TODAY'S TOP STORY: More details have been announced today about this year's Great Escape Conference, which will be happening online on 13 and 14 May. TikTok's Global Head Of Music Ole Obermann and the BBC's Controller Of Pop Lorna Clarke both join the In Conversation programme, while PPL, PRS and the PRS Foundation will together present this year's artist in conversation with Ghostpoet... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES TikTok's Ole Obermann, BBC's Lorna Clarke and Ghostpoet join TGE Conference line-up
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Cooking Vinyl launches catalogue division
LIVE BUSINESS Live Nation and Veeps begin equipping US venues for post-pandemic livestreaming
EDUCATION & EVENTS Abbey Road Institute to take up new home in Angel Studios
INDUSTRY PEOPLE InChorus launches Electronic Music Inclusion Initiative
RELEASES Greentea Peng announces debut album, releases new single
ONE LINERS Spotify, Mick Jagger & Dave Grohl, Mercury Prize, more
AND FINALLY... Lil Nas X tells fans Call Me By Your Name "may no longer be available" from today
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email or call 020 7099 9060.
Kudos Records is an independent music distribution company. Due to continued expansion, there now exists an opportunity to join its sales and label management team.

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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.

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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?
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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.
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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.
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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
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TikTok's Ole Obermann, BBC's Lorna Clarke and Ghostpoet join TGE Conference line-up
More details have been announced today about this year's Great Escape Conference, which will be happening online on 13 and 14 May. TikTok's Global Head Of Music Ole Obermann and the BBC's Controller Of Pop Lorna Clarke both join the In Conversation programme, while PPL, PRS and the PRS Foundation will together present this year's artist in conversation with Ghostpoet.

CMU will again curate three core thematic strands as part of this year's TGE Conference: Future Music Talent, Future Music Strategies and Future Music World. More details about some of the discussions that will be taking place as part of those strands have also been published today.

Future Music Talent is all about how the music industry can better support its talent, both on and off stage. Music educators and industry leaders will consider everything that an aspiring artist needs to know beyond the actual music-making, while four top artist managers with experience working with early-career artists will discuss what the fanbase building process looks like in 2021. There will also be a session considering how the music industry can better educate its existing community.

Future Music Strategies is supported by BPI, and looks at the latest trends and developments in the business of music. There will be two sessions putting the spotlight on all things data, the first fan data, the second rights data. How can artists, labels, managers and promoters make better use of fan data, and how will new privacy laws - not to mention the ongoing war between Apple and Facebook - impact all that? Meanwhile, what do we need to do with music rights data to improve the online music experience, and to make sure the right people get paid?

Other confirmed sessions in this strand will consider the future of the live sector in the post-COVID and post-Brexit world, as well as putting the spotlight on who the real influencers are in music today.

Future Music World will investigate and celebrate initiatives that are making the music world more diverse, more sustainable and more healthy. Confirmed sessions include one looking at what the industry at large can learn from some inspiring diversity initiatives that are truly delivering. Another session will deal with the tricky topic of cancel culture, while a third asks "has the digital revolution liberated or locked out music-makers?"

Alongside the three main CMU+TGE strands, delegates will also have access to the aforementioned In Conversation programme; panels from TGE's industry partners like AIM, Ditto Music, MMF, PPL, PRS, PRS Foundation, SyncVault and VEVO; and the TGE Elevate webinars, fact-packed online talks providing beginner's guides to different aspects of the music industry.

Among the In Conversations, TikTok's Ole Obermann will give his perspective on how artists, labels and the wider industry can best interact and utilise the TikTok platform. Meanwhile, Lorna Clarke will discuss her 30 year career in radio, as well as her current role overseeing the broadcaster's five pop music radio networks alongside pop music output across BBC TV and online.

Plus Mercury Prize nominated Ghostpoet will be sharing his perspective and insights with Ivor Novello Award winning songwriter and President of the PRS Members' Council, Michelle Escoffery. They all join Hipgnosis Songs Fund's Merck Mercuriadis, Women In CTRL's Nadia Khan and TaP Management's Wendy Ong in this year's In Conversation programme.

In terms of the TGE Elevate educational programme, supported by Arts Council England, CMU:DIY will be on hand to explain how music-makers make money, how music copyright and streaming works, and what music-makers need to know about data. Sentric Music will also be presenting two talks as part of this programme: 'WTF Is Music Publishing?' And 'Nine Steps To Land A Sync Deal'.

