TODAY'S TOP STORY: The UK government has announced more details about the new temporary energy price cap for businesses, which it says is "equivalent to the wholesale element of the energy price guarantee for households". The move has been welcomed - somewhat cautiously - by the live music and night time sectors, although industry organisations say more support is still required... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Live sector welcomes energy price cap, but says more action still needed
LEGAL LA District Attorney says more evidence required before abuse charges can be brought against Marilyn Manson
DEALS Def Jam announces partnership with Nigeria's Native Networks
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Sony Music pulls catalogue from Bytedance's Resso service
YouTube launches new music micro-licensing service for its video creators

Spotify puts audiobooks service live in the US

ONE LINERS Sam Smith, Future, Smashing Pumpkins, more
AND FINALLY... Kanye West denies he's selling his songs catalogue
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Live sector welcomes energy price cap, but says more action still needed
The UK government has announced more details about the new temporary energy price cap for businesses, which it says is "equivalent to the wholesale element of the energy price guarantee for households". The move has been welcomed - somewhat cautiously - by the live music and night time sectors, although industry organisations say more support is still required.

It was announced earlier this month that UK businesses would benefit from an energy price cap for the first time, designed to protect said businesses as energy prices soar. While specific details were provided about a new cap for domestic energy consumption, which was lower than what had previously been announced, the government was initially a bit vague about what help businesses would receive.

Now companies have learned that there will be a "supported wholesale price" cap set at £211 per MWh of electricity and £75 per MWh for gas. This will benefit "all UK businesses, the voluntary sector like charities and the public sector such as schools and hospitals". It will take effect on 1 Oct and apply to all fixed contracts agreed since 1 Apr this year. Companies on other types of energy contracts will also benefit from cuts, although these will be calculated slightly differently.

"This is equivalent to the wholesale element of the energy price guarantee for households", said the government in its announcement. "It includes the removal of green levies paid by non-domestic customers who receive support under the scheme".

The new price cap for businesses will be in place for six months, with further targeted support available to sectors identified as vulnerable after the initial period is up.

When support for businesses was originally announced, the UK's Music Venue Trust said that the plan "only goes some way in alleviating the challenge" faced by grassroots venues regarding their surging energy bills, while the Night Time Industries Association called it a "half measure package". However, both have now welcomed the newly outlined plan, albeit with some concerns remaining.

"We welcome the detail of the long awaited announcement of the energy bill relief scheme for businesses, and [will now] cautiously work through the impacts and benefits of the scheme with members", says NTIA chief Michael Kill. However, there are already some concerns, he adds.

"We remain concerned that this measure to cap the wholesale price to energy supply companies may not result in sufficient relief being extended to business customers", he explains, "given that energy suppliers remain free to impose additional mark-ups such as network charges and operating costs, which are uncapped. The net result of this could be a position where small businesses are still being asked to pay unaffordable energy bills of several hundred percent more than in previous years, which is clearly not sustainable".

He also notes that "this proposal will exclude businesses that renewed before 1 Apr where energy costs were still untenable, and does nothing to alleviate the high levels of energy supply debt incurred by businesses exposed to uncapped pricing over the last few quarters, and in isolation is unlikely to be enough to ensure businesses have the financial headroom to survive this winter".

Kill also says that it is the NTIA's view that this six month package of support does not go far enough to ensure the survival of night time businesses.

"To ensure the survival of our sector", he adds, "it remains imperative that the short term relief announced today is extended to twelve months and followed up with further action by the government in the budget this Friday, and that such action must incorporate our core asks, specifically business rates relief and a reduction in VAT across the board".

"The measures being discussed to date such as corporation tax relief will simply not be sufficient, given only one in four hospitality businesses would currently benefit from such measures, as three out of four are not trading profitably", he concludes.

Also commenting on this morning's announcement, MVT CEO Mark Davyd says: "Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this intervention by the government, which appears at face value to comprehensively tackle the immediate short term energy crisis for grassroots music venues".

