TODAY'S TOP STORY: UK Music chief exec Michael Dugher has branded the way Arts Council England allocates funding as "deeply flawed and unfair" to contemporary musicians... [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.
As Spotify finally lists on the New York Stock Exchange, CMU Trends reviews Spotify's business to date, considers what its SEC filing might tell us about its current direction, and speculates what a Spotify of the future might look like. [READ MORE]
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: music education, AI and the Chinese music market. [READ MORE]
Midem recently published 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. CMU Trends presents some highlights. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Arts Council England "too posh for pop", says UK Music
LEGAL Lawsuit over Christina Grimmie murder allowed to proceed
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL HMV's shuts Irish mail-order site
LIVE BUSINESS 80% of deaf and disabled music fans still experiencing issues buying tickets
ARTIST NEWS Lindsey Buckingham out of Fleetwood Mac (again)
RELEASES Five Seconds Of Summer announce new album, Youngblood
GIGS & FESTIVALS Mark Ronson, Jess Glynne and more to play Quincy Jones birthday show at O2 Arena
Arctic Monkeys announce tour dates
ONE LINERS BMG, Coalition Agency, Eric Whitacre, more
AND FINALLY... Olly Murs thinks Oxford Street incident was "covered up"
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CMU Insights will present three full-day confernces as part of The Great Escape's convention programme this May. Get your tickets here.
Wednesday 16 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
This full-day conference will put the spotlight on music education, and discuss how business and entrepreneurial skills could and should be integrated into the music curriculum. [READ MORE]
Thursday 17 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
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Friday 18 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
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Arts Council England "too posh for pop", says UK Music
UK Music chief exec Michael Dugher has branded the way Arts Council England allocates funding as "deeply flawed and unfair" to contemporary musicians.

New analysis of ACE funding by UK Music found that just 8% of the £368 million allocated to music over the next four years is due to go to what it broadly refers to as 'pop music'. Meanwhile, 62% will be pumped into opera, and 23% to classical music.

UK Music's criticism comes as Arts Council England begins a new funding period. It has been put in charge of sharing out £1.45 billion of public funds and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to arts projects between 2018 and 2022.

The organisation's remit is to "champion, develop and invest in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives". However, with just 12.5% of music funding going to contemporary projects, Dugher said that ACE "risks giving the impression that it is elitist and too posh for pop".

"Analysis by UK Music of Arts Council England official figures shows some shocking disparities in the way taxpayers' money is allocated to music", says Dugher in a statement. "Opera is a key part of our vibrant and diverse cultural scene in the UK and many of our members are classical musicians. But the current way taxpayers' money is allocated is manifestly unjust and should be urgently reviewed to ensure all types of music are treated fairly".

He continues: "It is indefensible that pop music gets just £1 for every £8 of taxpayers' cash that is awarded by the Arts Council to opera under its National Portfolio. The Arts Council risks giving the impression that it is elitist and too posh for pop. Public funds should be used to broaden the appeal of the arts, particularly among the young, and make every aspect of our fantastic culture more inclusive".

"The UK music industry contributes £4.4 billion a year to the UK economy - with live music alone contributing more than £1 billion", he concludes. "But it is vital that we nurture our talent pipeline to bring on the next generation to follow in the footsteps of our world-famous stars like Adele, Ed Sheeran and Stormzy. The Arts Council has an important role to play in talent development so the UK maintains its position as a global leader in popular music, but the way it currently allocates its funding is deeply flawed and unfair".

The research also shows that brass bands, jazz, world music, folk and choral music will collectively receive 4% of the total fund.

Funding for pop music from Arts Council England has always been low, in part because the record label system was generally seen as a perfectly fine way of funding the development of newtalent in that domain. In 2013, it launched the Momentum Fund for contemporary music, administered by the PRS For Music Foundation.

Then ACE boss Alan Davey said at the time that the fund was being launched because the economics of pop had changed, and emerging artists were finding it harder to raise the money required to take their careers to a sustainable level.

