TODAY'S TOP STORY: Ticketmaster UK has put live the previously promised price-capped resale function within its main ticketing platform, with the Live Nation company's standalone secondary ticketing websites in Europe - Seatwave and Get Me In! - now officially no more... [READ MORE]
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TOP STORIES Ticketmaster switches on price-capped resale on its primary site
LEGAL EU launches piracy watch list
LABELS & PUBLISHERS CISAC begins sanctions procedure over ongoing SGAE controversy
RELEASES Sigrid announces debut album, Sucker Punch
AWARDS BBC Sound Of 2019 longlist revealed
Kendrick Lamar leads Grammy nominations
ONE LINERS Wolf Alice, Sigur Rós, Janelle Monáe, more
AND FINALLY... Shane MacGowan responds to Fairytale Of New York controversy
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Wednesday 12 Dec 2018, 2.00-5.30pm
This half day masterclass provides a concise and user-friendly overview of all the key developments that have occured in music copyright in the last twelve months. [READ MORE]
Wednesday 16 Jan 2018, 2.00-5.30pm
This half day masterclass provides a comprehensive overview of the streaming business, how digital services are licensed, and the key issues with the current model. [READ MORE]
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Outpost is looking for an exceptional Music PR Account Director with a minimum of three years music PR experience. This role will position you at a senior level at Outpost and give you the opportunity to contribute to the overall business in a significant way.

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Ninja Tune are hiring for a full-time business affairs administration position within the record label and publishing company, based in its London office.

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The Philharmonia Orchestra is looking to appoint a Digital Marketing Manager. This is a new role, designed to drive ticket sales and audience growth across the Orchestra’s exciting live programme, utilising digital channels.

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Ticketmaster switches on price-capped resale on its primary site
Ticketmaster UK has put live the previously promised price-capped resale function within its main ticketing platform, with the Live Nation company's standalone secondary ticketing websites in Europe - Seatwave and Get Me In! - now officially no more.

"Fans simply hit 'sell' on the tickets they can no longer use, and they'll be put in front of millions of others to buy and go to the show in their place", the company exclaimed on Friday, while explaining how the new resale functionality works. "When tickets are resold, we'll cancel them and send new, unique ones to the fan who has bought them. That ensures that all tickets on Ticketmaster are 100% verified and fans will have no concerns about getting in at the door".

Ticketmaster Europe confirmed in August that it was bailing on more traditional ticket resale, where resellers can charge whatever price they like on any tickets they are reselling. The company said at the time that no new ticket listings would be taken by either Seatwave or Get Me In! and that both sites would subsequently go offline.

That announcement was widely welcomed by the music community, and especially those artists, managers, agents and promoters who have become increasingly vocal in recent years in their criticism of online touting. It also meant the live music giant no longer had to sit on the opposite side of the table from its colleagues in the music industry whenever ticket resale is discussed.

The new resale functionality within the main Ticketmaster site is similar to tools added by a number of other primary ticketing platforms in recent years. By making it easier for customers to sell on tickets they can no longer use, the primary sites remove a common excuse employed by the likes of StubHub and Viagogo (and previously Seatwave and Get Me In!), ie that they need to exist to help fans who have a change of plan get their money back, even if most of the tickets on those platforms are being sold by industrial-level touts.

A number of other new functions were added to the Ticketmaster UK platform on Friday. "Want to transfer tickets to friends?", the company's blog post went on, "with just one click fans now can. If fans have bought digital tickets they can download them straight onto their mobile and transfer them over".

The ticketing firm concluded: "Everything we do is about making the fan experience better. These changes have been designed and built to make it easier for fans to get into the shows they love".

Although no longer in the secondary ticketing game proper in Europe, Ticketmaster still provides services and platforms for touts in the US. Though that too has proven controversial of late, with the ticketing business fighting class action lawsuits that allege its primary business acts illegally to boost the resale business. Live Nation denies those allegations and recently tried to have the lawsuits dismissed on a terms and conditions technicality.


