TODAY'S TOP STORY: Anti-touting group the FanFair Alliance yesterday hit out at the news that the Advertising Standards Authority has dismissed a complaint over the way Viagogo advertises tickets on Google search. The ad industry regulator ruled that a specific Viagogo ad for Rolling Stones tickets would not have misled fans, as three complainants - including FanFair - had argued... [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 draft new copyright directive in Europe reaches its final stages, the safe harbour reforms it contains remain 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 FanFair hits out as advertising regulator says Viagogo ads are all good
LABELS & PUBLISHERS RIAA expresses disappointment over safe harbour provision in the all new NAFTA
MEDIA Zoe Ball to replace Chris Evans as Radio 2 breakfast host
INDUSTRY PEOPLE Paul McCartney pays tribute to George Emerick
RELEASES Enter Shikari release documentary going behind the scenes of The Spark
Chlöe Howl releases new single, Work
ONE LINERS Elektra, Riz MC, Muse, more
AND FINALLY... Thom Yorke slapped away chance to write Fight Club soundtrack
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Audio Network seeking a Senior A&R Manager (UK & Europe) to work in the A&R team. You will have a primary focus on the implementation of Audio Network’s UK and European A&R and wider music strategy.

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Secretly Distribution seeks a full time Digital Marketing Co-ordinator based in our London office. This individual will work closely with our international and digital teams in a wide reaching role that will focus on sales and marketing in multiple territories outside of the US.

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FanFair hits out as advertising regulator says Viagogo ads are all good
Anti-touting group the FanFair Alliance yesterday hit out at the news that the Advertising Standards Authority has dismissed a complaint over the way Viagogo advertises tickets on Google search. The ad industry regulator ruled that a specific Viagogo ad for Rolling Stones tickets would not have misled fans, as three complainants - including FanFair - had argued.

The use of Google advertising by secondary ticketing sites, and especially Viagogo, to buy their way to the top of search results for in-demand concerts and tours has been a key talking point for those who want stricter regulation of the ticket resale market.

Those campaigners argue that many consumers do not understand the difference between primary and secondary ticketing platforms and are inclined to assume that whoever comes top on Google must be an official seller. Therefore they may buy from a tout on a site like Viagogo without realising that those tickets will likely be more expensive, that the booking fee will be higher, and that their tickets could even be cancelled by the promoter.

The British ad industry itself has expressed concerns about the way the secondary ticketing market promotes its tickets. The Advertising Standards Authority previously criticised all resale sites over the way they displayed prices, with booking fees and VAT often hidden at first instance.

Most sites amended the way prices were listed in response to the ASA's criticism, although Viagogo initially resisted, with the ad industry regulator threatening sanctions against the firm as a result. Then last month the ASA said that it was now happy that Viagogo had dealt with its concerns over pricing, meaning that all active sanctions were off the agenda.

The ASA had also criticised Viagogo in particular over its use of terms like "official site" and "100% guaranteed", because sellers on the platform are completely "unofficial" and tickets bought from touts may in fact be cancelled by the promoter. Technically the "guarantee" refers to Viagogo's commitment to refund monies if tickets do not get a consumer entry into a show, but most people agree the use of the phrase is entirely misleading.

In response to that ASA criticism - and also new rules introduced by Google relating to secondary ticketing sites advertising on its search engine - Viagogo also amended some of the phrasing it uses around its advertising.

Though, interestingly, while paid for Google listings from Viagogo no longer use the term "100% guaranteed", some of those that appear organically on the search engine still do. And, of course, the company is still accused of ignoring other elements of UK consumer rights law, leading to legal action by the Competition & Markets Authority.

The ASA's ruling earlier this week was separate to its past proclamations on how resale sites display pricing information and such like. It related to a specific complaint about the way Viagogo promoted tickets to Rolling Stones shows on Google. Complainants argued that the text used in the paid-for search engine listing didn't make it clear that Viagogo was a resale platform and not an official seller of tickets to the Rolling Stones concerts.

In its defence, Viagogo argued that it is a well known secondary ticketing site, that it didn't claim to be a primary ticket seller in the ad, that consumers know there are various options when buying tickets to events, and that Google advertising doesn't allow for very many words to explain the ins and outs of the ticketing market. It also drew a parallel with the way the travel industry works and how travel agents advertise on Google.

According to the ASA's ruling yesterday: "Viagogo provided the analogy of searching for flights online, where consumers were often presented with results for websites where you can book directly with the relevant airline, third party agents or comparison websites. In such cases, there was no requirement to state in the initial ad what type of website the link would send you to".