All of this will take place within the TGE Online platform, where delegates will also be able to access a load of on-demand content before and after the actual conference, and network with and meet other music industry professionals from all over the world.

To find out more about the TGE Conference and to buy your tickets check out the website here.


Cooking Vinyl launches catalogue division
Cooking Vinyl has launched a new catalogue division, with the aim of boosting long-term income for artists currently signed to the label while also undertaking an "aggressive acquisition policy" to expand its roster.

The new department will be run by Steve Bunyan, who has previously held key roles managing and marketing music catalogues at Union Square Music and BMG.

"Working for the artists and music we love and advancing their careers is what gets us out of bed in the morning", says Cooking Vinyl Chair, Martin Goldschmidt. "The appointment of someone of the calibre and standing of Steve Bunyan allows us to enhance our service to artists and to look to acquire new catalogues of recordings. Our track record, size, flexibility and financial backing means that we offer an attractive bespoke alternative to the larger companies currently hoovering up rights".

Bunyan adds: "Cooking Vinyl is ideally placed to offer a unique service to artists where a new release is initially worked by the frontline team and then by the catalogue department to continue the retailer, consumer and media promotion to drive additional long-term sales".

"Too many labels", he goes on, "just focus on the initial week one chart position which – important as it is – does not do justice to the many months of work that goes into making a new record. In addition, Cooking Vinyl's global sales, marketing and distribution set up makes it an ideal home for new catalogues – somewhere where the value of additional master rights will be optimised whilst protecting and nurturing the legacy of artists and labels".

Recently, of course, deals seeing the back catalogues of big name artists and songwriters being bought for tens and sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars have been making headlines. It is unlikely that Cooking Vinyl will be competing at quite that level, but there are plenty of other acts with catalogues that could be more lucrative with the right partner, and it will be interesting to see what impact this new venture has.


Live Nation and Veeps begin equipping US venues for post-pandemic livestreaming
Live Nation and the livestreaming company it recently invested in, Veeps, have announced that they are kitting out more than 60 US music venues with equipment to offer any artist performing in them the option to also broadcast their shows online.

The move seemingly confirms that the world's biggest live entertainment company believes that livestreaming is here to stay, even once venues are back to operating at full capacity.

"Amongst artists, it's often said that the one side of our careers that truly belongs to us is touring", says Veeps' Joel Madden, co-founder of the company with his brother and Good Charlotte bandmate Benji. "To help an entirely new touring vertical become readily available to artists is such a huge win for our community and we couldn't be happier. It's the exact type of thing that shows what our partnership with Live Nation can really mean for artists".

"Now, with the flip of a switch, every artist playing in these venues can make their show a global event", he goes on. "We've already seen how livestream shows drive engagement across every other area of an artist's business and the added ticket revenue will allow them to re-invest in their art and make what they're offering their fans even better. It's a real dream come true for us at Veeps and our mission to help empower artists in their careers".

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino adds: "Artists and fans are eager to get back to shows, and livestreams will continue to unlock opportunities for them to connect more than ever before. Veeps is the best at what they do, with Benji and Joel tapping into their own experience as artists to help other artists thrive, and we look forward to bringing this innovative idea to life in these iconic venues".

Venues of a variety of sizes are among those being set up with the tech, with The Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles already announcing a series of virtual shows using it next month. Live Nation and Veeps say that another benefit of the added venue tech will be to create additional jobs for live crews.


Abbey Road Institute to take up new home in Angel Studios
Abbey Road Studios' education division, the Abbey Road Institute, has announced that it is expanding and moving out of its current home within its namesake's building and into the defunct Angel Studios in Islington.

Angel Studios closed last year after 40 years in operation, having been used by artists including Adele, Sam Smith, The Cure, One Direction and Robbie Williams. It was expected that the building would be converted into flats, but instead it will now be fully restored and kept in operation as a recording studio.

Moving into its new home will allow the Abbey Road Institute to work with more emerging producers and engineers - who will also still have access to a dedicated studio at the Abbey Road complex itself. It will also keep a studio in Angel available for recording artists to hire - providing both a source of income and ensuring that students continue to experience being around a working studio.

"Our first home and inception have been at Abbey Road Studios, where we have been able to forge and define the strong relationship between the training we provide and the day to day reality of, arguably, the world's most acclaimed commercial studio", says Luca Barassi, CEO of Abbey Road Institute.

