TODAY'S TOP STORY: UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is facing calls to commit to extend COVID-19 support schemes all the way to the end of the year. The Night Time Industries Association says that this is necessary in order to "save hundreds of thousands of businesses and jobs" in the live entertainment and night time sectors, and should be put in place before the next budget announcement in March... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES "Hundreds of thousands of businesses and jobs" will be lost without further COVID support, says NTIA
LEGAL Spotify and Sosa pause litigation to allow settlement negotiations to proceed
US ticket brokers face $3.7 million in fines over BOTS Act violations

DEALS TikTok sea shanty singer signs to Polydor, rises up UK charts
LIVE BUSINESS Ultra Festival Miami set to be cancelled for second year in a row
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Dissecting The Streaming Inquiry #01: The big picture view
INDUSTRY PEOPLE Former Lorde manager apologises for "harmful impact of my past behaviour"
AND FINALLY... Bieber recalls 2014 drag racing arrest, tells fans to let Jesus take the wheel
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Streaming now accounts for more than half of recorded music revenues worldwide - and in many countries it's much bigger than that. Get fully up to speed on all the key trends and developments in the global streaming music market in this super timely webinar.
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Streaming is a revenue share game, with digital dollars shared out each month between artists, songwriters, labels and publishers. We explain how the money is currently split up and talk through why some people in the industry believe a different approach is needed.
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Artist And Songwriter Rights In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the rights artists and songwriters enjoy over their music
Music Rights Data In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to music rights data, data standards and databases
Music Industry Basics In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to all the different strands of the modern music industry
Streaming Challenges In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the challenges facing the streaming business in 2020
Collective Licensing In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the collective licensing system
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"Hundreds of thousands of businesses and jobs" will be lost without further COVID support, says NTIA
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is facing calls to commit to extend COVID-19 support schemes all the way to the end of the year. The Night Time Industries Association says that this is necessary in order to "save hundreds of thousands of businesses and jobs" in the live entertainment and night time sectors, and should be put in place before the next budget announcement in March.

"Urgent action is needed from the Chancellor to extend the current furlough and self-employed provision, as well as extend the business rates holiday and VAT relief for wet led sales businesses until the end of 2021, to save hundreds of thousands of businesses and jobs, before he sets the budget", say NTIA CEO Michael Kill.

"A huge proportion of businesses will not survive past February, and we are currently losing an estimated 40 businesses a week with over 650,000 jobs lost already, and further job losses when furlough comes to an end in March", he goes on. "Businesses are under an immense amount of pressure to manage their workforce and their financial commitments without any foresight, they are in desperate need of a clear long term strategy in their fight to survive the pandemic".

This comes after the government announced last week that music venues and other arts businesses would be given until the end of July to spend any money they previously received as part of the Culture Recovery Fund. The terms of that funding originally required unspent money to be returned at the end of April.

That development came amid fears that, despite the roll out of COVID vaccines, many businesses will still be affected by the pandemic well into the summer. And if that's true, more specific funding for the cultural sector may be required, in addition to any extension of the general COVID schemes.

UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin made a statement to that effect last week after the 2021 Glastonbury festival was cancelled.

"It is absolutely critical that the government look at more financial support for the music industry and those who work in it as a matter of urgency", he said. "Without more government help, there is a real risk that some of our world-leading music scene will disappear forever".

"The music industry is desperate to get back on its feet when we can operate safely", he went on. "When the time comes for the post-pandemic recovery, we can play our role in our country's economic and cultural revival. But until that point, we need more financial support to keep us going".

The cultural and night-time industries will not be the only sectors calling for further support as the pandemic continues, of course. And now the government is also having to bail out businesses failing due to Brexit. So, it remains to be seen how much Sunak is willing to find in order to keep companies and people afloat.

The budget announcement is schduled for 3 Mar.


Spotify and Sosa pause litigation to allow settlement negotiations to proceed
Spotify and American independent music firm Sosa Entertainment have told a court in Florida that they are now seeking to negotiate a settlement deal in their ongoing legal dispute over the former's decision to remove the latter's recordings from its platform.

