|FRIDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2021||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Just one day after the UK government responded to Parliament's big report on the economics of music streaming, its Intellectual Property Office yesterday published a new report called 'Creators' Earnings In The Digital Age', putting the spotlight on how music-makers make money... [READ MORE]|
Intellectual Property Office publishes report on music-makers' earnings
The research for this report was already underway when Parliament began its headline-grabbing inquiry into how music streaming works and how the music industry’s digital revenues are shared out between labels, publishers, artists and songwriters. Overseen by a steering committee that included an assortment of industry trade bodies, the academics who produced the report interviewed a diverse mix of people within the music community and crunched a stack of data along the way.
The report echoes a lot of what was said by artist and songwriter groups during the parliamentary inquiry regarding the challenges music-makers face in generating a living from their music-making. And it confirms that music-makers generally rely on revenues beyond digital - and in some cases beyond music - in order to make enough money to get by.
However, the report doesn't really embrace the popular narrative that - when it comes to the streaming boom - the digital services and record labels have cashed in big time, while everyone else has been left with little to nothing. Which isn't to say that the challenges, issues and controversies are ignored, but record labels in particular will likely feel their perspective is better represented in this report that in that published by Parliament's culture select committee at the end if its inquiry back in July.
The government's overall response to that select committee report, of course, was basically "good points raised, well done everybody, but we think more discussion and research is required before there are any major changes to policy or copyright law". And to that end a music industry 'contact group' and two working groups are now being formed to consider the practicalities and potential impact of some of the committee's recommendations. This IPO report, as much as the parliamentary report, is likely to inform that next phase of the process.
In his foreword to 'Creators' Earnings In The Digital Age', IPO boss Tim Moss writes: "Not only has digital technology revolutionised the way we access music, it has also transformed how artists earn money from music. These changes have been rapid, meaning that there has been limited evidence and data that would show how money is made and distributed. This has in no small part led to a high profile and highly polarised public debate, with this lack of evidence and data contributing to misunderstandings and confusion".
"Intellectual property, especially copyright, trademarks and brands, provides creators with the tools to allow them to make money and protect their creativity", he adds. "The Intellectual Property Office has a role to play in understanding how those IP rights support the creative value chain".
"As such, the IPO has led the way by working in partnership with the UK music industry to commission this study to deliver robust and independent evidence. [This report] is the most comprehensive piece of research on this topic, to date. I am confident that it will inform decision-makers nationally and internationally in supporting one of the UK’s greatest exports - creativity".
Reps for various music industry trade groups have responded to the new report, including all of the following...
Ivors Academy CEO Graham Davies: "Digital continues to change how music creators are paid and yet there has been a notable lack of publicly available data and research to guide opinion and policy. The Ivors Academy has led calls for objective research and thanks the IPO, and universities of Ulster, Middlesex and Leeds, for this important report. The Academy also welcomes the government's commitments to further research but, if the music industry is to meet its obligations for trust and transparency, far more data must be made available by those who license, collect and distribute royalties in future".
MU Deputy General Secretary Naomi Pohl: "Thank you to the researchers and IPO particularly for their time and dedication to the extremely complex and controversial issue of creators' earnings from streaming. The information they have made available in their report will help to fuel the debate and focus minds, as well as informing government policy in this area".
A spokesperson for BPI: "The report clearly shows that the market is more competitive than ever, and that artists and songwriters have seen their earnings rise much faster than record labels, taking a larger share of streaming income than previous formats".
Association Of Independent Music CEO Paul Pacifico: "This is a really important first step in terms of setting out the research needed to underpin a fair music ecosystem system that balances the competing interests of stakeholders across the value chain - from creation to consumption".
R Kelly defence lawyer cites Martin Luther King during closing arguments in sex abuse trial
Cannick's closing arguments pretty much echoed - although expanded on - what the defence team had said at the very start of their client's trial: that Kelly simply lived a rock n roll lifestyle, and while his sexual kinks may seem unusual, they weren't in of themselves illegal. The alleged victims who testified for the prosecution, meanwhile, were simply groupies who knew what they were getting themselves into.
Kelly's label "marketed him as a sex symbol, a playboy", Cannick declared, "so he started living that sex symbol, playboy lifestyle. Where's the crime in that?" And as for the alleged victims, he added, "some of the witnesses, just lie after lie after lie ... and the government let them lie".
Hugh Hefner was name-checked in the context of Kelly's supposed 'playboy' lifestyle, while former US Vice President Pence got a mention in reference to the musician insisting his girlfriend's call him 'daddy'. That's not so strange, the lawyer declared, before noting how Pence supposedly calls his wife 'mother'.
The MLK comparisons related to his client's bid to enforce the US Constitution. "That's all Robert is trying to do", the lawyer said. "If the government brings charges against you, the government has to prove them beyond a reasonable doubt".
Beyond the various allegations of physical and sexual abuse that have been made against Kelly, the prosecution's wider case centres on the claim that the star built and led a sophisticated criminal enterprise that allowed him to target, groom and exploit girls, boys, and young women for his own sexual gratification.
