FRIDAY 13 DECEMBER 2019 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: So that happened then, didn't it? 'Boris' Johnson securing himself a damn big majority in the good old House Of Commons, I mean. No, you didn't dream it. It did happen. Some of the music industry's trade bodies have already responded to it. Just to confirm that it definitely did happen... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Music industry responds to solid Conservative win in UK general election
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LEGAL Music community in mixed mood as new North American trade treaty gets closer to ratification
Eventbrite calls for investor class action lawsuit to be dismissed
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DEALS Better Noise ramps up its alliance with FUGA
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ARTIST NEWS Juice Wrld's family say they hope his death will convince others to seek treatment for addiction
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RELEASES Young musicians create new music from hundred year old recordings
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ONE LINERS Def Leppard, Selena Gomez, Kesha, more
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AND FINALLY... Paul McCartney's recorded a Christmas album, but you can't hear it
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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.
   
ROCK SOUND - ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
As Advertising Executive you will be connecting labels, promoters and brands with their target audience in order to drive results for Rock Sound’s partners whilst maximising advertising and sponsorship revenues.

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JON CHILD & CO - FINALIST/QUALIFIED ACCOUNTANT (MANCHESTER)
Jon Child & Co seeks an experienced practice accountant, likely in the range from finalist up to five years newly qualified to join its accounting team, to contribute to the ongoing significant growth at this specialist music chartered accountancy practice.

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STONES THROW - LABEL ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Stones Throw is seeking a Label Assistant. The ideal candidate will have held a relevant entry level position in the music industry. This position is ideal for someone early in their career looking to develop their skills.

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FREESTYLE RECORDS - PROJECT/LABEL MANAGER (LONDON)
With a release roster that includes albums by Omar, Courtney Pine, Brian Auger, Speedometer, Kylie Auldist, Ginger Johnson, Lack of Afro, and the Craig Charles Funk and Soul series, Freestyle Records is currently looking for a Project / Label Manager.

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CMS MUSIC MEDIA - MEDIA PLANNER/BUYER (LONDON)
This is a rare opportunity to join fast-paced music advertising agency CMS Music Media. You will be 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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NINJA TUNE - COPYRIGHT ADMINISTRATOR (LONDON)
Ninja Tune is hiring for a full-time copyright administration position within the record label and publishing company, based in its London office.

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SENTRIC MUSIC - SYNC ASSISTANT (LIVERPOOL)
Sentric Music is looking for a dedicated and diligent Sync Assistant to support the catalogue administration for selected sync clients, act as a first point of contact for artists utilising Sentric Music's publishing platform, and administer the Sync Services team's digital platforms.

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MERLIN - MEMBER SERVICE COORDINATOR (LONDON)
Merlin is looking for an enthusiastic and passionate person to join its London Member Services team as Member Service Coordinator. The role will involve working with record labels and distributors from across the globe who are seeking to join Merlin as well as working with existing members and DSPs.

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SOLD OUT - RADIO BUYER (LONDON)
The successful candidate will be looking to establish themselves within an agency environment and who has a gift for organisation and effective time management. The role is people-centric and we are looking for somebody who enjoys building relationships with staff, clients and media contacts.

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SUPERNATURE - ARTIST MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Supernature is looking for an organised, proactive Artist Management Assistant to work full-time from its London office in Elephant & Castle. Working in a small team, you would be expected to provide organisational support and structure to the artist management arm of the business. You would be responsible for key aspects of day-to-day management across the whole roster.

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DOUBLE SIX RIGHTS MANAGEMENT - REPERTOIRE AND DATA ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Double Six Rights Management is seeking a self-motivated and driven individual to support with the day-to-day operation of the company and to help maximise revenue for both label and performer clients.

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IDOL - UK DIGITAL KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
Based in our London office, your main role will consist of promoting IDOL’s labels and projects within our network of partners: audio streaming services, download platforms and launch creative and innovative release campaigns to achieve commercial goals.

For more information and to apply click here.

