TODAY'S TOP STORY: The owner of HMV says that he is optimistic about the retail firm's short-term and long-term future as non-essential shops in England and Wales are allowed to re-open today as part of the relaxation of COVID rules... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES HMV boss upbeat as high street re-opens in England and Wales
LEGAL French government considering new anti-piracy measures
Danish anti-piracy group says web-blocks work, though piracy is also getting harder to monitor

INDUSTRY PEOPLE Mushroom Group confirms Matt Gudinski will succeed his father as CEO
Nordoff Robbins unveils We Are Listening campaign

ONE LINERS ISM, Byta, J Balvin & Khalid, more
AND FINALLY... K-pop music companies file complaint over new law they say only benefits BTS
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email or call 020 7099 9060.
Domino is seeking a Digital Account Manager to oversee digital account relationships and strategy, to lead key partnerships and activity with digital music service providers.

For more information and to apply click here.
Secretly Group is seeking a Marketing Director (UK/Europe) to lead artist marketing campaigns.

For more information and to apply click here.
Kilimanjaro is looking for Website Administrator to update and maintain the Myticket websites and .ie and the Kilimanjaro corporate website.

For more information and to apply click here.
Kilimanjaro is seeking an experienced marketeer to join its touring marketing team.

For more information and to apply click here.
Kilimanjaro is looking for an experienced Artworker to join its expanding design team.

For more information and to apply click here.
Kilimanjaro is seeking an experienced marketeer to join its expanding Special Projects & Theatrical team.

For more information and to apply click here.
Ninja Tune is seeking a reliable and experienced NTPM Audio Producer to join the Ninja Tune Production team in the UK office, on a full-time basis.

For more information and to apply click here.
The Jazz Cafe is looking for a Marketing Manager to join its team.

For more information and to apply click here.
The Columbo Group is looking for a Marketing Manager to work on The Blues Kitchen and The Old Queens Head.

For more information and to apply click here.
The Columbo Group is looking for a Logistics & Hospitality Manager to work across its XOYO, Jazz Cafe, Phonox & Camden Assembly venues.

For more information and to apply click here.
Juno is one of the world's largest online music and equipment stores. It is looking for an experienced Service & Support Team Leader for its service and returns department.

For more information and to apply click here.
There is an immediate opening for an experienced Label Manager, preferably based in Berlin to handle a roster of !K7 Music's Label Services clients.

For more information and to apply click here.
This role will lead the delivery event teams, and devise UEA(SU)'S business plan and strategy for the LCR and Waterfront venues. 

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.

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?
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.
Tuesday 27 Apr 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKET
In a year dominated by the impact of COVID-19, what have been the key developments in the wider music industry over the last twelve months? As the live industry restarts, what will it look like? And what impact will the challenges of the pandemic have long-term on all the other strands of the music industry?
Tuesday 4 May 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKET
While the streaming boom continues to be led by Spotify-style services, the digital music market is diversifying again. New streaming products and business models present both challenges and opportunities, while lingering questions about Spotify-style streaming increasingly need to be answered.
Tuesday 11 May 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKET
The music rights business has been more stable during the COVID-19 crisis, though certain revenue streams have taken a hit. Meanwhile copyright law and the music industry's licensing systems continue to evolve. Get a speedy update on all the key developments in music rights with this webinar.
Tuesday 18 May 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKET
The music rights business makes money by exploiting the controls that come with the copyrights in songs and recordings. Get to grips with all the basic principles of copyright law and how music copyright makes money in this user-friendly easy-to-follow webinar.
Tuesday 25 May 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKET
Sometimes the music industry licenses through direct deals, other times it employs the collective licensing approach. Fully understand how collective licensing works - in the UK and around the world - in this user-friendly easy-to-follow webinar.
Tuesday 1 Jun 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKET
Getting songwriters and artists paid when their songs and recordings are played often comes down to whether or not the right data is in the system. But what data? This webinar runs through all the key data points and explains how to get information into the system.
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
GET FULL ACCESS TO THE CMU LIBRARY by going premium for just £5 a month

HMV boss upbeat as high street re-opens in England and Wales
The owner of HMV says that he is optimistic about the retail firm's short-term and long-term future as non-essential shops in England and Wales are allowed to re-open today as part of the relaxation of COVID rules.

