THURSDAY 8 MARCH 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Time Inc UK yesterday announced plans for the NME to "expand its digital-first strategy", which is a very mealy-mouthed way of saying that it's shutting down its print title. The final edition will be published this Friday... [READ MORE]
Available to premium subscribers, CMU Trends digs deeper into the inner workings of the music business, explaining how things work and reviewing all the recent trends.
   
CHINA, AI AND MUSIC EDUCATION - SETTING THE AGENDA
As CMU Insights publishes agendas for each of the conferences that it will present at The Great Escape later this year, CMU Trends outlines the background to each theme being explored: the future of music education in the UK, the AI technologies most likely to kick-start a revolution in music, and challenges and opportunities in the Chinese music market. [READ MORE]
   
AI - THE NEXT REVOLUTION IN MUSIC?
Music business conference Midem this week publishes a brand new white paper from our consultancy unit CMU Insights reviewing the potential impact various AI technologies will have on the music industry in the next decade. As a preview, CMU Trends presents some highlights. [READ MORE]
   
TOP FIVE STREAMING CHALLENGES
It's been a while since we've put the spotlight on challenges in the streaming sector. CMU Insights presented a new speed briefing on that very topic at the Output conference in Belfast this week. Based on that, here is a CMU Trends overview of the top five streaming challenges. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES NME to ditch print magazine after 66 years
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LEGAL Donald Trump promises swift action on piracy
Jhene Aiko sued by former tour manager over unpaid expenses
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BRANDS & MERCH Smirnoff expands Equalising Music gender diversity programme
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ARTIST NEWS Fred Durst directing new John Travolta film
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RELEASES The Cranberries to release final album featuring Dolores O'Riordan
Years & Years release first track from second album
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Mansun's Paul Draper apologises for "losing focus" at Nottingham show
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ONE LINERS Pharrell Williams, Axl Rose, Niall Horan, more
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AND FINALLY... Vince Staples launches crowdfunding campaign to "shut the fuck up forever"
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Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 0906.
   
MUSIC CONCIERGE - PLAYLIST DESIGNER (HERTFORDSHIRE)
Music Concierge, the award-winning music consultancy for boutique hotels, luxury brands, restaurant and bars, is looking for a Playlist Designer to join our small but expanding creative team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
INTERMUSICA - COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Intermusica is seeking a self-assured, highly motivated and imaginative individual with a passion for bringing classical music to a wide audience through creative communication.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
FUGA - GLOBAL HEAD OF DIGITAL MARKETING & PROMOTIONS (AMSTERDAM)
FUGA Aggregation & Services is looking for an experienced, passionate and ambitious professional to head up our Global Digital Marketing & Promotions department.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT MUSIC - MEMBERSHIP ADMINISTRATOR (LONDON)
This is an exciting opportunity to join AIM's small, busy and sociable team as the Membership Administrator, supporting the day to day administrative requirements of the organisation.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT MUSIC - COMMUNICATIONS CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
This is an exciting opportunity to join AIM's small, busy and sociable team as the Communications Co-ordinator, supporting the day to day communications and marketing requirements of the organisation.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BASCA - TEMPORARY AWARDS ADMINISTRATOR (LONDON)
BASCA is seeking to employ a temporary administrator on a short term fixed contract to offer administrative departmental support on the Ivor Novello Awards.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
REDEYE WORLDWIDE - INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL ACCOUNT & MARKETING REP EU (LONDON)
The primary responsibility of the International Digital Account & Marketing Representative is to be the main point of contact and expert for all Redeye Digital sales for new releases and catalogue in assigned territories.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MJR GROUP - VENUES MARKETING MANAGER (BRISTOL)
To support our growth, including recent venue acquisitions, MJR Group is looking for a Marketing Manager to develop, manage and deliver complete, strategic marketing campaigns for our venues.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
UEA(SU) - COMMERCIAL SALES & MARKETING MANAGER (NORWICH)
This role is a new position within UEA(SU) for a manager to join our Commercial Sales & Marketing team, comprising our box office function and internal and external marketing and partnerships.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
AEI GROUP - MARKETING EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a talented and experienced marketing executive to work in-house at AEI Group across our variety of global music brands and artists.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SUNDAY BEST RECORDINGS - MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Sunday Best is seeking an enthusiastic and creative member of staff to join a small team at a with minimum one year marketing experience in a record label.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BELIEVE SYNC - SYNC MANAGER (LONDON)
Believe Sync is looking for a self-motivated individual looking for a unique opportunity in the world of sync.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MUSIC MANAGEMENT COMPANY - ASSISTANT MANAGER (LONDON)
London based independent management company seeks assistant manager for roster of artists, writers and producers.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BROWNSWOOD RECORDINGS - SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER (LONDON)
Brownswood is looking for a driven and highly organised social media manager with great design and copywriting skills plus an instinctive understanding of the label's brand.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MPA GROUP OF COMPANIES - MUSIC PUBLISHING & SYNC CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
The Music Publishers Association is seeking a highly organised, pro-active, efficient and positive team player to work as its Music Publishing and Sync Co-ordinator Executive.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - BUSINESS AFFAIRS MANAGER (LONDON)
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Business Affairs Manager to join the fast-growing master rights division of Kobalt’s Business Affairs team in London.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
O2 APOLLO MANCHESTER - BOX OFFICE MANAGER (MANCHESTER)
The O2 Apollo Manchester is seeking a Box Office Manager to co-ordinate all venue box office and ticketing activities.

