TODAY'S TOP STORY: Spotify turns ten years old this week. That's right, ten whole years of streaming goodness. Remember the whole 'access' v 'ownership' debate? Lovely Roberta? The 'will the labels ever let them launch freemium in the US' chatter? The Thom Yorke 'last desperate fart' moment? The weird but short-lived Facebook love-in? Happy days! Anyway, what do birthdays mean? That's right: stats. And to that end, the streaming service has revealed the ten most-streamed acts, tracks and albums from its first decade in business... [READ MORE]
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TOP STORIES Spotify reveals biggest artists of its first ten years
LEGAL Dispute between Scooter Braun and Troy Carter's companies intensifies
LABELS & PUBLISHERS DistroKid scores "significant" new investment
LIVE BUSINESS Another Congressman jumps on the Ticketmaster touting exposé
GIGS & FESTIVALS Post Malone announces UK & Ireland shows
Giorgio Moroder announces UK tour dates
ONE LINERS The Greatest Showman, Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, more
AND FINALLY... Madonna releases thing that is clearly a face massager and not a sex toy
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Your Army Promotions is an industry leader, with offices in London, Sydney and Los Angeles, working with the biggest and most credible acts in the world. We are looking for a Press Assistant to join our London-based PR Department.

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Spotify reveals biggest artists of its first ten years
Spotify turns ten years old this week. That's right, ten whole years of streaming goodness. Remember the whole 'access' v 'ownership' debate? Lovely Roberta? The 'will the labels ever let them launch freemium in the US' chatter? The Thom Yorke 'last desperate fart' moment? The weird but short-lived Facebook love-in? Happy days! Anyway, what do birthdays mean? That's right: stats. And to that end, the streaming service has revealed the ten most-streamed acts, tracks and albums from its first decade in business.

The most striking thing about the various lists is the lack of women. Just two - Rihanna and Ariana Grande - feature in the top ten most-streamed acts list, there are none in the albums chart, and the two women in the tracks list are guest vocalists on records put out by men.

Of course two of the biggest female artists of the last decade - Taylor Swift and Adele - have both been famous Spotify hold-outs at various points during that time. But nevertheless, the lack of gender diversity is depressing. Indeed, so few women are there on Spotify's big birthday lists that it has also put out an additional women-only top ten.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, your best buddy Ed Sheeran comes out near the top of all three of the main lists. He is only beaten to the number one spot in the most-streamed acts list by that pesky Drake dude. Justin Bieber also does pretty damn well too - also unsurprisingly, I guess - and particularly so on the songs list, where he appears on three tracks that appear one after the other, albeit in the latter half of the top ten.

Having put out those various new charts - and then presumably guzzled down on some fine cake covered in green icing - Spotify also put together some handy lists of information we already knew, but which we can now look back at with nostalgic glee. That includes the most popular track for each of its first ten years and the first ten acts to reach one billion streams and the year they achieved it - Rihanna getting there first in 2013.

Those who prefer their statistics in the form of big numbers rather than lists of pop stars also got a birthday treat as the streaming firm issued a statement about the landmark. "We now have 180 million monthly active listeners across 65 countries", it said. "And as of 31 Aug 2018, we have paid over ten billion euros to rights holders since launch".

"Music fans on Spotify can enjoy our music library of over 40 million songs and podcasts, and three billion-plus user-created playlists", it mused on. "And to date, over 2000 genres have been identified on Spotify, among them wonky (electronic music characterised by synths with unusual time signatures), shimmer pop (a Swedish cousin of indie pop and indietronica), and British blues (the blues... with a British flavour)".

If you prefer your statistics in the form of super duper fuck off massive numbers, well listen up to this one: the total amount of time users have spent playing stuff on Spotify over the last decade is 16,858,080 years. Which is quite a lot.

Of course by this point some in the music community will be mumbling that all those impressive stats are good news for the pop stars that filled those top ten lists - them getting the most streams and therefore most of the money - but that that's not much help for everyone else.

Perhaps aware of that, Spotify finished its stats splurge by insisting that its users are listening to a more diverse range of music. Users have been listening to - on average - 8% more artists each year, with a 40% increase in the last three years since personalised playlists like Discover Weekly were introduced.

Which is lovely. Except, of course, as the headline stats show, among the most popular acts at least, this diversity of listening does not extend to gender diversity. And now here's a playlist featuring all the mainly man-made music in these lists. Though if everyone now tunes into that, that's not going to help improve any gender stats in the short term.

