TODAY'S TOP STORY: Kanye West is suing a number of Lloyd's Of London insurers over insurance claims made in relation to his cancelled 'St Pablo' tour. As previously reported, West abandoned his US tour last November after erratic behaviour at a couple of his shows, including a ten minute rant that took aim at Hillary Clinton, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Drake and Mark Zuckerberg, among others... [READ MORE]
Rarely a week goes by in the music business news these days without at least one catalogue acquisition. But who - other than labels and publishers - is buying music rights, and why? Are there opportunities for individual artists and songwriters to do deals with professional investors? And how do you even value music rights? CMU Trends reviews the music rights market - past, present and future. [READ MORE]
While the challenges faced by the music industry since the mainstream adoption of the internet in the early 2000s have been widely documented, the music media has faced many of the same challenges too. CMU Trends reviews recent developments and trends in the music media business, and the ongoing challenges faced by media owners. [READ MORE]
The recorded music business is back in growth on the back of the streaming boom - but challenges remain. Reviewing IFPI's most recent record industry figures, CMU Trends provides three reasons to be optimistic, and three reasons for pessimism. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Kanye West sues insurers over payments due on cancelled 'St Pablo' tour
DEALS Sony/ATV extends deal with Noel Gallagher
Reservoir signs Dave Bassett
Sentric Music signs Toddla T
LIVE BUSINESS UTA to close Toronto office
The Joiners launches fundraising campaign to pay for building repairs
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Mixed response to latest Pandora financials on Wall Street
AND FINALLY... You should "see it through" reckons Louis Tomlinson
Glasgow Life is the charity responsible for inspiring Glasgow’s citizens and visitors to lead richer and more active lives through culture, sport and learning. It is seeking a Business Development Manager to lead on the business development and commercial growth of its Arts, Music & Cultural Venues Service, with specific responsibility for the commercial development of Glasgow Life Tickets, our in-house box office and ticketing operation.

For more information and to apply click here.
Secretly Group is looking for a motivated and ambitious Product Manager to join its London team. Two to four years of music industry experience are essential, although not necessarily specifically in marketing. S/he must have a passion for music and be keen to contribute creative ideas to our European marketing strategy.

For more information and to apply click here.
Domino is looking for a new radio plugger to join its in house promo team. The successful applicant will work within Domino’s current radio structure and will have an extensive knowledge of all aspects of UK radio. He or she will need established relationships at radio and a proven track record of working successful releases.

For more information and to apply click here.
Music sales, marketing and distribution company RSK Entertainment requires a Sales Account Assistant to cover a portfolio of retail accounts and be responsible for the solicitation and sales of new releases, as well as back catalogue orders and the proactive instigation of label promotions and campaigns.

For more information and to apply click here.
Domino is seeking a confident individual to oversee digital account relationships and strategy, based in the London office. The position will lead key partnerships and activity with digital music and video service providers (including Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Vevo) across the UK and international markets, excluding North America.

For more information and to apply click here.
Merlin's Head of Technology and Development will manage and oversee the company’s technical infrastructure, including developing the company’s IT systems, project managing and relationships with external IT providers, working with members and DSP to maximise efficiency of data provision and reporting, as well as contributing to the future technical/IT strategy for the organisation.

For more information and to apply click here.
City Slang is seeking a Digital Marketing Manager for its Berlin office. The main function of this role will be to oversee the execution of dynamic digital marketing campaigns across City Slang’s key territories, leading on a global basis where applicable.

For more information and to apply click here.
Sold Out is an independent full service advertising agency, specialising in arts and entertainment for over 20 years. It is looking for a Junior Social Media/Campaign Exec to join its vibrant, growing team, contributing to the growth and culture of the company and driving the business forward.

For more information and to apply click here.
Digital Deals, Dollars And Trends - Explained!
MASTERCLASS | Monday 18 September 2017, London | INFO
This half day masterclass, presented by CMU MD and Business Editor Chris Cooke, will explain how digital music platforms are licensed and royalties distributed, as well as reviewing the digital market in 2017 and which services are leading in terms of users and revenue.
How The Music Business Works
SEMINARS | from Monday 25 September 2017, London | INFO
Our 'How The Music Business Works' programme consists of eight two-hour seminars which together cover: the various ways the music industry generates revenue, building and engaging a fanbase, the business partnerships artists form with music companies, and how the artist/label relationship is changing.
Enforcing Music Rights - Safe Harbours And Piracy
MASTERCLASS | Monday 20 November 2017, London | INFO
In this half day masterclass, CMU MD and Business Editor Chris Cooke will look at how the music industry enforces its copyrights, at the long-running battle with online music piracy, and at the controversy around the copyright safe harbour.

