TUESDAY 11 MAY 2021 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: As the epic legal battle over Apple's App Store policies - or the Epic legal battle if you prefer - continues to go through the motions in the Californian courts, a legal claim has been filed with the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal over the exact same App Store rules. Although the UK action seeks to represent iPhone owners rather than major gaming companies... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Apple's App Store rules now subject to £1.5 billion class action claim before UK tribunal
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LEGAL Court declines to seal Charlie Walk's $1.7 million settlement with Universal in ongoing attorney malpractice litigation
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DEALS Louis Tomlinson to release second solo album through BMG
Stones Throw allies with Songtrust to administrate its publishing catalogue

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EDUCATION & EVENTS Afrobeats label Mavin launches music industry talent development programme
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RELEASES Herbert to release new album, Musca
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ONE LINERS SoundCloud, Florence And The Machine, Skrillex, more
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AND FINALLY... Iron Maiden to launch carbon negative beer with BrewDog
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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.
   
ERASED TAPES - SYNC LICENSING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Erased Tapes is currently seeking a creative and organised Sync Licensing Assistant to support the company's Head of Publishing in a wide variety of tasks.

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ISM - SENIOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MANAGER (LONDON)
The ISM is looking for an experienced professional to work closely with the CEO to lead its external affairs function.

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KILIMANJARO - TICKETING PROJECT MANAGER (LONDON)
Kilimanjaro is seeking an experienced Ticketing Project Manager to join its busy Ticketing team.

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COLUMBO GROUP - GRAPHIC DESIGNER & VIDEO EDITOR (LONDON)
The Columbo Group is looking for a Graphic Designer & Video Editor to work across some of its music venues; including Jazz Cafe, Phonox and Metropolis.

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SMALL GREEN SHOOTS - MANAGING DIRECTOR (LONDON)
Youth-led charity Small Green Shoots is seeking a Managing Director to lead a staff team of nine, plus ten part-time trainees and a rolling programme of work placements.

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SENTRIC MUSIC - COPYRIGHT ASSISTANT (LIVERPOOL)
Sentric Music is looking for a Copyright Assistant to support the administration of music copyrights on behalf of its publishing partners and catalogue owners.

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KUDOS RECORDS - SALES & LABEL MANAGER (LONDON)
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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DOMINO - DIGITAL ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
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.

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SECRETLY GROUP - MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Secretly Group is seeking a Marketing Director (UK/Europe) to lead artist marketing campaigns.

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NINJA TUNE - NTPM AUDIO PRODUCER (LONDON/REMOTE)
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.

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THE JAZZ CAFE - MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
The Jazz Cafe is looking for a Marketing Manager to join its team.

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THE COLUMBO GROUP - MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
The Columbo Group is looking for a Marketing Manager to work on The Blues Kitchen and The Old Queens Head.

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Tuesday 11 May 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKET
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MAKING MONEY FROM MUSIC COPYRIGHT
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.
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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.
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What are the key revenues, the key trends and the key challenges in the recorded music business in 2021? Get an overview of the global record industry today, including how artists and labels are generating income from their recordings, and how the industry itself is evolving across the world.
THE EVOLUTION OF RECORD DEALS
Tuesday 15 Jun 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKET
The artist/label relationship has evolved a lot in the last fifteen years. Today artists have a much wider range of options when choosing a business partner to work on their recordings. This webinar explains that evolution and runs through the key deal types now available.
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Music distribution has changed a lot over the last fifteen years. This webinar reviews the evolution of digital distribution, explaining how distributors expanded their services and client base, and runs through the distribution options open to artists and labels today.
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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Apple's App Store rules now subject to £1.5 billion class action claim before UK tribunal
As the epic legal battle over Apple's App Store policies - or the Epic legal battle if you prefer - continues to go through the motions in the Californian courts, a legal claim has been filed with the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal over the exact same App Store rules. Although the UK action seeks to represent iPhone owners rather than major gaming companies.

