TODAY'S TOP STORY: Warner Music was keen to present its new deal with YouTube last week as the least-worst option available. But the actual talks between the two companies were much more positive than all that, says YouTube... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S CMU APPROVED: Having returned last year with a couple of singles debuting a more pop sound than their debut album '36-26-36', Femme En Fourrure continue down that route with new track 'So Good At This'. A collaboration with Vivienxo, the song takes on discrimination head on, with typically slick and confident execution. [READ MORE]
LATEST CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including the spectacular collapse of Ja Rule's Fyre Festival and the many-layered fallout from it, Eminem's song-theft lawsuit against New Zealand's ruling National Party getting to court, and the launch of the CMU Insights @ The Great Escape programme. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
LATEST CMU TRENDS: The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry last week published its annual stats report, rounding up the financial performance of the global record industry in 2016. Revenues were up 5.9% worldwide, fuelled by the streaming boom. Reviewing the figures, CMU Trends provides three reasons to be optimistic, and three reasons for pessimism. CMU Trends articles are available to premium subscribers. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES No safe harbour talk in Warner negotiations, says YouTube's Lyor Cohen
LEGAL More lawsuits fired at Fyre
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Universal names Rebecca Allen president of Decca UK
LIVE BUSINESS Amazon announces intimate live shows from Blondie, Katie Melua and more
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Pandora raises $150 million in new investment, considers sale
THE GREAT ESCAPE CMU@TGE Top Ten Questions: How do you get paid when your music is synced?
ARTIST NEWS Libertines hotel "awaiting planning permission"
Visa issues overcome, MIA books first US shows since 2014
ONE LINERS BPI, Harry Styles, Gorillaz, more
AND FINALLY... Katrina (of The Waves) to deliver UK Eurovision votes
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16 May 2017 CMU:DIY x Urban Development: Getting A Gig
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20 Jun 2017 CMU:DIY x Urban Development: Where Labels & Publishers Fit In

No safe harbour talk in Warner negotiations, says YouTube's Lyor Cohen
Warner Music was keen to present its new deal with YouTube last week as the least-worst option available. But the actual talks between the two companies were much more positive than all that, says YouTube.

In a memo to staff confirming the new deal, Warner's top man Steve Cooper stressed that the major had managed to limit the time-span covered by the new agreement so that it could push again for better terms in the relatively near future, and confirmed that the company's ongoing support for wider music industry lobbying efforts to have safe harbour laws rewritten, so to force the Google site's hand on royalties and such like.

However, former Warner Music exec and now YouTube music chief Lyon Cohen tells Recode that he was "surprised" by the tone of Cooper's memo, saying that's "not been the context or the tenor of the negotiations".

Claiming that he "didn't hear anything about safe harbour" during the new deal talks, Cohen says that the negotiations between Warner and YouTube focused on how the Google site can grow its subscription service Red - paid-for streaming generally being more lucrative for content owners - while also increasing advertising revenues in those markets where mass sign-ups to paid-for streams are unlikely in the short term.

Says Cohen: "I've been in the bunker with them, and I've been really impressed with how Steve and his team have been thinking about it. This deal is centred around their vision of helping us build a subscriptions business. And them encouraging us to build the advertising business. So this deal enables us to continue growing our subscriptions business around the world. And ultimately, the key to the industry - to them, to artists - is if we can identify those consumers that are most likely to be shepherded to a higher ARPU [average revenue per user], that would be great".

The YouTube music boss goes on: "We've talked over and over and over again how our business - I still feel part of this business - is going to return to growth by subscription and advertising, living side by side one another. [We had] numerous conversations ... about them helping us, enabling us, to run this horse and to be successful. Because they would like a company the size of Google, [with] the international breadth of the company, to get into the subscription business. I don't think they want their revenues highly concentrated".

Asked how he feels - as an ex-major label guy - about the ongoing and highly public tensions between the record companies and his current employer, Cohen insists: "I can tell you that I would not be at a company that doesn't do three things: Respect artists, and labels, and be committed to building a subscriptions business where they could identify the most likely users to shepherd them to a higher ARPU, via subscription. Period".

