WEDNESDAY 26 JANUARY 2022 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Universal Music has requested a preliminary injunction as part of its ongoing legal battle with Republic. Not it's own label Republic, obviously. But New York-based online investment platform Republic, which moved into the music space last year via a partnership with music financing and NFTs platform Opulous... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Universal Music seeks preliminary injunction against Republic investments site in trademark battle
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DEALS Elvis Costello signs publishing deal with BMG
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MEDIA Audio Content Fund to wind down after UK government's licence fee decision
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INDUSTRY PEOPLE Andy Ross dies
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RELEASES Soak announces new album, If I Never Know You Like This Again
Tom Rogerson announces new album, Retreat To Bliss

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ONE LINERS Cardi B, Bryan Adams, Franz Ferdinand, more
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AND FINALLY... Management looking into Neil Young's request to boycott Spotify in Joe Rogan protest
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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.
   
KILIMANJARO LIVE - PROMOTER ASSISTANT, MUSIC/SPOKEN WORD (LONDON)
Kilimanjaro Live is seeking a Promoter Assistant to assist two Promoters in the music and comedy/spoken word spheres to deliver tours and events and working with new and established artists across a variety of venues in the UK. 

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ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT FESTIVALS - MEMBERSHIP & OPERATIONS COORDINATOR (LONDON/OTHER UK)
AIF is seeking a new Membership and Operations Coordinator (full time) to assist the Chief Executive Officer with the day-to-day administration and operations of the association.  

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SOUTHBANK CENTRE - EVENT MANAGER, CONTEMPORARY MUSIC - MATERNITY COVER (LONDON)
The Southbank Centre is looking for an experienced and talented Event Manager, with a keen interest in and understanding of contemporary music, to join the Artistic Programming team on a fixed term maternity cover.

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PACE RIGHTS MANAGEMENT - COPYRIGHT MANAGER (LONDON)
A Copyright Manager is required at PACE Rights Management, which assists rightsholders to direct license their live public performance rights, and rightsholders and platforms/promoters to license rights for streamed concerts.

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FKP SCORPIO - SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON/MANCHESTER)
Reporting to the Head of UK and European Touring Marketing at FKP Scorpio UK, the candidate will have up to date experience in ads campaigns across all facets of live concert and festival marketing.

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O2 ACADEMY OXFORD - TECHNICAL MANAGER (OXFORD)
The technical manager is responsible for leading the O2 Academy Oxford's stage department, welcoming incoming productions, and managing a large and diverse team of back-of-house and freelance employees.

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DOUBLE SIX RIGHTS MANAGEMENT - CLIENT REPERTOIRE ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Double Six Rights Management is seeking a self-motivated and great team player to join its team through day-to-day coordination and operation of the company, to help maximise revenues for Double Six label clients. 

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ACADEMY MUSIC GROUP - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
A senior position in the AMG communications and marketing team, you will have a solid understanding of digital marketing and be responsible for developing, implementing, tracking and optimising digital campaigns across a variety of year-round shows, tours, events and nationwide entertainment venues.

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ACADEMY MUSIC GROUP - NATIONAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
A senior position in the AMG communications and marketing team, you will have a solid understanding of marketing and be responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining year-round marketing strategies.

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DOUBLE SIX RIGHTS MANAGEMENT - LABEL REPERTOIRE AND CLAIMS COORDINATOR (LONDON)
Double Six Rights Management is seeking a self-motivated and detail orientated individual to join the team through day-to-day coordination and operation of the company, to help maximise revenues for Double Six label clients.

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BAND ON THE WALL - BOX OFFICE & TICKETING MANAGER (MANCHESTER)
Band On The Wall is recruiting a Box Office and Ticketing Manager to join its growing team, ahead of the venue reopening in spring 2022.

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GONDWANA RECORDS - JUNIOR PRODUCT MANAGER (REMOTE)
Gondwana Records is seeking a dynamic, self-motivated and highly organised full time Product Manager. The chosen candidate will assist with the day to day project management of the artist roster and releases and reporting directly to the Label Manager and General Manager.

