TODAY'S TOP STORY: A rousing chorus of songwriter groups has hit out at the Recording Industry Association Of America over its submission to an official review of the moral rights of creators in the US. The songwriter organisations - including BASCA in the UK - reckon that the major record companies Stateside are pursuing an anti-songwriter agenda on this point, while concurrently relying on vocal support from the songwriting community when it comes to lobbying for safe harbour reform... [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 Songwriter groups hit out at the major labels' position on moral rights
LABELS & PUBLISHERS BMG launches royalty reporting app
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Electric Jukebox launches new music service for all the family
Spotify removes music by "hate bands" from its platform
ARTIST NEWS Juggalos march on Washington to clash with pro-Trump rally
Zayn's second album will be more "organised"
AWARDS New venue, new curator and Spotify sponsorship for Artist & Manager Awards
AND FINALLY... Bonnie Tyler to sing 'Total Eclipse' during a total eclipse
Lex Records are looking for a full-time Digital Marketing Manager to work from our North London office. You would be working as part of the team to present our music to the public and helping to join up promo with sales.

For more information and to apply click here.
The Deltic Group are looking for a Social Media Department Manager to develop and shape the company's social media and marketing activity, working across 58 bars and clubs including well-known brands such as PRYZM, ATIK and Bar & Beyond. This is a newly created role and the successful candidate will have the opportunity to build a social media team.

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The Deltic Group are looking for Social Media Managers to manage, maintain and grow the company's social communities of circa 1.5 million 18-25-year olds. This is a new team of five that is being formed in order to deliver great content to inspire our social communities and deliver our social strategy.

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Name PR is looking to hire a Press Assistant/Account Executive. This is a fantastic opportunity for a bright individual with exceptional writing ability and a good grasp of the music business to work on some of the most interesting music issues and developments across the globe.

For more information and to apply click here.
Sunday Best seeks a Product Manager with a minimum of one to two years record label experience. The role involves running a creative campaign from album delivery through to release. The candidate should have a passion for music and a good knowledge of digital marketing.

For more information and to apply click here.
Maximum Boost Management and its associated group of companies are looking for an exceptional and motivated addition to their team. As a direct assistant to a lead artist manager within the business you will be entrusted to support, plan and execute a number of processes on behalf of the manager and their artists.

For more information and to apply click here.
Ninja Tune are hiring for a full-time business affairs position within the record label and publishing company, based in its London office. The role will include producing, negotiating and finalising various contracts.

For more information and to apply click here.
Secretly Group is seeking a Label Assistant/Office Manager for its London office, this is the perfect position for anyone with passion and talent to find their first job in the music industry.

For more information and to apply click here.
Ninja Tune are hiring for a full-time copyright administration position within the record label and publishing company, based in its London office. The role will include registering works with societies, maintaining internal databases, compiling credits and supporting the licensing team.

For more information and to apply click here.
Columbo Group is seeking a Promotions Manager for The Blues Kitchen. As a member of our events team, you will be responsible for the programming and promotion of our live music calendar, as well as the communications and marketing of the restaurant and bar, working alongside a small team of very passionate people. You will have at least twelve months experience in hospitality marketing and a passion for the London scene.

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Leading independent record label and artist services company Cooking Vinyl Limited are looking for an International Product Manager / International Co-ordinator to support our busy International Department.

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Independent full service advertising agency Sold Out is looking for a Junior Media Planner to join a vibrant, growing team, contributing to the growth and culture of the company and helping drive the business forward. The successful candidate will be looking to establish a career in media and have a gift for organisation and effective time management.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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.

Songwriter groups hit out at the major labels' position on moral rights
A rousing chorus of songwriter groups has hit out at the Recording Industry Association Of America over its submission to an official review of the moral rights of creators in the US. The songwriter organisations - including BASCA in the UK - reckon that the major record companies Stateside are pursuing an anti-songwriter agenda on this point, while concurrently relying on vocal support from the songwriting community when it comes to lobbying for safe harbour reform.

So, yes, moral rights. Copyright law usually provides creators certain 'moral rights' over their work. Crucially, a creator retains these moral rights even if they assign the actual copyright in their work to a third party.

Let's put that in the context of music. You're a songwriter. You write a song. Which means you create a copyright. You're the owner of that copyright. And that means you have the exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, rent out, adapt, perform in public and communicate your song.

But then you decide to assign those controls to third parties. In the UK, you'd probably assign some controls to your collecting society, ie PRS, and the other controls to a music publisher, in return for a cash advance and administrative support. That means you are no longer the copyright owner, so you no longer enjoy the copyright controls.