Music industry responds to solid Conservative win in UK general election
So that happened then, didn't it? 'Boris' Johnson securing himself a damn big majority in the good old House Of Commons, I mean. No, you didn't dream it. It did happen. Some of the music industry's trade bodies have already responded to it. Just to confirm that it definitely did happen.

Last night's result in the UK general election means Britain's Prime Minister and Bullshitter-In-Chief can now plough ahead with his big Brexit plan. And whichever of his other proposals weren't total and utter bullshit. Which is possibly none of them. But then again, "getting Brexit done" involves a whole lot more work than Team Johnson has let on, so maybe it doesn't matter that everything else was bullshit.

It's probably fair to say that the majority of the music community is somewhat dismayed at the big result. But the music industry's trade bodies and lobbyists have to get ready to deal with the newly empowered Johnson government and a more right wing Parliament. And, in the short term - with Brexit now definitely getting underway in the new year - with helping artists and music companies, especially grassroots talent and independent businesses, deal with everything that will inevitably throw up.

Commenting on the result, the boss of record industry trade group BPI, Geoff Taylor, said this morning: "This clear result should help move the country beyond the Brexit impasse and provide the UK with a much-needed period of political stability. We hope the government will use this platform to deliver a trade deal with the EU that minimises barriers to trade, including simple travel arrangements for UK performers, and new trade deals with third countries to boost our music exports".

"The UK music industry is a fantastic success story both here at home and around the world", Taylor added, getting his pitch in quick with the new powers that be. "If the relentless creativity and commercial ingenuity of our artists and labels can be backed by the incoming government with some simple but effective support, we can take this success to the next level; growing our international trade, supporting access to music in schools, and boosting the industry's contribution to employment and the economy by better protecting the valuable IP we create. We congratulate the new administration and we will be actively engaging with them on this agenda".

Speaking for the indie music community, the boss of the Association Of Independent Music, Paul Pacifico, added: "We know from this result that the process towards Brexit will now accelerate. It is AIM's priority to ensure our members are as prepared as possible. The unfortunate truth is that the grassroots SMEs and entrepreneurs of our economy face the greatest impact on their businesses, so we call on this new government to give our members the support they need to ensure we avoid a Brexit that just suits big business".

"With a strong majority and the opportunity for a fresh start", he went on, "we look forward to engaging with the new government across our key issues for creative entrepreneurs in music including copyright and support mechanisms for small business in our sector which is so important to the UK both in terms of commerce and culture".

And with those statements delivered, let this new era of Brexit, 'Boris' and Bullshit-ism begin.

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Music community in mixed mood as new North American trade treaty gets closer to ratification
With much of the UK music community presumably somewhat depressed about political developments at home overnight, let's spend a few minutes looking at a big political moment that occurred across the Atlantic earlier this week, and the music industry's response to it.

Because, on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump reached a deal with the Democrats in Congress over that new trade deal between America, Canada and Mexico, which will replace the old North American Free Trade Agreement. It's relevant to the music industry because it contains a bunch of clauses regarding copyright.

The US record industry previously responded to the new trade deal when it was first agreed between the governments of the US, Canada and Mexico last year. It confirmed back then that there were ups and downs for the music business in the new agreement.

The treaty will see Canada finally increase its copyright term for songs from life plus 50 to life plus 70 years. But it also includes the tech-sector-friendly safe harbours of American's Digital Millennium Copyright Act which few in the music industry like. And which the music community would like see restricted in the US, rather than extended into Mexico and Canada.

This week it was the music publishers responding to the latest developments regarding the new trade deal. Though they expressed more or less the same viewpoint as the record labels. That said, Margaret McGuffin of Music Publishers Canada mainly honed in on the positive, urging her country's government to get going with the copyright term extension as soon as possible.

"Enacting the term extension provisions of the Canada-US-Mexico Agreement will ensure that Canadian songs and scores continue to be heard daily on the radio, on streaming services, in video games and in film, television and other screen-based productions around the world", she said. "It is imperative that the term extension provisions in [the agreement] be enacted immediately, without any unnecessary delay and no conditions".

David Israelite, the boss of America's National Music Publishers Association, also welcomed the term extension, but honed in more on the safe harbour side.

