TODAY'S TOP STORY: Andrew Lloyd Webber has promised "the mother of all legal cases" if the UK government pushes back on the planned 21 Jun lifting of COVID restrictions for venues and live entertainment... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Andrew Lloyd Webber promises "mother of all legal cases" if government pushes back lifting of COVID restrictions on venues
LABELS & PUBLISHERS [PIAS] announces partnership with Universal Music
Dua Lipa tops PPL's most played artists list for 2020

DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES YouTube rolls out Shorts into more markets, adds option to grab audio from other videos
Beatport unveils new logo and iOS app

ARTIST NEWS Sinead O'Connor retracts announcement of her retirement
ONE LINERS Megan Thee Stallion & Marshmello, Manic Street Preachers, Brian Eno, more
AND FINALLY... Ellie Goulding becomes co-owner of hard seltzer company Served
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email or call 020 7099 9060.
North London music and entertainment PR agency Measure PR is looking for an experienced Publicist.

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Adelphoi Music is looking for a candidate who demonstrates a proven track record of music supervision in the advertising industry.

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Anjunabeats is looking to grow its product management division.

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Kudos Records is currently seeking applicants for the position of Marketing & Social Media Coordinator. 

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Double Six Rights Management is seeking a self-motivated and detail orientated individual to support with the day-to-day operation of the company and to help maximise revenues for Double Six label clients.

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Tuesday 15 Jun 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKET
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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
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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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Andrew Lloyd Webber promises "mother of all legal cases" if government pushes back lifting of COVID restrictions on venues
Andrew Lloyd Webber has promised "the mother of all legal cases" if the UK government pushes back on the planned 21 Jun lifting of COVID restrictions for venues and live entertainment.

In a new interview with the Daily Telegraph, the composer and theatre producer echoes arguments made by venues and promoters across the live music music sector in recent days, that the government's own scientific research demonstrates that allowing full capacity shows to resume doesn't pose any tangible risk in terms of new COVID infections.

Lloyd Webber was talking to the newspaper about his new show 'Cinderella', which is due to start previewing at one of the London theatres he operates on 25 Jun. The timing of the show's previews, of course, is deliberate, coming shortly after the planned lifting of COVID restrictions in England on 21 Jun, which will allow venues to start operating at full capacity again.

However, that 21 Jun target date for lifting the current COVID restrictions was always subject to change, and reports have been circulating in recent days that ministers are seriously considering pushing things back by up to a month because of concerns caused by the latest variant of the coronavirus, what is now being referred to as the delta variant. A final decision is expected next Monday.

Any push back would come despite the government's Events Research Programme - which has been investigating how to safely allow fuller capacity events to return - and which has strongly indicated that, provided certain logistical guidelines are adhered to, the risk of contracting COVID at a full capacity entertainment venue is no higher than in a shopping centre or at a restaurant.

Although many venues have re-opened since the initial lifting of COVID restrictions last month, social distancing rules are still currently in force making it difficult for shows to operate in a profitable way. And a production of the scale of Lloyd Webber's 'Cinderella' is definitely not viable while social distancing is still a requirement.

Asked about the possibility of the 21 Jun target being pushed back, Lloyd Webber told the Telegraph: "I've seen the science from the tests ... they all prove that theatres are completely safe, the virus is not carried there. If the government ignore their own science, we have the mother of all legal cases against them. If 'Cinderella' couldn't open, we'd go, 'Look, either we go to law about it or you'll have to compensate us'".

A similar argument was presented yesterday by LIVE, the cross-sector trade group for the live entertainment sector in the UK. Its CEO, Greg Parmley, said in a statement: "The government's indication of a possible delay to [lifting current COVID rules] is astounding – by its own evidence from the Events Research Programme, as we saw at both the BRITs and in [test events held in] Liverpool, large scale events can happen safely with the right precautions in place".

"Live entertainment is ready and able to operate in the new normal and will continue to safeguard public health as it reopens", he added. "The government must act decisively if it is to avoid the decline of the UK's world-leading live music industry, which absolutely cannot afford to miss out on another summer of cancelled events after a year on pause".

Meanwhile, speaking for the wider night-time sector, Michael Kill of the Night Time Industries Association also threatened legal action if restrictions stay in force beyond 21 Jun.

