|WEDNESDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Association Of Independent Music today launches 'Distribution Revolution', a new report on the music distribution sector produced in partnership with CMU Insights... [READ MORE]|
AIM launches new report on the revolution in music distribution
It looks at the evolution of digital distribution over the last two decades, and reviews how the role of the distributor has changed significantly over that time.
In particular it considers how and why distributors have expanded the range of services they offer well beyond distribution, so that a label today can, if it so chooses, outsource ever more of the work involved in releasing records to its distribution partner.
The report also reviews how distributors now work with a wider range of clients, in particular self-releasing artists and their single-artist-labels. That, of course, includes grass-roots DIY artists and more established acts who basically set up their own labels, often in partnership with management.
These changes have had a positive impact for labels and artists alike, but also create challenges. One big upside is that labels and artists now have more choice, but that also means more decisions to make. One of the aims of 'Distribution Revolution' is to help to inform that decision making process.
There is also arguably a need for more transparency across the digital supply chain and to agree some industry standards for the modern distribution sector, to help better manage the expectations of artists, labels and distributors alike. AIM has confirmed that, based on this research, it will now work with the independent music community on agreeing a code of conduct for the distribution side of the business.
Ahead of the official launch of 'Distribution Revolution' this evening, AIM's Head of Legal & Business Affairs, Gee Davy, said: "Anyone who wants to build a career or business in releasing music must find a route for the music to reach fans".
"Distribution is arguably the least aspect of releasing music", she added, "and yet a good distributor is key to maximising reach and financial return, and plays an essential part in its success, or failure, of a release. The report's findings provide vital insights and knowledge which can be used to help musicians and music businesses, and their distributors, to be better business partners".
New York court dismisses Migos lyric theft case
In this case rap outfit Migos were accused of lifting the key line in their hit 'Walk It Talk It' from an earlier work. An artist called Leander Pickett said the lyric "walk it like I talk it" came from a song he released back in 2007. His record actually used the full lyric as its title.
However, a judge in the New York courts has ruled that walking it and talking it - and then talking about walking it in lyrical form - is not original enough for the resulting lyric to be protected by copyright.
A judge on the other side of the US in California previously made a similar ruling in a lawsuit that accused Taylor Swift of ripping off the players and haters line in 'Shake It Off'. But last month the Ninth Circuit appeals court ruled that it wasn't for judges to make such a call on the artistic substance of a lyric and that the case should have gone before a jury.
While the federal courts in California and New York sit under different appeal courts (the so called Ninth and Second circuit respectively), the ruling in the Taylor Swift case did cite a US Supreme Court precedent.
But New York judge Analisa Nadine Torres stated in a judgement this week: "Because songwriters must be free to borrow sayings and expressions from popular culture, the Second Circuit and courts in this district have found that short and commonplace phrases are not protectable, even when used as the title or repeated lyrics of a song, as is the case here".
Noting various other songs that also reference walking it and talking it, the ruling went on: "The only similarity between the two works at issue, the lyrics 'walk it like I talk it', is not original to the author and is, therefore, not protected by the copyright laws".
Legal reps for Pickett say they are now reviewing their options. A 'Shake It Off' style appeal could follow.
Mel B says "miscommunication" led to complaint over Tesco ad
The advert in question features a photo of the Spice Girl performing at the BRIT Awards in 1997. It's part of a campaign marking Tesco's centenary that uses various bits of pop culture nostalgia. On it, a speech bubble coming from Mel B says: "Stop right now. You get 10% off two big shops a month for £7.99". Another remark from an unseen speaker replies: "Thank you very much". It's a reference to 1997 Spice Girls hit 'Stop', you see?
Earlier this week, the singer posted a photo of the advert onto Instagram, adding the caption: "Can the CEO OF @tescofood DAVE LEWIS PLEASE CONTACT ME URGENTLY. Thank you". Apparently that's how this sort of thing is done these days.
Tesco pulled the advert online, saying that it had "authorisation to use this image" but added that "Mel B is unhappy so we've stopped using it".
However, she has said that the company's right to use the image was never in question. Rather a promised mention for Women's Aid was relegated to the small print at the bottom of the poster, which was less than she was expecting. Although she then blamed this error on a "miscommunication".
In a new Instagram post, she writes: "There was NEVER any issue about me being unhappy with my image being used and there was NEVER any issue about Tesco being given permission to use the image. I did this campaign for Women's Aid to raise awareness and to raise funds. There was a miscommunication between some of the parties dealing with it but luckily Tesco has been amazing".
"Women's Aid sadly lost funding a few weeks ago which was why I decided to do this campaign", she goes on. "I'm really pleased that Tesco understands how important Women's Aid is to me, and has agreed to match my fee in donation to the charity. This money is a game-changer for them. It will keep their live chat line running for the next six months and all over Christmas. This service literally saves lives. One in four women are affected by domestic violence. I am never going to stop trying to help. Thank you, Tesco".
Following Mel B's original complaint, her image was replaced on Tesco's Twitter profile with one featuring comedy duo Morecambe & Wise. They remain there still. Just in case you were wondering.