The policies in the spotlight are those that say that app-makers which take money through their iOS apps must use Apple's own payments system that charges a 15-30% commission, and that they can't clearly signpost users to other ways to pay online that can circumvent the tech giant's fees. Those rules have been a bugbear of app-makers for years, but have become particular newsworthy of late.

Spotify has been particularly vocal about its grievances with the App Store rules, which it argues constitute Apple exploiting its market dominance in a way that violates competition law. It filed a formal complaint with the European Union's competition regulator in 2019 and that regulator said last month that its preliminary view was that "Apple's rules distort competition in the market for music streaming services".

The new legal claim before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London is a class action on behalf of the millions of iOS users in the UK, presenting consumers rather than app-makers as the bigger losers when Apple adds a 30% commission onto in-app purchases. The damages sought by the action could top £1.5 billion.

The class representative is Dr Rachael Kent, a digital economy expert based at King's College London. Explaining her involvement in the legal complaint, she says: "The App Store was a brilliant gateway for a range of interesting and innovative services that millions of us find useful, myself included. But thirteen years after its launch, it has become the only gateway for millions of consumers. Apple guards access to the world of apps jealously, and charges entry and usage fees that are completely unjustified".

"This is the behaviour of a monopolist and is unacceptable", she adds. "Ordinary people's use of apps is growing all the time, and the last year in particular has increased our dependence on this technology. Apple has no right to charge us a 30% rent for so much of what we pay for on our phones – particularly when Apple itself is blocking our access to platforms and developers that are able to offer us much better deals. This is why I am taking this action".

The law firm leading on the litigation is Hausfeld & Co LLP. The company's Lesley Hannah says: "Apple has created a captive market where people who own Apple devices are reliant on it for the provision of both apps and payment processing services for digital purchases. It has been exploiting that market for years, by charging excessive fees that in no way reflect the actual cost of providing those services and making sure no one else can compete. App purchasers have been paying the price. This action seeks fair redress for those purchasers".

“Apple should be held to account for its unlawful anti-competitive conduct", she goes on. "Competition laws are there to protect everyone. Every company – especially one as popular and powerful as Apple - needs to obey the law. Millions of people use the App Store to buy apps and make digital purchases within apps, so it is more essential than ever that those purchasers are treated fairly".

Back in California, the legal battle against Apple's App Store policies is being led by 'Fortnite' maker Epic Games, which went to war - both legally and in PR terms - with the tech giant last year.

Among the things discussed in the court case so far is whether a billion dollar gaming company best known for a franchise that has been accused of exposing young fans to too much violence is the best entity to taking on big bad Apple over its allegedly monopolistic tendencies.

Although the Epic side has pointed out that while it maybe a billion dollar company, it's taking on a trillion dollar business. "There's a big difference between the two", Epic marketing exec Matthew Weissinger stressed in court, according to Law360. Also, violent game play in the Fortnite world never results in any deaths, just "eliminations", he added. See, a super sympathetic plaintiff.

Another London academic was a key witness during yesterday's proceedings in the Epic v Apple case. Professor David Evans cited research that showed that - while technically iPhone owners could always access online services via other devices - most do not. Research from 2019 showed that 83% of adults in the US had a smartphone, 77% of respondents spent their online time on their phone instead of a desktop or laptop computer, and 89% were utilising apps when they're using their phones.

He also argued that Apple's profit margins on the App Store suggest uncompetitive conduct. Those profit margins are under seal at the moment so not public knowledge. However, according to Law360, Evans "testified that if Apple capped its App Store profit margins in 2019 at $1 billion and reduced its commissions rate accordingly, the app commission would be 6.8% and not its current 30%".

"[The profit margins] provide evidence of market power because in a competitive environment, I would have expected the margins would have declined either as a result of prices falling or as a result of substantial investments in the App Store", the professor added.

Apple, of course, continues to deny that its App Store rules are anti-competitive, insisting that the likes of Spotify and Epic just don't want to pay their fair share towards the costs of building and running an online infrastructure that has helped them build hugely successful digital businesses. It remains to be seen if that argument can win the day in all the mounting litigation and regulatory investigation that is now underway regarding the tech giant's App Store policies.

