TODAY'S TOP STORY: Tidal has made up good with the Prince estate and to prove it the streaming service will get a two week exclusive on a new album of previously unreleased recordings from the late musician's archives. Yep, it's another Tidal exclusive. Which presumably means this new Prince record will stream eight million billion trillion times in its first week online... [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 Tidal and Prince estate end legal battle, plan rarities release together
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Former Lorde manager Scott Maclachlan takes up A&R role at Warner
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Record Tokens are back in shops today, swap your old ones for new
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES R Kelly reps hit out at Spotify ban
THE GREAT ESCAPE CMU's guide to Friday at the Great Escape Convention
ARTIST NEWS Frightened Rabbit pay tribute to frontman Scott Hutchison
Wiley biopic gets backing from Pulse Films and BMG
AND FINALLY... UK Eurovision entrant offered second performance after stage invasion
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CMU Insights will present three full-day confernces as part of The Great Escape's convention programme this week. 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
This full-day conference will look at how big data and AI will impact on music, including audio-recognition, fan-messaging, data-driven recommendations and music composition tools. [READ MORE]
Friday 18 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
The full day conference will provide a beginner's guide to the Chinese music market, looking at copyright, streaming services, media and social media, and the touring circuit. [READ MORE]

Tidal and Prince estate end legal battle, plan rarities release together
Tidal has made up good with the Prince estate and to prove it the streaming service will get a two week exclusive on a new album of previously unreleased recordings from the late musician's archives. Yep, it's another Tidal exclusive. Which presumably means this new Prince record will stream eight million billion trillion times in its first week online.

Prince allied with Tidal before his untimely death in 2016 with a deal that saw the Jay-Z led streaming service score an exclusive on what turned out to be the musician's final releases. However, Tidal was of the opinion that that arrangement also provided it with exclusive rights to stream Prince's back catalogue as well.

But following his death, representatives for Prince's estate said they could only find evidence of an agreement regarding newer material, and no paperwork to back up the claim that the deal covered older releases too. Ultimately the estate - via Prince's NPG label and publishing business - sued various companies associated with Tidal, including Jay-Z's Roc Nation, for allegedly streaming the Prince catalogue without licence.

A legal battle then ensued, with Tidal insisting that it had reached both written and oral agreements with Prince - and one of his business advisors, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins - which offered the pop star equity in the streaming business in return for some exclusive rights to both future and past releases.

The estate disagreed, and at one point told the judge overseeing the dispute that it had "uncovered evidence that the alleged contract the defendants are relying on in this action" - which was an equity term sheet - "was fabricated and back-dated to appear authentic".

All in all, it had the makings of a very entertaining court battle. But that is not to be, because last week a joint statement came out from both the estate and Tidal confirming the new partnership and the planned new rarities release. That statement also confirmed that this new deal "concludes the previously unresolved legal matters between The Prince Estate and Tidal".

As for the new record, it will "contain previously unreleased music sourced from Prince's vast archive of vault recordings" and is "expected to be released in 2019". Tidal will get a two week streaming exclusive of that record, though the album will be available for download seven days after its debut on the streaming platform, and a physical release will also follow.

The recordings on the new record come from the vault of unreleased tracks that was initially entrusted to Universal Music via its deal with the estate. But that agreement untangled over confusion as to which of Prince's more famous records were also covered by the deal. Which was in turn caused by confusion over the specifics of the most recent contract Prince signed with Warner Music while still alive. The estate is concurrently working with Warner on other posthumous Prince releases.

Confirming his deal with the Prince estate, Jay-Z told reporters on Friday: "Our only goal is to share Prince's music with his fans as he wanted. After thoughtful and honest conversation with him, he chose Tidal as his partner for [final albums] 'Hit And Run: Phase 1' and 'Hit And Run: Phase 2', and we will continue to respect and honour Prince's enduring legacy and wishes with this new collection".