Kanye West sues insurers over payments due on cancelled 'St Pablo' tour
Kanye West is suing a number of Lloyd's Of London insurers over insurance claims made in relation to his cancelled 'St Pablo' tour.

As previously reported, West abandoned his US tour last November after erratic behaviour at a couple of his shows, including a ten minute rant that took aim at Hillary Clinton, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Drake and Mark Zuckerberg, among others. He was subsequently admitted to the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital Center, with one news agency stating at the time that "the decision to hospitalise West was for his own health and safety".

The new lawsuit against the insurers of the 'St Pablo' tour confirms that doctors advised West to cancel his shows in order to receive treatment following a psychological breakdown. The rapper and his company Very Good Touring Inc then claimed on the insurance policies that had been taken out for the tour citing this medical guidance but - seemingly - the insurers have so far not paid up. Instead, West's lawyers argue, they have been employing tactics designed to find an excuse not to pay out.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the legal papers claim that insurers have not "provided anything approaching a coherent explanation about why they have not paid or any indication if they will ever pay". The lawsuit goes on to claim that this "stalling is emblematic of a broader modus operandi of the insurers of never-ending post-claim underwriting where the insurers hunt for some contrived excuse not to pay".

Amongst other things the insurers have seemingly been questioning is whether or not West's medical condition did indeed necessitate the cancellation of the tour.

The lawsuit says: "While Kanye was still under medical care for his disabling condition, the defendant [insurers] demanded that Kanye submit to an immediate IME [independent medical examination]. Kanye was made available for a purported IME by a doctor, hand-selected by the insurers' counsel, who was predisposed to look for some reason to deny the claim. Yet even defendants' selected doctor had to admit that Kanye was disabled from being able to continue with the tour".

West's lawyers argue that the insurers' conduct from the start suggested that, rather than simply assessing the merits of the claim in relation to the cancelled tour, they were looking for a get out. The legal papers go on: "Almost immediately after the claim was submitted, defendants selected legal counsel to oversee the adjustment of the claim, instead of the more normal approach of retaining a non-lawyer insurance adjuster. Immediately turning to legal counsel made it clear that defendants' goal was to hunt for any ostensible excuse, no matter how fanciful, to deny coverage or to manoeuvre themselves into a position of trying to negotiate a discount on the loss payment".

Entertainment industry lawyer Howard King, representing West, reckons this case puts the spotlight on more general misconduct in certain parts of the insurance sector.

He is quoted by The Hollywood Reporter as saying: "Performing artists who pay handsomely to insurance companies within the Lloyd's Of London marketplace to obtain show tour 'non-appearance or cancellation' insurance should take note of the lesson to be learned from this lawsuit: Lloyd's companies enjoy collecting bounteous premiums; they don't enjoy paying claims, no matter how legitimate".

He goes on: "Their business model thrives on conducting unending 'investigations' of bona fide coverage requests, stalling interminably, running up their insured's costs, and avoiding coverage decisions based on flimsy excuses. The artists think they they're buying peace of mind. The insurers know they're just selling a ticket to the courthouse".

West's lawsuit seeks to force a resolution on the insurance claim, while accusing the Lloyd's Of London insurers of breach of contract and breach of good faith. The insurers are yet to respond to the litigation.


Sony/ATV extends deal with Noel Gallagher
Sony/ATV has extended its worldwide deal with that there Noel Gallagher, meaning the major will continue to represent his songwriting repertoire, including all those Oasis tunes and the other stuff too. Let's not forget the other stuff!

Confirming that his company's deal with Gallagher had now been renewed, Sony/ATV UK MD Guy Moot told reporters: "I am delighted we have been able to extend our agreement with Noel, who to this day remains a key British songwriter and artist 23 years after the initial release of 'Definitely Maybe'".

Also name checking the bosses of Gallagher's long-term management reps Ignition - Marcus Russell and Alec Mckinlay - Moot added: "We look forward to continuing to work with him and Marcus and Alec at Ignition Management".


Reservoir signs Dave Bassett
Producer songwriter Dave Bassett - who has worked with the likes of Elle King, Gavin DeGraw and Rachel Platten - has signed with New York-based music publisher Reservoir.

