TODAY'S TOP STORY: The BPI has released its annual report on the British music market, 'All About The Music 2017', packed full of interesting stats and just the smallest amount of moaning about safe harbours... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S CMU APPROVED: While your main reason for being in Brighton for The Great Escape this week is obviously to attend the CMU Insights conference, your delegates pass will also get you in to see some bands too. Over 450 of them, in fact. We've picked ten of them for this here Spotify playlist. [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 Warner Music's new licensing deal with YouTube and the ongoing safe harbours debate, Amazon’s latest moves in live music and its all new Echo device, plus an astonishing amount of Fyre Festival legal news. 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 UK music market is strengthening, but needs government support, says BPI
DEALS Howling Bells' Juanita Stein signs to Nude Music Publishing
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Amazon not interested in becoming a record label
THE GREAT ESCAPE The Great Escape starts today!
ARTIST NEWS Chris Cornell dies
RELEASES Grizzly Bear announce new album and tour dates
Black Grape announce new album
ONE LINERS Travis Scott, Big Boi, Royal Blood, more
AND FINALLY... JME responds to Daily Mail attack
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18 May 2017 CMU Insights @ The Great Escape - The Media Conference
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UK music market is strengthening, but needs government support, says BPI
UK record industry trade body the BPI has released its annual report on the British music market, 'All About The Music 2017', packed full of interesting stats and just the smallest amount of moaning about safe harbours.

With British recorded music revenues rising by 6% in 2016, there is plenty of room for being upbeat in the report - though in his intro BPI boss Geoff Taylor warns not to assume that continued growth is assured. Not least because we still do not know what the effect of Brexit will be on the music market.

"These figures illustrate the intense global competition, in particular from the US, that UK artists now face in the streaming era", says Taylor in a statement. "While UK acts continue to perform well overseas, the rising share of US artists in the singles market demonstrates that future success cannot be taken for granted. British labels will need to further intensify their world-leading A&R efforts and government should take swift action to encourage such additional investment, by introducing tax credits for music recorded in the UK".

As we already knew, the increased revenues were largely aided by a boost in subscription streaming, up more than 60% year-on-year and now accounting for 25.8%. Subscriptions brought in £238.6 million in 2016, over £146.1 million in 2015. However, ad-funded streaming saw revenues drop by just under 60% from £24.4 million to £9.8 million, breaking a run of steady growth since 2008.

Also down were revenues from physical releases, but only marginally - the percentage drop coming in at 1.9%. This slowing seems tentatively to show that a demand for physical media remains. Physical still accounts for 32.2% of revenues, while at 4.5% of the total, vinyl is currently bringing in more than ad-funded and video streaming combined. Sales of albums as downloads, meanwhile, dropped by 30% in the same period.

As we learned at last year's CMU Insights conference at The Great Escape, people have various reasons for still buying music in physical formats - and not simply that they're old and refuse to change. With 47 million CDs sold in the UK last year, it may be a much smaller market than it was 20 years ago, or even a decade ago, but still one worth understanding.

In terms of artists, it was David Bowie who came out top of the best-sellers list. Having died in January 2016, demand for his music continued across the year. This could be a cause for concern, in that you can't pin your hopes on someone incredibly famous dying to boost your revenues every year. Though with Adele, Drake, Little Mix and Coldplay sitting closely behind him, it does at least show that the industry still has the ability to build new, successful stars.

In terms of individual albums though, 'Now That's What I Call Music' volumes 95 and 93 were the top two best-selling of 2016. What happened to volume 94, you ask? Don't worry, it's right there at number four in the chart, below Adele's '25'. Although, at number one, 'Now 95' only sold 0.9 million copies - a way off the 2.5 million '25' sold in 2015. David Bowie's highest charting album, his final record 'Blackstar', is at number nine.

In the singles market, as referenced by Geoff Taylor above, it's US artists who dominate, taking up seven spaces in the top ten. Calvin Harris is the only British act to appear, and then you could argue that 'This Is What You Came For' is really a Rihanna song. Topping the list is Drake, with 'One Dance', which was also the most-streamed track of 2016. The album it comes from, 'Views', was the second most-streamed album, after Justin Bieber's 'Purpose'.

"This is an exciting time for British music as more fans enjoy today's new artists and also explore the infinite jukebox available on streaming services", says Taylor, launching the report. "Consumption and revenues are on the up, powered by investment and innovation that is driving streaming subscriptions, whilst recordings on vinyl and CD continue to demonstrate their enduring appeal. The UK punches above its weight as the world's third largest market, responsible for one in eight albums sold globally, including four of 2016's top 10, and is the second-largest digital and streaming market after the US".

"But for this success to translate into long-term growth, key issues must be overcome", he continues. "Brexit risks new EU barriers for UK acts, who also face stiff competition from overseas artists on global streaming platforms. And revenue growth is still undermined by UGC platforms using music without paying fairly for it and the absence of proper IP protection in many export markets".

Returning to his plea to the politicians, he concludes: "Our business will only reach its full potential if government makes the creative sector a high priority in trade negotiations and offers the same kind of support to investment into music, such as through tax credits, as it has to the film and games industries".