Speaking for the estate, Troy Carter (having temporarily removed his nice green Spotify hat, presumably), added: "I'm very pleased this is resolved, and we get to honour the relationship between Prince and Tidal with this album. We look forward to fans hearing the new music and experiencing the genius of Prince".


Former Lorde manager Scott Maclachlan takes up A&R role at Warner
Artist manager Scott Maclachlan has been appointed SVP A&R for Warner Music Australaisia. Maclachlan is the founder of Saiko Managament, based in Auckland, New Zealand, which is best known for working with Lorde in the early part of her career.

"I'm stoked to be joining the team at Warner Music Australasia", says Maclachlan. "The global streaming-driven music market creates amazing opportunities to break great artists from Australia and New Zealand around the world and that's something I'm committed to doing over the coming years".

Warner Music Australaisia President Niko Nordström adds: "Scott's a legend in the music industry and he brings local knowledge and global experience to this pivotal role. He has a true affinity with artists and always puts their needs first. That's how he's been able to generate such amazing results over the years. We're delighted that he's joined the Warner Music team".

Originally from the UK, Maclachlan relocated to New Zealand in 2008, working in A&R for Universal for five years, before leaving to focus on Saiko full time in 2013. He will continue to have an advisory role at Saiko Management while he takes up his new position at Warner.


Record Tokens are back in shops today, swap your old ones for new
Record Tokens are available in UK independent record stores again today, following a 20 year absence. Plans to relaunch the tokens - that can spent in any participating record shop - were unveiled in March. To mark the actual relaunch, anyone with any of the old tokens still knocking around has the chance to win £100 worth of new ones.

Yes, that's right, anyone who has unspent record tokens from two decades ago, and can be bothered to look for them, can swap those old tokens for the chance to win shiny new (and more importantly valid) giftcards.

A total of 50 people will be chosen to receive a £20 giftcard (assuming as many as 50 people enter, which seems unlikely), while one will be picked to get a card worth £100 to spend on vinyl, CDs and cassettes. You only have until 20 May to enter though, so get rifling through the attic at once.

"There has never been a better time to bring back record tokens and we predict they will be much coveted gifts this year for music fans of all ages", says Entertainment Retailers' Association CEO Kim Bayley. "The unstoppable growth in vinyl sales and year-on-year increase in independent record shop openings show that the UK's love affair with vinyl is here to stay".

Bold words there, I reckon. But, hey, if you do find some old record tokens this week, you should send them to ERA, 3 Soho Square, London, W1D 3HD, along with your full name, email, phone number, postal address and Twitter name (should you have one).

More info on the exciting world of record tokens here.


R Kelly reps hit out at Spotify ban
Representatives for R Kelly have responded to the news that Spotify has decided to no longer playlist his music on their platform because of the various allegations of sexual abuse that have been made against the musician. Said reps insist that their client has "never has been accused of hate" and argue that the streaming firm has acted as the result of a "smear campaign".

Spotify announced it would cease playlisting R Kelly last week as it published a new policy on 'hate content' and 'hateful conduct'. It was the latter that motivated the R Kelly ban. The streaming firm said of that policy: "We've thought long and hard about how to handle content that is not hate content itself, but is principally made by artists or other creators who have demonstrated hateful conduct personally".

It went on: "While we don't believe in censoring content because of an artist's or creator's behaviour, we want our editorial decisions - what we choose to programme - to reflect our values. So, in some circumstances, when an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful - for example, violence against children and sexual violence - it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator".

Numerous sexual abuse allegations have been made against Kelly, including accusations involving underage girls. And although those allegations date back years, they have been in the spotlight of late because of a campaign called #MuteRKelly which is encouraging music companies to cut their connections with the star.

But Kelly has always denied any wrongdoing, and - on the one occasion he was charged over one of those allegations, specifically that he had filmed the sexual abuse of an underage girl - he was acquitted in court.

