TUESDAY 9 MARCH 2021 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University Of Southern California yesterday published its fourth annual report investigating gender and ethnic diversity in the US music charts, concluding that "for women in music, there is little to celebrate when it comes to industry change"... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Annual US diversity in music report concludes "for women in music, there is little to celebrate when it comes to industry change"
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DEALS JLS sign to BMG
J White Did It signs to Sony Music Publishing

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LABELS & PUBLISHERS DistroKid announces Snapchat alliance
Belgian society Sabam allies with ICE on digital licensing

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MEDIA Bauer extends its radio reach in Finland via Mediatakojat purchase
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ONE LINERS The Killers, Generator, Miley Cyrus, more
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AND FINALLY... Grimes confirms signing to Columbia
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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.
   
FKP SCORPIO - HEAD OF TICKETING (LONDON)
The newly launched UK office of Europe's fastest growing promoter is looking for someone to manage their ticketing, which includes large scale concert tours, festivals and special events.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
AEI - LICENSING & PUBLISHING MANAGER, PATERNITY COVER (LONDON)
This is a unique seven month paternity cover opportunity to work across AEI Recordings and the Featherstone Publishing teams in a paralegal and publishing role.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
JUNO - MUSIC BUYER & PRODUCT RESEARCHER (LONDON)
Juno is one of the world's largest online music and equipment stores. It is looking for a music buyer and product researcher to develop its vinyl range, and identify new business opportunities.

For more information and to apply click here.
Expand your knowledge about the inner workings of the music business, best practice across the music industry, and all the latest trends and developments, with CMU's weekly webinars.

Taking place every Tuesday afternoon at 2.30pm London time, these one hour online training sessions are delivered by CMU's Chris Cooke.

Each webinar presents timely and easy-to-understand insights about a different music business topic, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Attendees can also access online resources - including downloadable slides - and a recording of the webinar available for a month after the live session.

BOOK NOW at special rates - access to each individual webinar is just £25, plus there are additional discounts if you book into multiple sessions.

GETTING THE MOST FROM FAN DATA
Tuesday 9 Mar 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
What data is being gathered about the fanbases of the artists you work with and who has access to it? This webinar talks through the ten key categories of fan data, how artists can access and utilise it all, and where data protection law fits in.
THE RIGHTS OF SONGWRITERS AND PERFORMERS
Tuesday 16 Mar 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Artists and songwriters often assign the copyrights they create to business partners: labels, publishers and collecting societies. But music-makers have rights over their music even when they no longer own the copyright. What are those and how do they work? Find out in this webinar.
THE EVOLUTION OF MUSIC PIRACY
Tuesday 23 Mar 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
As the legitimate digital music market has evolved so has online music piracy. This webinar looks at the piracy challenge over the last 20 years, how the music industry has sought to tackle the problem, and which anti-piracy tactics actually work today.
WHY US COPYRIGHT LAW IS WEIRD (FROM A EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE!)
Tuesday 30 Mar 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
While there are some basic principles that join up all the copyright systems around the world, there are also some key differences from country to country. And with American copyright law, some things are just plain weird. This webinar gives you a guide to five significant ways in which copyright in the US is different to the UK and Continental Europe.
STREAMING EXPLAINED - THE KEY CHALLENGES IN 2021
Tuesday 6 Apr 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The global record industry continues to grow on the back of the streaming boom, though challenges remain in the streaming business. We outline and explain all the key challenges, and suggest what solutions may be employed by the services and the music industry.
STREAMING EXPLAINED - DIGITAL MUSIC IN EMERGING MARKETS
Tuesday 13 Apr 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Markets like China, India, Russia, South Korea and Brazil have played a key role in the revival of the record industry's fortunes, while markets in Africa are set to become increasingly important in the years ahead. Which services and what models dominate in these countries?
 
