fizz and an Elvis impersonator.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the event in the 15,000 capacity Genting Arena was finally cancelled. All in all, Bpoplive had shown high ambition but no real plan. A little bit like the Brexit advocates the concert's organisers eventually conceded that they were allied to.

July: Raise your hand if you believe in science
While in the UK, the horror of what we'd just done to ourselves still had half the nation sat like deer in headlights, over in the US there was still a thing you may remember called 'hope'. Trump may have just been named the Republican candidate in the upcoming presidential election, but what did that mean? It wasn't like he was going to win. Performing at a Republican National Convention fringe event, Third Eye Blind baited their right wing audience with quips like "raise your hand if you believe in science". Yeah, that doesn't seem quite as funny now, does it?

August: Photoshopping [REDACTED] to suggest [REDACTED] is irresponsible in the extreme
The August silly season really couldn't come quickly enough this year. And I think you'll agree that Taylor Swift getting into a fight with Northamptonshire Police is some pretty good light relief. This beef involved the police force Photoshopping a photo of Taylor Swift and actor Tom Hiddleston to help promote an anti-terrorism campaign. The tweaked photo was later removed, with police emails obtained under a Freedom Of Information request revealing "a complaint from [REDACTED]" stated that "Photoshopping [REDACTED] to suggest [REDACTED] is irresponsible in the extreme". It certainly is.

September: It's all still about Brexit
Brexit still remained a topic of regular conversation in September. Not least because Louise Mensch managed to make every conversation Brexit-themed regardless of what the other person was actually talking about. So when she saw a tweet about the closure of Fabric from journalist Clive Martin, she immediately assumed he was commenting on the Referendum result and began accusing him of being ageist and of not voting. Oh, also, the unnecessary closure of Fabric happened this year. Let's hope its reopening in January is an omen for the rest of 2017.

October: Bob Dylan and the Nobel Prize
In October, it was announced that Bob Dylan had won this year's Nobel Prize For Literature. It was a slightly controversial decision, which may have been intentional. What I'm sure organisers didn't expect was for him to fail to respond in a timely manner. It was nearly two weeks before he got in touch to say he would like the prize. Not that he bothered to go and collect it. And we still don't know if he will give the lecture that is required in order to receive his prize money. Oh Bob. Meanwhile, musicians were still not making friends with Donald Trump. But it wasn't like he was going to win.

November: StubHub's sponsorship of the Q Awards turns out to be controversial
Secondary ticketing has been a hot topic in music this year. After more than a decade of attempts to get the government to do something about it, it is looking like more regulation could be incoming in the UK in 2017. It's not really clear if Bauer Media took this into consideration when taking sponsorship money from StubHub for this year's Q Awards. Several artists did give it some time in their acceptance speeches though.

December: Vinyl revival!
It's all about the vinyl revival now, isn't it? That's where everyone's making their money in music. At last count, music industry revenue was coming almost 100% from sales of vinyl. At least in the imaginations of the media at large.

December's big story was that sales revenues for vinyl outstripped those from downloads in the first week of the month. Discussion of this generally ignored the fact that that stat said much more about the state of the download market than it did vinyl sales, and that vinyl's good week revenues-wise was in no small part down to the release of a new Kate Bush live album that cost £52 on twelve-inch.

Speaking of which, if you haven't bought my Christmas present yet...

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
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