Top-streamed artists of all time:
1. Drake
2. Ed Sheeran
3. Eminem
4. The Weeknd
5. Rihanna
6. Kanye West
7. Coldplay
8. Justin Bieber
9. Calvin Harris
10. Ariana Grande

Most-streamed songs of all time:
1. Ed Sheeran - Shape Of You
2. Drake - One Dance
3. The Chainsmokers & Halsey - Closer
4. Post Malone feat 21 Savage - Rockstar
5. Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud
6. Major Lazer, MØ, DJ Snake - Lean On
7. Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber - Despacito (Remix)
8. Justin Bieber - Love Yourself
9. Justin Bieber - Sorry
10. The Chainsmokers - Don't Let Me Down

Most-streamed albums globally
1. Ed Sheeran - Divide
2. Justin Bieber - Purpose
3. Drake - Views
4. Ed Sheeran - Multiply
5. Post Malone - Beerbongs & Bentleys
6. The Weeknd - Starboy
7. Drake - Scorpion
8. The Weeknd - Beauty Behind The Madness
9. Post Malone - Stoney
10. Kendrick Lamar - Damn

Most-streamed female artists globally
1. Rihanna
2. Ariana Grande
3. Sia
4. Beyonce
5. Nicki Minaj
6. Adele
7. Taylor Swift
8. Selena Gomez
9. Katy Perry
10. Shakira

Top globally streamed song by year
2008: The Killers - "Human"
2009: The Black Eyed Peas - "I Gotta Feeling"
2010: Eminem, Rihanna - "Love The Way You Lie"
2011: Don Omar - "Danza Kuduro"
2012: Gotye - "Somebody That I Used To Know" (feat. Kimbra)
2013: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "Can't Hold Us" (feat. Ray Dalton)
2014: Pharrell Williams - "Happy" - From "Despicable Me 2"
2015: Major Lazer - "Lean On" (feat. MØ & DJ Snake)
2016: Drake - "One Dance"
2017: Ed Sheeran - "Shape of You"

First ten artists to reach one billion streams
1. Rihanna (2013)
2. David Guetta (2013)
3. Eminem (2013)
4. Kanye West (2014)
5. Avicii (2014)
6. Coldplay (2014)
7. JAY Z (2014)
8. Katy Perry (2014)
9. Drake (2014)
10. Pitbull (2014)


Dispute between Scooter Braun and Troy Carter's companies intensifies
The legal battle between Scooter Braun and Troy Carter is intensifying, as Braun's business applies for an injunction to effectively freeze the bank accounts of Carter's companies. Braun's Ithaca Management Holdings accuses Carter, his wife and his Atom Factory company of fraud and breach of contract.

It was originally reported that the dispute related to a $10 million loan made by Ithaca to Atom Factory. In the former's latest legal filing, it says that the original loan in June 2016 was actually for $26 million, and that $14.5 million remains outstanding.

The issue of repayment seems to have come to a head after Atom Factory settled a legal dispute with another unnamed party. According to Billboard sources, this was former Atom Factory client Lady Gaga. Under the terms of the loan deal, says Ithaca's previous legal filing, if this other dispute was settled, any money received by Carter's company should have been transferred to Ithaca as payment on the loan.

However, Ithaca claims, that dispute was settled in March this year but no money has been handed over. It alleges that proceeds from the settlement - over $10 million - were instead diverted to other recipients and never reached Carter's holding company, AFACT, which is the entity liable for the payment to Ithaca.

Ithaca says that, had AFACT handed over $10 million at that point, it would have considered the whole matter over and done with. But instead, it claims, Carter intentionally hid that money in an attempt to make it look like AFACT couldn't afford to pay off the loan.

When a repayment deadline of the end of August was missed - despite "repeated assurances" that it would be met - Ithaca says it demanded full payment of the outstanding $14.57 million on the loan. It went legal, it says, after Carter's company refused to allow an audit in early September.

Ithaca is now seeking an injunction to "prevent debtors from placing property which legitimately should be available for the satisfaction of demands of creditors beyond their reach". It also wants the case fast tracked - bringing forward a hearing currently set for May. Carter's lawyers have said that will oppose any date set within the next 60 days.


DistroKid scores "significant" new investment
DIY distribution platform DistroKid has announced "significant" new investment from Silversmith Capital Partners. Although one of a number of DIY distributors on the market, US-based DistroKid has grown in profile in recent years and is pushed particularly heavily on the Spotify For Artists website.

"My goal since founding DistroKid has been to build great things for musicians", says founder Philip Kaplan. "We've experienced incredible growth, and are deeply honoured to serve every musician who has chosen DistroKid to be a part of their journey".

On the new loot, he adds: "Adding capital and expertise will help support our rapid growth, as well as planned expansion into new areas. As I've come to know the Silversmith team, it has struck me how much they value a founder's vision. I'm excited to partner with Silversmith as we embark on the next phase of growth".