"The move into Angel Studios brings many possibilities for our school, our students and our international Abbey Road Institute family, enabling us to start our next chapter", he goes on. "The history and relevance of Angel, and the impressive studio space and building full of character, will all play a part in the next stage of Abbey Road Institute's evolution".

Isabel Garvey, Managing Director of Abbey Road Studios, adds: "2021 marks 90 years of Abbey Road Studios and 90 years of incredible music, artistry and legacy, which continues to be created every day inside our studios".

"I am THRILLED", she continues, "that we can ensure a fellow London recording studio can continue its purpose and thrive as a hub of creativity, providing a dedicated space for the next generation of engineers and producers. We've seen a huge increase in creativity over the last year, so are proud to take on the management of the commercial studio at Angel to ensure artists and composers have more quality space in which to record".

The new Angel Studios complex is set to open this summer.


InChorus launches Electronic Music Inclusion Initiative
Pioneer DJ, Beatport, Sentric Music, AFEM, Mixmag, RA, IMS and Women in CTRL have all partnered with workplace harassment reporting software company InChrous to launch the Electronic Music Inclusion Initiative. The project aims to improve inclusiveness in electronic music.

The first stage of the project is a new survey, which will be available for four weeks, allowing anyone in the electronic music industry to anonymously speak up about microaggressions and other forms of harassment that they have experienced in the sector.

General Manager of Pioneer DJ, Mark Grotefeld, says: "Diversity and inclusion are key priorities for Pioneer DJ. We are proud to support the Electronic Music Inclusion Initiative in order to push for systemic change across the industry. We hope this will continue the progress and empower individuals to share their experiences of bias and harassment and encourage the industry to adopt robust listening tools that enable targeted action and progress".

Co-founder of InChorus, Rosie Turner, adds: "We have a duty to prevent harassment of all kinds and cultivate a 'speak up' culture across the sector. Ultimately, cultures are shaped by the inappropriate behaviours that are tolerated every day. We are serious about culture change and believe that bringing actionable data to this conversation is key, as what is measured can be improved".

You can access the survey here.


CMU Insights: Bespoke music business training for your teams
As well as CMU's weekly webinars, don't forget we also run training courses in-house for all sorts of music companies and organisations around the world.

We have a wide-ranging menu of sessions that clients can choose from, providing a really simple way for music businesses to run team training sessions internally.

These ensure that employees are fully up to speed on all the latest trends and developments, while also presenting an effective way for team members to come together and share their knowledge and experience, especially if they are primarily working remotely.

We have delivered bespoke training sessions for numerous music companies and organisations in recent years, including Sony Music, Warner Music, SoundCloud, Emubands, ie:music, ATC Management, BPI, MMF, IMRO, the Musicians' Union, the British Council, Promus, Music Norway, Music Estonia and the Association Of Caribbean Copyright Societies.

Click here to find out more about CMU's Team Training

Greentea Peng announces debut album, releases new single
Greentea Peng has announced that she will release her debut album in June. Titled 'Man Made', its announcement is accompanied by a new single, 'Kali V2'.

"'Man Made' [is] an exploration of self and sound", she says. "A product of shifting paradigms both inner and outer. An ultra sonic trip. This album is an offering of healing, a provocation of Hu Man spirit soul".

"Out of tune with the industry and in tune with the universe, this is a 432hrz production", she goes on. "Deliberately detuned out of any Babylon standard! It is to be felt, like a buzzing bee, in one's chest. A vibration. A jambalaya of expression, this project fits no genre, [and is] not to be digested easily by everyone. However, for those occupying the same space right now, upholding the frequency at such a transformative and challenging moment in time, I trust this sound will find you".

"Dedicated [to] and inspired by the late Jimtastic, join me and my boys as we travel the Sonicsphere on the way back to centre, through the depths of apathy and the heights of interconnection through surrender", she goes on. "I offer you 'Man Made'".

I hope you were following that. Anyway, the album is out on 4 Jun. Right now, here's 'Kali V2'.



Remember how Spotify was dabbling with a move into hardware via a pilot device that would facilitate in-car listening called Car Thing? No? Well it was. I remember. And now it's announced that it will be making a device available in the US that will facilitate in-car listening. And yeah, it's still called Car Thing. It will initially be available on a limited basis to select Spotify subscribers. Is this Spotify going big on hardware? No, it insists: "Our focus remains on becoming the world's number one audio platform - not on creating hardware - but we developed Car Thing because we saw a need from our users". Yeah, whatever you say.