Sosa sued Spotify in 2019. It accused the streaming firm of "unfair and deceptive practices" because of its decision to remove the label's catalogue from its platform. That move, Sosa said, also resulted in it losing its membership of indie label digital rights group Merlin.

Spotify then countersued in May last year, arguing that it dropped the Sosa catalogue because it suspected the label – and its founder Jake Noch – of fraudulently manipulating streams of that music in order to boost its share of the monthly royalties pot.

In a strongly worded legal filing, Spotify said there were "blatant signifiers of artificial streaming" linked to Sosa's recordings, concluding that "Jake Noch is a fraudster who has engaged in a multi-year campaign to generate artificial streams on Spotify's online music service".

Noch responded in similarly bold language, stating: "Spotify's claims are laughable and blatantly false. A company such as Spotify, that is built on the theft of intellectual property, puts every single one of its shareholders at risk. I foresee Spotify becoming the next Enron".

The dispute then rumbled on for all of last year, with Spotify at one point trying to get elements of the Sosa lawsuit dismissed on the grounds they failed as a matter of law.

The streaming firm continued to present its case in blunt terms, stating: "It is apparent that – while none of Sosa's claims have any merit – three of them so plainly fail as a matter of law to warrant judgment on the pleadings".

However, that tough talking from both sides may now not continue in court, because settlement talks are underway. In a filing made with the court earlier this month, both parties asked that the proceedings be put on hold for 60 days "to allow the parties to attempt to negotiate a resolution of this matter".

The legal filing stated: "The parties have recently made progress towards a potential resolution of the litigation. Rather than continuing to expend time and resources litigating the case, the parties propose a brief, 60 day stay of the proceeding in order to focus on attempting to resolve this matter. The parties assert that a stay is appropriate in order to conserve the parties' and the court's time and resources by avoiding litigation that will be unnecessary if the case is resolved".

Both Spotify and Sosa added that they would update the court on the progress of those settlement talks within the 60 days. We await with interest to see if such a settlement can be agreed.


US ticket brokers face $3.7 million in fines over BOTS Act violations
Three US ticket brokers, all based in Long Island, last week agreed to pay fines totalling $3.7 million over alleged violations of America's Better Online Ticket Sales Act, which set out to stop touts from using bots to buy up tickets from primary ticketing sites.

The BOTS Act was passed right at the end of Barack Obama's presidency in December 2016. Whereas the regulation of ticket sales, and any restrictions on touting, usually happen at a state level in the US, this was federal law that applied to the whole country.

It basically outlawed the use of special software to hoover up tickets from primary ticketing platforms, which has been a common tactic employed by touts that then makes it much harder for genuine buyers to secure tickets to in-demand shows as they go on sale.

This is the first time the US Department Of Justice and Federal Trade Commission had sought to enforce the BOTS Act. The three targeted ticketing companies were Just in Time Tickets, Concert Specials and Cartisim Corp.

The FTC said in a statement: "The three ticket brokers will be subject to a judgment of more than $31 million in civil penalties for violating the BOTS Act, under a proposed settlement reached with the FTC. Due to their inability to pay, the judgment will be partially suspended, requiring them to pay $3.7 million".

The three companies were accused of using special software to buy more than 150,000 tickets from the Ticketmaster website. They then allegedly made millions in revenues by selling on the tickets.

Commenting on his agency's action, the FTC's Andrew M Smith said: "These ticket brokers used bots and other technical tricks to scoop up thousands of tickets to popular events as soon as they went on sale. Not only does this deprive loyal fans of the chance to see their favourite performers and shows, it is against the law".


TikTok sea shanty singer signs to Polydor, rises up UK charts
If you were in any doubt about the power of TikTok to promote music, then this should tip the balance for you. Having gone viral singing sea shanties earlier this month, postman Nathan Evans signed a major label record deal last week and is now set to go into the top five in the UK singles chart this Friday.

Evans began posting sea shanty videos online last summer, gaining a certain level of popularity. However, things blew up earlier this month when he posted a cover of nineteenth century New Zealand whaling song 'Soon May The Wellerman Come'. People began posting their own covers, EDM remixes and more, sending sea shanties up the list of trending social media topics.

