TODAY'S TOP STORY: Following something of an eventful week in the world of Viagogo, anti-touting campaigners have this morning called on Google to stop taking the controversial secondary ticketing website's advertising dollar. In a joint letter to Google's UK bosses, the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Ticket Abuse, the FanFair Alliance and the Society Of Ticket Agents & Retailers write that "one of the world's most trusted brands - Google - is being paid to actively promote one of the least trusted"... [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 the European Parliament considers the draft new copyright directive once again, its safe harbour reforms are very much in the spotlight. But what is the safe harbour and why does it need reforming? CMU Trends explains. [READ MORE]
This three part CMU Trends guide provides a beginner's guide to music copyright and the music rights business. In it, we cover ownership, controls and licensing, and review key trends in streaming, physical, sync and public performance. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Anti-tout campaigners call on Google to axe Viagogo from its searches
LEGAL Songwriter group urges MEPs to back Copyright Directive - including its "transparency triangle"
LIVE BUSINESS Eventbrite reveals more information about its IPO
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES European Commission approves Apple's Shazam buy
EDUCATION & EVENTS Copyright sessions kick off new CMU Insights seminars programme
ARTIST NEWS Mac Miller dies
AWARDS Young Fathers win Scottish Album Of The Year Award for the second time
AND FINALLY... Elton John to star in John Lewis Christmas ad
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Based in our London office, Domino Recording Company is seeking a full time Digital Marketing Manager. The Digital Marketing Manager is our central conduit for all digital marketing and advertising initiatives.

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Anti-tout campaigners call on Google to axe Viagogo from its searches
Following something of an eventful week in the world of Viagogo, anti-touting campaigners have this morning called on Google to stop taking the controversial secondary ticketing website's advertising dollar. In a joint letter to Google's UK bosses, the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Ticket Abuse, the FanFair Alliance and the Society Of Ticket Agents & Retailers write that "one of the world's most trusted brands - Google - is being paid to actively promote one of the least trusted".

FanFair has long criticised ticket resale websites, and Viagogo in particular, for using Google advertising to ensure it comes top when people use the search engine to look for tickets for in-demand events. It's argued that, by Viagogo buying its way to the top of these all important search lists, less web-savvy consumers are confused into buying tickets at hiked up prices from touts believing they are actually doing business with an official seller. Deliberately misleading words employed by Viagogo adds to the confusion.

Google introduced specific regulations for secondary ticketing platforms using its ad services earlier this year, in part to try to overcome this kind of consumer confusion. Viagogo did make some alterations on the back of the web giant's new rules, and then again under pressure from the Advertising Standards Authority. But the APPG, FanFair and STAR all reckon that Viagogo still falls foul of Google's own regulations, mainly by not complying with UK consumer rights law, something the web giant says all its advertisers should do.

The open letter follows an eventful week in which - although the Advertising Standards Authority confirmed Viagogo had now complied with its demands - the Competition & Markets Authority announced it had begun legal proceedings against the ticketing site. The CMA provided a list of the ways in which it believes Viagogo is in breach of UK law. Citing that litigation, Viagogo then controversially pulled out of a select committee hearing on secondary ticketing, the second time the firm has refused to answer MPs' questions.

Summarising those events, today's letter to Google states: "On Friday 31 Aug, the CMA issued court proceedings against Viagogo for potential breaches of consumer protection law. Last Wednesday (5 Sep), Viagogo failed for the second time to appear before the Digital, Culture, Media And Sport Select Committee in an evidence session on secondary ticketing. The Committee's Chair, Damian Collins MP, described this as a 'pattern of evasion, disrespectful to the House and disrespectful to consumers'".

The letter runs through FanFair's research on the role Google search plays in sending fans to Viagogo to buy tickets for upcoming events. It also cites the work of Victim Of Viagogo, the Facebook group that helps the company's aggrieved customers tackle its notoriously unhelpful customer support system. The letter says: "The vast majority of these customers tell us they were led to Viagogo through Google search and unaware they were buying a resold ticket".