EU launches piracy watch list
The European Commission has published its first Counterfeit And Piracy Watch List, highlighting cyberlockers, stream-ripping sites, P2P services, unlicensed download stores and illegal streaming sites as areas of particular concern.

Announced earlier this year, the list is effectively the EU version of the existing US Notorious Markets list, which is published annually. It highlights potentially illegal operations around the world that threaten the commercial interests of intellectual property businesses in Europe, including the music industry. The main aim is to raise awareness among law enforcement agencies and politicians across the globe of these services and to encourage them to take action to protect the IP of European companies.

"Intellectual property infringements are a scourge on the European economy, decreasing investment and government revenues, and killing jobs in our creative and innovative industries", says the EU Commissioner For Trade, Cecilia Malmström. "They also pose a significant risk to our citizens who often simply do not know whether what they are buying is safe or not. Furthermore, the link between counterfeiting and organised crime poses a major threat to our society. This Counterfeit And Piracy Watch List is part of our broader effort to ensure that European companies can operate on a level playing field when trading outside the EU's borders, and that EU consumers are safe".

Speaking for the music industry, the boss of record industry trade group IFPI, Frances Moore, says: "Music has value that must be protected, and we welcome this step by the EU on behalf of music creators. For our part, record companies are co-ordinating global enforcement action to tackle copyright infringement. However, the illegal sites named in the list employ a deliberately complex, multi-jurisdictional and often anonymous set-up of their operations, which allows the operators to hide their identity and location".

On the new list, she adds: "The Commission's Counterfeit And Piracy Watch List offers important and practical guidance for policymakers, law enforcement and international corporations, when identifying and dealing with websites that infringe intellectual property rights. The list helps to raise awareness of several sites exploiting music content and particularly highlights the continued existence of so-called 'stream-ripping' sites that make unauthorised permanent copies of streamed content, predominantly from YouTube".

"Stream ripping", she goes on, expanding on that theme, "is the fastest growing form of music copyright infringement globally and sites operating ripping services are a threat to the music ecosystem. They undermine legitimate music services - that license rights and pay artists and rights holders - and profit by diverting fans away from those legitimate services, while paying nothing to the creators or producers of that music".

Find out more and peruse the new list at your leisure here.


CISAC begins sanctions procedure over ongoing SGAE controversy
CISAC, the organisation that brings together the world's song right collecting societies, has said it could kick out controversial Spanish society SGAE if it doesn't finally deal with the ongoing grievances about its practices, especially among the global music publishers.

There have been various controversies involving SGAE over the years, though of late the big dispute has been over how the society distributes the TV royalties it collects. That dispute stems from an alleged scam in which certain SGAE members and certain Spanish broadcasters have conspired to skew the way telly money is shared out to their advantage.

After being locked out of SGAE's board meetings, the big global publishers called on CISAC to suspend the Spanish society's membership. The International Confederation Of Music Publishers then said that, unless the concerns were urgently addressed, its members would have to find alternative ways to license their repertoires in Spain. Universal, Warner/Chappell, Sony/ATV, BMG and Peermusic then reportedly put SGAE on notice that it was pulling rights related to their respective Anglo-American repertoires.

Having discussed the ongoing drama at a board meeting last week, CISAC said in a short statement that: "In view of SGAE's failure to remedy these breaches, the board decided to launch a sanctions procedure under CISAC's statutes. This procedure could result in various sanctions and measures, including the expulsion of SGAE from CISAC".


Approved: Ida Kudo
Ida Kudo released her eponymous debut EP in 2015, so the follow-up, 'Gold', which arrived last month, has been a long time coming. It has, however, been very much worth the wait.

That first EP showed great promise, with Kudo unafraid to experiment with her voice inside her pop productions. Certainly ambitious, there was nonetheless room to perfect her style. And that, it seems, is exactly what she's been doing for the last three years.

Occasional singles during that time have shown that process in progress. However, on 'Gold' it is fully realised. Rich bass and deftly applied percussion underpin an impressive voice that she is now fully in control of.

Listen to the EP's title track, 'Gold', here.

