TODAY'S TOP STORY: With Max Lousada now in charge of Warner Music's global recordings business, here come some executive rejigs Stateside. The American wing of the Warner Bros label is getting a new boss. Actually, it is getting two new bosses. Double the fun... [READ MORE]
There has been lots of debate around the music rights data problem in recent years, and a number of initiatives are underway to tackle the issue. Though Spotify's mechanical royalties dispute and the lack of songwriter credits on the streaming platforms shows the problem persists. As Music 4.5 puts the spotlight back on all things data, CMU Trends reviews discussions to date, challenges to be met, and where progress is being made. [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. 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]
TOP STORIES Warner Bros announces Cameron Strang replacements
LEGAL Fyre Festival's Billy McFarland pleads not guilty to fraud
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Lucy Tallant launches XVII Music
Umbrella Artist Productions partners with FKP Scorpio
MEDIA BBC One to host one-off Sam Smith special
EDUCATION & EVENTS The Netherlands to be The Great Escape 2018's featured country
ARTIST NEWS Rosanne Cash accuses the NRA of "funding domestic terrorism"
RELEASES The Breeders release new single
ONE LINERS The Kooks, St Vincent, Runrig, more
AND FINALLY... Three more years: Grimmy wants to take Chris Moyles' breakfast show crown
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Warner Bros announces Cameron Strang replacements
With Max Lousada now in charge of Warner Music's global recordings business, here come some executive rejigs Stateside. The American wing of the Warner Bros label is getting a new boss. Actually, it is getting two new bosses. Double the fun.

The mini-major yesterday announced Aaron Bay-Schuck and Tom Corson as the new co-Chairs of Warner Bros US, with the former also being CEO and the latter having the second job title of COO. Both report in to Lousada, and take over from current Warner Bros Chair/CEO Cameron Strang, who will step down at the end of the year.

Bay-Schuck will join from Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M, where he is currently President of A&R. Corson joins from Sony's RCA Music Group, where he has been President and COO since 2011. That's some excellent poaching from rivals there, top marks. Although in the case of Bay-Schuck, it's poaching back, he having spent a decade at Warner's Atlantic label before jumping ship to Universal.

Announcing the new hires, Lousada says: "At WMG, we're building a creative and entrepreneurial environment where artists can change culture and make music that matters. Tom and Aaron don't just share our ambition; they both have it in their DNA. That's why they'll be such an inspiring duo at WBR, which is always strongest when it's at its most daring and unexpected".

How the hell did WBR's ambition get into their DNA? Did they have to have an operation? Seems like a bit of a drastic step in order to get a new job.

Anyway, Lousada goes on: "At the cutting edge of a new generation of leaders, Aaron has impeccable taste and a rare ability to help distinctive artists grow into global superstars. Equally, Tom has a super-driven, imaginative approach to championing talent and mentoring executives, as well as a wealth of experience at both major and indie labels. They're a dynamic combination that will bring in a fresh, new era at one of the greatest record labels of all time".

So that's a lot of nice things said about the new guys. What about the departing Cameron Strang? Well, Lousada had this to say: "Cameron has guided WBR through a period of unprecedented change and has added to the label's remarkable musical legacy. He will leave with our gratitude and utmost respect".

Not quite so glowing, but fine. Do those new guys have thoughts too? You bet they do.

Look, here are some words that Aaron Bay-Shuck said: "I must first and foremost say thank you to the artists who have trusted me, to the songwriters and producers who have delivered time and time again, to the publishers who have sent me their best songs, and to the managers and lawyers who have made me your first call. You all are the reason I am in this position".

He forgot to thank his mum and God there. Let's see if there are any more thank yous in the rest of his statement: "I am unbelievably excited to lead Warner Bros Records, in partnership with the one and only Tom Corson, into its rightful place as the most vibrant, diverse, forward-thinking, and artist-friendly music company on the planet. Lastly, I'd like to thank Max for his vision, trust, and for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity".

I don't think Max Lousada is his mum or God, but the full investigation on that isn't quite finished.

Meanwhile, Tom Corson chips in: "I've long been in awe of the extraordinary lineage of artists and executives that are part of the Warner Bros story, and I'm excited to join this legendary label at a time when our business is more dynamic than ever, creatively and commercially. Aaron is a world-class talent, and our partnership will be based on a joint commitment to build lasting careers for extraordinary artists that shape the popular zeitgeist. I'm looking forward to heading back to the West Coast and working with Max and Aaron to bring WBR, its artists and its team to new heights. Max has an inspirational vision and I want to thank him for opening the door to this new journey".

