TODAY'S TOP STORY: The UK's Competition & Markets Authority has said that, while Viagogo scored a legal win this week, that doesn't affect the contempt of court proceedings it launched against the rogue ticket resale platform earlier this month... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES CMA confirms that its contempt proceedings against Viagogo continue
LEGAL Katy Perry denies having ever heard Christian rap track she's accusing of ripping off on 'Dark Horse'
DEALS Primary Wave signs Dave Navarro
LIVE BUSINESS Multiple parties interested in buying StubHub off eBay, according to reports
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES 7digital CEO and CFO both stand down
MEDIA iHeartMedia lists on Nasdaq
ONE LINERS AWAL, AEG, Sam Smith, more
AND FINALLY... Music could replace anxiety drugs in pre-surgery scenarios, reckon researchers
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Lex is a record label, music publisher, and film production company based in London. It is looking for a Digital Marketing Manger to plan and execute digital marketing campaigns for both artist releases and the label itself.

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Bitbird is a record label and creative company based in The Netherlands. We're looking for a Digital Marketing & Community Manager to strengthen our label team and ensure the commercial success of our releases through the creation and execution of digital marketing campaigns.

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Domino are seeking a Business Affairs Manager to join our London office. They will be involved in drafting producer or artwork agreements, negotiating broadcast licences, managing publishing deals and advising the creative or digital teams on copyright issues - among other tasks.

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This is a rare opportunity to join a fast-paced music advertising agency. Working directly with client marketing teams, the candidate will be responsible for planning and buying advertising campaigns for artists, labels and promoters across all advertising channels.

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[PIAS] is seeking a Receptionist. You will play a key role in the day to day operation of our London office and provide vital support to all areas of the business.

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Located in the east London office, this is the perfect position for anyone with a passion for independent music. Secretly Group is an independently owned company that that includes the Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian record labels.

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Islington Assembly Hall is seeking an Assistant Venue Manager, Operations. You will be one of the first points of contact for new and current business, proactively responding to enquiries and be able to negotiate rates in order to maximise profits.

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Stones Throw is seeking a Project Manager to work in our London office. The project manager will work closely with the UK & Europe Label Manager to develop and deliver Stones Throw's UK and European campaigns.

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Domino is hiring a Junior Radio Plugger to join its busy in-house promo team. The ideal candidate would have at least one year’s appropriate experience in radio, superb organizational skills and a solid contact list. 

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The role of the Marketing Executive at Fanbytes is to work on our lead generation efforts closely with the CEO and eventually building our lead gen team. You will be working with our social and content to help build the brand of Fanbytes.

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Tru Thoughts is looking to hire a Digital & Marketing Co-ordinator to work in-house at the company's office in Brighton. The candidate should be confident and organized, with a demonstrable passion for the label’s music (and a love of being by the sea).

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bitbird is a record label and creative company spearheaded by San Holo, based in The Netherlands. Your responsibility will be ensuring the commercial success of our releases through the creation and execution of press campaigns, radio campaigns, and overseeing the general day to day marketing tasks.

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Academy Music Group is seeking fixed-term maternity cover for twelve months reporting to the Head of Communications and Public Relations, responsible for supporting the day-to-day running of the press office for AMG, its venues, and its national promoters, Academy Events.

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CMA confirms that its contempt proceedings against Viagogo continue
The UK's Competition & Markets Authority has said that, while Viagogo scored a legal win this week, that doesn't affect the contempt of court proceedings it launched against the rogue ticket resale platform earlier this month.

Viagogo yesterday welcomed a court ruling that provided clarity on some of the specific obligations that were contained in an injunction secured by the CMA against the secondary ticketing outfit last year. The resale site and the regulator had disagreed on how those specific obligations should be interpreted and therefore returned to court to get a judicial opinion.

Commenting on that ruling, Viagogo's MD Cris Miller said: "This hearing further demonstrates that there are matters of interpretation of the order on which the CMA should not and cannot be relied upon to make the final determination. We originally disagreed with the CMA on this, and today's announcement validates our position and demonstrates clearly the necessity of being able to challenge the CMA's authority".

He added: "It is clear there remains continued, yet unfounded resistance from the CMA to our role in the market. Regardless, we are hopeful that now we can focus on the platform and the millions of consumers who rely on it".

One of the specific obligations under dispute related to the legal requirement for secondary ticketing websites to display the original face value of any ticket being resold.