On Friday, Evans announced that he had signed a record deal with Universal's Polydor Records, telling the BBC: "I was a postman on Friday. Now I have just signed to the biggest record label in the world".

A version of 'The Wellerman' by The Longest Johns is already sitting at number 37 in the latest UK singles chart. Now Evans is on course for the number four position in this week's chart with his own full length version, which has been rushed out by Polydor.

There are various theories about why sea shanties have suddenly become so popular. The short version of most of them is basically: 2021 is going to be weird.


Ultra Festival Miami set to be cancelled for second year in a row
For many in the music world this time last year, the first sign that this whole COVID-19 thing might be a big issue was the cancellation of the Ultra Music Festival in Miami. Now it has emerged that organisers are looking to cancel the 2021 edition too, which was set for March.

Technically, organisers are seeking to extend the postponement of the 2020 Ultra event, having already pushed back its dates by twelve months, rather that actually cancelling it. This allows organisers to roll over tickets to the next edition, rather than having to offer refunds to everyone. That policy - although now pretty par for the course - proved controversial last year.

In a letter to Miami city manager Arthur Noriega, obtained by Billboard, Ultra attorney Sandy York says that organisers are expecting that city officials will again "invoke the force majeure clause" in the event's licence agreement, forcing a cancellation. Pre-empting that, they now "respectfully request" that the dates for the event be moved back to the end of March 2022.

Assuming this request is granted, those who already transferred their tickets to the 2021 dates will presumable have them shifted to 2022 instead. Ultra had already offered the opportunity to transfer tickets to 2022, so it may now also offer ticketholders the opportunity to defer to 2023 as well.

In the UK, of course, Glastonbury beat Ultra to the cancellation party, calling off its 2021 edition with five months notice. Event organiser Emily Eavis told the Guardian last week that there may still be performances on the festival site in June, although they would be livestreamed rather than happening in front of an audience.

Meanwhile, The Flaming Lips did manage to play live shows on Friday and Saturday, by sealing audience members in inflatable bubbles. The two shows at the Criterion in the band's hometown of Oklahoma City saw them play in front of 100 bubbles, each containing one or two people. Each member of the band was also similarly sealed off from the outside world.


Dissecting The Streaming Inquiry #01: The big picture view
The UK Parliament's inquiry into the economics of streaming is now well underway and last week the culture select committee published all 197 submissions that have been as part of its investigation.

The inquiry, of course, was sparked by the #brokenrecord and #fixstreaming campaigns. The questions raised by those two initiatives are not new, and some of the organisations involved - like the Ivors Academy and the Musicians' Union - have campaigned on these issues before.

However, the COVID pandemic gave the whole debate a new sense of urgency. While live music went into shutdown - and other revenues like public performance, sync and merchandise were also negatively hit by COVID - subscription streaming has proven pretty much immune.

For artists and songwriters who have seen their other revenues collapse, the fact that streaming has been unaffected doesn't necessarily help. Because, for various reasons, streaming is a revenue stream where artists and songwriters often receive a minority share of the money, and even that may be paying off past advances and other expenditure.

With many artists and songwriters struggling financially while streaming continues to boom, the spotlight understandably fell on the streaming business model, and why it is that this revenue stream isn't particularly lucrative for many artists and songwriters.

Online, part of this debate has focused on the streaming services themselves and the tiny micro-payments that are paid per-stream. However, once the culture select committee began its inquiry, it became clear that the formal debate would focus more on what happens to the money the streaming services pay over to the music industry, given - industry-wide - those payments are significant.

This is the good old digital pie debate. How is streaming income shared out between artists, songwriters, session musicians, labels, distributors, publishers and collecting societies? How were the current splits decided? Are they fair? And if not, how can they be changed?

The streaming business is complicated. Understanding how things works and why they work that way requires knowing something about copyright law, record contracts, publishing contracts, collective licensing, the way artists traditionally structure their businesses, and the respective role of an artist's different business partners, including labels and publishers.