While that travel industry analogy seems to have impressed the ASA, it's worth noting that when a third party travel website sells a plane ticket, it isn't doing so in violation of the airline's terms and conditions. Which is very often the case when tickets are resold on Viagogo. Therefore that's something of a false equivalency.

Confirming it was not upholding the complaint in relation to the Rolling Stones listing, the ASA said that it didn't think "consumers would assume that the ad was for a primary ticketing website" or that Viagogo's ad was misleading by failing to explicitly state it wasn't a primary seller. Also reckoning that there was no specific obligation for Viagogo to explicitly state that it was an unofficial secondary seller, the ASA said: "We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to mislead consumers".

Needless to say, the FanFair Alliance was very critical of yesterday's announcement, which it says reverses a draft decision it was sent by the regulator back in June. It has now submitted an appeal to the ASA's 'independent reviewer', urging it to overturn the ruling.

The anti-touting campaign said: "FanFair research has repeatedly highlighted the detrimental impact of Viagogo's marketing practices - with the site paying to dominate Google search, but without making a clear disclosure it is a 'resale' site. It is estimated that over 40% of Viagogo's traffic comes directly from paid search".

It then referenced its own past research that suggests many consumers are still confused about the difference between primary and secondary sites, as well as revealing the results of a new survey of 100 members of the Victim Of Viagogo Facebook Group. Of those people, 91% found Viagogo via a Google search, 92% didn't realise they were clicking on a paid-for listing, 90% didn't know Viagogo was a resale site rather than a primary ticket agent, and 95% felt Viagogo's Google adverts should make its status as a resale site clear.

Also citing widespread criticism of Viagogo's marketing practices from the music community, consumer rights groups, government agencies in multiple countries, and MPs and ministers in the UK, FanFair Campaign Manager Adam Webb stated: "We are struggling to make sense of this decision. It defies all evidence and favours a controversial and potentially law-breaking Swiss website over the interests of British consumers".

He went on: "An ASA stamp of approval flies in the face of everything we know about Viagogo, and implies that the site and it's marketing practices meet the regulator's standard of being 'legal, decent, honest and truthful'. We have already sent an appeal to the ASA's independent reviewer urging that this ruling is overturned".

One of the MPs who has been most vocal on ticket touting over the years, Sharon Hodgson MP, joined in with the criticism, telling reporters: "Throughout my many years of campaigning against the rogue secondary ticket market, I have heard time and time again of fans being misled and ripped off by Viagogo. It is time for serious action to be taken against them, but this statement from ASA is one step backwards at a time when we should be moving forwards with stronger enforcement for the sake of fans across the country".

FanFair and the All Party Parliamentary Group On Ticket Abuse - chaired by Hodgson - have already called on Google itself to stop taking Viagogo advertising, especially in light of the CMA legal action against the resale platform. That call was also backed by the Society Of Ticket Agents And Retailers, which yesterday also criticised the ASA ruling.

Its CEO Jonathan Brown said: "FanFair's research underpins widespread criticism that Viagogo's ability to buy its way to the top of searches for tickets can lead to consumer confusion and potential harm. It is disappointing that the ASA has ignored the experiences of ticket buyers, as well as the many concerns raised by regulators, politicians and the industry over Viagogo's practices. STAR supports FanFair's appeal against this adjudication in the hope that it leads to a better resolution that actually works to protect consumers".

For its part Viagogo - which has started responding to things like this again in the last couple of months - said in a statement yesterday: "We have been working closely with the ASA and are pleased to have reached resolution. We remain committed to providing clear information to our customers. All tickets on Viagogo are genuine and backed by our guarantee".


RIAA expresses disappointment over safe harbour provision in the all new NAFTA
The American record industry has criticised a new trade deal between the US, Canada and Mexico for including the pesky copyright safe harbour but without any of the reforms that the music business has been calling for, particularly in relation to user-upload platforms.

The governments of Canada and the US reached an agreement last weekend on a revamp of what was known as the North American Free Trade Agreement, and what will now be called the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA for short. Mexico and America confirmed that they had reached an understanding on the big revamp back in August, but it took an extra month to get Canada on board for the trade deal reforms.

It was US President Donnie Trump who instigated a review of the 25 year old North American Free Trade Agreement, he having once dubbed it as "the single worst trade deal ever approved" by the US. USMCA, he said on Monday, is a "brand new deal" and, by the way, "the most important trade deal we've ever made, by far".

Which is probably an exaggeration, USMCA is basically NAFTA v2. Though even ardent Trump critics will likely concede that there are some significant changes, especially in relation to cars, milk and employee rights.