STREAMING EXPLAINED - SAFE HARBOUR AND THE VALUE GAP
Tuesday 20 Apr 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The music industry went to war with YouTube over safe harbour and the value gap. What does that even mean? And who is winning the battle? We look at 2019's controversial European Copyright Directive and what impact it will - or will not - have, and whether those reforms can - or will - be adopted by the US. Plot twist: maybe YouTube wasn't even the real problem.
Navigate and understand the music business with guides and reports from CMU...
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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Annual US diversity in music report concludes "for women in music, there is little to celebrate when it comes to industry change"
The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University Of Southern California yesterday published its fourth annual report investigating gender and ethnic diversity in the US music charts, concluding that "for women in music, there is little to celebrate when it comes to industry change".

The annual report - published to coincide with International Women's Day, of course - looks at the artists, songwriters and producers behind the tracks in Billboard's year-end Hot 100 charts, as well as the nominee lists for the headline categories at the Grammy Awards.

When it comes to the artists behind the hits, there is generally decent ethnic diversity across the charts. However, of all the performers appearing on the year-end Hot 100s, less than a quarter are women. And the gender diversity stats get worse once you focus on songwriters and producers.

The project crunches the figures for year-end charts from the last nine years. Across that time, 21.6% of the performers appearing are women. In 2020 it was 20.2%, showing that little has changed over the last decade. Female artists are also much more likely to appear as solo acts rather than as part of duos or bands, further hindering total gender diversity.

When it comes to songwriters working on the songs in the year-end charts, only 12.9% were women in 2020, which again is pretty much in line with the 12.6% figure for the decade. 65% of the songs on the 2020 chart didn't involved any female songwriters at all. Across the nine years, 57.3% were entirely written by men.

As for producers, women held only 2% of all the producing positions on the tracks in the 2020 Hot 100. Researchers also scrutinised 600 tracks from the last nine years and found that women represented 2.6% of producers on those songs, which equates to 33 producing credits.

Nine of those went to women of colour. Which means the ratio of male producers to women of colour producers is 180 to 1.

"Women producers - and particularly women of colour - are virtually erased from the music industry", says Stacy L Smith, founder of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, commenting on the latest figures. "Only 5% of the songs in our sample spanning nine years of popular music had a woman producer. Harnessing the opportunity to showcase women's talent and their creative contributions is essential if the record business wants to reach equality".

The report also references the Women In The Mix initiative launched by the US Recording Academy, which encourages artists, labels and others in the industry to pledge that "at least two women will be considered in the selection process every time a music producer or engineer is hired". This initiative seems to be having no effect when it comes to the hits, the new report concludes.

An executive summary notes: "Only four women producers were credited on the 2020 Billboard Hot 100 year end chart - none of whom worked with one of the 38 pledge-takers who had a song on the chart. Moreover, Ariana Grande was the sole pledge-taker to work with a woman engineer - herself - of those who appeared on the chart".

Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean the Women In The Mix initiative hasn't been successful elsewhere in the industry, but the stats show the scheme isn't having any impact at all on the biggest tracks. "While women producers and engineers may have worked on less popular songs as a result of this initiative", the executive summary says, "the pledges and support did not influence the percentage of women producers on the year end chart".

Contrasting the Recording Academy's Women In The Mix scheme with a similar programme adopted by the movie industry, the executive summary states: "In contrast to the 4% Challenge surrounding women film directors, the Women In The Mix pledge has not had a meaningful impact on popular songs and producers. Solutions like the Women In The Mix pledge require pledge-takers who are intentional and accountable, and an industry that is committed to making change - something that clearly has not happened in this case".

The conclusion of the actual report then says: "The advocacy around women in music has continued, but women represented less than one-third of artists, clocked in at 12.6% of songwriters, and were fewer than 3% of all producers on the popular charts between 2012 and 2020".

"These percentages have changed little over time", it goes on, "and do not reflect the audience for popular music nor are they in line with the percentage of girls and women studying in music education programmes. The music industry must examine how its decision-making, practices, and beliefs perpetuate the underrepresentation of women artists, songwriters, and producers".

It adds: "Women of colour comprised half of all women artists on the charts in 2020, but were a much smaller contingent of songwriters, and nearly invisible as producers. As the music industry continues to grapple with racial equity, supporting women of colour across the industry must be a priority. Moreover, as the chorus of voices championing women's work in music continues to grow, emphasising the inclusion of women of colour must be part of this effort".

