TODAY'S TOP STORY: Spotify boss man Daniel Ek has admitted that the streaming firm didn't do a very good job of rolling out its new policies on hate content and hateful conduct. The policies are still active, he added, but will evolve based on ongoing feedback from various groups... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Daniel Ek concedes hate content policies were rolled out badly
LEGAL Michael Jackson estate sues ABC over documentary
LIVE BUSINESS Campaigners respond to ASA ruling on Viagogo
Portsmouth cancels more events following Mutiny Festival deaths
BRANDS & MERCH NOFX lose sponsorship deal following Las Vegas shooting comments
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Apple Music launches new team to enhance songwriter and publisher relationships
New app allows music fans to mix their own sound at live shows for some reason
MEDIA Nick Grimshaw and Greg James to swap shows at Radio 1
ONE LINERS Jeff Goldblum, Island Records, AIM Awards, more
AND FINALLY... Spandau Ballet to reveal Tony Hadley replacement
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Daniel Ek concedes hate content policies were rolled out badly
Spotify boss man Daniel Ek has admitted that the streaming firm didn't do a very good job of rolling out its new policies on hate content and hateful conduct. The policies are still active, he added, but will evolve based on ongoing feedback from various groups.

Spotify divided opinion earlier this month, of course, when it published its new policies over tracks that are seen to incite hatred and music made by individuals who are guilty of hateful conduct. Where music or musicians fall foul of the new rules, Spotify may decline to playlist tracks, or even remove individual songs from its platform entirely.

Working out how to define a track as 'hate content' is always a tricky task. Surely artists have a creative right to offend through their lyrics, and just because a song is offensive to some doesn't mean it necessarily incites hatred. And artists whose music seems to be violent will usually tell you that their lyrics are intended as a story or their on stage persona is a character.

Choosing to not playlist artists because of hateful conduct might, in some ways, seem simpler, assuming you can identify what specific acts are defined as hateful. Except, do you only act when an individual is convicted in a court of law of said hateful conduct, or do you act on allegations against individual artists that haven't yet been proven in a courtroom?

Spotify immediately did the latter, with the first artists to fall foul of the new hateful conduct policy named as R Kelly and XXXTentacion. The former because of the various allegations of sexual abuse that have been made over the years, and the latter over the allegation that he physically assaulted a pregnant woman.

Although some did welcome Spotify's new policies and its decision to no longer playlist tracks by Kelly and XXXTentacion, the streaming firm has nevertheless faced criticism from both sides of the debate.

Those who supported the move asked why a string of other artists accused (and in some cases convicted) of sexual or physical abuse hadn't likewise been removed from playlists. Meanwhile others criticised Spotify's decision to censor based on allegations rather than convictions.

Amid reports of disagreements within Spotify about the new policies, and word that the XXXTentacion ban is being lifted, Ek was questioned about the whole hoo haa at a tech conference organised by Recode yesterday.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, he told the event: "The whole goal with this was to make sure that we didn't have hate speech on the service. It was never about punishing one individual". On the various criticisms of the new policies, he added: "We rolled this out wrong ... we could have done a much better job".

The policies and the communications around them were too ambiguous, Ek conceded. Said policies are still active, he then confirmed, although Spotify is getting and processing feedback from an assortment of groups and will then respond accordingly, "just like we would [with] anything else". In the long term, he concluded, Spotify just wants to be as transparent as possible about its attitude to possible hate content on its platform.


Michael Jackson estate sues ABC over documentary
The Michael Jackson estate has sued American TV network ABC and its parent company Disney over a documentary about the late king of pop called 'The Last Days Of Michael Jackson', which aired last week.

The estate had already criticised the documentary ahead of its broadcast, partly because it hadn't been consulted about the programme. Though even then representatives said they suspected the show would infringe the estate's intellectual property.

Having now seen the programme, the estate has written up a list of all the copyrights it reckons ABC infringed, and filed said list with the LA courts yesterday in the form of a copyright infringement action. The list includes Jackson's tracks and music videos, concert footage, and extracts from the 'This Is It' movie and a documentary the estate itself commissioned back in 2016.