For more information and to apply click here.
CMU Insights provides training and consultancy to music companies and companies working with music. Find out about our seminars, masterclasses and primers here...
   
CMU SEMINARS: BUILDING A FANBASE AND FAN BUSINESS
Monday 12 Mar 2018 at 6.30pm in London
The final in the latest series of CMU seminars takes place next week. It looks at how social and direct-to-fan tools, and the data they generate, should be used to inform an artist's business. It then provides tips on building and developing a direct-to-fan artist store and considers how the artist's business partners may be involved in D2F activity. CLICK HERE FOR INFO.

   
CMU PRIMER: KEY MUSIC BUSINESS TRENDS 2018
These are courses we can run in-house at your company
As we head into 2018, CMU Insights is now offering music companies a special two-hour primer session reviewing five key areas of the music business, summarising important developments from the last twelve months and looking at the challenges that lie ahead in the next year. Including: the streaming business, piracy, safe harbour, ticketing and data. CLICK HERE FOR INFO.

NME to ditch print magazine after 66 years
Time Inc UK yesterday announced plans for the NME to "expand its digital-first strategy", which is a very mealy-mouthed way of saying that it's shutting down its print title. The final edition will be published this Friday.

In its place, various new online initiatives are launching in order to "focus investment on further expanding NME's digital audience". The magazine's traditional cover interview will become a weekly feature on the NME.com website, called The Big Read (although I'm not sure running interviews on websites is that big an innovation, really).

It will also launch not one but two new digital radio stations, NME 1 and NME 2, available via regional DAB and the TuneIn Radio app. The NME's own app will also get a refresh, curating the week's biggest stories, plus there are plans to "enhance" the ticketing service and membership offering on the NME website. A membership offering apparently being a thing it already has.

"NME is one of the most iconic brands in British media and our move to free print has helped to propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on NME.com", enthuses Paul Cheal, Time Inc UK's music boss. "The print re-invention has helped us to attract a range of cover stars that the previous paid-for magazine could only have dreamed of".

So it's all been great. Except it hasn't. Adopting a serious tone of voice and a slight frown, he continues: "At the same time, we have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. Unfortunately we have now reached a point where the free weekly magazine is no longer financially viable. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand".

NME Digital Director Keith Walker adds: "NME has been at the digital forefront for more than two decades. Our global digital audience has almost doubled over the past two years. With these new developments, we are giving consumers even more of what they want from us. By making the digital platforms our core focus we can accelerate the amazing growth we've seen and reach more people than ever before on the devices they're most naturally using".

The device people are most naturally using apparently not being old fashioned paper. Which actually feeds in to those new stats recently released by the Entertainment Retailers Association. These showed that in 2017 monies generated by home music, video and gaming products and services exceeded the income of the combined book, magazine and newspaper sector for the first time.

The announcement that the NME magazine's days are numbered (and numbered in single digits) comes less than two weeks after Time Inc UK was sold to private equity company Epiris for a reported £130 million. At the same time that deal was unveiled, NME Editor Mike Williams declared that he was stepping down with immediate effect.

It's not clear whether the change of ownership - and discussions ahead of that deal - in anyway influenced the decision to bail on the print version of NME. Certainly sources reckon that new owners Epiris will be reviewing the entire Time Inc UK portfolio, likely looking to offload under-performing titles. Relatively recently the media firm was privately talking up the success of the NME as a free magazine, so it's not clear if that means the decision to close the print version came about quite quickly.

