TODAY'S TOP STORY: A stack of songwriters previously celebrated by Spotify as 'secret geniuses' have written an open letter to the streaming service's top man Daniel Ek demanding that the company drop its appeal of the US Copyright Royalty Board's most recent streaming royalty rate ruling... [READ MORE]
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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]
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 Spotify's 'secret genius' songwriters hit out at Spotify over CRB appeal
LEGAL Twitter takes down Donald Trump campaign video for unlicensed music use
New Zealand Commerce Commission can appeal ruling over Viagogo injunction
DEALS R&R Records partners with Warner Bros
BRANDS & MERCH Libertines renew sponsorship of Margate FC, announce "historic" football kit
RELEASES Wild Beasts' Hayden Thorpe releases new solo single
ONE LINERS Game Of Thrones, Pavarotti, Slugabed, more
AND FINALLY... Billie Eilish thought the Spice Girls were fictional
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email or call 020 7099 9060.
SJM Concerts is seeking a PR Assistant. This is a junior role which an ideal candidate will embrace and make their own to become a key member of an extremely busy and efficient marketing department.

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Kobalt is looking for an experienced Digital Supply Chain Manager to join AWAL’s Global Digital Operations team. Based in our New York office, this role will be responsible for ensuring the quality and success of AWAL’s release deliveries.

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Kobalt is hiring a Release Manager in New York to work with its global AWAL team. You will work closely with external, key partners as well as internal teams across the business, and will be responsible for all aspects of product build, release set up and scheduling to ensure all US Kobalt Music Recordings meet release dates.

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VMS Live is recruiting for a full time Venue Manager who will be responsible for taking an active role in delivering and programming the live music and club business from sourcing, programming and through to event delivery.

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Cherry Red is looking for a full-time Digital Content Creator to join its team. The Digital Content Creator will work with the marketing and digital teams to produce digital marketing assets for use in our release campaigns, social media channels and website.

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Sentric Music is looking for a Synchronisation Executive to join its Music Services team. Based in the creative area of the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool or our London office in Soho, the Synchronisation Executive will be part of our growing Sync Team consisting of fifteen creatives in the UK and US.

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NEKO Trust was founded to help build a sustainable future for the live events industry by supporting the next generation of talent. The charity is now seeking to appoint three high calibre trustees to join their board and add the vital capacity and expertise needed to deliver NEKO’s charitable programmes.

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The Orchard is looking for an experienced and passionate Head of Sales & Marketing to join us in 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.

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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.

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13 Artists is looking to recruit an Agents Assistant for its Brighton Office with a minimum two years live music industry experience, preferably agency.

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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.

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Spotify's 'secret genius' songwriters hit out at Spotify over CRB appeal
A stack of songwriters previously celebrated by Spotify as 'secret geniuses' have written an open letter to the streaming service's top man Daniel Ek demanding that the company drop its appeal of the US Copyright Royalty Board's most recent streaming royalty rate ruling.

Spotify, of course, is appealing said ruling, under which the portion of streaming revenues allocated to songwriters and music publishers in America would increase from 10.5% to 15.1%. The streaming firm insists that it doesn't have a problem with the top line increase, but that it has issues with other elements of the compulsory licence that covers the mechanical copying of songs in the US and which is overseen by the CRB.

The American music publishers have been scathing of Spotify's arguments, pointing out that during the hearings that occurred before the CRB reached its conclusion on the new rates the streaming firm definitely argued against the top line royalty increase.

Spotify isn't the only digital music firm appealing the CRB ruling. But America's National Music Publishers Association reckons that some of those other companies waited to see what Spotify and Amazon planned to do before deciding to appeal themselves. Plus Spotify's main rival in subscription streaming, Apple, has decided not to appeal.

In their new open letter, the signatory songwriters say that Spotify's decision to appeal hurts the most because the streaming firm has, in recent years, done much to connect with the songwriting community. That outreach work replicated what the streaming firm had previously done a few years earlier to engage with and placate artists who were initially confused by or annoyed with the streaming music business model.

