|TUESDAY 30 JUNE 2020||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: TikTok has insisted that it does not share any user-data with foreign governments after it was included on a list of 59 mobile apps with Chinese links that were banned by the Indian government yesterday. The boss of TikTok's Indian division says he now hopes to meet with government representatives to discuss the ban... [READ MORE]|
TikTok insists it complies with all data protection laws after being banned in India
The government in India cited national security concerns when it published its list of the 59 banned apps, which have now been removed from the Apple and Google app stores in the country. The order comes amid increased political tensions between India and China, where a long-running border dispute resulted in a deadly confrontation between the two country's military earlier this month.
A wide assortment of apps were among those banned, with Tencent's QQ Music also on the list. These apps were "stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India", a statement from the country's Ministry Of Electronics And Information Technology said.
The alleged sharing of this data, and "its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures".
Although the ban is very much linked to the current political tensions between the two countries, it also capitalises on wider concerns over whether or not the Chinese authorities have access to data from apps and platforms owned by Chinese companies.
TikTok in particular - given its status as a global phenomenon - has had to contend with and respond to an assortment of regulator concerns around the world, and especially in the US. As the app has grown in popularity there have been various criticisms about how it gathers, stores and handles user-data.
With regard to any allegations that that user-data might fall into the hands of Chinese authorities - and when responding to another common allegation that the Chinese government can censor content on the TikTok platform - its owner, China's Bytedance, has always been keen to stress that the global TikTok business is kept totally separate to the Chinese version of the service, which goes by the name Douyin.
India is a key market for TikTok, so the ban will have a significant impact on the company. But it will also hit those Indian creators who have built audiences and, in some cases, businesses on the platform. TikTok India's head Nikhil Gandhi was keen to big up those positives yesterday, insisting: "TikTok has democratised the internet by making it available in fourteen Indian languages, with hundreds of millions of users, artists, storytellers, educators and performers depending on it for their livelihood, many of whom are first time internet users".
As for the Indian government's criticisms, he added: "TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and has not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese government. Further, if we are requested to in the future, we would not do so. We place the highest importance on user privacy and integrity".
TikTok is talking about the ban as an "interim order", adding that it will meet with government officials "to respond and submit clarifications". TikTok users and creators in India will be hoping that those clarifications might be enough to get the ban removed.
Other regulators around the world will likely be scrutinising the Indian government's claims closely. Because, while the latest chapter in a long-running border dispute is likely the real reason for the ban, some experts reckon that some of the data concerns being used to justify the move, in relation to at least some of the banned apps, are legitimate.
Music industry allowed to intervene on landmark web-blocking case in Canada
The battle is with Canadian internet service provider TekSavvy, which has appealed a web-blocking order that was issued by the courts last year against piracy site GoldTV.ca. It was actually some rival ISPs that sought that web-block, mainly because they also operate cable TV networks, making sites like GoldTV.ca a threat to that side of their business.
Web-blocking - where courts or government agencies order ISPs to block access to copyright-infringing websites - is often controversial when first introduced in a country, as with this case in Canada. Critics say that web-blocks are not an effective anti-piracy tool, because they are relatively easy to circumvent, and that any web-blocking process will be open to abuse, impacting on freedom of expression online.
That said, once web-blocking is up and running - such as in the UK - those controversies usually die down. Yes, the blocks can be circumvented, but they still make the piracy experience less compelling and allow copyright owners to highlight legitimate licensed content services. And web-blocks are only usually issued against sites whose liability for copyright infringement is pretty clear.
Obviously, given this case will set a precedent, the global trade organisations for the music industry are keen that somebody says all that as TekSavvy appeals the GoldTV.ca web-block. Which is why the International Confederation Of Music Publishers and the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry - and their local counterparts - recently requested the right to intervene on the case, so that they have a formal opportunity to big up web-blocking in court.
The ICMP and IFPI said at the time that they have "significant international experience" when it comes to what anti-piracy practices actually work, and that "as representatives of the music industry, which has long been at the forefront of the battle against online copyright piracy, [we can] assist the court in understanding the broader impacts of its decision across the cultural industries".
The music industry groups weren't the only interested parties asking to intervene on this case. Representatives for the movie industry, the football business and a range of book and academic publishers also wanted to speak up in favour of web-blocking. Meanwhile, three other organisations wanted the opportunity to formally explain why web-blocking is a terrible idea.
The judge overseeing the case decided to allow all those interventions last week. Although the various organisations were split into three groups to simplify things a little, with all the copyright owners asked to make a joint submission.
