TODAY'S TOP STORY: Apple has confirmed that it is buying Shazam, following all those reports last week - starting in TechCrunch - that a deal was very close to completion... [READ MORE]
As the UK's Music Managers Forum publishes two new guides as part of phase three of its 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' programme, CMU Trends summarises what we've learned from the project so far in 30 points - ten from part one, ten from part two, and ten from the new guides. Along the way we cover digital licensing, all the key issues with the current streaming business model, and what you need to know about label deals and transparency in the streaming age. [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]
TOP STORIES Apple confirms Shazam acquisition
LEGAL Court approves Prince estate's documentary deal
DEALS Private equity firm buys venue operator SMG
LIVE BUSINESS StubHub is a benign platform with no control over its sellers, says StubHub
Youth Music announces Give A Gig Week 2018
Label Worx and York Artist Management launch Spektrum Talent
ARTIST NEWS Chris Rea cancels tour finale following on stage collapse
Morrissey denies defending Kevin Spacey (again)
ONE LINERS Skepta, Moby, Kasabian, more
AND FINALLY... Liam Payne claims title of least sweary former One Direction member
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Our growing Client Relations team in London is looking for a confident and detail oriented self-starter to support with crucial day-to-day tasks such as transitioning new clients into the Kobalt system and carrying out internal reviews and quality checks.

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Join the UK's top streaming promotions company and play a key role in helping some of the world's most exciting new artists get heard.

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Apple confirms Shazam acquisition
Apple has confirmed that it is buying Shazam, following all those reports last week - starting in TechCrunch - that a deal was very close to completion.

Why Shazam and why now you might wonder? Well, Tim Cook's being trying to work out what that song is that goes "dilla, dilla, dilla, dilla, dilla, do, do, do, do, cha, cha, cha, cha".

I think Jimmy Iovine probably suggested he get Shazam to work it out. Jimmy meant Tim should install the Shazam app on his iPhone, but things got a bit confused and the Apple boss ended up shelling out $400 million to buy the entire company.

But hey, at least he now knows it's Vampire Weekend's 'A-Punk'. It probably got stuck in his head when it was included on the 'intra-session' playlist at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in 2015.

It having now accidentally bought the iconic audio recognition technology firm, Apple's official spokesperson did their best to be "THRILLED" about it all yesterday. "We are THRILLED that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple", they insisted.

"Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit", they added, "sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today's agreement".

Regulator approval that is. Apple doesn't care whether you approve or not. "We are excited to announce that Shazam has entered into an agreement to become part of Apple", Shazam announced - excitedly - yesterday, very pleased indeed to have correctly identified 'A-Punk'.

"Shazam is one of the highest rated apps in the world and loved by hundreds of millions of users", they bragged on. "We can't imagine a better home for Shazam to enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users".

The reported $400 million price tag on the Shazam acquisition is significant, though a long way off the $1 billion valuation that the audio ID company had during its last funding round.

Shazam almost certainly has the highest brand awareness in the audio recognition space, among consumers at least. It nevertheless struggled to drive significant revenues around its userbase, making an acquisition by a tech giant like Apple possibly inevitable.

It remains to be seen what Apple does with the Shazam tech, app and brand. The tech firm's Siri voice-activated assistant is already integrated with Shazam's technology, but there are a number of ways that the audio ID system could further enhance Apple's products.

In terms of the Shazam app, that currently does a pretty good job of sending Vampire Weekend fans like Tim off to Apple Music's rivals in the streaming music market, something that will presumably end after this acquisition.

Indeed, some wonder whether the standalone Shazam app now has a long-term future at all. So if you're an Android fan who also has "dilla, dilla, dilla, dilla, dilla, do, do, do, do, cha, cha, cha, cha" stuck in your head, Shazam it now while you still can. Except don't. It's 'A-Punk' by Vampire Weekend. I already told you that.


Court approves Prince estate's documentary deal
The court overseeing the Prince estate last week gave the green light to a major documentary project that should net the musician's heirs an eight-figure sum, according to Billboard.

Nevertheless, not all of Prince's heirs backed the film venture. As much previously reported, there have been rising tensions between the various beneficiaries of the Prince estate, some of whom are still advised by lawyer L Londell McMillan, who was originally a key advisor to the estate at large, but was prevented from performing that role on a permanent basis by those heirs he does not work for directly.