Not sure if "warmly" was an intended pun there. Also, like Kill, Davyd points out that what is being offered now is only a short-term solution, and further government intervention is likely to be needed if grassroots venues are to survive the ongoing increases in energy prices. While the government has said that there will be further support for sectors that require it after the initial six month period, it's not yet clear enough whether this will cover small music venues.

"The government has indicated that 'pubs' will attract support for longer than the six month initial period based on the special circumstances of the energy crisis in relation to the operation of their business", says Davyd. "We have asked for urgent clarification that the broad term 'pub' includes music venues and other licensed premises essential to the grassroots music ecosystem, and anticipate that this will be the case".

"It should, however, be noted that suppliers to this sector face extraordinary financial pressures resulting from the cost of living crisis and the COVID period", he goes on. "We have presented to the government the case for action on VAT and business rates and await the statement by the Chancellor on Friday to see what further action will be taken to stabilise the sector and return it to growth".

"Music Venue Trust has requested that the government work with us on long term plans to secure affordable, sustainable and resilient energy for the sector", he adds. "There is a big opportunity presented by this crisis to support a radical intervention into energy supply and demand and we strongly urge the government to use the period of protected energy prices to bring forward plans to permanently tackle the causes of the energy crisis".

"Music venue real estate is a prime candidate for renewable energy investment", he concludes, "and we look forward to working with the announced Energy Supply Taskforce to realise that opportunity".

LIVE - which speaks for the wider UK live music sector - has also issued a statement, welcoming the energy price cap but also urging the government to make a longer commitment, and to cut VAT and business rates too.

"We welcome this support from government, but we are clear that this needs to be sustained past the next six months", says LIVE CEO Jon Collins. "Spiralling energy prices have already forced music venues up and down the country to close or curtail their programming and this will begin again as soon as this support is removed - it is plainly obvious that live music must be on the list of sectors considered 'vulnerable' by government".

"With our industry still hurting from the after effects of COVID and rising costs across the supply chain, we continue to make the case that our sector needs action on VAT and business rates if we are to keep all concert halls, arenas, festivals and grassroots music venues open, bringing joy to millions and showcasing the best UK and international talent", he concludes.

As you should have picked up already from these statements, a new emergency UK budget is set to be unveiled this Friday.

This will be the first big test of new Prime Minister Liz Truss, and is expected to include various tax cuts, including the cancellation of planned rises in national insurance and corporation tax, the scrapping of green levies on energy bills, and possibly the scrapping of a cap on bankers' bonuses.


LA District Attorney says more evidence required before abuse charges can be brought against Marilyn Manson
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has submitted a "partial" report on its investigation into the sexual abuse claims made against Marilyn Manson to the LA District Attorney's Office. However, prosecutors say they need more before they can consider possible criminal charges.

"On 19 Sep 2022, investigators from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department provided partial case material to LADA pertaining to the sexual assault allegations against Brian Warner, also known as Marilyn Manson", says the DA's Office in a statement. "There is more material that is still outstanding, however, we do not have a timeline for the additional submission from the LASD".

"Once we receive everything, experienced prosecutors will carefully and deliberatively review everything that has been submitted prior to making a filing decision", it goes on. "This review will take some time but rest assured our office takes these allegations very seriously. LADA is dedicated to providing care and assistance to all victims of sexual assault, abuse, and intimate partner violence".

The LA County Sheriff's Department first announced that its Special Victims Unit was looking into abuse allegations against Manson - real name Brian Warner - back in February 2021.

The investigation began after actor Evan Rachel Wood confirmed that, when she had previously spoken about an abusive former partner, she was talking about her relationship with the musician. Other women then subsequently came forward also accusing Warner of abuse, some of whom then filed lawsuits in relation to their allegations.

When an earlier allegation of abuse was made against Warner in LA County in 2018 – with the musician accused of having held a woman captive for two days in 2011 - the LA DA's office decided not to pursue a case against him, stating that the statute of limitations had expired and that there was an "absence of corroboration".

