TODAY'S TOP STORY: Spotify yesterday announced a stock repurchase programme, which means it will seek to buy back up to ten million of its own shares. The announcement follows a further dip in the streaming firm's share price last week following its latest quarterly report to investors... [READ MORE]
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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 Spotify announces share buy-back scheme
LEGAL US performer unions say dispute over royalty fund fees should be dismissed
LABELS & PUBLISHERS New neighbouring rights trade body launches
EDUCATION & EVENTS Host and guests announced for Artist:Entrepreneur Day Belfast
ARTIST NEWS Bono says the world is turning away from the fight against AIDS "at the dumbest moment ever"
GIGS & FESTIVALS The Spice Girls have only gone and announced their reunion tour
ONE LINERS Jake Gosling, Sony Music, MusicTank, more
AND FINALLY... Cliff Richard has a special anti-burp diet
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This full-time position at Zebralution covers the role of label management, DSP account management as well as business development and acquisition for UK and Nordics.

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Tru Thoughts is looking to hire a new member for our press and radio department, to work in-house at our office in Brighton. The candidate should be confident, outgoing and organized, with a demonstrable passion for the label’s music.

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End Of The Road and Larmer Tree Festival are seeking a Marketing Manager to work across both festivals. This is a challenging job at the core of two award-winning summer festivals that offers the chance for high-level creative and strategic work.

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Locomotion is looking for an intern for our growing management, music publishing company and label based in London and New York. The supporting role forms a key part of our team and would suit a self-motivated, forward thinking and hard-working individual who wants to excel in the music industry.

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CRC Records is looking for a Digital Marketing Assistant to join our ever-growing team, working across our record label, management and publishing arms.

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Union Chapel Project (UCP) seek a Production Manager, for a maternity cover role on a seven month contract. The person would be a key member of our team, responsible for advancing and delivering on all events held in the Chapel.

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Spotify announces share buy-back scheme
Spotify yesterday announced a stock repurchase programme, which means it will seek to buy back up to ten million of its own shares. The announcement follows a further dip in the streaming firm's share price last week following its latest quarterly report to investors.

In a statement yesterday, Spotify said that "repurchases of up to 10,000,000 of the company's ordinary shares have been authorised by the company's general meeting of shareholders and the board of directors approved such repurchase up to the amount of $1 billion. The repurchase programme will expire on 21 Apr 2021".

Adding some customary small print, the statement went on: "The timing and actual number of shares repurchased will depend on a variety of factors, including price, general business and market conditions, and alternative investment opportunities. The repurchase programme will be executed consistent with the company's capital allocation strategy of prioritising investment to grow the business over the long term".

So that's fun. Spotify's share price was mainly on the up in the months following the streaming firm's direct listing onto the New York Stock Exchange back in April. However, it peaked in July and has since been on a downwards trajectory overall, in part impacted by a more general slide in the value of tech sector stock.

It slid further following last week's quarterly report, even though premium sign ups were at the upper end of expectations and overall losses were down. The firm also lowered its anticipated year end premium subscriber count and admitted that the cut in losses was mainly down to slow recruitment delaying research and development work.

Companies usually instigate share buy-back schemes - ultimately reducing the number of people any future profits will be shared between - when they feel their stock is undervalued. It's generally an attempt to indicate to the market that the board has good faith in the future performance of the company. Following yesterday's announcement Spotify's share price rose a little.

Will CMU now be selling back its single Spotify share though? Fuck no, we're not short-termists, we're in this for the long haul. We'll still be there, clutching that single share the day the ship finally goes down in dramatic splendour. Sorry, I mean, the day the streaming boom delivers the goods, market-leading Spotify goes into profit and a first dividend is paid. Can't wait.


US performer unions say dispute over royalty fund fees should be dismissed
The American Federation Of Musicians and fellow US performer union SAG-AFTRA have asked a Californian judge to dismiss a lawsuit over the fees they take for their involvement in the fund that pays session musicians their cut of performing rights income.

AFM and SAG-AFTRA set up the Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund to distribute royalties due to American session musicians under copyright laws in both the US and abroad. The fund collects a number of such royalties, though the most important is the performer's cut of performing rights income generated by sound recordings on which they appear, what is commonly known as Performer Equitable Remuneration.

