TODAY'S TOP STORY: The MD of Viagogo has said that his company will comply with UK consumer rights law "as soon as possible". The company is already five months past a court ordered deadline... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Viagogo boss says company will be compliant with law "as soon as possible"
LIVE BUSINESS Paradigm boss Sam Gores has "shut down" UTA merger talks
DEAG takes controlling stake in LiveStyle's I-Motion
ARTIST NEWS Ed Sheeran was the UK's most played artist in 2018
RELEASES Keane announce return with new album and tour dates
GIGS & FESTIVALS Banks announces UK tour dates
ONE LINERS Billboard, BTS, Labrinth, more
AND FINALLY... Cardi B posts pictures of swollen feet to explain show cancellations
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Viagogo boss says company will be compliant with law "as soon as possible"
The MD of Viagogo has said that his company will comply with UK consumer rights law "as soon as possible". The company is already five months past a court ordered deadline.

Cris Miller insists that Viagogo has already made over 1000 changes to its website in response to the court order secured by the UK's Competition & Markets Authority last year. He seems to think this demonstrates the firm's commitment to becoming more consumer friendly, although really it seems to illustrate just how anti-consumer the ticket resale service was before.

In early 2018, the CMA made a number of demands of the big four secondary ticketing sites then operating in the UK - they being Viagogo, StubHub, Seatwave and Get Me In! - so that said sites would comply with British consumer rights law.

The latter two sites, both owned by Live Nation, ultimately shut down in response to rising opposition to online ticket touting in the music community. StubHub agreed to comply with the demands, whereas Viagogo resisted until a court order had been secured by the regulator.

The deadline for complying was January this year. As the deadline approached Viagogo insisted on Twitter that it was now compliant. The CMA did not agree. And given the "as soon as possible" commitment made by Miller on Sky News last week, presumably the controversial resale site itself now excepts its boasts of compliance were somewhat premature.

Although Viagogo and its founder Eric Baker were very chatty in the company's early years, the firm put up a wall of silence as online touting became more controversial within the music and wider live events industry. Then last year Viagogo starting publicly hitting back at its critics again, mainly via anonymous postings to a corporate Twitter account.

Last week Miller started giving interviews in the midst of media coverage around issues with touted tickets bought by football fans attending the recent Champions League final in Madrid. First he told ITV news that the company had been wrong to bail on two parliamentary select committee hearings on the ticketing market. He then subsequently talked about last year's CMA court order with Sky.

"We've actually been working very closely with [the CMA]", he told the broadcaster. "There has been a lot of engagement back and forth. We've made a considerable number of changes - nearly over 1000 - to the website based off the interpretations of how the order looks, so we feel very confident we're making very good direction".

After confirming that the company hoped to be compliant with the CMA's demands "as soon as possible", Miller then argued that his company was taking a "leadership position" on ensuring a transparent consumer-friendly ticket resale market because Viagogo was "actually asked to do more than our competitors".

That is true, the CMA did make extra demands of Viagogo compared to StubHub et al. Although only because it has employed more deliberately misleading tactics to confuse customers into thinking they were buying from official sellers.

Since becoming all chatty again, Viagogo has generally put forward the classic three defences for online touting: that people should be allowed to resell tickets they can no longer use; the real bad guys are the promoters who cancel touted tickets; and if sites like Viagogo didn't exist people would end up buying tickets off dodgy websites run by the Russian mafia.

However, in his recent interviews Miller has also employed a new argument. That being that Viagogo is a plucky upstart and needs more time to work things out. "The reality is that we're a new business, it's a new industry, it's a disruptive market", he told Sky News.

It's certainly an interesting angle. It must have been an entirely different Viagogo that launched thirteen whole years ago and which has faced and mainly ignored more than a decade of criticism from the music community, consumer rights groups and Parliament. It'll be very exciting to see just how consumer-friendly and consumer-rights-law compliant this start-up Viagogo will be.


Paradigm boss Sam Gores has "shut down" UTA merger talks
Following recent reports that US-based talent agencies UTA and Paradigm were in talks to merge, the latter's CEO Sam Gores has said that he has "shut down discussions and [will] not make this deal".

UTA was seemingly particularly interested in acquiring Paradigm's music division. The merger would have created one of the largest talent agencies in the world, and come hot on the heels of WME owner Endeavor announcing plans to IPO.

"There are reasons why a combination like this would have made sense for both agencies", Gores says in a memo to staff. "But in the end, what is more compelling for us is how unique the culture at Paradigm is and how powerful our independent path can be".

In a statement to Billboard, UTA boss Jeremy Zimmer says: "We admire Sam and the business he and his colleagues have built. We are disappointed we didn't come to an agreement. But we wish him and everyone at Paradigm the best".

Founded in 1992, Paradigm now has ten offices across the US, Canada and UK, representing clients from the worlds of film, TV, books and voiceover talent, as well as music. A year older, UTA covers all of those plus comedy, YouTubers, esports and public speakers.


