TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has begun legal proceedings against always controversial secondary ticketing website Viagogo, accusing the ticket resale platform of making false or misleading representations, and of engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct, which is plenty to be getting on with... [READ MORE]
Copyright provides creators with control over that which they create, but what happens when the creators themselves don't own the copyright in their work? Artists and songwriters who are no longer in control of their copyrights do still have some rights, sometimes by contract, and via performer and moral rights. With the latter in the news this week, CMU Trends considers what the law says about the rights of artists and songwriters after their copyrights have been assigned. [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]
TOP STORIES Australian consumer rights commission takes Viagogo to court
LEGAL Lynyrd Skynyrd biopic blocked because of ex-drummer's involvement
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Merlin royalty distributions pass a billion dollars
Former Fueled By Ramen A&R becomes Fueled By Ramen A&R
LIVE BUSINESS Taylor Swift offering ticket priority to merch buyers
EDUCATION & EVENTS CMU Insights returns with masterclass on the streaming business
RELEASES The National squeeze 5000 photos into new video
AWARDS Kendrick Lamar dominates at the VMAs
AND FINALLY... 'X-Factor' contenders told to stop singing Ed Sheeran songs
9PR are looking for a Junior Account Manager to work across print and online. Suitable candidates must have a demonstrable understanding of PR and ideally some music industry experience. This is an excellent opportunity within one of the UK’s leading music PR companies.

For more information and to apply click here.
Kilimanjaro Live are looking for two experienced box office managers to work on a brand new family adventure in Manchester for a fixed term period, starting 25 Sep. There is the potential for the roles to be extended to include the London run following this period.

For more information and to apply click here.
SJM offer exclusive VIP ticket packages across many of our major tours for artists such as Take That, One Direction, Little Mix and Coldplay which over the last year has amounted to over 60,000 packages. We are seeking a dynamic, self-motivated individual to successfully manage and develop our VIP department.

For more information and to apply click here.
The Orchard needs a Senior Label Manager who will be the first point of contact for a number of labels, artists and managers. Working with internal and external teams, you will craft, create and coordinate effective and bespoke campaigns, over a number of different projects and across different musical genres.

For more information and to apply click here.
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.

For more information and to apply click here.
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.

For more information and to apply click here.
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.
RECRUIT YOUR TEAM RIGHT HERE: 020 7099 9060 or ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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.

Australian consumer rights commission takes Viagogo to court
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has begun legal proceedings against always controversial secondary ticketing website Viagogo, accusing the ticket resale platform of making false or misleading representations, and of engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct, which is plenty to be getting on with.

As previously reported, in various countries where it actively operates, the always secretive Viagogo has come under particularly heavy fire from those who oppose rampant online ticket touting. For example, in the UK - while the anti-tout brigade also has plenty of issues with eBay's StubHub and Live Nation's Seatwave and Get Me In! - in recent months more attention has been given to Viagogo.

Partly because it was the one ticket resale platform to refuse to justify its business model when asked to do so by the culture select committee in Parliament. Partly because it is the one ticket resale platform which consistently refuses to work with promoters who are pro-actively clamping down on touted tickets, including organisers of the Teenage Cancer Trust charity gigs. And partly because of the Victims Of Viagogo campaign on Facebook.

The latter accuses Viagogo of employing tactics to confuse and rip off consumers, and that's pretty much what the ACCC is claiming in its new legal filing with the Aussie Federal Court, which alleges that the secondary ticketing company breached Australian consumer rights law between 1 May and 26 Jun this year.

Among the specific complaints made by the ACCC are: that Viagogo failed to disclose upfront its significant booking fees, that are 27.6% for most events; that it misled consumers about ticket availability by making statements like "less than 1% of tickets remaining", without explaining that that only referred to Viagogo's own supply of tickets; and that it used the word 'official' in Google ads, implying it was an approved primary ticket seller.

The latter point has also been raised by anti-touting campaign group FanFair in the UK and by the Advertising Standards Authority in Ireland. FanFair recently showed just how often Viagogo uses Google ads to come top when fans search for information on shows. Consumers who don't know the difference between paid-for and organic search result listings may assume that the top ranking means Viagogo is the official seller of tickets, a confusion the site's use of the word 'official' exacerbates.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said yesterday: "We allege that Viagogo failed to disclose significant and unavoidable fees upfront in the ticket price, including a 27.6 per cent booking fee for most events and a handling fee. [And] Viagogo's statements such as 'less than 1% of tickets remaining' created a sense of urgency for people to buy them straight away, when tickets may have still been available through other ticket sources".