But, Cannick argued, the prosecution had failed to show any such enterprise existed. "R Kelly didn't have to recruit women", the attorney added, before telling the jury that his client "doesn’t need your sympathy - he just needs your sense of fairness and courage".
The prosecution's rebuttal came from Assistant US Attorney Nadia Shihata, who took particular aim at the defence's repeated portrayal - both in Cannick's closing arguments and throughout the trial - of Kelly's alleged victims as groupies who knew what they were getting into, and who were now misrepresenting their time with the star for financial gain.
"It's like we took a time machine and went back to a courthouse in the 1950s", Shihata said. "What they’re arguing is that all of these women and girls were asking for it, and they deserved what they got - never mind that many of them were teenagers, too young to consent".
With both sides having now presented their full cases, jury deliberations can begin.
Dismissed Marilyn Manson sexual assault lawsuit refiled
In the lawsuit, filed in June, an unnamed woman accused the musician of raping her and threatening to kill her in 2011. She also alleged that he had shown her a video in which he abused a female fan backstage at a concert.
At a hearing last week, the judge overseeing the case dismissed it, saying that the accuser's claim that she delayed coming forward due to memories of the alleged attacks being repressed wasn't strong enough to extend the statute of limitations. The judge did, however, give 20 days for the suit to be amended and resubmitted if additional details about the alleged rape could be provided.
In the amended lawsuit, the woman provides further details of her allegations against Manson, adding that he had told her that he would "bash her head in" if she reported him to the police. She argues that her case should qualify for an extension of the statute of limitations, providing more detailed accounts of the sexual assaults she says she was subjected to.
Turning to her memories, she says that she it not sure exactly when she repressed them but "knows that it was sometime in the hours or at most very few days after" the assaults occurred.
Various women have come forward with accusations of sexual assault against the musician since actor Evan Rachel Wood spoke about her relationship with him as abusive earlier this year. Manson is currently fighting three other civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault, plus a criminal case in which he is accused of spitting on a videographer during a concert.
In 2018, the LA District Attorney decided not to proceed with a criminal case against Manson, in which he was accused of assaulting and holding a woman hostage over two days in 2011, due to the statute of limitations being expired and because of an "absence of corroboration".
Goldie's Subjective sign to Three Six Zero
"Goldie and James are two masters of electronic music and we're beyond THRILLED to welcome them into the Three Six Zero family", says the label's CEO Mark Gillespie. "It's been a privilege to collaborate with them on this incredible record and we can't wait for the world to hear it".
The company's president Pete Tong - who signed Goldie to his FFRR label for the producer's debut album 'Timeless' 25 years ago - adds: "When Goldie and I connected again we knew we had unfinished business... It's been really inspiring to be working with him and James on the new Subjective music. I think they have made a game changing record and I’m super excited to share it with the world".
Goldie and Davidson themselves comment: "We're super excited to be working with TSZ Recordings. We can't wait for this next chapter, especially with the dawn of the new Subjective music. It's something we've always wanted to do and it's great to be moving forward with a new partner with our exciting new project".
Subjective released their debut album, 'Act One: Music For Inanimate Objects', in 2019. A release date for the new record is yet to be confirmed.
Natasha Baldwin to oversee Universal Music Publishing's new Classics & Screen division
Having previously been EVP Decca Publishing, Global Classics & Jazz within Universal Music, in her new job Baldwin in part takes over from Jim Kendrick, who is retiring following ten years in charge of UMPG Classical. Her promotion will also see Decca Publishing move into the UMPG Classics department.
"Natasha is a dynamic executive who has been a great partner to UMPG over the last five years", says UMPG COO Marc Cimino. "Her leadership, experience and global sensibility fit right in with our company culture. We happily welcome Natasha to our team and know that she will lead this new Classics & Screen division to tremendous success".
Baldwin adds: "With the creation of this new division, we have the opportunity to bring together the world's greatest legacy composers, the established trailblazers of today, and the next generation of writers to amplify the best and brightest global voices in classical and screen music. I want to thank [UMPG CEO] Jody Gerson and Marc Cimino for giving me the opportunity and support to lead these businesses into an exciting new future".
Prior to joining Universal in 2016, Baldwin held roles at Imagem Music Group and Boosey & Hawkes.
Steve Carless joins Warner Records US
CEO of the Warner label, Aaron Bay-Schuck, says: "Steve-O has one of the most brilliant A&R minds in our business - driven by an innate ability to identify and nurture emerging artists and champion superstars. He's been behind the success of countless hits and the development of next generation talent. Combined with his experience in artist management, as well as multiple other areas of our industry, he's a true renaissance man and a fantastic addition to the Warner Records senior executive team. [Warner Records COO] Tom [Corson] and I are very happy that he's come on board, and we're looking forward to all the amazing talent and music we know he will be bringing into the fold".
Carless himself adds: "I'm THRILLED to be joining Aaron, Tom, and the entire Warner Records team at such an exciting time in both the label's growth and the evolution of our business. I'm incredibly grateful that this iconic label group recognises the critical importance, growth, creativity, and worldwide inclusiveness of the vast diversity of artists of colour the world over".
