|THURSDAY 10 OCTOBER 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Great Escape celebrates its fifteenth anniversary next year, and CMU will return to curate the key conference strands for the tenth year running. Sitting at the heart of the festival's delegate programme will be three full-day CMU+TGE conferences putting the spotlight, respectively, on music education, music media and global music markets... [READ MORE]|
The Great Escape to put the spotlight on education, media and global markets at its 2020 conference
By dedicating a full day to each theme, the CMU+TGE conferences are able to dig much deeper and allow delegates to debate in more detail the key challenges and opportunities facing the new music business today. Each conference includes original research and training elements from CMU Insights, alongside case studies, interviews and lively debates.
The Music Education Conference on Wednesday 13 May will again bring together music educators and music employers to discuss how music education, the music industry and the music community at large can better support future talent, both on and off stage.
The conference will be based around the new 'Pathways Into Music' book that CMU will publish chapter-by-chapter over the next year, with the first chapter launching at next week's Sŵn Festival in Cardiff. The full book will be compiled and presented at TGE, providing a music career map, and instigating a debate on what and who helps artists, aspiring music execs and budding music entrepreneurs move their personal music careers forward.
The Music Media Conference on Thursday 14 May will begin by considering what we even mean by 'music media' in 2020. The music press and music radio are still key, of course, but what other platforms and influencers play a role in music discovery today?
Social media and playlists will be in the spotlight too, but our case study packed programme will also investigate how artists, labels and promoters have utilised gaming platforms, podcasts, sync deals and media partnerships to promote their releases and events, and to reach and connect with different audiences around the world.
The Global Markets Conference on Friday 15 May will provide a concise guide to the music business in each region of the world. CMU Insights will crunch all the stats to identify the strongest revenue streams, services, social media and genres in each region.
The programme will also put the spotlight on some important emerging and rapidly expanding markets, including India, China, Brazil, Nigeria and South Korea. Experts on the music industry in each of these countries will discuss trends in streaming, touring and media, as well as revealing the genres and music communities that are on the rise.
South Korea in particular will be in the spotlight beyond the Global Markets Conference, it being the lead country partner for TGE 2020. So while industry experts will discuss the South Korean market in the conference, delegates will be also able to check out an assortment of acts from the country in the festival, with self-proclaimed "alternative multi-national K-pop" collective Balming Tiger already confirmed.
Commenting on all this, the boss of TGE promoter MAMA Festivals, Rory Bett, says: "We are very excited to be back for another year bringing together top industry professionals and creative minds under one roof. The Great Escape Conference is known for presenting a truly distinct programme and this year is no exception with music education, music media and global music markets in the spotlight".
"It's also great to welcome South Korea as our lead country partner", he adds. "The impact Korean artists are having within the music industry today is very exciting and it's important for The Great Escape to put the spotlight on and to celebrate that fact".
TGE will work with the music industry team at the Korea Creative Content Agency on the conference sessions and festival showcases focused on the country.
A spokesperson for the agency says: "It is an honour to team with The Great Escape, who are known for showcasing the best new music and emerging talent. It will be our fourth year working with the festival and to be named lead country partner for 2020 is a great privilege. It is a very exciting time for the Korean music market and we are looking forward to bringing our new wave of artists to the Brighton shoreline next year".
For more information on the CMU+TGE conferences - and the wider TGE Conference - check out the website here.
US record industry puts spotlight back on AM/FM royalties debate
The MMA brought together a number of different reforms of US music copyright law. It included an overhaul of the way the mechanical rights in songs are licensed and managed, removed a quirk that meant recordings released before 1972 often weren't getting royalties from online radio, and revamped the rate courts that oversee the licences issue by song right collecting societies BMI and ASCAP.
However, what it didn't address is the fact that, in the US, unlike most other countries, AM/FM radio stations are not obliged to get a licence from or pay royalties to the record industry. This is because, under American copyright law, the sound recording copyright has fewer 'controls' attached to it than the song copyright. So while online stations must pay royalties to artists and labels, as well as songwriters and publishers, terrestrial radio stations do not.