He stated: "Night time economy businesses have waited patiently for their opportunity to open for over fifteen months. Many have not survived, some are on a cliff edge, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost, a huge pool of talent has been swept away and left to suffer extreme financial hardship. We should not underestimate the importance of 21 Jun to these businesses, employees, entertainers and freelancers, a day when they are given back there freedom to trade, livelihoods, careers, social well being and the day that the government gives culture back to the UK".

"We must be open on the 21 Jun", he added. "These businesses cannot wait one more week, they deserve this opportunity, given their continual commitment to the government's public health strategy. The decision to delay will leave us no other option but to challenge the government aggressively, standing alongside many other industries who have been locked down or restricted from opening".

Back in the Telegraph, a bullish Lloyd Webber declared: "We are going to open, come hell or high water". As for what he'd do if the government does indeed push everything back into July, he added: "We will say: come to the theatre and arrest us".


[PIAS] announces partnership with Universal Music
Independent music firm [PIAS] has announced a new partnership with the Universal Music Group which will see the latter tap the former's distribution network and label services expertise, while the indie will have access to the resources of the major "to further grow its global offering and strengthen its position as the leading independent services provider".

[PIAS] - which operates a group of labels as well as a services and distribution division, the latter recently rebranded as [Integral] - is keen to stress that its new partnership with Universal does not affect its status as an independent music business. Founders Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot retain full control of the company.

Confirming the new partnership, Gates says: "Almost 40 years since Michel Lambot and I launched [PIAS] we are as eager and driven as we ever were and remain wholly committed to providing independent labels and artists with a platform to reach a global audience. This new, somewhat unconventional, strategic agreement with UMG will help both companies maximise the many opportunities we know are available, while not compromising our independence whatsoever".

While Lambot adds: "I'm so pleased that we've been able to find an agreement with UMG based on trust and mutual appreciation. As a major and an independent, we are both leading music companies that exist to empower artists and labels. This partnership of two companies with music at the heart of their business allows us to grow in an increasingly global and competitive marketplace and to provide a world-class service to independent artists and labels with integrity and care".

Commenting on the deal from the Universal side, the major's boss man Lucian Grainge says: "At UMG, we understand that a vibrant independent sector is essential to a thriving music ecosystem. After all, we are a company built by - and for - entrepreneurs and today serve as an accelerator for so many independent creative voices, which is why we are delighted to provide [PIAS] the support and resources to bolster their company as a fiercely independent force in music".

"I have known Kenny and Michel for more than 30 years and have deep respect for their passion for music as well their openness and authenticity", he goes on. "As pioneers of the label services model, they have created enormous opportunities for independent artists and labels and established [PIAS] as a beacon of excellence in the independent community".


Dua Lipa tops PPL's most played artists list for 2020
It's the Annual General Meeting of UK record industry collecting society PPL later today, which is surely a cause for celebration. Like me, you've probably invited hundreds of people round for a big old house party while you livestream the proceedings through a super big telly set for all and everyone to enjoy. But ssh, don't tell anyone, you know, COVID rules and all that nonsense. But I mean, surely, coronavirus be damned, this is the PPL AGM!

Your highly-illegal virus-spiking house party is going to need a soundtrack, of course, but don't worry, PPL has thought of that and published its most played top tens for 2020 to help get the raving started. The big news is Dua Lipa has knocked that Ed Sheeran into second place on the annual list of artists who scored the most plays on radio and telly, and in public spaces, all across the UK.

About time too. She achieved that not by having the most played track overall - that went to The Weeknd and his tedious hit 'Blinding Lights' - but she got the edge in the most played artists overall list by having two of the top ten most played tracks: 'Don't Start Now' in second place and 'Physical' in seventh. That's the way to do it, people!

"Thank you so much to everyone that listened to and loved my music during 2020", says Dua Lipa, despite not replying to her invite to my PPL AGM house party. "I'm incredibly proud that I was the most played artist on radio, TV and all across the UK. I so wanted [2020 album] 'Future Nostalgia' to bring some happiness during such a difficult time. Thanks to everyone who supported it and also to PPL, who do important work in making sure artists and musicians are paid when their music is played".

Ah well, at least she remembered to thank PPL in the latter part of her quote there. Maybe I'll let her off about the no show in RSVP-ville. Anyway, see you all at the party later. Or, if you'd rather have a COVID-safe PPL party all on your own, here's the music you need to line up to soundtrack it...