Right, so everyone's really bloody happy about everything, so that's good. Not one of them said they were THRILLED though, which is weirdly something of a disappointment.

That's not all the rejigging to be done though, so there's still time for something THRILLing to occur. With Strang stepping down, that also leaves a space open on the Warner Music Group board of directors. Who will get the spot? It'll be a tough competition. Well, actually, less so, because positions on the top table have been increased from eleven to thirteen.

One of those positions has actually already been filled, in fact. Economist Noreena Hertz rejoined the board last month. Who else then? Well, let's get Max Lousada in there, eh. And if he's going to be on the board, why not Warner/Chappell CEO Jon Platt? In fact, why wasn't he there already? Seems like a bit of an oversight.

The owner of Warner Music, that'll be Len Blavatnik, says of the new board appointments: "As the creative leaders of WMG's two major divisions, Max and Jon are excellent additions to our board. I am also pleased to welcome Noreena back onto the Board, joining an impressive group of experts across business, technology, entertainment and media. I, along with Steve and the other directors, would like to thank Cameron Strang for his service on the Board; we are deeply appreciative of his many contributions".

That Steve mentioned there is WMG CEO Steve Cooper, who also adds: "I am very pleased to welcome these three leaders to our Board of Directors. With Max now bringing his entrepreneurial vision to our entire Recorded Music operation, and Jon leading Warner/Chappell to new heights around the world, they will bring invaluable insight to our board. I'm also delighted that we'll once again draw on Noreena's unique global perspective and experience, which were so welcome during her previous tenure".

So, no one was THRILLED in the end, but everyone was very chirpy. Who knew being an executive at a major label could be so much fun?


Fyre Festival's Billy McFarland pleads not guilty to fraud
Billy McFarland has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges, in relation to the funding of the ill-fated Fyre Festival he co-founded, reports Variety.

Fyre Festival, of course, was the music event due to take place on an island in the Bahamas in April and May this year. Marketed as a super luxurious experience, the festival collapsed just as people were arriving, as it became clear management hadn't put in place the infrastructure for even a basic event, let alone the luxury set-up that had been promised.

The festival was co-founded by Ja Rule and Billy McFarland, who were also collaborating on a talent-booking app under the Fyre brand, which the abandoned island adventure was designed to promote. Since the event's collapse, the Fyre companies and their founders have been on the receiving end of a stack of lawsuits from disgruntled ticket-buyers, suppliers and investors, in addition to McFarland's criminal charges of fraud.

In that domain, McFarland is accused of two counts of wire fraud - for attempting to defraud both investors and vendors. There are also two additional charges of making false statements to a bank.

At a slightly delayed hearing yesterday, McFarland entered his not guilty plea. He also waived indictment, which means he will not have to stand before a jury. It also indicates that the two sides continue to seek a plea deal, which may mean the case never actually reaches trial.

Currently, the next pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 13 Dec, with the trial set to begin in early 2018.


Lucy Tallant launches XVII Music
Former artist manager at First Access Entertainment, Lucy Tallant, has launched a new company called XVII Music which will do management and also be a label, with the focus on artist development.

"I wanted the new business to operate differently", says Tallant. "There is a lack of people investing in and nurturing fledgling talent and the industry is buying into things much later".

She goes on: "With this company we can be more agile, take more risks and really help grow independent artists. It just seems like the right time to have an indie label and I'm working with investors who love music but importantly have the resource and finance to do this thing properly".

The company launches with development deals for Fine Creatures, Goldsmoke, Kyra, Mantras and Just Kiddin.

J-pop group Faky are also signed to a record deal with the company. Signed to major label Avex in Japan, Faky recently released the video for their new single 'Suga Sweet'.


Umbrella Artist Productions partners with FKP Scorpio
Promoter FKP Scorpio will provide live support to Umbrella Artist Productions, a new collective of artist management companies formally launched at last month's Reeperbahn festival.

Founded by Odyssey Music Management and Celsius Management in Germany, and the UK-based Jaba Music Management, UAP already has a label services partnership with Warner's ADA and publishing agreement with Kobalt. The group aims to launch new acts in the UK and Germany.

"UAP will provide an excellent platform to launch talented young artists", says FKP Scorpio COO Freddie de Wall.