There are definitely issues with the streaming business model - but addressing those issues requires navigating and understanding all the complexities. That's why, five years ago, the UK's Music Managers Forum commissioned CMU Insights to undertake the 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' project, so that the management community could better advise their clients and play an informed role in the wider debate.

Over the next few days, we will be going through some of the key submissions made to the inquiry; reviewing the various arguments made; explaining the background to the issues, and the pros and cons of the various solutions proposed.

CMU actually made its own submission to the inquiry. Unlike those made by music companies, trade bodies, artists and other industry experts, the CMU submission wasn't designed to set out any one particular viewpoint, but instead to explain why there are so many different strands to the music industry, how those strands interact, and how that has impacted on the streaming business model. Which is to say, to provide a big picture view.

The submission notes: "To properly debate the economics of streaming – and the various issues that have been raised about the current streaming business model – we feel it's important for the committee to have that big picture view. The streaming business model only makes sense – and any issues can only be addressed – when you are able to navigate all the different strands of the music industry and understand how they fit together".

You can read CMU's submission here. And we'll start dissecting and explaining the other submissions in tomorrow's CMU Daily. You can follow all our full coverage of the inquiry into the economics of streaming via this CMU timeline here.


Former Lorde manager apologises for "harmful impact of my past behaviour"
Artist manager and former Warner Music exec Scott Maclachlan has admitted to past bad conduct in relation to allegations of sexual harassment made against him.

As part of an investigation into harassment and abuse in the New Zealand music business by Stuff, Maclachlan also confirmed that he was banned from Warner offices and live shows following an investigation into accusations against him in 2018.

Best known for discovering Lorde - although they parted ways in 2015 - Maclachlan was hired as SVP A&R for Warner Music Australasia in 2018. However, months later he was stripped of the title and banned from both the company's offices and from gigs involving artists signed to the label. Stuff reports that he nonetheless remained an A&R consultant to the company and news of his demotion was not made widely known internally or externally.

"I do accept the harmful impact of my past behaviour and I try every day to repair the damage and prevent it happening again", Maclachlan told Stuff.

"There's not a day goes by that I don't regret the harm I have caused people around me and most importantly the pain and embarrassment I have caused my wife and children", he went on. "I have to live with that guilt, knowing that people I worked with have also endured pain and stress because of my actions".

Stuff also spoke to a former employee of Maclachlan's management company Saiko, Amy Goldsmith, who said that she had a "complicated" working relationship with him that involved "a lot" of sexual harassment.

However, she says that her experiences working with Maclachlan were part of a bigger problem, as they were both operating in an industry where such behaviour is often ignored or even accepted.

"The problem is really when those in powerful positions take advantage of that, with little to no accountability", she said. "Our industry relies heavily on networking and connections. We have a culture of sweeping things under the rug, often leaving the burden of change to victims alone. I think a lot of behaviour has gone unchecked because many of us, myself included, accept or downplay it as an 'industry norm'".

In its report, Stuff uncovered numerous other accusations of abusive or inappropriate behaviour involving a number of people in the industry.

One woman who worked in marketing at a label spoke of her experiences, saying: "I've had local artists asking me for threesomes. I've had international managers ask me to give them hand jobs. I've had a tour manager lock me in a stall in a strip club and try to kiss me".

When she told one artist about these experiences, she says he told her: "You're a label girl, it's your job".

Some of the women interviewed by Stuff said that the small size of the New Zealand music industry left them scared to speak out, for fear of losing their jobs. Although that is a concern raised by women in music all over the world, regardless of the size of their local industry.

A spokesperson for SoundCheck Aotearoa - a group launched in November to tackle diversity and safety issues in the music industry - said: "As these stories highlight, this collective work is urgently needed to set agreed standards of behaviour and provide a safe and transparent process for those who have been harmed, particularly the many artists and others who work outside a traditional workplace and do not have access to HR support".


CMU Insights: Tune into the CMU@IVW panels this week
It's Independent Venue Week this week and as part of the proceedings CMU is presenting three free online panels, taking place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 5pm.