Confirming the litigation, lawyer Howard Weitzman told reporters: "Disney and ABC committed wilful and intentional copyright infringement when they used the estate's copyrighted materials without the estate's permission. Disney and ABC's conduct is ... contrary to law and industry practice ... [they] never sought the Jackson estate's permission to use any of the material owned by the estate in the broadcast".

The lawyer then referenced Disney's reputation as a prolific defender of its own intellectual property rights, accusing the entertainment conglom of double standards. He said: "Disney's conduct here was particularly surprising given that it has no tolerance for anyone using its copyrighted material in even the most trivial of manners".

He went on: "Can you imagine using Disney's intellectual property - like Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, 'Star Wars', 'The Avengers', 'Toy Story', and so many other works - without asking Disney's permission or getting a licence? The estate has no choice but to vigorously protect its intellectual property, which is the lifeblood of its business".

Although ABC hasn't responded to the lawsuit, when the estate raised IP issues ahead of the programme's airing, the broadcaster said that 'The Last Days Of Michael Jackson' was a news programme and therefore its use of third party materials were legal. Which presumably means the telly firm will enter a big fat 'fair use' defence to the action.


Campaigners respond to ASA ruling on Viagogo
Those who have been most prolifically campaigning against ticket touting have responded to the news that champion rule breaker Viagogo has failed to meet the demands of the UK's Advertising Standards Authority.

The ASA confirmed earlier this week that, despite saying it would, Viagogo has not started publishing the total costs of tickets for sale on its platform upfront on the first screen. Extra costs like delivery, VAT and Viagogo's significant booking fees are all added later in the transaction process. The often controversial ticket resale site also continues to use words like "official" and "guarantee" in confusing ways.

Having confirmed that Viagogo had failed to meet the demands it made back in March by last weekend's deadline, the ASA has now said it is reporting the secondary ticketing firm to National Trading Standards. Meanwhile, it is planning its own sanctions against the rogue company, which might mean that Viagogo can no longer advertise on platforms like Google. The ASA will also run its own ads outlining its issues with the ticketing platform.

Commenting on the latest developments, Adam Webb, Campaign Manager for the anti-touting FanFair Alliance, said: "This is yet another step towards forcing the biggest ticket resale sites to follow UK consumer law and stop their misleading marketing practices".

Anticipating how the ASA's new action could have a tangible impact, he went on: "We'll need some time to assess the full impact of today's ASA announcement - but perhaps the most positive result for fans would be if Google and other search engines exhibited corporate responsibility and stopped taking Viagogo's advertising spend. Cutting them off from search would dramatically transform this market, and help audiences locate face value tickets from authorised sellers".

Meanwhile MP Sharon Hodgson, who has been campaigning against ticket touting for years, including via the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Ticket Abuse that she chairs, told reporters: "It is not surprising that Viagogo have been found to be breaking UK advertising rules. Time and time again we have heard of Viagogo misleading and ripping off genuine fans, yet no real action has been taken against them".

She added: "I welcome the ASA ruling, but hope that finally Viagogo will get the comeuppance they deserve after years of breaking the law. As chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Ticket Abuse, I will continue to put pressure on the government to ensure this parasitical market plays totally by the rules".


Portsmouth cancels more events following Mutiny Festival deaths
Portsmouth City Council has cancelled this weekend's Bandstand festival in Southsea, following two drug-related deaths at the nearby Mutiny Festival last weekend. Councillors cited fears that a dangerous batch of drugs remains in circulation.

Georgia Jones and Tommy Cowan fell ill within minutes of each other at the Mutiny Festival on Saturday night, both later dying. Concerns had previously been raised about there being a "dangerous high-strength or bad-batch substance" on site. Three people were later arrested on suspicion of supplying class A drugs, and the second day of the festival was cancelled "as a safety precaution".

Now, according to Portsmouth newspaper The News, other events due to take place in the city are being cancelled over fears of more deaths. The council has confirmed that Bandstand will not go ahead this weekend, and a fundraising event for the Undercover Skatepark Project has also been pulled.

Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson told the newspaper: "We have fears there is likely to be more of the drugs that killed the people at Mutiny. We had specific concerns with Bandstand having open access to people with no tickets where dealers could just walk in and sell drugs. It was also felt that with the type of music at this weekend's event being similar to Mutiny there could be similar behaviour from those attending".

