TODAY'S TOP STORY: Music distributor and artist services business Believe formally launched its Initial Public Offering yesterday, with the company's shares set to start trading on the Euronext Paris stock exchange on 10 Jun... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Believe formally launches its IPO, should arrive on Paris stock exchange next week
LABELS & PUBLISHERS IMPALA encourages independent businesses to help it assess music sector diversity across Europe
Odesza's Foreign Family Collective partners with Ninja Tune

LIVE BUSINESS FAC launches new kitemark scheme with Association Of Independent Promoters
MEDIA Bauer Media completes Communicorp acquisition
INDUSTRY PEOPLE Youth Music to launch fun for young music entrepreneurs
ONE LINERS Lil Baby & Lil Durk, Motown, Boy George, more
AND FINALLY... Taylor Swift to appear in new David O'Russell movie
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Believe formally launches its IPO, should arrive on Paris stock exchange next week
Music distributor and artist services business Believe formally launched its Initial Public Offering yesterday, with the company's shares set to start trading on the Euronext Paris stock exchange on 10 Jun.

Believe confirmed its plan to IPO last month after the French securities regulator AMF approved the documentation it had submitted for the stock market listing.

It said at the time that it would use monies raised by the share sale to fund a growth strategy that involves building "the leading global artist digital development platform, by continuing to invest to broaden its global footprint, pursue its disciplined external growth strategy and enhance and expand existing capabilities through investments in its technological platform".

As for how much money there will be to fund that growth strategy, it was originally indicated that the company would seek to raise about 500 million euro via the IPO. However, yesterday the target figure was revised to around 300 million euro, with shares expected to be priced between 19.50 and 22.50 euros, giving the business a valuation of between 1.9 billion and 2.1 billion euros.

The company is hoping to cash in on investor interest in a recorded music business that has been in growth for more than five years now on the back of the streaming boom, and which has - in the main - not been greatly effected by the COVID pandemic.

It will also seek to excite investment types about its status as an artist and labels services business rather than a conventional record company.

Which means it provides services to and works in partnership with artists at all levels, from offering simple basic distribution to DIY musicians via its TuneCore division, through to deals with bigger name artists - and other labels - where it provides a plethora of creative, marketing and business services on top of distributing a client's recordings. Plus, there are some more conventional labels within the group too.

Setting out his pitch, the company's founder and CEO Denis Ladegaillerie says: "Our ambition is to become the global leader in developing independent artists and labels in the digital world. In the first quarter of 2021, Believe attracted the largest number of independent artists and labels since its creation. Over the past few weeks, we have met with a number of investors who have understood why Believe is ideally positioned to benefit from the digitalisation of the music market and the rise of independent artists and labels".

Noting specific investor interest in the IPO, he goes on: "This is notably the case of the Fonds Stratégique de Participations, which will invest 60 million euros to participate in this IPO. This transaction aims to build a solid and balanced shareholder base alongside TCV, our historical long-term shareholder specialising in technology companies, at a time when Believe is accelerating its development driven by its profitable growth trajectory".


IMPALA encourages independent businesses to help it assess music sector diversity across Europe
A year on from Blackout Tuesday, the pan-European organisation for the independent music community, IMPALA, has urged independent music businesses to fill out a special survey that will help both the organisation and the community to get a better picture of the sector's diversity across Europe. Meanwhile, the UK's Association Of Independent Music has published an audit of its own record in terms of "equity, diversity and inclusion", summarising relevant initiatives and achievements from the last twelve months, and summarising its policies and future objectives.

Blackout Tuesday, of course, was a response within the music community to the murder, by a police officer, of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020. As Floyd's death sparked outrage and a new round of Black Lives Matter protests across the world, music companies and organisations paused their operations for 24 hours as part of an initiative instigated by US music industry execs Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang.

Although different companies and organisations approached Blackout Tuesday in different ways, people were encouraged to disconnect from digital channels and reflect on what active steps the music community could take to address prejudice and inequities, both within the music industry itself and beyond.

In their original call to action ahead of 1 Jun 2020, Thomas and Agyemang wrote: "The music industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. An industry that has profited predominantly from black art. Our mission is to hold the industry at large – including major corporations and their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and success of black people – accountable. To that end it is the obligation of these entities to protect and empower the black communities that have made them disproportionally wealthy in ways that are measurable and transparent".

