TODAY'S TOP STORY: The newly chatty Viagogo has responded to the call made by anti-touting campaigners to the effect that Google should stop taking the often controversial secondary ticketing platform's money. The ticket resale site frequently buys its way to the top of Google's search results, so that people searching for tickets to in-demand events will see the relevant page on the Viagogo site before any official primary sellers of tickets to those shows... [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 Viagogo hits back over anti-tout campaign's Google ads demand
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES SoundCloud launches Discover Weekly rival
EDUCATION & EVENTS CMU Insights to explain how digital dollars are paid at upcoming conferences
ARTIST NEWS Queen film to premiere at Wembley (Arena)
RELEASES Kurt Vile announces new album, UK tour
GIGS & FESTIVALS The 1975 announce 2019 live dates
ONE LINERS Warner, Richard Ashcroft, Billie Marten, more
AND FINALLY... Nicki Minaj addresses Cardi B altercation on Beats 1
CMU Insights is our training and consultancy business providing training courses, conference sessions and research reports for music companies.
Three weekly evening seminars from Monday 17 Sep
These three seminars provide a concise guide to how music copyright works, the ins and outs of music licensing and current trends in the music rights sector. [READ MORE]
How streaming services are licensed - explained in one hour
We will present our Digital Dollar speed briefing at three upcoming conferences: Vil Vil Vest in Bergen (13 Sep), Pivotal in Birmingham (14 Sep) and Reeperbahn in Hamburg (22 Sep). [READ MORE]
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060.
This is an exciting opportunity for a hard-working, enthusiastic individual to join a sociable, dynamic and successful agency as a Junior Booking Agent Assistant to work on the Steve Aoki, Cheat Codes and Martin Jensen team.

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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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Warp Publishing, an independent music publishing company with offices in London and Los Angeles, is looking for a Royalties & Copyright Manager, with a strong focus on data analysis and reporting, to be based in the North London office.

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The University of Manchester Students’ Union and Manchester Academy is looking for two Assistant Technical Managers to help make our events shine. You'll need a keen eye for details and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of stakeholders to deliver first class events.

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Domino seeks a Product Manager to join its London team. Product Managers at Domino are in charge of running artist campaigns inside the company.

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Fourteen Ten is looking for a highly competent and organised publicist with a love of music and food to join in a brand new Publicist & Content Producer role at this busy independent PR agency.

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The Music Publishers Association Group of Companies is recruiting a Chief Executive Officer to run its three companies – the MPA, the MCPS and PMLL. This is one of the most important positions in the UK music industry and comes at a time of great opportunity and significant change.

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We are looking for a Programming Assistant to join the programming team at The O2 and provide them with business support information paying particular attention to the analysis of key sales information, the reporting of ticket figures and the production of venue hire contracts.

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Viagogo hits back over anti-tout campaign's Google ads demand
The newly chatty Viagogo has responded to the call made by anti-touting campaigners to the effect that Google should stop taking the often controversial secondary ticketing platform's money. The ticket resale site frequently buys its way to the top of Google's search results, so that people searching for tickets to in-demand events will see the relevant page on the Viagogo site before any official primary sellers of tickets to those shows.

After an eventful week in the world of Viagogo last week, yesterday the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Ticket Abuse, the FanFair Alliance and the Society Of Ticket Agents & Retailers together wrote to Google urging it to stop doing business with the resale platform. Their letter noted the news that the Competition & Markets Authority is now suing Viagogo over alleged breaches of UK consumer rights law, and then cited Google's requirement that advertisers comply with local laws wherever they advertise.

Referencing the web giant's advertising guidelines, the letter said: "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'".

It then concluded: "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".

Viagogo has operated a wall of silence strategy for years now, never publicly responding to its many critics, whether they be consumers, artists, promoters, politicians or regulators. But as of last week the company has started hitting back at criticism.

Responding to yesterday's letter to Google, a spokesperson for the company told CMU: "It is legal to resell a ticket and all tickets on Viagogo are genuine. Viagogo is pleased to have reached resolution with the Advertising Standards Authority and welcomes the opportunity to do so with the Competition & Markets Authority through the legal process".

They went on: "We respect the courts and the legal process and look forward to resolving this with the CMA in the interests of consumers - not the commercial interests of music promoters and other competitors".

The ASA was one of three UK regulators to hit out at Viagogo in the last year, although it confirmed last week that the ticketing site had now addressed its concerns. The CMA, however, provided a list of the ways in which it believes Viagogo is not complying with consumer rights law, all of which were separate to the issues that the ASA had raised.