In the US, that means the 5% of monies collected by collecting society SoundExchange from online and satellite radio services that is allocated to session musicians. Similar ER royalties from elsewhere in the world also flow in via agreements with other collecting societies representing Performer ER rights in other territories.

Grammy winning songwriter and record producer Kevin Risto sued the trustees of the Fund - as well as AFM and SAG-AFTRA - over a decision in 2013 to start paying each of the unions 1.5% of the monies distributed by the Fund in each period. Those payments are in return for the information and services the unions provide the royalties body.

Risto's class action claims that the trustees violated their fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the Fund by allowing regular payments to be made to the unions, while also alleging that the two organisations paid themselves expenses in addition to their service fees.

However, according to Law360, the defendants argue that the case should be dismissed because the lawsuit fails to demonstrate how the trustees have done anything wrong. They point out that said trustees were given wide discretion on how to administer the fund when it was established, and that its "governing document specifically authorises the trustees to compensate the unions for the information and services they provide".

We now await judge Christina Snyder's response.


New neighbouring rights trade body launches
Founders of a new trade body focused on the so called neighbouring rights sector have formally announced the launch of the new organisation, to be known as IAFAR.

'Neighbouring rights' can be a confusing term because it has a number of different definitions around the world. However, it is commonly used in the record industry today to mean the 'performing rights' of the sound recording copyright or, more specifically, the performer's right to share in income generated by the exploitation of the performing rights.

Confused already? Well, copyright law provides copyright owners with a number of controls over the copyright work they own. The exact list of controls varies from country to country but commonly includes a reproduction control, a distribution control, a rental control, an adaptation control, a performance control and a communication control.

In the music industry the latter two are commonly grouped together and called the 'performing rights'. Or, increasingly in the record industry, the 'neighbouring rights'.

Meanwhile, copyright law also includes a thing called performer rights. These performer rights usually include a provision that says that when the performing rights of a sound recording copyright are exploited, any performer who appears on that sound recording should receive 'equitable remuneration'. This ER right exists oblivious of what any contract the performer has with the actual copyright owner may or may not say.

Quite what the ER right actually means, copyright law generally doesn't say. What usually happens is that performing rights income on recorded music is split 50/50, with half going to the copyright owner (usually a label) and half being shared between the performers who appear on the track (both the featured artist and the session musicians). Collecting societies usually administrate performing rights income and they are in charge of making sure that both copyright owners and performers - ie labels and artists - get paid.

In the good old days of the CD boom, few in the music industry paid much attention to periphery revenue streams like neighbouring rights, but when CD sales started to slide in the early 2000s everyone became much more interested in any other source of income.

To that end a number of companies - including music distributors and music publishers - launched neighbouring rights agencies to help labels and artists administer this revenue stream. The money usually comes in via the collective licensing system, but these agents can help ensure that collecting society databases are correct and that monies flow through the system in a more accurate and more efficient manner.

It's companies working in this space - including Kobalt, Wixen and Inside Baseball Music - that have founded this new organisation IAFAR. The founders say that there are a number of issues with the way neighbouring rights income flows - or doesn't flow, as the case may be - but because the more formal management of this revenue stream is relatively new, beneficiaries of these royalties are often unaware of said issues.

The new trade organisation says it seeks "to tackle worldwide issues affecting the collection of artists neighbouring rights and to provide education in the form of workshops, seminars, and literature to artists and organisations".

IAFAR membership is open to anyone who is a beneficiary of Performer ER or who represents such artists. Kobalt Neighbouring Rights MD Ann Tausis explains: "Anyone who is a performing artist, or represents at least one performing artist and is not a collective management organisation, may become a member of IAFAR. We have had great interest from the industry so far, confirming the genuine need for this organisation. Strength in numbers, power in knowledge".

Meanwhile Wixen Music UK President Naomi Asher adds: "This is a long time in the making. As this income stream grows in its importance, so does the need for a neutral industry body to provide support for those whose livelihoods depend on it. We are very excited that IAFAR is finally a reality".

IAFAR will officially launch at an event in London on 21 Nov.