Viagogo does now provide this information on its UK site. Though, at first instance, accessing it requires knowing to hover the mouse over a tiny icon that has the initials "FV". On the next page the face value price is listed in a much clearer fashion, although it's stuck on the opposite side of the screen to all the other information about the ticket.

The question for the judge was whether or not Viagogo could provide legally required information in boxes that can only be accessed if the user knows to hover their mouse over a certain icon - what is referred to as 'hover text'. The judge ruled that hover text could be used in certain circumstances, including for the initial declaration of face value price. However, there are limitations.

Explaining the ruling and the restrictions the judge placed on hover text, the CMA said in a statement yesterday: "Today's judgement confirms that Viagogo cannot use 'hover over text' unless specifically allowed by the order and it needs to stop displaying important information about deadlines under its guarantee in this way".

"Although the court found that information about face value prices can be displayed with hover over text on one page of the site", it added, "Viagogo must still display this information on two other separate places on the face of its website".

Of course, critics of online touting would argue that - by employing hover text or by placing legally-required information separately from all the other information - Viagogo is attempting to comply with the regulations while ensuring that most users don't see the inconvenient facts and figures consumer rights law obliges it to publish.

Which means that, even if Viagogo is technically compliant with consumer rights law, it is still employing sneaky tactics to ensure that many consumers buy tickets from touts not out of choice but out of confusion.

And anyway, the CMA argues - while Viagogo may, in fact, be allowed employ hover text the first time it displays the face value of a ticket - that doesn't mean the resale site is fully compliant with consumer rights law. After all, when the regulator began its contempt of court proceedings against Viagogo for failing to comply with all elements of last year's injunction, the site's use of hover text was not one of its complaints.

The CMA spokesperson added: "Today's judgement does not mean that Viagogo is compliant with the court order the CMA secured against it. We still think that Viagogo is breaching parts of the order and so continue to move forward with legal proceedings for contempt of court against the site in relation to those concerns".


Katy Perry denies having ever heard Christian rap track she's accusing of ripping off on 'Dark Horse'
Katy Perry has told a jury in California that she had never heard a Christian rap track she is accused of ripping off on her 2013 hit 'Dark Horse'. Not until she was sued for song-theft, anyway. The star was testifying as a long-running plagiarism case finally got to court.

Christian rapper Flame, real name Marcus Gray, sued Perry all the way back in 2014. His lawsuit alleges that Perry and her songwriting team ripped off his track 'Joyful Noise' on 'Dark Horse'. Gray says he doesn't think Perry et al set out to rip off his song, but that they subconsciously infringed his work when writing their hit.

To prove infringement, Gray needs to show that Perry, or one of her songwriting pals, had heard 'Joyful Noise' before writing 'Dark Horse'. And also that the two tracks are sufficiently similar to constitute copyright infringement.

According to Law 360, on the first point Perry was adamant that she'd never heard 'Joyful Noise' - or, indeed, heard of Gray - before beginning work on 'Dark Horse'. She then talked through her creative process, explaining how - when playing around with her songwriting team - they'd come up with what became the beat in 'Dark Horse'. It was a beat which immediately made her think about the Trojan horse and the power of a woman, she said.

As for the similarity point, Perry's lawyer was equally adamant that the two songs were not sufficiently similar to constitute infringement.

The main similarity is a musical phrase consisting of four C notes followed by two B notes. "This is a common musical building block used in many compositions", attorney Christine Lepera insisted. "This is very basic - like kindergarten-basic. [Gray and his collaborators] cannot monopolise that".

The lawyer then cited other songs that use the same musical phase, including 'Merrily We Roll Along' and 'Jolly Old Saint Nicholas'.

It remains to be seen whether the jury concurs with Lepera on the similarity point. And, if they don't, whether Gray and his team can convince the court that one of Perry's collaborators must have heard 'Joyful Noise' before beginning work on 'Dark Horse'.


Primary Wave signs Dave Navarro
Music rights firm Primary Wave has formed a multi-layered partnership with Dave Navarro off of Jane's Addiction. The deal sees the firm take an interest in Navarro's publishing catalogue, and also other revenues linked to the recordings he has appeared on and the writer's share income on his songs.

As well as being guitarist in Jane's Addiction, Navarro had a stint in Red Hot Chili Peppers in the mid-1990s, of course. He has also had a couple of solo releases and appeared on a wide range of other artist's tracks, with various acting and telly projects along the way too.