Responding to the news of the Spotify playlisting ban under its 'hateful conduct' policy, Kelly's spokesperson said: "R Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire. Mr Kelly for 30 years has sung songs about his love and passion for women. He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff. He never has been convicted of a crime, nor does he have any pending criminal charges against him".

Kelly's people also noted that Spotify continues to playlist music from some artists who have been convicted of crimes, including domestic abuse. In doing so the reps were, of course, asking why a service would remove one artist over mere allegations but not another guilty of a crime.

Some have commended Spotify for responding to the #MuteRKelly campaign in this way, though his team's response demonstrates just how tricky it can be to include moral judgements in playlisting decisions. Which isn't to say you shouldn't do it, but it will likely cause complications aplenty down the line.


CMU's guide to Friday at the Great Escape Convention
With The Great Escape about to be unleashed once again, the CMU Daily is guiding you through the wider convention programme day-by-day. Today: Friday's activities.

The third of CMU Insights' three full-day conferences takes place on Friday, this one a fascinating overview of the rapidly expanding Chinese music market, presented in association with the BPI: The China Conference.

The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry recently confirmed that China entered the top ten recorded music markets for the first time last year. The IFPI's Ang Kwee Tiang is among those who will be providing insights aplenty about the opportunities for the music industry in China, alongside representatives from a number of companies based over there, including Outdustry, Fake Music Media, Kanjian Music and Modern Sky.

The China Conference will also include an all-important artist perspective, exploring the cultural connection between music makers in the UK and China. In two inspiring interviews, we'll talk to British-based Mira Calix about her recent experiences making music in China, and to Chinese artist Leah Doh and her manager Caralinda Booth about touring and performing in the UK and Europe.

Alongside the core CMU Insights conference with the BPI in Dukes at Komedia all-day Friday, there will also be a series of additional panels presented by TGE's other industry partners in The Old Courtroom, including PPL, PRS For Music and BASCA. Plus BBC Music will present another in conversation, with Sir Spyro and Novelist.

AIM will also present more sessions over at AIM House in the Queens Hotel, including one at 4.30pm launching the trade body's new research project with CMU Insights: Mapping The Digital Supply Chain.

On top of all that there are parties and networking sessions galore for TGE delegates, on top of all the brilliant bands playing all over Brighton throughout the day as part of the festival. See you there!

Check out CMU's guide to Wednesday and Thursday at the TGE Convention. The final few delegate passes are available here. Standalone tickets are available for Wednesday here.


Approved: Yuno
Signed to Sub Pop earlier this year, Yuno has now announced his debut mini-album for the label, featuring recent singles 'No Going Back' and 'Why For'. Titled 'Moodie', the six track release will be out on 15 Jun.

The musician was added to the label's roster by Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces, who also works as an A&R for Sub Pop. Of his new discovery, he says: "First time I heard Yuno, I peeped, of course, that he possessed all the trappings of a great musician, impeccable taste on his riffs, songs catchy but not corny, familiar but dopely strange. There was seductive magic that I couldn't, and still can't, put my finger on, which is the essence of his uniqueness. Kid's a star, man".

He's also very busy. As well as self-producing all of his music, Yuno also creates his own artwork, directs his own videos, and takes his own press photos. Something he doesn't see changing any time soon. "I like being really hands-on with everything surrounding my music, even now that I'm with Sub Pop".

Watch the video for 'Why For' here.

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

Frightened Rabbit pay tribute to frontman Scott Hutchison
Frightened Rabbit have paid tribute to the band's frontman Scott Hutchison, following his death last week. The band first expressed concern about Hutchison's well-being on Wednesday after he went missing from a hotel in South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, at around 1am. They wrote on Twitter "he may be in a fragile state and may not be making the best decisions for himself right now".

Police confirmed on Friday that they had found a body at Port Edgar near South Queensferry the previous evening, later confirming that it had been formally identified as Hutchison. The tragic news led to a flood of tributes being paid to the musician by fans, friends, fellow artists and those who had worked with him within the music industry.

