TODAY'S TOP STORY: New York-based merchant bank The Raine Group and Singapore's state-owned investment fund Temasek Holdings have both been linked to possible investments in SoundCloud. Presumably neither could find an actual wall to piss their money up against. As previously reported, Bloomberg recently cited sources who said that two investment firms were in now talks to pump money into the flagging streaming music company... [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 Raine Group and Temasek Holdings linked to possible SoundCloud investments
LEGAL Fyre Festival co-founder negotiating plea deal over fraud charges
Universal sued for $1.25 million over The Vamps logo
Guvera-backing finance firm hits back at investor lawsuit
LIVE BUSINESS New York's The Bowery Presents to no longer present in The Bowery Ballroom
MEDIA RAJAR Round Up: Chris Evans down, Nick Grimshaw up
ONE LINERS Def Jam, Live Nation, Bjork, more
AND FINALLY... Punk frontman refused entry to US over Donald Trump costume
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.

Raine Group and Temasek Holdings linked to possible SoundCloud investments
New York-based merchant bank The Raine Group and Singapore's state-owned investment fund Temasek Holdings have both been linked to possible investments in SoundCloud. Presumably neither could find an actual wall to piss their money up against.

As previously reported, Bloomberg recently cited sources who said that two investment firms were in now talks to pump money into the flagging streaming music company via deals that would give the two investors, collectively, a majority stake in the firm.

If those investments come through, it would allow SoundCloud to continue with its stated ambition of remaining an independent entity as it tries to build the advertising and subscription sides of its business. Prior to the recent laying off of 40% of SoundCloud's workforce, it had been speculated that the company would probably be bought outright by a rival in the streaming music market, most likely Spotify or Deezer.

Following the lay offs SoundCloud management told staff that they had sufficient financing in place to get them into quarter four, resulting in a flurry of doom and gloom chatter that the streaming platform – which still plays an important role in music discovery amongst early adopters and industry decision makers – could go offline in just a few months.

But SoundCloud insisted that it had a longer future than that, and new cash injections from The Raine Group and Temasek Holdings would certainly ensure short-term survival.

Though many in the industry remain unconvinced that SoundCloud can become a serious player in subscription streaming, especially now that both labels and DIY artists tend to get their brand new music into the likes of Spotify and Apple Music much quicker, removing SoundCloud's USP of having the new tunes before everyone else.

There are probably still opportunities in the ad-funded free streaming space, though making a success of that requires a big ad sales operation. And the real opportunities in free streaming will probably only come to fruition once the premium streaming businesses of Spotify and Apple are sufficiently lucrative – and stable – so that the record labels and music publishers can finally accept that there is a place for mass market free streaming services, alongside the premium platforms, even though they pay much lower royalties.

It's Bloomberg again which has linked both The Raine Group and Temasek Holdings to possible SoundCloud investments, though there's been no official comment so far.

Boutique bank Raine already has interests in other media outfits like Vice Media, Imagine Entertainment and business news service Cheddar. It's thought the bank would want to be involved in developing a new strategy for the SoundCloud business in a bid to turn round its fortunes, with some speculating that could result in a change of leadership at the streaming music company.


Fyre Festival co-founder negotiating plea deal over fraud charges
The US government is in plea deal negotiations with Fyre Festival co-founder Billy McFarland and has asked for the criminal case against him to be delayed for a month while those negotiations are ongoing.

As previously reported, McFarland has been accused of fraud in relation to the business he established with Ja Rule which was behind the disastrous non-festival in the Bahamas and the talent booking app the event was designed to launch. The criminal proceedings followed a stack of lawsuits being filed against McFarland and his companies in the wake of the Fyre Festival's high profile collapse.

The plea deal negotiations were confirmed in a recent short update from Assistant US Attorney Kristy J Greenberg requesting a thirty day delay in the criminal case. She wrote that "defence counsel and I have had discussions regarding a possible disposition of this case and we plan to continue our discussions".

McFarland, who showed up with a public defender at the first court hearing in relation to the criminal charges, is now seemingly being represented by Randall W Jackson of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP in the fraud case, who backed Greenberg's request.

The specifics of the plea deal talks are not yet known, though McFarland could face years in jail if convicted of the crimes of which he is accused.