Then there are the sections on intellectual property. Both the tech sector and the entertainment business hoped that the NAFTA revamp would be an opportunity to talk about the copyright safe harbour that has proven so controversial in music industry circles in recent years. The safe harbour, of course, is the thing that says that internet companies cannot be held liable when their customers use their networks and servers to distribute copyright protected material without licence.

The tech sector hoped that NAFTA v2 would be a way of ensuring that the kind of safe harbour protections they currently enjoy under US law would be made available in Canada and Mexico as well. The entertainment business, meanwhile, hoped that any mention of safe harbour in the new trade treaty would deal with its concerns over how safe harbours have been exploited by user-upload platforms like YouTube. And in doing so, possibly pave the way for safe harbour reforms Stateside in line with those that are being drafted in Europe.

It's fair to say that the tech sector got more of what it wanted. Responding to that, the President of the Recording Industry Association Of America, Mitch Glazier, published a statement earlier this week arguing that the proposed new treaty does not provide "adequate modern copyright protections for American creators".

"We understand the US Trade Representative and his team must navigate a complex trade landscape", Glazier started. "And we appreciate the diligent work of Ambassador [Robert] Lighthizer and his staff over the past several months. Unfortunately, the agreement's proposed text does not advance adequate modern copyright protections for American creators. Instead, the proposal enshrines regulatory 20 year old 'safe harbour' provisions that do not comport with today's digital reality".

Repeating the music industry's objection to current safe harbour rules, Glazier went on: "These provisions enrich platforms that abuse outdated liability protections at the expense of American creators and the US music community, which provides real jobs and is one of our nation's biggest cultural assets. Modern trade treaties should advance the policy priority of encouraging more accountability on public platforms, not less".

The RIAA man then concluded: "We are hopeful that the administration and Congress will redouble their efforts to further this priority going forward, which is front and centre in the national dialogue today. We look forward to working with both USTR and Congress to ensure that this text serves not as a precedent but a launching pad for future negotiations toward a framework that works for everyone in the digital marketplace, including creators".

There are, however, reasons to be cheerful for the music community in relation to the copyright section of USMCA, although mainly for songwriters and music publishers. Under the agreement, Canada will bring its copyright term for songs in line with the US (and Europe) by extending it from the current 'life of the creator plus 50 years' to 'life of the creators plus 70 years'. This part of the deal doesn't affect Mexico which already has the world's longest copyright term for things like songs, life plus 100 years.

This will please the music publishing sector, which had also been calling on Canada to increase the copyright term for so called literary and musical works. Those calls had strengthened in recent years after Canada did decide to increase the copyright term for sound recordings - from 50 to 70 years after release - bringing that in line with Europe.

Although now agreed by governments in the US, Canada and Mexico, the all new trade agreement still needs to be ratified by legislatures in all three countries, and US Congress for one isn't likely to get to that until next year.


Zoe Ball to replace Chris Evans as Radio 2 breakfast host
Zoe Ball has been named as Chris Evans' successor on the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, becoming the first woman to host the programme in its more than 50 years on air. She will take up the position in January.

Evans announced last month that he was leaving Radio 2 after eight years presenting the breakfast show, he having taken over from Terry Wogan in 2010. It was subsequently revealed that he was moving to do the same show on digital station Virgin Radio.

Zoe Ball was immediately among the favourites to replace Evans and said yesterday: "I'm absolutely THRILLED to be following in the giant footsteps of Chris Evans as the host of the 'Radio 2 Breakfast Show'. To be the first woman to present this very special show is both an honour and privilege".

She went on: "Believe me, I'm not underestimating the enormity of the task ahead, to follow not one but two of my broadcasting idols, into such a well-loved show is somewhat daunting. I hope, in the same way that Chris made this show his own after taking over from the wonderful Sir Terry Wogan, that with a top team alongside me, I can bring the fabulous Radio 2 audience a show they want to wake up to".

Ball has previous breakfast radio experience, of course. She co-hosted the Radio 1 breakfast show with Kevin Greening in 1997, before becoming the first woman to present that show solo a year later. More recently, she has worked as a relief presenter on Radio 2 since 2006, covering various presenters while they were away, including Chris Evans. Since last year, she has also had her own Saturday afternoon show on the station.

"I'm delighted that Zoe is the new host of the 'Radio 2 Breakfast Show'", says Head Of Radio 2 Lewis Carnie. "She's a hugely talented and much loved presenter who brings over 25 years broadcasting experience to the network. She's already built a loyal audience via her Saturday afternoon show, and I know she'll be a huge hit with the listeners".