There have been various initiatives involving songwriters, including the Secret Genius Awards, a project which saw Spotify basically adopt a strategy employed by many of the collecting societies in the music publishing world, ie hand out a bunch of awards and the songwriters might not notice how fucked up the whole songs licensing business really is.

But in this case the songwriters have definitely noticed the thing that's fucked up, the letter adds. "Now, we can see the real reason for your songwriter outreach", they write in their letter. "You have used us and tried to divide us but we stand together".

Confirming that even - and especially - the secret geniuses among the American songwriting community will fight Spotify before the CRB, the letter adds: "Our fight is for all songwriters: those struggling to build their career, those in the middle class and those few who have reached your Secret Genius level".

They then conclude: "But none of us are 'secret'! We all create the one thing you sell... songs. Do the right thing and drop your appeal of the Copyright Royalty Board rate determination".


Twitter takes down Donald Trump campaign video for unlicensed music use
Twitter has taken down a Donald Trump campaign video that was posted in preparation for the 2020 US presidential election, after the Warner Bros movie studio issued a takedown notice. The video used music from Batman film 'The Dark Knight Rises', which the studio says was used without a licence.

Yes, it's that time again. Due to the unbelievably long run up to US elections, Trump is already campaigning to get a second go at this Presidential lark in 2020. If his tweet accompanying the now removed video is anything to go by, he's once more using the slogan "make America great again". Seems a bit weird to try to get elected by admitting you haven't done what you set out to do last time, but whatever.

The video used a piece of music from the Batman soundtrack titled 'Why Do We Fall?', as well as the movie's title cards. In 'The Dark Knight Rises', the Hans Zimmer composition soundtracks Bruce Wayne climbing out of a pit. Which is also a slightly weird image to link yourself to when you're trying to get re-elected.

Once made aware of the video, Warner Bros said in a statement: "The use of Warner Bros' score from 'The Dark Knight Rises' in the campaign video was unauthorised. We are working through the appropriate legal channels to have it removed".

And so it did. Although the tweet remains, a message reading "this media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner" now sits in place of the video.

Trump is used to complaints about his use of other people's music in his campaigns, of course. Although, previously most moans have been aimed at his use of music at campaign rallies. There have been a number of formal complaints over this, but playing music at those events is often covered by the blanket licences held by the venues.

Using music in an online video without permission is a different matter, however. It can, and has, resulted in legal action. For example, when David Byrne sued former Governor of Florida Charlie Crist for using Talking Heads track 'Road To Nowhere' without permission in a video on YouTube back in 2010.

It remains to be seen if Warner Bros takes any further action beyond issuing the takedown.


New Zealand Commerce Commission can appeal ruling over Viagogo injunction
The New Zealand Commerce Commission has been told it can appeal a court ruling made in February in which a high court judge declined to issue an interim injunction against Viagogo.

The government agency wanted an injunction similar to that secured by the Competition & Markets Authority in the UK ordering the always controversial secondary ticketing website to stop employing deliberately confusing language on its website.

The injunction was declined not based on the Commission's arguments about Viagogo's conduct or New Zealand consumer rights law, but because of tedious jurisdiction issues. The court ruled that the Commission had failed to formally serve notice against Viagogo in its home country of Switzerland and therefore it couldn't issue any injunction.

Because serving notice in Switzerland, via diplomatic channels, could take six months, the Commission asked for permission to appeal February's decision. The high court has agreed to accept an appeal. According to Stuff, the judge who made that decision, Pheroze Jagose, said that the Commission had "identified an arguable error of law" in the previous ruling, which justified the appeal.

It remains to be seen whether that appeal is actually successful, providing the Commission with a court order that would force Viagogo to deal with the government's agency's demands. If it is, it would then be interesting to see if Viagogo actually complied with the injunction. Meanwhile, the Commission's wider case against the resale site - beyond securing the interim injunction - is also ongoing.


