FRIDAY 29 MARCH 2019 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Vodafone in Germany has blocked access to a popular piracy platform after a complaint from collecting society GEMA, but without the music rights organisation actually securing an injunction ordering the blockade... [READ MORE]
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MMF MECHANICS OF MUSIC MANAGEMENT WEBINARS
Tuesday evenings in March and April
The Music Managers Forum is currently running the CMU Insights-led 'Mechanics Of Music Management' programme as a series of webinars, taking place every other Tuesday. [READ MORE]
   
CMU+TGE CONFERENCES AT THE GREAT ESCAPE
Wednesday 8 - Friday 10 May 2019
This year's CMU+TGE conferences put the spotlight on music education, digital dollars and music marketing, and are packed with research, case studies, interviews and debates. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Vodafone blocks piracy site in Germany without court order
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
LEGAL Sigur Ros charged over tax evasion in Iceland
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Kobalt promotes Jamie Kinelski to VP Creative
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Spotify launches discount subscription package for couples
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
MEDIA 7digital partners with Access to help broadcasters expand their in-car services
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
ARTIST NEWS Indie band Her's killed in car crash while on tour
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
RELEASES Rammstein confirm new album, cause controversy with video
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
AND FINALLY... Lil Nas X's viral hit was a country song then it wasn't, says Billboard
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060.
   
MOTHERSHIP GROUP - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Mothership Group is looking for an energetic ​Digital Marketing Manager w​ith a passion for the latest social media trends, music, events and nightlife, to join its forward thinking Creative Team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
13 ARTISTS - AGENTS ASSISTANT (BRIGHTON)
13 Artists is looking to recruit an Agents Assistant for its Brighton Office with a minimum two years live music industry experience, preferably agency.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN - VENUE ASSISTANT/DUTY MANAGER (LONDON)
Academy Music Group is seeking a Venue Assistant/Duty Manager to assist in all aspects of the operation of the building in relation to events staged at O2 Forum Kentish Town.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BNDR MUSIC - A&R ADMIN ASSISTANT (LONDON)
bndr Music is currently looking for an A&R Administration Assistant extraordinaire. The ideal candidate should have experience in A&R and desire to take up a new challenge.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SECRETLY DISTRIBUTION - INTERNATIONAL SALES & MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
This role manages the sales and marketing team (3-4 people) in Secretly Distribution's international department as well as handling a roster of key clients. Primary label relations contact for international territories including onboarding new clients and day to day client queries.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE ORCHARD - SENIOR MANAGER, UK RETAIL MARKETING (LONDON)
As the Head of Sales & Marketing for the UK, you will be responsible for managing The Orchard's local and global repertoire in the UK market as well as driving a talented team of local account managers You will work directly with our local and international teams across our extensive catalogue of labels and artist projects.

For more information and to apply click here.

Vodafone blocks piracy site in Germany without court order
Vodafone in Germany has blocked access to a popular piracy platform after a complaint from collecting society GEMA, but without the music rights organisation actually securing an injunction ordering the blockade.

Web-blocking, of course, has become a preferred anti-piracy tactic of the music and movie industries in multiple countries around the world. It's especially useful where rights owners don't know who is operating a piracy site or the operators are based in a country where it would be hard to pursue legal action.

With this anti-piracy approach internet service providers are asked to block their customers from accessing websites that primarily infringe copyright, or which facilitate or encourage others to infringe. Quite how web-blocking works varies from country to country, but it usually involves securing a court order or filing a complaint with a government agency.

However, the German division of Vodafone has blocked a site called Boerse.to – where people share links to pirated music, movies and TV shows – without any court order. Seemingly because GEMA had indicated it would go to court if the ISP didn't act and Vodafone wanted to avoid having to deal with any future legal action.

Asked about the Boerse.to blocking by Torrentfreak, a spokesperson for Vodafone Germany said: "On the basis of a notification from GEMA, we have set up a DNS blockade for the 'boerse.to' domain. The blockade affects Vodafone GmbH's fixed and mobile network".

The tel co then cited recent precedents in German law regarding the responsibilities and liabilities of internet companies in this domain. The spokesperson went on: "GEMA has officially sent us a notification and we have set up the DNS blockade in order to avoid a legal dispute in accordance with the principles established by the Federal Court Of Justice".

Vodafone added that it is "critical of these blocking requests", but that it would nevertheless comply with its legal obligations. Though, that said, prior to instigating the blockade it did confirm that GEMA had tried to target the operators of Boerse.to directly. The music rights body then separately confirmed that it only employs web-blocking where the operators of piracy sites are unknown or impossible to reach.

Because Vodafone has voluntarily agreed to block Boerse.to, the site is still accessible via other ISPs in Germany, whereas usually - when web-blocking court orders are secured - they apply to all the major net firms in any one country. It will therefore be interesting to see how the other ISPs of Germany respond if sent similar complaints by GEMA.