Why? Because it's boutique baby, that's why. And who doesn't love a boutique? And then there's the undeniable treat of getting to work with Donna and Scott. "I have known what an amazing publisher Reservoir's SVP Of Creative & A&R Donna Caseine is for years and it is such a great honour to finally work with her, as well as EVP Of Synchronisation Scott Cresto and the entire Reservoir team", Basset said on confirming the deal.

The there mentioned Caseine added: "Writing timeless songs across genres is a rare and special talent. Dave Bassett has accomplished just that, hit after hit. I have been a fan for years and I am THRILLED to welcome him to the Reservoir family".

THRILLED yeah? Of course you are. Is Bassett THRILLED? "Reservoir's boutique structure, plus their enthusiasm and hunger for success made it easy to realise that it was the perfect fit for me". Yeah yeah, it's boutique, we get it. But are you THRILLED? "I'm beyond stoked to start this new chapter in my career with them".

Beyond stoked? Well done Dave. See, Bassett's an innovator, and now he's Reservoir's innovator. Marvellous.


Sentric Music signs Toddla T
Your best bud Toddla T has signed a new publishing deal with Sentric Music, the latest in a number of more traditional publishing deals secured by the expansive Sentric which, of course, also provides publishing services to thousands of self-published songwriters.

The deal covers both the producer's new album 'Foreign Light' plus previously unpublished work which - I have on good authority - has, to date, been kept in a Spar carrier bag in a green box in his nan's shed. OK, I made that bit up. Bear with me, it's all publishing deals today and I'm bored. I mean, I realise this is pretty boring for you too, but remember, I have to write this shit, imagine how boring it is for me.

Not that there's anything boring about this deal, OK? It is the very antithesis of boring. I can't believe you even suggested it was boring. I wonder if anyone's THRILLED about it?

"Being a fellow Sheffielder of a similar age, Toddla was essentially seen as royalty on the local scene during my formative years and for fair reason", says Sentric's Director Of Music Services, Simon Pursehouse. "It was never in doubt that he was going to achieve what he has and I'm utterly chuffed to be working with him now on the eve of the release of his best work to date".

And as for T himself, he says: "Gassed to be working with Sentric. To find a team that understands my music and my vision is what it's all about. They're truly independent by mind and nature and ahead of the curve".

Simon's "utterly chuffed". Toddla T's "gassed". And - as you may remember - Dave Bassett was "beyond stoked". And you said today's music business news was boring! Far from it. I'm genuinely THRILLED to be reporting on it all.


UTA to close Toronto office
Booking agency UTA is shutting down its Toronto office according to a memo seen by Billboard. The agency's Canadian base was part of The Agency Group which UTA acquired in 2015. Some of the Toronto agents that came to the business via that acquisition are expected to continue representing their individual rosters of artists outside the UTA empire.

UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer told staff in the memo: "After considering where we see the strongest prospects for continued growth, we have made the decision to take additional steps to focus our global music practice in the US and UK. This will mainly impact our colleagues in Toronto, where we will be closing that office over the coming months".

He went on: "We're taking this step after careful consideration, and we recognise it's a tough one for our colleagues there. They are talented professionals who we've collaborated with for many years and who have contributed to our success. We are incredibly grateful to every one of them. But we believe this is the strongest and best strategic decision for UTA Music going forward, one that will allow us to put even greater focus on artist development and our full-service approach to our clients".

While the specifics of UTA's withdrawal from Toronto are not yet clear, it is thought that some of the agents based there will likely continue to book shows for their artists, either as an independent agent or by allying with another agency in Canada. Where that is the case, artists will presumably need to decide whether to stay with their specific agent, or ally with agents in UTA's New York or London offices instead.

One of the key execs at The Agency Group and then UTA's Toronto office, Jack Ross, told Billboard: "I've been representing a core group of Canadian artists for a long time and many of our clients have been with us for decades. I can't speak for everybody, but I can tell you that I certainly plan to continue as an agent and continue representing my clients, continue to grow and develop agents and music industry professionals".


The Joiners launches fundraising campaign to pay for building repairs
Southampton music venue The Joiners has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise £5000 to pay for "critical" building repairs. The venue's management says that, under their lease, they are responsible for maintaining the premises, and that various bits of work now need to be done to ensure the future of the space, which celebrates its 50th year as a music venue in 2018. However, the not-for-profit business can't currently afford to pay for that work.

