WEDNESDAY 21 AUGUST 2019 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Some former investors in Pandora have filed a lawsuit declaring that Sirius XM's acquisition of the personalised radio service earlier this year was "invalid and void" from the off. The legal filing claims that the deal was "prohibited" by earlier agreements and laws in the US state of Delaware, where the company was incorporated... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Former Pandora investors sue over Sirius acquisition
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LEGAL Cox says labels' key evidence should be excluded in copyright legal battle
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Nas launches Mass Appeal India
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Apple Music launches Shazam trending chart
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MEDIA Authors of Spotify tell-all book sell TV rights
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RELEASES Kim Gordon announces debut solo album
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ONE LINERS StubHub, The Prodigy, XXXtentacion, more
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AND FINALLY... Bon Iver's Justin Vernon regrets "very rude" Eminem dig on Twitter
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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.
   
ULTRA MUSIC - MARKETING MANAGER CONSULTANT (LONDON)
Ultra Music is seeking someone to support our marketing initiatives out of London. The position calls for a dynamic, detail-oriented individual with music industry experience and connections.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
!K7 - JUNIOR LABEL MANAGER (BERLIN)
!K7 has been offering artist and label services since 2002 in order to provide a worldwide sales, distributions, and marketing team. We are looking for a Junior Label Manager in our Berlin office to assist in the day-to-day operations of the label service team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
DOMINO - BUSINESS AFFAIRS MANAGER (LONDON)
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.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BNDR - LIVE STREAM OPERATOR & VIDEOGRAPHER (LAS VEGAS/LOS ANGELES)
BNDR Live is a part of a new mobile music streaming app dedicated to showcasing live music concerts and events. It is seeking to appoint a Live Stream Operator & Videographer who will undertake fulfilling work that will be showcased to music fans globally in real time.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE IVORS ACADEMY - MEMBERSHIP MANAGER (LONDON)
The Ivors Academy is looking for a Membership Manager who will be responsible for the effective management of its membership offering, membership administration and member relations.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
STRUT RECORDS - PRODUCT MANAGER (LONDON)
Strut Records - one of the UK's leading record labels dedicated to unearthing the lost gems of dance music past - has an immediate opening for a product manager to help manage the day-to-day operations of the label and its releases.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
HART MEDIA - PROMOTIONS ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Hart Media is looking for a dynamic and an outgoing music loving individual to work within a five-strong radio and online music promotions team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
FIRE RECORDS - PART-TIME WAREHOUSE ASSISTANT (LONDON)
The Fire Records Group is seeking an enthusiastic and hard-working warehouse/mail order assistant to maintain the smooth running of the warehouse, organise the archive and look after all shipping logistics (direct to customers, distribution and artists).

For more information and to apply click here.
   
GREEN HOUSE GROUP - FREELANCE JUNIOR SOCIAL MEDIA EXEC (LONDON)
Green House Group is looking for a junior social media account executive with one to two years experience to join us initially on a freelance basis.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
LEX RECORDS - DIGITAL CONTENT CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Lex Records is looking for a Digital Content Coordinator to manage day-to-day artist and label social media strategy and assist with digital marketing campaigns for Lex artist releases and key label moments such as anniversaries.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
NTSU - TECHNICAL SUPERVISOR, TRI-CAMPUS (NOTTINGHAM)
The NTSU Entertainments Department is looking to recruit a Technical Supervisor to assist with the management of sound, lighting and visuals for events and other activity.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
NUCLEAR BLAST - RADIO/TV PROMOTIONS (LONDON)
This well-established rock/metal label is looking for a dynamic and creative Radio/TV Promoter to handle it's rapidly diversifying roster. The ideal candidate should have at least two years experience in a similar role.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SJM CONCERTS - DIGITAL MARKETING COORDINATOR (MANCHESTER)
SJM Concerts are at the forefront of the UK live music market. We are looking for a Digital Marketing Coordinator to maximise online exposure of festivals and events promoted by SJM Concerts by coordinating numerous social media channels and leading on digital-led marketing tour campaigns.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SJM CONCERTS - CUSTOMER SERVICES MANAGER (MANCHESTER)
SJM Concerts are at the forefront of the UK live music market. We are looking for a Customer Services Manager to be responsible for all customer services correspondence relating to SJM promoted events.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE ORCHARD - LABEL MANAGER, CLASSICS (LONDON)
The role will involve working with labels and Orchard marketing teams across the globe to create compelling retail and interactive campaigns and liaising with labels on general digital strategy.