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Sigur Ros charged over tax evasion in Iceland
Members of Sigur Ros have been charged with tax evasion after the authorities in their home country of Iceland investigated the band's finances.

The outfit is accused of submitting incorrect tax returns from 2011 to 2014 and as a result evading 151 million Icelandic Krona (just over £945,000) in tax payments. Assets belonging to all four band members – including property worth nearly £5 million – are currently frozen pending the case going to trial.

For their part, the band blame a former accountant for the incorrect tax filings, adding that they have cooperated with the tax authorities since being made aware of the errors. In a statement yesterday, they said they regretted that the case had ended up in court, but that they intended to demonstrate during the trial that they themselves had not deliberately set out to evade any taxes that were due to be paid.

According to Billboard, the band's legal rep added: "The members of Sigur Ros are musicians - not experts on bookkeeping and international finance".

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Kobalt promotes Jamie Kinelski to VP Creative
Kobalt – as well as putting out some braggy stats about how bloody well it's doing just now thank you very much – has also promoted its LA-based Senior Director of Creative, Jamie Kinelski, to the more VPy sounding role of VP Creative.

Explains the firm's Chief Creative Officer Sas Metcalfe: "Jamie is the ultimate team player and that quality has earned her the trust and respect of artists and songwriters. I'm THRILLED with the outstanding success she is having with her signings and collaboration with Kobalt clients. Her most recent promotion is well earned".

Meanwhile Kobalt's GM of Creative, Sue Drew – who previously worked with Kinelski at US collecting society ASCAP – says: "I have worked with Jamie since our days at ASCAP and it is a joy to see her develop into a successful executive. Her signings show the diversity of her musical tastes and their potential is limitless. It is a pleasure to promote her to Vice President, Creative".

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Spotify launches discount subscription package for couples
All the couples out there who had themselves some children just so they could access Spotify's family plan and save a whole five pounds a month in musical subscription fees, bad news! The streaming firm is now piloting a new discount package that requires no breeding.

The new package is called Premium Duo and is being piloted in five markets, including Ireland. It allows couples to have a joint Spotify account for just 12.49 euros a month, meaning a 7.50 euros saving compared to having two separate subscriptions. By comparison, the existing family plan offer is 14.99 euros a month.

Of course, for all this talk of couples and families, these are really bulk-buy discount packages. So Duo is good for any two users willing to pay together, while the family plan is for up six people, though in theory they must all based in one home.

On the Duo plan, users will also get access to a machine-compiled personalised playlist based on their combined musical tastes. Which sounds terrible, but there you go.

Family plans and such like have helped the streaming services keep premium sign-up rates growing at a rapid pace in recent years. Though – alongside the increased importance of emerging markets where subscription fees are lower – they have also contributed to a decline in the average revenue per user across the market.

Which is something some record label bosses like to get all stressed about at least three times a month. So Premium Duo, woo! More stress, woo!

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7digital partners with Access to help broadcasters expand their in-car services
B2B digital music and radio services company 7digital has announced a partnership with Access - a business with net-connected in-car entertainment expertise - to offer a new service to the radio sector.

The two firms note that, as more and more drivers start to access online entertainment while in the car, "traditional broadcast radio providers will need to keep pace with the expectations of always-on drivers and passengers". 7digital and Access reckon that their alliance will "help the radio industry manage this transition seamlessly by delivering a platform that enables IP radio to integrate with existing broadcast services and evolve into new connected services". And doesn't that sound like fun?

Specifics that will be made available to broadcasters via the 7digital/Access partnership include the ability to offer 'listen again' programming and on-demand podcasts, as well as targeted recommendations and advertising.

Announcing the tie-up, soon-to-depart 7digital CEO Simon Cole said: "In-car listening has always been central to the health of the radio industry. As we move to an environment where the connected car allows access to a world of content outside broadcast, there is a clear opportunity for radio to take advantage of its central position on the dashboard".

"Whether it is curating songs from the radio into playlists or providing listen-again services on the go", he went on, "the connected car will be one of the most dynamic media environments and we are THRILLED to be working with Access on its development".

The boss of Access Europe, Neale Foster, added: "Digital entertainment services are offering consumers expertly curated entertainment experiences to enhance brand engagement. The radio industry needs to follow suit as it starts to embrace connected technologies. Through our partnership with 7digital, we're putting radio back at the heart of in-car entertainment and fostering a platform for innovation ahead of the driverless car revolution".

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20 years of CMU via the Setlist podcast
CMU celebrated its 20th birthday last May and to celebrate we picked out the 20 biggest music and music business stories that we've reported on during our first two decades in business. Since then we've been publishing a series of special editions of our Setlist podcast talking through each of these big stories in turn.