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Court declines to seal Charlie Walk's $1.7 million settlement with Universal in ongoing attorney malpractice litigation
A judge in New York last week declined to keep confidential the settlement agreement reached between Charlie Walk and Universal Music back in 2018 as part of the former's litigation against the law firm that advised him ahead of his departure from the major.

Universal announced that Walk was stepping down as President of its Republic label in the US in March 2018, after various allegations of sexual harassment were made against him as the #MeToo movement gained momentum. He has always denied all of those allegations, but after an investigation by the major he nevertheless signed a settlement agreement that saw him leave the music company.

While negotiating that settlement agreement Walk was advised by the lawyer Marc Kasowitz. In March this year he sued his former attorney alleging that Kasowitz had "botched" those negotiations.

In the lawsuit he accused Universal of exploiting "a fifteen year old canard" and "a facially incredible story" in order to push him out of the business while ensuring he wouldn't be snapped up by a rival record company.

Referencing other events happening in the entertainment industry at the time, Walk's lawsuits then stated: "[Universal's aim] was for the public to associate Mr Walk with Harvey Weinstein. Yet, the only reason this worked is because Kasowitz – who was hired to be Mr Walk's heroic defender – passively cooperated with UMG, leaving Mr Walk defenceless”.

Kasowitz and his law firm have strongly denied Walk's claims.

In a recent letter to Walk's current legal team, they wrote: "The premise of your complaint – that Kasowitz failed to inform Walk 'that he had a strong alternative to signing the settlement agreement' and 'falsely told [Walk] that he had no choice [but to settle]' – is ludicrously false. Kasowitz fully informed Walk of his options to settle or to litigate at all times during the representation. Walk knows this full well – as do the three independent outside attorneys whom Walk consulted and who advised Walk during the entire period Kasowitz represented him".

As Walk's lawsuit starts to work its way through the legal system, both he and Universal sought to have the specifics of that 2018 settlement deal sealed and therefore kept confidential. However, the judge overseeing the case, Andrew Borrok, declined that request last week.

The judge stated: "Charlie Walk has placed directly at issue the settlement agreement dated 27 Mar 2018, between UMG Recordings Inc and Mr Walk pursuant to which he was paid approximately $1.7 million in connection with the termination of his employment from UMG. To wit, Mr Walk alleges that the defendants committed malpractice in advising him and negotiating the settlement agreement with UMG when he was accused by a number of women of sexual harassment".

"Neither UMG nor Mr Walk has a compelling interest in keeping the settlement agreement confidential", he added. "The interest of the victims of Mr Walk's alleged conduct and the public interest in how UMG addresses these types of allegations substantially outweighs any private agreement to the contrary".

According to Law360, the now public settlement agreement states that the $1.7 million received by Walk was basically his 2017 bonus. It also adds that Walk had "voluntarily entered into this settlement agreement", which is obviously important to Kasowitz, given the allegations he pressured his client into doing the deal.

A representative for Kasowitz told Law360 yesterday: "We are pleased that the court denied Charlie Walk's motion to keep evidence hidden from the public in his lawsuit against us. Today we are filing a motion to dismiss that frivolous lawsuit, and we intend to seek sanctions against him and his lawyers for bringing it".

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Louis Tomlinson to release second solo album through BMG
Louis Tomlinson has announced that he is partnering with BMG for the release of his second solo album. No release date has yet been announced for the record, which he is in the process of recording.

"I'm very excited to start the next part of my journey with BMG", says Tomlinson. That's it. That's all he said. Offering more - but only slightly more - BMG UK's VP A&R Jamie Nelson adds: "We are delighted to welcome Louis to BMG. He is already busy working on new music, and we are excited to join him on the next phase of his extraordinary career".

So that's great. Everyone's happy. Tomlinson's so happy he's postponed all his tour dates to 2022. Originally scheduled for September this year, the UK shows will now take place next April, with a new date in Manchester added and his two performances at the Roundhouse in London merged into one at Wembley Arena. The shows will now come at the end of US and European tours.