R&R Records partners with Warner Bros
Warner Bros Records in the US has launched a joint venture with digital-focused independent label R&R. The first artists signed under the new partnership are Dijon and Wens.

R&R was founded in 2016 by Ben Persky and Mason Klein. The pair have worked together since 2010 when they launched artist management company Mixed Management. Their management roster includes Baauer, RL Grime and Tobias Jesso Jr, as well as Dijon. With R&R, they quickly found streaming success with Mt Joy and Sorcha Richardson.

"I've been following Ben and Mason's careers for years now and I've been impressed by the level of artists and songwriters they've been championing, on both the management and label sides", says WBR CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck. "They have great taste, an authentic approach, and a clear vision of what R&R represents. Dijon and Wens are compelling, original voices and fantastic artists to kick off our partnership. [WBR COO] Tom Corson and I are THRILLED to welcome R&R into the WBR family".

For their part, Persky and Klein shout over each other: "Through this partnership, we're excited to establish a global presence and offer our artists more comprehensive support. Aaron and Tom have been encouraging of our vision from the beginning, and we love what they're doing at Warner Bros. They have an amazing team, and it's an exciting place to grow talent. We're incredibly proud to launch our joint venture with Dijon and Wens, two artists whom we feel represent the ethos and direction of R&R".

Here's recent Dijon single, 'Bad Luck'.


Libertines renew sponsorship of Margate FC, announce "historic" football kit
The Libertines are sponsoring Margate Football Club for a second season. Which is nice for Margate FC. And probably even The Libertines. And also Libertines fans, who get to buy another football kit for a team they didn't know existed until a year ago.

The new football outfit on sale has been dubbed 'The History Kit', because the first 1000 people to buy it before 31 Jul will get their name printed on it. Which apparently makes Margate FC "history". I'm not sure how.

"I'm really excited to see the reaction of fans to the Libertines History Kit", says Margate FC General Manager Deny Wilson. "To have your name on a shirt that will be worn by the band and in games by the team is really unique".

Still not sure how it makes history, but whatever. The band add: "We are really tickled to be sponsoring Margate FC for another season. There are a lot of exciting things going on in Margate at the moment... the Turner Prize, the Gate on a winning streak and not to mention our own Albion Rooms opening later this year".

Oh yeah, the Libertines' Albion Rooms hotel. I believe that was supposed to open last year. It didn't though. But it'll be historic when it does "later this year", I'm sure.

The team will actually only wear the new kit when competing in cup competitions. The previously available home and away kits will still be worn for league games in the 2019/20 season. So if you bought one of those previously, don't throw it in the bin just yet whatever you do.


CMU+TGE: Music Education Conference on Wednesday 8 May
We are now just a month away from this year's Great Escape showcase festival and music conference, which will again see 3500 music industry people arrive in Brighton for four days of learning, debating, networking and talent spotting. At the heart of the TGE Conference programme are the three full-day CMU+TGE conferences.

The first of those kicks off the entire TGE Conference on Wednesday 8 May, putting the spotlight on music education. The Music Education Conference is all about bringing music educators and the music industry together, so that educators, employers and music industry leaders are better aligned. Together they can ensure that music education is properly supported, and that the music industry has the future talent it needs to succeed, both on and off stage.

The conference will include updates from the Pathways Into Music research work CMU launched last year, which is mapping music education in the UK, to fully explain what music education is - in its widest possible sense - and how it is funded, accessed and delivered. As part of that project, CMU is also working with Urban Development to start mapping music careers, to work out how music education actually fits into the mix.

Other debates during the day will look at what music education is for, what should be in the music curriculum in schools and colleges, and how music employers can support the education sector. Taking part will be leading educators and educational organisations, exam boards, colleges, music industry employers and those lobbing law-makers on education issues.