Commenting on the new deal, Navarro said: "When I partnered up with Primary Wave, the first question they asked was 'So, where would you like to see your music being heard?' I had never before been asked for my artistic input from a corporate entity and I was instantly relieved to know that I had finally found a home for my catalogue".

Meanwhile, the music firm's boss Lawrence Mestel added: "We are honoured to have a legendary artist such as Dave join our growing Primary Wave family. Dave's accomplishments speak for themselves. His contributions to Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers left an indelible impression, influencing future generations of musicians".


Multiple parties interested in buying StubHub off eBay, according to reports
eBay is moving forward with plans to sell its secondary ticketing platform StubHub, multiple sources have told CNBC. Talks that could result in a sale of the ticket resale company are still at an early stage, the sources added, but there are "multiple parties" interested.

In the early 2000s, online ticket touting first started to gain momentum on the main eBay site. A number of start-ups then sprang up specifically skewed towards ticket resale. One of those was StubHub, which eBay then acquired in 2007.

Although the backlash to online touting has gained new momentum in recent years, and despite an increasing number of countries seeking to regulate ticket resale, secondary ticketing is still a lucrative business, especially in the US.

That said, as regulations increase in multiple markets, and with many primary ticket sellers now offering face-value resale services, on a global basis ticket resale platforms are likely to face new challenges in the years ahead.

eBay hasn't specifically commented on possible buyers for StubHub, but it did announce a strategic review of its portfolio earlier this year. And, according to CNBC, earlier this week, the company's CEO Devin Wenig confirmed in an earnings call that "we're ... actively reviewing the role and value of StubHub ... in our portfolio", with the focus on "determining the best path forward to create shareholder value".


7digital CEO and CFO both stand down
7digital may have a new Chair, but it has just lost its CEO and CFO. The struggling B2B digital music and radio production company confirmed yesterday that both CEO John Aalbers and CFO Julia Hubbard will leave the business just months after joining.

The departures closely follow the announcement that eMusic President Tamir Koch has been appointed Chair of the 7digital company. He is providing some of the money 7digital says it needs to avoid falling into administration, and says he sees synergies between the B2B digital music platform and eMusic, especially in relation to the blockchain venture he has been pursuing there of late.

Aalbers joined 7digital in March. Yesterday he said that - while he was confident that the involvement of Koch and eMusic in the business was a good strategy for ensuring 7digital's survival - both he and Hubbard recognised that further cost-savings were necessary.

Reducing the size of the senior management team would provide considerable cost savings. And to that end, Chief Operating Officer Paul Langworthy will become CEO, while eMusic's CFO Michael Juskiewicz will take over Hubbard's duties.

Aalbers explained that overcoming 7digital's financial woes had been his main task since joining the firm. That, he reckoned, was "largely completed ... by securing a new, strategic majority investor, which has stated that it is prepared to invest further funds".

He then added: "The final phase of the fundraising is in progress and we expect an additional £4.5 million to be raised in the coming weeks. These funds will provide the company with the necessary resources to implement the revised strategy and put the company on a solid path towards both growth and profitability. Nevertheless, the company needs to further consolidate and control our operating costs to support the new model".

"To this end", he went on, "Julia Hubbard and I have reached the conclusion, and the board agrees with our recommendation, that it would be in the company's interest for me and Julia to step down. Alongside other cost-cutting initiatives already in motion, this will save the company close to £1 million per annum, reducing cash burn in the most effective way".

Both Aalbers and Hubbard will continue to support the business during a three month transition period.

Confirming all this, the aforementioned Koch said: "I'd like to thank John for his leadership and Julia's strong support in meeting the financial challenges faced by 7digital and for successfully steering the company through these rough waters to safety. I also thank John and Julia for continuing to advise and support the company during the upcoming months to ensure a smooth transition to Paul and Michael".


iHeartMedia lists on Nasdaq
US radio giant iHeartMedia returned to the stock market yesterday, bringing to an end a period of turmoil that saw the firm enter bankruptcy in order to instigate a major restructure of the business.

iHeart announced in April that it would likely list on a stock exchange at the conclusion of the restructuring process. Then earlier this month it was confirmed that that would happen via a direct listing onto Nasdaq.