Another favourite to take over from Evans was Sara Cox, who succeeded Ball on the Radio 1 breakfast show in 2000. While she doesn't get top billing, she will present the breakfast show on Radio 2 for ten weeks of the year, covering for Ball when she's away. She will also continue to host her own weekday evening show.

Elsewhere in BBC Radio news, Radio 2 and 6 Music presenter Mark Radcliffe has announced that he is taking a break from broadcasting while he undergoes treatment for cancer. Radcliffe announced his diagnosis on his Radio 2 folk show yesterday evening, wishing listeners a merry Christmas and telling them that he will return in the new year.

On Twitter, he wrote: "Now - here's a thing - I'm sad to say that I've got some cancerous tongue and lymph node issues and so, as I'm sure you'll understand, I'm going to be disappearing for a while. It's all been caught very early and so everything should be fine".

Meanwhile, over on Radio 1 and 1Xtra, Charlie Sloth has announced that he is leaving, after ten years at the BBC. In a statement, he said: "After almost ten years of dedicating my life to BBC Radio 1Xtra and Radio 1 and achieving everything I set out to, I've decided the time has come to leave the BBC and seek a new challenge ... I hope all my colleagues at 1Xtra and Radio 1 keep up the amazing work, it's been an incredible place to work and I'm honoured to have done so. I joined the BBC as a boy and I leave as a man".

Sloth's final edition of 'The Eighth' on Radio 1 will be broadcast on 1 Nov, while his last 1Xtra 'Rap Show' will go out on 3 Nov. His departure comes weeks after DJ Semtex left 1Xtra after fifteen years, moving to a new job at Spotify. Replacements for both presenters, and Sloth's next role, are still to be announced.


Paul McCartney pays tribute to George Emerick
Paul McCartney has paid tribute to sound engineer Geoff Emerick, who has died aged 72. Emerick started his career at Abbey Road Studios aged fifteen and worked on several Beatles albums.

"I first met Geoff when he was a young engineer working at Abbey Road Studios", wrote McCartney. "He would grow to be the main engineer that we worked with on many of our Beatles tracks. He had a sense of humour that fitted well with our attitude to work in the studio and was always open to the many new ideas that we threw at him. He grew to understand what we liked to hear and developed all sorts of techniques to achieve this".

"We spent many exciting hours in the studio and he never failed to come up with the goods", he went on. "After The Beatles, I continued to work with him and our friendship grew to the point where when he got married to his beautiful wife Nicole, it was in the church close to where we lived in the country ... We kept in touch through the years and our phone calls or messages always gained a giggle or two".

As well as working with The Beatles on albums including 'Sgt Pepper', 'Revolver' and 'Abbey Road', and various McCartney solo albums, Emerick also worked with artists including Elvis Costello, The Zombies, Art Garfunkel and Ultravox.


Approved: Koalas
Synth-pop duo Koalas recently previewed new single 'Sandcastles', showing off their rich analogue sound and twin vocal approach. Now they've followed it up with the B-side, 'Imaging', a mostly instrumental track that delves further into the sound and style they're developing.

"When you're working in a new band with a limited number of releases available, a B-side is so important to show light and shade", says Sam Jones. "'Imaging' has a more sprawling structure and experiments with a different sound-world, using more live percussive instruments and loops. It's freeing to be able to create something that steps out of the traditional song format and work in slightly weirder spaces, playing with more repetition, minimalism, suspense and release".

It's clear that a great deal of thought has already gone into this relatively new project. Jones adds: "We've taken our time to pull everything together, craft and refine. The live show in particular was something we had to really think about before we could even get close to a rehearsal room. The show is about 80% analogue synths with live drums so what you're hearing is pure voltage, which is hopefully pretty exciting".

You can catch that live show at two upcoming London shows. They'll play the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 11 Oct and The Finsbury in Harringay on 16 Nov.

Listen to 'Imaging' here.

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

Enter Shikari release documentary going behind the scenes of The Spark
With a book full of lyrics from and other gubbins related to their most recent album 'The Spark' already on the way, Enter Shikari have now released a documentary about the making of the record. Called 'Content 2.0', it also includes a track-by-track breakdown of the finished product.

"Normally, you'd release one of these track-by-track things in order to bolster the marketing around the release of an album", says frontman Rou Reynolds. They didn't do that, however, because they thought people would consider the album to be a departure from the normal Enter Shikari sound ("whatever that is", Reynolds notes), and therefore fans should be able to interpret the music first before the band turned up with their own analysis.

"We wanted people to be comfortable with their own interpretations and perspectives of what the album is before we started crushing their dreams with our insights and expositions into the arcane technical aspects of the recording", he says. "We hope there's something in the documentary for rabid fan and passing-interest viewer alike".