However, your moral rights remain. The specifics of those moral rights vary greatly from country to country, though the global copyright treaty known as the Berne Convention provides two such rights.

In the words of said Convention: "Independently of the author's economic rights, and even after the transfer of the said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his honour or reputation".

Some copyright systems go big on moral rights, some less so. Moral rights in UK copyright law are pretty minimal and, some would argue, pretty useless. Not least because a songwriter can waive their moral rights by contract. Even though we are supposedly talking about morality here, and you'd think that people shouldn't be allowed to opt out of that. But, even so, the two moral rights set out in the Berne Convention are there in the UK Copyright Act, sitting neatly in sections 77 and 80.

But what about the US? Although America finally signed up to the Berne Convention in 1988 - a mere 102 years after the treaty had been written - moral rights have never really been properly implemented Stateside. Which is why, earlier this year, the US Copyright Office announced that it would "review how existing US law protects the moral rights of attribution and integrity and whether any additional protection is advisable in this area".

The songwriters argue that additional protection is very much advisable in this area, to properly bring American copyright law in line with other copyright systems on moral rights. The writers are particularly keen to properly enshrine the right to attribution into American copyright law. But, for the labels, who could be made responsible for ensuring that attribution - at least in some circumstances - that sounds like awfully hard work.

Hence the songwriters and the RIAA being at odds on this issue. In an open letter to the record industry trade group, the writers state: "The RIAA's argument prioritises the inconvenience of dealing with accurate metadata over the principle of the protection of the rights of the people upon whose work the music business is built".

"In our view", the letter goes on, "and the view of many in the creator community, this is not only irresponsible [but] it represents a betrayal of the 'greater common purpose' to which so many of us are committed - a purpose with which the RIAA claims to agree".

The letter cites the submission made by composer Maria Schneider to the Copyright Office review, which - among other things - hits out at the way YouTube deals with songwriter data, that - many writers reckon - is contrary to their moral rights.

For the songwriters, therefore, this issue sits alongside the higher profile safe harbour debate, ie it's about trying to reform copyright law to address perceived issues in the digital music domain. The RIAA, of course, is leading the charge on safe harbour. It is therefore ironic, the songwriters reckon, that it is at odds with the rest of the music community on moral rights and songwriter attribution.

Schnieder's submission, the songwriters argue, "outlined how enforceable rights of attribution can be useful, if not indispensable, tools in achieving the kind of accountability from the internet that, in other submissions, the RIAA seeks to establish". The RIAA's comments in the moral rights review, therefore, "are taken by many in the music creator community as a betrayal of our joint commitment to expand opportunities for creators".

Although framed as a debate around moral rights, in many ways this discussion is the much more familiar one about music rights data in the digital market - and the lack of songwriter information on and within the digital music platforms. That lack of data, of course, means consumers don't know who wrote the songs they love and can't navigate streaming catalogues based on songwriter, and also that getting writers paid when their work is streamed is a tediously complex process.

Some would argue that these problems are the result of the music publishing sector's widely documented failure to create a publicly accessible global database of song ownership information. Though others would argue that the record companies and digital platforms that exploit song rights have a duty to ensure this information is in the streaming ecosystem as well, and the songwriter's moral right to attribution is one way to justify that viewpoint.

That said, even in countries with pretty decent moral right regimes, the bad song data problem hasn't been solved. A fact you could use to counter concerns amongst American labels and digital companies that beefing up moral right provisions in US copyright law will result in costly new obligations for record companies and streaming platforms.

Which is to say, labels and digital firms haven't seen the need to bother to implement decent songwriter data on the streaming platforms in countries where moral rights are already clearly enshrined in law, so what difference would some clarity on moral rights Stateside make?

Except, of course, America has a particularly litigious culture, hence - perhaps - the labels' concern that reform in this domain will inevitably result in litigation and, depending how that legal action went, new obligations for record companies.

For their part, the songwriters reckon that the RIAA is over-stating the work that would result from a firm right to attribution being inserted into American copyright law.

They reckon that "music platforms will come up with innovative and effective ways to give credit" if forced to do so. But, in speaking out against the need for decent songwriter attribution, the letter adds, the RIAA is providing ammunition for tech firms that have a vested interest in not knowing who wrote any one song, probably for safe harbour reasons.

The letter concludes by encouraging the RIAA to publicly amend its position on moral rights and to back Schneider's aforementioned submission to the Copyright Office on this issue. Not least because, by working against the songwriting community in this domain, the labels risk allowing the tech companies to employ a divide and conquer strategy, which could impact the success of the music industry's safe harbour campaign.