"The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement includes important copyright provisions that will greatly affect songwriters", he said earlier this week. "We are encouraged by the term expansion for Canadian copyright law that is included in the deal, but remain concerned that the DMCA safe harbours in the agreement continue to devalue creators' work and protect internet service providers who should be doing more to prevent piracy and infringement".

Meanwhile John Phelan, Director General of the global grouping for music publishers, ICMP, commented: "This deal is as crucial for the music industry as it is complex. We would warmly welcome the prospect of [an extended] copyright term in Canada - it's vital that the term there arrives at a level which is standard worldwide. Copyright is the bedrock of creative sectors".

"That said", he went on, "the copyright exemptions for certain online services are a troubling trait of trade talks. The industry has made every effort to provide digital music and drive its value for songwriters and composers. So-called safe harbours risk real regress on music's value - something we'll continue to be vigilant about".

Having won the support of his political opponents back home, Trump will now put pressure on Canada to ratify the treaty as soon as possible, Mexico having already done so.

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Eventbrite calls for investor class action lawsuit to be dismissed
Eventbrite has told a Californian court that it should throw out a proposed class action lawsuit in relation to its 2018 initial public offering, arguing that plaintiffs have failed to identify any specific false or misleading statements made by the company.

Shares in the ticketing firm took a bashing in both March and May this year following official updates regarding revenues and revenue projects - which were lower than expected - and also ongoing challenges around the integration of Ticketfly, the rival ticketing business that it bought in 2017.

Some Eventbrite investors argued that the admission that the Ticketfly integration was proving rather challenging was contrary to what the company had said ahead of its September 2018 IPO. Which meant, they reckoned, that the ticketing firm had misled potential investors about the business.

Seeking to capitalise on those arguments, various law firms set about putting together a class action lawsuit that could involve any investors who bought Eventbrite shares between the IPO and the financial statement this March. But Eventbrite denies that there is any valid claim against it under the American laws that regulate the sale and exchange of stocks and shares.

In a legal filing made with the court this week, Eventbrite states: "Plaintiffs claim that Eventbrite ... misled investors about its September 2017 acquisition of Ticketfly. But the complaint does not allege facts suggesting that Eventbrite made any false or misleading statements of material fact".

Not only that, but Eventbrite told potential investors - it says - that its strategy of growing through acquisition - and by integrating the customer base and tech of acquired companies - presented challenges.

"Eventbrite noted that this integration and migration process typically takes between twelve and 24 months, and warned investors about many risks inherent in the integration and migration process", the firm's lawsuit adds. "Among other things, that Eventbrite may have difficulty assimilating the acquired technology, may fail to timely integrate acquired companies, and may experience customer loss during this process".

On the Ticketfly integration specifically, it insists that its pre-IPO documents "did not say anything about when Eventbrite expected to complete the integration and migration process for Ticketfly, or which Ticketfly features Eventbrite planned to integrate onto its own platform, much less that it would be successful in doing so. Nor did [those documents] promise that all or even a specific percentage of Ticketfly's customers [called 'creators'] would eventually migrate to Eventbrite's platform".

"Quite the opposite", it goes on, "Eventbrite expressly disclosed that its 'ability to attract and retain creators will be harmed' if the company is 'not able to provide easy-to-use solutions required by creators'; that 'creators of the acquired companies or businesses may not migrate to our platform'; and that Eventbrite 'previously experienced customer loss in the process of integrating and migrating acquired companies for a variety of reasons'. Eventbrite's public statements after the IPO were entirely consistent with these disclosures".

Elsewhere in its submission Eventbrite takes issue with the specific past statements that aggrieved investors have cited in their legal claim. Those statements were vague, or obviously opinion, or not the sort of thing any serious investor would base a decision on, it argues, especially in the context of the warnings contained in Eventbrite's official IPO documentation.

With all this in mind, the ticketing outfit tells the court that the proposed investor class action "should be dismissed with prejudice". We now await to see how the aggrieved investors, and the court, respond.

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Better Noise ramps up its alliance with FUGA
Better Noise Music, the recently rebranded label business of music industry veteran Allen Kovac, earlier this week announced it had ramped up its existing partnership with distribution firm FUGA.