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The CMU Library is our online educational resource for the music industry, full of guides, briefings and reports from CMU Trends, CMU Insights and CMU:DIY. You can browse the Library and access all the resources by using the links below...
THE MUSIC INDUSTRY MUSIC COPYRIGHT
THE RECORD INDUSTRY THE MUSIC PUBLISHING SECTOR
THE STREAMING BUSINESS THE LIVE MUSIC SECTOR
THE DIRECT-TO-FAN BUSINESS MUSIC MARKETING

Universal Music seeks preliminary injunction against Republic investments site in trademark battle
Universal Music has requested a preliminary injunction as part of its ongoing legal battle with Republic. Not it's own label Republic, obviously. But New York-based online investment platform Republic, which moved into the music space last year via a partnership with music financing and NFTs platform Opulous.

The major record company sued the Republic investment firm last November as the latter's partnership with Opulous got under way with a project that invited investors and fans to put money into a new track by Lil Pump and Soulja Boy, securing themselves in return a cut of any future royalties generated by that recording.

The basic model of that scheme is the same as the fan funding platforms of old, but with Republic and Opulous each investor's royalty rights are logged on the blockchain as NFTs. Meanwhile, Opulous's sister company Ditto manages the royalty payments.

At the time, Republic - the investment platform - was being quite bullish about its move into music investments, which obviously offers artists an alternative route to finance instead of signing to label.

That, Republic's bumf stressed, meant that anyone who invested in music releases on its platform - in addition to getting royalty rights and other perks - would also be helping to "fix [a record] industry that pays creators only 12% of the revenues they generate".

So that was certain to doubly piss off Universal Music. Once again the majors were being presented as the bad guys in the context of the digital music industry. And the dissing was coming from a company that shared a name with one of its own labels, Republic Records. The dissing was annoying. But the common name, the major argued in its lawsuit, was trademark infringement.

Given the way that Republic the investment platform was talking about its music projects last year, the whole Republic Music venture was sounding very like a record label, Universal added. And while Republic might argue that its move into music was really all about the non-fungible tokens, the major is also jumping on the NFT bandwagon, it declared, so that's confusing too.

"If defendant delivers on this promise", Universal's lawsuit stated, "then the artists, labels, managers, agents, and fans who currently know of only plaintiff's Republic label would be presented with two different companies offering identical services under identical names in the same industry. Confusion is inevitable".

The Republic platform isn't being so vocal about its move into music at the moment, but nevertheless Universal wants a preliminary injunction stopping it from offering any music investment opportunities under its Republic brand while the wider trademark litigation goes through the motions.

According to Billboard, legal papers requesting the preliminary injunction filed on Monday state: "In the short time since defendant began using defendant's Republic marks in connection with its new music-related services, there have already been numerous instances of actual confusion".

Indeed, it adds, even "sophisticated professionals and trade industry publications" have mixed up the Republic investment site and the Republic label. Not this sophisticated professional and trade industry publication I'd like to add. Though having to constantly distinguish between the two Republics when reporting on this legal battle is slightly tedious. So maybe they have a point.

That confusion, Universal also says in its new legal filing, became even more annoying when people started publicly moaning about Republic the investment platform.

The launch of Republic's music products last year was, the major alleges, "riddled with complications and poorly-explained instructions resulting in consumer complaints. Website shutdowns also plagued defendant's launch".

And Universal doesn't want anyone to think that its Republic Records was in anyway involved in any complicated launched or poorly-explained instructions.

Republic now has a chance to respond to the injunction request. Republic the investment platform that is. It would be silly for Republic the label to respond. Though, given how confused everyone apparently is, maybe it will anyway.

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Elvis Costello signs publishing deal with BMG
Following the release of his new album 'The Boy Named If' last week, Elvis Costello has announced that he has signed a new worldwide publishing deal with BMG. The company will administer his full catalogue, which is quite a lot of songs. Nearly 600, I think.

"It is not often that a catalogue as distinguished as Elvis Costello's becomes available", says Alistair Norbury, BMG's President Repertoire & Marketing UK. "We look forward to working with Elvis and his management to further raise awareness and appreciation of one of the greatest songwriters the UK has produced".

BMG VP A&R UK Ian Ramage adds: "Elvis really is the songwriters' songwriter. As a music publisher, this is the quality of work we all aspire to represent".

Costello's songwriting was in the news last year after Olivia Rodrigo was accused of ripping off his song 'Pump It Up'. "This is fine by me", he said after it was brought to his attention on Twitter, "it's how rock n roll works". So, BMG's first job won't be to secure him a credit on Rodrigo's 'Brutal'.