The broadcaster is hoping to now put behind it years of uncertainty that were caused by a massive debt-load which was in turn caused by a stupid 'leveraged buyout' of the company back in 2008. Confirming all that, shortly after yesterday's listing CEO Bob Pittman said: "We've had a very good operating business but our capital structure was not in good shape".

That said, it's no secret that the radio industry has challenges ahead as internet-based audio services increasingly arrive in places where radio has traditionally dominated, in particular the car, the kitchen and the bathroom.

On the music side, iHeart has already been trying to future-proof itself by moving into the streaming domain with its Pandora-competing iHeartRadio service. Though, of course, it's also no secret that building a profitable streaming music business is pretty tricky too.

Which is possibly why, in the run up to the direct listing, Pittman has been talking much more about the podcast boom and how his company hopes to capitalise on that, including via its acquisition of podcast firm Stuff Media last year.

According to Wall Street Journal, Pittman said of the podcasting phenomeon yesterday: "Podcast is radio on demand. We're able to cycle this podcast product into massive reach with broadcast radio - that's our secret weapon building this company out".

Despite all that optimism, iHeart's first day on Nasdaq wasn't so a big success story, with its share price 3% down by the end of the first day of trading.


CMU Insights Seminars & Masterclasses this autumn
Don't forget that early-bird tickets are still available for the seminars and masterclasses that CMU Insights will present at the London HQ of Lewis Silkin this autumn.

Want to fully understand how music copyright works? What the difference is between publishing rights, master rights, mechanical rights, performing rights and neighbouring rights? When and why the music industry licenses collectively? And how, exactly, music rights make money? Then our copyright evening seminars in September are for you.

Keen to understand all the different elements of the modern music marketing toolkit? Want to know which social media channels matter and why? Want to get to grips with fan data and how to use it? Interested to know which music media matter and how to influence the people who make it? Then check out our music marketing evening seminars in October.

Still confused about the insanely complicated streaming music business? Want to know who licenses who and how artists and songwriters actually get paid? Interested in why it ended up being so complicated? Want to have informed opinions on all the ongoing digital dollar debates? Then get yourself down to the 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' masterclass on 8 Oct.

And finally, did you lose track of what that European Copyright Directive was really all about? Still a little unclear on what the safe harbour is and why the value gap campaign was launched? Interested to know what America's Music Modernization Act means? Or why termination rights are becoming an ever bigger talking point? Then the 'Key Developments In Music Rights' masterclass on 6 Nov is the one to attend.

For full details on all our upcoming training courses click here.


Kobalt's AWAL has hired Bianca Bhagat, formerly with Glassnote, to be its new LA-based SVP Sync & Brand Partnerships. It's an American role so they write it SVP Synch. But they are wrong.

Laura Davidson is joining AEG's newly launched European festivals division as Head Of Artist Bookings. She was previously with live giant's Goldenvoice division.



Sam Smith's new single is called 'How Do You Sleep?'. Very well, thank you very much.

Mike Skinner and Flohio have collaborated on new track 'How Long's It Been?', recorded live to vinyl at Abbey Road Studios as part of Cognac brand Hennessy's Masters Of Potential shindig.

Dave has posted a video for his track 'Location' from debut album 'Psychodrama'.

Skrillex has plonked online two new tracks he has been playing in recent live sets: 'Fuji Opener' and 'Mumbai Power'.

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


Music could replace anxiety drugs in pre-surgery scenarios, reckon researchers
Listening to some relaxing tunes is as effective in reducing the anxiety felt my most patients immediately before surgery as pumping them with anti-anxiety drugs.

This is according to new research from the University Of Pennsylvania, which found that patients listening to soothing music on noise-cancelling headphones had similar anxiety levels to those who had been administered the sedative midazolam. Which suggests that music could be used as a drugless alternative for treating pre-surgery anxiety.

Researchers ran the test on 157 adults, half of whom took the drug, while the other half listened to the instrumental track 'Weightless' by Marconi Union.

While anxiety levels in the drugged-up patients did drop further, the difference between the two groups was not all that significant. And it has been suggested that if patients listened to music for longer, or could choose the music they chilled out to, the musical option could be even more effective.

The concept needs more investigation, the researchers conceded, but nevertheless, "music medicine offers an alternative to intravenous midazolam prior to single-injection peripheral nerve block procedures".

So that's good, isn't it? I expect a 'Surgical Chill Out' playlist to be gaining momentum on Spotify by the end of the day. Filled with tracks from the Epidemic Music libraries, no doubt.


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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