The entertainment retailer will re-open all 93 of its stores in England and Wales today after months of enforced lockdown. It says that its online store saw a boost during that latest COVID lockdown, but that it now expects to see a surge in customers returning to the high street to buy music and movie products from its physical shops in the weeks ahead.

Doug Putman, whose Canadian music retail outfit Sunrise Records bought HMV UK in 2019, tells reporters: "The British high street has had a tough start to 2021, but as the country slowly gets back to normal, we're confident that shoppers will return to supporting physical retail".

"For millions of customers, browsing in-store is something that can't be replaced", he goes on, "and we've put measures in place across the estate to ensure that they can take their time discovering our massive range of entertainment and merchandise while social distancing. We're expecting people to purchase some of the incredible new releases we've seen during the latest lockdown".

HMV will also be offering its 'list and leave' and 'ring and reserve' services, whereby customers who'd rather not browse can drop off or phone in lists of products they want to buy, which HMV staff members will then gather together for easy collection.

Although Putman had barely been in control of HMV for a year before the COVID pandemic forced restrictions on the high street, he insists that he remains optimistic about the company's future.

He concludes: "This year marks HMV's 100th birthday, and we''e setting ourselves up to be here for the next 100 years. Over the coming months, customers will start to see exclusive new merchandise and special editions arrive in their local HMV stores".

HMV shops in Scotland and Northern Ireland will remain closed until local COVID rules change.


French government considering new anti-piracy measures
New anti-piracy proposals were shared by the French government last week which could see the creation of a new blacklist that would seek to ensure piracy operations are not listed in search engines and would also struggle to sell advertising in the country.

Other proposed measures seek to tackle proxies that help people circumvent blocked websites, and to shut down unlicensed live streams, particularly of sporting events.

When the music industry was in the midst of its high profile battle against online piracy - and in particular P2P file-sharing - in the 2000s, lawmakers in France were among the first to introduce a graduated response system. That meant that individual web-users who shared content online without licence would receive increasingly stern warning letters with the ultimate sanction of having their internet access disconnected.

That anti-piracy system - and the government agency set up to run it, Hadopi - proved to be pretty controversial. Though, in the end, the most draconian sanctions for those that ignored the official warnings from the piracy police were rarely used.

More than a decade on, online copyright infringement has evolved, and the music industry in particular talks a lot less about its piracy woes. This means that the piracy conversation in political circles is now led more by the TV, movie and sporting sectors, something seen in another new proposal in France, that the aforementioned Hadopi be merged with the country's broadcasting regulator the Higher Audiovisual Council.

That said, the music industry remains a big supporter of web-blocking, whereby internet service providers are forced to block access to piracy websites, and will definitely support any moves that make it harder to circumvent such blockades, and which pressure search engines to also stop linking to blocked sites.

The new anti-piracy proposals were presented to France's Council Of Ministers last week, and will soon head to the country's Parliament for scrutiny and debate.


Danish anti-piracy group says web-blocks work, though piracy is also getting harder to monitor
A new report from Danish anti-piracy group the Rights Alliance says that the number of people in Denmark accessing piracy services dropped last year. This is partly because of web-blocking efforts in the country, but also because many users are now accessing unlicensed content via platforms like YouTube and Facebook, which is consumption that doesn't get spotted by its piracy monitoring work.

According to Torrentfreak, the latest report from the Rights Alliance says that - according to its monitoring - the number of Danish web users accessing piracy sites was down from 450,000 in 2019 to around 370,000 in 2020. Although, that said, the total number of visits to piracy sites last year, at around twelve million per month, was more or less the same as in 2019.

Still, fewer people are tapping piracy sites for content, so that's a good thing. Maybe the web-blocking efforts of the Rights Alliance and copyright owners in the country - seeking court injunctions forcing internet service providers to block access to copyright-infringing websites - is working.