Bandstand organiser Nick Courtney added: "We fully accept the decision to cancel the event after what happened at Mutiny. I dare say it was a decision they didn't take lightly. It's a question of making sure everyone is safe. The council has made this decision for the greater good. We will have a replacement event but it may not be the same line-up we had planned for this weekend. I'm sure people will understand the reasons why this decision has been made".

Undercover Skatepark's Jake Skinner commented: "It is heartbreaking what happened at Mutiny. People's wellbeing needs to be a priority. We invested a lot of time and money into our event and were really looking forward to it, but no one wants a repeat of what happened last weekend. We will rearrange our event for a later date which we plan on making bigger and better when it goes ahead".

Of course safety concerns over dangerous drugs are valid in this case, although shutting down festivals is clearly not a long-term solution.

According to reports, some who attended Mutiny have said that access to drinking water on site was limited after 4pm, and that not all drinking water taps were working. Festival organisers have denied this. Terms and conditions printed on tickets also limited festival-goers to bringing a maximum water bottle size of 500ml with them.

Whether or not the claims about water provision at Mutiny are valid, ensuring easy access to water is one of a number of practical measures promoters and local authorities should prioritise in order to make their events safer.

Fiona Measham of drug-testing charity The Loop - which advocates various harm prevention measures at festivals and clubs - told The Guardian: "[People] were contacting us to say there was a real problem accessing water and that the pumps were not working properly and water was dripping out. There were big queues around the pump and also people queuing in the sun to get in [to the festival]".

"There is a bigger learning point here about what festivals can do to make sure people have more access to water", she continued. "Why are they restricting access to how much water you can bring on site in first place? I don't think there should be restrictions on that".

She added that this criticism was not limited to Mutiny Festival, and that "all festivals should have better water provision".


NOFX lose sponsorship deal following Las Vegas shooting comments
NOFX have lost a sponsorship deal after they were filmed making jokes about the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting that took place in Las Vegas last year.

During a set at the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival, also in Vegas, last Sunday, NOFX frontman Fat Mike said: "We played a song about Muslims and we didn't get shot, alright!" To which guitarist Eric Melvin responded: "You only get shot in Vegas if you're in a country band". Fat Mike concurred: "That sucked, but at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans".

The skit drew groans from the crowd, most of whom are presumably used to this sort of thing from the controversy courting band. However, once the video made it out into the world, it drew strong criticism. This led the Stone Brewing Co, which manufactures a NOFX branded beer and sponsors the band's own festival, to announce that it would be cutting ties with them.

"We at Stone Brewing are aware of NOFX's insensitive and indefensible statements this past weekend", said a spokesperson for the company. "As a result, we are severing all our ties with NOFX, including festival sponsorship and the production of our collaboration beer".

They continued: "We respect punk rock, and the DIY ethos for which it stands. To us, it means standing up for things you believe in, and fearlessly committing to what's right. And it is for that reason that Stone Brewing is immediately disassociating ourselves from the band NOFX. Stone had a sponsorship deal for this summer's Punk In Drublic festivals. Emphasis 'had'. That sponsorship is now cancelled".

They added that the company will donate all profits from sales of the band's beer, also called Punk In Drublic, to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation. No further batches of the beer will be brewed after it sells out.

"We apologise to the fans of the beer itself, but know that we make this decision out of respect to all", the statement concluded. "Punk rock is cool. These callous comments were the furthest thing from it".

After a gunman opened fire from a nearby hotel during last October's Route 91 Harvest event, 58 people were killed and hundreds more injured. The incident was the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual to have ever occurred in the US. The band have not commented on the controversy surrounding their onstage comments.


Apple Music launches new team to enhance songwriter and publisher relationships
Half the internet seemed to be getting all excited last night about the news that Apple was moving into music publishing. Well, with the big "Spotify and Apple are going to become record labels" prediction not coming true, why not have the tech giant become a music publisher? Except that's not what it's doing at all. It's just planning to start talking to songwriters a bit more. Imagine that, talking to songwriters! I talked to a songwriter once. They were nice. I don't know what everyone was worrying about.

The news is that Apple has promoted one of its long-term music-focused legal directors to the new role of Global Director Of Music Publishing. Elena Segal will head up a new team that will manage relationships between the Apple Music streaming service and the mysterious world of music publishing and songwriting.