Explaining why they believe Viagogo is not compliant with Google's own rules, despite it making some changes in recent months, the letter goes on: "Viagogo's search advertising is also, we believe, breaking Google's own AdWords guidelines. These state clearly that advertisers are expected 'to comply with the local laws for any area that their ads target' and that Google will 'generally err on the side of caution in applying this policy because we don't want to allow content of questionable legality'".

The letter concludes: "We understand that Viagogo is a valuable client to Google, spending considerable sums each year on paid search advertising. However, we urge you to protect consumers who daily put their trust in Google, and act now to restrict Viagogo's ability to pay for prominence. We look forward to working with you to achieve these goals".

Commenting on the letter, one of its signatories, Labour MP and long-time anti-tout campaigner Sharon Hodgson, said: "I have heard too many times from distressed customers of Viagogo that they were led to the website because it was at the top of their Google search. It is totally wrong that a trusted website like Google would direct consumers to such an untrustworthy website. Google need to take action in order to protect consumers, and I look forward to working with them on this in the very near future".

Adam Webb from the FanFair Alliance added: "Google are still directing would-be ticket buyers to a website considered so untrustworthy that it faces court action for suspected breaches of consumer protection laws. It's an absurd situation, but with a straightforward solution. Google need to enforce their own advertising guidelines and stop Viagogo buying their way to the top of search".

And STAR CEO Jonathan Brown concluded: "Fans have always ranked as number one for STAR. We urge Google to redouble their efforts on behalf of both our passionate consumers and the fantastic live entertainment industry we serve".

The letter is also signed by a parliamentarian from each of the key political parties in Westminster as well as trade bodies represented the music community and the festival, venues, sports and primary ticketing sectors.

For a review of the eventful week just gone in the world of Viagogo - including that Ed Sheeran litigation - check out this week's edition of Setlist.


Songwriter group urges MEPs to back Copyright Directive - including its "transparency triangle"
As the European Parliament gets ready to discuss the draft new copyright directive this week, global songwriters group the International Council For Creators Of Music last week sent a letter to MEPs urging them to support the copyright reforms. Though it didn't just talk about the controversial safe harbour reforming article thirteen which the wider music industry has been shouting about loudest. It also looked at the other elements of the directive that will impact on music creators, and especially artists and songwriters.

That includes articles fourteen through sixteen, what the Council's top man Eddie Schwartz
calls the "transparency triangle". These elements of the directive have been "strengthened" during the committee stage of the law-making process, he added, and they are "supported by all creators in all sectors".

Whereas article thirteen seeks to increase the liabilities of user-upload platforms to the wider music industry's advantage, articles fourteen, fifteen and sixteen are more about increasing the rights of artists and songwriters in terms of their working relationships with corporate partners within the music business, chiefly labels and publishers.

Article fourteen seeks to force more transparency where corporate entities control the copyright in creative works, while article fifteen proposes a 'contract adjustment mechanism' for when creators believe new circumstances make old contracts with entertainment companies unfair. Article sixteen, which describes a dispute resolution procedure in relation to articles fourteen and fifteen, has been particularly beefed up in the committee process, providing creators with extra rights when their works aren't being exploited by corporate copyright owners.

Schwartz writes of article fourteen: "This has the potential to be of inestimable benefit to the creator community. Profit-driven enterprises routinely place the interest of their shareholders above those of creators who actually provide the wealth. We are calculatedly viewed, in accounting terms, as merely a cost of operation".

He goes on: "What article fourteen could give us represents the kind of accounting that should in any event be standard as a matter of good practice within any company with third party accounting obligations. It would also promote confidence and enable young creators to make better informed decisions about their future commercial partners".

As for article fifteen, he says this "embraces concepts that protect authors and performers from unfair enrichment, giving us an opportunity to challenge the abuses that routinely arise from unequal bargaining positions".

He goes on: "Influenced by the so-called 'best-seller rule' already present in Germany's copyright statute, such a provision has already been seen to work to good effect for creators. We welcome the fact that Europe is taking a step - we hope - that expressly addresses the imbalance inherent in discussions between creators and corporations across the negotiating table".