Fun times. The organisations signing the open letter include: British Academy Of Songwriters, Composers And Authors; European Composer & Songwriter Alliance; MusicAnswers; Music Creators Of North America; Council Of Music Creators; Screen Composers Guild Of Canada; Societe Professionnelle Des Autuers Et Des Composituers Fu Quebec; Society Of Composers And Lyricists; Songwriters Association Of Canada; Songwriters Guild Of America; and Songwriters Of North America.


BMG launches royalty reporting app
The BMGs yesterday made their royalties portal MyBMG available as an Android and iOS app for the first time, meaning - says the music rights firm - "thousands of BMG songwriters will be able to see up-to-date worldwide information on the value and source of their income from their songs wherever and whenever they want to".

BMG says it consulted a number of the songwriters it represents when developing the mobile version of its royalty reporting system, including Jenn Decilveo, Dave Stewart and Maury Yeston. So if it's no good, it's all their fault.

"It was a very different experience to the usual process of software development", says Anke Becker, who led the project to develop the app. "We were working hand-in-hand with songwriters trying to tease out exactly the information which is most important to them and then ensuring we present that data in as accessible a way as possible".

Becker adds that "the result, we believe, is the most user friendly royalties application on the market. We wanted to not only make the product the most transparent, but also make the process of creating and innovating the product transparent and inclusive".

But what does Dave Stewart think about the final product? That's what I want to know. In fact, it's the only reason I showed up to work this morning.

"This is a great tool and a wonderful move forward towards helping songwriters understand where they stand, something that has been badly needed since the dawn of copyright", says he. "I am proud to be part of the BMG family making steps towards a better future for creatives and leading the way in fair trade for artists". And hurrah for that!


Electric Jukebox launches new music service for all the family
The founder of MusicStation, Rara and Electric Jukebox has another new digital music service for you all. Are you excited? Come on, be excited. At least pretend to be excited. There you go, that wasn't too difficult, was it?

"Unlike the music streaming services offered by the major tech giants, ROXI is not app-based or designed for personal devices". Oh, I should have said, this new service is called ROXI. "It instead offers a dedicated device and internet connected service that gets friends and family listening, singing and playing together". These quotes are explaining what the new service is all about. I probably should have said that too. "ROXI powers a shared family experience that works with families' TV and speakers, making digital entertainment a shared, social, inclusive entertainment experience".

Want more detail? Well, "ROXI's unique wireless controller has a built-in microphone, that enables users to voice search the entire music catalogue and singalong, karaoke-style".

Got that? "The motion sensitive controller encourages interaction between users, allowing you to cooperatively select music entertainment features through families' TV and best home speakers". Fun, fun. "Unlike any other personal music streaming device, ROXI enables quality family time through its social music entertainment features, including karaoke-style singalongs and music trivia games".

Yeah, hmm. Whatever. What do I know? I mean, the laws of probability surely dictate that if you launch enough digital music services eventually one of them will succeed. And maybe ROXI is that service. Let's have a singalong to celebrate.

And if you're still sitting there in a sceptical mood, please remember, we are doing this for the kids. Won't somebody think about the children? Says the founder of Electric Jukebox and its new ROXI product, Rob Lewis: "I spent decades advocating the wider user of the internet, but increasingly, I've realised that the overuse of tablets, mobiles and personal tech is damaging children's development. Children are spending twice as much time on their personal tech as they do talking to their families".

"We're sleep walking into a crisis where kids grow up addicted to personal tech", Lewis goes on, "which damages their ability to communicate in the real world and contributes to a rise in mental health issues. We can't just take the devices away. We need to recognise these problems and offer radical new alternatives. ROXI is one such alternative approach and one that can get families enjoying digital experiences in a more healthy, sociable framework".

So there you go. ROXI. The healthy, sociable streaming service. Sign me up!


Spotify removes music by "hate bands" from its platform
Spotify has removed music from a number of acts that were identified as racist "hate bands" by US civil rights advocacy group the Southern Poverty Law Center three years ago.

The streaming firm has acted in response to an article on Digital Music News, which identified the acts criticised by the Southern Poverty Law Center that were available via the digital service. The DMN article, of course, followed the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend during a white supremacist rally, which has put overtly racist political groups back into the media spotlight.

Spotify confirmed to Billboard that it had now removed the acts listed in the article, adding that it generally relies on its label and distributor partners to filter out music of this kind, but that "illegal content or material that favours hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us".

The streaming firm's spokesperson added: "Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention. We are glad to have been alerted to this content - and have already removed many of the bands identified today, whilst urgently reviewing the remainder".


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.