For many, it's sort of surprising that the physical NME made it this far. Before it became a free title in 2015, the magazine's circulation figures had plummeted, dropping to less than 15,000. Although it talked up how much advertisers loved the new free version, and how its circulation was now exceeding even its 1960s peak, clearly things remained tricky for the NME's owners, who are facing the same challenges as most magazine publishers, with audiences increasingly online, where it's often hard to generate revenue.

Time Inc still plans to publish special editions of the magazine in print, including a new series called NME Gold. However, the NME magazine as we know it will cease to exist following one last issue this Friday.

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Donald Trump promises swift action on piracy
Donald Trump has said that "the US is acting swiftly on intellectual property theft", hinting at a pending announcement on copyright matters. We know this, of course, via Twitter. Yesterday the President tweeted: "The US is acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft. We cannot allow this to happen as it has for many years!"

What exactly he meant by this isn't clear, although the tweet did coincide with a US Congress debate on hacked smart TV set-top boxes. Boxes and dongles that provide unofficial free access to paid streaming content and channels have been a growing concern for the TV industry in recent years. As a former TV personality and fan of TV, it is entirely possible that it was this that Trump was referring to, so his intervention will be more about telly IP than music.

Yesterday's event (which Trump did not attend), titled 'Unboxing The Piracy Threat Of Streaming Media Boxes', was hosted by a think tank called the Information Technology And Innovation Foundation. During the discussion, the Center For The Protection Of Intellectual Property's Kevin Madigan told the panel: "Torrent-based content is becoming obsolete in an on-demand digital environment. Instead, there is a shift to streaming-based piracy".

This is a trend also beginning to emerge in the music industry, as Andy Chatterly, CEO of anti-piracy company MUSO, told CMU's Chris Cooke at this year's Slush Music in Helsinki. "Our figures show that 40.3% took place on illegal streaming services", he said. "Which means that audience behaviour in piracy is mimicking audience behaviour in the legitimate digital music market, ie we are seeing a shift from downloads to streams, and from ownership to access".

Although hacked streaming boxes are often sold domestically, one issue in combatting this in the US and the UK is that the actual piracy services they connect to often operate outside their jurisdictions. This is one purpose of the US Trade Representative's annual 'notorious markets' report, which identifies notable sources of piracy globally and urges other governments elsewhere in the world to act. The EU has said that it plans to launch a similar piracy gripe list.

On possible solutions to the smart TV piracy problem, Madigan said yesterday: "To combat piracy abroad, USTR needs to work with the creative industries to improve enforcement and target the source of pirated material".

That does sound pretty much like what's already being done, so if that's Trump's big plan I'm not sure we should get particularly excited.

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Jhene Aiko sued by former tour manager over unpaid expenses
Jhene Aiko is being sued by a former tour manager who claims he is owed $70,000 by the singer.

Joshua Williams says that he was hired in October last year, and while on tour put over $50,000 worth of expenses on his personal credit card. He did this, he claims, on the promise that he would be reimbursed later. However, in his lawsuit he says that Aiko's team are refusing to hand over $53,826.23 in expenses, and also $16,000 in wages.

The lawsuit adds that he has "repeatedly demanded payment", but has so far received nothing. Hence he has gone legal. Williams is now seeking court assistance in securing the money he says he is owed, plus 10% interest and legal fees.

According to The Blast, Aiko's team say that Williams has failed to provide receipts for any of the purchases he allegedly made in relation to the tour. Meanwhile Aiko's accountants are reportedly conducting an investigation into whether or not Williams' claims are fraudulent.

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Smirnoff expands Equalising Music gender diversity programme
Smirnoff has announced plans for the second year of its Equalising Music project, which aims to promote greater gender diversity in music. And vodka.

Launched last year, the three year project aims to improve the representation of women in the music industry - and especially in dance music - by 2020. For year two, it will focus particularly on club and festival line-ups. It notes that on average just 19% of festival headliners globally last year were women - and in the UK this figure drops to 11%.

As part of this, Equalising Music has announced a partnership with Global, which as well as being a major UK commercial radio station owner has also been buying up festivals in recent years. As such, Global has committed to an eight month advertising campaign across Capital, Capital Xtra and its DAX audio advertising platform. It will also host Smirnoff Equalising Music stages at the Snowbombing and Lost Village festivals.