Digital music companies have always enjoyed much more proactive relationships with artists and record labels than songwriters and music publishers. This is partly because song rights are often licensed by collecting societies rather than the publishers direct. And even where some publishers do license Anglo-American repertoire through direct deals, unlike labels, publishers aren't constantly pushing new content into the streaming firm's servers, and don't tend to have marketing teams constantly pitching to playlist curators.

This is partly why the loudest critics of streaming within the music community are often found on the songwriting and music publishing side of the business. Spotify has put quite a lot of effort into expanding its partnerships and enhancing its relationships with publishers and songwriters in recent years. Not that doing so stopped all those American songwriters from suing the streaming firm over unpaid mechanical royalties.

Presumably Segal's team will be likewise charged with the task of strengthening publisher and writer relationships, both in terms of licensing and commercial deals, but also with creative and marketing partnerships. And maybe doing some work on songwriter credits and song ownership data. The creation of the new role and unit follows the appointment last month of Oliver Schusser as a VP of Apple's streaming platform.

There has been much chatter in recent years about streaming firms possibly launching their own labels, so to reduce their content acquisition costs. Though, while some execs at the streaming firms do seem to quite like the idea of directly signing artists, the commercial benefits of doing so are debatable.

Becoming music publishers would be even less useful for streaming firms, given the complexities of song rights. It's also hard to exclude the collecting societies from the digital licensing process, even in the US where there is quite a bit more flexibility in that domain than in Europe. So signing songwriters directly wouldn't really reduce the royalty burden of the services, which would be the main reason for setting out on that course.


New app allows music fans to mix their own sound at live shows for some reason
The problem with people today is that they all think they can do everything better than people who've actually trained for years to do said things. And so welcome one and all to the new live music platform PEEX, which allows people to create their own five channel mix of gigs and concerts.

Using PEEX's own wearable tech - a pair of specially adapted earphones - and smartphone app, users can mix their own live sound in real time while in attendance at any participating concert. Those not able to attend, or just keen to try again, or who maybe don't want to ruin the actual live experience, can download recordings of the show post-event and play around with the sound on them instead.

Elton John fans will be able to try the tech out at his upcoming farewell shows, and the service launches with five previously unreleased John concert recordings in its download store.

"Throughout my 50 year career, playing live has always been so important to me", says John. "I am passionate about giving my fans my best possible performance and making sure they get the best possible experience. Over the last three years I've been working with the talented team at PEEX, who have developed an incredible new technology that will revolutionise the way fans listen to live music. Make sure you check it out".

I'd add to that, please ignore Elton John. Don't use this thing. It sounds like the absolute fucking worst. If you really must check it out, you'll find the PEEX website here.


Nick Grimshaw and Greg James to swap shows at Radio 1
Radio 1 is getting a new breakfast show DJ, who will be entertaining young people everywhere with some top tunes every morning.

For any young people reading: radio is a way of distributing audio content through so called radio waves; Radio 1 is a specific radio station that employs this technology specifically for your benefit; a DJ is a human being who talks on the radio between records; a breakfast show is a special kind of radio programme that goes out at a fixed time each day while people are eating their breakfast; and breakfast is a meal old people consume shortly after waking up.

Incumbent Nicholas Grimshaw will depart the 'Radio 1 Breakfast Show' in the autumn via a slot swap with Gregory James. Which is to say, James will take over the breakfast show, while Grimshaw will move to drivetime. For any young people reading: 'Drivetime' is a term you will never need to know the meaning of.

Says Grimshaw: "It was always my dream to do the breakfast show and I'm very grateful that I got to live my dream every day for what will be nearly six years. But six years is a long time and this isn't a forever job. I had the time of my life. I've decided it's time for a change and a new show. I love Radio 1 and can't wait to get on with the new time slot and the removal of all alarms from my house. I'm so happy to be swapping shows with my friend and yours Greg James, and can't wait to wake up to him each morning. Not literally. Just on the radio. Unless he's up for it".

Totally ignoring Grimshaw's kind offer there, James added: "I am completely beside myself that I've been given the chance to present the most famous radio show in the world. It really doesn't get any bigger than this and I really want to build on the great work Grimmy has done. The listeners have become like mates during the ten years I've been on air, so to be there when they wake up is a real honour. They're always front and centre and this will of course be the case on the new breakfast show. It's going to be the most enjoyable challenge I've ever undertaken and I can't wait to get started".