YouTube is willing to play ball and address some of the music industry's concerns, he said. Referencing his former colleague, co-Chair of Warner's Atlantic Records Group in the US, Julie Greenwald, he says: "When Julie found out I was getting this job, she said, 'do me a favour, take the lowest-hanging fruit'" - that being the fact unofficial uploads of full albums to YouTube frequently ranked highly in searches on the platform.

Responding to that request, Cohen says that he flew to Zurich to meet the team who lead on YouTube' rights management platform Content ID. "I was blown away [by this team]", he says. "These were the world's brightest, finest engineers. Young. Really young people. When I told them about the albums, they said, 'yeah, they jumped over our Content ID by speeding up the tempo of the music, slightly. We've already got a solution for it'".

"I had them walk me through the process", Cohen goes on. "I felt so proud that I could really talk to people in the industry that had this feeling about Content ID, and finding bad actors, and confidently say, 'we've got a team that is dedicated to fixing this'. The more we frustrate bad actors, the more we can stop cottage industries, they're just going to give up, at a certain point. And I think the industry will feel really good about that".

So there you go, everything's fine everybody: YouTube is going to sell loads of subscriptions and Lyor's fixing Content ID for everyone. Happy days. Oh, but editorial policies dictate that I end this story by reminding you all, safe harbours, safe harbours, safe harbours, value gap, value gap, value gap, FUCKING YOUTUBE. Thank you.


More lawsuits fired at Fyre
Count them, people. Chalk them up on your Failed Festivals Board, and maybe buy in some more chalk. The number of lawsuits now filed against the organisers of the shitstorm that was the Ja Rule-backed Fyre Festival - in part cancelled after a storm affected the event's ability to deal with the shit - has reached six. Happy days.

By the end of last week, just seven days after Fyre Festival management confirmed that they were abandoning their luxury shindig in the Bahamas before the party had even started, three class action lawsuits had been filed seeking millions from the team behind the shambolic event. Which is one of the problems with creating festivals aimed at rich kids - your punters all have legal representation.

While ticketholders were busy briefing their attorneys in the wake of the Fyre Festival collapse, the company hired to provide medical support at the event also went legal last week, claiming that the festival's promoter had failed to deliver on its contractual commitments, and had left its staff "exposed to serving distressed patrons for an unprepared festival site".

Rolling Stone reports that two more lawsuits have now been filed against the doomed festival. Another class action, and one by a couple called Kenneth and Emily Reel who, interestingly, are also suing the event's PR agency 42West and advertising company Matte Projects on the basis both firms "did not take any steps, let alone reasonable steps, to ensure that their promotional materials and marketing campaigns were accurate".

The Reels had paid $4600 for a VIP villa at the festival, but never left Miami airport, after planes due to take ticketholders to the island hosting the party were grounded as the chaos onsite unfolded. In many ways those left sitting in aeroplanes or airports actually got a better deal than those who made it to the wholly unprepared Fyre Festival site.

Says the couple's lawsuit, "defendants sold tickets for a music festival of unparalleled luxury. In reality, Fyre Festival was the opposite. The event fell woefully short of what was advertised in virtually every way. Instead of world-class cuisine and entertainment, concert-goers found themselves without adequate food, water, shelter, and basic medical care. Still others [en] route to the event found themselves stranded in Miami, Florida unsure of how to proceed or of what was occurring on the island".

Speaking to Rolling Stone, the lawyer repping the Reels - Jeffrey Backman - added: "Anyone who suffered damages from this fiasco needs to be made whole. The defendants also need to understand financially that they cannot commit fraud and get away with it in the hopes of becoming legends".

At the end of his remark there, Reels is presumably quoting the member of the Fyre Festival marketing team who - after being told by those with experience in festival production that there was no way the event could be delivered on the available budget and timeline - allegedly declared "let's just do it and be legends, man".

Though to be fair, as the litigation continues to pile up in relation to this event, it's certainly true to say that the Fyre Festival 2017 has become legendary. So, to summarise, that's six lawsuits and counting.