Allowing all the interested parties to make separate submissions "would result in lack of economy and duplication" the judge said, but then him picking between reps for the music, movie, sports and book industries to speak for all the copyright owners would be "arbitrary".
Splitting everyone into three groups is the best option, he therefore concluded: "The collaboration of the related parties in each group is likely to create useful synergies and a more compact submission, which invariably happens to be a more persuasive submission".
"To the extent that the related parties disagree with each other or have a different take on a particular issue, they can express that in their memorandum", he went on, before adding: "The parties' related nature and the similarity of their positions suggest that major conflict is unlikely".
Outdustry launches new music publishing division in China
Although the booming Chinese music market has been a big talking point in the industry for quite some time now, most of the opportunities to date have been in live and recorded music, with the country's music publishing sector much less well developed. However, that is starting to change, with both global and local publishers more proactively looking to capitalise on song right opportunities in the country.
That includes building better systems for claiming and processing income from the more conventional streaming services, but also looking into how songwriters and publishers can better benefit from the hugely popular karaoke services in the country, and seeking to develop a Chinese sync market.
Outdustry has helped many independent music companies navigate the complexities of the Chinese music market over the last decade, especially on the recordings side. Outdustry Songs will expand the support the company offers on the music publishing side.
The new division will be headed up by the company's Head Of International Alex Taggart, who says: "China is a huge opportunity for songwriters and publishers - from the fast-growing premium tiers of the biggest streaming apps in the world, to the national obsession with karaoke and the nascent sync market, as well as next-generation forms of music consumption and monetisation such as live-streaming and virtual-gifting".
He goes on: "With the addition of Outdustry Songs to our existing marketing and A&R services business, we are filling out our offering to our global network of writers, producers, artists and rights owners, enabling us to collect royalties and monitor copyrights on their behalf across this dynamic emerging landscape".
As for the Reservoir deal, its VP International & Emerging Markets, Spek, adds: "Outdustry's brilliant team has been pushing boundaries in the Chinese music market for over a decade - I am confident they will be leaders in China's vibrant and emerging publishing sector. Reservoir is always keen to innovate in new markets, and we're excited to be the first music publisher to get on board with Outdustry Songs, plug into their considerable network in China, and pave the way for our creators in this space".
Mixmag's print edition will remain paused until 2021, publisher confirms
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit most music magazines hard. Making money from music journalism was already a challenge - with the circulations of those titles still in print continuing to decline, while monetising even significant online audiences is tricky when so much ad spend goes to Facebook and Google. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 shutdown has led to a slump in advertising in general and made it harder for print publications to get to market.
Both Mixmag and sister title Kerrang! paused their print publications in April as shutdown took hold. Meanwhile, free music mags Loud & Quiet and Crack both launched new subscription packages and appealed to their readers for financial support to help them stay in business.
Staff working on Q then braced themselves for closure after owner Bauer said it was reviewing the future of the title. Though last week the publisher said that, while it was closing another of its music mags, Planet Rock, it was now in talks to sell Q to a new owner who would keep it going.
Back at Mixmag, after various journalists announced their redundancies on social media, the MD of publisher Wasted Talent confirmed that the title's print edition would remain paused for the rest of the year, though online operations - which reach a much bigger audience anyway - continue as normal.
Wasted Talent's Nick Stevenson said: "Due to the global pandemic, Mixmag's print magazine was paused in April and will remain paused until we bring it back next year. Although the print magazine makes up just a small part of our revenues, we are all immensely proud of it and we look forward to its return. Until then, Mixmag continues to reach over 100 million dance music fans every month through daily digital, social and video content from our sixteen international Mixmag offices".
Mark Ronson supports Beat Bus hip hop project
"I started making beats on a drum machine, so the name Beats Bus instantly grabbed me", Ronson tells the BBC. "I saw a tweet about it and the minute I saw what they were doing, I thought that's great. People like me who grew up with opportunities to do this stuff take it for granted; there might be somebody out there whose dream it is to make music who doesn't have the equipment without something like Beats Bus".
Founded in 2017, during Hull's year as City Of Culture, founder Steve Arnott said that he was "overwhelmed" by Ronson's support for the project. Along with a donation of £1300 by comedian Lucy Beaumont, the project will be able to continue to work with eight young people this year.
Ellie Goulding announces 2021 UK tour dates
The shows will follow the release of Goulding's new album 'Brightest Blue', which is due out next month. "I'm so excited to get back on the road and do what I do best", she says. "This album has been such a passion project over the past five years and throughout the entire process I've been able to picture exactly what the live staging would look like – intimate, stripped back, honest, yet incredibly visual and special. I can't wait!"