A statement for Hutchison's family said: "As a family, we are utterly devastated with the tragic loss of our beloved Scott. Despite his disappearance, and the recent concerns over his mental health, we had all remained positive and hopeful that he would walk back through the door, having taken some time away to compose himself".

It went on: "Scott, like many artists, wore his heart on his sleeve and that was evident in the lyrics of his music and the content of many of his social media posts. He was passionate, articulate and charismatic, as well as being one of the funniest and kindest people we knew. Friends and family would all agree that he had a brilliant sense of humour and was a great person to be around".

In their message, Hutchison's bandmates wrote: "There are no words to describe the overwhelming sadness and pain that comes with the death of our beloved Scott, but to know he is no longer suffering brings us some comfort. Reading messages of support and hope from those he has helped through his art has helped immensely and we encourage you to continue doing this. He will be missed by all of us and his absence will always be felt but he leaves a legacy of hope, kindness and colour that will forever be remembered and shared. Rest peacefully Scott".

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, Mind offers information and support on this and other topics relating to mental wellbeing. You can also contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or music industry-specific helplines Music Support on 0800 030 6789 and Music Minds Matter on 0808 802 8008.


Wiley biopic gets backing from Pulse Films and BMG
Pulse Films has announced that it will produce a film based on the life of Wiley, with backing from BMG. Directed by Adam Smith, the project has been in development since 2016.

Titled 'Wiley', the film will explore the rapper and producer's early days on pirate radio, before finding himself at the forefront of the rise of the grime scene. As well as the ups and downs of his career, it will also look at other artists he has helped build a name for themselves.

Director Adam Smith is best known for his Chemical Brothers film, 'Don't Think'. However, his association with Wiley goes back further. In the early 2000s, he made a short documentary about the grime scene, which was then still to take on that name. He also directed the video for Wiley's 2004 track, 'Wot Do You Call It?'

"Meeting Wiley and seeing what he and his friends were creating was a huge inspiration to me", says Smith. "Making a film about this incredible talent and his story fifteen years later is very exciting".

Of the new film, Wiley says: "This is my life, my highs and lows, but it's not really all about me. When I make music, help the scene or even do something like this, it's like I'm not alone any more. It's for people who grew up like me. I'm doing it to help people who are lost like me".

Pulse Films CEO Marisa Clifford chips in: "Wiley is a true icon and telling his story, in this way, is a perfect amalgamation of everything we do at Pulse Films. We're honoured to be working with him on such an ambitious project and THRILLED to be collaborating with Adam Smith who is an incredible and innovative filmmaker".

Wiley's manager John Woolf and BMG's William Kennedy and Kathy Daum will act as excutive producers on the film. As will the rapper's sister Janaya Cowie and SBTV founder Jamal Edwards.

BMG publishes Wiley's catalogue of songs, in part thought a partnership with Black Butter. The company has also been moving more into film production recently. Among other projects in production at the moment is a documentary about David Crosby.


UK Eurovision entrant offered second performance after stage invasion
Organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest have confirmed that they offered UK entrant SuRie the opportunity to perform her song for a second time after her stint at the big show on Saturday night was interrupted by a short stage invasion.

However she declined the offer, possibly because no one should have to listen to that tepid song twice. Or maybe the British Eurovision team thought SuRie being rudely interrupted in that way might score some sympathy votes. We still came third from last, though.

It's thought the stage invader was Dr ACactivism, a self-declared "philosopher, activist and DJ/MC" who was previously seen stage invading 'The Voice' and the 'National Television Awards' in the UK, seemingly in protest against the big bad media corporations.

Eurovision owners the European Broadcasting Union said an internal investigation is underway as to how the protestor got all the way to the stage at the big Song Contest in Lisbon, though they added that he was being pursued by security at the time and that "he was removed off stage after seven seconds and is being questioned by police".

In other news, Israel won the big Contest in an admirable celebration of the noble art of clucking like a chicken in pop songs.


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 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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