Grimshaw, by the way, is departing the 'Radio 1 Breakfast Show' after "a record-breaking run". I know this because the press release says so. "What record did Grimshaw break?" you ask. "This week he became the second-longest running breakfast show presenter in the station's history". Ah, yes, the second-longest running breakfast show presenter. What a record to break! Call Cheryl Baker right away, it's time for a song. For younger readers: Cheryl Baker is the greatest pop star that ever lived, like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Beyonce and Adele all rolled into one, ie better then anything you've ever known.


Approved: Sudan Archives
Sudan Archives' recently released debut EP 'Sink' features an entrancing mix of Sudanese folk, R&B and experimental electronic music.

A self-taught violin player, she says that discovering the violin playing style of Northeast Africa was a key turning point in arriving at her unusual sound. "The way they played it was different from classical music", she recalls.

"I resonated with the style", she goes on, "and I was like, 'maybe I can use this style with electronic music'. I started mixing my violin into beats. It wasn't complicated - I'd just sing straight into the iPad".

Ahead of an appearance at London's Field Day festival tomorrow, she has released a video for EP track 'Nont For Sale', which you can watch here.

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

Jeff Goldblum, Island Records, AIM Awards, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

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• Decca has signed actor and sometime jazz pianist Jeff Goldblum to a record deal. "I'm so happy to be in cahoots with the wonderful people at Decca, one of the coolest and most prestigious labels of all time", he says.

• Music publisher Warner/Chappell has also announced a new celebrity signing, 'Hey Duggee' narrator Alexander Armstrong. "It's been amazing to return to music over the last few years and it feels like the right time to start singing some of my own songs", he says. "Chappell felt like the perfect home to help develop my writing".

• Island Records UK has announced that Louis Bloom will replace Darcus Beese as President. Beese announced earlier this week that he was fucking off to run the US division of the label instead. "I want Island to be the number one label and home for culture and creativity", says Bloom. Good luck with that.

• Louis Bloom isn't the only one getting promoted at Universal Music's Island UK label. Alex Boateng is now President of Urban, Natasha Mann and Olivia Nunn are co-Managing Directors, and Steve Pitron is now SVP, Island Records & Promotions.

• Wolf Alice have released the video for 'Space & Time'.

• All Saints have announced that they will release a new album, called 'Testament', on 13 Jul. "This album feels exactly where we should be - and want to be - right now creatively", says Shaznay Lewis. First single, 'Love Lasts Forever', is out now.

• Lykke Li has released two more new songs, 'Two Nights' featuring Aminé and 'Sex Money Feelings Die'.

• Friendly Fires have released the video for latest single 'Love Like Waves'.

• Tommy Cash is back with new track 'Little Molly'.

• Yasha has released 'Landing In SW9' from his upcoming double A-side single.

• Club operator Sankeys has announced its return to Manchester for one night at the Victoria Warehouse on 8 Sep. The line-up is still TBA, but you can find out more here.

• Submissions are now open for this year's AIM Independent Music Awards. You have until 8pm on 26 Jun to shout about stuff you think is good.

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


Spandau Ballet to reveal Tony Hadley replacement
Spandau Ballet have replaced Tony Hadley with an Elvis impersonator. Well, sort of. He played Elvis in stage musical 'The Million Dollar Quartet'. He's done a lot of theatre work actually, and I don't think it's fair that you would belittle that in order to make a cheap gag.

The band have announced that they will play their first show with an unnamed new singer at Subterania in London on 6 Jun. Although the band are keeping quiet about the replacement for now, The Mirror reckons the new frontman is Ross William Wild, who starred alongside the group's Martin Kemp in 'The Million Dollar Quartet'.

"Ross has a fantastic voice and got on well with Martin, so it hasn't taken him long to get welcomed into the fold - they all think he's great", a source tells the newspaper. "He'll join them on live dates later this year, and there is new music. They're hoping Ross will help them win over new fans as well as being a welcome addition to their fanbase".

Hadley split from Spandau Ballet again somewhat acrimoniously last year and, despite Shane Richie's best efforts, a reconciliation has not been possible.


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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