Former artist manager and current Spotify exec Troy Carter is now the estate's main music industry advisor and he was a supporter of the documentary project. The deal with the makers of that film needed court approval, which was granted last week.

The judge said that the court would "be remiss in its fiduciary responsibility if it did not approve the transaction as presented", while adding that Carter should have a degree of control over the film project so to protect the estate's interests.


Private equity firm buys venue operator SMG
Toronto-based private equity outfit Onex has acquired US-based venue operator SMG, which was recently put up for sale by its current owners, another investment fund called Northlane Capital Partners.

Live giant Live Nation had been linked to a possible SMG bid. With SMG owning and/or managing a significant network of venues around the world - including arenas in Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Belfast - that deal would have provided a big boost to the venues side of Live Nation's business.

Venue management is the one area where AEG is bigger than Live Nation, with the latter a more dominant player in concert promotion, artist management and ticketing. Had it also got hold of SMG's venue portfolio, that would have almost certainly led to much chatter about Live Nation becoming too damn dominant. Which would have been fun. One investment fund buying SMG off another investment fund? No fun at all.

So here's a no fun quote from SMG CEO Wes Westley: "Onex values the deep relationships our general managers have cultivated within the municipalities we serve, and its ownership mentality and long-term focus make it an ideal partner for us. On behalf of the SMG management team, I look forward to working with Onex as we enter this next chapter of continued growth and success".

Maintaining the no fun theme, Onex MD Amir Motamedi added: "SMG is the global gold standard in venue management. We're excited to work with Wes, his management team and the general managers within each of SMG's venues to continue to provide the same world-class service their clients have come to expect".


StubHub is a benign platform with no control over its sellers, says StubHub
Continuing its bid to be the friendly face of secondary ticketing, eBay's StubHub has given an interview to BBC Newsbeat. In it, UK Country Manager Wayne Grierson claims that just 2% of sellers on its platform are professional touts, and that it is a benign platform that makes no judgement of any kind on what people should charge for touted tickets.

"We are a marketplace and we enable sellers to sell", says Grierson. "98% of our sellers are consumer sellers, that means they are people who can't go to the event. A lot of other people in this sector aren't as visible as us. We want to be transparent, present and part of this sector".

See? Friendly face. Although Grierson's answers do come across as being increasingly tetchy as the interview goes on.

If almost everyone who advertises a ticket for sale on StubHub is just a person who found themselves unable to attend a show at the last minute, "why are the prices so high?", Newsbeat wonders.

It's because bands don't play enough shows, that's why. Or big enough venues. "There aren't enough tickets in the first place", says Grierson. "There's a supply and demand issue which means prices will go up".

However, he notes, despite this, most tickets on StubHub don't actually go for high prices, which sort of contradicts his previous point. He says: "It's true that the price doesn't always stay that high and [it] doesn't mean that ticket will actually sell [at that price]. 50% of tickets on our site go for below the face value price".

He then says that there should be greater transparency and accountability in the secondary ticketing sector, adding that there is a "common ground amongst everyone" on this. I'm not sure everyone would agree with him on that. However, his comments seem to some extent to be preparing for the Competitions And Markets Authority's pending crack down on UK secondary sites not adhering to rules laid out in the 2015 Consumer Rights Act.

For all this talk of accountability, transparency and simply being a place for people to sell on tickets when they find themselves double-booked, Grierson basically dodges the big question about secondary ticketing.

Asked to justify how tickets end up on secondary sites at inflated prices almost immediately after going on sale on primary sites, he says: "I can see it's frustrating but we don't control the supply in terms of where the tickets come from. We're a marketplace for that transaction to take place".

"If an authority presents us with the information that there is evidence that illegal activity is going on, we will of course investigate", he adds. "To date, we haven't been presented with any evidence".

Read the full interview here.


Youth Music announces Give A Gig Week 2018
Music charity Youth Music has announced the return of its Give A Gig Week fundraising drive for a second outing in 2018.

As with the inaugural event this year, the charity is asking artists, managers, promoters and other music companies to put on a gig to raise money for the charity. The aim is to have at least 100 live shows taking place around the country in support of Youth Music during the fundraising week. Last year, there was a total of 119 shows.

