|THURSDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Apple Music has formally announced its much anticipated move into B2B streaming, with Harrods and Levi's stores apparently already using the service to soundtrack their premises... [READ MORE]|
Apple unveils its B2B streaming product
Providing music to corporate clients has long seemed like an obvious way for the streaming firms to generate extra revenues. Standard Apple Music or Spotify subscriptions do not allow for music to be streamed on commercial premises (even if many commercial premises do exactly that). With B2B streaming the likes of Spotify and Apple can charge retailers, bars, cafes and other companies a premium to stream music in public spaces.
The music industry shares in that premium pricing, and is still due separate royalties for the public performance of their songs and recordings, which would usually be paid to the collecting societies, but which some B2B streamers seek to bundle in to their products.
Apple's plans to move into B2B streaming seemed to be confirmed when it registered the trademarks for Apple Music For Business late last year. Spotify is already active in this space via its interest in the Soundtrack Your Brand company, which in October 2018 published research that reckoned the music industry was missing out on $2.65 billion a year by not properly exploiting the B2B streaming market.
In the US both Pandora and Sirius also already offer business-orientated subscription packages. And, of course, there are those companies whose core business is providing music for retail clients, which include Mood Media and Playnetwork. Apple is partnering with the latter on the launch of Apple Music For Business.
Announcing the new service yesterday, Playnetwork bragged that Apple B2B set-up "breaks new ground for business music services". It does this, it went on, by combining music experts and super duper playlists with "a technology platform built for your world" and "an integrated marketing programme that helps you connect with customers through your existing channels, and extend your reach into new ones". So that's fun.
It will be interesting to see to what extent both Spotify and Apple push this side of their respective businesses in the years ahead. Meanwhile, Apple Music seems to also be interested in having partnerships with B2B clients who can help it promote its consumer-facing product, with Harrods apparently already plugging subscriptions on its digital signage in store.
Dr Luke says Kesha lawyer lied under oath, lawyer calls Luke a "desperate man"
The core dispute, of course, centres on Kesha's allegation that Luke sexually assaulted her. He has always denied that claim and argues that Kesha made it up in a bid to get out of contractual commitments to his various companies. He has since argued the she and her legal team have employed more PR tactics than legal arguments in a bid to destroy his reputation outside the courtroom.
Along the way there have been multiple elements to this dispute in multiple American states. And that included the defamation lawsuit filed against lawyer Mark Geragos, who was representing Kesha for a time. That particular defamation claim - it's not the only one in the wider Kesha v Luke case - related to comments Geragos made in which he implied that Luke had sexually assaulted Lady Gaga.
However, the latest bust up between the producer and the lawyer relates to the latter's alleged conduct while representing Kesha and subsequently fighting the defamation claim.
Luke's team alleges that in 2017, during a deposition under oath, Geragos claimed that various documents the court had requested to see had been deleted. But now, Luke's reps say, the same documents have been handed over as part of other ongoing legal proceedings. Which, they go on, means he lied under oath back in 2017, so committed perjury.
The new legal claim asking the court to hold Geragos and his firm in contempt says: "Geragos falsely stated under oath at his court-ordered deposition in this action that all but three documents which this court had ordered the Geragos parties to produce did not exist because they had been deleted. Years after this deposition, the Geragos parties have now produced dozens of these purportedly deleted and non-existent documents to plaintiffs in a separate litigation".
"The Geragos parties' motivation for concealing these documents is obvious", the legal filing goes on. "This is a defamation action, arising from the efforts of defendant, Geragos, and defendant's other representatives to destroy [Luke]'s reputation and business through a coordinated media campaign. By concealing the documents which the court ordered the Geragos parties to produce, the Geragos parties sought - and still seek - to hide the full scope of those efforts, and the Geragos parties' involvement with them".
Responding the new legal claim, Geragos's firm pulls no punches, even referencing the totally unrelated copyright case over Katy Perry's 'Dark Horse', which Luke co-wrote. A spokesperson for Geragos & Geragos told The Hollywood Reporter: "The motion, which reads more like an incoherent and unintelligible sloppy rant, is entirely without merit. It appears that Luke is increasingly desperate after his last multi-million dollar litigation loss in the Katy Perry case. Frankly, he's a sad and desperate man who needs a new hobby".
With such bold talking, it will be interesting to see how this side show to the main Luke v Kesha proceedings now plays out.
Warner Music launches Spinnin Records Asia
"We're very excited about the launch of Spinnin Records Asia", says Spinnin CEO Roger de Graaf. "This is a region that's already delivered groundbreaking artists and is currently reshaping the dance and pop music environment with a burst of exciting new acts. We're proud and eager to start working with them, as they'll surely help take the Spinnin brand to the next level".