Davey was then hauled on to Radio 4's 'Today' programme to justify allocating half a million pounds of taxpayers' money to pop music. At this point, he said that there was a need for it due to a "market failure". This then got the backs of the record labels up, which denied that they were failing anyone. BPI boss Geoff Taylor said that major and indie labels were investing hundreds of millions of pounds in developing new talent, thank you very much.

Some may still argue that pop music is more commercial and therefore less in need of funds than opera. Although you could counter that, if opera is so bloody unpopular that it can't pay for itself, then why is it receiving so much public money to keep it propped up? Funding artists more likely to succeed commercially would ultimately be better for the economy as those artists grow their careers and contribute more via their own taxes.

You could also argue that pulling some of opera's funding would force that side of the industry to innovate more and try to pull in new audiences. It's lasted this long, why not just see if it lives or dies when left to fend for itself?

Why does everything have to be about financial viability though, eh? What's wrong with funding things that are shit that no one wants? All the things I love the most are rubbish and unpopular. More money for them, I say.


Lawsuit over Christina Grimmie murder allowed to proceed
A judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit being pursued against the venue and promoter that staged the concert where artist Christina Grimmie was murdered in 2016.

Grimme rose to fame on YouTube before appearing on the US version of 'The Voice'. She had been performing with the band Before You Exit at a venue in Orlando when, while signing autographs after the show, she was shot dead by a man later described as a "deranged fan".

Promoter AEG Live and venue owner the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Plaza Foundation have been sued by Grimmie's family who claim that the two companies should be held liable for failing to protect the singer from the attacker.

The family wrote in their lawsuit: "By only doing superficial bag checks with no body pat downs or the use of metal defectors to safeguard against concertgoers bringing weapons into the theatre, Christina's assailant was permitted to enter the Plaza Live Theater facility with two 9mm Glock handguns, two full magazines and a large hunting knife".

The lawsuit added that, given about 40% of Florida households contain a firearm, the venue "could have reasonably anticipated that attendees at events held at the Plaza Live Theater might bring weapons with them".

Both companies hoped to have the case dismissed, but - according to Law 360 - judge Kevin B Weiss has ruled that the Grimmie family have alleged enough facts for their case to proceed.

The judge added that the family had also presented sufficient evidence to show a special relationship existed between Grimmie and AEG, even though they haven't got a copy of an alleged written agreement between the singer and the live music firm.

The judge said that "this court will not dismiss any of the aforesaid claims for failure to attach the alleged agreement. Plaintiffs will have the opportunity to establish the existence of any such agreements during discovery proceedings".

A legal rep for the family welcomed the news that the case can now proceed. According to Law360 he added: "We are also hopeful that the precedent set by the decision will send a message to all concert promoters that adequate and more vigilant security measures must be employed at concert venues on a going forward basis".


HMV's shuts Irish mail-order site
HMV's Irish website has wound down its operations, the retailer having closed the final of its high street stores in the country back in 2016.

A message on the hmv.ie page yesterday - since taken down - read: "We appreciate your custom over the years, however hmv.ie has now closed. After years of operating in Ireland, we have made the difficult decision to shut down the hmv.ie website".

It then confirmed that any orders already placed on the Irish site will be fulfilled, before concluding: "It has been an honour to share our passion for movies and music with you and wish you all the best in the future".

When the UK-based HMV plc collapsed in 2013, it took the Irish side of the business with it. However, new HMV owners Hilco then re-opened an albeit seriously streamlined network of stores in Ireland, ultimately running four shops. But those were then closed in 2016, leaving the online mail-order site as the brand's only presence in the country.


80% of deaf and disabled music fans still experiencing issues buying tickets
Music charity Attitude Is Everything has published its annual State Of Access report, looking at the ticket booking process for deaf and disabled music fans in the UK.

Although some improvements have been made in the four years the report has been published, this year 80% of respondents said that they had experienced problems buying tickets for events.

At the same time as launching the new report, AIE has also launched the Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition. Bringing together various music industry trade bodies, ticketing companies, promoters and venues, it aims to accelerate progress in accessible ticketing systems.