An assortment of new industry initiatives were launched in the wake of Blackout Tuesday, each of which set out to tackle prejudice and inequities in one way or another, although everyone knows that there is as yet much more to be done. However, achieving progress does, in part, require better understanding the specific challenges in each part of the industry, and sharing ideas and experience across the community.

Hence IMPALA's diversity and inclusion survey. It said this morning: "For the first anniversary of Blackout Tuesday, IMPALA has called on independent businesses to help build a picture of the sector's diversity across Europe and map best practices for the future. With Europe made up of so many different countries, there is no one-size-fits-all approach and one of IMPALA's early commitments was to map and exchange best practices across the whole of Europe. With IMPALA's membership making up 30 countries already, this mapping exercise is essential".

IMPALA also offers independent music companies other resources to help them become more inclusive businesses, including offering diversity training courses, the next of which will take place on 28 Sep. The organisation has also summarised its own work on diversity and inclusivity over the last year, and its objectives for the year ahed.

In its Equity, Diversity And Inclusion Audit, AIM benchmarks its progress in relation to diversity objectives set out by various other organisations it is allied to or supports, including IMPALA, UK Music, the Black Music Coalition and the PRS Foundation's Keychange initiative.

Commenting on the audit, AIM CEO Paul Pacifico says: "AIM must work towards embodied solidarity with the people and causes we feel are under-represented in our industry and society. We have done some good work to date, but there is much more to achieve. We are fully committed and energised to build on the foundations now in place to help be a positive agent of change for a better, fairer and more inclusive music sector".


Odesza's Foreign Family Collective partners with Ninja Tune
Ninja Tune and Odesza's Foreign Family Collective label have announced a new partnership. The deal will see Ninja Tune release, promote and distribute FFC's catalogue worldwide, similar to its partnership with Brainfeeder.

"Partnering with Ninja Tune to continue to expand and evolve our vision for FFC is a dream come true", say Odesza's Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight. "Ninja Tune served not only as an inspiring template for us when we were starting the label, but also a label home and creative partner that has fostered and inspired us since the release of our album 'In Return' in 2014".

"To be able to bring our team at FFC into an even closer dialogue and partnership with the hardworking and innovative team at Ninja Tune is a privilege and we can't wait to see what amazing things we can achieve for the artists we love that are part of FFC", they go on.

"As an electronic duo starting a label back in 2015 the parallels between what we sought to accomplish and what Coldcut had accomplished with the Ninja Tune orbital were plentiful - we literally couldn't be happier to continue to learn more from such an experienced team".

Head of Ninja Tune North America, Marie Clausen, adds: "Everyone who works in this industry is, or should be, chasing that indescribable feeling that only music can provide. We experienced that the first time we heard Odesza's music and we've experienced it every step of the way subsequently during our long and successful partnership. To collaborate with them as they seek out that feeling and grow their label and story is truly an honour".

"Ambition, talent and a shared ethos have characterised the process of working with Foreign Family Collective successfully on a number of projects already", she continues. "Therefore it made perfect sense to extend the relationship to cover all FFC releases. We will now, together, be able to focus on amplifying growth for all FFC artists and ensure that the roster benefits from, and is empowered by, the trust and friendship that underpins the FFC/Ninja Tune relationship".

Artists signed to Foreign Family Collective include Rüfüs Du Sol, Big Wild, Jai Wolf, Kasbo, Ford and Mild Minds.


FAC launches new kitemark scheme with Association Of Independent Promoters
The UK's Featured Artists Coalition yesterday launched a new kitemark scheme that will seek to identify and celebrate artist-friendly organisations across the music industry. The scheme begins with a specific kitemark for independent gig promoters.

The organisation says that its BEAT Board of breakthrough and emerging artists have "developed a set of criteria for independent promoters on how to work with artists", which covers things like "communication, remuneration, accessibility and hospitality, as well as creating an inclusive environment with a published zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination and harassment".

The specific kitemark for the live side of the business is being delivered in partnership with the Association Of Independent Promoters.

It's CEO, John Rostron, says: "The artist-promoter relationship is central to the way that the music industry ecosystem works. It is this relationship that is at the heart of music's breeding ground, where artists learn their craft and build their fanbases. AIP has been proud to partner with the FAC on the development of this kitemark standard. The more mutual understanding there is between independent artists and promoters, the better it is for the whole of our industry".

