TODAY'S TOP STORY: The UK music industry is slowly becoming more diverse, though there is still plenty more work to be done, according to the results of the latest survey by UK Music's Diversity Taskforce... [READ MORE]
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TOP STORIES UK Music survey suggests diversity initiatives are having an impact
LEGAL J Hus jailed for knife possession
Shakira charged with tax evasion in Spain
BPI comments on conviction of vinyl piracy gang
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Record industry trade bodies welcome EU-Japan trade deal
LIVE BUSINESS French Constitutional Council says ticket touting ban is just fine
AND FINALLY... Threatin hopes to turn failed tour into documentary
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These three seminars provide an overview of how to build a fanbase for new artists and new music, reviewing key tools and tactics, and explaining how music marketing is evolving. [READ MORE]
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UK Music survey suggests diversity initiatives are having an impact
The UK music industry is slowly becoming more diverse, though there is still plenty more work to be done, according to the results of the latest survey by UK Music's Diversity Taskforce.

The survey was set up to help identify trends regarding the diversity of those working in the industry, with gender and ethnic diversity under the spotlight. Although based on a sample of just 3000 people working in music, it's hoped that the survey can nevertheless track the impact of the various initiatives underway to try and encourage and enable more women and more black, Asian and ethnic minority - or BAME - people to pursue a career a music.

Artists, songwriters, composers, musicians, studio producers and artist managers, are among those to take part in the survey, as well as people working at music publishers, major and independent record labels, collecting societies and in the live music sector. This is the second time results have been published, so it is now possible to identify some trends.

Among those surveyed, the number of BAME music people went up from 15.6% in 2016 to 17.8% in 2018. The proportion of women went up from 45.3% to 49.1%. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the representation of female and BAME practitioners was higher among those under the age of 25, with more work to be done among older age groups.

Keith Harris, who heads up the UK Music Diversity Taskforce, says of the new stats: "The survey remains an important tool in terms of making sure that some of the initiatives put in place across the industry are bearing fruit. Things are changing for the better".

"Progress has been slow but steady", he added. "We are continuing to keep our focus on ethnicity and sex as the most obvious indicators that things are changing, while remembering that diversity in the industry is about much more than that, with socio-economic background being among the important but often neglected areas which needs attention".

It has frequently been noted - especially by those leading diversity initiatives - that while there are some strands of the music industry where gender balance and BAME representation is pretty good (though rarely perfect), there are other strands where diversity is woefully lacking. And even where it is better, board rooms at many music companies are often white male dominated, which is a problem in most sectors, but nevertheless one that needs to be addressed in music.

Also, as Harris notes, while progress is being made on gender and ethnic diversity, concerns remain about socio-economic diversity, which is generally harder to measure and therefore harder to address. Many fear that the downgrading of music education in English schools will actually result in less socio-economic diversity in the future.

UK Music chief Michael Dugher also commented on the survey, likewise noting progress and challenges still to be met. He said: "Our industry is doing very well at the moment, but that doesn't mean that we can shy away from the more difficult challenges we face".

"British music is a world-leading success story and one that we as a country should be very proud of", he went on. "But I want us to be equally proud of our diversity as an industry. Whilst we can welcome some very real and significant improvements, we still have much more work to do. Just imagine how much more successful our industry could be in the future, if we could only deepen the well from which we draw our talent".


J Hus jailed for knife possession
Rapper J Hus has been sentenced to eight months in prison after being convicted for the illegal possession of a knife.

The BRIT and Mercury nominated musician was arrested in June, after being discovered to be carrying a knife at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, East London. Asked by police at the time why he was carrying the blade, he said: "You know, it's Westfield", before adding that his "face was known" in the area.

Initially pleading not guilty to the charges against him, the rapper changed his plea in October. Ahead of sentencing, a statement from Hus was read out by his lawyer, Henry Blaxland. In it, he said that he now "fully accepted his actions were careless", saying that his decision to carry a knife was "ill-advised and utterly stupid", adding that "being a public figure that many look up to, I simply should have known better".