However, earlier this month - in an unusual move - LA County District Attorney George Gascón issued a video statement on Instagram confirming that the reason the DA's office had not taken any action this time round was simply because it was still waiting for the LA Country Sheriff's Department to submit any report stemming from its investigation.

Despite some evidence now being in the hands of the DA's office, it seems that there may still be a long wait before any final decision is made regarding a possible prosecution.


Def Jam announces partnership with Nigeria's Native Networks
Universal Music's Def Jam has entered into a global joint venture with Native Records, the music division of Native Networks, which is a media and content company with bases in Nigeria and the UK.

Says the official announcement, Native is focused on the "discovery and development of young African artists and youth culture", and has already "amassed a track record of breaking boundaries and popularising new sounds through discovery and development of home-grown artists from the community, with special attention to the burgeoning Afrobeats movement".

Via the new partnership, Native founders Seni Saraki, Teni Zaccheaus and Shola Fagbemi will work with Def Jam's US-based CEO Tunji Balogun to "sign and develop talent across the African musical diaspora", employing their "proven A&R-sensibilities and extensive expertise and contacts in the creative community" along the way.

Says Balogun: "As we build a culture here at Def Jam that connects the best in the global black music diaspora - from hip hop and R&B to reggae, afrobeats and more - clearly some of the best, most vital, interesting and cutting-edge new artists and sounds in music today are coming out of the continent [of Africa]".

"Seni, Teni and the Native crew have their fingers on the pulse of what's truly happening in the scene, as an engine for discovery, and as a hub for creators and artists", he adds. "I've been a fan of their platform, and have been connected to the guys for some time. Our partnership feels authentic and natural, and I believe we're going to discover and develop some amazing talent together".

Meanwhile, Saraki and Zaccheaus say in a joint statement: "We've known Tunji for quite a while now, and his ear and track record for breaking black artists from all over the world to a global audience is second to none. We are honoured to be invited into his new home, and to be the first joint venture partnership with an African company in Def Jam's legendary history".

"We truly believe that for music, the continent is the most exciting place in the world right now", they go on. "We want Native Records to be about artistic freedom, and - as a company - we've always been passionate about discovering and working with artists that don't quite colour within the lines, and helping them to express themselves and build community. Africa is not a monophonic continent, and we believe this partnership will prove just that".


Sony Music pulls catalogue from Bytedance's Resso service
Sony Music has seemingly removed its catalogue from Resso, the music streaming service operated by TikTok owner Bytedance.

Billboard notes that social media posts from Resso users in Brazil suggest that Sony recordings might have started disappearing from the service at the start of the month. The Bytedance music platform originally launched in India and Indonesia before expanding into Brazil. Sources say that the Sony catalogue is no longer available on Resso in all three markets.

It presumably means that Bytedance has not been able to agree terms for a new licence with the major. In more recent years, the record companies have often been a little more flexible when negotiating initial deals with new digital services, keen as they are to ensure that the global digital market isn't totally dominated by Spotify and the tech giants. And that's particularly true where services are focused on emerging markets and if there's a decent upfront advance on the table.

However, that can make subsequent deal-making tougher for the new services, as the music companies seek more clarity on each digital firm's business model and revenues, and aim to maximise the value of any licensing relationships. And while Resso - like most music streaming services - probably isn't very lucrative for Bytedance at the moment, the parent company's deep pockets will be very much in mind on the label side of the negotiating table.

Then of course there is the music industry's relationship with TikTok itself. While the main TikTok platform is licensed by the music industry, and therefore generates income as well providing an incredibly important marketing platform, many music companies are seeking to evolve their TikTok deals, which initially were based around lump sum payments. Plus there's speculation about Bytedance's wider ambitions in music streaming globally, possibly utilising the TikTok brand.

Any of that might have impacted on licensing negotiations between Sony and Resso resulting in the impasse which is now annoying Resso-using Harry Styles fans in Brazil. Good times.

If the music-company-tech-platform-dispute chart you maintain next to your desk has no space on it for adding the Sony/Resso fallout, worry not. According to Music Business Worldwide, Kobalt has made up with Meta, so there should be some space now available.