Attitude Is Everything does a lot of work helping to make events accessible to a wider audience once they're through the door. But the State Of Access report consistently shows that even getting to the door can be difficult, due to the way accessible tickets are often sold.

For the 2018 report, nearly 350 deaf and disabled gig goers contributed their experiences. Between them, on average, they had attended nine live music shows each in the last year. Including tickets, food, drink and merch, they had collectively spent around £250,000 at these shows. The government estimates that 3.3 million deaf and disabled people attend at least one gig a year, so they are far from an insignificant portion of live music's audience.

However, ticket booking systems are still a considerable barrier to even getting to those shows. So called 'accessible tickets' are often sold via telephone booking lines, rather than online, which make it harder for customers who require such tickets to make a purchase. It's then not always possible to book tickets for a whole party of people if some are not disabled. It is also often not clear if the correct accessibility provisions will be in place at the venue, due to a disconnect between it and the ticket seller.

Although 37% of respondents said that there had been improvements, 80% still said that they had encountered problems. The same number said that they had been put off buying tickets due to non-accessible ticketing systems. Meanwhile, 70% said that they felt they had been discriminated against and 10% had considered taking legal action.

Launching the report, AIE CEO Suzanne Bull said: "Although there has been much progress in making the ticketing process accessible and inclusive, only a comprehensive and truly unified approach will be able to drive through the real and lasting changes that we need".

The Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition includes organisations such as PRS For Music, UK Music, Live Nation, AEG, Ticketmaster, See Tickets, DF Concerts and more. It aim is to provide members with a platform to exchange ideas, issues and solutions, and work towards a single, unified vision for what best practice means when it comes to facilitating access booking for deaf and disabled people.

Attitude Is Everything has identified five key areas for ticket access to be improved, in order to overcome current problems. These are:

1. A universal 'proof of disability' system, used across the music industry in order to give faster and better access to ticket booking systems.

2. Disability awareness and inclusivity training for all frontline venue and customer service staff.

3. Online accessible ticket booking, with enough flexibility to allow whole party booking.

4. Trust that access requirements will be met on the day of the event

5. Equal access to pre-sales, artist meet-and-greets, the ability to resell tickets, freephone booking lines and other options routinely offered for 'standard' ticket sales.

Download the full report here.


Approved: Therese Lithner
A member of various bands over the last few years, Therese Lithner had no plan to go solo. However, so the story goes, one day three songs seemed to leap out of her from nowhere and that prompted the decision to go it alone.

Lithner's first solo EP is set for release in the coming weeks, pre-empted by first single 'Drown'. The track has a beautifully tense guitar line that is instantly arresting. As the verse comes in, Lithner's voice sinks into a densely fuzzy bassline, before all the pieces of the track slowly sidestep together.

Of the newly released video, Lithner says: "[It] was made by the video artist Jakob Jennerholm Hammar. He had free reign to do what he wanted, and the result is beautiful I think. A little psychedelic and a little dark and driving, just like the song is".

Watch the video for 'Drown' here.

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

Lindsey Buckingham out of Fleetwood Mac (again)
Fleetwood Mac have reportedly fired guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, due to a disagreement over the band's upcoming tour. He's certainly out, with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' Mike Campbell and Neil Finn of Crowded House brought in to replace him. Because it's not possible to replace Lindsey Buckingham with just one person.

Rumours of Buckingham's departure began to circulate last week after former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Billy Burnette tweeted (and then deleted): "Breaking news: Lindsey Buckingham is out but I'm not in".

Rolling Stone says that it has now confirmed that Buckingham exited the band after some sort of disagreement. In a statement yesterday, the band said that he was indeed out for the upcoming tour dates.

"Lindsey Buckingham will not be performing with the band on this tour", say the band. "The band wishes Lindsey all the best. We are THRILLED to welcome the musical talents of the calibre of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family".

They continue: "With Mike and Neil, we'll be performing all the hits that the fans love, plus we'll be surprising our audiences with some tracks from our historic catalogue of songs. Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honouring that spirit on this upcoming tour".