Mick Jagger has released new solo single 'Eazy Sleazy', with Dave Grohl. "It's a song that I wrote about coming out of lockdown, with some much-needed optimism", says Jagger. "Thanks to Dave Grohl for jumping on drums, bass and guitar, it was a lot of fun working with him". Grohl, meanwhile, says that working with Jagger is "beyond a dream come true".

ILoveMakonnen has surprised released new album 'My Parade', which he says is his first fully independent release. From it, this is 'Whoopsy', featuring Payday.

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have released a new seven-inch single, titled 'Grief', featuring two tracks - 'Letter To Cynthia' and 'Song For Cynthia' - both based on a response to a question on Cave's Red Hand Files website. "My reply was the first time I was able to articulate my own contradictory feelings on grief", says Cave. "Letters like Cynthia's have helped bring me and many others back to the world".

Popcaan has released new single 'Survivor'.

Teenage Fanclub have released new single 'In Our Dreams'. "To rephrase an aphorism most famously used by John Lennon, existence is what happens while the human race is busy making other plans", says the band's Raymond McGinley. "This song is kinda about that, but like all our songs, we write them intuitively and only think about what to say about them afterwards". New album 'Endless Arcade' is out on 30 Apr.

Orla Gartland has released new single 'Zombie!' "It's about a very common, very male kind of repression I witnessed in a boy I loved once", she says. "I could see that he felt things but there was a barrier stopping him from expressing them. I hated that for him, it made me so angry at the societal pressures that led him to that place".

Defset has released new single 'Shira2'. "The inspiration for this track comes from a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro", he says. "It's a unique place, Shira2 is a camp on Kili with the most beautiful views and skies. There are some field recordings I made at the camp on the track. It's positive, energetic and enigmatic, which relates to the feelings I had when I was there".”



The shortlist for this year's Mercury Prize will be announced on 22 Jul, while the overall winner will be revealed at a ceremony at the Hammersmith Apollo (pandemic permitting) on 9 Sep. Albums by British or Irish artists released between 18 Jul 2020 and 16 Jul 2021 can be put forward for consideration now and until 12 May. Email for more info.

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


Lil Nas X tells fans Call Me By Your Name "may no longer be available" from today
Lil Nas X has urged fans to stream his latest single 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name)' "hard", warning that it may disappear from all the streaming services today. Fans in some territories have already reported issues playing the track on their digital music platforms of choice, though the streaming services themselves have said that they are not pulling it.

After one fan tweeted that - when they tried to play the track on Spotify - it immediately stopped, Lil Nas X responded saying that "it's happening on all the streaming services", before adding in another tweet: "Since 'Call Me By Your Name' is no longer working on many streaming services I will be uploading the audio to Pornhub at 3pm EST".

It does not appear that he actually went through with that plan - I'm not sure if you know this, but a lot of the stuff on Pornhub isn't really music related at all. However, he has continued to repost messages from fans having issues with the track, saying: "Not even joking. Everybody stream 'Call Me By Your Name' hard today because it may no longer be available tomorrow and there's nothing I can really do about it. Thanks for all the support tho!"

Fans in the US, Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Nigeria have all said that they have experienced either the track failing to play or not being available at all on one or another of the streaming platforms. Though some have apparently managed to resolve the issue.

Of course, the rapper's promotional campaign for his new single has been heavy on pranks and trolling. So an unsurprisingly sceptical Billboard got on the blower to the streaming services to ask if it was true they were all taking the track down, and was told that they definitely were not doing that.

Unless he's got a lot of fans in on the gag, though, there does seem to be (or have been) an issue with the track. His label, Sony's Columbia, tweeted: "Thanks for all your comments regarding Lil Nas X's 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name)'. It's unfortunately out of our control but we are doing everything possible to keep the song up on streaming services. We will keep you up to date as we hear more. Thank you for understanding".

Eventually last night, Lil Nas X told fans to "screen record the audio/video on YouTube so you will have the song in your gallery [in the] worst case scenario". It's probably worth pointing out that doing that is definitely illegal, even if the artist themselves tells you to do it.

Exactly what's going on still isn't clear. The song plays just fine everywhere we've tried it. Any actual technical issue with the track is likely temporary, if there is an issue at all (we still can't shake that 'boy who cried wolf' feeling). Instead of worrying about it, why not watch the new video for Brockhampton's 'Count Me In', which co-stars Lil Nas X and Dominic Fike?


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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