Kobalt announced in July that its song repertoire was no longer licensed for use on Meta platforms like Facebook and Instagram in the US because of "fundamental differences" regarding a new licence. However, in a new memo to its clients, Kobalt says: "We're pleased to announce that Kobalt's repertoire is once again licensed on Meta platforms in the US". Super good times.


YouTube launches new music micro-licensing service for its video creators
YouTube yesterday announced a new service called Creator Music which aims to make it easier for creators on the video platform to use commercially released music in their content while still monetising their output.

The new service within YouTube Studio will allow creators to access a range of music provided by record labels and music distributors. Creators will be able to license the use of that music in their videos, choosing to either pay an upfront licensing fee or to share future ad income with the label or distributor.

As YouTube notes in its blurb announcing the new service, "the complexities of music licensing has meant that most long-form videos that feature music don't result in the [video] creator getting paid. So, in recognising an opportunity to build a bridge between the music industry and creators on our platform, we're redefining how music can be featured in creator videos".

Under the existing system, if a YouTube creator uploads a video that contains commercially released music, the recording is likely to be picked up by the video platform's Content ID rights management technology. The label or distributor in control of the featured recording can then allow, block or monetise the video. In most cases, they are likely to monetise, so take the creator share of any ad income YouTube generates around the content.

For true user-generated content that system works. The user gets to legally include commercially released music in their video and the label or distributor makes some extra money. And while the income from each user-generated video is likely quite small - unless it goes mega viral - there are an awful lot of videos on the platform.

YouTube's Global Head Of Music Lyor Cohen last week said that 30% of the $6 billion YouTube paid over to the music industry in the twelve months up to June this year came from user-generated content.

But the current system doesn't work for full-on YouTube creators, who want the creator's share of any ad income for themselves. That has created a big opportunity for the production music sector, and especially those production music libraries which have developed simple YouTube-centric products making it really easy for video-makers to access and make use of music through a single global licence. Epidemic Sound is a notable player in that domain.

Of course, in theory a YouTube creator could try and sort out bespoke licences from labels and publishers for any commercially released music they want to use. But navigating all that is complicated for what are often one person content businesses, plus few labels and publishers are set up to deal with micro-licensing, ie issuing sync licences where each customer spends a small amount of money, but there are potentially millions of customers.

So, licensing of that kind has never really happened. Although, more recently, start-ups like Lickd have sought to provide a platform that facilitates such licensing for the benefit of both creators and music companies. And the Lickd platform currently offers creators access to more than 1.1 million tracks.

At launch, YouTube's Creator Music has several hundred thousand tracks in its library mainly made available by independent distributors like Believe, Downtown and Empire. However, YouTube's VP Of Music Licensing Christophe Muller says that talks are underway with everyone in the music industry - including the majors - about them participating in the new music licensing service.

Participating labels can set how creators can use their music. If they charge an up-front fee, which they can set, the video maker licensing the track would then receive all of the creator's share of any subsequent ad income linked to their video, which is 55% of any ad money YouTube generates.

On the revenue share model, the creator's share would be split 50/50 between the video creator and the label or distributor that controls the recording rights. The separate song royalties would presumably come out of the 45% taken by YouTube, as under the current system.

YouTube's official blurb goes on: "Creator Music, currently in beta in the US and expanding to more countries in 2023, will offer a streamlined process for creators [and] they'll be able to instantly see the terms for their song selection. We believe Creator Music will mean more amazing creator-artist collabs, more new tunes in viewers' playlists, and more ways for artists to break through - all while continuing to put money in creators' pockets".

Although Meta is generally someway behind YouTube when it comes to the use and monetisation of music on the Facebook and Instagram platforms - it having only entered into its first experimental licensing deals with the music industry in 2018 - it actually announced a similar scheme to this back in July.

Under Facebook's Music Revenue Sharing, users can upload videos featuring commercially-released music from its pre-cleared library, with any subsequent ad income being shared out between the video creator, the relevant music companies and, of course, Meta itself.