Blaxland added that the arrest and court case had been a "watershed moment" for Hus, who already has a number of convictions for knife possession. The arrest and trial had been detrimental to his career and ability to earn money, as well as for those who work with him, said the lawyer. He then revealed that Hus has been seeing a therapist and receiving treatment for PTSD, which resulted from previously being stabbed.

The lawyer also said that, while Hus had already moved out of London in an attempt to escape his violent past in Newham, where he grew up, a feeling of isolation caused by his rising fame had drawn him back to East London "like a moth to a flame".

Despite these mitigating factors, the judge overseeing the case, Sandy Caravan, said that she had no choice but to deliver a custodial sentence. She added that she would be failing in her duty if she did not jail the rapper, while also noting that his fame had made him a "role model to many", but he had "failed" to live up to that responsibility.

As well as the prison sentence, Hus has been banned from travelling through Newham for three years, and from associating with a number of named individuals.


Shakira charged with tax evasion in Spain
Almost a year after it was announced that Shakira was being investigated for tax evasion in Spain, the singer has been charged. It is alleged that she avoided 14.5 million euros (£13 million) by falsely claiming not to live in the country.

The Colombian pop star, who is married to Barcelona football player Gerard Piqué, became a full resident, and therefore tax payer, of Spain in 2015. However, Spanish authorities believe that she was also a resident of the country between 2012 and 2014 - despite actually registering her residence in the Bahamas - and therefore should have been paying tax on her worldwide earnings in the country during this time too.

Anyone who spends more than six months of a year in Spain is considered liable for tax in the country. It is argued that Shakira spent most of her time in Spain during the years in question, only travelling abroad for brief periods. But her lawyer has denied any wrongdoing, saying that the singer's finances have been managed entirely legally and properly.

The charges follow wider scrutiny of the earnings of footballers by the Spanish government, investigations that have led to several players being prosecuted in recent years. Last year, Piqué's teammate Lionel Messi received a 21 month suspended prison sentence and a fine. Real Madrid players Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo Vieira also recently received fines and suspended sentences after admitting tax evasion.

A judge is yet to decide whether or not Shakira should now stand trial. She has not commented on the case.


BPI comments on conviction of vinyl piracy gang
UK record industry trade group the BPI has commented on the recent sentencing of four men involved in a piracy operation that was selling unlicensed vinyl copies of Northern Soul recordings via eBay and Amazon.

Alan Godfrey, Christopher Price, Robert Pye and Stephen Russell were all involved in the piracy venture and were variously accused of copyright and trademark infringement as a result. Late last month they each received sentences of between eight and ten months.

The BPI's anti-piracy team supported South Wales Police on the case, with all three major record companies and niche indies like Rollercoaster Records and Ace Records being impacted by the copyright infringing operation. The trade group says that police recovered 55,635 seven-inch records, 4678 CDs, 907 twelve-inch records and 26 ten-inch records - all bootleg copies - when they raided properties owned by the four men.

Commenting on the convictions, BPI General Counsel Kiaron Whitehead said: "These important prison sentences send a very strong message to music pirates around the country. Whether it's an illegal music website or fake vinyl being sold on eBay and Amazon, the BPI and the police are watching you and you will be prosecuted".

He went on: "This four-man counterfeit gang were raking in hundreds of thousands of pounds by ripping off genuine music fans and undermining artists, record companies and legitimate record stores. The BPI would like to thank South Wales Police for their great work in stopping the gang; and I would like to personally congratulate BPI's content protection team for their unfailing perseverance to reduce music piracy".


Record industry trade bodies welcome EU-Japan trade deal
The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry and Japanese record industry trade body RIAJ have issued a joint statement welcoming the new trade agreement between the European Union and Japan. As part of the deal, Japan's sound recording copyright term will be brought in line with that of Europe, which is 70 years after release.