Warner Music Asia President Simon Robson adds: "There's a dance music revolution taking place in Asia. We're seeing a new generation of DJs and producers coming through who are inspiring fans and building scenes that rival those in Europe and America. The launch of Spinnin Records Asia will help ensure that we're the first choice for these artists as they seek to build their careers at home and around the world".
The first single released by Spinnin Records Asia is 'Feel The Light' by US duo Beauz, who have Taiwanese and Indonesian heritage. "We are truly excited to be a part of this launch", they say. "Spinnin Records Asia opens the curtain to a new era of globalised music and we can't wait to show the world what we got!"
The track will be out on 29 Nov.
Squarepusher releases new single, Vortrack
Following the release of his 2015 album 'Damogen Furies', Jenkinson threw himself into various other projects, including the band Shobaleader One - reworking Squarepusher tracks into a jazz-funk style - plus soundtracking a TV show on CBeebies designed to calm toddlers the fuck down and composing an album of songs on a big organ.
But now he's back as Squarepusher, with 'Vortrack', which kicks down the doors and screams his return. Metaphorically. No property was actually damaged as far as I know. Out digitally now, the track will be available on vinyl, backed with his own Fracture Remix, on 6 Dec. The album will follow on 31 Jan.
There will be tour dates too. Here are all the UK shows:
13 May: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
JFDR announces second album, New Dreams
"'My Work' marks a somewhat transitional moment, where I was pushing myself to my limits, travelling constantly, running away from my home, from my demons", she explains. "I had been working on these chords for a little bit, I was smoking a cigarette in my friend Aaron's loft in Brooklyn. I had spent a few weeks there and it was getting colder".
"I remember a very beautiful loneliness", she adds. "I was excited to be there, but it was all foreign to me. And I was looking out the window and thinking about death, the cigarette triggered this I guess, but I had also been thinking about naivety and innocence and glorifying something I was - or thought I was - before I experienced sadness and loneliness in the adult way".
She goes on: "I was thinking about my mother, how a mother can only be as happy as her saddest child, and I felt sorry, I felt how that was sadder than me being sad. The song reminds me of those moments I was living at the loft, in all weathers, on the stairway looking at the city in the distance, on the roof , in Aaron's room, in my room, in the evening or night time, smoking, existing, wondering what I was doing there, processing this magical yet heart wrenching lack of belonging, was it what I wanted?"
As for how this album differs from her solo debut, 'Brazil', she says: "This record is more thought out. The person who's singing is more honest, not as 'coated' or 'poetic' as on 'Brazil'. It's less eloquent, perhaps, but more what's happening for me right now. The meaning isn't always revealed to me until afterwards".
You can catch JFDR live in the UK at St Pancras Old Church in London on 30 Jan. Watch the video for 'My Work' here.
The Grammy Awards nominations have been announced and we can't even
The Grammy Awards nominations are out. The 2020 ones. It's exciting! Are you excited? I'm so excited. There are nominations and everything. People have been nominated. Not everyone. Oh, there have been snubs. The snubs, man. I can't even. Taylor Swift. BTS. So snubbed. The Grammys don't care.
But the Grammys do care! They've nominated so many other artists. Almost all of them, I think. Including Taylor Swift. Who also got snubbed. But not snubbed. There are just so many god damn awards it's hard to snub anyone. Except BTS, who totally got snubbed.
Still, that's the best thing about The Grammys. All the god damn awards. So many. Some people say that awards ceremonies are boring. Not me. I love them. More awards ceremonies with more awards, I say.
Anyway, have I filled my word count yet? Good.I can't be fucked listing all the nominations, because there are loads of them and that seems like a lot of work. You can look at them all here, if you want to. Which I'm sure you do. Meanwhile, here are the four awards people actually pretend to care about:
Record Of The Year:
Album Of The Year:
Song Of The Year:
Best New Artist:
Universal Music Publishing has signed a global administration deal with rapper DaBaby. "I feel great about my decision to join UMPG", he says. And isn't that what it's all about?
Yann Tiersen has released Blonde Redhead collaboration 'Closer', one of three entirely new tracks on his upcoming 'Portrait' album (the others being reworks of older songs).
Field Music have released new single 'Money Is A Memory'. The track is taken from new album 'Making A New World', which is out on 10 Jan.