YouTube's new Creator Music service was unveiled alongside some other announcements regarding how YouTube supports creators on its platforms. The other news mainly related to YouTube's TikTok rivalling Shorts, including new specific Shorts-centric criteria for when video-makers can qualify to join the YouTube Partner Programme, which offers access to all the monetisation and licensing tools. Those will sit alongside the existing criteria which apply for the makers of longer form videos.

There was also confirmation that YouTube is shifting to a revenue share model with Shorts - akin to rest of its platform - rather than having a fixed fund to share with the creators of short-form videos. That revenue share model will also see a cut of the money going to the music industry to cover all the music that is used in videos posted to Shorts.

Commenting on all this, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki says: "The YouTube Partner Programme was revolutionary when we launched it back in 2007, and it's still revolutionary today. Over the last three years, YouTube has paid creators, artists, and media companies more than $50 billion dollars".

"That $50 billion dollars has changed the lives of creators around the world and enabled new voices and stories to be told", she adds "But we're not done yet. When we introduced the YouTube Partner Programme, we made a big bet: we succeed only when our creators succeed. And today, we're doubling down. We're introducing the next chapter in how we reward creativity on our platform by expanding access to our YouTube Partner Programme".

And the aforementioned Cohen says: "Creator Music is the future. We're building the bridge between artists and creators on YouTube to elevate the soundtrack of the creator economy; it's a win-win-win for artists, songwriters, creators and fans. With Creator Music, artists have a new way to get their music out into the world; fans can now discover music they love on their favourite creator's channels; and both creators and artists will have new revenue opportunities".


Spotify puts audiobooks service live in the US
Spotify has put live its new audiobooks feature in the US, which means that users can now buy and access audiobooks from within the digital firm's app. The planned move into audiobooks was a key part of Spotify boss Daniel Ek's big old presentation to increasingly nervous investors back in June, with the acquisition of audiobooks distributor Findaway then in the process of being completed.

The aim, of course, is for Spotify to be the one-stop shop for all your audio needs. Plus - while Spotify still makes most of its money selling subscriptions to people who mainly want to access music - Ek reckons that podcasts and audiobooks will ultimately become big revenue generators for the company, with much better profit margins than music where up to 70% of any revenue ends up being handed over to the music industry.

Talking about the new audiobooks feature yesterday, Spotify's Nir Zicherman - who has the super snappy job title of Vice President and Global Head Of Audiobooks And Gated Content - said: "We've always believed that the potential for audio is limitless, and we've been saying for a while now that our ambition is to be the complete package for everyone's listening needs".

"Audiobooks are next to come into the picture because we see a substantial untapped market", he went on. "While audiobooks represent just a 6-7% share of the wider book market, the category is growing by 20% year over year".

But it's not just about Spotify figuring out how the hell it's ever going to make decent profits, he'd like you to know. "What we're really excited about", he added, "is providing a great new experience for listeners - introducing audiobooks to an audience of people who may never have tried them otherwise. By bringing audiobooks to Spotify, we have the opportunity to both grow the space as a whole and enrich listeners' lives". Lovely stuff.

As for how it works, well: "Audiobooks will show up with a lock icon on the play button, signalling that they need to be purchased in order to listen. Users who discover audiobooks in the Spotify app will be able to purchase them on a web page. Upon returning to Spotify, the book will be automatically saved in their library and available to listen to whenever they want".

So yes, for now at least, audiobooks will be a pay-as-you go a la carte feature and not part of Spotify's core subscriptions proposition. Though it seems likely that a subscription-based version of the service will follow at some point, given the wider digital books sector - both e-books and audiobooks - is slowly shifting from an a la carte to subscription model. But that will presumably require Spotify to have a separate and/or add on subscription option for book-based content.

As for the current a la carte purchases, those have to happen on a website, rather than within the Spotify app where you'd want it to take place, because of the good old Apple Tax. Which is to say, if the purchases happened within the Spotify app, a chunk of the money would go to either Apple or Google, depending on whether the user was using an iOS and Android powered device.