"As representatives of the recording industry in Japan and worldwide, we welcome the support given by the EU and Japanese parliaments to the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement ratification", said the trade bodies. "The EU-Japan trade agreement extends the term of protection for sound recordings in Japan to match the duration of protection in the EU, treating artists and producers fairly in both regions".

The statement goes on: "It also provides a platform for continued bilateral discussion on matters of mutual interest, including the question of introducing public performance rights for producers in Japan. As such, the agreement represents a legal framework linking the Japanese and European music markets".

With the deal agreed, the IFPI and RIAJ "urge the EU and Japan to ensure that this important agreement enters into force as soon as possible".


French Constitutional Council says ticket touting ban is just fine
France's constitutional court has ruled that anti-ticket touting laws in the country are compliant with the French constitution. The Constitutional Council responded last week to a challenge to those laws pursued by the often controversial secondary ticketing website Viagogo, which was also supported by its main rival, eBay's StubHub.

The resale of tickets for profit without the permission of a show's promoter has been illegal in France since 2012, it being one of the first countries to regulate when online ticket touting started to really take off. Viagogo argued that the law was a "disproportionate breach of freedom of enterprise", but the Council did not concur.

The director of French live industry trade group PRODISS, Malika Séguineau, welcomed the Council's decision, saying that it "strongly reinforces the French law", and in doing so "protects the consumers, the fans, the artists and the promoters".

The trade group also confirmed that it and several French promoters have filed a criminal action against Viagogo, which will be able to proceed now that the Constitutional Council has said that the anti-touting rules that the resale site is accused of breaching are sound.

Law-makers around the world have responded in different ways to calls for more regulation of online ticket-touting. In many countries politicians were initially reluctant to follow their French counterparts and instigate an out-right ban. But in more recent years there has generally been more willingness to restrict online touting in more countries.

A pretty wide-ranging touting ban was recently voted through in Japan. Meanwhile, Irish politicians are considering something similar, and the main opposition party in Australia has said it would support extending nationwide a rule that already exists in parts of the country that restricts the resale of tickets to a 10% mark-up.

Of course, even where partial or outright bans exist, that only has any impact if the law is enforced, and often it isn't. Though again, there has been more appetite to enforce the rules of late. Here in the UK, although there is no out-right ban on touting for profit, government agencies have been enforcing consumer rights rules that many touts and resale sites - and especially Viagogo - have generally ignored to date.


BASCA CEO stands down
BASCA has announced that its CEO Vick Bain is stepping down. She joined the organisation for UK songwriters and composers thirteen years ago, becoming CEO in 2012. In that role she led a range of lobbying, funding, educational and diversity projects, as well as heading up the organisation's various award events, including The Ivors.

Bain's decision to stand down follows a period of serious ill-health earlier this year, from which she has now fully recovered. She says that, since her recovery, she has decided now is the right time to depart the organisation and pursue new ambitions.

Under Bain's leadership, BASCA implemented an extensive restructure and new governance procedures, which proved controversial but were nevertheless voted through by the organisation's membership. BASCA has also recently more closely allied with the MU, FAC, MPG and MMF to create the Council Of Music Makers, so that artists, songwriters and producers can present a more coordinated position on key industry and copyright debates.

Confirming her departure, Bain said this morning: "I have endured a difficult year, overcoming breast cancer and other related conditions. I have now officially received the all-clear and am feeling fighting fit, but after experiencing a life-threatening condition and reviewing my priorities I feel the time is right to hand-over the reins to someone else and focus on other ambitions, of which I have many".

She added: "It has been a great honour to serve and lead BASCA for so long and I wish the organisation, our fantastic members, and my wonderful colleagues all the very best for the future".