Interestingly, now that the wall of silence has been taken down, Viagogo seems keen to present itself as a champion of the music fan, taking on anti-tout campaigners in the music industry. These people, it implies, must have some sort of hidden commercial agenda for wanting to restrict and regulate the resale of tickets for profit.

It also seems to be adopting a strategy often employed by the touts themselves, which is to point out that plenty of people in the music industry have touted their own tickets for profit on the secondary market in recent years. Which they have. Although that's no reason not to better regulate the market and to ensure that consumers fully understand what they are buying and who they are buying it from.

At least some of those secret touts within the music community would argue that they only went that route when regulation seemed unachievable, on the basis of "if you can't beat them join them". Which you may or may not believe, but once regulations are in place and being properly enforced, that will be an opportunity to check the authenticity of that excuse.

Either way, when there is rampant ticket touting, the fans often lose out as much as anyone else. Which has actually made the anti-touting movement stand out from other music industry campaigns, like those seeking copyright reform, in that because fans are also negatively impacted by the status quo, it's much easier to get wider public support for reform. As we have seen, as things like the FanFair campaign have gained momentum.

Viagogo's refusal to respond to angry customers and critical consumer rights groups in recent years also hinders its new bid to position itself as the champion of the music fan. However, the firm's decision to enter the battle and defend its corner is an interesting development. It remains to be seen if the company can placate the regulators and lawmakers who to date have found dealing with the secondary ticketing firm both frustrating and exhausting. Or maybe it only really needs to keep Google onside.


SoundCloud launches Discover Weekly rival
Plucked from a file titled "things we probably should have launched three years ago", SoundCloud yesterday unveiled a new personalised playlist service called SoundCloud Weekly. Think Spotify's Discover Weekly but with one big difference. That big difference being that it's called SoundCloud Weekly.

"Today, we're making it easier than ever to discover what's next in music", the digital music firm announced on its blog yesterday, "with our new personalised playlist, SoundCloud Weekly. Updated every Monday, SoundCloud Weekly is an algorithmically-based playlist that looks at the music you've listened to, liked, reposted and shared, and then makes recommendations on what you may like to hear next".

Elsewhere in the blog post, it mused: "With 180 million tracks and millions of artists to discover, sometimes SoundCloud can feel like a very big place to explore. We know many of you love the thrill of the hunt - going down a musical rabbit hole and uncovering new tracks and artists to love. But sometimes, you may want great music delivered to you auto-magically with no searching required".

SoundCloud, you may remember, is still in the midst of its mission to reinvent itself as a more conventional steaming service of the Spotify model, with its ad-funded and premium packages. Its USP remains the size of its catalogue, which is significantly larger than that of Spotify et al thanks to years of user-uploads. Hence all that bragging in its blog post about the 180 million tracks SoundCloud users have access to.

Of course, despite ultimately signing deals with much of the music industry to enable monetisation through advertising and subscription sales, the user-upload element of SoundCloud still relies on the pesky copyright safe harbour that the music community is lobbying so hard to reform in Europe just now. And while those licensing deals meant the music industry stopped publicly griping about SoundCloud's use of safe harbour protection, it is still a safe harbour dwelling service.

In its review of the new personalised playlist set-up, The Verge focuses on how one track included in its reporter's SoundCloud Weekly selection is a user-uploaded mash-up that is likely not licensed by the relevant rights owners.

Now, said rights owners might have chosen to allow the mash-up to remain online via SoundCloud's content management system, or equally they may be ignorant of its presence on the platform. Either way, if those rights owners would rather the mash-up not be available, under safe harbour rules it's their responsibility to request it be removed.

The aim of the much lobbied for safe harbour reform in Europe is to shift some or all of that responsibility onto the digital services.

Quite how that can be achieved without affecting too much the social media and other digital channels so many people now rely on everyday has been of much debate. And the tech lobby insists that the proposals currently before the European Parliament will have unintended consequences in that domain. Something the music industry denies.

However, one argument says that - while safe harbour protection should perhaps be available to tech companies which provide tools that allow people to upload and share content - maybe those companies' liabilities should increase if and when they aggregate and re-distribute that content. Like, I don't know, through some sort of personalised playlist service. So while a tech firm can still plead 'safe harbour' when its users upload unlicensed music to their profiles, that excuse isn't available once the company starts curating that unlicensed content itself.

Just a thought. But hey, personalised curation has come to SoundCloud! Bring on the robots and let's discover ourselves some damn fine music. Prerequisite licences not necessarily included.


CMU Insights to explain how digital dollars are paid at upcoming conferences
CMU Insights will present its speed briefing on how streaming services are licensed at three European music conferences over the next two weeks.