But despite the clunky transactions system, Zicherman is keen to stress that once an audiobook has been bought the user-experience will be magical. "Once listening, there are a number of features that we know from user research are essential for a seamless experience", he insisted.

"Listeners can download content for offline listening, and our automatic bookmarking feature saves their place so they can easily pick up where they left off", he explained. "Speed control is also included, with a variety of options to speed up or slow down the pace. And for listeners who want to share their opinion after listening to a book, we've also included a rating feature, which will publicly display the aggregate rating of the book".

There is actually some audiobook content already on the Spotify platform. Some of that is uploaded as spoken word recordings, and therefore sits alongside and shares revenue with all the music available on the service. And some of it is uploaded as podcasts, usually with some advertising bundled in as the revenue generator. As Spotify rolls out its bespoke audiobooks feature, it will be interesting to see if it seeks to reorganise that existing book-based content.


CMU:DIY: Artist:Entrepreneur Day returns to Manchester 
The Artist:Entrepreneur Day from the Featured Artists Coalition and CMU:DIY is returning to Manchester next month in partnership with English Folk Expo.

Once again three FAC artist entrepreneurs will talk about their individual artist businesses, explaining how music-makers go about building a fanbase, and generating revenues from their music rights, shows and fan relationships.

They will be joined by CMU's Chris Cooke and a team of music industry experts to provide insights, ideas and lots of practical advice for early-career music-makers looking to build a business around their music.

This is all happening on Saturday 15 Oct at Home in Manchester. Info and tickets here.


Future has sold his songs catalogue to Influence Media Partners in an eight figure deal covering 612 works, including collaborations with many artists, such as Drake, Juice Wrld and more. "Future is a cultural icon", says Influence Media's Rene McLean. "He continues to be a blueprint for impact and success in the music industry and has reinvented music in ways that no one has ever expected".

Live Nation has taken a majority stake in German live company Goodlive, which runs festivals such as Melt, Splash and Superbloom, as well as operating a bookings and services divisions. "We are so pleased to have Live Nation as our future partner", says Goodlive MD Mirko Roßner. "Through their international network they are an ideal fit for Goodlive. We have already worked together successfully in the past at festivals such as Lollapalooza Berlin and are delighted to now be able to expand this cooperation on all levels". It's not clear what this means for Goodlive's recent deal with Dice to handle ticketing for the firm's festivals, which was announced last week.



Secondary ticketing firm StubHub International - the part of the StubHub empire sold off by Viagogo - has appointed Dan Mucha as its new CEO. He joins from Photobox, where he held the same position. "StubHub International is more relevant than ever as we see the world returning to live event experiences", he says. "I'm excited to join a customer-obsessed business with massive growth potential and a team that is passionate about our purpose: to connect people to inspiring live event experiences".

Universal Music Publishing Group has promoted Pete Simmons to UK Head Of A&R. "Since joining UMPG in 2014, I've had the opportunity to sign and work with all of my favourite artists, songwriters and managers … alongside the incredible team I've had the pleasure of working with", he says. "I'm very humbled to be given a shot at this and very excited to see where we take it in the future".

Universal Music's Capitol Music Group in the US has hired Gordan Dillard as VP A&R And Artist Development. He'll continue to manage Doja Cat on the side though, so don't be worrying about that. "I'm excited to join Capitol Music Group to help drive the discovery and development of artists that will lead the future of music", he says. "I really look forward to seeing the impact this opportunity will have on the culture and the generations to come".

Booking agency UTA has hired Anna Gregorek to be Senior Director Of Music Brand Partnerships in the UK. "As we continue to expand our international footprint, Anna will be an incredible asset to our team and we're THRILLED to welcome her to UTA", says Co-Heads of Global Brand Partnerships Alisann Blood and Toni Wallace. "She's well respected within the industry and has extensive experience in pairing artists with European and global brands".

Warner Music UK has promoted Charlotte Saxe to SVP Legal & Business Affairs, replacing James Radice as he steps down from the role at the beginning of next month. "I'm excited to step-up and take on this new role and challenge", she says. "It's a fascinating time for legal and business affairs teams across our industry as the deal making landscape evolves".