The next special edition will come out next week, but why not check out the series so far first? We've published thirteen of them to date. Across the series we discuss the massive impact of the original Napster and the resulting lawsuits, the rise and decline of the iTunes Store, the rise and fall of MySpace, the collapse of EMI, the rise and revival (for now) of HMV, and the evolution of NME.

Plus the ins and outs of the Bass Brothers' sales v licence lawsuit, the music industry's love hate relationship with YouTube, how the labels successfully fought Grooveshark, the battle against secondary ticketing, Michael Jackson's death and the litigation that followed, and the full and complete Spotify story to date. And finally, the big artists stories we've covered over the 20 years.

You can listen to each individual edition by clicking on the above links - or check them all out here. And read about the 20 biggest stories CMU covered in its first two decades here.

Indie band Her's killed in car crash while on tour
The members of Liverpool-based indie band Her's have both died after being involved in a car crash while on tour in the US. According to the duo's label Heist Or Hit, both band members - Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading – and their tour manager Trevor Engelbrektson were killed in the accident, which occurred as they travelled to a show in Santa Ana, California.

The label said in a statement: "It is with overwhelming sadness that we regretfully inform you that Liverpool band Her's - Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading - and their tour manager Trevor Engelbrektson tragically passed away in a road accident in the early hours of Wednesday, 27th March whilst travelling to a show in Santa Ana, California".

"Having recently released their debut album 'Invitation to Her's', Stephen and Audun were on their second tour of North America playing nineteen dates of sold-out shows to a fanbase that adored them. The pair were one of the UK's most loved up and coming bands".

Paying tribute to the duo, Heist Or Hit went on: "Their energy, vibrancy and talent came to define our label. As humans, they were warm, gentle and hilarious. Each time they stopped by the office made for an uplifting experience. To say they were close would be an underestimation of a friendship that was genuinely beautiful to witness; they loved one another like brothers".

"Musically, Her's were astonishing. An aptitude for melody, fun and entertainment combined with a complexity that was as sophisticated as it was stylish. They were in America playing to thousands of adoring fans. Fans they made a point of meeting and spending time with, such was their passion and humbleness. The world was at their feet. Everyone here at the label is overwhelmed and distraught. We have lost our friends and the world has been denied their talent".

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Rammstein confirm new album, cause controversy with video
Rammstein have confirmed that their long-awaited seventh album – their first LP release in nearly a decade – will finally be unleashed on 17 May. And it is already causing controversy because of the video that accompanies first single 'Deutschland'.

In it the band are dressed in uniforms similar to those worn in German concentration camps during World War II with nooses around their necks. As the video progresses, the prisoners are seen seeking revenge on the fascist guards.

Opinion is divided about the new video from the often controversial band, but some argue that this time Rammstein have definitely crossed the decency line.

The former president of the Central Council Of Jews In Germany, Charlotte Knoblach, told German newspaper Bild: "The instrumentalisation and trivialisation of the Holocaust, as shown in the images, is irresponsible. With this video, the band has crossed a line".

Beyond the video and the controversy surrounding it, the band have also been talking about the music that's on the new record and the process they went through when making it. Guitarist Richard Kruspe told Guitar World of the album: "It's not too sterile, not too clean. It has a lot of life and energy in it, but it's not all angry. The music is more than that. It's different for Rammstein. You might even say it's fun to listen to."

On the recording process, he went on: "Everyone with a computer can make music at home. You can programme stuff and get nice-sounding drum programmes and the sound is very good off the soundcards you have at home. That's fine, but our goal was to have something that could never be done at home, where you really hear the humans behind the instruments. To see your drummer play when you work on songs and see there are real people involved in your band I think is good for us".

The new record is called 'Rammstein' and is released by Spinefarm.

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Lil Nas X's viral hit was a country song then it wasn't, says Billboard
American rapper Lil Nas X has been kicked out of Billboard's country music chart after the trade mag decided his track 'Old Town Road' just wasn't country enough for a listing. Despite having previously included it in the Hot Country Chart.

The 2018 record, which has recently gone viral thanks to some Tik Tok love, seemingly ended up in the country charts because of its lyrical references to cowboys and the Western-themed video game 'Red Dead Redemption 2'.

But with hindsight, Billboard says, it's not really a country track. So, the record having debuted on the country chart at number nineteen on 16 Mar, it's now not listed. But don't worry, it is still appearing on Billboard's hip hop and main Hot 100 countdowns.

"Upon further review", Billboard said in a statement, "it was determined that 'Old Town Road' by Lil Nas X does not currently merit inclusion on Billboard's country charts. When determining genres, a few factors are examined, but first and foremost is musical composition. While 'Old Town Road' incorporates references to country and cowboy imagery, it does not embrace enough elements of today's country music to chart in its current version".

Responding to claims that the real reason for the change in heart was that people didn't like having a black rapper on the country chart, Billboard said that its "decision to take the song off of the country chart had absolutely nothing to do with the race of the artist".

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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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