PPL's Most Played Tracks Chart of 2020

  1. The Weeknd - Blinding Lights
  2. Dua Lipa - Don't Start Now
  3. Kygo & Whitney Houston - Higher Love
  4. Tones & I - Dance Monkey
  5. Harry Styles - Adore You
  6. Lewis Capaldi - Before You Go
  7. Dua Lipa - Physical
  8. Maroon 5 - Memories
  9. Jax Jones & Ella Henderson - This Is Real
  10. Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande - Rain On Me

PPL's Most Played Artist Chart of 2020

  1. Dua Lipa
  2. Ed Sheeran
  3. Ariana Grande
  4. Sam Smith
  5. Calvin Harris
  6. Little Mix
  7. Coldplay
  8. Justin Bieber
  9. Maroon 5
  10. The Weeknd


YouTube rolls out Shorts into more markets, adds option to grab audio from other videos
YouTube is rolling out its TikTok rivalling Shorts feature into a bunch more markets, including the UK, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. The feature makes it easier for users to create and share short-form videos on the platform, including providing access to a library of music and audio clips that can be synced into that content.

Although in many ways a straight rip off of TikTok, Triller and Instagram Reels, when it extended its Shorts pilot from India to the US back in March YouTube bragged that its short-form video-sharing tool would ultimately provide access to way more audio clips.

It said at the time: "In the coming months we'll launch the ability to use audio from videos across YouTube – which includes billions of videos worldwide – unlocking a new playground of creativity like never before. This means you can give your own creative spin on the content you love to watch on YouTube and help find it a new audience – whether it's reacting to your favourite jokes, trying your hand at a creator's latest recipe, or re-enacting comedic skits".

And, according to The Verge, that extra benefit will become available as the tool rolls out into these new markets. It explains that, where YouTube creators allow their audio to be utilised in this way, a new 'create' button will appear below videos on the main platform. "Clicking it will give users the option to sample the video's audio in Shorts - Shorts viewers will also be able to tap the audio in any video to head back to the original source in YouTube proper".

So, that's fun. Well, except for those of us who prefer our content in 8.3 minute chunks. And landscape. I mean, fuck all this portrait videos nonsense, enough already!


Beatport unveils new logo and iOS app
Beatport has launched a new iOS app for users of its Link service, ie the set up which allows subscribers to integrate an online music library and their own curated setlists with various DJ software packages and hardware. The dance music focused digital firm says the new app "provides accessibility on the go and promises to further empower DJs' creative workflow and integrate seamlessly into their performance environment". Which sounds like fun.

"Over the last two years we have been relentless in our mission to develop products that empower our customers", says the firm's CEO Robb McDaniels. "Beatport Link is the centerpiece of our strategy to give our customers the ability to stream the richest collection of electronic music available anywhere".

"This new mobile app", he goes on, "is an important extension of the Link platform, giving DJs the ability to discover new music, assemble and perfect performance-ready setlists, and transition them directly into their native environments. It's a hugely powerful tool that our customers have been asking for and one which we think they are going to love".

Beatport has also unveiled a new logo alongside the new app, the service's first rebrand since 2012. On the rebrand, as well as the app, founder Jonas Tempel adds: "Beatport has always stood at the intersection of creativity and performance, and nothing epitomises our future direction as this new mobile app, the crown jewel in our Link ecosystem".

"We felt at this moment in our history, it was important to reflect our position as an innovation leader in our space with a refreshed brand identity", he continues. "Working with Kurppa Hosk on the initial design, our in-house design teams brought the new logo to life".


CMU Insights: Evolving Record Industry webinars
The latest series of CMU's weekly webinars kicked off yesterday. You can still access a recording of this week's session and sign up to the upcoming live sessions. The series covers all the following...

Recording Available

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.

Tuesday 15 Jun 2021 | 2.30pm

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.

Tuesday 22 Jun 2021 | 2.30pm

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.

Click here for more information and to book you places.

Sinead O'Connor retracts announcement of her retirement
Sinead O'Connor is not retiring from the music industry. You may have read that she'd already done that. I mean, she did say she had - announcing that she was cancelling all scheduled tour dates and that upcoming album 'No Veteran Dies Alone' would be her last.