For its part, the Alliance says that it thinks its prolific web-blocking efforts have had an impact. Although it also concedes that increased VPN usage might mean an increasing amount of piracy is circumventing its monitoring, plus there are all those people accessing infringing content on the YouTubes and Facebooks of this world.

"Unfortunately, the decline in the number of users is probably also due to the fact that the users have moved to other platforms where consumption cannot be immediately measured in the data sets", it writes. "A new challenge that has become clearer in recent years is the increasing decentralisation of illegal content to legal services, such as YouTube and Facebook. Here it is not possible to measure illegal consumption and the users are not necessarily aware that they are consuming illegal content, as the service itself is legal".

Of course YouTube, Facebook et al provide rights management tools for copyright owners, and such platforms have new obligations in the rights management domain as a result of the 2019 European Copyright Directive. And making better use of those tools - and getting those tools improved - are now very much on the Rights Alliance's agenda.

It confirms in its report that last year it "intensified [its] work with the platforms' responsibility for copyright infringement – ie through dialogue with the platforms and in the work of implementing article seventeen of the EU Copyright Directive in Danish law".


Mushroom Group confirms Matt Gudinski will succeed his father as CEO
Australian music company the Mushroom Group has confirmed that Matt Gudinski will become its CEO with immediate effect. He takes over from his father - music industry veteran and Mushroom Group founder Michael Gudinski - who died last month.

Matt Gudinski has worked for the music firm since 2003, originally joining the company aged seventeen and co-founding the Illusive label and touring arm. He became Executive Director of the wider group in 2013, subsequently also launching its management company Role Model Artists and development label 100s + 1000s.

Confirming that he was now taking over from his late father in the CEO role, he said: "This isn't a role that I expected to assume yet, but I am determined to honour the great legacy my father left".

"Mushroom Group is in its strongest position ever", he added, "and as we fast approach our 50th year I know that our incredibly talented Mushroom family will help me deliver the vision Dad and I had for the next 50 years of our business".


Lil Nas X's Satan Shoes recalled back to Hell
CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including a legal settlement that will see 666 pairs of Nike trainers that were turned - without the sportswear brand's permission - into Lil Nas X's Satan Shoes recalled, plus the merger of Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings with the South Korean music company formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment, HYBE.

Listen to this episode of Setlist here, and sign up to receive new episodes for free automatically each week through any of these services...

Acast | Amazon Music | Apple Podcasts | audioBoom | CastBox | Deezer | Google Podcasts | iHeart | Mixcloud | RSS | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

DMX dies
Rapper DMX - real name Earl Simmons - died on Friday, aged 50. He had been in a coma for a week following a heart attack.

In a statement, his family said: "Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl's music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time".

Meanwhile, his label Def Jam said: "DMX was a brilliant artist and an inspiration to millions around the world. His message of triumph over struggle, his search for the light out of darkness, his pursuit of truth and grace brought us closer to our own humanity. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who loved him and were touched by him. DMX was nothing less than a giant. His legend will live on forever".

A huge force in hip hop in the late 90s and early 2000s, the rapper's later career was stalled by drug addiction and numerous legal issues, which saw him repeatedly spend time in jail and rehab.

He released his debut album, 'It's Dark And Hell Is Hot', in 1998, going to number one in the US. He went on to become the first artist in Billboard chart history to have all of their first five albums to go to number one - the first two in the same year. That run was broken by his sixth album, 'Year Of The Dog... Again', in 2006, which went to number two.

At the same time, he carved out a successful career as an actor, appearing in numerous films - most notably starring roles in Hype Williams' 'Belly' and 'Romeo Must Die' with Jet Li and Aaliyah - as well as TV shows.

However, drug problems that preceded his success began to cause his career to falter. The rapper said that his first experience of hard drugs came at the age of fourteen when he was given a blunt laced - without his knowledge - with crack cocaine by his rap mentor Ready Ron. "Why would you do that to a child?" DMX lamented in an interview with Talib Kweli last year. After that, he said, "a monster was born".