Youth Music Trustee and Head of Music at Radio 1 and 1Xtra, Chris Price, explains: "I've seen for myself how the lives of young people attending Youth Music projects have been transformed once they've had the opportunity to make music. The chance to discover and build on their musical and other talents is invaluable but, sadly, we know there are still many other young people who really need this help".

Already signed up to lend support in 2018 are Tileyard Music, Notting Hill Music, Communion Music, Coda, ATC Management, 7digital, Rockfeedback, Key Production, the Featured Artists Coalition and the Music Managers Forum. Youth Music has also been announced as the official charity partner of the upcoming NME Awards.

Give A Gig Week 2018 will take place from 16-25 Mar. Anyone interested in taking part can find more info here.


Label Worx and York Artist Management launch Spektrum Talent
Matt Abbott of distribution and label services company Label Worx and Phil York of York Artist Management have launched a new electronic music-focussed booking and management agency, Spektrum Talent.

"We believe the key to being a more successful artist lies in synchronicity", say Abbott and York in synchronicity. "Traditionally, booking agents look after bookings; managers look after your busy schedule and releases; PR teams look after your brand and social media; and a distributor makes sure your music is in the right place".

"This usually means nothing is fully working in sync", they continue, in sync. "By bringing everything in-house at Spektrum we can ensure that everything lines up perfectly, giving our artists peace of mind and allowing them to completely focus on creating and performing".

Already signed up at launch are DJ SKT, Gaist, GAWP, Jerome Isma-ae, Mindek, Rene Amesz and Son Of 8.


Approved: Anna Burch
Vocalist in Frontier Ruckus and Failed Flowers, Anna Burch made her first steps toward a solo career this summer via the release of an extremely limited edition cassette EP. Promptly signed to Polyvinyl in the US and Heavenly in Europe, she is now set to release her debut album, 'Quit The Curse', on 2 Feb.

Burch has released three single releases from the album to date, 'Asking 4 A Friend', '2 Cool 2 Care' and 'Tea-Soaked Letter'. Each show an artist less worried about piling on the bells and whistles, and more focused on just allowing the songs to shine through. And it's a good strategy, because every one of those songs instantly feels like an old friend.

"Writing songs that I actually liked for the first time gave me a feeling of accomplishment", says Burch of her solo work. "Like, I can do this too! But working with other musicians and hearing the songs go from sad singer-songwriter tunes to arranged pop songs gave me this giddy confidence that I'd never felt before".

Watch the video for 'Tea-Soaked Letter' here.

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

Chris Rea cancels tour finale following on stage collapse
Chris Rea has cancelled the remaining dates on his UK tour after collapsing on stage in Oxford last weekend.

According to reports, Rea collapsed around 45 minutes into his show at the New Theatre in Oxford on Saturday. Rea, who had a stroke last year, was said to have clasped the microphone mid-song and fallen to the floor. The stage curtains were closed and the audience told that the show was cancelled. The musician was later said to be in a stable condition after being treated by paramedics on the scene.

The two final shows on the 37 date tour have now been cancelled. Rea had been due to perform on Sunday in Brighton, with the last show at Bournemouth International Centre tonight. It was announced that the Bournemouth performance would not go ahead last night.

"Unfortunately, Chris is unable to perform at he Bournemouth International Centre on Tuesday 12 Dec due to illness", said a statement. "All ticket holders should obtain refunds at point of purchase".


Morrissey denies defending Kevin Spacey (again)
Morrissey has issued a statement again refuting that he defended Kevin Spacey in a recent interview with Der Spiegel.

As previously reported, the musician was quoted by the German news magazine as saying that the victims of Spacey and Harvey Weinstein should take some of the blame for their alleged sexual assaults. Elsewhere, the publication also wrote him up as saying that it's no longer possible to tell someone you like them without being accused of assault, that he would kill Donald Trump given the chance, and that that multiculturalism has made Berlin "the rape capital" of Europe.

Subsequently, Morrissey claimed on stage that he had been misquoted, saying that he would never do another interview with a print title. He also said that you should never believe any words ascribed to him unless you see them coming out of his mouth yourself. Which means I guess we have to take this new written statement with a pinch of salt.

In that statement, he says that he would not kill Donald Trump, and does not support Kevin Spacey, child abuse, sexual harassment or rape. He doesn't mention Weinstein or his views on nationalism. Nor does he make any reference to similar comments apparently defending Weinstein and others quoted more recently by The Sunday Times.