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Stones Throw allies with Songtrust to administrate its publishing catalogue
Stones Throw Publishing, the publishing division of LA-based indie label Stones Throw Records, has announced a deal with Downtown's Songtrust, which will provide admin services for the songs business moving forward.

Confirming the deal, Stones Throw's General Manager Jason McGuire says: "We are pleased to be partnering with Songtrust as we continue our aim to deliver the most comprehensive collection services to our writers. Started out of necessity to assist the label's artists without publishing representation, Stones Throw's publishing business unit has grown into a robust arm of the company providing worldwide admin and sync services for writers beyond just those signed to the record label. With Songtrust's ability to scour all corners of the globe and provide transparent reporting, we look forward to delivering even better service and results to our writers and artists".

Speaking on the Songtrust side, the company's Lara Baker adds: "I am THRILLED to bring Stones Throw Publishing and their incredible roster to Songtrust, and to ensure that all their artists - from those that are well-established to the emerging artists they work to develop - receive best-in-class global publishing administration. Songtrust can be of particular value to publishing companies owned by record labels, as we take the time-consuming and complex work of administration out of their hands and allow them to focus on their work developing the careers of the artists and songwriters on their roster who rely on their support".

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Afrobeats label Mavin launches music industry talent development programme
Nigeria-based Afrobeats label Mavin has marked its ninth anniversary by announcing plans for a new talent development programme, called Mavin Future Five. It will offer five young people with training, mentoring and work experience to accelerate their entry into the music industry.

"What we have done in nine years is establish beyond doubt that the music business can thrive here in Africa and globally as a business and industry", says label founder Don Jazzy. "I've been here for a while and by growing Mavin Global over these nearly ten years, I have seen the industry in all its phases. One thing remains consistent though; the value placed on talent".

"At Mavin, our roster boasts an abundance of this", he continues. "We have young artists coming through and they are bringing with them, a fresher voice and newer dynamics. Yet the music business is more than just the sound of its artists. Our new talent development model, Mavin Future Five, will be occupying the salient positions that make the music industry tick. I'm honoured and proud to launch the Mavin Future Five now to show our deep commitment to nurture next generation music industry talent. This is what our ninth anniversary celebrates - the limitless potential of the future of Afrobeat".

COO Tega Oghenejobo adds: "No matter how genius your potential is, everyone has to do their 10,000 hours. You need practice. There are young people everywhere in need of someone to believe in them. Here at Mavin, we are building structures for career progression where there is a gap in the market, and betting on the future of the scene, by bringing through those who will be in charge of it".

In addition to launching the Mavin Future Five programme, the label is also preparing for the UK release of a new Rema album, with new single 'Bounce' out now. New releases from Ladipoe, Johnny Drille and Ayra Starr are also incoming.

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Great Escape Conference - platform now live
It's Great Escape week everybody! Although this year's online edition of TGE takes place on Thursday and Friday, delegates can already access the conference platform, allowing them to plan their personal schedules and get busy networking with other attendees.

The TGE Conference programme is organised into six strands. That includes the three CMU+TGE strands - Future Music Talent, Future Music Strategies and Future Music World - plus the keynote in conversations, a series of webinars from TGE Elevate, and a series of panels presented by TGE's industry partners.

When delegates click on the Conference Schedule button within the platform, they can check out all the sessions taking place as part of each of these six strands, adding the sessions they want to see on Thursday and Friday to their personal schedules. Then when they login on Thursday they can use that personal schedule to easily access all the live sessions.

There are also three bonus on-demand panels already available - one for each of the three main CMU+TGE strands. Delegates can tune into those at anytime once they are logged in.

On the festival side, the TGE showcases will take place at 6pm on Thursday and Friday. Delegates can also access this content via the conference platform, organising their personal schedules and accessing industry info about each act.

To access the full TGE Conference get your delegate pass here.

 

Herbert to release new album, Musca
Matthew Herbert has announced that he will release a new album in his Herbert guise later this year. 'Musca' will feature collaborations with eight singers and six musicians.