Tickets go on sale this Friday at 9am sharp. Here are those dates:
28 Apr: Manchester Apollo
Universal Music has announced a "global strategic partnership" with Italian independent label Sugar, which is probably best known for signing Andrea Bocelli. "Having one truly unique, worldwide distribution solution for the entire breadth of Sugar's recordings is a very important step, as we look to grow our reach and visibility into new territories", says CEO Filippo Sugar. "Having worked with Universal on various projects for over 20 years, I felt this was the right time to turn the page and write a new chapter".
Production music company Epidemic Sound has partnered with AI music tagging service Musiio, saying that integrating the latter's technology will better enable users to find the perfect track from within its library. "We're super excited to partner with Musiio and are looking forward to hearing feedback from our customers on how this new feature helps with their creative process", says Epidemic Sound CTO Per-Anders Legeryd.
Talent agency UTA has announced a $1 million commitment to social justice causes. "The past few weeks have shown that we must address the pace in which we've approached our diversity and inclusion efforts", says CEO Jeremy Zimmer. "It's our responsibility to move forward with immediacy to ensure change happens, as a company and as individuals".
US-based venue owner MSG Entertainment has hired Ted King as President, Creative Content And Studio Productions and Scott Packman as General Counsel. King says his new job is "tremendous" and "exciting". Packman is also "excited".
Kid Cudi and Kanye West have shared a trailer for a new animated TV series spin-off of their Kids See Ghosts project. The rappers released an album under the name in 2018.
Kanye West has indicated that a new single - titled 'Wash Us In The Blood' - is imminent, and that it'll be the first from a new album called 'God's Country'.
Usher has released new single 'I Cry' in response to, well, 2020. "This song was inspired by wanting to teach my sons that it is OK for a man to feel emotions deeply and to cry", he says. "While I was shut in during the pandemic and watching the death of George Floyd ... I became very depressed thinking about all sons who have lost their fathers to police brutality, social injustice and violence; the daughters and mothers too. So I returned to this song and realised it was intended for this time, so I finished it and here it is".
Haim have released the video for 'Don't Wanna', from their new album 'Women In Music Pt 3', which is out now.
You probably know this already, because it's been very popular indeed, but Black Pink released new single 'How You Like That' on Friday.
K-Trap has released new single 'Shivers'.
Daniel Avery has released new album 'Love + Light', which was created during lockdown. "This record has been a real positive force of energy in my life, to the point where it almost formed itself in front of me", he says. "In that same spirit, I wanted to share it with you now, as soon as it was finished". From it, this is 'Infinite Future'.
Soko has released new single 'Oh To Be A Rainbow'. "This is my gay anthem", she says. "Let it be known! It's about turning all of my very straight girlfriends not so straight anymore. And about not wanting to be saved through a relationship but really wanting someone equal".
Solo Jane has released new single 'Why Me?', featuring Hartz Hozé. "The inspiration for 'Why Me?' came after a long week of constant let downs by close friends followed by the all too familiar excuses that come with them", she says. "Combined with that feeling of dread you feel when every move you make seems to be the wrong one. I guess I had finally reached my peak of frustration and anger".
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj score record US chart fall
Despite zooming in to the number one position last week, for its second week on the chart 'Trollz' is sitting at number 34. Still in the top 40, but only just.
When the track topped the chart last week, 6ix9ine gloated that he was "unstoppable", despite - as far as he was concerned - the industry's attempts to keep him down. Although it did seem that people were talking about that chart achievement a lot less than when he previously went to number three with comeback single 'Gooba'.
On that occasion, he did get very cross though, which resulted in all the attention. Even before 'Gooba's initial chart position had been confirmed, the rapper had come up with a conspiracy theory to explain why he'd been kept off the top by Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber's charity single 'Stuck With U'.
So far he has not made any such claims about 'Trollz' sinking down the Hot 100 so rapidly, but maybe he's still working out the details. The last conspiracy theory contained a very confusing apple analogy.
The issue, perhaps, was that in order to get the number one position in the week 'Trollz' was released, 6ix9ine encouraged fans to game the system - including buying up to four copies of twelve different physical iterations of the single, ensuring a boost to chart eligible sales.
With 116,000 sales and equivalent streams, in its first week the track had the highest weekly chart tally not only of 2020, but for more than a year - the highest since Taylor Swift's 'Me!' scored 193,000 in a week in May 2019.
With the focus entirely on getting that number one position in the first week, there was seemingly no strategy beyond that, resulting in the massive drop off this week. Unless this is all a ruse to keep us talking about him. He's now promoting a new Spanish-language song out this Friday though, so it seems he's moved on anyway.