You can download the full report here.

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JLS sign to BMG
JLS have only gone and signed a new record deal. Who with? With BMG, that's who. The group have been recording new music since last year, aided by the postponement of their reunion tour. Speaking of which, some of those dates have now been rescheduled again.

The group haven't released any new music since 2013, when they split up. They announced their reunion in February last year, although until now have been without a label.

"After eight years, it feels great to sign a new record deal with BMG", say the group. "For us, music is the core of everything we do and we are so excited to bring new music to the world again".

BMG UK's VP A&R, Jamie Nelson, adds: "We're excited for the return of JLS. They have enjoyed a stellar career and we are delighted to be part of their next step. The music is already sounding great, they return fully on top of their game".

Reunion shows were originally scheduled to take place last autumn, but couldn't because of all the things and stuff. Providing an update on those shows this morning, the group said: "We're excited to say the 'Beat Again Tour' WILL be going ahead in October/November 2021".

However, they went on: "Unfortunately, due to government restrictions, we aren't able to go ahead with the summer dates, but we're so gassed that we still get to see you this year! All current ticket holders are advised to keep hold of their existing tickets, as they will be valid for the rescheduled dates. It's going to be a huge celebration, so get brushing up on those lyrics, start practising the dance moves and we'll see you all there!"

We don't have any new music from JLS to share with you right now, but the group's Aston Merrygold shared three solo singles last month - 'Overboard', 'Share A Coke' and 'Hundreds And Thousands' - which may or may not fill the gap for you.

Those self-released tracks aimed to capitalise on Merrygold's appearance on 'The Masked Singer'. It's not clear if he'll now shelve his solo career again, pending the new music from JLS.

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J White Did It signs to Sony Music Publishing
Sony Music Publishing has signed producer J White Did It to a worldwide deal. Yeah, you read that right, a worldwide deal! How exciting.

"I'm very excited to work with the Sony Music Publishing team", says White, confirming the excitement. "I look forward to working with such an iconic company".

Sony Music Publishing A&R Manager, Danielle Middleton, adds: "J White is a legend and I look forward to witnessing and being a part of his continued success in our industry".

Real name Anthony Jermaine White, the producer is best known for his work with Cardi B, J Balvin and Bad Bunny. He also recently produced 'Savage' by Megan Thee Stallion, featuring Beyonce.

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DistroKid announces Snapchat alliance
Fresh from unveiling an expanded partnership with Amazon's Twitch, DIY distributor DistroKid yesterday announced another new partnership, this time with Snapchat.

The deal allows artists distributing via DistroKid to get their music into Snapchat's Sounds library. That's the service Snapchat added last year to allow Snapchatters to more easily access licensed music to include in their videos, akin to the in-built music libraries offered by TikTok and Instagram Reels.

In a blog post yesterday, DistroKid founder Philip Kaplan said that anyone uploading new tracks to the distribution platform will now be given the option to include them in the Snapchat library, while they can also go back and push existing recordings into the social app too.

"It's one of the most popular apps in the world: more than 265 million daily active users send five billion posts to each other every day", Kaplan wrote. "We're excited to announce a partnership with Snapchat that makes it easy for DistroKid members to get fast-tracked into the Sounds On Snapchat library".

"Snapchat is growing their music library over time", he added, "and we're excited to be the only distributor that can help independent artists get added. We hope you love it, enjoy!"

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Belgian society Sabam allies with ICE on digital licensing
Belgian song rights collecting society Sabam has allied with copyright hub ICE on its digital licensing. It means the Sabam repertoire will now be part of the ICE Core licence.

In most countries, collecting societies lead on digital licensing on the songs side. However, there are a lot of societies worldwide, and digital platforms always like to reduce the number of deals they need to negotiate. To that end, many societies now collaborate on digital licensing. Across Europe there are several such collaborations via initiatives like Polaris, Armonia and ICE Core. Sabam was allied to Armonia before joining up with ICE.