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SOLD OUT - SOCIAL MEDIA EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
Sold Out is seeking a Social Media Executive. The successful candidate will need to be client-facing, a natural communicator, thorough, reliable, be able to work at a very fast pace and with a gift for organisation, attention to details and effective time management.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
VMS LIVE - TECHNICAL MANAGER, WILLIAM ASTON HALL (WREXHAM)
We are recruiting for a full time Technical Manager for our busy Wrexham venue. You will oversee all aspects of production in the venue, from advancing shows to stage managing / operation of sound and lights for the shows.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
LEX RECORDS - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
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.

For more information and to apply click here.

Former Pandora investors sue over Sirius acquisition
Some former investors in Pandora have filed a lawsuit declaring that Sirius XM's acquisition of the personalised radio service earlier this year was "invalid and void" from the off. The legal filing claims that the deal was "prohibited" by earlier agreements and laws in the US state of Delaware, where the company was incorporated.

Satellite radio firm Sirius first bought into the Pandora business back in 2017. Then, last September, it announced its intention to buy the streaming music set-up outright, basically merging it with the Sirius radio network to create "the world's largest audio entertainment company". That deal was then approved by Pandora's other shareholders in January of this year.

However, questions were asked about the acquisition almost as soon as it was completed, with some claiming that the process via which Sirius took over the Pandora company had been "flawed". Critics alleged that Sirius had exploited the places it had secured on the Pandora board via the 2017 deal in order to "improperly push the company towards unfavourable deal terms" to the detriment of other shareholders.

According to Law360, this newly filed lawsuit cites a bit of Delaware corporation law which, in the absence of other agreements, applies whenever someone buys more than 15% of a company. That rule says that the share purchaser is barred from "mounting an exchange or tender offer" for the business in which they just have invested for three years after their initial share purchase.

Pandora, though, waived that statutory restriction in its 2017 deal with Sirius. Although it acquired just over 15% of Pandora stock at that time, the satellite radio firm had already been mooted as a company that might ultimately want to completely acquire the personalised radio platform. However, the same deal nevertheless prohibited a takeover of Pandora by Sirius before 9 Dec 2018.

Sirius's acquisition of Pandora was completed after that date, of course, but the lawsuit says that earlier work to prepare for that takeover breached the terms of the 2017 agreement. These - and other alleged contract violations - rendered that agreement void, the argument goes, meaning the statutory three-year limitation on any takeover bid should have kicked back in.

Elsewhere the lawsuit accuses those Sirius execs who got seats on the Pandora board in 2017 of putting inappropriate pressure on the firm's other directors to approve plans for a takeover. It also criticises the appointment by the Pandora board of a financial advisor with close links to John Malone of Liberty Media, which has a controlling stake in Sirius.

All of this, the legal filing claims, deprived investors of protections against "a creeping acquisition by a large bloc holder", which impacted on the value of Pandora stock at the time of Sirius's acquisition.

"The merger was invalid and void [from the start] because it was prohibited", the lawsuit says, citing the 2017 agreement and Delaware law. "Therefore, the taking of the Pandora stock of plaintiff and the class through the merger was wrongful and the corporate parties to the merger have exercised wrongful dominion".

Led by former shareholder Richard J Tornetta, the lawsuit - which wants class action status - seeks damages for former Pandora investors who, it alleges, were short-changed by this year's Sirius deal.

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Cox says labels' key evidence should be excluded in copyright legal battle
American internet service provider Cox Communications and the US record industry continue to spar as their copyright legal battle goes through the motions. Now the net firm is picking holes in the data that the labels want to present as key evidence in their case.

The major record companies, of course, are trying to hold Cox liable of its users' copyright infringement. Internet firms usually claim safe harbour protection from such liability, arguing that they operate the takedown systems required by law to enjoy such protection. However, the music industry argues that various American ISPs - including Cox - had deliberately shoddy systems for dealing with repeat infringers, and therefore shouldn't qualify for safe harbour. Which would mean they could be held liable for their users' infringing activity.

BMG's legal victory against Cox on this issue has led to various other lawsuits being filed by the American record industry at large, including against Cox itself. There was meant to be a pre-trial conference for the labels and Cox earlier this month, to see if an out-of-court settlement could be reached. But the ISP bailed on that at the last minute, resulting in the labels accusing the net firm of "a consistent pattern of obstruction, delay and gamesmanship".

For its next move in the game, Cox has now submitting a new legal filing calling on the judge to block the labels from presenting some of its key evidence when the case gets to court later this year. The evidence is data gathered by anti-piracy firm MarkMonitor which shows Cox customers accessing and sharing copyright protected music without licence.

To hold the ISP liable for contributory infringement in relation to its users' conduct, the labels first need to show that said users directly infringed their copyrights. Hence this data.

But Cox says that MarkMonitor, which collaborated with audio-ID firm Audible Magic to produce the evidence, has not kept all of the data related to the work. And, as a result, the ISP argues, the evidence is not sufficiently credible to be used in court.