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

Sigrid announces debut album, Sucker Punch
Sigrid has announced that she will release her debut album, 'Sucker Punch', next spring. She's also been announced as support act to George Ezra on his UK tour and Maroon 5 in Europe next year.

On her growing success over the last year, she says: "I figured out early on that it's gonna be difficult for me to try and be anything other than who I am. I always said if I'm gonna do this it's easiest to be myself and look like myself, where I can recognise myself".

You'll have some chances to check out Sigrid's work over the festive period. She's been confirmed to perform on the Christmas edition of 'Top Of The Pops', and she'll play at the Royal Variety Performance on 11 Dec, which I assume they still show on TV.

'Sucker Punch' is out on 1 Mar. You can listen to an acoustic version of the title track here.


BBC Sound Of 2019 longlist revealed
The BBC Sound Of 2019 longlist has been announced. It's alright, Flohio is on it. As is BRITs Critics' Choice nominee Mahalia, although the other nominees from that other new talent list - Lewis Capaldi and winner Sam Fender - are nowhere to be seen, mainly/entirely because they both featured on the Sound Of 2018 list a year ago.

Commenting on the effect coming top of the BBC's top tips list can have, last year's winner Sigrid says: "BBC Music's Sound Of 2018 helped me so much with reaching a new audience and giving my music some extra exposure on the radio. I'm still very thankful for being chosen as this year's Sound Of, and I am so excited to see who [the 2019] winner will be!"

James Stirling, Head of BBC Music & BBC Music Introducing, adds: "For seventeen years the BBC Music Sound Of list has been celebrating exciting up-and-coming talent and this year we are proud to recognise the work of such an eclectic mix of musicians. There's a wealth of talent coming through and I look forward to seeing the artists build their reputations in 2019".

We find out who the actual sound of 2019 is going to be on 11 Jan on Annie Mac's Radio 1 show, when a daily rundown of the top five comes to an end.

There is a whole BBC Sound Of 2019 website, which you can peruse here.


Kendrick Lamar leads Grammy nominations
Kendrick Lamar leads this year's Grammy nominations, thanks to the 'Black Panther' soundtrack he curated and produced. He scores eight nominations in total, including Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Album Of The Year.

After last year, all eyes were on gender diversity in the nominations, which does seem to have improved somewhat. While Lorde was the only woman to be nominated in the Album Of The Year category last year, for the 2019 awards, Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, HER, Janelle Monáe and Kasey Musgraves outnumber Lamar, Drake and Post Malone.

Absent from that list are Beyonce and Jay-Z with their album as The Carters, 'Everything Is Love', which gets three nominations in minor categories. This ensures that the running gag about Beyonce being unable to win Album Of The Year continues. It's also probably not quite the answer Jay-Z was hoping for when he rapped on that album that someone needs to "tell the Grammy's fuck that [zero] for eight shit" - a reference to the number of prizes he was nominated for and then failed to win at the 2018 ceremony.

Also on the snub list are Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift, who both appear in the full nominations list, although only just and neither in any major category.

Major categories though, which ones are those? Well, those are the three or four that people actually bother to properly report on, because the Grammy Awards still insists on having a list of awards so long that it's almost impossible for anyone not to get nominated. If you got no nominations at all, the Recording Academy really, really hates you.

Here are those top awards, anyway:

Album Of The Year:
Brandi Carlile - By the Way, I Forgive You
Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy
Drake - Scorpion
Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer
Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
Post Malone - Beerbongs & Bentleys
Various Artists - Black Panther: The Album

Record Of The Year:
Brandi Carlile - The Joke
Cardi B - I Like It
Childish Gambino - This Is America
Drake - God's Plan
Kendrick Lamar & SZA - All the Stars
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper - Shallow
Post Malone & 21 Savage - Rockstar
Zedd & Maren Morris - The Middle

Song Of The Year:
Brandi Carlile - The Joke
Childish Gambino - This Is America
Drake - God's Plan
Ella Mai - Boo'd Up
Kendrick Lamar & SZA - All the Stars
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper - Shallow
Shawn Mendes - In My Blood
Zedd & Maren Morris - The Middle

Best New Artist:
Bebe Rexha
Chloe x Halle
Dua Lipa
Greta Van Fleet
Jorja Smith
Luke Combs
Margo Price

If you want to know about any of the other 80 categories, go and look for yourself here.