And on article sixteen and its dispute resolution, he muses: "Who can object to the creation of a system of affordable access to justice to a constituency rarely able to meet the usually high costs of seeking justice and redress?"

Urging MEPs to back all of these measures in the copyright directive - from the much hyped article thirteen through to the less discussed "transparency triangle" - Schwartz concludes: "On behalf of music creators worldwide, I thank you for taking the time to consider our perspective and I respectfully ask you to support the Copyright Directive and its essential provisions for authors. We hope that the interests of all creators may be considered in the face of pressures to which you have been, and may be again, subjected by those opposed to good sense and fairness in the exploitation of our work".

You can read Schwartz's full letter here.


Eventbrite reveals more information about its IPO
Eventbrite has published more information about its impending Initial Public Offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The self-service ticketing platform first formally confirmed its plan to IPO last month.

According to the company's latest filing, the firm expects its shares to be priced at between $19 and $21, with ten million shares due to be made available, about 13% of the total number issued. The flotation will give the company a valuation of around $1.55 billion.

Eventbrite is one of the few ticketing start-ups to gain real traction in a market that is notoriously hard to crack because of the dominance of a few legacy players. Although loss-making, it hopes that its momentum will ultimately give it a solid share of the ticketing market long-term enabling it to become profitable down the line.

In the short term, the new papers confirm, the monies raised by the IPO will be used in no small part to pay off existing debts, including $30 million still owed in relation to the company's acquisition of Ticketfly from Pandora.

The Ticketfly buy was one of a number of purchases of rival ticketing start-ups that enabled Eventbrite to more rapidly grow its share of the ticketing market.


European Commission approves Apple's Shazam buy
As expected, the European Union's competition regulator last week approved Apple's acquisition of audio-recognition app Shazam.

The $400 million Shazam deal wasn't actually big enough for the EU to automatically investigate the transaction, but it did require approval from regulators in Austria under merger rules there. The Austrian regulator decided to bounce the investigation up to the EC, a move that was subsequently backed by France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

The EC's competition regulators announced back in February that they were looking into Apple's Shazam purchase. Then in April they confirmed that they were launching a full investigation into the deal. But last month sources said that approval of the purchase was looking likely and that that should be confirmed this month.

Concerns had been expressed on the impact the acquisition might have on the digital music market, as Shazam currently pushes users through to Apple's rivals in the streaming music space. But EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said last week: "After thoroughly analysing Shazam's user and music data, we found that their acquisition by Apple would not reduce competition in the digital music streaming market".


Copyright sessions kick off new CMU Insights seminars programme
The next season of CMU Insights evening seminars kicks off next Monday at the London HQ of Lewis Silkin with the first of three sessions on music copyright.

'How Music Rights Work' on Monday 17 Sep at 6.30pm provides an introduction to copyright law and how it applies to the music business, including ownership, terms and how copyrights make money.

'How Music Licensing Works' on Monday 24 Sep provides an introduction to how music licensing works and an overview of the collective licensing system and the UK collecting societies.

Meanwhile 'The Music Rights Sector' on Monday 1 Oct is an overview of the various elements of the music rights business. For each key product, the session looks at how things work in terms of rights and revenues, as well as discussing key trends in the market.

Places on each seminar are £49.99 including booking fee and VAT. Or you can book into all three for just £125. Click here for more information.

Meanwhile, premium subscribers to CMU can also access the CMU Trends Guide To Music Rights, a new three part guide that accompanies the seminar series. To become a premium subscriber for just £5 a month click here.


Approved: Shur-I-Kan
Tom Szirtes, aka Shur-I-Kan, is probably best described as a deep and soulful house man. Though he's also an accomplished keyboardist, performing as a session player at the Jazz Café and Ronnie Scott's, and at times for the live-only outfit The Bays.

New EP 'State Of Emergency' - his tenth - takes us to peak time dancefloors with an acid house laden vibe in its title track. The others are also good fare, with 'Out At Night' keeping to his classic polished house sound and 'Three Of A Kind' taking us back in the day, with a nod to the 90s and some Italo piano keys thrown in for good measure.

