TODAY'S TOP STORY: Midnight last night was the deadline for secondary ticketing websites Viagogo and StubHub to comply with the demands of the UK's Competition & Markets Authority, which took action to ensure that the ticket resale platforms were complying with all relevant consumer rights law. We now await word from the CMA as to whether all demands have been met... [READ MORE]
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TOP STORIES Viagogo claims it is now compliant with UK regulator's rules as deadline passes
LEGAL Music industry says proposed article thirteen compromise a backwards step
Beyonce's lawsuit against Feyonce merch company dismissed
LIVE BUSINESS New pan-European anti-touting campaign launches
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Spotify updates preferred distributor lists
ARTIST NEWS James Blake discusses mental toll of touring
ONE LINERS Roc Nation, A2IM, Ariana Grande, more
AND FINALLY... Spotify teams up with astrologist for horoscope playlists
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Cooking Vinyl is seeking an individual to handle digital marketing and advertising initiatives for a portion of our roster on a six month contract.

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Ninja Tune / Just Isn’t Music (The Cinematic Orchestra, ODESZA, Bonobo, The Heavy, Young Fathers et al) are looking to hire a sync assistant to join the TV team in London.

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The Orchard has an immediate opening for a label manager in our London office. Managing key frontline relationships, you will be the first point of contact for a number of our distributed labels.

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Australia’s leading independent entertainment group, the Mushroom Group, is looking to add a digital account/product manager to its labels division, working from London.

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Adelphoi Music is one of the world’s leading and consistently successful music agencies, based in the heart of Covent Garden, London, and on Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. We are looking for a producer to join our fantastic London team.

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This is an exciting opportunity for a hard-working, enthusiastic individual to join a sociable, dynamic and successful agency as a Junior Booking Agent Assistant to work across artists including Mount Kimbie, Paula Temple, Mella Dee, Roy Davis Jr, Kelly Lee Owens.

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Standon Calling is looking for a Marketing & Event Manager to join our London office as part of a small team in the lead up to the 2019 festival, taking place 25-28 July, and during the festival on site. You’ll report to the Festival Director to deliver the overarching 2019 marketing campaign.

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Nettwerk Music Group is seeking a Junior Product Manager. The role supports all aspects of marketing and the work of the Director, from the creation of the artist’s marketing plans and budgets through to the roll out of artist releases.

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This is an exciting opportunity for a Production & Marketing Co-ordinator to join London Records as part of the expanding team for this relaunched, legendary label (now part of Because Music).

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Warp are looking for a capable, enthusiastic, music-lover to assist with the day-to-day support we provide to a growing roster of labels such as Duophonic, LuckyMe, Black Focus, On-U Sound, All Saints Records and Fade To Mind, as well as our own imprints.

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!K7 Music is seeking an experienced Artist Manager to join its growing management department. The successful candidate will have at least three years’ experience in artist management, with demonstrated successes from their rosters past or present.

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Music specialist communications agency The Rest Is Noise is looking for an experienced Events PR to join our tight knit events team in London, delivering high impact PR campaigns with some management responsibilities.

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Two left of centre record labels seek an assistant to co-ordinate all aspects of the record release cycle across five sub labels. Training will be provided but twelve months' prior experience in a music company necessary.

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Ninja Tune is looking for an experienced product manager working across our main imprints Ninja Tune and Counter Records. You will manage record release campaigns from beginning to end working closely with the A&R, production, marketing, digital, social media and international teams.

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Viagogo claims it is now compliant with UK regulator's rules as deadline passes
Midnight last night was the deadline for secondary ticketing websites Viagogo and StubHub to comply with the demands of the UK's Competition & Markets Authority, which took action to ensure that the ticket resale platforms were complying with all relevant consumer rights law. We now await word from the CMA as to whether all demands have been met.

The CMA first announced plans in November 2017 to crack down on all the major secondary ticketing sites in the UK, which at that time included Live Nation's since shutdown GetMeIn! and Seatwave, as well as Viagogo and StubHub. The government agency was responding to calls from critics of rampant online ticket touting for relevant consumer rights laws be properly enforced in the ticket resale domain.

StubHub and Live Nation subsequently committed to voluntarily update their policies and practices to bring them in line with UK law. But champion rule-breaker Viagogo initially resisted making any such commitments, until the CMA secured a court order in November. As the deadline for compliance approached last night, the regulator yesterday published a summary of the changes StubHub and Viagogo had to make.

This included ensuring that buyers are told any seat numbers linked to tickets they are buying; that the name of the seller is published if said seller touts tickets commercially; and that any risks of touted tickets being cancelled by a promoter are clearly stated. Viagogo was also told to stop using misleading messaging and to sort out its notoriously useless refunds system for people who buy tickets via the platform that then fail to get them into a show.