Having become involved in robbery and petty crime, the growing media interest in his music looked set to help him out of that lifestyle in the early 90s. However, a failed first single in 1993, followed by a conviction for drug possession the following year, stalled this. But eventually he signed to Def Jam in 1997 and began his rapid rise to fame. Although he left the label in 2003, he signed a new deal there in 2019.

In a statement, former Def Jam boss Lyor Cohen said: "DMX gave me the inspiration to keep going at Def Jam when rap became soft and silly. Unfortunately, Dark Man X took over and ran amok, tormented and struggling to find the light".

Since the mid-2000s, the rapper became more known for his legal problems. He appeared in court on charges relating to dangerous driving, assault, theft, animal cruelty and drugs, some of which resulted in jail time. In 2018, he was sentenced to a year in jail after being convicted of tax evasion, having been found to owe nearly $2 million in taxes and penalties.

Although he claimed to have beaten his drug addiction in 2011, there were several stays in rehab in subsequent years. Most recently, in 2019, he cancelled a number of live shows, with a rep saying: "In his ongoing commitment to putting family and sobriety first, DMX has checked himself into a rehab facility".

Following his early, prolific run of album releases, only two more emerged during his lifetime - 2012's 'Undisputed' and 2015's 'Redemption Of The Beast'. However, the latter resulted in yet another legal battle, as DMX said that it had been released by the Seven Arts label without his authorisation.

Having re-signed to Def Jam, recently he had spoken about a new album featuring a range of guests, including Bono, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys and Usher.


Nordoff Robbins unveils We Are Listening campaign
Music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins has announced a new campaign that will "shed light on the limitless ways that music can enrich those with life-limiting illness". Called 'We Are Listening', the campaign will see a number of creators present online content and events, putting a spotlight on the charity's work and raising money for the organisation.

It all kicks off on 22 Apr with a livestreamed concert fronted by singer-songwriter Rueben James and featuring a ten piece jazz band and some special guests, livestreamed from Lafayette in London. Special content will then appear on a bespoke website in the following weeks, involving musicians like Låpsley and Gill Landry, as well as illustrators and designers like Kate Moross and Mason London.

Commenting on the campaign, Nordoff Robbins CEO Sandra Schembri says: "We believe in the power of music to connect with the human potential that lies within us all, including those living with profound disability, illness and exclusion. Creativity, courage, and collaboration is at the heart of Nordoff Robbins' work, so to see the power of our music therapy work come to life through the lens of these incredible artists is inspiring. Our hope is that 'We Are Listening' gives the public an opportunity to witness and connect to the immense value of music therapy".

You can find out more about the campaign here.



The Incorporated Society Of Musicians is hosting a free online conference for music professionals on Saturday 24 Apr - called Building For The Future - with speakers including Viva la Visa's Andy Corrigan, music industry advisor Mike Burgess, producer, DJ and vocalist Laura Bettinson, and producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Magnus Mehta. Info and tickets here.

Pre-release music sharing platform Byta is launching a new monthly online event series called #HowWeListen Live: In Conversation. The first edition on 27 Apr will see the company's Marc Brown in conversation with Huw Stephens. Info and free tickets here.



J Balvin and Khalid have released a new track together, 'Otra Noche Sin Ti'.

Sia has released new single 'Floating Through Space', featuring David Guetta, with a video created in collaboration with NASA.

Blue Note has released new posthumous Tony Allen single 'Stumbling Down', featuring Sampa The Great. The label will release a new album from the late drummer, 'There Is No End', also featuring Skepta, Danny Brown and more, on 30 Apr.

Jon Hopkins will release a new EP of piano covers this week, titled 'Piano Versions'. The release is, he says, "four minimal, ambient piano covers of songs I have loved for a long time but that come from very different places". Here's his version of 'Wintergreen' by Roger & Brian Eno.

DJ Scotch Egg - in his Scotch Rolex guise - has released new track 'Omuzira', featuring MC Yallah.