Meanwhile, FAC BEAT Board member Lisbee Stainton adds: "Touring as an independent artist can be lonely and difficult to navigate; the new kitemark will not only help to establish a baseline of expected good practice between artists and promoters, but also strengthen the UK's live music grassroots community, encouraging us to hold one another accountable and improving everyone’s experience of doing the work they love".

The kitemark is launching, of course, as the live music scene in the UK slowly starts up again after the COVID shutdown. Many still hope full capacity shows might return on 21 Jun, although there are increasing fears that concerns over the new variant of the coronavirus could result in the current schedule for lifting COVID rules being revised. Though, either way, regular gigging and touring will still become a reality for many artists again in the months ahead.

There is more information about the FAC kitemark for promoters here. The scheme will be formally launched with a panel discussion on the artist-promoter relationship tomorrow at 5pm - there is more information about that here.


Bauer Media completes Communicorp acquisition
Bauer Media yesterday confirmed it has now completed its acquisition of the Communicorp Group in Ireland, making it a significant player in the Irish radio sector.

As a result of the deal, Bauer now owns Ireland's two national commercial radio stations Today FM and Newstalk, as well as local stations Spin 1038 and 98FM in Dublin, and Spin Southwest in Limerick. Digital sports station Off The Ball and digital audio exchange audioXI are also part of the deal.

Bauer first announced that it was buying the Irish side of the Communicorp business in February. The deal needed approval from various regulators in Ireland, but it cleared the final regulatory hurdle last month when Minister For Media Catherine Martin confirmed that, in her opinion, the purchase was not contrary to the public interest in terms of protecting the plurality of media.

Confirming the acquisition had now been completed, President of Bauer Media Audio Paul Keenan said yesterday: "Bauer Media Audio is excited to be entering the Republic Of Ireland through the acquisition of such a premium business, with its market leading and trusted brands".

"Its talented teams have built a strong reputation for high quality news, entertainment, music and sport", he went on, "and from this solid foundation we are passionate about the world of radio and look forward to further exploring the audio universe".


Youth Music to launch fun for young music entrepreneurs
Music charity Youth Music will tomorrow open its new NextGen Fund for young people starting out in the music industry. Recipients will be given up to £2500 to launch a project, idea or business.

"We want to give young people the confidence to make it happen for themselves", says Project Lead Elijah Cushnie. "This generation is building a fairer new industry, taking ownership of their work and imagining roles that don't even exist yet. But they don't all have the financial means to realise their ambitions".

"We want to rebuild an industry where every young person can see themselves, contribute and make a difference", he goes on. "This fund is a big step towards a more sustainable, inclusive and exciting music industry".

Ahead of the launch of the fund - which is backed by TikTok and the People's Postcode Lottery - the charity has also published new research.

The survey of 1000 respondents found that 79% of young people entering the music industry would prefer to set up their own project rather than take up a traditional role within an existing company. Unsurprisingly, the biggest barrier to this, said respondents, is access to finance.

The Youth Music NextGen Fund is open to professionals, artists and entrepreneurs working in music aged 18-25 (and up to 30 years old for those identifying as disabled). Find out more here.


Approved: Sun
While her background that spans playing in death metal bands and starring in musicals might at first seem a little incongruous, it does explain Karoline Rose's flair for the dramatic in her solo project Sun. Aiming to combine pop songwriting with elements of rock and metal, she released her debut EP, 'Brutal Pop', in 2019 - featuring the standout single 'I Killed My Man'.

Now she's back with new single 'Golden' - the first from new EP 'Brutal Pop II', which is due out this autumn. The song develops her mix of styles further and perhaps more successfully. The big hook of the chorus is lifted by the addition of a sturdy guitar riff, both working together to move the song along like waves crashing.

"I wrote 'Golden' when my whole life was crumbling apart", she says. "The one I wanted to be there most was not on this earth anymore. I missed my dad so much! It felt like a part of myself had disappeared with him and I could never live without him".

"'Golden' was inspired by the beautiful evening sky in Paris", she adds. "Its beautiful sight helped me to escape to a safe, imaginary place, to cope with his loss, with my loneliness, and with life in general. I'm so grateful for the beautiful evening sky in Paris".

Watch the video for 'Golden' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.