Xavier Ramos has returned to Universal Music's Interscope Records in the US as its new VP Pop & Rock Marketing. He has been at gaming and youth culture media platform FaZe Clan for the last four years, and before that had roles at Warner Bros as well as Interscope. "It's an amazing feeling to return to the label where I started my career", he says. "I look forward to working with the amazing artists on the Interscope roster".



The Music Venue Trust has announced that Frank Turner - a long time supporter of the organisation - will be a keynote speaker at its upcoming Venue Day event in London, providing a welcoming address. It all happens at Hackney Church on 18 Oct.



The Smashing Pumpkins have released new single 'Beguiled'. It's the first track taken from new album 'ATUM', a 33 track, three act rock opera, which is apparently a sequel to 1995's 'Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness' and 2000's 'Machina/Machine Of God'. So that's fun.

Good news! White Lung have announced their first album since 2016. Bad news! They've also announced that they're splitting up now. Extra good news to soften the blow of that bad news! They've put out two songs from the album: 'Date Night' and 'Tomorrow'. The album, titled 'Premonitions', is out on 2 Dec.



Sam Smith has announced two shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 21 and 22 Oct. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.

Ho99o9 have announced UK tour dates in November, including a show at The Scala in London on 7 Nov.



Stormzy will be awarded the Diversity Champion award at this year's AIM Independent Music Awards, while Rina Sawayama will be crowned Innovator. The ceremony takes place on 28 Sep. Tickets for the ceremony and after party are available now.

Becky Hill is to be named Artist Of The Year at this year's Artist & Manager Awards. "We're delighted to recognise Becky Hill with our award for Artist Of The Year", says FAC CEO David Martin. "Since her singing talents first gained public attention almost ten years ago on 'The Voice', Becky has developed into a hugely respected songwriter, artist and performer. Her chart and streaming successes speak for themselves, and we're very happy she'll be joining us to celebrate what's been an outstanding year of achievements".

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


Kanye West denies he's selling his songs catalogue
Kanye West has denied that he is trying to sell his songs catalogue, initially suggesting that one of his business partners was probably courting buyers without his involvement, and then later concluding that all talk of a catalogue sale was "fake news".

It was Billboard that reported that talks had been occurring regarding a possible sale of West's songs catalogue, which is currently controlled by Sony Music Publishing.

Those reports said that West's reps were pushing for a particularly high valuation of his repertoire, employing a higher metric than has been the norm when it comes to comparing current annual earnings and the requested upfront acquisition price. The option of involvement in West's future output was seemingly being used to sweeten that deal.

But - according to Pitchfork - in a post on Instagram, West denied any knowledge of those talks. "Just like Taylor Swift", he wrote, "my publishing is being put up for sale without my knowledge".

Of course it was Swift's recordings catalogue that was sold without her knowledge back in 2019, when Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings bought the label that had released all of her initial albums, Big Machine. The sale of song rights is generally more complicated because of contractual and ownership conventions in music publishing, and the whole writer's share / publisher's share thing.

Nevertheless, in his Instagram post, West was possibly suggesting that Sony - as his current publisher, who he sued back in 2019 - was trying to sell his catalogue without his involvement, maybe to cash in on the recent interest in song rights among investment types.

Though that seems unlikely. Not least because the more traditional publishers see the equity funds that have been busy buying up catalogues in recent years as unwelcome new competitors. And while they might partner with such funds to get involved in some song acquisitions themselves, it seems unlikely they'd want to sell off prestigious works to those companies.

Or maybe West was suggesting someone else involved in his music rights was behind the rumoured sales talks. Either way, West later returned to Instagram to report on a text exchange he'd had with his former manager Gee Roberson which seemed to say that no talks to sell the rapper's songs catalogue ever occurred, and reports that they had were simply "fake news". So there you go.

Presumably this means we can expect the press release announcing the record breaking sale of West's songs catalogue next week?


ANDY MALT | Editor
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