Meanwhile, he announced earlier this month that he would stop performing his song 'Oliver's Army' live due to an ongoing controversy over its lyrics. So that's something else BMG doesn't have to worry about. I'm sure there are other things to do though.

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Audio Content Fund to wind down after UK government's licence fee decision
Alongside the headline grabbing announcement from the UK government last week that BBC funding will be cut in real terms over the next two years, there was also quieter confirmation that other initiatives that have provided funds to producers of public service programming are being axed completely.

The effected initiatives are the Young Audiences Content Fund and the Audio Content Fund. The former helped to finance children programmes on commercial TV networks like ITV and Channel 4, while the latter funded innovative radio programmes that aired on commercial or community stations. The idea was to help get programmes that were not in themselves commercially viable onto commercial networks, providing some extra public service programming outside of the BBC.

Referred to by the government as 'contestable funding', it had previously been suggested that these funds could be financed by diverting a small slice of the monies generated by the TV licence fee. That's not how the pilots of each initiative were actually financed, but it was still an option for the future.

However, when announcing last week that the BBC's licence fee would be frozen over the next two years, meaning the Beeb's income will decline in real terms because of inflation, Culture Minister Nadine Dorries also stated: "I have decided not to top-slice the licence fee for the purpose of contestable funding. Over the course of the settlement period, this will return close to £100 million back to general licence fee income".

Both the Young Audiences Content Fund and the Audio Content Fund then subsequently confirmed that this meant there was no new funding available, so both will soon have to start winding down their operations, unless alternative sources of money can be found.

Among many other things, the Audio Content Fund helped finance programmes like Shaun Keaveny's 'Rockanory' on Absolute Radio, Marcus Brigstocke's 'The Cabinet Of Jazz' on Jazz FM, and the recently launched tie-up between Scala Radio and Jazz FM, 'Jazz Meets Classical'.

Organisers of the Fund announced earlier this week that, following discussions with the government's Department For Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, and "following the resolution of their negotiations with the BBC over the licence fee settlement, it has been confirmed that TV licence fee funding will not be used to extend the Audio Content Fund beyond the initial pilot project. As such, round nine of the ACF - which closes on 31 Jan - will be the final funding round of that original pilot grant. The ACF will not currently introduce any further funding rounds".

The Fund's MD Sam Bailey added: "We are incredibly proud of our achievements during this three-year pilot period, which will have seen £3.3 million distributed to more than 80 indie production companies, for more than 150 projects broadcast on more than 340 different radio stations. We are grateful to DCMS for the grant that enabled us to deliver this extraordinary portfolio of content for tens of millions of listeners. We will now move to an evaluation stage and explore alternative sources of funding".

Both AudioUK, which represents independent audio production companies, and Radiocentre, the trade body for commercial radio, said that they were disappointed at the decision to no longer provide money for the Fund.

They said in a joint statement: "We are disappointed that further funding is not currently available for the Audio Content Fund. While the Fund will be able to see through its current commissioning rounds, beyond this it is regrettable that audiences seem likely to miss out on the ACF's diverse range of distinctive high-quality public service programmes on their commercial and community station of choice. The Fund provides enormous value-for-money and we will now work with DCMS on an evaluation and to explore other means of supporting the Fund in the future".

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Andy Ross dies
The former head of the Food Records label, Andy Ross, has died. He was 66. No cause of death has yet been announced.

Born in South London in 1956, Ross's first brush with the music industry came as frontman of the band Disco Zombies, who released a handful of singles in the late 70s. Later he became a writer for music magazine Sounds and is credited with giving the 'shoegaze' genre its slightly derogatory name.

In 1986, Ross took a job heading up Food Records, the Camden-based independent label founded by The Teardrop Explodes keyboard player David Balfe two years earlier. There Ross signed bands including Blur, Jesus Jones, Dubstar and Idlewild. When Balfe sold Food to EMI in 1994, Ross remained its head.

Having been at the centre of the Britpop scene in the mid-90s, as the music industry changed the label was eventually folded into the then EMI-owned Parlophone label in 2000.

Paying tribute last night, Blur drummer Dave Rowntree said: "Really sad to learn of the passing of my friend and mentor Andy Ross. He was one of the good ones - generous, warm, and kind. They broke the mould".