Yesterday morning Viagogo took to its corporate Twitter account to declare that: "Further to the agreement we reached with the CMA we have met the deadline and are now compliant". Anti-touting campaign FanFair quickly pointed out that Viagogo was - in fact - complying with a court order not an agreement, while others responded to the tweet with various reasons why they felt that the resale site was not actually compliant.

That even included the Fair Ticketing Alliance, the organisation that launched last year to represent ticket touts, though which has also been critical of Viagogo in the past. It tweeted at secondary ticketing firm yesterday: "You are nowhere near compliant. Suggest going back to the CMA undertakings and double checking that".

If you do a quick browse through the Viagogo site in the UK this morning you will see a bunch of changes that are designed to meet the court order. Though issues do seemingly remain. Commercial level sellers are identified but the required information about them doesn't seem to be shared. There are some seat numbers, but this information is not being provided on anything like the level of StubHub. And there still seems to be plenty of messaging around the site that is arguably misleading.

Having undertaken its own quick review of changes made on the Viagogo site, the aforementioned FanFair campaign stated: "Although a few minor changes have been implemented, some of which may add even more confusion for consumers, we would be astonished if the site is compliant with the terms of its court order". It then added: "FanFair Alliance urges all music fans to avoid Viagogo. Its practices are an affront to audiences, to artists and to the law. We feel the CMA must now step up and take urgent action".

For its part, the CMA yesterday tweeted back at those who were sceptical of Viagogo's bold claim that it was compliant with the court order. It said that "following the deadline today there will be a comprehensive independent review of changes made and we will publish the results. If required changes haven't been made, the CMA won't hesitate to take action".

So, as we said, we now await word from the CMA as to whether all demands have been met. With some anticipation.


Music industry says proposed article thirteen compromise a backwards step
The next round of formal talks to try to agree a final draft of the new European Copyright Directive will take place on Monday, with the music industry supported article thirteen still one of the most contentious elements of the proposed new copyright laws. And those talks begin with the music industry hitting out at the most recent proposed compromise.

Article thirteen, of course, seeks to reform the copyright safe harbour and increase the liabilities of user-upload platforms like YouTube. The music industry argues that YouTube et al exploit the safe harbour to force music companies into much less preferential licensing deals. Even though the main YouTube site competes with more conventional music streaming services like Spotify that pay much higher royalties.

There are currently three versions of the directive. There is the original one penned by the European Commission in 2016, and two significantly amended versions respectively passed by the European Parliament and EU Council last year. The three institutions are now in what is called the 'trilogue' phase where they must agree a single final version.

While YouTube and its owner Google have lobbied hard behind the scenes throughout the evolution of the directive, since the trilogue phase began they have gone into overdrive with a consumer-facing campaign claiming that article thirteen - especially the version passed by the European Parliament - would dramatically alter the service they could offer in Europe. The music industry insists that those claims are untrue and YouTube just doesn't want to pay something closer to market-rate royalties for the music it streams.

All of which means that, for article thirteen, the trilogue phase has been as much about trying to find a compromise between YouTube and the music industry as between the three EU institutions. Meanwhile, the presidency of the EU Council switched to Romania at the start of the month. It has now circulated a proposed compromise text for article thirteen which, music industry reps said yesterday, is a big backwards step.

In an open letter they wrote: "After years of hard work, the Copyright Directive is at a very critical point. The proposed text circulated by the Romanian Presidency [on 13 Jan] falls below the standard of the three texts produced by the three European institutions and would not be an acceptable outcome of the negotiations".

"The European Union cannot miss this unique opportunity", it went on, "to achieve one of the key objectives of the European Commission proposal, which was to correct the distortion of the digital market place caused by user-upload content services. Therefore, the undersigned call on negotiators to urgently make substantial changes to the 13 Jan proposal by the Romanian Presidency in order to get the directive back on the right track".

The "undersigned" included music industry organisations like IAO, ICMP, IFPI, IMPALA and IMPF, plus also trade bodies repping the film, media, broadcast and book sectors.


Beyonce's lawsuit against Feyonce merch company dismissed
Beyonce has dropped her lawsuit against a company selling 'Feyonce' merchandise. This follows reports last year that the two sides had reached a settlement.

Court papers show that the case was dismissed on Wednesday at Beyonce's request. The judge overseeing the case had previously rejected Beyonce's call for a permanent injunction against the Feyonce company.

The dispute has been going through the courts since 2016, when Beyonce argued that t-shirts and other items bearing the word Feyonce - a deliberate misspelling on fiancé, of course - infringed her trademarks and was confusing consumers.

As well as the word itself, Beyonce's legal team also took issue with items the Feyonce firm sold with the phrase "he put a ring on it" printed on them, a reference to her 2008 hit 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)'.