She added that her organisation also alleges that "by using the word 'official', Viagogo represented in [its] ads that consumers could buy official original tickets, when in fact Viagogo is a platform for tickets that are being on-sold by others". Revealing that the ACCC had received 473 customer contacts about Viagogo just this year, she concluded: "The ACCC expects all ticket reselling websites to be clear and upfront about the fees they charge, the type of tickets they sell and the nature of their business".

The UK's FanFair campaign welcomed the developments in Australia. Campaign Manager Adam Webb told CMU: "FanFair Alliance welcomes the ACCC's decision to take Viagogo to court. The only astonishing aspect here is such action has not occurred sooner and that Viagogo has been able to dominate the resale market for so long".

He went on: "The list of complaints made by the ACCC - sky high fees, failure to provide refunds, misleading users, the masquerading as an 'official site' on Google search - are all unerringly familiar and, for the sake of UK audiences, we hope this move emboldens our regulators to act accordingly. Not only towards Viagogo, but against all secondary ticketing platforms who follow their lead".

For its part, Viagogo - which now operates from a bunker in Switzerland and which sends out security when MPs come to its London HQ with some questions to ask - is yet to comment on the ACCC action. Though presumably it will at least send some lawyers to the Federal Court Of Australia when the case comes before judges there.


Lynyrd Skynyrd biopic blocked because of ex-drummer's involvement
A US judge has blocked the production of a Lynyrd Skynyrd biopic, though only because of the involvement of the band's former drummer Artimus Pyle.

When legal action was first launched to try and block production of the film - which was to be called 'Street Survivor: The True Story Of The Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash' - legal reps for co-producer Cleopatra Records argued that it had no plans to suggest that the band had authorised the project. And under its First Amendment free speech rights, it argued, it was allowed to make a film about the band and the 1977 plane crash in which two band members died.

The judge overseeing the case agreed that Cleopatra was free to make the film in its own right, but then stated that the involvement of Pyle in the movie venture breached an agreement - or 'consent order' - he had reached with his former bandmates back in 1988.

In that agreement, Pyle was given permission to tell his own life story, but on the condition he didn't use the band's name or exploit the rights of the two band members killed in the 1977 crash - Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines.

According to Rolling Stone, judge Robert Sweet wrote in his judgement yesterday: "None of the defendants received the requisite authorisation under the terms of the consent order in depiction of Van Zant or Gaines or in the use of the Lynyrd Skynyrd name, and therefore all have violated the consent order".

The judge went on: "Cleopatra is prohibited from making its movie about Lynyrd Skynyrd when its partner substantively contributes to the project in a way that, in the past, he willingly bargained away the very right to do just that; [but] in any other circumstance, Cleopatra would be as 'free as a bird' to make and distribute its work".

The legal action against the biopic was pursued by the estates of Van Zant and Gaines, as well as current Lynyrd Skynyrd members, Gary Rossington and Van Zant's brother Johnny.


Merlin royalty distributions pass a billion dollars
Indie-label repping digital rights agency Merlin this weekend confirmed it had now distributed over a billion dollars to the independent record labels and music distributors it represents in the digital market.

Merlin was launched in May 2008, mainly to secure the indie label sector more parity with the majors when it came to negotiating licensing deals with the digital platforms, which had always had a tendency to do their major label deals first, and then send indies a template arrangement that lacked many of the kickbacks offered to Sony, Universal and Warner.

As it bragged its billionth dollar in distributed digital income, Merlin noted that "since agreeing our first commercial partnership in September 2008 as a launch partner to Spotify, Merlin has now licensed more than 20 digital music services - including Deezer, Google Play, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, YouTube Red, Pandora, Vevo and KKBOX".

For labels represented by Merlin, income generated by the digital rights agency is becoming ever more significant - of course - as the streaming boom continues, and subscription streaming becomes the single biggest revenue stream for the recorded music market.

With the notable exception of Apple - which simply added streams to the existing iTunes deals that pre-date the organisation - Merlin agrees terms and processes royalties on behalf of its members with most of the market-leading streaming platforms worldwide.

Commenting on the billion dollar landmark, Merlin boss Charles Caldas said: "It makes me immensely proud to reach this landmark. Like all the best independent labels, Merlin is run with passion, as a lean and efficient operation - albeit with an extensive and profound global responsibility. Our unique structure has empowered Merlin's members to sit centre stage in the streaming market, while enabling digital music services to capitalise on the immense consumer demand for independent music".