Confirming the new deal, Sabam boss Carine Libert says: "We pursued an exceptionally thorough process to ensure we achieved the solution that gives our members the most royalties for the online use of their works. In joining the ICE Core, we're certain we have that. Selecting ICE as our partner for multi-territorial digital licensing reflects our approach in being strategic about delivering the maximum value for our authors".

At ICE itself, the hub's VP Commercial Ben McEwen adds: "We warmly welcome Sabam to the ICE Core. With the extensive work and expertise required nowadays to maximise licensing coverage of services and territories, with the right deals and understanding different categories in detail, we are able to add real value to the rights-holder network of societies and publishers - and ultimately their members - whom we serve".

With Anglo-American repertoire, music publishers as well as societies also get involved in digital licensing. Although - as McEwen referenced there - some publishers also ally with ICE, including their Anglo-American repertoires in the ICE Cube initiative.

That currently includes the likes of Concord, Downtown and Peermusic. While other societies allied to ICE Cube include GEMA, STIM, PRS, IMRO and BMI.

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Bauer extends its radio reach in Finland via Mediatakojat purchase
Bauer Media continues to expand its radio business across Europe through acquisition, this time announcing a new deal in Finland.

The media firm is buying Finnish broadcaster Mediatakojat. Bauer's own Finnish division has already been working with Mediatakojat on various projects, including collaborating on the launch of two new stations last year called Kasari and Ysäri. By acquiring Mediatakojat, Bauer will further enhance its position as the market leader in the radio sector in Finland.

Confirming the deal, Paul Keenan, President of Bauer Media Audio, says: "This acquisition will build on the innovation we have driven in digital audio. This includes the launch of two new radio stations, Kasari and Ysäri, in cooperation with Mediatakojat, both of which strengthens our position as a pioneer in the Finnish audio business".

Bauer currently operates radio stations in a total of seven European markets. As well as Finland that includes Poland, Slovakia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and, of course, the UK. Plus it is about to enter an eighth European market via its recently announced acquisition of Irish media firm the Communicorp Group.

It's also been busy growing its radio reach in the UK in recent years, of course, also via acquisition, with a flurry of deals in 2019 that saw it acquire local stations previously operated by Celador Radio, Lincs FM Group, UKRD and the Wireless Group.

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CMU Insights: Copyright webinars on artist rights, piracy and US copyright law
A brand new series of CMU Insights webinars kicks off next week, delving a little deeper into music copyright topics. This series builds on our previous music copyright series, although each webinar also works as a standalone session.

The three webinars in this series are as follows...

THE RIGHTS OF SONGWRITERS AND PERFORMERS
Tuesday 16 Mar 2021 | 2.30pm
Artists and songwriters often assign the copyrights they create to business partners: labels, publishers and collecting societies. But music-makers have rights over their music even when they no longer own the copyright. What are those and how do they work? Find out in this webinar.

THE EVOLUTION OF MUSIC PIRACY
Tuesday 23 Mar 2021 | 2.30pm
As the legitimate digital music market has evolved so has online music piracy. This webinar looks at the piracy challenge over the last 20 years, how the music industry has sought to tackle the problem, and which anti-piracy tactics actually work today.

WHY US COPYRIGHT LAW IS WEIRD (FROM A EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE!)
Tuesday 30 Mar 2021 | 2.30pm
While there are some basic principles that join up all the copyright systems around the world, there are also some key differences from country to country. And with American copyright law, some things are just plain weird. This webinar gives you a guide to five significant ways in which copyright in the US is different to the UK and Continental Europe.

You can book into all three sessions for just £60 here.

Or book into individual sessions here.

 

COVID-19 CANCELLATIONS & POSTPONEMENTS

The Killers have postponed their UK and Ireland tour, which was due to begin in May this year, moving it back to May and June 2022. They have added a new Scottish date at Falkirk Stadium on 7 Jun 2022 though. Support will come variously from Blossoms, Manic Street Preachers, Sam Fender and Supergrass.

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APPOINTMENTS

Tom Robinson has been announced as a new patron of Generator, as the support agency for the music, creative and digital industries in North East England celebrates its 30th anniversary. "Musically the region has always punched above its weight over the years, producing a stream of consistently innovative artists across the genres and generations", says Robinson. "I can't tell you how excited I am to have this chance of becoming a part of this story, and helping this pool of extraordinary talent reach the wider audience it deserves".