'All About The Music 2017' is available from the BPI website now, and is free for BPI members. Meanwhile, we'll be looking at UK music sales overseas and the Brexit issue at the BPI supported Export Conference at CMU Insights @ The Great Escape tomorrow.


Howling Bells' Juanita Stein signs to Nude Music Publishing
Howling Bells leader Juanita Stein has signed a new solo publishing deal with Nude Music Publishing, which is administered by Bucks Music Group.

"I'm delighted to sign Juanita Stein to our continued partnership deal that we have with the good people at Bucks", says Nude founder Saul Galpern. "Juanita is a gifted songwriter and has made a wonderful debut album that we are all looking forward to working on".

Bucks' Director of Creative A&R adds: "We love working with Saul at Nude. He has the same passion and pro-active approach to artists and their songwriting as we do. We couldn't be more delighted to be working with Juanita on her solo project".

Stein's debut solo album, 'America', is due out via sister company Nude Records on 28 Jul.


Amazon not interested in becoming a record label
Shut up, Amazon doesn't even want to be a record label. So says Amazon Music Vice President Steve Boom.

Speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017, Boom said that he's often asked about the possibility of Amazon launching a record label, in part due to the company's film and television production division. However, it's not something the company is currently interested in getting into.

"The labels really play an important part in the world, and it's not really in our interest to displace them", he said.

It's more interested in riding the wave of growth in the streaming market, saying that IFPI figures showing that there are now nearly 100 million paying streaming subscribers worldwide is just the beginning.

"It's literally just a drop in the bucket", said Boom, literally using the word 'literally' incorrectly. "So we think there's a ton of growth but what we do see is pretty clearly already happening. For music streaming services focused on discovery and playback, it is consolidating around a relatively small number of global platforms and I think that trend is happening and I would expect it to continue to happen".

Amazon's secret weapon in gaining market share is its Echo digital assistant device, he reckons. He said: "In the smartphone era, we think of music as moving out of the home and living room. With voice, it's moving it back in".

Last week Amazon launched its latest Echo device, the Echo Show, which features a screen and will show you the lyrics to songs you order it to play for you from Amazon's on-demand streaming service.


The Great Escape starts today!
So here we go. The Great Escape 2017 is upon us, and the CMU Insights conferences kicks off this morning at the Dukes @ Komedia cinema.

Don't forget, we are presenting four CMU Insights conferences this year, The Media Conference and The Drugs Conference today, and The Export Conference and The Royalties Conference tomorrow.

If you are planning on joining us, check out this speedy guide to the programme, and access extra resources here, including the pre-event mini-seminar, that provides a little context for the debates ahead.

If you aren't in town, look out for the CMU team's reports on all the key conversations in the CMU Daily from next week.

And don't forget all that great music! The traditional CMU Approved TGE playlist is below.


Playlist: The Great Escape 2017
While your main reason for being in Brighton for The Great Escape this week is obviously to attend the CMU Insights conference, your delegates pass will also get you in to see some bands too. Over 450 of them, in fact. That's not the easiest of schedules to navigate.

Our favoured strategy for finding your new favourite act is to pick things at random. However, there are some that we're already excited about seeing. We've picked ten of them for this here Spotify playlist.

1. Confidence Man - Boyfriend (Repeat)
Confidence Man drew a lot of attention with their debut single, 'Boyfriend (Repeat)', eventually leading to a record deal with Heavenly. Their infectious pop should serve them well at TGE.
Thursday, 12.10pm - Komedia
Thursday, 11.30pm - Sticky Mike's Frog Bar
Saturday, 1.30pm - Horatio's

2. Will Joseph Cook - Take Me Dancing
Speaking of infectious pop, Will Joseph Cook does a nice line in just that. 'Take Me Dancing' is a stand out track from his debut album, released earlier this year.
Thursday, 2.30pm - Wagner Hall
Thursday, 9pm - Wagner Hall

3. Gallops - Pale Force
Gallops split in 2013, which was upsetting because their debut album, 'Yours Sincerely, Dr Hardcore', was great. Thankfully, they thought better of their decision, reuniting for a follow-up, 'Bronze Mystic', which was released this year.
Friday, 1.15pm - Latest Music Bar
Friday, 12am - Komedia

4. Aldous Harding - Imagining My Man
The release date of Aldous Harding's second album, 'Party', coincides with this year's Great Escape, which is handy. The intimate and distinct songwriting style should make for two memorable shows at the festival.
Thursday, 11.15pm - Paginini Ballroom
Friday, 3.15pm - One Church

5. Ama Lou - Lost My Home
Quietly emerging as a strong songwriter over a series of single releases since late last year, Ama Lou sets her classically trained voice into some striking pop.
Friday, 10.15pm - Sticky Mike's Frog Bar

6. Fifi Rong - Future Never Comes
The first voice you here when you press play on Skepta's 'Konnichiwa' album, Fifi Rong returned to her solo work in grand style last year with 'Future Never Comes'.
Friday, 10pm - The Arch

7. SaraSara - Euphoria
SaraSara's Matthew Herbert co-produced debut album, 'Amorfati', skirts the fine line between eccentric and accessible. It's a balancing act she pulls off perfectly.
Friday, 8pm - Latest Music Bar