Host and guests announced for Artist:Entrepreneur Day Belfast
More details have been announced about the next edition of the Artist:Entrepreneur Day from the Featured Artists Coalition and CMU:DIY, which will take place in Belfast on Sunday 18 Nov with support from Help Musicians NI as well as AIM, AWAL and PPL.

Once again, three artist entrepreneurs will open up their artist businesses, explaining how they generate revenues around their music, how they manage their music rights, how they have built their live careers and how they went about growing a fanbase. They'll also talk about the business partners they've worked with along the way.

The three artist entrepreneurs hosting the Belfast edition of A:E Day are Lisbee Stainton, Jack Gourlay and Cormac Neeson. They'll be joined by a team of music industry experts, including Lucilla Green from Do The Rights Thing, Francesca O'Connor from Quiet Arch Records, Will Edge from AWAL, Levi Deeble from Sentric Music, Mark Gordon from Score Draw Music, Lyndon Stephens from Champion Sound, Gee Davy from AIM, promoter Joe Dougan and marketing expert Caroline Fleck.

CMU:DIY's Chris Cooke will also be on hand to present five A:E Guides and there'll be an opportunity to meet reps from FAC and partners like AIM, AWAL and HMNI during the day.

Tickets are on sale now for just £10 via artistentrepreneurday.com.


Approved: Orla Gartland
Among her small but very respectable catalogue of songs released so far, new single 'Between My Teeth' takes its place as the new jewel in Orla Gartland's crown.

Pairing sharp, upbeat pop with dark lyrics - which, as we all know, is the best combination of sound and words - 'Between My Teeth' is about coping, or attempting to, with the pressures of an emotionally dependent friend.

"It explores the idea of feeling too broken yourself to really help someone else, but feeling too guilty to jump ship", Gartland explains.

If you're looking to catch her live, Gartland will be supporting Hudson Taylor on their upcoming European tour, which includes a date at Koko in Camden. She'll also support Gabrielle Aplin at Union Chapel in Islington on 4 Dec.

Listen to 'Between My Teeth' here.

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

Bono says the world is turning away from the fight against AIDS "at the dumbest moment ever"
Bono has said that just as the world is on the verge of overcoming the AIDS crisis, its attention has started to turn away from it. This is in no small part thanks to Donald Trump. Although the U2 frontman has also thanked members of US Congress for their "leadership" in ignoring their President's attempts to slash funding for AIDS programmes.

"We could be at the dumbest moment ever, which is [that] we're almost at the moon and we turn back", Bono told the Associated Press, when talking about current progress in the fight against AIDS.

There has been, he added, "incredible leadership from around the world" that has made the complete eradication of the disease a possibility. However, despite "this gathering consensus and momentum", he says, "now people are looking the other way and it's just the wrong moment".

To help efforts to try and turn things around, Bono's Red charity is organising another fund-raising auction, the third in its twelve year history. The first such auction since 2013, the previous two events have raised $68 million for the organisation.

But while funds are necessary, says the musician, the real aim is to make "something popular [that] makes the politicians have to pay attention ... whilst the world is looking the other way in this rather childish fight among strongmen across the world".

The auction is being fronted by architects Theaster Gates and David Adjaye, who have helped to bring together a range of artists, designers and other creators who are donating original work for the sale. Among them are Jeff Koons, Ai Weiwei, Jonathan Ive, Marc Newson and Marilyn Minter.

"This is a dangerous time because people think AIDS isn't a threat anymore", comments Gates in a statement. "We have to keep the pressure on and get new generations involved at home if we're going to put an end to AIDS once and for all".

Annual HIV infections have nearly halved since 1996 and AIDS-related deaths have more than halved since their peak in 2004. However, there are still 1.8 million people newly diagnosed as HIV positive each year, with infections among women on the rise, and 37 million people are living with the virus.

The auction will take place in Miami on 5 Dec. More information here.


The Spice Girls have only gone and announced their reunion tour
It's happening! It's actually happening! That Spice Girls reunion tour you refuse to stop bloody banging on about is actually happening.

"It's time to spice things up all over again", says Emma Bunton. "I can't wait to perform to our forever supporting fans and a whole new spice generation! Love you all!"

"I've said it so many times, I'm beside myself it's actually happening", adds Mel B. "I'm now properly screaming it from every rooftop - me and my girls will see you all on stage!"