The day will then conclude with an artist perspective, with Chilly Gonzales in conversation. Last year he launched his own ground-breaking music education programme The Gonzervatory. It will turn later this year and any musicians interested in getting involved can apply right now here. At TGE he will explain why he set The Gonzervatory up and how it all works. And also how we can build bridges between musical disciplines and in doing so ensure music education works for everyone.

The CMU+TGE Music Education Conference takes place at the new home of the TGE Conference, Jurys Inn Waterfront, on Wednesday 8 May. It is open to all TGE delegates, plus standalone tickets are available for just £65. Check the Music Education Conference schedule here. Click here to buy a delegate pass and here to buy a standalone Music Education Conference ticket.

Wild Beasts' Hayden Thorpe releases new solo single
Former Wild Beasts frontman Hayden Thorpe has released a new track, 'Love Crimes'. It's taken from his debut solo album 'Diviner', which is out on 24 May.

"I guess the record, in a sense, is a break-up record, about me breaking up with myself, and therefore my new relationship with my new self", he tells the NME. "But I'm not sure how strongly it informs the record. I'm not sure. I actually think we all exist now in the church of self, where we all have available to us all ways of seeing the world and believing in the world. We believe what we need to believe. But what we believe is also changeable".

Of returning to music, he adds: "It's a huge relief, to be honest. I always remember a documentary with Gary Barlow, saying how quiet it went after Take That, and how the phone wouldn't ring. I always thought, 'Oh, get over it, Gary, pull your socks up!' But it turns out Gary Barlow was right. It does get quiet".

Never doubt Barlow. Except for all the obvious reasons. Thorpe concludes: "For a while there, my internal world and my external world weren't matching up. The reality of having music ready to go and it not being out, it's kind of like a secret pregnancy. It feels good just to have my inner world and my outer world finally in sync".

Watch the video for 'Love Crimes' here.


Game Of Thrones, Pavarotti, Slugabed, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• A$AP Rocky, Ellie Goulding, Muse's Matt Bellamy, Mumford & Sons, SZA, The National and The Weeknd are among acts who are contributing to a new compilation of music "inspired by" 'Game Of Thrones'. Here's a trailer.

• The trailer for new Ron Howard-directed Pavarotti documentary 'Pavarotti' has been released. The film will be in cinemas on 13 Jul, with the soundtrack album out on 7 Jun.

• Slugabed will release new album 'Any Attempt To Control The Environment Or The Self By Means Which Are Either Untested Or Untestable, Such As Charms Or Spells', on 24 May. From it, this is 'Infinite Wave'.

• Bear's Den have released the video for recent single 'Laurel Wreath'. New album, 'So That You Might Hear Me', is out on 26 Apr.

• Andreya Triana has released new single 'Freedom'. Her new album, 'Life In Colour', is out on 24 May.

• Laurence Pike has released the video for 'Drum Chant', taken from his new album, 'Holy Spring'. He'll be playing live at King's Place in London on 22 May.

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


Billie Eilish thought the Spice Girls were fictional
Hey old people (by which I mean everyone older that 25), do you ever run pop culture references you think are universal past young people to see their reaction? It's a fun game. Fun and depressing. The most fun type of game. Like, for instance, Billie Eilish was aware of the Spice Girls, but she thought they only existed in a film.

Eilish - who was born in 2001, after the group split up - was only aware of the Spice Girls from their 1997 film 'Spice World' until relatively recently. "I watched that movie like 40 times", she recalled to Ellen Degeneres last week. "I remember seeing Spice Girls [were reforming] and thinking, 'Oh my god, they're re-enacting the movie'".

Speaking to Capital FM this week, she elaborated further: "I thought 'Spice World', the Spice Girls movie, was a made up movie about a group of girls who sang. And I thought all the music was written for the movie. And I thought all the characters were cast for the [film]. I didn't figure it out until, like, two years ago. That movie, there are so many elements that are fictional. They do all this stuff that's not [real]".

So, there you go, young people don't believe it's possible that the Spice Girls ever actually existed. Which, to be fair, is a reasonable position. Now try telling them that there used to be five members of Take That.


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
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