But why would Der Spiegel fabricate an interview after going to the trouble of flying from Germany to the US in order to speak to him? Because Morrissey has the answers for how to make the world a better place and they don't want us to know that. Or something. I'm not entirely clear about this next bit.

"In the world of music, as with politics, if you show any signs of being able to make a difference, you will be blocked, and you will have your arms tugged out from their sockets. In the same world of music, if you have nothing to say, if your brain is a mental frost and if your pointless songs are the eyes of a dead fish, then your number one position awaits unasked, and your five star reviews shall keep the press alive".

If you made it to the end of that very long sentence, I think that was Morrissey claiming that gushing reviews are sustaining the media business at the moment. As opposed to interviews with controversial figures willing to shoot their mouths off at the drop of a hat. I'm pretty sure it's the other way round, but whatever.

"Music is eternity, and the call of 2018 is the time to be new and different. But you must forget the print media who are infatuated with their own reflection and do not want yours", he goes on. Der Spiegel means The Mirror. I'm not sure if he was making a reference to that there or if it was just nonsense.

Anyway, he continues: "Be eggless and brainless and cloudy and crap, and they'll usher you through like a little bag of dung. Can you hear the wind between each ear?"

Returning to the point, he says that his team's requests to be sent "unchopped, unfiddled-with audio" of the Der Spiegel interview have been refused. "Let that alone be your answer", he concludes. I'm not entirely sure I remember the question.


Skepta, Moby, Kasabian, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Sony Music's prog label InsideOutMusic has announced that it has signed Dream Theater to a new record deal. "We have no doubt that being part of the Sony/InsideOut family will be an amazing creative and professional experience for all of us", say the band.

• Skepta has released the video for 'Ghost Ride', from his recent EP 'Vicious'.

• Moby. You know Moby, right? Well Moby has a new album coming out on 2 Mar. He just announced it, like yesterday. It's called 'Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt'. He's put out the first track from it too. Here's 'Like A Motherless Child'.

• Björk has released the video for 'Utopia', the title track of her latest album.

• John Grant has announced new project, Creep Show. A collaboration with former Cabaret Voltaire frontman Stephen Mallinder, they will release their debut album, 'Mr Dynamite', on 16 Mar. Here's a song, 'Pink Squirrel'.

• Charli XCX has released another new track, 'Unblock It', featuring Kim Petras and Jay Park.

• Rolo Tomassi have released new track, 'Balancing In The Dark'. "This song, almost unintentionally, became one of the most unsettling we've ever written", says the band's Chris Crayford.

• Marmozets have released new single 'Major System Error', taken from their upcoming new album 'Knowing What You Know Now'. That's out on 26 Jan.

• MJ Hibbett And The Validators have released a Christmas single, 'Have A Drink With Us'. The song is an English language cover of German band Bläck Fööss's 1974 song 'Drink Doche Eine Met'.

• Charisma.com have announced that they will release a best of compilation in January, which will mark their decision to go on an indefinite hiatus. The release will feature a number of new songs, including this one, 'Ribbon'.

• Nadine have released new single 'Not My Kinda Movie', taken from their debut album, 'Oh My', which is due out on 26 Jan.

• Kasabian have announced that they will play a show at Thetford Forest on 10 Jun as part of next year's Forest Live series of shows. Tickets go on sale this Friday.

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


Liam Payne claims title of least sweary former One Direction member
Liam Payne reckons that his former 1D bandmates have all got potty mouths. Not him though, he's totally family friendly. Well, when it comes to swearing.

"I'm the only one who hasn't had the explicit sticker on their album", Payne told Metro. "Everybody's been effing and blinding. Everyone's 'eff this' and 'that' and 'the other'. But they're all adjectives at the end of the day. They're just big ones".

Just in case you thought you'd missed something, Liam Payne doesn't actually have an album to slap an 'explicit' sticker onto yet. But when he does there'll be no "fucking".

Though there'll be some "fucking". By which I mean - as you'll know if you've heard either of his solo singles to date - he seems very keen to use his limited skills as a lyricist to let everyone know he's been busy 'doing it'. Just without saying "fuck".

"There's been a few lyrics where I'm like, 'Ooh, will these really rock my family?' So I have to be careful", he admits.


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
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