Boiler Room and Ballantine's launch fund for local music scenes
The two companies have been working together on their True Music project since 2013, exploring different local music scenes around the world. They have brought established artists to perform in those scenes, and promoted artists working within them. This latest step opens up financial backing for those involved in music at a local level.
"This is a major step change in our partnership with Boiler Room", says Ballantine's Head Of Music, Tom Elton. "We've put on 28 amazing events and given a platform to more than 220 artists from emerging scenes, now is the time for True Music to really make a difference and give back to the communities we have been visiting over the years".
"Our aim", he goes on, "is to help empower individuals within the community by taking away the financial stresses and allowing them to focus on making their music projects a reality, which we hope in turn will inspire others to pick up the baton, promoting a cycle of reinvestment for the long-term".
Boiler Room's CEO, Blaise Belville, adds: "The fund that we've set up with Ballantine's aims to kickstart local event ideas as well as sustain existing ones. This fund is the first of its kind for Boiler Room and Ballantine's and we're making it an open call on our channels, one country at a time. So, if you're based in that country the door is open for you to apply".
SoundCloud launches new marketing tool for artists
"While there are endless opportunities to get discovered on SoundCloud, you know that you can't just upload a track and hope for the best; it's important to actively promote your music", says the company in a new blog post. "That's why today we're introducing a new way for artists to grow their audiences with Promote On SoundCloud".
The scheme works similar to Facebook advertising. You tell SoundCloud who you want to target your track to and how much you want to spend getting it in front of them. The track will then be boosted up to the top of users' streams and on their mobile homepages.
Promoted tracks on SoundCloud are not new, but this opens the option up to more musicians. A year ago, the company made its Premier monetisation platform more widely available, bringing in artists on its Pro and Pro Unlimited tiers.
MOBO Awards to return in 2020, after two year hiatus
The celebration of black music and culture last took place in Leeds in 2017, and last year founder Kanya King said that it would take a one year hiatus in order to return with a "bigger, revamped show" in 2019. With the date on which we would expect to see that take place approaching, organisers have now announced that the hiatus will stretch to two years.
Scheduled in for 12 Nov 2020, the revamped MOBOs will return to London and Wembley Arena, where the last London-based edition was held in 2014. It will also coincide with Brent - where Wembley Arena sits - being London's Borough Of Culture, which is apparently how they're spinning the delayed return.
"We felt empowered to bring MOBO back to Brent to coincide with the borough's Year Of Culture because this is where our fight to challenge the status quo to create a level playing field started", says King. "We are returning with even more determination and energy to support and boost our culture wherever we can. 2020 will see many positive changes that will impact more and more talented young people - very proud to be back and to help ensure that the younger generation will also dare to dream".
Tickets to attend the ceremony are on sale now, and there will be a number of related events taking place throughout 2020. More info here.
Anna Calvi has released 'You're Not God', her latest contribution to the 'Peaky Blinders' soundtrack.
Wiley has released a new freestyle, and confirmed that his new album, 'Godfather 3', will be out on 1 Jan.
Former Klaxons member James Righton has announced that he will release a new solo album, titled 'The Performer', on 20 March. Here's the title track.
Zebra Katz is back with new single, 'In In In'. It's his first new music since his collaboration with Gorillaz, 'Sex Murder Party', in 2017.
Eyedress has released new single 'Trauma'. He says of the track: "'Trauma' is a song I wrote last year when I was still living in Manila. It's about people who keep secrets, infidelity, and wanting to escape the Philippines".
GIGS & TOURS
As it prepares for it 'First Fifty' launch shows in London tonight and tomorrow, the Great Escape festival has added a load more acts to its 2020 line-up, including Jay1, GoGo Penguin, Velvet Negroni, Evie Irie, Angelica Garcia, Baker Boy, Sinead O'Brien, Odunsi (The Engine), Larry Pink The Human, Public Practice, Jada, Benee, Phoebe Green and Aaron Smith. Get your delegate passes here.
Hudson Mohawke and Lunice have announced their first live shows together as TNGHT for more than six years. The shows in the US and Europe will include a date at London's Village Underground on 16 Mar.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Robbie Williams doesn't even have a bloody phone
"I haven't owned a phone since 2006", he says on the latest episode of Amazon's football show 'Back Of The Net'. "I just don't like them", he says. He doesn't like me bugging him about a mattress, more like. Robbie, come and get this bloody mattress. It's in the bloody way. I've had to move house with it twice. I want it gone.
I've tried DMing him on Twitter. Now I know why that's been a non-starter too. "[I have] tonnes of social media, but thankfully I don't have my password to anything or else my career would be over within 24 hours", he says. Yeah, or you'd be reminded about the mattress you said would be there for a week nearly a decade and a half ago.
I want it gone, Robbie. My wife says we should just chuck it, but it's a perfectly good mattress. You know me, I don't like to waste stuff. This is taking the piss though. If you're reading this, I'd really like you to come and get it today. Call me.