FEMM have released new single 'Keep It Cool'.



The Libertines have announced UK tour dates in November and December. Tickets go on sale on Friday.



The Association Of Independent Music has announced that its annual AIM Awards will now take place on 25 Aug, a couple of weeks earlier than originally planned. The trade group has also announced more details about the awards' judging panel, which will include reps from music media like Amazing Radio, BBC Introducing, ChillDaBeats, DIY Mag, DJ Mag, Dummy Mag, Kerrang!, Line Of Best Fit, Mixmag and Worldwide FM.

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


K-pop music companies file complaint over new law they say only benefits BTS
The Korea Music Content Association has filed an official complaint on behalf of a number of K-pop companies over an amendment being made to South Korean law that will allow male pop musicians in the country to defer their mandatory military service by two years. The organisation says that the criteria for benefitting from this rule change are so narrow that it will pretty much only apply to members of BTS, despite initially appearing to be a broader change in favour of K-pop stars as a whole.

In its objection, the KMCA says the amendment is "unrealistic and unfair", according to Korea JoongAng Daily. The new rule allows any artist who has received a cultural merit from the country's Ministry Of Culture, Sports And Tourism to defer their military service by two years. This basically means that they need to sign up to do that service before the age of 31, rather than age 29 like everyone else.

However, that cultural merit honour is only usually given to artists who have been active for fifteen years or more - the average age of recipients being 60. A rare exception was made to give the award to BTS in 2018 in recognition of their massive rise to global success.

This, says a spokesperson for the KMCA, "clearly means that no musicians [other than BTS members] will be eligible" to defer their military service under the new rules.

"If a male musician would want to meet the criteria before he turns 28, he has to begin his K-pop career when he's thirteen years old at the latest", they went on. "And that doesn't even mean that they can defer their services. That's only the requirement to apply for the merit. There's a separate set of standards to see whether they actually get the chance to defer their services".

The law that says that all able-bodied men in South Korea are required to enlist in the military before they turn 29, then serving for a minimum of two years, has become international news over the last year because BTS member Jin turned 28 in December.

This is, of course, an issue that has been faced by many other K-pop groups before. Indeed, other popular groups being forced into hiatus while members do their military service has arguably created a gap in the market for each new generation of groups, BTS included, to exploit.

Other acts have tried to keep things ticking along while certain members are doing that military service by having their bandmates embark on solo careers in the gap. But that does not guarantee that the group will simply be able to pick up where they left off when everyone eventually returns – fans having often moved on by then.

Usually this has not been a concern for South Korean politicians and military officials, who have generally been of the opinion that it's just something that all K-pop stars have to deal with. However, in the case of BTS, the outfit's global success has been so great that a sudden halt in their career could have a noticeable affect on the country's economy.

The KMCA's complaint has been submitted on behalf of 27 of its 28 members - the notable exception, predictably, being the agency behind BTS, HYBE (formerly Big Hit Entertainment).

The spokesperson for the organisation goes on: "We are not blindly saying we want lower standards. The current bars are unrealistically high. How are musicians supposed to meet a criterion that's impossible to achieve? All we ask is that the ministry come up with standards that can be met and fulfilled by musicians, not extraordinary measures that cannot be made".

The amendment was passed by South Korea's parliament last year, and is set to come into effect on 23 Jun this year.


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.
CMU helps people to navigate and understand the music business.

We do this through our media, our training and our research, and at a range of music industry events.

CMU Daily covers all the latest news and developments direct by email.

Setlist is a weekly podcast dissecting the biggest music business stories.

CMU Premium gives you access to the CMU Digest and CMU Trends.

CMU Insights is our music business consultancy: supporting the industry.

CMU:DIY is our future talent programme: supporting new music talent.

Pathways Into Music is our foundation supporting music educators.

© UnLimited Media, a division of 3CM Enterprises Ltd

UnLimited Media, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

Send press releases to

Email advertising queries to

Email training and consultancy queries to

You can read our Privacy & Data Policy here |