"My focus", he goes on, "will be on rising black creators as they need to know they have advocates in positions of power who can be mentors, guides, and will support them as they navigate the music world and devote themselves to making game-changing music. With the belief of the team and our resources, we will create multiple runways and landing strips for creative entrepreneurs and artists of every stripe".
Carless has previously held executive positions at various other labels, including Warner's Atlantic Records, and Universal's Def Jam Recordings and Republic Records. Last year he also founded his own business, SC Company, working with artists including Beyonce and Polo G.
The collaboration between Coldplay and BTS, 'My Universe', is finally out. There's still a video to come, so its lengthy rollout isn't over yet. Plus, there's the new Coldplay album 'Music Of The Spheres' - from which it is taken - and which is out on 15 Oct.
Lil Wayne features on a new remix of Run The Jewels' 'Ooh La La', taken from the deluxe version of their 'RTJ4' album, which is out today.
Radiohead have released the video for recently unearthed 'Kid A'-era track 'If You Say The Word'.
David Holmes has released new single 'Hope Is The Last Thing To Die', featuring Raven Violet.
Underoath have shared 'Pneumonia', the third track from their upcoming 'Voyeurist' album, which is set for release on 14 Jan 2022. "We started writing the song, randomly, on the anniversary of my dad's death, and to release it exactly a year from that day is wild", says guitarist Tim McTague. "I was in a funk and wanted to make something sad but felt drained. The song ended up becoming an audible journey of death and is called 'Pneumonia' because that is what was listed on my dad's death certificate".
Kojey Radical has released new single 'War Outside', featuring Lex Amor.
Following on from the recent announcement of their new album 'Sympathy For Life', Parquet Courts have released another track from it, 'Black Widow Spider'. "I told [producer] Rodaidh McDonald that I wanted to find a sound that was equal parts Can, Canned Heat and This Heat", says frontman Andrew Savage. "He was really into that and probably took some glee in having such a bizarre challenge".
Following a string of new tracks in recent weeks, CupcakKe continues the trend with new single 'Marge Simpson'.
Kyla La Grange is back after five years with a dramatic cover of N-Trance's 'Set You Free'. She says of the track: "One of the themes in my new material is a hunger for escapism and magic, of never wanting to grow up, and this track just seemed to encapsulate that so perfectly. I wanted to re-work it in a way that brought out the sadness, the way that euphoria always has its flipside, in that you know you can never really feel this good forever".
Uffie is back with new single 'Cool'. "The song is about being co-dependent in an emotionally detached whirlwind of a relationship", she says. "I was afraid to stop moving at that speed, thinking there would be no ground below. So much happened on the surface that felt impressive; for me, a lifestyle of excess left me naïve, thinking there must be something deeper there. When I paused in the eye of the storm to look around, I realised it was all rooted in toxicity. Sometimes you decide to walk away, others you just say 'cool' and close your eyes".
Elkka will release new EP 'Harmonic Frequencies' on 19 Nov. Ahead of that, she's released new single 'Technicolour'. "This EP is a journal of a six month period starting towards the end of last year and climaxing at the point when dancefloors re-opened", she explains. "Not being able to see family and friends, to perform and fully express myself left me feeling like a part of me was not being nourished. Like most people, when things opened up again, I could feel and see the colour coming back into my life".
Chaii has released new single 'Get It Done'. She is set to release new EP, 'Pineapple Pizza', later this year.
Following the release of new mixtape 'Now, You Know' earlier this month, Rosie Lowe has released a video for one of its tracks, 'Paris, Texas'.
Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul have teamed up for new single 'Thank You'. Adigéry calls it "a cheeky and cynical revenge for all the unwanted, unsolicited opinions some people generously offer us".
Joe And The Shitboys have released new track 'Closeted HomoFObe'. It is "about people who think they’re allies, but still don't wanna look at two boys kissing", says Joe. "People who take it upon themselves to protect others from being exposed to the LGBTQ+ community, because they want the public space to remain 'neutral'. So it's not about the Westboro Baptist Church, it's about your fake woke uncle".
Buffalo Daughter have released new album 'We Are The Times'. From it, this is 'Jazz', featuring Ricardo Dias Gomes.
Tennin has released new single 'Totally'.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Insane Clown Posse's battle with the FBI examined in new documentary
Directed by Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez, 'The United States Of Insanity' was filmed over seven years and speaks to the hip hop duo themselves, various fans and their lawyers.
"Our goal is to put the audience through our own paces of discovery during the seven years we filmed with ICP, their fans, their lawyers and the government agencies pursuing them", Putnam says. "ICP's extensive archive of music videos, home movies, documentaries and feature films are layered throughout our movie as well, helping us paint a unique story of how two high school dropouts achieved their own American dream while bringing people along for the ride".
Ever since they were included in the FBI's National Gang Threat Assessment, Insane Clown Posse have made various attempts to have the Juggalos removed from it - both through the courts and in public protests. They claim that, as a result of the FBI's conduct, people have lost jobs, lost custody of children, been unfairly arrested, been refused entry into the military, and more, simply for being fans of their music.
The film is set to premiere at the Fantastic Fest film festival in Austin, Texas on 28 Sep, before opening in US cinemas on 26 Oct. Watch the trailer for the film here.