Watch the film here.


Chlöe Howl releases new single, Work
Chlöe Howl has released her first new track since last year's 'Do It Alone'. New single 'Work' emerges in the midst of the recording of her ridiculously long-awaited debut album.

"I wrote this after watching so many of my incredible friends deal with substandard romances", she says of the new track. "It's kind of a reminder to myself and hopefully others that we don't owe anybody our time or attention - they have to work for it".

She concludes: "I hope people listen to it, feel like they're the shit and leave that loser on read". You can do the listening bit of that here.


Elektra, Riz MC, Muse, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Warner Music has marked the official launch of the all new Elektra Music Group by announcing the remainder of its executive team. This includes Tim Davideit as Head Of Digital Marketing, Glenn Fukushima as Head Of Publicity and Ana Lenuzza Ross as Head Of Film, TV & Video Game Licensing. "Brilliant", says co-President Mike Easterlin.

• Indie music publisher Bucks Music Group has announced a new deal with BASCA that will see it pay for all of its new signings to join the songwriter trade body. "Publishers are increasingly aware of the importance of having a strong, informed and united creator voice", says Bucks MD Simon Platz. Too right. Though I suspect Sony/ATV won't follow suit.

• Stefan Enberg has been named the new CEO of playlisting company X5 Music, which was acquired by Warner Music in 2016. Enberg was the original COO and co-founder of the company. He replaces his other co-founder, Johan Lagerlöf, in the CEO role.

• Actor Riz Ahmed is back to being rapper Riz MC and as ever he's brilliant on new single 'Mogambo'. He's also announced that he'll play a one-off London show at Village Underground on 17 Oct.

• John Grant has released another new track from his upcoming album. Here's 'Is He Strange'.

• Tune-Yards and US Girls have remixed each other. Both tracks will be available on a limited edition seven-inch, for sale at their upcoming US tour dates. Or you can listen to them both here.

• Roisin Murphy has released the video for 'Jacuzzi Rollercoaster', featuring Ali Love.

• Soak is back with her first new material in ages, a new single called 'Everybody Loves You'. She'll also play a handful of UK and Ireland shows next month.

• Mumdance has announced that he will release a mix of 32 previously unreleased tracks on 20 Nov. Titled 'Shared Meanings', it will be available as a free download, and on various non-free physical formats. There'll also be a launch show at Oval Space in London on 23 Nov.

• Sega Bodega has released new single 'Kisses 2 My Phone', the first track from an upcoming new EP, 'Self*care', out on 24 Oct.

• Mellah has released a new single, 'What It Is'. "On a daily basis we're faced with a torrent of injustice and oppression from all around the world, it's so easy to feel overwhelmed", he says. "I started writing the track from a place of trying to stay hopeful within myself, but it progressed into a sort of wider call to arms to keep on fighting for those with less means to fight for themselves".

• Eliza Shaddad has released the video for new single 'Just Goes To Show'. With her debut album, 'Future', out on 26 Oct, she kicks off a UK tour at Hackney's Oslo venue on 26 Nov.

• Piney Gir has announced that she will release new album, 'Dreamcatcher', on 12 Oct. She'll also play a London show at the Sebright Arms on 15 Oct. Here's her new single, also called 'Dreamcatcher'.

• Muse will play the Royal Albert Hall on 3 Dec, in support of the Prince's Trust. "For a long time, we've admired the work of The Prince's Trust", says Matt Bellamy. "When we were starting out as a band the Trust actually gave us a small grant to buy our first PA system, which I still have to this day. It really helped set us up on the right road and we're delighted to be able to play a show to raise funds for them".

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


Thom Yorke slapped away chance to write Fight Club soundtrack
When it was released in 1999, 'Fight Club' arrived sporting an immediately iconic soundtrack composed by The Dust Brothers. Spare a moment though to think about what could have been. The first choice to write that score was one Thom Yorke.

"After we'd finished recording 'OK Computer' and I was completely ga-ga, they asked me to do 'Fight Club'", Yorke told BBC Radio 6 Music. "They sent me the script and Ed [Norton] and Brad Pitt wrote to me and said, 'We really think you should do this'. And I went, 'Nah, I can't'. I couldn't. I wouldn't have been able to do it then. But every time I see the film, I go, 'aw'".

Now, 20 years later, Yorke has finally written his first film soundtrack, for Luca Guadagnino's re-imagining of 70s horror classic 'Suspiria'. The soundtrack album is set for release on 26 Oct. Here's new track 'Has Ended'.


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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