It's always the case that you’ll find interesting, mould-breaking and taboo tackling stuff here at the Edinburgh Fringe, and this show certainly falls into all those categories. 'Dr Carnesky's Incredible Bleeding Woman' offers an exploration of something that is rarely spoken of openly in society, let alone on stage or in the media. To find out more about the show and what to expect from it, I put some questions to the creative force behind the project, Marisa Carnesky.

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

Juggalos march on Washington to clash with pro-Trump rally
When Insane Clown Posse fans march on Washington next month as part of their long running campaign to have themselves removed from the FBI's list of active gangs, they will be sharing the city's National Mall with a pro-Donald Trump rally being supported by right wing political groups, which is due to take place the same day.

As previously reported, ICP fans, known as Juggalos, were added to a list of criminal gangs in the FBI's 2011 National Gang Threat document, and have remained there ever since. To date, attempts to have them removed, including via legal action, have been unsuccessful. To that end, the hip hop duo announced last year the plan to march on Washington on 16 Sep. The protest has its own website at

But MetalSucks noticed earlier this week that, on the same day, another protest is planned, albeit at the other end of the National Mall. Called the Mother Of All Rallies, the other event has been organised by right wing YouTuber Tommy Gunn and declares that protestors at the event will "demand protection for traditional American culture while they express their love for the United States and the America First agenda".

It's not clear if the "traditional American culture" that the Mother Of All Rallies seeks to defend includes the Insane Clown Posse. Probably not. Which means protestors on the National Mall that day will have to pick a gang to shout for. Not that ICP fans are a gang of course. We cannot stress that enough.


Zayn's second album will be more "organised"
Zayn Malik's second album is going to be more "organised". As all second albums should be I reckon.

Speaking about his work on the follow up to debut solo album 'Mind Of Mine', Malik told VMAN: "I feel like my songwriting definitely developed, just because I've been doing it so much. I feel like the songs are a bit more organised, whereas I felt like, before, that 'Mind Of Mine' was a brainstorm".

That, in case you wondered, was where the title of the first record came from. "That's why I called it 'Mind Of Mine'", Malik continued, "because it was ideas that I had, that I put out. This one is more thought out. I had more time to process everything and go through it all. It's an evolution".

We don't know yet when album number two will be unleashed, though the first track from it, 'Still Got Time', was posted online back in March.


New venue, new curator and Spotify sponsorship for Artist & Manager Awards
The Music Managers Forum and Featured Artists Coalition have announced that the next edition of their Artist & Manager Awards will take place in a new venue, Printworks London, and that the event has a curator this year, in the form of A&R and music marketing veteran, one time radio DJ and current artist manager Nick Stewart.

Spotify is sponsoring the event, which will take place on 14 Nov, shortly after the MMF celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Commenting on the awards and his involvement in them, Stewart said: "25 years is a proper anniversary for a proper organisation. Driven by young and dynamic talent across the whole musical spectrum, I am fully confident of an awards show which will show off the best of British management and musical talent".

Meanwhile MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick added: "2017 has already been an incredible year for music, and the Artist & Manager Awards allows us a unique opportunity to celebrate and recognise those individuals who are driving our business forwards. As a long-time Associate Member of the MMF, I am delighted that Spotify have come onboard as headline sponsor and also to be working with such a widely-respected figure as Nick Stewart. Add in a new venue, and the ingredients are there for our most successful awards yet".

Meanwhile FAC boss Lucie Caswell added: "The AMAs represent a special opportunity to shine a light on some of the best hearts and minds amongst artists and managers. We don't often get a chance to herald the work of our toughest audience and strongest allies - our peers - so the awards are a fantastic occasion to do so! This year we will be spoilt for choice in all categories, and given the leading role of artists and managers to drive forward innovation in music it feels extremely fitting to have the support of Spotify".


Bonnie Tyler to sing 'Total Eclipse' during a total eclipse
The USA is set to experience a total solar eclipse on Monday, the first time a total eclipse of the sun has occurred in the country since 1979. So that's exciting. Let's hope everyone uses the moments of darkness to have a very good think about things. We could do with that.

Though those who witness the event from the ocean on the Oasis Of The Seas cruise as it sales from Orlando to the Caribbean will be in for a special treat during the total darkness moment. Bonnie Tyler singing 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart'! Brilliant.

"It's going to be so exciting", says Tyler to Time of the special eclipse-show booking, "it doesn't happen very often, does it?" It's true. Bonnie Tyler singing 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' during a total eclipse of the sun does not happen very often.

Let's just hope the captain of the ship manages to park his boat in the right spot at the right moment, so that Tyler can perform her pop rock classic in the 'path of totality' as planned.


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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