Record industry trade group BPI has appointed Casandra Strauss to the newly created position of Director Of Innovation & Special Projects. "I am proud to be part of the BPI – an organisation that truly strives to help its members thrive", she says, "and I'm honoured to be entrusted to continue to make a difference in our community, through working on key areas that I feel so passionately about, from new tech to diversity, equality and inclusion and more".

Talent agency CAA has promoted Chris Ibbs, Evan Kantor and Jasmin Nash to become agents in the company's music department. "We are proud to promote these wonderfully talented individuals who have worked tirelessly to get to where they are today", says Chief Innovation Officer and CAA board member Michelle Kydd Lee. "They have each proven their ability to live out the values of CAA on a daily basis and continue to work with passion, unparalleled client service, and an exceptional commitment to the agency's team-centered culture".

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RELEASES

Miley Cyrus has released the video for 'Angels Like You' from her 'Plastic Hearts' album, filmed last month at a show with an audience of healthcare workers all fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Doja Cat has released a video for 'Streets', from her 2019 album 'Hot Pink', capitalising on a recent viral boost on TikTok.

Warner Records has released previously unreleased Tom Petty track 'You Saw Me Comin'. Recorded in 1992, the song features on upcoming rarities compilation 'Finding Wildflowers', which is out on 7 May.

Novelist has released new track 'One One'.

Noisia's Nik Roos has returned as Sleepnet, and is set to release new EP 'First Light' this Friday'. Listen to first track 'Angel Blade' now.

Skullcrusher has released new single 'Storm In Summer'. Her new EP of the same name is out through Secretly Canadian on 9 Apr.

Candlebox have released new single 'My Weakness'. "The song is kind of guttural and like 'The Summer Of 69' and Bruce Springsteen tunes", says vocalist Kevin Martin. "It's one of those love songs where you can feel the band just wants to take off with you the whole time".

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

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Grimes confirms signing to Columbia
Grimes has confirmed rumours that she has signed a new record deal with Sony's Columbia label. So now we know for sure. And who doesn't like knowing for sure?

"Just signed to Columbia Records", she wrote on Instagram yesterday. "Wanted to wait till I finished [recording new music] to tell people but the word got out... so".

"Thanks to everyone whose been following my tunes all these years", she added. "Means the world and more to me. We'll meet again soon".

She then concluded by writing: "COMMENCE PHASE 2". I'd say Grimes is already on phase three or four of her career by now, so her first major label music is going to have to be a pretty sharp about turn if she wants us to believe everything she's done since 2010 is part of one phase.

Though, I suppose, maybe her first foray into the major label world could be deemed phase two of her career in commercial if not creative terms. She released two albums - 'Geidi Primes' and 'Halfaxa' - on Artubus in 2010, before signing to 4AD for 2012's 'Visions'. She released two more albums with 4AD - 2015's brilliant 'Art Angels' and last year's disappointing 'Miss Anthropocene'.

The long delay between her fourth and fifth albums saw her scrapping and reworking a number of projects. Her relationship with 4AD also collapsed during this time, with the musician saying in a deleted Instagram post in early 2018 that she was working on "one final album for my shit label".

She later apologised for saying "negative shit". However, it was indeed true that 'Miss Anthropocene' was her final album for 4AD, as it turns out. She had previously suggested that her next album would be a companion release to that record. It remains to be seen if that is still the plan. Although that would ruin the "PHASE 2" thing a little. Unless it is a commercial rather than creative phase shift.

Anyway, as well as announcing her new record deal, Grimes has also launched a new website. There's not a lot on there at the moment. Basically, it just invites you to sign up to her mailing list. When handing over your email address, you're also asked if you're "a player of games", which may or may not be intriguing depending on your answer.

Meanwhile, if you're wondering how long you'll have to wait for the new music, the title of the homepage there is "Coming 4200AD". So... possibly a while.

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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 consultancy unit 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 Insights 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
 
CMU helps people to navigate and understand the music business.

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