Universal names Rebecca Allen president of Decca UK
Universal Music has promoted Rebecca Allen to the role of President at Decca Records in the UK. She has been Managing Director of the company since 2014.

"Becky is an extraordinary executive", says Universal UK CEO David Joseph. "Her passion for artists and every area of repertoire is matched only by the very obvious satisfaction she gets out of running an incredible team. Pretty much any genre goes at Decca, but the one thing that is predictable is that when Becky and her team get behind a project, there would have to be a very good reason for it not to be a success. She is an exceptional leader who is loved by everyone around her, but it would be a mistake to underestimate her steely determination. This is a very well-deserved promotion".

Allen herself adds: "Decca is one of the most iconic labels in British music culture, and to be given the opportunity to lead the company forward with a young and ambitious team is a huge privilege. We are known for being distinct and for signing the unexpected and I am enormously proud of the entire team at Decca and all our artists. I would like to thank David and Dickon [Stainer, boss of Global Classics & Jazz at the major] for their continued support of Decca as the company evolves at an extraordinary time of innovation and opportunity for our industry".

The promotion comes seventeen years after Allen first joined Decca - then known as Universal Classics & Jazz - in 1999.


Amazon announces intimate live shows from Blondie, Katie Melua and more
Amazon's latest move to break into the live music market is to provide people with "the best live entertainment experience they've ever had". They're going to do this by putting on shows from artists like Texas and Katie Melua in venues smaller than those they'd normally play. So mindblowing will this be that the company has said that only its Prime members will be allowed in.

The new Prime Live Events initiative will get underway later this month with Blondie playing the 750 capacity Round Chapel in Hackney, which also happens to coincide with the 40th anniversary of their first ever UK performance. Tickets for that will cost you just £150. What a bargain.

"We are excited to be performing at the first Prime Live Event marking 40 years since our first gig in the UK", deadpans Blondie vocalist Debbie Harry. "The Round Chapel is an intimately warm and beautiful room allowing our fans to get up close and personal".

Amazon Tickets General Manager Geraldine Wilson adds: "We want to offer Prime members the best live entertainment experience they've ever had by giving them the chance to see their favourite artists perform up close and personal in iconic and intimate venues. We're delighted to reveal our first line-up of fantastic artists performing Prime Live Events in stunning venues to audiences of less than 800".

Yes, as well as Blondie, there are some other Prime shows already booked in. Alison Moyet will also play the Round Chapel on 12 Jun, though it's only £95 to get in to that one. Meanwhile, Texas will play Porchester Hall in Westminster on 16 Jun and Katie Melua will play Cadogan Hall in Chelsea on 25-26 Jul. Those three shows will set you back £75 each.

Prime members unwilling or unable to attend will subsequently be able to watch the performances via Amazon's streaming video service.

Tickets and stuff available here.


Pandora raises $150 million in new investment, considers sale
Pandora has raised $150 million in new funding and is now considering selling itself to a new owner, the company announced yesterday. This follows the streaming service reporting a $132 million loss in the first quarter of this year.

The new cash injection comes from investment firm KKR, which gets in return an equivalent amount of preferred stock in the company. It also has the option to increase the investment to $250 million, if Pandora decides to issue new shares of this type - although currently, the company stresses, only the amount created for this deal are available.

In addition, KKR's Head of Media & Communications Private Equity, Richard Sarnoff, will join the company's board of directors. He says: "We are excited to support the long-term growth of Pandora with this investment. A true pioneer in digital music, we believe that Pandora is uniquely positioned over the long term given the sheer size of its userbase, the quality of its new subscription services and the fact that it has created one of the few scaled streaming media businesses in the US".

"The launch of Pandora Premium is yet another example of innovation at a company that created the modern-day music recommendation engine", he goes on. "And we believe that the next few years should be transformational for the company".

Pandora's CFO Naveen Chopra adds: "We are happy to be partnering with KKR on this investment. A strong balance sheet gives us the ability to accelerate growth investments when appropriate and to compete aggressively in a rapidly changing, complex market".