It was reported in November that a settlement between the two sides had been reached, after judge Alison Nathan said that she could not grant an injunction against Feyonce Inc without the case going before a jury. Beyonce then formally requested that the case be dismissed in December, though there has as yet been no confirmation that a deal was indeed agreed, let alone word on what the terms of any deal may have been.


New pan-European anti-touting campaign launches
In the UK yesterday the anti-ticket touting lobby was busy refreshing the Viagogo site as the deadline approached for it to comply with the court order secured by the Competition & Markets Authority. Elsewhere in Europe, those against rampant ticket-touting for profit launched a new organisation at the Eurosonic conference called FEAT.

That stands for the Face-value European Alliance For Ticketing, a name that communicates that - like with the FanFair Alliance in the UK - the new grouping isn't against the concept of fans reselling tickets they can no longer use, but wants a crackdown on commercial enterprises that hoover up tickets for in-demand events and then sell them on at a mark-up.

In the last few years we have seen moves to crackdown on and better regulate secondary ticketing in multiple countries around the world. This has involved lobbying for new laws and better enforcement of existing laws, as well as increased efforts by high profile artists to educate consumers and cancel touted tickets.

Progress has been made in a number of countries - including the UK - though issues remain, both across the board, and in markets where there hasn't been a specific industry, consumer and/or politician-led anti-touting movement to date.

The people behind the new pan-European campaigning organisation say: "While a number of initiatives aimed at tightening up ticket resale have begun in recent years - some of which, like the UK's FanFair Alliance, have had considerable success - global platforms continue to operate with impunity, ignoring guidance, legislation and rulings from courts".

FEAT involves tour and festival promoters from across Europe - including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland - and is also supported by anti-touting groups in the UK, including FanFair. It will be led day-to-day by the also UK-based Sam Shemtob of Name PR.

Key aims for the group include encouraging better regulation of ticket resale at a national and EU level; connecting live industry professionals to share knowledge on how to combat industrial-level touting; and ensuring the concerns of both artists and fans are heard.

One of the founding directors of the new organisation, Scumeck Sabottka of German live firm MCT-Agentur, said yesterday: "We need to get this right as otherwise fans and artists alike will be robbed by thieves. If we all pull this together and get EU legislation to follow our lead, we can ultimately make it work".

Confirming its support for the new initiative, the UK's FanFair campaign said its work had shown that "legislation and regulation can have a disruptive impact on exploitative secondary ticketing and help foster a more consumer-friendly approach to ticket resale". It added that it looked forward to supporting FEAT as it worked on "building wider European networks and improving EU legislation".


Spotify updates preferred distributor lists
Spotify has rejigged its preferred distributor lists so that there are now two levels: 'preferred' and 'recommended'. Hypebot spotted the revamp on the Spotify For Artists webpage that explains how artists and labels can get their music onto the streaming platform.

Both Spotify and Apple now recommend distributors that artists and labels might want to use, Apple following Spotify's lead in publishing a list of preferred distributors last November. Spotify says that preferred status is awarded based on quality of metadata and efforts to stop infringing content from being uploaded into its system. Apple's rankings also take into account the quantity of content a distributor uploads each month.

Following the rejig of Spotify's lists, Distrokid, CD Baby and The Orchard have preferred status, while Emubands, FUGA and Believe have recommended status.

The difference between the two levels, the streaming firm says, is that preferred distributors meet the "highest" standards on metadata and anti-infringement activity, while recommended distributors meet "basic" standards. Which doesn't sound so good, though there are loads of distributors on neither list, so mere recommended status is still a badge of honour.

FUGA is also listed as a preferred 'delivery platform'. Which is because FUGA, unlike the other listed companies, also offer content delivery as a standalone service for labels that already have deals (possibly a Merlin-negotiated deal) with any one streaming firm.

Of course, cynics might be quick to point out that Spotify recently announced an alliance with Distrokid, which will collaborate on the streaming firm's in-development direct-upload tool for DIY artists. At the same time it also invested some money into the distribution business. So, of course Distrokid is a preferred distributor.

However, Spotify is keen to stress, "our investment in any provider does not affect who is featured on [these lists], nor does it affect any decisions about how content is treated on Spotify's service". So that's alright then.


The Key Music Business Trends 2019 seminar
Next week, CMU's Chris Cooke will be presenting a streamlined version of the CMU Insights seminar 'Key Music Business Trends 2019' for participants on the brilliant she.grows mentoring programme run by the UK wing of the network.

The session - also available to any music company as an in-house training course from CMU Insights - provides a punchy overview of the key developments that occurred in the business of music in 2018, with some pointers on what to expect in the year ahead.

While we all know the headlines, it can be hard to keep up with all the key developments, let alone understand what any changes and innovations actually mean for artists, songwriters and their business partners. This seminar helps people navigate and understand what's going on, with sections covering things like the streaming business, copyright reform, the big ticketing debates and the ongoing challenges around music data.