DEAG takes controlling stake in LiveStyle's I-Motion
Having bought a controlling stake in one German promoter - C2 Concerts - earlier this month, DEAG has done it again by buying into I-Motion, the German division of US live company LiveStyle.

DEAG now owns a cool 50.1% of that company, which is one of Germany's biggest electronic music promoters. Founded in the 1990s, I-Motion was acquired by SFX Entertainment in 2013 and remained a subsidiary of the company after it came out of bankruptcy and rebranded as LiveStyle in 2016.

Commenting on now being in business with DEAG, LiveStyle CEO Randy Phillips says: "Many years ago I had the pleasure of negotiating the purchase of [German live music firm] MAMA Concerts & Rau by DEAG. In the course of closing that transaction, I got to know [DEAG chief] Peter Schwenkow quite well and was very impressed by his love of music, business acumen and vision for [his company]. It seems I was right then and am right now".

He goes on: "In addition, [DEAG board member] Detlef Kornett and I were colleagues for many years at AEG and I am THRILLED to be re-united with my friend. The key execs at I-Motion feel that DEAG is a great fit for them and I know it will be a great partner for LiveStyle in Germany".

Schwenkow adds: "The partnership with I-Motion and LiveStyle offers us further potential for our ticketing business. Through the targeted introduction of individual events abroad, we will also have the opportunity to grow internationally. For example, by offering the established and very successful electronic event 'Mayday' again in Poland, the UK and Switzerland in the future".


Setlist: 20 years of CMU – The Pirate Bay, the piracy site that refuses to sink
This week’s episode of Setlist is the last in our series of episodes marking CMU’s 20th birthday, in which we have been looking back at the 20 biggest stories CMU has covered over the last two decades. This time we look at what was once the biggest piracy site on the internet, and how it has survived where so many others have sunk. Setlist is sponsored by 7digital.

Listen to this episode of Setlist here, and sign up to receive new episodes for free automatically each week through any of these services...

Acast | Apple Podcasts | audioBoom | CastBox | Deezer | Google Play | iHeart | Mixcloud | RSS | SoundCloud | Spotify | Spreaker | Stitcher | TuneIn

Ed Sheeran was the UK's most played artist in 2018
Who was the most played artist across UK radio stations, TV channels, shops and all that in 2018? Go on, guess. Nope. No, not them either. Nah. Oh, no, not even close. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Ha, sorry, I was lying, it was Ed Sheeran all along, your first guess was right. To be fair, the headline on this piece did give that away a bit. It's OK, we'll play another game later.

Sheeran came out top in the annual most played top ten complied by record industry collecting society PPL, which has totted up all the figures for UK public plays of tracks last year. And this year Sheeran tops an almost exclusively British list - Pink being the only non-British artist in the top ten. Others joining Sheeran include Calvin Harris, Little Mix, Rita Ora and Coldplay.

But who had the most played track last year? Go on, guess. Nope. No, not them either. Nah. Oh, no, not even close. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Ha, you think I'm going to say it was Ed Sheeran now after all, don't you? Well, I'm not. Sheeran didn't even make it into the top ten. While he did top both PPL lists last year, he's now just become accepted background noise and no one song actually came out as being all that popular.

No, 2018's most-played track was the heavily synced 'Feel It Still' by Portugal The Man. They being a Warner Music signed artist topping a list dominated by Warner and Sony. Universal gets just one track in that list, Liam Payne and Rita Ora's collaboration for the '50 Shades Freed' soundtrack, 'For You'. Independent label-signed artists? I'll pretend you didn't ask that.

"Radio, TV and public performance usage is a significant indicator of the most played music in the country, so PPL is pleased to report a successful 2018 for home-grown UK talent", says Peter Leathem, PPL's top number lover. "Ed Sheeran again keeps his place as most played artist, but other performers like Calvin Harris and Little Mix have also held their 2017 top five spots, helping UK music come out on top".

He adds: "Congratulations is also due to Portugal. The Man for their chart topping 'Feel It Still', and to all the other artists that made it into our top ten charts. It was a fantastic year for music and we wish all artists and rightsholders a successful 2019".

Would you like to see both top tens in order now? No? Well, bad luck, here they are...

Most played artists

1. Ed Sheeran
2. Calvin Harris
3. Little Mix
4. Rita Ora
5. Coldplay
6. Pink
7. Clean Bandit
8. Dua Lipa
9. George Ezra
10. Jess Glynne

Most played tracks

1. Portugal. The Man - Feel It Still
2. Rudimental - These Days (feat Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen)
3. Liam Payne & Rita Ora - For You
4. Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa - One Kiss
5. George Ezra - Shotgun
6. Sigma & Paloma Faith - Lullaby
7. Rita Ora - Anywhere
8. David Guetta & Sia - Flames
9. George Ezra - Paradise
10. Pink - What About Us


Keane announce return with new album and tour dates
Keane have announced that they will return later this year with their first album since 2012, 'Cause And Effect'. Disproving those who don't believe they've recorded any new music, they have also released new single 'The Way I Feel'.