Universal sued for $1.25 million over The Vamps logo
Universal Music is being sued over its use of the fonts Nanami Rounded and Ebisu Bold to make a logo for pop rock combo The Vamps. The major, it is alleged, didn't have the right licence to legally use the font software it employed when creating the band's logo.

The copyright law around typefaces and fonts is rather complex, not least because it often requires understanding the difference between typefaces and fonts. But either way, HypeForType reckons that Universal used its font software to create The Vamps' logo without the right licence. It's claimed that a designer working for the major did buy a basic licence to use the software, but the mega major didn't then purchase the premium licence required for using said software on a commercial scale, like when you design a logo.

According to Torrentfreak, HypeForType's lawsuit, filed in the US, says: "Plaintiff requires a licence upgrade for use of its typeface font software in commercial, for-profit usage including, inter alia, on goods for sale. Upon information and belief, defendant has used and/or caused others to use unauthorised copies of the font software in the creation of The Vamps goods for sale, including, inter alia, clothing, accessories, DVDs and CDs".

The font seller is looking for damages in excess of $1.25 million and an injunction ordering the major to stop using its font software without licence and to destroy all Vamps merch that includes the offending logo. Which sounds optimistic. Universal is yet to respond.


Guvera-backing finance firm hits back at investor lawsuit
The Australian investment outfit that raised money for failed streaming music firm Guvera has hit out at a lawsuit being pursed by one of its former investors who claims that he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease for much of the time he was pumping money into the digital music shambles.

The fundraising methods of Amma Private Equity, headed up by Guvera co-founder Darren Herft, have been in the spotlight since the collapse of the digital music business earlier this year. The finance firm has also been sued by Keith Messer, an 80 year old farmer who allegedly invested $8.7 million into the Guvera company over two years.

According to The Courier Mail, the litigation claims that Messer started investing in Guvera after meeting Amma reps in 2012. The lawsuit says that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease the same year and that the illness then "progressed significantly", to the extent that Amma officials should have noticed that their investor was now struggling to comprehend the complexities of the investments he was making.

It's also alleged that Messer's daughter met with Amma in 2014 to advise them of her father's condition, and that he "did not understand the investments, he had no paperwork ... and that he did not wish to further invest in Guvera". But, it's claimed, Amma secured a number of further investments from Messer in the following eight months.

The investment company has now responded to the lawsuit, denying the allegations made against it. In its legal filing, Amma says that Messer "confirmed that he understood the nature of the music streaming application and the business model of Guvera" and that their investor "asked detailed questions about the investments which indicated that he understood the nature and risks associated with purchasing the shares and [that he] had researched [Guvera's] business model".

Amma's response also takes issue with the claim that Messer was a "retail investor". As previously reported, it has been alleged elsewhere that the investment outfit employed a sneaky scheme so to avoid legal obligations to provide "unsophisticated investors" with extra documentation, designed to ensure that they are fully aware of the risks of any one investment. But, Amma says, Messer was a "sophisticated investor" because his accountant supplied documentation to that effect and he had more than $2.5 million in assets.


New York's The Bowery Presents to no longer present in The Bowery Ballroom
New York venue The Bowery Ballroom and New York-based concert promoter and venue management outfit The Bowery Presents are ending their long alliance, following the latter's acquisition by AEG earlier this year.

The Bowery Presents doesn't actually own The Bowery Ballroom or the Mercury Lounge, the two venues where the concert company first began promoting in the 1990s. It seems that when AEG bought the Bowery Presents business it was agreed with those two venues' owner that it would continue to programme the spaces until their current contracts expired, and then they would part company.

According to Billboard, Bowery Presents boss John Moore has confirmed the development, stating that: "After careful thought and consideration, The Bowery Presents is parting ways with The Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge".

Bowery Presents also operates a number of other venues in New York and elsewhere in the Northeastern United States, including Boston, Portland and Philadelphia, and will continue to run and programme those spaces as an AEG subsidiary.

Moore went on: "We have a long history with the venues as the exclusive booking and marketing arm and wish them well in the future. On the heels of our recently opened Brooklyn Steel and taking over booking duties for Webster Hall, we are constantly exploring new opportunities for music-lovers in New York City".