Silversmith's Todd MacLean chips in: "In the end, what we do - or try to do - at Silversmith is pretty simple. We strive to find the very best founders, the ones with the vision and the passion to build things customers can't seem to live without, and work tirelessly to support them. Given the transformation underway in the industry as music moves into the cloud, DistroKid has built a lifeline for artists to connect with the rest of the world".

Are we still talking about music moving into the 'cloud' in 2018? Yeah, why not? MacLean goes on: "We believe the opportunity to back an amazing entrepreneur like Philip, in a market with real and growing tailwinds, is a rare one, and the type of opportunity we founded Silversmith to make". Cheery outcomes all round then.

As part of the deal, MacLean and another Silversmith exec - Sri Roa - will join DistroKid's board. The exact amount of money being handed over has not been disclosed, but it's thought to be somewhere between 50 cents and six squillion dollars.


Another Congressman jumps on the Ticketmaster touting exposé
A long-time critic of Live Nation and Ticketmaster in US Congress has written to the country's Department Of Justice to find out more about its reported investigation into the live giant's operations. Oh, and to make sure that the government department saw all the hoo haa that followed that recent report in the Canadian media about Ticketmaster's ongoing dabblings in the secondary ticketing business Stateside, via which it works with the touts, or 'scalpers' as they are called in North America.

Bill Pascrell, a member of the House Of Representatives for New Jersey, wrote in a recent letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions: "I commend the Department Of Justice for opening an investigation into Live Nation's anticompetitive behaviour and write to bring to your attention new investigative reporting and further lines of inquiry. The Canadian Broadcasting Channel conducted a new investigation that reveals the ways in which Ticketmaster appears to collude with ticket scalpers to sell higher volumes of tickets on its platform - distorting the marketplace and harming consumers in the process".

The Congressman also referenced allegations in a New York Times report earlier this year that Live Nation may be in breach of the consent decree commitments it made to the US DoJ back in 2010 when the concert promoter and venue operator merged with Ticketmaster. Those reports, back in April, also referenced the DoJ investigation.

In his letter, Pascrell wrote: "We respectfully request more information regarding the Department's investigation into Live Nation. Specifically, are you investigating potential violations to the 2010 consent agreement, as mentioned above? If the consent decree has been violated, is the DOJ prepared to take further action?"

He then added: "Lastly, are you investigating additional monopolistic abuses resulting in higher prices and anticompetitive market distortions, like ticket holdbacks that drive up prices and colluding with scalpers to collect higher fees from consumers?"

Pascrell called for the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster to be blocked back in 2010 and has continued to publicly criticise the company in the subsequent years. It's also thought he helped persuade the US Federal Trade Commission to organise an open session discussing the state of the ticketing market next March.

Concluding in his letter to AG Sessions, the Congressman wrote: "The concentrated market power of Ticketmaster has made it a behemoth with little incentive to protect consumers in the live event industry. DOJ can, and should, thoroughly investigate and take strong steps to address any and all consent decree violations and anticompetitive practices of Ticketmaster/Live Nation. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter".

Ticketmaster's President in the US, Jared Smith, has been busy in recent months responding to the various allegations made against his company. His responses have come in interviews, via blog posts, and in the occasional letter to critics in Congress.

Although Smith is yet to respond to Pascrell's missive, he has written to two other Congressmen, Senators Jerry Moran and Richard Blumenthal, who wrote to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino following the CBC exposé. They were behind the US-wide ban of ticket touting bots that was introduced towards the end of Barack Obama's presidency.

The CBC report focused on an inventory management service Ticketmaster offers ticket touts called TradeDesk. In their letter last month, Moran and Blumenthal wrote "given our ongoing interest in protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive practices, we seek clarification on the use of [the TradeDesk] programme".

It then asked four specific questions about TradeDesk and how the company enforces the ticket limit policies on its primary site. In the CBC piece, a TradeDesk rep was seen being very blasé about how his clients - ie touts - routinely break the rules on that limit how many tickets any one person can buy.

Smith had pretty much addressed most of the criticisms of TradeDesk in earlier interviews and blog posts, but goes back through all the key points in his letter. And that includes his much repeated insistence that: "Ticketmaster does not have, and has never had, any product or programme that allows ticket scalpers, or anyone else, to buy tickets ahead of fans and circumvent the policies we have on our site regarding on-line ticket purchasing limits".

According to Billboard, which published the letter, elsewhere Smith insists that Ticketmaster remains a big supporter of the bots ban, adding that: "Through a combination of data science, enterprise grade software and new technologies, we are now blocking an average of five billion bot attempts per month, and over 60 billion per year".