Mick Fleetwood adds: "Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents. We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realize that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it's got the unmistakable Mac sound".

Buckingham originally joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975, along with Stevie Nicks, heralding the band's most commercially successful period. He quit in 1987, re-joining full time a decade later after a number of one-off appearances.

Last week, Fleetwood Mac's 1977 single 'Dreams' re-entered the US charts, thanks to a tweet, everyone reckons.


Five Seconds Of Summer announce new album, Youngblood
Five Seconds Of Summer have announced that they will release their third album, 'Youngblood', on 22 Jun.

Frontman Luke Hemmings says of the new record: "Growing up is what we had to do on 'Youngblood'. Seven years as a band may seem like a long time, but we were teenagers when we started".

He goes on: "We had to look at each other and say, 'Are we going to stop now, or do this forever? Because if we continue, then we have to go farther than we ever have before'".

Along with the announcement of the album, the band have released an acoustic version of recent single 'Want You Back'. You can check that out here, should you be wondering just how far they're willing to take this.


Mark Ronson, Jess Glynne and more to play Quincy Jones birthday show at O2 Arena
The O2 Arena in London will host a show on 27 Jun to mark the 85th birthday of legendary record producer Quincy Jones. Artists including Mark Ronson, Jess Glynne, Beverley Knight and Caro Emerald will perform with an orchestra at the event. The night will also feature a tribute to Michael Jackson songwriter Rod Temperton, who died in 2016.

"For many years, I couldn't play in the UK because the unions wouldn't allow Americans to do concerts there", says Jones, whose birthday was actually last month. "Finally, it worked out for us to go in 96 for a tribute to Nelson Mandela, and I conducted a show at the Royal Albert Hall with Phil Collins, Tony Bennett, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, Letta Mbulu and many other talented performers. I'll never forget standing on the stage thinking that, after waiting 30 years, I was finally able to perform in such a historic venue".

He continues: "Anyways, it was a long time coming, so every time I get to return to the UK, it's truly meaningful; after not being allowed in at one point, you never take it for granted. But more importantly, I know this show is going to be an emotional one for me because we'll be doing a tribute to my brother Rod Temperton, on his home turf. I love and miss him with all of my heart and soul, but I'm definitely looking forward to sharing such a special moment with his home country".

Songs performed on the night will be drawn from Jones's long career, using original arrangements from his own archives. Tickets for the show will go on sale on Friday.


Arctic Monkeys announce tour dates
Those Arctic Monkeys aren't content with just releasing a new album and headlining every European festival going this summer. No, they're insisting on doing their own headline tour as well. So greedy.

The band announced last week that they will release new album 'Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino' on 11 May. Tickets for the tour go on sale this Friday at 9am.

Here are the dates:

6 Sep: Manchester, Manchester Arena
7 Sep: Manchester, Manchester Arena
9 Sep: London, The O2
10 Sep: London, The O2
15 Sep: Birmingham, Arena Birmingham
18 Sep: Sheffield, FlyDSA Arena
19 Sep: Sheffield, FlyDSA Arena
24 Sep: Dublin, 3Arena
27 Sep: Newcastle upon Tyne, Metro Radio Arena


BMG, Coalition Agency, Eric Whitacre, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• You can now get a daily CMU news summary via our Messenger bot. Click here to get started.

• BMG has acquired Australian production music company Big Bang & Fuzz. "I am THRILLED", says BMG Production Music's John Clifford.

• Classical composer Eric Whitacre has signed a new publishing agreement with Boosey & Hawkes covering his future work and some of his back catalogue.

• The Coalition Agency has promoted Vinesh Patel to the position of Head Of Talent. "Since coming on board in 2013 Vinesh has been a star", says Coalition CEO Guy Robinson.

• Glassjaw have released their first music video for fifteen years, for 'Shira'. The track is taken from their recently released 'Mind Control' album.

• Ólafur Arnalds has released new single 'Re:member'. He's also announced UK and Ireland tour dates for September.

• Killing Joke have announced a 40th anniversary tour, which will take them around the UK in November. They'll finish up at the Roundhouse in London on 17 Dec.