Now she's had a change of heart though, saying that an "unnecessary and hurtful" question on BBC Radio 4's 'Woman's Hour' while promoting her new autobiography 'Rememberings' had triggered a "knee jerk reaction" resulting in the retirement announcement.

O'Connor tweeted on Friday that she had decided that after a "40 year journey" it was time to call an end to her career as a musician. She said that instead it was "time to put the feet up and make other dreams come true". Asked about her scheduled live shows, she said: "Yes, all shows which were originally set for 2020, rescheduled to 2021 and then to 2022, are going to be pulled. Because this soldier woman has grown old quicker than COVID".

Returning to Twitter the following day, she said that the decision still stood, adding: "Apologies if any upset caused to booking agents or promoters or managers due to my tweeting about my retirement. I guess the book made me realise I'm my own boss. I didn't wanna wait for permission from the men, as to when I could announce it. Also, I'd had a few whiskeys".

So that was that. But given a few days to reflect, she has now retracted her decision to retire and explained in a statement what led her to make it in the first place.

"All interviewers were asked to please be sensitive and not ask about child abuse or dig deep into painful shit about mental health which would be traumatising for me to have to think about", she said. "Every fuggin time I go to sell a record for 30 years, it's 'Aren’t you mental? Aren't you an asshole? Aren't you invalid?'"

She then turned specifically to last week's 'Woman's Hour' interview, during which she was asked about the time she was referred to in an article by The Telegraph's music critic Neil McCormick as "the crazy lady in pop's attic".

"Last Tuesday it was unnecessary and hurtful for 'Woman's Hour', of all people, to remind me of the awfully abusive statement written about me by an Irish man for a UK paper", O'Connor wrote. "When people wonder what derailed my career? The UK and Irish UK papers' constant abuse and invalidation of me on the grounds I may or may not have been diagnosed by them as 'mad'. As if mad makes you invalid".

"I said I was retiring", she went on. "As I have said many times before in knee jerk reactions when I was young and made the butt of media abuse on the grounds I'm legally vulnerable. The hugest misconception (I'm always asked this but never answer) of 'Sinead O’Connor' is that she is Amazonian. I'm not. I'm a five foot, four inch soft-hearted female who is actually very fragile".

"But I love my job", she continued. "Making music that is. I don't like the consequences of being a talented (and outspoken) woman being that I have to wade through walls of prejudice every day to make a living. But I am born for live performance and with the astonishing love and support I have received in the last few days and will continue to receive from [booking agent] Rob Prinz and all at ICM, as well as many managers and buyers and fans, I feel safe in retracting my expressed wish to retire".

"I am not going to retire" she concluded. "I am going to keep on being fabulous".

'No Veteran Dies Alone' is set for release in January.



Manic Street Preachers' free shows for NHS workers - originally due to take place last December, before being moved to July this year - have been postponed again. They will now take place at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena on 19-20 Sep.



Universal Music has signed Sam Williams, grandson of country star Hank Williams. "We are so proud and excited that Sam Williams is joining Universal Music Group", says UMG Nashville President Cindy Mabe. "Sam's talent is timeless and boundless. He has such an incredible way of communicating and emotes as if he's channeling feelings from another place; somewhere deep inside himself".



Mariah Carey has left Roc Nation and engaged Range Media Partners as her new management company, reports Variety. Responding to rumours that she had fallen out with Roc Nation owner Jay-Z earlier this week, she said: "The only 'explosive' situation I'd ever 'get into' with Hov is a creative tangent, such as our number one song 'Heartbreaker'! To the people who make up these lies I say, 'Poof! Vamoose, sonofabitch!'"



Brian Eno has launched his own Sonos Radio station, on which he will be airing 300 previously unreleased tracks from his archive. "The earliest track we have at the moment is from 1990. We will be adding more pieces as time goes on", he says. "New pieces will be entering the mix and some of that will go back even further".



Megan Thee Stallion features on new Marshmello and Nitti Gritti track 'Bad Bitches'.

Coldplay have released the video for their new single 'Higher Power'.

Ava Max is back with new single 'Every Time I Cry'. "After every struggle you go through you become a little bit stronger", she says. "And every tear you shed is not wasted, but becomes your river of hope".

Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham will release an eponymous new solo album on 17 Sep. Listen to first single 'I Don't Mind' here.