The record industry has been trying to get this changed for decades, in more recent years via proposed legislation called the Fair Play Fair Pay Act. However, the radio industry is a powerful lobby in Washington. So much so, the music industry sensibly decided to keep this albeit important reform out of the MMA, because had it been in there, the whole act would likely have failed, preventing the other reforms from taking place.
That doesn't mean artists and labels have given up on the campaign to get AM/FM radio royalties though. Which is why SoundExchange boss Michael Huppe has teamed up with the artist Common to write a piece for Variety setting out, once again, the arguments for forcing traditional radio stations to pay.
They write: "The biggest and most profitable music platform in America - FM radio - with 200+ million listeners and $17 billion in annual revenue, pays nothing to the people who record the music that is the lifeblood of their business. Never have. Not a penny".
Noting that in the past members of US Congress have suggested that the record industry try to reach a deal with the radio sector, the op-ed goes on: "You can imagine how long a negotiation lasts when radio broadcasters can walk away from the table and continue to pay nothing for their staple input. With no actual property right granted to creators, they have very little leverage to bargain over".
"We can right this wrong with the simple act of giving music creators a property right in their own work", they add. "No one can call our copyright laws 'modernized' until FM radio is held to the same standard as the music services it competes with on the dashboard and in American homes - the ones who pay artists. This is the longest standing inequity in our copyright laws, and it's time to get real about solving it".
The article notes the radio industry's usual comeback when presented with this debate, ie that radio airplay is promo for labels and artists and they should be happy with that. "Maybe this was the quid pro quo of years gone by", they write. "But when was the last time you heard a song on AM/FM radio and went to a record store to buy the album?"
"In today's digital economy, 75% of US recording revenue derives from streaming. The law, the marketplace and simple morality demand that digital platforms must share some of that value with creators. Why should radio be any different? It is, after all, the music that draws their audience".
In a rallying call, the article concludes: "Now is the time to take action. We must come together and call upon Congress to right these wrongs. That's how we'll protect this generation of artists, and the next".
Andy Daniell to head up FFRR
"Dance music plays such an important role in UK music culture and I want FFRR to be the most exciting and compelling destination for electronic and dance music creators in the UK", says Parlophone co-President Nick Burgess. "Andy has repeatedly proven to be one of the best A&Rs in the business. He lives and breathes music and, as a DJ and artist himself, already embodies Parlophone's artist-first philosophy and spirit".
Daniell adds: "The opportunity to play a part in the future of such an iconic label is an incredible honour. It's a great time to join FFRR and be part of the amazing changes that are happening at Parlophone. I'm looking forward to building FFRR's reputation for identifying artists and tracks that have both underground credibility and far-reaching crossover potential".
Originally launched by Pete Tong in 1986, Warner Music acquired FFRR as part of the divestments that occurred when Universal acquired Polygram in 1998. It subsequently parked the label, but revived it in 2011, and then moved it into the Parlophone division when it acquired that label (again as part of a Universal divestment) in 2013.
Young Knives return with new single, Red Cherries
"It is a lament to something all used up", says frontman Tom Bonsu-Dartnall. "The song is a simple melody set to a repeating scream and wild jazz drums".
The band are also set to play a one-off London show - their first headline performance in the capital since 2014 - on 25 Nov. Tickets go on sale this Friday.
New compilation of Grateful Dead's final songs to be released
When the band's frontman Jerry Garcia died in 1995 they had not released a studio album since 1989's 'Built To Last'. However, they had written new material with the intention of returning to the studio for another LP. Now a collection of live performances of those tracks, titled 'Ready Or Not', has been put together by Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux.
"'Ready Or Not' has been a long time coming. It's an album we've been working on for many, many years", says Lemieux. "This batch of 'new' Grateful Dead songs has never been compiled in one place and given its proper due as a huge part of the Dead's late-era legacy".
"Many of these songs can easily stand alongside some of the Dead's oldest, most-loved songs as bona fide classics despite their short tenure in the repertoire", he continues. "We've dug deep into the archive and listened to countless live versions of these songs to find the best, most definitive live performances. When the Grateful Dead were 'on' in their later years, their live concerts were as good as any era in their history. The nine songs on 'Ready Or Not' exemplify how good the Dead could be in their later years of touring".