Band-Maid have released new Tony Visconti-produced track 'The Dragon Cries', from their upcoming album 'Conqueror'. "I love the originality of Band-Maid", says Visconti. "It was like a dream come true to meet them. During recording Saiki and Miku sang for eight hours straight. I don't know many artists with that kind of stamina, I was taken back by their professionalism. They definitely met my expectations".
Peggy Sue have released new single 'Validate Me', the second from their new album 'Vices', which is out on 21 Feb.
G Flip has released the video for her song 'Stupid', made using 'deepfake' technology.
GIGS & TOURS
Camila Cabello has announced that she will tour the UK and Ireland in June next year, starting off at Birmingham's Resorts World Arena on 1 Jun and finishing at London's O2 Arena on 11 Jun. Tickets go on general sale on Friday next week.
Princess Nokia has announced UK and Ireland dates for next year. She'll play EartH in London on 20 Mar, Bristol's Motion on 21 Mar, Stylus in Leeds on 23 Mar, and Dublin's Vicar Street on 25 Mar.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Coldplay will not tour until they can make it environmentally "beneficial"
Speaking to the BBC, frontman Chris Martin said: "All of us, in every industry, have to work out what the best way of doing our job is. The hardest thing is the flying side of things. We're taking time to work out, how can not only our tour be sustainable, but how can it be actively beneficial. How can we harness the resources that our tour creates and make it have a positive impact?"
"Our dream is to have a show with no single-use plastic, to have it largely solar powered", he continued. "So I think it's a question of just accepting that you have to do your best, not to be too overzealous in criticising others, because everyone will catch up, I think, if you prove that it's easy to do it the right way".
Speaking of criticising people, some might note that Martin gave his interview during a fairly unnecessary trip to Jordan to play a couple of album launch shows (before jetting back to London to play a third next week).
Whatever though, once that unnecessary junket is out of the way, it's pretty admirable for a major band who don't need to tour to stay in business to refuse to do so until they can work out how to travel the world singing their songs in a way that it less damaging to the environment. And if they can figure that out, they can share their learnings.
Not that giving up touring should be a prerequisite for speaking out on environmental issues, whatever Welsh MP and climate change denier David Davies says. He recently panned The 1975 for, you know, caring about stuff.
In a letter to the band, which he gleefully uploaded to Twitter, he suggested that they shouldn't support climate change activism because they were going to tour the world to promote their upcoming new album - which features a speech by Greta Thunberg.
He also implied that the Extinction Rebellion's key aim was to stop people getting to work. What a guy.
Of course, while bands should try to find ways of reducing the environmental impact of their tours - and the need to fly around the world is the biggest challenge to tackle - when critics of climate change campaigning music stars make this their main focus, you know they are using distraction tactics in the absence of scientifically sound arguments.
Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead - who, like The 1975, have donated money to Extinction Rebellion - recently pointed out just that in an interview with The Guardian.
"Yes, this person is a hypocrite because they flew", he said. "But if picking holes in someone's green credentials is all you need to convince yourself there's no climate change problem then you're kind of an idiot".
The solution to the environmental-impact-of-touring problem may be closer than we think though. In a new interview with the Mindscape podcast, Grimes says that she reckons that we'll all stop going out to see live music performed sometime soon anyway.
"I think live music is going to be obsolete soon", she said. "It's kinda like Instagram or whatever. People are actually just gravitating towards the clean, finished, fake world. Everyone wants to be in a simulation. They don't actually want the real world. Even if they think they do and everyone's like, 'Yeah, cool, live music!', if you actually look at actual numbers of things, everyone's gravitating towards the shimmery perfected Photoshop world".
I don't think an end to all live music is quite the answer Coldplay are looking for. But if they're already fine with not touring to promote an album - it wouldn't be the first time; the band did not go out of a full-scale tour for their 'Ghost Stories' album - then maybe just ending live shows is a possible solution. It seems unlikely that's going to happen though. Nor does it seem like a solution others would follow in a hurry.
So, fingers crossed, Coldplay can find some other options in order to meet this challenge, using their money and influence to test out new technology and approaches. And then the wider music community can learn and adapt.
This week booking agent Emma Banks - who works with artists such as Katy Perry, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse - told the BBC's 'Does My Music Suck?' podcast that musicians "have to be proactive" in this area. "We need to think more about how we can actually not create the problem in the first place", she said.
But on the off chance that no such solutions are forthcoming other than the employment of the Grimes prediction, possibly your last chance to see Coldplay perform live ever will be at the Natural History Museum in London on Monday.
If you want the chance of getting in, you'll need to pre-order their new album, 'Everyday Life', from their website at some point today. The album is out tomorrow, by which time it'll all be too late. To get tickets, I mean. Not for the planet. Hopefully.