The announcement has led some to suspect that AEG's rival Live Nation might now bid to manage and programme the Bowery and Mercury Lounge venues.


RAJAR Round Up: Chris Evans down, Nick Grimshaw up
The latest listening figures from the UK radio industry have just been unleashed. Did you notice? Well, we did, we love a little bit of RAJAR nonsense. Here are five things of note. So you should all note them.

1. In somewhat awkward timing, it's been confirmed that the Chris Evans breakfast show on Radio 2 has lost nearly half a million listeners in the last year. Just over 9 million tuned in during the second quarter of 2017, compared to 9.47 million in the same period in 2016. It's awkward because of all the recent headlines about how Evans is the highest paid BBC celeb following the broadcaster's forced publication of what it pays its best paid stars.

2. But good news over at Radio 1 Towers where the Grimmy-meister-grim-grim-whatnot-dude reached 5.5 million people with his silly breakfast show, an increase both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year. Radio 1 as a whole saw its audience increase by nearly half a million in the second quarter compared to the first quarter. So not every pop music fan is glued to YouTube 24-7.

3. But who cares about the BBC? Commercial radio, that's what we all love, right? The commercial radio sector secured its highest ever total audience last quarter at 35.9 million people. That beats the same quarter in 2016, also a record breaker. Commercial radio is ahead of the BBC when it comes to total number of listeners - by nearly a million - though BBC radio stations still boast higher listening hours.

4. BBC 6 Music is still the most popular digital-only radio station with a weekly reach of 2.23 million listeners. Remember that time they tried to shut 6 Music down because no one listened? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

5. Global Radio's Capital is still the biggest commercial station in London, with its reach at a thirteen year high. Capital also has the biggest commercial breakfast show in London, followed by Bauer's Kiss and then the chatty breakfast offering on also Global-owned LBC.


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.

Canadian import John Hastings first caught our attention when he brought his first show to Edinburgh in 2012, and swiftly became what we might call a bit of a TW Favourite. He's back with his fifth show this time and we are expecting good things. To find out more about John - and his bold decision to wear only pants in his publicity shots this year - I arranged to have a quick chat.

CLICK HERE to read the interview.

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

Def Jam, Live Nation, Bjork, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Universal Music's Def Jam Recordings in the US has a new CEO in the form of Paul Rosenberg, longtime manager of Eminem, who also heads up the rapper's Shady Records.

• Former UK Music chief Jo Dipple is joining Live Nation in a lobbying role as SVP Public Affairs. Presumably that will involve sitting across the table from former colleagues at the various UK Music-allied trade groups involved in the anti-ticket touting FanFair Alliance and defending Live Nation's secondary ticketing businesses Seatwave and Get Me In. Fun times.

• I promised Bjork that I'd hand deliver this message: "I am excited to share with you that my new album is coming out very soon. Warmthness, Björk". Could someone sign for it so that she knows I delivered?

• Godspeed You! Black Emperor will release new album 'Luciferian Towers' on Constellation on 22 Sep. Here's a video of its packaging. What fun.

• A new video from Mercury Prize-nominated Glass Animals to accompany new single 'Agnes'? How generous. But you're still not going to win.

• Garbage have posted a video for their new single 'No Horses'. There are 25 horses in it.

• The Dillinger Escape Plan will be handed the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award at this year's edition of AIM's Independent Music Awards. And there's nothing you can do about it.


Punk frontman refused entry to US over Donald Trump costume
Peter Bywaters from punk outfit Peter & The Test Tube Babies claims he was refused entry into the US because he dressed up as Donald Trump on a German tour last year.

He told TeamRock that he was stopped at San Francisco airport last week after flying in to attend a festival in California. He was then interrogated about the Trump mocking performance, before being sent back to the UK.

Said Bywaters: "I had only been there 30 seconds when the border control guard swung his screen round and said, 'Is this you?' There in full view was a video from last year's German tour with me dressed as Donald Trump smoking a fake joint. From there it all went down hill. Six hours later I was forcibly escorted to my seat on the plane".

Bywaters also claims that he had his phone and passport confiscated by US authorities, and that they were only returned to him once he had landed back in London

He concluded: "I expect to still be the singer of Peter & The Test Tube Babies by the end of the year. Will Trump still be president by the end of the summer?"


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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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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