In the words of Cox's new legal filing: "MarkMonitor failed to retain critical portions of this evidence, and the document that plaintiffs intend to rely on is, at best, a partial and inaccurate summary of these analyses. Because plaintiffs' agent destroyed the underlying data, leaving no way to assess the accuracy of this summary, Cox respectfully requests that the court enter discovery sanctions against plaintiffs in the form of a preclusion order prohibiting plaintiffs from relying on the incomplete and unreliable MarkMonitor evidence".

So that's fun. We can probably expect plenty more sparring as the full court hearing on this dispute approaches.

Although, in theory, the BMG v Cox case set a precedent regarding the limitations of safe harbour protection where ISPs don't properly enforce their own anti-piracy policies, these follow-on cases are crucial.

Because there were some technicalities in the BMG case that actually saw the original ruling in the music firm's favour over-turned. And, while it would almost certainly have won again second time round, an out-of-court settlement was reached before that could happen.

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Nas launches Mass Appeal India
Universal Music and Nas-founded record label Mass Appeal Records have launched Mass Appeal India. The new venture aims to boost India's burgeoning hip hop scene, with its first signing being rapper Divine.

Commenting, Nas says: "I was first introduced to Divine's music through the brilliant film 'Gully Boy'. I'm proud to announce the launch of Mass Appeal India with Divine as the first artist on our roster. Hip hop is the world's most influential culture - it's only right to share what we do at Mass Appeal on a global level. We're excited about joining forces with the team at UMG India to help further spark a movement that is constantly in the making".

Divine himself adds: "It's an honour to be associated with a legend like Nas. I grew up listening to his music. For him to recognise not just me, but the whole Indian hip-hop scene, is a big win for hip-hop and for hip hop in India. He is looking forward to working not just with me, but a lot of the young talent in India. I will be working with Mass Appeal India not just in a personal capacity, but also in my capacity as founder of Gully Gang Entertainment, to help Mass Appeal India build a thriving ecosystem for urban music and culture in the sub-continent. So, let's bring our A-game, because the world is watching".

Finally, Devraj Sanyal, CEO of UMG India & South Asia says: "We have found the natural partner in Mass Appeal to help realise our dream of breaking Indian hip hop in the region, as well as to the rest of the world together. It was only right to lead this global announcement with the signing of India's number one hip-hop star, Divine, for his highly anticipated debut album. As he articulately puts it, 'Apna time Aayega' which means 'our time will come' - now is certainly the time for Indian hip hop to break into the mainstream".

You can watch a longer interview with Nas and Divine here.

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Apple Music launches Shazam trending chart
So it seems like Apple Music is finally doing some vaguely useful things with its Shazam acquisition (other than leaving the Shazam app to carry on as normal, which was also vaguely useful).

Having included some Shazam stat goodness in the Apple Music For Artists platform it properly put live earlier this month, the tech giant has now also launched a new playlist featuring the top 50 new artists being discovered through the Shazam platform. Not sure why it took a year to get that set up, but hey, whatever.

The Shazam Discovery Top 50 playlist will be updated weekly and promises to keep you "ahead of the curve" when it comes to new music. Which is a bold claim. Though it is true that Shazam data has always been interesting because it's ultimately driven by people seeking to identify new music, rather than some sort of algorithm.

The first Top 50 includes artists from a fairly broad range of genres and countries, although it leans particularly towards US hip hop. In addition to this global list, it would be interesting to see country-specific charts too. Maybe that's something Apple Music will get around to launching this time next year.

Some commentators have compared the new Shazam chart to Spotify's Discover Weekly service. But it's much more like the Swedish streaming firm's Global Viral 50 chart. Though there are a number of differences even with that, in that the Spotify list is tracks not artists, it updates daily and isn't limited to new acts.

Anyway, you can listen to (or just look at) the Shazam Discovery Top 50 playlist here.

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Authors of Spotify tell-all book sell TV rights
The UK division of Swedish film and TV company Yellow Bird - best known for 'Wallander' and 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' - has acquired the rights to the book 'Spotify Untold'.

Published in Sweden earlier this year, the book tells the story of the rise of Spotify, with a particular focus on the streaming firm's entry into the US market.

It includes the claim that at one time Daniel Ek believed that then Apple CEO Steve Jobs was prank calling him, breathing heavily down the line before hanging up. So that's one scene to look forward to in the now planned TV drama series based on the book.

Says Yellow Bird executive producer Berna Levin: "'Spotify Untold' is the ultimate tale of achieving the impossible and unimaginable. A modern day David v Goliath set in the dynamic arena of the music industry, this is the true story of youth challenging the establishment. With reality trumping fiction at every turn, we will explore one of the greatest and most surprising technological advancements of our time".