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CMU Insights: Music Business Trends Webinars 
The first CMU live webinars of 2022 take place next month, with three sessions focused on key business trends, in the music industry at large, and specifically in the worlds of streaming and music copyright. The three sessions are as follows...

KEY MUSIC INDUSTRY TRENDS 
Tuesday 8 Feb 2022 | 2.30pm 
As the live sector continues to navigate the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and Brexit, the record industry is still benefiting from the streaming boom. Although the digital market is diversifying, creating both challenges and opportunities. We explain all the latest trends in the wider music industry.

KEY STREAMING TRENDS 
Tuesday 15 Feb 2022 | 2.30pm 
While the streaming boom continues to be led by Spotify-style services, the digital music market is diversifying again. New streaming products and business models present both challenges and opportunities, while the core streaming business model is still proving controversial.

KEY MUSIC COPYRIGHT TRENDS 
Tuesday 22 Feb 2022 | 2.30pm 
The music rights business has proven itself to be pretty COVID proof - and mega-bucks music rights deals have been headline news. Find out about the latest trends in the music rights sector - and understand the key copyright law and piracy debates that are currently underway.

You can currently book a place on the full series for the special early bird discount price of £60 - a 33% discount. Click here to find out more and book.

Soak announces new album, If I Never Know You Like This Again
Soak - aka Bridie Monds-Watson - has announced details about their third album 'If I Never Know You Like This Again', which is set for release in May. Ahead of that, tour dates begin next week and new single, 'Last July', is out now.

"This record is the most accurate picture of me", says Monds-Watson. "I felt no pressure at all, it was almost like I was ranting as I was writing. When I was looking to the past, it was as though I had a big lottery ball of all my recent memories and I would just randomly select which one I wanted to unpack. It helped me to process my past".

"I hate the idea of getting older and forgetting, or having a family and not being able to perfectly explain a memory or a feeling", they add. "I always want to remember exactly how I felt at a certain moment".

'If I Never Know You Like This' is out on 20 May, with tours either side of that date. And here they are:

27 Jan: Southampton, Heartbreakers
28 Jan: Guildford, The Boilerroom
29 Jan: Sheffield, Record Junkie
31 Jan: Leeds, Oporto
1 Feb: York, The Fulford Arms
2 Feb: Hebden Bridge, Traders Club
3 Feb: Glasgow, The Glad Café
5 Feb: Belfast, Oh Yeah Centre
6 Feb: Derry, Bennigans Bar
25 May: Limerick, Dolan's
26 May: Dublin, Whelan's
28 May: Manchester, Yes
29 May: Edinburgh, The Caves
31 May: London, Village Underground
1 Jun: Brighton, Patterns
2 Jun: Bristol, Thekla

Watch the video for 'Last July' here.

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Tom Rogerson announces new album, Retreat To Bliss
Tom Rogerson has announced that he will release new album 'Retreat To Bliss' in March. The record is his first since 2017, and his first fully solo record, his last album - 'Finding Shore' - being a collaboration with Brian Eno.

A former member of Three Trapped Tigers, Rogerson wrote 'Retreat To Bliss' following a series of life changes, including moving back to Suffolk, where he grew up, from Berlin. The songs that make up the album were written in a church next to his parents' house.

"All my life, the piano has been my constant companion, my confessor, my best friend, and my worst enemy", he says. "The last few years have brought some struggle, some joy, and a lot of change. My response has been to retreat to what I trust the most: the piano, my voice, and the landscape I grew up in. That's how the album got its title, and how I came to be ready finally to release a solo record".

"I was in the middle of a few months where lots of big life events were happening and I wrote lots of things very quickly, having spent years struggling to do anything at all", he adds. "It was the first sustained period of working by myself with no one else to bounce ideas off, and I instinctively started singing a bit more seriously - I even started using a vocal mic! The whole thing including lyrics was new for me but felt like a necessary response to the mood I was in".

'Retreat To Bliss' is set for release on 25 Mar. Listen to 'Oath' here.

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LEGAL

As expected, Cardi B was awarded additional damages yesterday in relation to the defamation action she successfully pursued against YouTuber Latasha Kebe. A jury had already awarded the rapper $1 million in general damages as well as $250,000 in medical expenses. After further deliberations they added $1.5 million in punitive damages, plus $1.3 million legal costs. Though it seems unlikely Kebe has $4 million lying around to pay damages on that scale.