Just minutes after KKR's new investment was announced, Pandora issued a second press release stating that there would be further changes to its board of directors, and that it was now considering a number of new strategies for its future, including selling up. Longtime board members James Feuille and Peter Gotcher are to resign, with an independent committee - led by former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke - set up to find replacements.

"Having secured a significant financial commitment from KKR to strengthen the company's balance sheet, we have positioned the company to evaluate any potential strategic alternatives, including a sale, in the 30 days before the financing is set to close", says Feuille, as he departs. "I believe the steps we are taking today offer Pandora the ability to consider all opportunities and to set a course for the future. I thank my colleagues and our stockholders for their support, and look forward to following Pandora, whose future I truly believe is exciting".

Leiweke adds: "The governance measures we have undertaken today have the support of our major stockholders. The board is squarely focused on maximising stockholder value as we move ahead".

There have been rumours that Pandora would offer itself up for sale for some time now. A year ago, the company's then largest shareholder Corvex Management expressed dismay that the company was not taking this route, but was rather "pursuing a costly and uncertain business plan".


CMU@TGE Top Ten Questions: How do you get paid when your music is synced?
In the run up to this year's CMU Insights @ The Great Escape conference, we are going through the top ten questions we will be answering during this year's programme. Today: How do you get paid when your music is synced?

Ah, sync deals, we all want one of them don't we? But how exactly do artists and songwriters get paid when their music is synchronised into TV shows, movies, video games or ads?

With sync licensing, sometimes it goes through the collective licensing system, sometimes it's done through direct deals, and sometimes it's a combination of the two. It depends on who the client is, and whether we are talking about the song or the recording.

With TV, in most countries (though not the US) sync licensing goes through the collective licensing system, so in the UK that's PPL on the recordings side and PRS and MCPS on the songs side. Producers and broadcasters can usually tap a blanket licence giving them access to any of the recordings or songs represented by the respective societies at a set rate. Labels, publishers, artists and songwriters are then paid their share of the money via their societies.

For movies, video games and advertising, sync deals usually begin with direct deals. The licensee must agree terms with each rights owner who has a stake in the song and recording they wish to use. This will usually mean doing at least two deals: one with a label to secure the recording rights and one with a publisher to secure the song rights. Though many song copyrights are co-owned, and the licensee needs a deal from each co-owner.

Once the deal is done, the producer or advertiser will pay a chunk of cash over to the label and publisher - according to the terms of their bespoke agreement - and the label and publisher will share that money with artist and songwriter, subject to the terms of their record and publishing contacts.

However, on the publishing side, that direct deal will often only cover the actual synchronisation, which exploits the 'reproduction' control of the copyright. If and when the resulting audio-visual product is shown in public or broadcast - which will exploit the 'performance' or 'communication' controls of the copyright - further royalties will have to be paid via the collecting societies, which commonly control the performing rights in their members' works. So songwriters will also see some income from the syncing of their songs via their societies.

This is all sounding rather complex, isn't it? That's one of the reasons why some video makers rely on 'production' or 'library' music rather than commercially released songs and recordings. Going the production music route is usually simpler and definitely cheaper. Though if you are an artist or songwriter who created some production music, how do you get paid? Well, that depends too.

We'll be putting the spotlight on all the deal-making and money elements of both sync and production music in The Royalties Conference at the Great Escape next week. Simon Pursehouse from Sentric Music will join us to help explain how things work, plus we'll chat to The Box Plus Network's Director Of Commercial & Business Affairs Stacey Mitsopulos, the BBC's Head of Music Licensing Nicky Bignell, PRS For Music's Director Of Broadcast & Online Andy Harrower and artist manager Ros Earls from 140db.


Approved: Femme En Fourrure
Having returned last year with a couple of singles debuting a more pop sound than their debut album '36-26-36', Femme En Fourrure continue down that route with new track 'So Good At This'. A collaboration with Vivienxo, the song takes on discrimination head on, with typically slick and confident execution.