The other Mel (C) chips in: "Reminiscing with the girls about how much fun we had, made me feel like it was the right time to do it all over again!"

Meanwhile, Geri says: "I am so excited, together we celebrate girl power with our fans and the next generation and everyone is welcome! Hold tight it's gonna be fun".

"...", concludes Victoria Beckham, who wasn't part of the announcement because, as expected, she can't be fucking bothered with this shit. Touring? Fuck that. No touring for Posh Spice.

Tickets will go on sale this Saturday at 10.30am. There will be no pre-sale. Support on all dates will be supplied by Jess Glynne. And the dates, they are these:

1 Jun: Manchester, Etihad Stadium
3 Jun: Coventry, Ricoh Stadium
6 Jun: Sunderland, Stadium Of Light
8 Jun: Edinburgh, Murrayfield Stadium
10 Jun: Bristol, Ashton Gate Stadium
15 Jun: Wembley Stadium


Jake Gosling, Sony Music, MusicTank, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Producer and songwriter Jake Gosling has signed a digital services deal with Absolute Label Services for his Goldun Egg label. "I thought long and hard about who I should go with", says Gosling. His past credits include music by Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Wiley, Paloma Faith and more.

• Sony Music has hired Sol Rashidi for the newly created role of Chief Data Officer. She joins from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, where she was Chief Data And Cognitive Officer. President Of Global Digital Business And US Sales, Dennis Kooker is "THRILLED".

• The University Of Westminster yesterday announced that it is closing down MusicTank, the organisation it set up in 2003 to research, analyse and debate a music industry then very much in flux. Over the years it did this through research reports, regular events and a range of other activity involving industry leaders, political decision makers, academics and students. Its website will remain as an archive of all that work.

• The Prince Estate has announced plans to release a whole load of rare Prince videos over the next few weeks - including one which you could only previously watch if you uncovered it in the musician's 1994 CD-ROM game 'Interactive'. You probably all did that though, right? Watch the videos available so far here.

• Ariana Grande has released a tribute to her ex-boyfriend, 'Thank U, Next'.

• The Good, The Bad And The Queen have released another new track from their upcoming second album. This is 'Gun To The Head'. They've also announced three 100 cap warm-up shows in Tynemouth at the end of the month. Tickets for those will go on sale tomorrow morning at 9am.

• A soundtrack album featuring the music from children's TV show 'Bagpuss' is set for release on 16 Nov. Among its 49 tracks will be outtakes not included in the show.

• Mineral have released their first new song for 20 years, 'Aurora'. They've also announced that they will play The Dome in London on 23 May next year.

• Muse have announced two UK shows as part of a world tour next year. They will play the London Stadium on 1 Jun and Manchester's Etihad Stadium on 8 Jun.

• Paul Weller is set to play seven shows in forests around the UK next summer. Tickets go on sale from the Forestry Commission on Friday.

• Kathryn Joseph has announced a tour of the UK and Ireland, which will stretch from January out into early March. The dates will follow shows with Neko Case later this month.

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


Cliff Richard has a special anti-burp diet
Cliff Richard has revealed that a strict diet helps him avoid abrupt interruptions on stage. No, not that. If he fills up ahead of a show without due care he seemingly faces a potentially deadly bout of the burps mid-performance.

"I can't eat during the day", he tells The Mirror. "If I eat during the day I spend the whole time on stage burping - it's absolutely fatal for me".

Of course, not eating at all before an evening performance might have other side effects. Like fainting. Or a loud rumbling from the stomach. Neither of which would be ideal either.

But don't worry, when Richard says he doesn't eat anything before a show, he means he doesn't eat much. Little and often, that's what they say, isn't it? He actually has a specially designed diet for when on tour, based on his blood type and everything, which he says has "worked for me for fifteen years now".

As for his day-to-day regime when not on tour and less concerned about any subsequent burping (fatal or otherwise), he says: "I can eat three meals a day if I want to. I can't eat certain foods, which I just leave out. Once every three months I treat myself to a steak".

Well, that's nice. I'm glad Cliff still gets steak once in a while. But anyway, these dietary facts explain why you've never heard Cliff Richard burp on stage.


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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