The venue's posting on the GoFundMe fundraising site explains: "There are number of critical repairs that, if not carried out very soon, will mean we will not be able to keep the venue open far into the future. The building is subject to an 'all repairing' lease which means we are responsible for the general wear and tear of the building, [which is] now over 100 years old".

The statement goes on: "The Joiners is not a profit making business but exists to provide a platform for emerging and local artists and during festival season we operate at a loss, therefore we currently have no funds to carry out this work. We are an independent business and some our staff even work voluntarily to keep the place going. We would really appreciate your help to keep the Joiners thriving into its 50th year next year".

The venue's managers conclude: "If you can spare anything please help us to keep this musical community hub flowing and to continue to do what you all love coming here so much for!"

The fundraising campaign, launched yesterday, had already raised over £4000 by first thing this morning. You can contribute here.


Mixed response to latest Pandora financials on Wall Street
There was a mixed response on Wall Street to the latest financials put out by streaming music firm Pandora this week, which confirmed that revenues for the second quarter this year were slightly higher than expected at $367.8 million, though losses were also higher than anticipated, and considerably higher than the same quarter last year. Though in part that was due to unusual costs relating to the company's recent restructuring.

As previously reported, Pandora recently sold off its ticketing business Ticketfly and parted company with some key execs, including founder and CEO Tim Westergren. This all happened as Sirius XM became a significant shareholder.

Although Pandora's financials - and a recent decline in the number of active listeners and listening hours - all confirm that the company remains in a tricky position in a tricky business, some investors are now more optimistic about the firm's future. Partly thanks to the cash injection provided by the Ticketfly sale and the Sirius investment, and partly because the change in management will likely result in a new strategy moving forward. Westergren's strategy wasn't especially liked by some key investors.

Opinion still seems divided as to whether the priority for Pandora should be further growing its traditional core business of selling advertising around its free personalised radio service, which accounts for the vast majority of its 76 million active users, or whether it should be pushing its premium options - ad-free personalised radio for five dollars a month and a straight Spotify competitor for ten dollars a month.

Some reckon that ad-funded streaming is never going to be particularly lucrative and that the real money is in premium streams. Though others note that Pandora's freebie user base, despite recent declines, remains impressive - especially as all those users are in the US - and therefore there remain opportunities to capitalise on the advertising business.

Pandora's new management need to decide where their priorities lie. Given the company's dabbling with ticketing via its Ticketfly acquisition didn't really produce the goods - and with most investors talking about the need for more focus at Pandora post-Westergren - it seems likely the firm won't be seeking new revenue streams in the near future. Meaning the challenge is how to balance the selling of more ads with the signing up of new subscribers to the premium services, which take listeners away from the ads and the advertisers.


CMU's sister magazine ThreeWeeks Edinburgh is covering the Edinburgh Festival this month. Each day we'll pick a bit of ThreeWeeks content, championing great new theatre, comedy, cabaret, dance, music, musicals and spoken word.

This August the Edinburgh Festival celebrates its 70th anniversary. To mark the occasion, we have asked a plethora of performers about their personal Fringe experiences. To kick us off, the cast of the iconic improv show 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' get all nostalgic as they return to the Edinburgh stage once again. And Clive Anderson got things going.

CLICK HERE to read Clive Anderson's answers to the Quick Quiz.

Check out all of ThreeWeeks Edinburgh Festival cover here and sign up to the TW Daily email bulletin here

You should "see it through" reckons Louis Tomlinson
So, the minute that Justin Bieber cancelled the remaining dates on his 'Purpose' World Tour, obviously the first thing that occurred to all of you was, "yeah, interesting, but what will former One Directioner Louis Tomlinson think about all this?"

"What do I think's the right thing to do?" Tomlinson responded to your inner monologue recently. For some reason in the middle of an interview with New York-based Amp Radio. "I think, obviously, you have to be in a good position mentally [when touring]". Good point, good point.

"But" - aha, I knew there'd be a 'but' - "I also think to a certain degree, when you're signing up for something you should see it through". Yeah too right, see it through won't you?

The problem is, see, Bieber just wasn't thinking about the fans enough. "There is never enough that I can say or do for the fans", says the 1D boy. "I think people can forget that, to be quite honest. At the end of the day, it's the people who are buying the records that are putting you where you are".

Such wisdom. As previously reported, Bieber last week announced he was cancelling scheduled shows in North America and Asia "due to unforeseen circumstances".


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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