|WEDNESDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2022||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Great Escape has announced details about its First Fifty shows that will take place in London in November. Plus the key themes have also been revealed for the CMU+TGE programme that will sit at the heart of the TGE Conference in Brighton next May, with the spotlight falling this time on music and education, music and deals, and music and the creator economy... [READ MORE]|
The Great Escape announces First Fifty shows and 2023 CMU+TGE themes
The First Fifty shows accompany the announcement, on 15 Nov, of the first 50 acts that will be playing the main Great Escape festival in 2023. Not only that, but some of those acts will also take to the stage on 15 Nov as well, with gigs happening at eight London venues on that day.
Artists due to play the First Fifty shows - and therefore also next year's TGE - include Áine Deane, Girls Of The Internet, Grove, Jessica Winter, Joey Valence & Brae, Nell Mescal, Seraphina Simone, The Dinner Party, The Heavy Heavy and Witch Fever. Full details of those London shows and how to get tickets for them can be accessed here.
At The Great Escape itself, which takes place from 10-13 May 2023, more than 450 acts will play at 35+ venues across the city of Brighton, with both music fans and the music industry amassing to check out an exciting line-up of emerging talent from all over the world.
Within the festival programme, numerous industry, media and country partners will host showcases, helping ticket-buyers and industry delegates to navigate the programme. Every year that includes the event's lead country partner, which this year is Italy, with Italia Music Export hosting showcases and a networking event that will put the spotlight on the great new music coming out of the country right now.
Industry delegates also have access to the TGE Conference, of course. And once again the team from CMU will curate and host the core sessions at that conference, with three full-day strands each focusing on a different aspect of the music business.
On Wednesday 10 May the focus is music and education. We will once again bring together music educators and the music industry to consider and debate the best ways to support future music talent, both on-stage and behind the scenes, all informed by the work of CMU's Pathways Into Music Foundation.
What respective role do educators and the industry play in providing the knowledge, skills and opportunities that people need to build sustainable and successful careers in music?
How can we effectively equip musicians and creators with a framework that encourages creative entrepreneurship and helps them to develop the skills they need to succeed - whether as frontline artists with their own artist businesses or portfolio musicians and creators selling their skills and expertise to the industry, media, brands and beyond?
And what do current and future music industry leaders - executives and entrepreneurs - need to know to pursue successful careers in the business, to help teams thrive, and to shape the future of the ever-changing music sector?
On Thursday 11 May the focus is music and deals. Across the day we will review how deals are being done in every strand of the music business in 2023.
All kinds of music industry deal-making will be up for discussion. That includes the deals between artists and their business partners - including labels, publishers, promoters, agents and managers. Plus also the deals done between the music industry and users of music, including digital platforms, media and consumer brands.
How are the deals changing? How are they negotiated? What issues and challenges stop deals being done - or the deal-making from even starting? And how are new technologies impacting on the deal-making process?
And on Friday 12 May, we will be putting the spotlight on the wider creator economy.
We'll dissect and discuss the growing number of tools, platforms and market-places being used by creators of music to write, record and iterate music, to facilitate collaborations, and to generate new income from their creative expertise. And we'll look at what being part of the creator economy can mean for musicians - as both creators and consumers.
Plus, we'll review the digital tools and platforms that help frontline artists - and other creators in and beyond music - to grow their fanbases and monetise the fan relationship.
Access to all of these CMU+TGE sessions - plus a programme of in conversations, partner panels, networking events and much more - is open to anyone with a TGE delegate or conference pass. As a delegate, you also get priority access to the full TGE festival.
Judge approves Shakira's tax evasion trial
Prosecutors said that they planned to take the singer to court last month, after settlement negotiations failed, adding that they are pushing for an eight year prison sentence if she is convicted.
The dispute relates to a disagreement over where Shakira was primarily based between 2012 and 2014. The Colombian pop star, who is married to Barcelona football player Gerard Piqué - although they separated earlier this year - became a full resident, and therefore tax payer, of Spain in 2015.
However, Spanish authorities believe that she was also a resident of the country between 2012 and 2014 - despite actually registering her residence in the Bahamas - and therefore should have been paying tax on her worldwide earnings in the country during this time too.
Anyone who spends more than six months of a year in Spain is considered liable for tax in the country. It is argued that Shakira spent most of her time in Spain during the years in question, only travelling abroad for brief periods.
Shakira's legal reps have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing ever since she was first charged in 2018, insisting that the singer's finances have been managed entirely legally and properly.
Addressing the accusations against her, and her decision to allow the case to go to trial, in an interview with Elle last week, Shakira said: "I have to fight for what I believe; because these are false accusations".
"First of all", she added, "I didn't spend 183 days per year [in Spain] at that time at all. I was busy fulfilling my professional commitments around the world. Second, I've paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them. And finally, I was advised by one of the four biggest tax specialist firms in the world, PWC, so I was confident that I was doing things correctly and transparently from day one".