Caldas added: "Even more inspiring is that this billion dollars in revenues comes only from the new-generation services that have launched since we did. In a market still in its early stages of evolution, the more significant growth is arguably yet to come".


Former Fueled By Ramen A&R becomes Fueled By Ramen A&R
Warner Music has hired Johnny Minardi to be Senior Director Of A&R at both Roadrunner Records and Fueled By Ramen in the US. Minardi worked for the latter label before in a marketing and A&R role.

Confirming the new hire, Mike Easterlin, who is President of both Warner imprints, proclaimed that: "I am very happy to have Johnny back in the FBR family and at the same time welcome him to the Roadrunner team".

Added Easterlin of his new hire: "He has great ears and outstanding A&R instincts, and was instrumental in putting FBR on the map with a string of fantastic signings. I know he will be hugely influential in the continued evolution of both labels. Welcome home, Johnny!"


Taylor Swift offering ticket priority to merch buyers
Response to Taylor Swift's new single 'Look What You Made Me Do' was somewhat mixed this weekend, while the pop star has also received plenty of criticism - from the media at least - for a new US-based direct-to-fan programme that promises priority access to concert tickets to fans who either engage more with the musician online, or who spend lots of lovely money on her records and merch.

The official pitch for the Ticketmaster-powered Verified Fan programme is that it's a move to stop tickets for Swift's next tour getting into the hands of touts - or 'scalpers' to use the American term - including, presumably, those touts who use Ticketmaster's secondary ticketing sites to flog on their tix.

Says the promo for the Verified Fan campaign: "Taylor Swift is committed to getting tickets into the hands of fans...NOT scalpers or bots. So she's collaborating with Ticketmaster #VerifiedFan to create an exclusive programme to help YOU get the best access to tickets in North America, in a really fun way. Once you register, improve your place in line by participating in boost activities until initial registration closes on Nov 28".

Different "boost activities" provide Swift fans with different levels of priority, with those that involve spending money providing the most priority points. Which means that those fans with more money to spend on merch and such like will be given the most priority - which kind of goes against a common justification for targeting the touts, ie that the big mark-ups on the secondary market price out real fans who are of limited means.

But, then again, it's all about the bundle in the direct-to-fan space, so there is a logic to the whole hurrah, despite the media backlash. For Team Swift, more attention will be given to how the fans respond. Either way, if the star can sell more records by linking them to tickets, well, that'll be good news for Right Said Fred who - you may have seen - have been given writer credits on 'Look What You Made Me Do', because it borrows a rhythmic pattern from their 1991 hit 'I'm Too Sexy'. And why not, say I.


CMU Insights returns with masterclass on the streaming business
CMU Insights is set to provide a concise but comprehensive overview of the streaming business next month at the first event in its autumn programme of seminars and masterclasses, hosted at the London HQ of Lewis Silkin.

The masterclass 'Digital Deals, Dollars And Trends - Explained!' will provide an overview of the digital music market in 2017, in the UK and around the world, before explaining how streaming services like Spotify are licensed, and how royalties flow through the system.

Says CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke, who leads the masterclass: "Every week we are presented with new stats - from labels, trade bodies and digital firms - further confirming that streaming is becoming the dominant revenue stream for recorded music. Which makes it more important than ever for people to understand how the streaming business works".

He goes on: "Digital licensing is complex, though makes sense if you walk through some copyright law, contractual conventions and deal terms first, which is what we do in this masterclass. The streaming business model is not without its controversies, and may as yet need to evolve, though you need to understand how it is working today to be part of the debate around that evolution - let alone to understand your royalties day-to-day".

The masterclass takes place on Monday 18 Sep at 2pm - tickets are £99 including VAT and booking fees and can be bought here.


The National squeeze 5000 photos into new video
The National have posted a new video for 'Day I Die', the latest track from new album 'Sleep Well Beast'. The video features over 5000 photos taking by photographer Graham MacIndoe during band rehearsals in Paris, which have been mashed together into a video by director Casey Reas, who created a bespoke bit of software to make the promo.

Says Reas: "Graham captured eighteen time-lapse photo series during rehearsals at Le Centquatre in June 2017 in Paris. Hours of rehearsal are compressed into a few minutes. Over five thousand of these photographs were brought together to make the final video".