8. Noga Erez - Dance While You Shoot
Preparing to release her debut album, 'Off The Radar', next month, Noga Erez's politically charged, visceral music should make for an exciting live show.
Friday, 10.30pm - Komedia Studio

9. Aristophanes - Humans Become Machines
Best known for her appearance on Grimes' last album, Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes released her debut album, 'Humans Become Machines', earlier this year, the title of which sees Grimes return the favour.
Thursday, 12am - Coalition

10. Dream Wife - FUU
Playing on home turf, having formed at art school in Brighton, Dream Wife will be showing off their reknowned live talents. So we'll end our playlist with their most incendiary track.
Friday, 11pm - Wagner Hall
Saturday, 9.30pm - Stick Mike's Frog Bar

Chris Cornell dies
Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell has died in Detroit. The band had been in the city for a sold out show at the Fox Theater venue. He was 52.

PR rep Brian Bumbery told the Associated Press that Cornell had died "suddenly and unexpectedly" last night, after the band performed. The cause of death is not yet known.

Cornell and Soundgarden came to prominence as part of the Seattle grunge scene in the 1990s, before splitting in 1997 after five albums. They reformed in 2010, releasing a sixth album, 'King Animal', in 2012. The band had been on a US tour that was due to run until the end of this month.

As well as fronting Soundgarden, Cornell was vocalist for Audioslave, formed with members of Rage Against The Machine in 2001. He also enjoy a successful solo career, releasing five albums, and performing the theme tune to James Bond film 'Casino Royale'. His latest solo single, 'The Promise', was released in March.


Grizzly Bear announce new album and tour dates
Grizzly Bear have announced that they will release their new album, 'Painted Ruins', on 18 Aug. They'll also be touring the UK and Ireland this autumn.

Along with this news came a new track from the album, 'Mourning Sound', which you can listen to here.

Those tour dates, by the way, are:

5 Oct: Dublin Vicar Street
6 Oct: Manchester, Albert Hall
8 Oct: Glasgow, ABC
9 Oct: London, Brixton Academy


Black Grape announce new album
Black Grape are back and ready to release a new album in July. Ahead of that, the Shaun Ryder-fronted group have a new single out, called 'Pop Voodoo', which is also the title of the album.

Author Irvine Welsh, who has been appointed some sort of spokesperson for the band, says: "I'm delighted to report that Black Grape are back on the road, and with new album 'Pop Voodoo' that really does rock the fuck out of the discotheque. Shaun's word play has never been deployed to such devastating effect, and he scores a bullseye whether he hits the obvious targets (Trump), and the more obscure ones... well, find out for yourself".

"The world is in a bit of a state right now, and bullshit reigns more than ever, and perversely disguised as candour", he continues. "We need Manc street sass, intelligence and wit more than ever right now. This album has that in spades".

You can watch the video for 'Pop Voodoo' here.

The album is out on 7 Jul. The band will also play Brixton Academy on 1 Jul.


Travis Scott, Big Boi, Royal Blood, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Yesterday were all debating whether or not Travis Scott broke a record by performing the same song fourteen times in a row at a recent show. But we all forgot that The National once played their song 'Sorrow' over a hundred times in a single sitting, so that's that debate over.

• Big Boi has announced that his new album, 'Boomiverse', will be released on 16 Jun. He's also put out the video for 'Mic Jack', feat Adam Levine.

• The rumours are true, Royal Blood have released a new song called 'Hook, Line & Sinker'.

• Ghostpoet has released the video for his latest single, 'Immigrant Boogie'.

• Girl Ray have released the video for new single 'Preacher'. They'll headline The Scala in London on 9 Nov to boot.


JME responds to Daily Mail attack
Grime star JME met with Jeremy Corbyn the other day and now the Daily Mail is out to get him. I'm sure this will have a great effect on the Mail readership's opinion of both him and Corbyn.

After JME met with the Labour leader to discuss why voter turnout among young people is so low, the Mail trawled the musician's Twitter account for incriminating evidence. It came back with a couple of off colour jokes quoted from other sources, and two comments taken out of context - namely "fuck the Queen" and "bomb the White House".

The Mail's move to attack JME is seemingly due to the perception that he, along with several other grime stars, is backing the Labour party in the upcoming General Election. Not so, said JME in response, his aim is merely to get more young people to register to vote, saying: "The Conservative manifesto should get dropped today, so we can read it along with Labour's that dropped yesterday and decide ... Vote for whoever you want, no bias. Don't vote for someone because a 'celebrity' or a 'rapper' voted them".

One accusation that was thrown at him was of anti-Semitism, after he retweeted a tweet reading, "#ImSweatingMoreThan a Jew at a cash machine". Following the Mail article, he tweeted that he did not believe this to be anti-Semitic, though later said that he now understands that it was.

He also posted screengrabs of a series of tweets from 2012, of which the Queen and White House comments were part, showing that they were part of a discussion about freedom of speech and how words could be taken out of context by the media.

The deadline to register to vote is fast approaching on 22 May. Get yourself set up here.


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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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