FUGA offers a wide range of services to its clients, from simple delivery of content for those labels that have direct or Merlin-negotiated deals with the streaming platforms (aka DSPs), through to more full-on distribution, marketing and label services. Under the new deal, Better Noise will access more of what FUGA offers, but with the flexibility to pick and mix.

The two companies said that their new deal "sees Better Noise and FUGA fully partner across DSP marketing and distribution, enabling releases to be serviced maximising each party's strengths, whether by DSP, territory or genre. To achieve the best results, the arrangement also enables Better Noise to tailor their DSP deal approach as required".

Confirming the new arrangement, Kovac said: "Over the last three years we have been averaging growth of 50 percent per year. Our marketing strategy with FUGA allows for our offices around the world to increase independent market share with Merlin while having a more robust direct relationship with our partners at the streaming services".

The boss of FUGA, Pieter van Rijn, added: "Allen has always been a pioneer in his ability to reimagine the status quo and our strengthened partnership with Better Noise is testament to that. FUGA is in a strong position to provide Better Noise with the tools and services to seize global opportunities in a way that works best for them".

"It's been a privilege working with Allen and his team during the days of Eleven Seven", he added, "and we're pleased to be working with them more closely now as they embark on their new venture as Better Noise Music".

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CMU Insights: In-house seminars on key music business developments
With the new year nearly here, why not start 2020 fully up to speed on all the key developments that have occurred in the music business in the last twelve months?

CMU can help you and your team navigate and understand all the key developments via our Key Music Business Trends seminar, which we run in-house for a wide range of music companies and organisations. This two hour seminar offers a concise overview of what has happened in streaming, copyright, piracy, ticketing and data.

Or, if your focus is music rights, why not book in our more advanced Key Developments In Music Rights session, which covers the Music Modernization Act, the European Copyright Directive, safe harbour reform, direct licensing and the key plagiarism cases. It's perfect for anyone involved in the management and monetisation of music copyright.

We deliver our in-house seminars at your offices and can adapt them for your specific training needs. For more information click here.

 

Juice Wrld's family say they hope his death will convince others to seek treatment for addiction
The family of rapper Juice Wrld - real name Jarad Higgins - who died at the weekend aged just 21, have said that they hope his death helps convince others to beat addiction. The cause of his death has not yet been confirmed, but he is thought to have been taking prescription pain medication Percocet shortly before he died.

"We loved Jarad with all of our hearts and cannot believe our time with him has been cut short", said his mother Carmella Wallace in a statement to TMZ. "As he often addressed in his music and to his fans, Jarad battled with prescription drug dependency. Addiction knows no boundaries and its impact goes way beyond the person fighting it. Jarad was a son, brother, grandson, friend and so much more to so many people who wanted more than anything to see him defeat addiction".

"We hope the conversations he started in his music and his legacy will help others win their battles as that is what he wanted more than anything", she continued. "We know that Jarad's legacy of love, joy and emotional honesty will live on".

Higgins had a seizure while luggage taken from a private jet he had been travelling on was being searched by the FBI on Sunday. He was treated for a suspected opioid overdose at the scene, but was pronounced dead later in hospital.

In that luggage FBI officials found a large quantity of marijuana, as well as guns and ammunition. The rapper's two bodyguards have been charged with weapons offences.

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Young musicians create new music from hundred year old recordings
Universal Music has released two new tracks created during an education programme run by youth charity the eXceL Project and the EMI Archive Trust, called Secret Studio.

The latter organisation is a charity originally set up by the old EMI record company which seeks to promote "the advancement of education and research and, in particular, to foster and promote the study and appreciation of the art techniques and development of sound recording and the history of the sound recording industry". The Trust has been supported by Universal Music since it bought the EMI record company in 2012.

In the Secret Studio programme, a group of six young musicians were given access to some of the earliest sound recordings in order to create new tracks that aimed to resonate with young people today. Those six musicians were Rai-Kwaun Bailey-Brooks (Tn_490), Malachi Asare-Appiah (KMally), Alfie Williams (Aaze), Jacob Varley (J Varley), Tex Tuwizana (Tex) and Skye Francis, all aged between sixteen and 20.