Among the questions tackled: What are the challenges and opportunities for the streaming sector as it becomes the record industry's most important revenue stream? What do copyright reforms in the US and Europe really mean for how artists and songwriters get paid? Can out-of-control online ticket touting really become a thing of the past? And how can the music industry better utilise the mountain of fan data it is now sitting on?

For those involved in the she.grows programme, we look forward to seeing you next week! If you think your team could benefit from the full seminar, click here to find out more, and click here for information on our full range of in-house training services.

James Blake discusses mental toll of touring
With his new album out today, James Blake has spoken to Dazed about the mental toll of touring, and the pressure to continue working even when an artist is struggling.

"There's a lot you don't confront because you're not really exposed to a usual routine or other people that will challenge you in a meaningful sense on a personal level", he says. "Especially if you're in the limelight, that can definitely stop you from really needing to confront anything. There are a lot of musicians just starting out now who might not be aware of the pitfalls of touring and the pitfalls of a musician's life".

"Mental health on the road is something which has generally been left until this generation to really deal with", he continues. "I think we've seen the effects of the artist's life laid out for us in previous generations, and I think we're just starting to go, 'maybe I shouldn't use these methods to cope with it, maybe I should talk to somebody'".

Read the full interview here, and check out 'Mile High' from the new LP - featuring Travis Scott and Metro Boomin - here.


Roc Nation, A2IM, Ariana Grande, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• OK, turn to your music industry execs wallchart and cross out Phil McIntyre as President of the artist management division at Jay-Z's Roc Nation. That is not a post he holds any more. He's out. He's gone. He's going to focus on managing his own clients, Nick Jonas and Adam Lambert, through his Philymack company. Philymack first partnered with Roc Nation in 2015 and Mack was then named president of management there in April last year.

• Richard James Burgess will remain CEO of US indie label trade body A2IM after his contract was extended. Andrea Pagnanelli has also been hired as General Manager. That's not all, there have also been promotions: Patrick Ferrell is now Head Of Label Relations; Lisa Hresko is Senior Director Of Associate Member Services And International Relations; Sheryl Cohen is Senior Director Of Culture And Oversight; and Courtnay Newman is Manager Of Member Services And Partnerships.

• Ariana Grande has released new track '7 Rings'. Watch the video here.

• City Girls have released the video for their Cardi B collaboration 'Twerk'.

• Sigrid has released new single 'Don't Feel Like Crying'. Her debut album, 'Sucker Punch', is out on 8 Mar.

• Little Simz has announced that she will release new album, 'Grey Area', on 1 Mar. Here's new single 'Selfish'.

• Methyl Ethel have released new single 'Trip The Mains'. Their new album, 'Triage', is out on 15 Feb.

• Rina Mushonga has released new single 'For A Fool'. Her album, 'In A Galaxy', is out on 15 Feb. She will also headline the Shacklewell Arms in London on 19 Mar.

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


Spotify teams up with astrologist for horoscope playlists
I don't know about you, but I often look through the playlists Spotify has made for me and then decide not to listen to any of them. Sometimes something super specific to me just isn't what I'm looking for. But what if the playlist was specific to me, but in a really vague way that made it applicable to pretty much anyone?

Spotify's on it. The company has teamed up with astrologist Chani Nicholas to create a series of 'cosmic playlists' based on the twelve star signs. It might come across like I was being a bit dismissive of horoscopes in that first paragraph - mainly because I was - but the vague and generic nature of these playlists is something Nicholas pretty much admits to in an interview on Spotify's blog.

"Horoscopes are a very tiny portion of what astrology is", she says. "Most people conflate the sign that the sun was in when they were born - their sun sign - with their entire astrological makeup. But that sign is only one small piece of the huge mosaic that is your entire chart".

Then attempting to justify the bullshit nature of horoscopes and all that other astrology nonsense, she goes on: "When a song resonates with you, it might feel really personal, like it's speaking about your own experience. But it's also speaking to a huge, broad audience. When there's something collectively going on where a song resonates for a lot of people, it's the same way that a horoscope will speak to the archetypal themes of the moment".

Because "astrology is about a specific moment in time", it seems all of these playlist will be updated on a monthly basis to reflect what she imagines might be going on in people's lives based on their star sign. The current Leo playlist is "a celebration of all of the self-expression and personal growth that Leos have undergone for the last couple of years", for example. So bad luck if you're a Leo who's done fuck all recently.

The playlists are currently only officially available in the US, so you can't see if your musical taste aligns with the month in which you were born anywhere else yet. Although here's the Capricorn one, which will definitely speak to you if your birthday is today.

In other news, Tinder is now testing allowing users to share 30 second song clips from Spotify so you can attempt to woo your next date or fend off unwanted advances with your musical choices. Which is, at least, slightly better than doing either based on your star signs.


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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