On Tuesday, we'll look at how the live music industry has come together during the COVID pandemic, collaborating and lobbying in a much more proactive way. Can that collaboration continue beyond the current crisis, and how might that benefit the independent music community? And also, does the live side of the business need to be talking more regularly to labels, publishers and managers?

On Wednesday, we'll be looking at how the COVID-caused rise of online concerts and performances has actually made live music more accessible – one of the few upsides of the pandemic. How can that be maintained beyond COVID? And how can live streaming be enhanced to make sure it can be fully utilised and enjoyed by disabled and deaf music-makers and music fans?

On Thursday, we'll be looking beyond the pandemic and considering what the future live music industry looks like. How much talent and infrastructure will have been lost by the time live music returns? And will live streaming and other digital innovations become part of the live music experience long-term?

Among the experts taking part in these panels are Bush Hall's Betsy Harley, Drake Music's Carien Majer, Arts Council England's Claire Mera-Nelson, Featured Artists Coalition's David Martin, artist manager and MMF board member Ellie Giles, Sage Gateshead's Emily Jones, Attitude Is Everything's Jacob Adams, artist John Kelly, Brudenell Social Club's Nathan Clark, Marauder's Rev Moose, ATC and Driift's Ric Salmon, artist Ruth Patterson and Sybil Bell from Independent Venue Week.

Click here to find out more about the panels and book your free tickets. And click here for the full IVW 2021 programme.

Bieber recalls 2014 drag racing arrest, tells fans to let Jesus take the wheel
Seven years ago was a very different time. David Bowie was still alive. Nobody Tik Tokked. Brexit was a theoretical concept that only 47 people actively thought about. Donald Trump was a reality TV star. 'Boris' Johnson was only empowered to screw up London. We were allowed to go outside. And a young Justin Bieber had just been arrested for drag racing in the streets of Miami while under the influence of drink and drugs. An incident he now admits was not his "finest hour".

In an Instagram post marking the seventh anniversary of that incident yesterday, he writes: "Seven years ago today I was arrested, not my finest hour. Not proud of where I was at in my life. I was hurting, unhappy, confused, angry, mislead, misunderstood and angry at God".

"I also wore too much leather for someone in Miami", he adds.

For those of you who don't have this incident etched on your brain, Bieber and fellow singer Khalil were arrested on 24 Jan 2014 after being seen racing two Lamborghinis down a road near Miami Beach. The arresting officer noted at the time that there was "an odour of alcohol emanating from [Bieber's] breath and bloodshot eyes". Smelly eyes being a classic giveaway that someone's over the limit.

Biebs then made things worse for himself by swearing a lot and resisting arrest. He also put on a cheeky smile for his mugshot, which didn't result in any more charges but also probably didn't help.

This all capped off a period in the singer's history where it's fair to say he'd gone a little off the rails. There's not time to list everything that occurred around that time, but this happened just days after the pop star's house had been raided by police in search of eggs.

Finding eggs at the property was difficult, because Bieber had just lobbed them all at his neighbour's house, which resulted in federal vandalism charges.

It was also just days after Bieber's mother had pleaded with fans to pray for him. Seemingly all the prayer hadn't quite kicked in by that point and God was still letting Bieber do whatever he wanted.

But, despite punching a few photographers and being accused of racism a couple of times over the next year, the egg and drag racing incidents did seem to be something of a turning point for the musician. He also got sent to an anger management class as part of his sentence in relation to the drag racing, which might have helped.

Clearly it's not a good thing that you could get so angry at God that you race a Lamborghini on a city street while off your face. However, Bieber now realises, God was sitting right there in the car with him, willing him to stop being such a prat.

"God has brought me a long way", he continues in his Instagram post. "From then til now I do realise something: God was as close to me then as he is right now. My encouragement to you is to let your past be a reminder of how far God has brought you. Don't allow shame to ruin your 'today', let the forgiveness of Jesus take over and watch your life blossom into all that God has designed you to be".

So that's one view. Of course, it could just be that all that leather was making him too hot and affecting his judgement. Don't wear leather in a hot climate, people. It's just not worth it. I think it says that somewhere in the Bible.


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. (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 consultancy unit and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited. (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 Insights and CMU:DIY. 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.
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