"With the expertise of well-respected managers in various countries, combined with our know-how at FKP Scorpio as a pan-European promoter, we have the opportunity to develop the careers of promising artists from scratch. We are very excited about this unique set-up and are looking forward to working with our network of managers and their artists".


BBC One to host one-off Sam Smith special
BBC One will host an hour-long show dedicated to that Sam Smith later this year. 'Sam Smith At The BBC' will see the musician perform songs from his new album with his band and the BBC Concert Orchestra, as well as chatting about stuff with Fearne Cotton.

"I'm so honoured and thankful to the BBC for giving me this opportunity to showcase some of my new music from my album in this amazing, intimate setting", says Smith. "I can't wait to sing some old songs and have a big old sing along with everyone".

BBC Music Director Bob Shennan adds: "Placing music centre stage on television remains one of BBC Music's aims as supporting a range of burgeoning and established acts, and I'm very happy that we're able to bring Sam to BBC One for what promises to be a very special show".

The recording of the show will take place at Elstree Studios on 17 Oct. You can apply for tickets here. Let's just hope Smith doesn't start banging on about UKIP.


The Netherlands to be The Great Escape 2018's featured country
The Great Escape has announced The Netherlands as its featured country for 2018.

Working in partnership with Dutch Music Export, TGE will highlight rising music stars from the country. The first acts to be put in the spotlight are Naaz and Pitou, who will both play TGE's 'First Fifty' shows in London, as well as performing at the festival itself.

"With Holland being the lead country at The Great Escape 2018, it's very exciting to have this opportunity which enables me to represent my home at this wonderful event by simply playing my music", says Pitou.

Dutch Music Export's Rudd Berends adds: "Dutch Music Export is proud to be the focus country at TGE 2018. Our country has supported and attended TGE from year one with both the Dutch Impact Party and through various promotional support for our artists and industry. The UK is one of the most important countries for us to present the best the Lowlands has to offer and The Great Escape provides the best platform to showcase, support and promote Dutch musical talent to not only the UK but international music industries and audiences".

Meanwhile, CEO of TGE owner MAMA, Rory Bett says: "We are THRILLED to shine a spotlight on one of our strongest most longstanding partners, The Netherlands. Since the birth of TGE in 2006 the DME has worked alongside us to bring the best Dutch artists to the festival, our convention and line-up has grown from strength to strength with their support and incredible music scene. 2018 is the perfect time to put the very best The Netherlands has to offer at the forefront of our festival!"

Check out the full line-up for TGE's 'First Fifty' shows in November here.


Approved: Aris Kindt
A collaboration between producer Francis Harris and guitarist Gabe Hedrick, Aris Kindt released their debut album, 'Floods', in 2015. The follow-up, 'Swann And Odette', also acts as the first release on Harris's new label Kingdoms - with the project shifting over from his more club-focused Scissor & Thread label.

Proffering a sound they describe as 'ambient shoegaze', the new record sees them further pull together genres from dub to noise, creating multi-layered, hypnotic music that draws you in like quicksand.

The album is due for released on 20 Oct. From it, this is 'Several Wolves'.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Rosanne Cash accuses the NRA of "funding domestic terrorism"
Rosanne Cash has written an opinion piece for the New York Times in the wake of the attack on the Route 91 Harvest festival. Calling on other country artists to support new gun control laws, she accuses the national Rifle Association of "funding domestic terrorism".

She begins the piece by speaking about the irony of the death threats she receives whenever she speaks out against gun violence - not wanting people to die in mass shootings generally being equated to taking away one of the fundamental rights of US citizens by an portion of the American population.

"For the past few decades, the National Rifle Association has increasingly nurtured an alliance with country music artists and their fans", she writes. "You can see it in 'NRA Country', which promotes the artists who support the philosophical, and perhaps economic, thrall of the NRA, with the pernicious tag line 'Celebrate the Lifestyle'".

"That wholesome public relations veneer masks something deeply sinister and profoundly destructive", she adds. "There is no other way to say this: The NRA funds domestic terrorism".

Referencing a vote in the House Of Representatives to loosen restrictions on gun silencers and armour-piercing bullets (which has been postponed in the wake of the Las Vegas attack), she says that the NRA spent millions of dollars attempting to influence the outcome of that ballot.

"If the proposed law had passed before the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, and the rifles in the assailant's hotel room had been fitted with silencers, one could safely assume that the death toll would be much, much higher", she writes. "Those who ran from the concert and survived did so because they heard the gunfire. None of that matters to the NRA".