As for people breaking the rules and trying to buy more tickets than they are allowed on, Smith says the firm has blocked millions of such attempts in the last year, and that they continue to invest in new technology to get even better at it.

It remains to be seen if Moran and Blumenthal are placated by the letter. Though it seems likely that, even if Smith does also address Pascrell's concerns, he's unlikely to win that particular Congressman round.


Approved: Elkka
Rising producer and founder of the Femme Culture label - which champions women in electronic music - Elkka has announced that she will release her latest EP, 'Full Circle', on 19 Oct.

"With this body of work I allowed myself for the first time to compose a stream of consciousness, without limitations or constraints", she says. "It was literally like I had allowed my mind to travel into parallel universes and spaces".

She adds: "This culminated into this two-sided EP - the day side and night side. Each piece of music representing different moments in time, from waking up to falling asleep and everything in between, travelling full circle".

Listen to a track from the EP, 'Talkin', here.

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

Post Malone announces UK & Ireland shows
That Post Malone chap is going to come over here and play some shows next year, which is jolly good of him. Tickets for them will go on sale tomorrow. Wonderful.

Last week, the rapper released the video for 'Better Now', from his recent longplayer, 'Beerbongs & Bentleys'. Here is that video.

Oh yes, and here are the tour dates:

14 Feb: Dublin, 3Arena
16 Feb: Birmingham, Resorts World Arena
17 Feb: Glasgow, Hydro
19 Feb: Manchester Arena
13 Mar: London, O2 Arena


Giorgio Moroder announces UK tour dates
Giorgio Moroder has announced his first ever European live tour - just five decades into his career - including four dates in the UK, next April.

"It is something I have always wanted to do, fans kept reaching out to me, asking if I would ever do a real tour", says the producer. "Back in the days it was unthinkable for producers to ever leave their studios. That territory was reserved for the singers".

"Today, DJs and music producers have become the superstars of popular dance music", he then notes, "so the time feels right and I am so excited to be finally doing this!"

Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning. Here are the dates:

1 Apr: Birmingham, Symphony Hall
2 Apr: London, Hammersmith Apollo
4 Apr: Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
5 Apr: Manchester, Apollo


The Greatest Showman, Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• With the soundtrack to 'The Greatest Showman' having deprived so many artists of a number one position in the UK albums chart in recent times, oh joy, a second album linked to the musical film is being released, this time with its songs re-recorded by various pop stars. Some of those acts include Panic! At The Disco, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Sara Bareilles, Years & Years and Jess Glynne. It will be released on 16 Nov.

• Ariana Grande has released the video for 'Breathin'. It's just footage of her pet pig. So, that's good if you like small pigs.

• Camila Cabello has released the video for the new orchestral version of her song, 'Consequences'.

• Paul McCartney has released the video for recent single, 'Come On To Me'.

• Thom Yorke has released yet another track from his 'Suspiria' soundtrack. This one is called 'Volk'.

• Little Dragon have signed to Ninja Tune and will release new EP, 'Lover Chanting', on 9 Nov. Here's the title track.

• Jon Spencer has released the video for new single 'I Got The Hits'.

• Girlpool have released two new songs, 'Lucy' and 'Where You Sink'.

• Petite Noir has released the video for latest single, 'Blame Fire'.

• Zuzu has released the video for new single, 'Dark Blue'. She'll be touring the UK in November, kicking off with a show at The Water Rats in London on 5 Nov.

• Alt-J have announced that their upcoming Royal Albert Hall shows at the end of the month will be the first in the UK to use the L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound system. So now you know.

• Charli XCX has just thrown it out there that she will be playing Heaven in London this Saturday.

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


Madonna releases thing that is clearly a face massager and not a sex toy
Madonna has brought out a new device. A device which people are mistaking for a sex toy. Even though quite clearly it is a $200 face massager. It's like all you people haven't seen a $200 face massager before.

To be fair, she hasn't exactly been forthcoming about what it actually is. A post on her Instagram page buries the words "carbon facial roller" right at the end of the caption, in a sea of emojis and phrases like "the first of its kind" and "infrared heat!"

You might still be wondering what a facial roller even is. Well, you know those things you sometimes get in boxes of toiletries at Christmas? You know, the wooden things with balls on. You know, the ones you roll along your leg a couple of times, then cast aside and occasionally find lying around the house for the next six years before you eventually throw them away? Yeah, well it turns out that's what those are.

Madonna's luxury one is being sold under her MDNA Skin brand. And if you go over to the Instagram page for that, I think it will pretty quickly become obvious that it's not a sex toy. She really clears things up with posts like this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and definitely this.

Anyway, just to confirm, it is like those things you sometimes get at Christmas - and no other time of year - and that you never want. Except it costs $200.


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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