Wolf Alice, Sigur Rós, Janelle Monáe, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Wolf Alice have unveiled their own beer, a 4.3% craft lager called 'Yuk Brew'. Which isn't really a good name for a drink you want people to put in their mouths, even if it is a nod to a song called 'Yuk Foo'. Whatever, the beer will be available at the band's upcoming shows in Manchester and London later this month.

• Sigur Rós have added another hour of previously unreleased songs and remixes to their 'Liminal' playlist.

• Charlotte Gainsbourg will release new EP, 'Take 2', this Friday. She'll also play Koko in London tomorrow night. Here's new song 'Such A Remarkable Day'.

• That naughty Naughty Boy has released new track 'Bungee Jumping', featuring Emeli Sandé and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

• Sophie Ellis-Bextor has announced an orchestral greatest hits album 'The Song Diaries', which will be released on 15 Mar. A new version of 'Take Me Home' from the compilation is out now, here's the video.

• Jorja Smith has released the video for 'The One', from her debut album 'Lost & Found'.

• Dream Theater have released the video for 'Untethered Angel', from their upcoming fourteenth album 'Distance Over Time'.

• Amon Amarth have released a live video for 'Guardians Of Asgaard', taken from their upcoming 25th anniversary documentary 'The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm'.

• SK Shlomo has released the video for new single 'The First Time'. He's also announced tour dates for February and March next year, including a launch show for his debut solo album, 'Surrender', at Oslo in London on 29 Mar.

• Janelle Monáe has announced that she will headline Wembley Arena on 2 Jul next year. Tickets on sale this Friday.

• Self Esteem - aka Slow Club's Rebecca Taylor - has announced a UK tour in March next year, including a show at Village Underground in London on 20 Mar. She's also just released a mash up cover of The Walkmen's 'The Rat' and Lumidee's 'Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)'.

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


Shane MacGowan responds to Fairytale Of New York controversy
Shane MacGowan has waded into the annual debate about whether or not the word "faggot" should be censored when his Christmas song 'Fairytale Of New York' is played. He says that it shouldn't but he doesn't mind if it is.

The original version of The Pogues' song 'Fairytale Of New York' is the undisputed greatest Christmas song of all time, as no one ever will deny. But the homophobic slur in its lyrics is problematic, with criticism of both the song itself and radio stations that play it uncensored increasing each year.

When the song is covered, the word is generally changed. For example, in the Ronan Keating and Moya Brennan version the line goes "You're cheap and you're haggard". But that didn't fix anything because - while the original MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl version is a work of brillance - Keating's effort is almost certainly the worst thing ever recorded in the history of recorded music. So we need to keep playing the original.

MacGowan issued a statement after two DJs on Irish radio station RTE chose to censor the word, in spite of the station's policy to play it without any cuts. The musician said that he had chosen the word specifically to make the character in the song less sympathetic, feeling that it was the sort of word she would use, rather than one he endorses.

"The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character", he said. "She is not supposed to be a nice person, or even a wholesome person. She is a woman of a certain generation at a certain time in history and she is down on her luck and desperate".

"Her dialogue is as accurate as I could make it but she is not intended to offend", he went on. "She is just supposed to be an authentic character and not all characters in songs and stories are angels or even decent and respectable. Sometimes characters in songs and stories have to be evil or nasty in order to tell the story effectively".

However, he added: "If people don't understand that I was trying to accurately portray the character as authentically as possible then I am absolutely fine with them bleeping the word, but I don't want to get into an argument".

Although the song is seemingly set in the 1940s, where someone might have used such a word much more casually, the lyric was also considered less controversial by the general public when MacGowan wrote the song in the mid-80s. Whether he'd chose the same word now is debatable, but perhaps the language is of its time in more way than one. Although that isn't going to make this staple of the festive season any less controversial.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
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CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
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SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
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CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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