Based on the 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' research project CMU Insights undertook for the UK Music Managers Forum, this speed briefing explains how streaming services are licensed and how digital royalties are calculated and paid each month. The streaming business is complex, but the speed briefing breaks it all down into ten easy-to-grasp steps.

Says CMU Insights MD Chris Cooke, who delivers the speed briefing: "As the streaming market comes of age, there are lots of debates to be had about the business model behind it all, and the way monies are generated and shared out. But properly participating in that debate requires understanding the current model. That's why MMF commissioned us to produce the 'Digital Dollar' reports: so its members could have an informed opinion".

"Understanding the model requires knowing a little bit about copyright law, and record contracts, and publishing contracts, and collective licensing", he goes on. "The 'Digital Dollar' book goes into all that in some detail, but the speed briefing is a punchy introduction to how it all works that ensures you know the basics".

The 'How Streaming Services Are Licensed' speed briefing takes place at the Vil Vil Vest festival in Bergen, Norway on Thursday at 11am; at the all-new Pivotal conference in Birmingham on Friday at 1.45pm; and as part of the training programme at the Reeperbahn festival in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday 22 Sep at 11am.

For more information about the CMU Insights speed briefings, including how you can host one, click here. For more information on the 'Digital Dollar' project and book click here.


Approved: Daniel Avery - Visible Gravity
Daniel Avery has released a new 50 minute ambient track, called 'Visible Gravity', as a taster of what to expect from his upcoming sets supporting Jon Hopkins on his North American tour. Meanwhile, Hopkins has remixed 'Glitter' from Avery's latest album, 'Song For Alpha'.

Of the somewhat lengthy 'Visible Gravity', and how he plans to use it on the tour, Avery explains: "When asked by Jon to support him on his American tour we talked of ways in which we could make the night work as a whole and, from drawing on my own club experiences, decided that I should play from doors opening until Jon's first note".

"I was asked to put together a mix as a demonstration [of how that might work], but an idea in my head repeatedly dragged my attention away", he continues. "A single loop wouldn't leave my mind and the resulting piece emerged after an intense studio session in London. The piece is an ode to those early and quiet moments in a night where the strobe light is still only a hopeful glimmer beyond the horizon, a sign of the euphoria to follow. I live for those feelings".

Listen to 'Visible Gravity' here.

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

Queen film to premiere at Wembley (Arena)
New Queen biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is set to premiere at Wembley Arena next month. Yeah, I know Wembley Stadium would be more appropriate. But come on, 6200 tickets is already OTT for a film screening, and that will only half fill the arena. Imagine how empty the stadium would look.

Chris Green, MD of film studio Fox UK, says: "We're delighted to be at The SSE Arena, Wembley giving Queen fans the chance to share in what is going to be a fantastic event. The venue is perfect for showcasing the show-stopping performances in the film".

I thought we agreed it was adequate, not perfect. Anyway, speaking of 'Live Aid', which in a very roundabout sort of way we were, even if you didn't notice, it was announced last week that audio tracks from the band's performance at the charity show will be released as part of the film's soundtrack album. It'll be the first time they've been commercially available.

That soundtrack album will be out on 19 Oct, ahead of the film's release on 26 Oct. The premiere will take place on 23 Oct. Tickets for the Wembley Arena screening will go on sale to the general public (not all 6200 of them being given away to celebs, crew and hangers on) at 9am tomorrow morning.


Kurt Vile announces new album, UK tour
Kurt Vile has announced that he will release a new album, 'Bottle It In', next month. The record will feature guest appearances from Kim Gordon, Cass McCombs, Stella Mozgawa and more.

"For a while I was terrified of flying, so [whenever I flew somewhere] I would be listening to whatever country songs I was obsessed with", says Vile of the inspiration for the album. "I'd have George Jones blasting in my ears. Or, I would be reading something about country music. Or, I would start writing songs in that flash of being afraid, being swallowed by life. I'm up there on a plane drinking wine because like everybody else I'm afraid to die".

The album will be released on 12 Oct. New single, 'Bassackwards', is out now. Watch the video here.

Tour dates is another thing that there will be. Here's a whole list of them:

5 Nov: Brighton, Concorde 2
6 Nov: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire
7 Nov: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire
8 Nov: Bristol, St Philips Gate
9 Nov: Birmingham, The Crossing
10 Nov: Manchester, Albert Hall
11 Nov: Leeds, Academy
13 Nov: Glasgow, SWG3
14 Nov: Dublin, Vicar Street
15 Nov: Belfast, The Limelight


The 1975 announce 2019 live dates
With the release of their new album, 'A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships', still further away than you probably think - it's out on 20 Nov - The 1975 have announce tour dates for January 2019. Which is further away still.