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


Olly Murs thinks Oxford Street incident was "covered up"
Olly Murs remains unwilling to accept that he's a fucking idiot. So, rather than accepting that he acted hastily when he incorrectly tweeted that a gunman was loose on Oxford Street last year, he's now developed his own little conspiracy theory about the non-incident.

Last November, there was a brief panic at Oxford Street tube station in London due to quickly spread misinformation about an apparent incident during the busy Black Friday sales. Going about his business doing a bit of shopping in nearby Selfridges, Murs did his best to restore calm by announcing to his nearly eight million Twitter followers: "Fuck, everyone get out of Selfridges now. Gun shots! I'm inside".

Murs' panicked tweeting led to a heated exchange with Piers Morgan over what sort of thing it was acceptable to tweet to millions of people.

There were no gunshots. Nor any sort of attack at all. It remains unclear what exactly triggered the panic and sudden surge of people attempting to escape the tube station. A similar incident occurred a month later as people crammed into the Boxing Day sales.

Most likely a small panic of unknown origin quickly spread through the large crowds of shoppers that happened to be in central London that day, getting more intense as the panic reached those who didn't actually know what the panic was about. But Murs still reckons there was more to it.

"Whether they were shooting into the air, or whatever, something happened that day", he tells The Sun. "Whether it was covered up, I don't know. It's all a bit murky".

FYI - they weren't, it didn't, it wasn't and it isn't. But Murs still has more to say. He goes on to explain that he'd been in Selfridges to buy his aunt a massage chair for Christmas.

"One minute I'm sitting there and this guy's saying, 'If you press this button you get a massage' - the next I'm getting thrown against a wall", he says. "And then there's people screaming and running towards exits and I'm thinking, 'What the fuck?' I ran for my life thinking 'Someone's upstairs shooting'. The noise of people screaming, it was terrifying".

He continues: "I found a door and said 'Guys, quick, let's go into this office'. We ended up going through this back alley and got about 20 people in. We shut the door and we kept walking. There were people picking up, like, things to use. The manager was in there, other senior people. This woman said 'Someone was up there shooting, I could see him, in the beauty aisle he had a gun'".

This, seemingly, is why Murs believes that there definitely was a shooter, even though the incident didn't start in Selfridges and there's no evidence that anything happened at all. But that's just what they want you to think, isn't it? This isn't simply a case of a small incident getting quickly exaggerated through a process of Chinese whispers among a large crowd of people who have recent terrorist attacks lingering in their minds. No, Olly Murs believes this single witness statement over everything else.

"This girl was saying 'Don't tell me I'm lying, I saw this guy with my own eyes'", he goes on. "Whether he shot someone or was shooting in the air - well, obviously he didn't shoot anyone - but someone saw something".

At least Murs admits that it would be a bit ambitious for the London police to cover up someone actually getting shot. But either way, what bugs him most about the whole incident is that people still think he's an idiot.

"I get mocked every day on Twitter", he moans. "Someone always has a little dig. Well, next time you're in Selfridges and that happens to you, I'll message you and say 'How was that? How do you feel now? You're not Mr Brave now are you?' You're not going to stand there and go 'Oh, wait a minute, before I make a tweet I'm going out there and see if someone's got a gun'".

True, it must have been a terrifying experience. Still, you could, of course, not tweet about it at all. Noting the aforementioned remarks by Piers Morgan to the effect that celebs need to be careful about what they post on social media, he adds: "I agree ... Twitter is a place where you have to be careful what you say. But my argument is I did exactly what the police say to do: Run, hide and tell. If I'd done it and someone had been shooting, you'd all be sitting here now going 'You know what Olly, you've done well'".

They really wouldn't. I mean, 'run, hide, tell' is the advice that police give for people caught up in firearms and weapons attacks. But the 'tell' bit is shorthand for 'phone 999 and tell the police', not 'tweet any old fucking nonsense to millions of people and create further panic'.

So, that's that cleared up. To conclude, Olly Murs is a fucking idiot.


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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