"During the songwriting process we had a fragmented vision about the visual side being distantly athletic", they told Milk of the ice hockey-themed video for the single. "Ice hockey is traditionally considered very masculine and in our minds it made sense with the 'getting free from the hands of domination' theme of the song. So to us the video is about femininity invading masculine territory. The theme is simple, but at times it's better to be straightforward, to get an important message across".

Watch that video here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Libertines hotel "awaiting planning permission"
The Libertines have plans to make a new album, but first they have to get through the regulatory process of setting up their own hotel.

"We're in the process of making the Libertines hotel, bar, restaurant, recording studio, essentially", Carl Barat tells Gordon Smart on episode one of This Feeling TV, the new spin-off YouTube show from the club night of the same name. "We're doing everything we can. We're jumping through hoops. The last thing we're waiting on is getting the planning permission, but if that goes through then we're in business".

If that happens then the band have "the place to make a record, the place to rehearse, the place to write, the place to do whatever the fuck we want, really".

So, get ready to have your eggs served up by Pete Doherty. Not a euphemism. There were rumours last year that the location of the hotel was Cromer. However, CMU understands it to be in a town further down the east coast.

As well as that though, there's the matter of this new album that may be funded by seaside tourism. "We're doing everything we can" to get it made, says Barat. "We all want that. We've got so much material and still so much to do and say".

The Libertines' last album, 'Anthems For Doomed Youth', was released in 2015.


Visa issues overcome, MIA books first US shows since 2014
MIA has booked in two festival dates in the US this September. Visa problems? Nah.

As previously reported, a year ago MIA told fans that she wasn't expecting her latest album, 'AIM', to be released in the US, because she was at that point unable to get a visa in order to go over and promote it. "Can't tour the US without a visa", she said at the time. "Might have to start writing songs for DJ Khaled and Selena Gomez to get heard".

Hopes that US tour dates might be imminent were raised when she revealed on Instagram that she had been granted the right to enter the country in October last year, later tweeting from LA in January.

US fan will now get the chance to see her perform at Riot Fest in Chicago and The Meadows in New York on the weekend of 15-17 Sep. These will be her first US shows since 2014.

Next month, in the UK MIA will curate the Southbank Centre's Meltdown Festival in London. As well as performances from artists such as Giggs, Princess Nokia, Crystal Castles and MIA herself, there will be a day of talks co-hosted by CMU as part of the ten day event.


BPI, Harry Styles, Gorillaz, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Record industry trade group BPI has hired Zain Ali to joins its legal team. "Given my background in IP law and love of music, it's a perfect match for me to be working for the BPI", says Ali.

• Harry Styles has released the video for 'Sign Of The Times' now. For some reason he can fly.

• Slipknot have released a new 360° live video of them performing 'The Shape' at last year's Knotfest.

• Brutus have shared a new track, 'Drive'. It's taken from their debut album, 'Burst', which is out on Friday.

• The line-up has been announced for Gorillaz's Demon Dayz festival in Margate. Vince Staples, De La Soul, Danny Brown, Kali Uchis, Popcaan, Kilo Kish, Little Simz and Fufanu will all perform, as will a 'very special guest', who we assume is Noel Gallagher. Although it would be funnier if it was Liam.

• MØ has announced that she will tour the UK and Ireland this October, starting at Mandella Hall in Belfast on 20 Oct.


Katrina (of The Waves) to deliver UK Eurovision votes
The UK may have voted the whole of Europe 'nil points' last June, but the first real test of Europe's response comes this Saturday with the Eurovision Song Contest.

By the time the results of the UK jury are announced, it will be too late to do anything about it, but we will at least have a reminder of happier times. Katrina Leskanich from Katrina And The Waves, the last UK winner 20 whole years ago, will deliver our points.

"I am honoured and delighted to be invited to be the spokesperson for the UK at Eurovision this year", says Leskanich. "It makes it extra special as this year is the 20th anniversary of my win in 1997 with 'Love Shine A Light'".

Remember what hope we had 20 years ago? We were a nation that could win Eurovision, we had a new Prime Minister who for once wasn't a Tory. Ah, such happy times. But, hey, our song is actually OK this year. There's your new hope.


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
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