He goes on: "I wrote custom software to collage multiple photographs together and to compile them into videos. A flickering colour layer abstracted from broadcast television signals augments the black and white footage. The images here are played back at 12fps, near the threshold of the persistence of vision".

So, that's the science, here is the video. The new album is out on 8 Sep.


Kendrick Lamar dominates at the VMAs
It was the VMAs on Sunday night, the big annual awards bash from MTV Stateside. For younger readers, MTV was an olden days thing that was a bit like YouTube, but shitter.

So here we go everybody, the list of VMA winners courtesy of the shit version of YouTube! As you'll quickly notice, it was Kendrick Lamar's night overall, which is very good news indeed, because he loves shit versions of YouTube. Enjoy the list everybody!

Video Of The Year: Kendrick Lamar - Humble
Song Of The Summer: Lil Uzi Vert - XO Tour L1if3
Best Hip Hop: Kendrick Lamar - Humble
Best Dance: Zedd and Alessia Cara - Stay
Best Pop: Fifth Harmony feat. Gucci Mayne - Down
Best Collaboration: Zayn and Taylor Swift - I Don't Wanna Live Forever

Best Direction: Dave Meyers Snd The Little Homies (for Kendrick Lamar - Humble)
Best Cinematography: Kendrick Lamar - Humble
Best Art Direction: Kendrick Lamar - Humble
Best Choreography: Kanye West - Fade
Best Visual Effects: Katy Perry feat Skip Marley - Chained to the Rhythm
Best Editing: Young Thug - Wyclef Jean

Artist Of The Year: Ed Sheeran
Best New Artist: Khalid
Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award - Pink

Best Fight Against the System (everyone's a winner in this category): The Hamilton Mixtape - Immigrants (We Get the Job Done), Alessia Cara - Scars to Your Beautiful, John Legend - Surefire, Logic feat Damian Lemar Hudson - Black Spiderman, Big Sean - Light, Taboo feat. Shailene Woodley - Stand up/ Stand N Rock #NoDapl


'X-Factor' contenders told to stop singing Ed Sheeran songs
'X-Factor UK' returns for its 409th season this coming weekend (or at least it seems that way sometimes). In terms of host and judges, it's exactly the same line up as last time, with Dermot O'Leary, Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger all amazingly still alive.

And what's more, all five are ready and raring to make yet more dreams come true for every single wannabe singer who's looking for five minutes of fame and then a lifetime of obscurity. But what tips does host O'Leary have for this year's long line of wannabes?

Well, mainly, don't try and be Ed Sheeran. Don't rock up and sing a song by Ed Sheeran. In an Ed Sheeran stylee. Why? Because the world doesn't need a new Ed Sheeran. The world already has an Ed Sheeran. And some people would argue that's already one too many.

"I think the most important thing is for people to be original", O'Leary told reporters when asked for his top tips for contenders. "Every year we have people trying to be Adele, Sam Smith or, this year, Ed Sheeran - we do not need another one of those artists, we have them already. It's incredible how many kids turn up with a guitar and do an Ed song".

The 'X' host goes on: "I always wonder why you would bother doing that because you're only ever going to get compared to him. But yeah, a few people have come along who I have thought I can envisage me playing their songs on Radio 2".

Also presumably bored of lacklustre Sheeran covers, 'X-Factor' producers are apparently encouraging contestants to sing more original songs on this series of the ITV talent show.

"I think that's a terrific idea", mused O'Leary. "I think that comes from a girl on 'America's Got Talent' who sang original songs all the way through the competition and won. It just goes to show that it can happen. So I'm all for it, I think it's a really good idea".

'X-Factor' wannabes who had been planning on singing a Sheeran song, but who are now persuaded to pen something original, could just follow the lead of their hero and rip off any old Matt Cardle track they can get their hands on. Only joking! No, if you're songwriting Sheeran-style, you need to rip off a Marvin Gaye track. Only joking! I meant TLC.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
CMU supports the music community by providing news, business intelligence, training and education.

CMU Daily covers all the latest news and developments direct by email.

CMU Podcast is a weekly dissection of the biggest music business stories.

CMU Premium gives you access to the weekly CMU Digest and CMU Trends.

CMU Insights provides training and consultancy for music companies.

CMU:DIY provides workshops and resources for future music talent.

© UnLimited Media, a division of 3CM Enterprises Ltd

UnLimited Media, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

Send press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

Email advertising queries to ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

Email training and consultancy queries to insights@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

publishing@unlimitedmedia.co.uk | complaints@unlimitedmedia.co.uk