On the clubbing side, Smirnoff has teamed up with bar and club operator Delphic, with the aim to triple the number of female headline DJs at its venues this year. Smirnoff's existing 'Big Night Out' club nights will also feature exclusively female line-ups.

The project has also announced a mentoring scheme for emerging female DJs. Successful applicants will be will be mentored by The Black Madonna, Artwork, Honey Dijon, Peggy Gou and Nastia, as well as being given the opportunity to perform at Snowbombing, Lost Village and a launch event at Printworks in London.

"I think it's important to celebrate all new talents, whatever gender, race or religion - whoever they are", says Honey Dijon. "This is a positive move to promote more female and female identifying artists and I hope I can share some of my experiences with some people at the beginning of their own journey".

Nicholas Cornbleet, senior brand manager for Smirnoff Europe, adds: "Since Smirnoff launched Equalising Music in 2017, we have been working with some of the most forward-thinking people in electronic music, to #PressforProgress and escalate gender parity in the music industry. Smirnoff stands for inclusive good times and together with our like-minded partners we want to ensure the best talent are headlining clubs and festivals, regardless of gender, and enable genuine, long-lasting change in the industry".

Earlier this week, Smirnoff also launched The Smirnoff Equaliser, which analyses the gender diversity of your Spotify listening figures.

For more on the Smirnoff Equalising Music project - and the DJ mentoring scheme - go to smirnoffequalisingmusic.com

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Approved: TT
Earlier this week, Warpaint announced that they'd signed a new artist services deal with Caroline International, which presumably means the band will be back in work mode soon. But before that, Warpaint guitarist Theresa Wayman has the release of her debut solo album as TT, 'Lovelaws', to get out of the way.

One of the attractions of the Warpaint sound has always been the seemingly pretty equal balance of contributions from the four members of the band. So it's interesting to hear that stripped down to a single component. Not that this is how Wayman would pitch her solo music, I'm sure. Still, her debut single, 'Love Leaks', definitely has echoes of Warpaint, filled out by her unfiltered songwriting.

On the album, she aims to explore themes more difficult to delve into as part of a band. As such, 'Love Leaks' is written from her perspective as the mother of a now twelve year old son, "coming from a position of what it's like to have and to get unconditional love".

The album as a whole, she says, is "down tempo, pretty sexy, and a bit emotional".

Wayman will be supporting Nico Mulvey on his upcoming UK tour in May, including a date at the Royal Albert Hall on 22 May. Watch the video for 'Love Leaks' here.

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

Fred Durst directing new John Travolta film
Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst has begun production on what will be his third feature film (and first for a decade), 'Moose'. Starring John Travolta, the story follows a film star who is tormented by a stalker, apparently based on Durst's own experiences.

"There certainly is no shortage of amazing Fred Durst stories to tell, but this one in particular is unequivocally cinematic in how it plays out", says Andrea Iervolino of production company AMBI Media. "John's range as an actor will once again be shown off as he steps into a character that Fred is all too familiar with - making this pairing so exciting. We have great producing partners in Dan [Grodnik] and Oscar [Generale], and great story for John and Fred to bring to life. We couldn't be happier".

Principal photography for the film has reportedly begun in Alabama. It is not clear when the finished movie will be released. Durst's previous film projects were 2007's 'The Education of Charlie Banks' and 2008's 'The Longshots'.

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The Cranberries to release final album featuring Dolores O'Riordan
The surviving members of The Cranberries have announced that they will release a final album, following the death of frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan earlier this year.

In a statement, the band say that they began work on a new record last year, and that O'Riordan had already recorded all of her vocal tracks. The release is currently scheduled for early 2019.

They also said that they have decided to complete work on a 25th anniversary edition of their debut album, 'Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?' Work began on the remastered and expanded release last year, and was supposed to be released this month. However, in the wake of O'Riordan's death, the project was put on hold.

"In recent weeks we revisited this", say the band. "After much consideration we have decided to finish what we started. We thought about it and decided that as this is something that we started as a band, with Dolores, we should push ahead and finish it. So that's the plan, to finish the project and get the special 25th anniversary edition album out later this year".

O'Riordan died in London in January, shortly before she was due to record a new version of Cranberies hit 'Zombie' with hard rock band Bad Wolves. No cause of death has yet been announced, as the coroner investigating awaits further test results. A further announcement isn't expected until at least early April.