Your Old Droog has released a collaboration with MF Doom, recorded before the rapper's sudden death last year. Here's 'Dropout Boogie'.

Celeste has released the video for 'Tonight Tonight', from her debut album 'Not Your Muse'.

White Denim have released new single 'Crystal Bullets'. "The music for 'Crystal Bullets' was inspired by the groove of the great Bernard Purdie and the signature chopped and screwed production techniques of Houston, Texas's Robert Davis Jr, better known as DJ Screw", says the band's James Petralli.

Hannah Holland has released new single 'Shutters'. Her debut album, 'Tectonic', will be out through PRAH on 17 Sep.

Maja Lena has released new single 'Antares'. "The song is named after the red supergiant star Antares, which is also one of the brightest visible in the Earth's night sky and the brightest star in Scorpius", she says. "The star is also nearing the end of its life". Her debut album 'The Keeper' is out on 23 Jul.



Shlomo's 'Beatbox Adventure For Kids' will be back on tour this autumn, plus there are dates at London's Underbelly festival in the summer. More info here.

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


Ellie Goulding becomes co-owner of hard seltzer company Served
Ellie Goulding has acquired a "significant stake" in British hard seltzer company Served. Announcing the news, she talked up the company's health and environmental credentials.

What is hard seltzer though? Fizzy water, mate. But with booze. It's a drink for people who want to get off their face but are concerned about putting on weight.

Alcoholic drinks are generally full of calories, see? You've heard of beer bellies, yeah? Beer makes you fat. And all those alcopops you like to drink? So much sugar. What you need is alcoholic water to make sure you look good while tripping over some bins and vomiting on a stray dog at 4am.

I'm sure Goulding and Served would like me to stress that their incredibly healthy drink should only ever be consumed responsibly. That's not my job though. Also, I'm absolutely hammered. So I'll just let them talk for a bit while I rest on this sink.

"[I] immediately fell in love with the brand", says Goulding of her tie-up with Served. "Not only because it's the best hard seltzer I've tasted by quite some margin, but also because this is a brand driven by care and respect for the natural world at this crucial point".

"I've always enjoyed a social drink with friends, but I also lead a busy lifestyle and I am passionate about my health, fitness, and the environment", she goes on. "Served is a brand that allows me to have it all – a delicious and refreshing alcoholic drink without all the calories, sugar and bad stuff".

Contrary to popular opinion, apparently alcohol doesn't count among the "bad stuff" you might find in a drink. There is a sort of bad stuff in Served though. Though bad stuff that it's good to use. Which turns the bad stuff into good stuff. I think. Basically, the company flavours its drinks with fruit that supermarkets refuse to buy because it's the wrong shape.

"We are going to take on some of the biggest brands on the planet, but do it our way", Goulding goes on. "We refuse to compromise on quality nor the health of the natural world. We use 'wonky fruit' as an intervention on food waste, the most innovative ecological packaging materials we can think of, and we will support habitats, people and animals on the frontline of the nature crisis".

"We will continue to be 100% transparent. Oh, and we'll do all this while having fun and building an awesome brand with awesome people", she concludes.

Wow, that was quite a lot of information there. I hope we have space for all the stuff co-founder Dean Ginsberg has to say about his company. "We are THRILLED to welcome Ellie as a co-owner of Served and excited to build a global brand alongside her", says he.

"Ellie embodies everything that we stand for at Served, and she will be an integral part of the brand as we continue to grow. We are excited to be working with such great partners who share our enthusiasm and vision for the brand, and we look forward to introducing Served to more people up and down the country and across Europe this summer".

Sure Dean, but what about the US? Why aren't you interested in the US? "The US is the single largest hard seltzer market globally by a significant margin, so it is a market we are interested in and one we will keep a close eye on for the future". Ah, alright then.

Right, I'm off to fizz up some more ethanol in my SodaStream. Something else I'll probably have to point out is a bad idea. Are you reading this, SodaStream lawyers? I said it was a bad idea!

I guess my hopes of getting a pop star to invest in my drinks company are out of the window. I mean, that company is currently more of a trestle table on the pavement, but we all need a leg up, don't we? I want to get in on the healthy booze revolution! A pint of fizzy booze water flavoured with wonky apples a day keeps the doctor away. That's what they always say, isn't it?


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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