The album is set for release on 22 Nov. Listen to 'Lazy River Road' from the record here.
Kojey Radical announces 2020 UK tour
"'Cashmere Tears' is finally here", he says. "Thank you to everyone that's given it time, repeat listens and genuine love. It's crazy how quickly all my anxiety turned into excitement, but after the response and the stories of how this project has really affected people I think it's time we take this show on the road. This is my biggest tour to date and I'm pulling out all the stops. Let's create some new memories".
Here are the dates:
26 Mar: Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall
There's a rumour that Coldplay are releasing a new album next month. So I've told you that now.
Riton and Oliver Heldens have released the video for their Yazoo-sampling single 'Turn Me On', featuring Vula. "I always wanted to be the Alison Moyet to Vince Clarke in Yazoo", says Riton. "And the lovely chap has let me sample his smash hit 'Don't Go'. I'm honoured. Thank you to the big man".
Sam Sparro has released his first new track since 2016, 'Outside The Blue', featuring We Are King.
Panda Bear has released new single 'Playing The Long Game', a track not featured on his fairly recent 'Buoys' album. "The song is about a brief series of thoughts I had one morning about who I am, what I'm doing, and where I'm going", he says.
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy has released new single 'In Good Faith', taken from his upcoming new album 'I Made A Place', out on 15 Nov.
Poliça have announced that they will release new album 'When We Stay Alive' on 31 Jan. Here's new single 'Driving'.
Beabadoobee wishes she was Stephen Malkmus. I know this because she's written a song about it.
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have released new single 'Mundungus'. The band are touring this month. In the UK. That's why I mentioned it.
Empara Mi has released a new live performance video for her 2017 single 'Shine On You'. "Sometimes the most beautiful things are the hardest to keep hold of and sometimes you have to let go of something so it can stay beautiful", she says. "That was the sentiment behind this song, appreciating something whilst you had it and accepting that just because you want something doesn't mean it should be yours. It's about selflessness and letting go".
Mr Ben And The Bens have released new single 'The Gravedigger's Dance'. Their new album, 'Who Knows Jenny Jones?' is out on 25 Oct.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Ja Rule says he hasn't seen either Fyre Festival documentary, which might explain why he thinks reviving the event is a good idea
Appearing on US TV show 'Watch What Happens Live', the rapper was asked by host Andy Cohen if he'd seen either of the documentaries on the disastrous festival in which he was involved.
"I have not", he replied. "I lived it, Andy. I'm good".
This is a turnaround from earlier this year. After the documentaries appeared on streaming services Hulu and Netflix, many questioned how much Ja Rule knew about the fraud being committed by his now jailed partner in the event, Billy McFarland. He defended himself, saying that he'd only learned about much of what had gone on behind the scenes from the films. "The crazy shit is I'm watching the docs in awe myself", he wrote on Twitter.
Back then he also disputed his portrayal in the documentaries, saying that he'd had an "amazing vision" for a luxury event that other people failed to deliver. A position he still seems to be holding to. So much so, he's quite keen to have another go, capitalising on the huge brand recognition Fyre has.
"Well, I mean, it wasn't my fault", he goes on, speaking to Cohen. "Here's the thing, Andy, I wanna do it the right way, the right partners. And here's what I know: I have the biggest festival in the world, even though it never happened".
He adds that the biggest misconception about the original event was that he "committed a crime". And, to be fair, he isn't the one now in prison. Still, Cohen points out, in the Netflix documentary Ja Rule is seen saying that the massive discrepancy between the luxury festival ticketholders were expecting versus the field of disaster relief tents and little else was more "false advertising" than actual fraud.
Asked if he still feels the same, he says: "I believe now, after everything unravelled, it was a little of both".
Seemingly, even after all this time, no one has explained to him that false advertising is a type of fraud. Still, I'm sure that won't be an issue when he puts on the event again, which he is definitely going to do. He wouldn't say he was going to put on a massively ambitious festival only for it not to happen. Any more than he'd say he'd watched something he hadn't.