The NRA has been conspicuously silent since the attack on Sunday - its social media accounts falling completely quiet. Meanwhile, the campaign for greater gun control in the US has understandably ramped up. You can read Cash's full article here.

In somewhat related news, country star Jason Aldean has announced that he is cancelling his scheduled shows this week. Aldean was performing as the final night headliner at Route 91 Harvest when the gunman opened fire, killing almost 60 people and injuring more than 500.

"It is the right thing to do", he says in a statement. "It has been an emotional time for everyone involved this week, so we plan to take some time to mourn the ones we have lost".

The tour is scheduled to restart in Tulsa, Oklahoma on 12 Oct.


The Breeders release new single
The Breeders have released new single 'Wait In The Car' ahead of upcoming UK and US tour dates. The song is the first new material from the current line-up since they released their classic 1993 album, 'Last Splash'.

The visuals to accompany the song are designed by Chris Brigg and Martin Andersen, who say: "It all started with a brick. We both liked the idea of using something iconic yet quite banal. An old brick has a story and it's a beautiful raw object. We started collecting more and more (some intact, some broken) and realised how different they all appear, each one having its own identity".

Not sure if 'iconic yet banal' is supposed to represent the band, but here's the video and the song.

The upcoming UK and Ireland shows are as follows:

15 Oct: Glasgow, ABC
16 Oct: Dublin, Vicar Street
17 Oct: Manchester, Academy 2
18 Oct: London, Electric Ballroom


The Kooks, St Vincent, Runrig, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• The Kooks have signed a new record deal with Kobalt to release their fifth(!) album. "The Kooks", says Kobalt's Paul Hitchman. "The Kooks", agrees the band's manager Robert Swerdlow, before adding: "The Kooks".

• St Vincent has released the video for 'Los Ageless'. Her new album, 'Masseduction', is out next week.

• Soulwax have released the video for 'Is It Always Binary', taken from their latest album 'From Deewee'.

• Kele Okereke has released the video for new single, 'Streets Been Talkin'. His new album, 'Fatherland', is out this week.

• Sharon Van Etten has announced a re-issue of her debut album, 'Because I Was In Love', out on 17 Nov. Here's the remixed and remastered opening track, 'I Wish I Knew'.

• Sampa The Great has signed to Big Dada and announced the release of new single, 'Rhymes To The East'. "It was a stand out track to me and one of the strongest lyrics I have captured to date", she says of the track. "As soon as I heard this beat, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. I was immediately transported to the East".

• Bonjay have released new track, 'Ingénue', the first single from their forthcoming debut album.

• Runrig have announced a second farewell show on 17 Aug next year, ahead of the previously announced 18 Aug show. Both performances will take place at Stirling's City Park.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


Three more years: Grimmy wants to take Chris Moyles' breakfast show crown
Officially Radio 1's least favourite Breakfast Show host in history (if you go purely by RAJAR's listening figures), Nick Grimshaw is hoping to beat his predecessor Chris Moyles' record for being the longest serving host of the show.

"I'm not usually competitive but I know if I do three more years, I will have done it for longer than Chris. And I thought, 'That sounds very good'", Grimmy told The Sun. "The last five years have gone by so quickly, it feels crazy. I was weirdly specific about wanting to do the Breakfast Show, as I thought it was the most fun and free. I wasn't wrong".

Moyles presented Radio 1's flagship show for eight years before handing it over to Grimmy in 2012. Ratings for the show then immediately dropped - though only by 40,000 listeners, which wasn't too bad, given that Moyles had gone out on a five year low. Five years later, Grimshaw's ratings are down over a million - though they did rise a bit when the RAJAR people last made up the official numbers.

Grimmy though? Not bothered. While he admits that he does look at the RAJAR figures when they come out, he doesn't think they're particularly significant now. He is, you see, toeing the new line that FM radio is just a starting point for making all sorts of super content for young people to listen to.

"It is quite an archaic way to measure something", he says of the RAJARs. "I pay attention to them a bit, I guess. Even the concept of a kid having a radio is mad! We make 'content' rather than have a traditional radio show".

New research does indeed suggest that young people are not listening to traditional radio very much at all. That's kind of fine while older demographics are still switching on, and young people are being engaged by broadcasters through other means. Although it may become more problematic if radio listeners all die off and no one's actually turning on to find out where all that bitesize content actually comes from.

The good news for Grimmy is that all of that will probably take more than three years to become a reality.


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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