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Years & Years release first track from second album
Years & Years are back with the first track from their second album. 'Sanctity' is the first taste of an LP that will apparently cover "identity, sexuality, celebrity and performance", and is due out later this year.

"The video for 'Sanctify' centres around an audition against the backdrop of a future metropolis called Palo Santo", says vocalist Olly Alexander of the new song's accompanying promo clip. "We've deliberately hidden lots of different meanings and I want people to come up with their own interpretations. I'm asking people to jump down the rabbit hole with me and let their imagination run free".

Suggesting more to come, he continues: "I'm making these videos because I want to let people inside my brain and because I love living in my own fantasy world - always have, always will - a place where sexuality and gender are blurred and magic is real. We live in a chaotic and accelerating world, we're looking at depictions of the future to help us make sense of what's happening right now. This is my vision of a possible future, one that makes us question what it means to be a human".

Watch the video here.

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Mansun's Paul Draper apologises for "losing focus" at Nottingham show
Former Mansun frontman Paul Draper has issued an apology after a show on his tour marking the 21st anniversary of the band's debut album ended in chaos earlier this week.

Since last month, Draper has been undertaking a solo tour, complete with backing band, in which he performs Mansun's 'Attack Of The Grey Lantern' album in full. And generally to great acclaim, we should add.

However, at a performance at Nottingham's Rescue Rooms on Monday, Draper appeared to be drunk and angry. Fans complained that he seemed to forget the words, sit out sections of songs, apparently fired his keyboard player on stage, and eventually walked off early.

Offering a "sincere apology" on his Facebook page, Draper explained that "a personal issue raised its head just prior to the gig that deeply upset me and affected my performance".

"I lost my focus for the gig due to this", he went on, saying that he was "gutted" because the tour has been "phenomenal up to this point" and the Nottingham show "should have been a highlight".

He also promised to "make it up to the fans" who attended the Nottingham show.

The tour concludes tonight at Electric Brixton in London.

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Pharrell Williams, Axl Rose, Niall Horan, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Noted misogynist Pharrell Williams now owns the word "girl". Or specifically the trademarks for the phrases 'Girl by Pharrell Williams' and 'Pharrell Williams Girl'. He has registered the rights to use these marks on clothing, accessories, jewellery and (in the case of the former) musical recordings. His last solo album was called 'Girl', so he kind of already did that. Happy International Women's Day!

• Axl Rose thinks Apple boss Tim Cooke is "the Donald Trump of the music industry". That is all.

• Niall Horan released the video for 'On The Loose', from his debut solo album 'Flicker', the other day. Probably should have mentioned it already.

• Simian Mobile disco have released new single, 'Hey Sister'. New album 'Murmurations', a collaboration with the Deep Throat Choir, is out on 11 May.

• Beach House have announced that they will release new album, '7', on 11 May. They'll also be in the UK for shows at Manchester's Albert Hall and Troxy in London in October. Here's new single, 'Dive'.

• Poppy Ackroyd has released the video for 'Paper', taken from her 'Resolve' album.

• Half Waif has released new single, 'Torches'. The track is taken from her new album, 'Lavender', out on 27 Apr.

• Barbarossa has released the video for his single, 'Don't Enter Fear'. His new album, 'Lier', is due out on 30 Mar. Look out for UK tour dates in April, including a show at The Islington in London on 29 Apr.

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

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Vince Staples launches crowdfunding campaign to "shut the fuck up forever"
Rapper Vince Staples has responded to online complaints about some of his recent shows by launching a crowdfunding campaign to pay for his early retirement. If he reaches his goal of $2 million, he says, he will "shut the fuck up forever".

In a video explaining the campaign, Staples says: "We've got a lot of complaints about our recent show performances, energy on stage, production choices - I think one person said it sounds like we're rapping on robot videogame beats. We would like to apologise for that".

He goes on: "We would like to give you an alternative. On GoFundMe.com, you can decide to donate to the call of $2 million, which will allow me to shut the fuck up forever and you will never hear from me again. No songs, no interviews, no anything. If not, you can choose to let me do what the fuck I want to do when I want to do it. Get off of my dick, or fund my lifestyle. The choice is yours".

In exchange for the $2 million, the rapper says he will agree to move to Palmdale in California and buy a Honda, a year's supply of soup "for the homies locked down", and a puppy. The rest will be spent on the aforementioned shutting the fuck up forever.

Currently he's only up to $1234, so it's looking like he might not be retiring. You can pitch in and help out (or not) here.

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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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