The book's co-author Sven Carlsson admitted in an interview with Variety that they were unable to confirm that the Jobs heavy breathing story was true. But 'Spotify Untold' - which is still only available to read in Swedish - is based on more than 70 interviews with former Spotify execs, record company bosses and competitors.

Its other writer, Jonas Leijonhufvud, says of the TV deal: "We're very excited. The rise of Spotify is one of the greatest stories to come out of Sweden in the past ten years. It's a saga of a young founder who came out of nowhere and beat Apple at their own game".

And I guess it sort of is. A bit. Maybe. Whatever, there's no word on when the show will make it to our screens. Will it be before or after the whole streaming industry collapses? You'll have to wait and see.

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Kim Gordon announces debut solo album
Former Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon has announced that she will release her first solo album, 'No Home Record', later this year - the title being a reference to director Chantal Akerman's 2015 film 'No Home Movie'.

Gordon has worked on a number of projects outside Sonic Youth of course, such as Body/Head and Free Kitten, but always with other collaborators. Nearly 40 years into her career, she is only now going solo for the first time.

"'Why a solo record? And why now?", she says. "I don't know, but it wouldn't have happened without the persistence of ['No Home Record' producer] Justin Raisen. Living in LA the last few years it feels like home, but the transience of the place makes it feel sometimes like no home".

The album is out on 11 Oct and you can listen to first single 'Sketch Artist' here.

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APPOINTMENTS

Secondary ticketing firm StubHub has appointed Dan Jones as VP International. He joins from genealogy website Ancestry.co.uk. "StubHub is at an exciting chapter in its story", says Jones, which is probably true.

Dualtone Music Group in Nashville has promoted three execs: Lori Kampa, Whitaker Elledge and Joey Luscinski. Three! They become SVP Radio Promotion, VP Artist Development and VP Production, respectively. "We sleep well at night", says company president Paul Roper.

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ARTIST NEWS

The Prodigy's Liam Howlett is back in the studio working on new music for the project, five months after the death of vocalist Keith Flint. "Back in the studio making noise... brand new Prodigy tunes are gonna roll", reads a tweet alongside a picture of Howlett at work.

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RELEASES

A new remix of XXXtentacion track, '#proudcatowner', featuring Rico Nasty, has been released. It's taken from new deluxe boxset of his '?' album. You can see that being unboxed here, if that's your thing.

Killswitch Engage have released the video for 'The Signal Fire' from new album, 'Atonement'. It sees the band's current and former vocalists Jesse Leach and Howard Jones trading vocals. "This video is a demonstration of solidarity and unity", says Leach. "In these times we live in, I believe this is an important message - not just for us as a band and our fans but for all of humanity".

Sleeper have released the video for 'More Than I Do' from their new album 'The Modern Age'.

Cannibal Corpse have released new track 'Cylinders Of Madness'. Their new album, 'Nug So Vile', will be released on 1 Nov.

Lower Dens have released new single 'Galapagos'. New album 'The Competition' is out on 6 Sep.

Serafina Steer has announced that she will release new album, 'The Mind Is A Trap', on 27 Sep. From it, this is first single, 'Provides Common Ground'.

Pom Poko have released new track 'Leg Day'. "'Leg Day' is one of our personal live favourites, because it's so dance-y and usually gets our pulse up quite a bit", say the band.

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

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Bon Iver's Justin Vernon regrets "very rude" Eminem dig on Twitter
Social media is bad for every aspect of your life and you shouldn't ever use it. Not my words people, but the words of... no, wait, those are my words. But Bon Iver's Justin Vernon has said he regrets tweeting something.

Last year Vernon denounced an Eminem track he was featured on, 'Fall', after it sparked controversy due to a homophobic slur used in the lyrics. "Was not in the studio for the Eminem track", he wrote at the time. "[It] came from a session with BJ Burton and Mike Will. Not a fan of the message, it's tired. Asked them to change the track, wouldn't do it".

Now, speaking to Zane Lowe on Beats 1, Vernon says that he feels "really bad" about what he wrote, saying that he should have just "chilled out" and spoken to people behind the scenes instead.

"We haven't adapted to this shit", he says of social media. "I didn't have a cell phone or the internet really even in high school. So we're all adapting and it can get pretty ugly. Like I made that huge mess out of the Eminem song. I was just in a carwash, and I just tweeted. It's like, what was I doing?"

"It was very rude and I felt really bad about it", he goes on. "I think people have not figured out how to calculate how easy it is to say something on [Twitter] with how much you should say it". And ain't that the truth.

Listen to the full interview here. But whatever you do, don't tweet about it.

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ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily, website and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Founder & MD
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and CMU Trends. He also leads the CMU Insights and CMU Pathways consultancy units and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and also heads up business development at CMU InsightsCMU Pathways and CMU:DIY.
sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media as a Director of 3CM UnLimited, as well as heading up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supporting other parts of the business.
caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
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