The band's reunion was triggered when frontman Tom Chaplin started to notice that - after two solo albums - he was starting to miss working with his songwriting partner in the band, that being that Tim Rice-Oxley chap. "I found myself wondering how I had come to let this very enigmatic and important relationship in my life drift", Chaplin says.

Meanwhile, Rice-Oxley was writing songs inspired by recent dramas in his personal life, which now make up the band's reunion album. He explains: "'Hopes & Fears' [Keane's 2004 debut] was a break-up album too, but it was about a break-up when I was nineteen. It's a bit different when you're older and you've got kids - your whole little world shifts on its axis".

"We're not some heritage act", he then screams. "We've got a lot of great music in us".

Yeah, well, we'll see about that. Watch the video for 'The Way I Feel' here.

The album is out on 20 Sep. They're going on tour too. Yup. Here are the dates:

24 Sep: Birmingham, Symphony Hall
25 Sep: Leicester, De Montfort Hall
26 Sep: Manchester, Apollo
28 Sep: London, Royal Albert Hall
29 Sep: London, Royal Albert Hall
1 Oct: Newcastle, City Hall
2 Oct: Edinburgh, Usher Hall
4 Oct: Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall
5 Oct: Brighton Centre
7 Oct: Belfast, Waterfront
8 Oct: Dublin, Olympia


Banks announces UK tour dates
Having recently released her new single 'Gimme', Banks has announced her return to the UK in a live performance capacity. She'll do a little bit of gigging over here in November.

"I'm so excited to get back out there and experience this next chapter with all of you", she says. "I can't wait to see these songs that I have been working so hard on come to life".

By that time she will also have released her new album 'III', which is set for release next month. Tickets for this tour though, they'll go on sale on Friday.

Here are the dates:

1 Nov: Manchester, Ritz
2 Nov: Glasgow, SWG3
4 Nov: London, Roundhouse



Billboard announced last week that it will launch two new charts this week, recognising the work of songwriters and producers. "We're extremely excited to acknowledge the top creative forces behind music's biggest hits on a weekly basis", says Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard's SVP Charts And Data Development.



BTS have released their Charli XCX collaboration, 'Dream Glow Part 1'.

Labrinth has released new solo single 'Miracle'. "I was working in LA for a while", he brags.

Sløtface are back with new single 'Telepathic'. "It was written in approximately two hours, at eleven in the evening, after a full day of recording", says bassist Lasse Lokøy. "Most of us don't remember any of it because we were so tired". Hopefully they've woken up a bit now, because they've also announced that they will play Elektrowerkz in London on 25 Jun.

Doomsquad have released the video for 'Let It Go' from their new album 'Let Yourself Be Seen'.



Muse have announced three new UK shows. They will play London's O2 Arena on 14-15 Sep and the Birmingham Arena on 17 Sep. Tickets go on general sale this Friday.

Orla Gartland has announced that she'll be touring the UK later this year, winding up at The Scala in London on 20 Nov. She has also released the video for 'Inevitable', taken from her latest EP 'Why Am I Like This?'

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


Cardi B posts pictures of swollen feet to explain show cancellations
Cardi B has shared pictures of her swollen feet as an explanation for her last minute decision to pull out of a headline slot at Manchester's Parklife festival at the weekend. She has cancelled numerous shows in recent weeks, blaming complications from recent plastic surgery.

The rapper was due to headline the Saturday night of this year's Parklife, but pulled out on Wednesday. Mark Ronson stepped in as an even shorter notice replacement on Saturday morning. The latest cancellation comes after Cardi B pulled out of various shows last month.

In recent Instagram story broadcasts, the rapper has told fans that she has been forced to pull out of the shows in order to recover from breast surgery and liposuction - doctors having told her that this will take longer than the month she originally estimated herself.

She explained recently: "My doctor was like, 'Yo, you cannot be doing all these shows because you're not fully healed and I keep telling you this and then if something happens to you, you gonna to try to blame me".

On how much it pains her to disappoint her fans, she added: "I hate cancelling shows because I love money. I'm a money addict and I get paid a lot of money for these shows".

She has hinted at further cancellations, although at this stage it is not entirely clear which dates in the coming weeks - which includes more UK festival sets - are being pulled.

Responding to continued claims by some that she is actually cancelling shows due to poor ticket sales, on Saturday she posted a picture of her swollen feet after a flight.

"Look how swollen my feet get every time I take flights", she wrote. "My stomach gets even more puffy. [These are the] reasons why my doctor told me to chill on shows, cos my feet and stomach burn when I get puffed up. NOT due to ticket sales".

Anyway, Cardi recently released new track 'Press', in which she told the media to stop reporting on her, so that's what we'll do right now.


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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