"Like presumably many other albums made during the last year, 'Musca' reflects on navigating the challenges and joys of our most intimate relationships whilst the world is in turmoil", says Herbert. "Not just with COVID, but with the rise in state and political violence, Facebook-friendly fascism, white supremacy and a climate in crisis".

"The week last year when I wrote most of these songs seems like another era altogether", he continues. "I have no idea how they will sound a year later now the context has changed so markedly. The optimist in me wants to leap forwards, vaccinated into the sunshine brandishing the NHS logo, but the realist in me is aghast at the wave of death unleashed upon this country by an incompetent and corrupt government".

"The record probably has ended up with both of those things however", he adds, "optimism that an alternative way of organising ourselves is possible and anger and gloom that we're not there yet".

The first single from the album is 'The Way' featuring Y'akoto. The other singers on the album are Verushka Grebenar-George, Siân Roseanna, Allie Armstrong, Bianca Rose, Melissa Uye-Parker, Daisy Godfrey, Yakoto Kieck and Joy Morgan, alongside musicians Nick Ramm, Tom Herbert, Tom Skinner, Finn Peters, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian and Leo Taylor. 'Musca' is out on 22 Oct.

Herbert has a number of other projects in the works, including a compilation of twelve-inch remixes and a new documentary, titled 'Symphony Of Noise'.

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APPOINTMENTS

SoundCloud has hired Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood as Chief Content And Marketing Officer. She joins from distribution company UnitedMasters, where she was President. "I'm proud to join the SoundCloud team as it redefines how artists, particularly those who are independent, grow and thrive in the modern music industry and how the next generation of fans experience music and entertainment", she says.

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LABELS & PUBLISHERS

IMPALA, the pan-European organisation for the independent music community, has announced a diversity and inclusion survey for the European music industry, mapping best practices, local developments and relevant projects. "We ask all independents across Europe to complete our survey so we can collect useful data and share best practices within Europe", says IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith. "There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to tackle diversity issues, each territory needs to adapt according to their own situation". Find out more and complete the survey here.

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RELEASES

A new Florence And The Machine song, titled 'Call Me Cruella', will feature on the soundtrack of new Disney movie 'Cruella'. Here's a clip. "Some of the first songs I ever learned how to sing were Disney songs", says Florence Welch. "And the villains often got the best numbers. So to help create and perform a song for 'Cruella' is the fulfilment of a long held childhood dream". The full soundtrack album is out on 21 May.

Skillrex has released new track 'Butterflies', featuring Four Tet and Starrah.

St Vincent has released new single 'Down'. Her new album, 'Daddy's Home', is out this week.

Donovan has released new single 'I Am The Shaman'. The track is produced by David Lynch, who also directed its video.

Asbjørn has released new single 'Young Dumb Crazy', taken from his new album 'Boyology'. The song, he says, is written to himself from the perspective of an ex-boyfriend. "I put all the things into the song that I wished he would have said to me", he says. "As I wrote the song, I realised the double-perspective, the irony and my own hypocrisy".

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

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Iron Maiden to launch carbon negative beer with BrewDog
Iron Maiden have partnered with BrewDog on a new beer that they're calling Hellcat. And the lager, set to launch in the US later this year, will be carbon negative in its production.

"I've been looking for the perfect partner with whom to bring a fresh, exciting beer to the US", says Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson. "I've long been an admirer of BrewDog, not just because of their beers, but also of their attitude and style. When I met the BrewDog team, we discovered the respect is mutual, and that we could make an undeniably unique beer together".

BrewDog CEO James Watt adds: "We're THRILLED to partner with a world-renowned rock band like Iron Maiden. [They], like BrewDog, have maintained their spirit of independence throughout their stellar career. Hellcat is a hop-forward lager with a golden hazy appearance and crisp finish - an epic beer worthy of this massive collaboration".

Brewing the beer in the US, the company says that it will remove double the CO2 from the atmosphere than is produced in the making every can of Hellcat. So, while you might think that 6% ABV is a bit strong for a lager, it's actually your duty to drink it.

Iron Maiden, of course, are no strangers to beer making. They have worked with the Robinsons brewery in the UK since 2013 on their Trooper range of beers.

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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
 
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