They were given access to ten wax cylinders made between 1901 and 1906. They then learned about how this music was recorded, the context within which it was made, and the story of Fred Gaisberg and William Sinkler Darby, possibly the world's first A&R men.

After that, they were split into two groups, using these recordings to make new music, resulting in two tracks - 'Freddie & Will' and 'Healing' - both of which have now been released through Universal's DIY distribution set-up Spinnup. Royalties from the releases will be split 50/50 between the eXceL Project and the six young musicians.

"The EMI Archive Trust holds a collection of great depth, full of incredible stories. Seeing it come alive while working with the eXceL Project and the talented young musicians on this scheme has left us energised to open the archive to a whole new generation", says Caryn Tomlinson, who is Chair of the Trust.

A second edition of the programme is set to take place next year.

Meanwhile Listen to 'Freddie & Will' by Tn_490, KMally and Aaze here, and 'Healing' by J Varley, Tex and Skye Francis here.

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DEALS

Sony/ATV has signed a global admin deal with Def Leppard. "We are THRILLED to take their powerhouse catalogue into the next millennium and beyond", says the Sony publisher's boss man Jon Platt.

Universal's Decca Publishing is "THRILLED" about three new signings it's just secured: film composer Amelia Warner; singer, songwriter and producer Kieran Brunt; and experimental producer and DJ Laurel Halo.

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APPOINTMENTS

Sony Music UK has promoted Adam Cardew, previously Digital Director, to the new role of VP Podcasting & Creative Strategy. He will manage the major's UK podcast division and its network of online influencers and creators. All that activity sits within Sony UK's 4th Floor Creative division, whose boss Cassandra Gracey says: "I am delighted to see Adam take on the next level of our podcast development".

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RELEASES

LadBaby has launched his bid for a second consecutive Christmas number one, 'I Love Sausage Rolls'. Profits go to food bank charity The Trussell Trust. Watch the video here.

Selena Gomez has announced that her new album, out in January, will be called 'Rare'. Here's a trailer.

Kesha has released new single 'Resentment', featuring Brian Wilson. "'Resentment' is such a powerful and destructive emotion and in my experience is more complex than hate or anger", she says. "Brian Wilson is one of my personal musical heroes, so when he said he would collaborate with me on the recording, that moment was one of the most exciting in my career".

Phoebe Bridgers has released new festive single 'Seven O'Clock News/Silent Night', featuring Fiona Apple and The National's Matt Berninger. Profits from the release will be donated to US sexual health charity Planned Parenthood.

Tommy Genesis has released new track 'Bricks', which - as all new songs now do - features Charli XCX. The track was produced by PC Music's AG Cook.

King Princess has released the video for 'Homegirl' from her 'Cheap Queen' album.

Kim Gordon has released the video for 'Earthquake', from her 'No Record Home' album.

Hannah Diamond has released an instrumental version of her debut album 'Reflections'.

Haleek Maul has released new single 'Lucid', featuring Sean Leon. His new album 'Errol', is out on 14 Feb.

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

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Paul McCartney's recorded a Christmas album, but you can't hear it
Paul McCartney has revealed that he once made a whole Christmas album, which he recorded because there weren't any "very good Christmas records". Wanna hear it? Bad luck. He only lets his family hear it.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's 'World At One' programme, he explained: "Years ago I thought, there's not [any] very good Christmas records. There's a Phil Spector record I like. But I thought I'd just like something kind of traditional and simple and easy, with all the 'Good King Wenceslas' and all that. So I actually went into my studio over a couple of years and I made one".

If you agree with Macca that the world is sorely lacking Christmas music recorded by him, well, don't sit there thinking that's going to change for you any time soon. Because, he continues: "This is nothing released, it's just for the family. It just gets brought out each year, I've just got a little demo of it. But, you know, the kids like it, and now it's kind of traditional, so it's something they've heard through the years. And now it's the grand kids getting indoctrinated with my carols record".

I think it's going to take the whole Christmas break to work out how I feel about this.

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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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