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DEALS

BadBadNotGood have signed a new deal with Third Side Music, extending their existing partnership with the publisher. "Alexander, Chester and Leland are true contemporaries, yet articulate a cross-generational sense of virtuosity and energy only known to them", says Brontë Jane, Third Side Music's VP Creative. "I feel strongly that this next chapter for BadBadNotGood will be the most impactful".

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APPOINTMENTS

Andy West has been named Executive Vice President and General Manager of Warner Music Canada. He joins from Apple Music. "Andy is a hugely respected exec who has worked with labels and managers to help put Canadian artists on the map", says Warner Music Canada President Kristen Burke. "He combines an enthusiasm for all genres of music with a business brain that enables him to put the right artists in the right places to connect with fans".

Rosa Asciolla has joined Utopia Music as VP Global Artist And Creator Community. She moves over from Spotify. "I'm THRILLED to be joining Utopia at such an exciting time", she says. "With the globalisation of music and data, it's important to continue the journey of empowering creators by providing a one-stop-shop that will enable their growth".

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RELEASES

Bryan Adams has released new single 'Never Gonna Rain'. His new album, 'So Happy It Hurts', is out on 11 Mar. He'll also be touring the arenas of the UK in May and July this year.

Franz Ferdinand have released new single 'Curious'. "I had this idea for the lyric", says frontman Alex Kapranos. "Kind of the reverse of one of those life flashing before your mind as you die in a film scenes, where the entire course of a relationship flashes before you the instant you fall in love with someone".

Blossoms will release new album 'Ribbon Around The Bomb' on 29 Apr. Listen to the title track here.

Skunk Anansie have released new single, 'Piggy'. The band are also touring the UK in March and April, and will play the Grace Jones-curated Meltdown Festival in June.

Jameszoo has announced that he will release new album 'Blind' on 11 Mar. From it, this is new single 'Bugatti (Étude)'.

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GIGS & TOURS

Sigrid has announced UK tour dates in December this year, including a show at Wembley Arena in London on 12 Nov. Tickets will go on sale on Friday.

Poppy Ackroyd will play Café Oto in London on 20 Sep, she has announced. To give you an idea of what to expect, she's also shared a live session video for her composition 'Suspended'.

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AWARDS

The BRIT Awards has announced that it is the first ever awards ceremony to launch its own collection of NFTs. Because someone always has to be the first to be a dickhead. They will at least only cost £10 and help to fund Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT School, which will be a lot of use when we're all under water. "We wanted to find a new way for fans to commemorate their favourite artists winning a BRIT award", says co-Chair of the BRITs Digital Committee Luke Ferrar, apparently seriously.

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

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Management looking into Neil Young's request to boycott Spotify in Joe Rogan protest
Neil Young has demanded that his music be removed from Spotify in protest at its Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which has been accused of spreading misinformation around COVID-19.

It follows a recent open letter signed by more than 250 scientists and medics that stated that the Spotify exclusive podcast has "a concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic".

That letter insisted that Spotify itself - as the distributor of the podcast - has responsibility here, because by distributing Joe Rogan's tedious ramblings it is helping to "damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals".

Echoing a number of the specific criticisms contained in that letter, earlier this week Young penned his own note on the matter. Posted to - but subsequently removed from - the musician's website, Young's note addressed his manager Frank Gironda and the boss of his label, Tom Corson at Warner Records.

He wrote: "With an estimated eleven million listeners per episode, JRE - which is hosted exclusively on Spotify - is the world's largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy. I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform ... They can have Rogan or Young. Not both".

"I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines - potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them", he added. "Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule".

Asked about the letter by the Daily Beast, Gironda confirmed that this is "something that's really important to Neil - he's very upset". As for removing Young's music from Spotify, the manager added, "We're trying to figure this out right now".

It's not the first time Young has demanded his music be removed from Spotify, though in 2015 it was because he was disgruntled about the audio quality of music on digital music services - something he was trying to fix at the time with his own ultimately unsuccessful Pono venture.

However, that time Young had his music taken off all the streaming platforms, whereas this time it's only Spotify that has the Joe Rogan exclusive. Given how much Spotify paid to have that exclusive, if push comes to shove, it will presumably have to pick Rogan over Young. Though, as we write this, the musician's music is still happily streaming away on the platform.

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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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