On The CMU Stereo 2018 - Winter
With the year nearly done and dusted and the festive break incoming, this week, we're going to run down 40 of our favourite tracks of 2018, ten at a time, loosely grouped into seasons. Today we head right back to the beginning of the year for our winter selection. If you sign up to our 'On The CMU Stereo 2018' playlist on Spotify here, you can listen to all of these tracks now, and the other 30 as they are revealed later in the week.

The first part of the year was incredibly fertile for new music, giving us a huge amount of great things to listen to. Some of the year's best albums arrived in this period, including Ezra Furman's 'Transangelic Exodus', Anna Von Hausswolff's 'Dead Magic' and US Girls' 'In A Poem Unlimited'. There was also the first taste of new material from the likes of Janelle Monáe and Father John Misty, and a standalone release from the consistently great techno producer Anna.

Here's what's on our winter playlist:

Ezra Furman - Suck The Blood From My Wound
Moaning - Artificial
Tune-Yards - Heart Attack
Anna - Hidden Beauties
Rolo Tomassi - Aftermath
Anna Von Hausswolff - The Truth, The Glow, The Fall
US Girls - Pearly Gates
Janelle Monáe - Django Jane
Father John Misty - Mr Tillman
Natalie Prass - Short Court Style

Listen to all ten tracks here.

Check out all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column in 2018 on this Spotify playlist.

Threatin hopes to turn failed tour into documentary
Threatin's Jered Eames is planning to make a documentary about his disastrous UK tour, which collapsed earlier this year after none of the American band's fabricated fanbase turned up to any of the shows.

The subject of a possible film arises in a new interview with Rolling Stone, which contains Eames' first public comments about the incident besides a tweet claiming that we're all "part of the illusion".

In the article, Eames continues to present what happened as being what he had planned plan all along, despite that stance not entirely adding up. He then says that he hopes to use footage shot by his wife on the tour to make a film explaining exactly what went on behind the scenes.

Threatin were six shows into a European tour when people started noticing online complaints from venues. Those venues were annoyed that the band had claimed to have almost sold out shows in the run up to the tour, but had then actually played to virtually no one on the night.

As media picked up on those complaints, it then became apparent that the band's 38,000 Facebook fans and numerous YouTube likes and comments were largely fabricated. As were the band's record label, booking agent, management company and two music websites giving the act positive coverage. As the story unravelled, two of the session musicians hired to back Eames on the tour quit and the rest of the dates were pulled.

"I knew people would look at it and go, 'looks good', and move on", he says of the fake websites and fans. "I'm just trying to manufacture the bandwagon effect. The fact that people look at these numbers that are so easily fictionalised and hold them as any kind of merit - that shows a huge flaw in the music industry as well".

It may well highlight a flaw in the modern music industry, although it also shows that it's actually quite hard to "manufacture the bandwagon effect" and then build an actual touring business on the back of it all. Because for Eames, the bandwagon remained firmly locked in the shed even after he'd shelled out thousands of pounds hiring venues and travelling to Europe to play in them. Unless you buy the idea that the actual aim was to have a failed tour and then fuel the bandwagon with the public interest that generated.

The cost of all those venue bookings and plane tickets brings us to the other big previously unanswered question of the whole story: how did Eames pay for all of this? Simply by living frugally and building up enough savings over the course of decade to do so, he says.

Having already spent more than $10,000 recording an album which, he admits, only sold a couple of hundred copies, hiring the venues for the tour alone cost another $5000. "I'm not some fucking rich kid", he says. "All this is, is good money management".

You can spend your Christmas break debating the merits of that last statement. For his part though, Eames plans to use similar tactics to promote his next album, proclaiming that "fake news is easy to manufacture". Or, as was the case here, real news about a fake tour.

Still, the column inches that fake tour debacle caused could now be capitalised on. After all, he wasn't being offered Rolling Stone interviews prior to the European trip. So maybe we will be hearing more from Threatin in the future. Or could Eames instead be about to experience the diminishing returns of flash internet fame.

Perhaps a collaboration with Rebecca Black is on the cards.


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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