These are them:

9 Jan: Belfast, SSE Arena
10 Jan: Dublin, 3Arena
12 Jan: Glasgow, Hydro
14 Jan: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
16 Jan: Brighton Centre
18 Jan: London, O2 Arena
21 Jan: Exeter, Westpoint
23 Jan: Birmingham Arena
24 Jan: Manchester Arena
25 Jan: Sheffield, FlyDSA Arena


Warner, Richard Ashcroft, Billie Marten, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Warner Music in Australia has announced a new alliance with Inertia Music - the independent label services business bought by [PIAS] last year - which will see the two companies collaborate on physical distribution. This new coalition on music distribution will go by the catchy name of the Music Distribution Coalition.

• Richard Ashcroft has released the video for new single 'Surprised By The Joy'. His new album, 'Natural Rebel', is out on 19 Oct.

• Billie Marten has released new single 'Mice'. "I felt sort of empty and lacking a lot of purpose", she says of her mood when she wrote the song. "'Mice' came out of that sentiment, which is why the drums are so lethargic and lazy. The chorus though, reflects how last year I didn't know who to 'imitate'. It seemed there was only good and bad people in black and white; I was the anomaly in the middle. Then I went walking and sat on a dead man's bench and wrote the last verse".

• Courtney Marie Andrews has released new single 'Heart And Soul'. She's set to play UK shows in December, including one at Union Chapel in London on 3 Dec.

• Holy Child have released new single 'Hundred Thousand Hearts'. "'Hundred Thousand Hearts' is about how nothing else matters except love", says the duo's Liz Nistico. "The world will eventually end, and I hope when my residual energy is floating past the constellations it holds some semblance of the love I have in my life".

• LCMDF have released new single 'Thank God I Didn't Get To Know You At All'. Their new album, 'Sad Bangers', is out on 21 Sep. They're set to play a London show at The Lexington on 15 Oct.

• Maribou State have announced that they will play Brixton Academy on 9 Mar next year. This will be their biggest headline show so far, following tour dates next month that will culminate at the Roundhouse on 18 Oct.

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


Nicki Minaj addresses Cardi B altercation on Beats 1
Well, Nicki Minaj's show on Apple Music was once again a newsworthy affair last night. If nothing else, she's doing a great job of reminding everyone that Beats 1 exists. If she keeps this up for a few more weeks, someone might actually start listening. Her newsworthy remarks on yesterday's show related to the altercation that occurred between her and Cardi B at a fashion industry party in New York at the weekend.

Both attended the Harper's Bazaar Icons event on Saturday, where Cardi B approached Minaj, apparently angry about comments she believed the rival rapper had made about her recently born child. Cardi B was escorted out of the party shortly afterwards with a bump on her head, reportedly received after Minaj threw a shoe at her.

Cardi B quickly posted a statement on Instagram saying that she had "let a lot of shit slide". However, she went on, albeit without actually naming Minaj, "when you mention my child, you choose to like comments about me as a mother, make comments about my abilities to take care of my daughter, [that] is when all bets are off".

On her Beats 1 show, Minaj denied that she had said any of those things, claiming that the baby dissing allegations had been invented by Cardi B's publicist. She then said that this weekend's incident had been "mortifying and humiliating" and had played out "in front of upper-echelon people who have their lives together".

Referring to herself by her real name, she went on: "Let me go on record saying I would never talk about anyone's child or parenting. I don't give a shit and it's so crazy to me that people always need to make Onika the bad guy. Onika Tanya Maraj will never speak ill of anyone's child. I am not a clown. What is clown shit, is telling [a lie] to the world for doing dumb shit. You knew when that footage came out you would look dumb so your publicist hurried up and put out a statement".

Of course, Minaj did recently claim that Travis Scot had used his baby, Stormi, to sell tickets for his tour, and in doing so shifted more records, denying her the American number one spot for her new album. She also said on an earlier Beats 1 appearance, "I know that you guys are saying me and baby Stormi have beef. Yes we do".

Last night, Minaj went on to accuse Cardi B of sleeping with DJs to get her records played, saying "she's built her career off of sympathy and payola".

The supposed feud between the two rappers has been the subject of speculation for some time. Throughout, it's generally either been shrugged off by both artists as a fabrication, or said to have been settled after misunderstandings were cleared up. And yet, rumours of the feuding continue, rumours now enhanced by last weekend's events. Although that was the first time they've actually come to blows.

In other news, Minaj has just released the video for 'Barbie Dreams' from her latest album, 'Queen'. On the track, she lists all the male rappers she wouldn't sleep with, turning many of them into Muppet-like puppets for the video, which you can see here.


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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