Listen to 'State Of Emergency' here.

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

Mac Miller dies
Rapper Mac Miller was found dead at his LA home on Friday. He was 26. An official cause of death is yet to be confirmed, pending an autopsy. However, it has been widely reported as being drug related.

The death was confirmed by the County Of Los Angeles medical examiner, who confirmed that the rapper was "found unresponsive in his home" and "pronounced dead at the scene at 11.51am".

In a statement, his family said: "Malcolm McCormick, known and adored by fans as Mac Miller, has tragically passed away at the age of 26. He was a bright light in this world for his family, friends and fans. Thank you for your prayers. Please respect our privacy. There are no further details as to the cause of his death at this time".

Miller was open about his struggle with substance abuse and had been through a period of sobriety. But in May this year he was arrested on drink driving charges.

He released his fifth album, 'Swimming', last month. Featuring collaborations with artists including Snoop Dogg, Syd, Thundercat, Dev Hynes and Flying Lotus, it was one of his most critically acclaimed albums and debuted at number three in the Billboard album chart.

Despite being only 26, he had already had a substantial career in music, having first started gaining popularity aged fourteen under the name EZ Mac.

Many friends and collaborators paid tribute following the news of his untimely death, including Childish Gambino, who said on stage in Chicago on Saturday night: "He was the sweetest guy, he was so nice. And we were both internet music kids, and a lot of critics were like, 'this corny-ass white dude, this corny-ass black dude', and we used to talk".

He went on: "And this kid, he just loved music. We should be allowed to be sad about it. I feel good about being sad, because it tells me that he was special, that I had a special moment. Everybody in this room deserves that".


Young Fathers win Scottish Album Of The Year Award for the second time
Young Fathers last week won the Scottish Album Of The Year Award for a second time, for their latest album 'Cocoa Sugar'. They prevously received the prize for their mixtape, 'Tape Two', in 2014.

The band's Alloysious Massaquoi said: "We want to thank everyone who voted, it's fantastic for Scotland and diversity in music. This is a total surprise and an honour for us to win it twice and make history. We are obviously a multi-racial group who stand for openness, kindness, and love".

Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager of award organiser the Scottish Music Industry Association added: "'Cocoa Sugar' is a fantastic, world class record, which showcases the band's incredible songwriting talent and musicianship".

He went on: "Having previously won the SAY Award for 'Tape Two' back in 2014, as well as the Mercury Prize in the same year for 'Dead', they continue to go from strength to strength, defying expectations and creating some of the best music to have come out of Scotland. A truly well-deserved win from an outstanding, crucially important Scottish act".

Young Fathers take away £20,000 in prize money for their win, which is nice. The nine other shortlisted acts also receive £1000 each.


Elton John to star in John Lewis Christmas ad
Elton John will star in this year's John Lewis Christmas advert, which remains a thing we're apparently supposed to care about. The bosses of John Lewis reportedly care enough to pay him £5 million.

According to the Mail On Sunday, the ad will show actors playing John at various ages opening presents, before the man himself comes and tinkles around on the piano a bit at the end.

"John Lewis wanted to win the battle of the Christmas adverts this year and it has cost them a significant sum to do it", a source told the newspaper. "They think having Elton on board will guarantee its popularity and blow Marks & Spencer out of the water. It's a tearjerker but also very sweet, and follows Elton from a child, through his teenage years, into how he is today. It is all very, very charming and the exciting crescendo at the end will be Elton playing his famous piano".

Do people still see TV adverts? Or does everyone just go out of their way to watch this shit on YouTube? Either way, please ensure that you don't buy anything from John Lewis this Christmas, and then maybe this nonsense can be over with.

Elsewhere in Elton John news, he also kicked off his big farewell tour on Saturday night. As he embarked on the 300 night run around the world, he said: "I feel incredibly privileged and grateful to have had the opportunity to perform around the world for the last 50 years. During that time, I have been able to witness a huge amount of social, political and cultural change. I want the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour to celebrate that".


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 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.
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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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