Round Hill Music has signed Lit to a publishing deal, covering their full catalogue. The publisher's sister label Round Hill Records will also release the band's seventh album later this year. "We're excited to be working with Round Hill both as a band and as songwriters", says vocalist Ajay Popoff. "This is the fit we've been waiting years for. The new Lit music is a refreshing throwback as well as a big step into the future of the modern rock genre".

Katie Kittermaster has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Revanche Publishing and BMG Talpa Music in the Netherlands. "I'm super excited to be joining the BMG family", she says. "In fact it is something I've pretty much dreamed of forever, wooo!"



Universal Music's Motown Records in the US has hired Jamila Thomas as VP Artist Marketing. "Jamila is a proven and passionate advocate for artists and an incredibly talented marketer who operates from a place of true passion for music, culture and community", says CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam. "Motown is home to some of the most prolific and impactful voices of our time, including those of our artists, partners and executives, and we're excited to welcome her to our team".



Lil Baby and Lil Durk have released new track 'Voice Of the Heroes', from their album 'The Voice Of The Heroes', which is out this Friday.

Marking his 60th birthday, Boy George has released new single 'The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread'.

King Princess has released her first single of 2021, 'House Burn Down'.

Lump have released new single 'Climb Every Wall'.

Matthew E White has released new single 'Genuine Hesitation'. He will release his first solo album for six years, 'K Bay', through Domino on 10 Sep.

Ms Banks has released new single 'Pull Up', featuring K Trap. "Anytime I touch stage I shut down", she says, "Imma 'Pull Up' and go off. Period".

A Place To Bury Strangers have released new single 'I Might Have'. Says the band's Oliver Ackermann: "'I Might Have' is about the insecurities of life and growing up and when you just have to turn around and say 'fuck it'. Life sucks so we may as well have a good time". The band's new EP 'Hologram' is out on 16 Jul.

Spector will release their first album for six years, 'Now Or Whenever', this autumn. Here's new single 'Catch You On The Way Back In'. "It's music for closing and music for opening, and strangely both the first track we started for the album and the last before we didn't see each other in the flesh for six months", says vocalist Fred MacPherson. "It's more of a drinking song than a thinking song, so it will probably make most sense when we're all allowed in the same room again".

Charmaine has released the video for her track 'Double Dutch'.

Zoee has released new single 'Evening Primrose'. "This a nighttime song, with metaphors of flowers blooming in the dark and the healing power of the Evening Primrose flower", she says. "It's also about throwing up in a Carhartt bag on a night train after being dumped and the mania that ensues".

Yeиdry has released new single 'Ya'. It "represents the self-confidence we all have yet sometimes can't find", she says. "It's about empowerment, it's about not letting anyone get in your way and only relying on yourself, living without the fear of death, which to me, is the bravest approach we can take in life".



Run The Jewels have announced UK shows in June 2022, opening with a night at Brixton Academy.

Bugzy Malone has announced UK tour dates in November. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.

Pete Doherty has announced a one-off show at Powerhaus in London on 3 Jul. Tickets are on sale now.

Jade Bird will play UK tour dates in March next year. Her new album 'Different Kinds Of Light' is out on 13 Aug. Here's the title track.

Jane Weaver has announced UK tour dates in January and February, in addition to upcoming shows in November. Here's her new single 'Solarised'.

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


Taylor Swift to appear in new David O'Russell movie
Taylor Swift is reportedly set to appear in the next film from director David O'Russell - best known for 'Silver Linings Playbook' and 'American Hustle'. So secretive is the production of said movie that the reports of Swift's addition to the cast comes after filming has already been completed.

Rumoured to be a period comedy set in the Depression era titled 'Canterbury Glass', the film also stars Margot Robbie, Christian Bale and John David Washington, with other cast members including Robert De Niro, Rami Malek, Chris Rock, Mike Myers and Timothy Olyphant.

Exactly what role Swift - or anyone else, really - will play is not clear. Hopefully it'll be more successful than her previous outing in the disastrous 2019 film version of the musical 'Cats'.

That said, she did get Grammy and Golden Globe nominations for 'Beautiful Ghosts', the song she co-wrote with Andrew Lloyd-Webber for 'Cats'. She was also nominated for the Favourite Movie Actress prize at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. These were some of the few award nominations that film received that didn't include the word 'worst'.

'Canterbury Glass' is already being tipped to win Oscars next year though, so maybe this will be the film that transforms her into a bona fide actor.


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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