Accusing the Spanish government of making "fictional claims" and then employing a "salacious press campaign to try to sway people", she said: "It is well known that the Spanish tax authorities do this often not only with celebrities like me, it also happens unjustly to the regular taxpayer. It's just their style. But I'm confident that I have enough proof to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favour".
Footballers Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have also faced trial over their taxes in Spain in the last decade. Both were found guilty, but avoided jail time.
A date for Shakira's trial has not yet been set.
Meta criticises Epidemic's copyright lawsuit over "vague assertions and glaring omissions"
Epidemic Sound, of course, is a production music business best known for providing music to online creators, although its client base is now much wider than that. It operates entirely outside the collective licensing system, meaning the musicians it works with aren't members of any collecting societies.
That means that Epidemic directly controls - and therefore can license - all elements of both the recording rights and the song rights within the music contained its library. So when creators license music from Epidemic, they can post videos containing that music to different user-upload and social media platforms safe in the knowledge that no music company is going to pop up and try to block the content or claim any ad monies the video has generated.
Although, of course, if a creator uses music from the Epidemic library without licence, it's the production music company itself that pops up seeking to block those videos. Except, Epidemic said in the lawsuit it filed in July, it's not able to effectively manage the unlicensed use of its music on Facebook and Instagram in that way because Meta won't grant it full access to its rights management tools.
"Meta has deliberately prevented Epidemic from being able to protect its catalogue from infringement across Meta's platforms", the lawsuit stated. "Meta offers rightsholders certain rights management tools designed to enable copyright owners to identify, protect and derive value from their works. Meta has repeatedly refused Epidemic access to the rights management tool for music content, without a legitimate explanation".
But that was only one of the grievances set out in the Epidemic litigation. The production music firm also said that it had found its tracks being made available in the clips libraries on Facebook and Instagram, from which users can grab music to include in their videos.
"By including Epidemic's tracks in its music library without authorisation", the lawsuit said, "Meta is actively offering Epidemic's tracks for download, streaming, user synchronisation, reproduction and distribution to its (unlicensed) users without a proper licence or any other authorisation from Epidemic".
Elsewhere the legal filing added: "Epidemic knows of over 950 of its music tracks that have been reproduced, stored, made available to, and distributed to its users by Meta through its music library or through its other content sharing tools without a licence. Epidemic is confident that further research would reveal additional infringements".
But in its formal response to the lawsuit, Meta says that Epidemic has not provided any details about where its music is appearing on the Facebook and Instagram platforms, and without that information Meta's lawyers can't really respond in any meaningful way to the copyright infringement claims.
According to Billboard, in a motion to dismiss Meta says: "For all its bluster, Epidemic has failed to identify even a single allegedly infringing copy of any of its works on Meta's platforms". Its claims of copyright infringement, the social media giant therefore reckons, are based on some unknown content somewhere within the "vast universe" of Facebook and Instagram.
Adding that "the lack of specificity in Epidemic's complaint is striking", Meta goes on: "Such vague assertions and glaring omissions keep Meta in the dark and make it unreasonable and impractical (not to mention unfair) to require Meta to frame a responsive pleading".
We await to see Epidemic's response to Meta's response.
Universal takes majority stake in Indian music company TM Ventures
"We are delighted to partner with Tarsame Mittal and his team at TM Ventures", says Adam Granite, UMG's EVP Market Development. "Together we will accelerate Universal Music India's evolution within India and South Asia, by expanding the range of services we offer, and accelerating our artist development activities in order to introduce the very best in Indian talent to new audiences globally".
The founder of TM Ventures, the there mentioned Tarsame Mittal, adds: "At TM Ventures, we are ecstatic to begin our partnership with UMG. We have grown TMV up to this point with great care, passion and a single-minded vision to become the company we are. We carry the learnings, vision and passion on to this next level of growth alongside a robust global network which shares in the 'artist first' belief as much as we do".
"UMG's experience, structure, process, access and guidance will be the much-required support for us to work together towards our core goal of providing world-class services and opportunities to our artists in the most transparent and innovative ways", he goes on.
"My partners Alaap Gosher and Saurabh Abbi, our core team family, are very excited about being a part of the most trusted company in the music business globally. This partnership with UMG will help us achieve that, and we can't wait to get started".
Businesses operated by TM Ventures include TM Talent Management, music industry website Music Plus, and Create & Collab, which produces annual music conference All About Music.
MLC launches unmatched royalty identification tool
It's called the Distributor Unmatched Recordings Portal. Quite a boring name, you might think, but it means they can walk around referring to it as DURP, which is fun to say. Plus, perhaps more importantly, this is a really good scheme that should allow artists currently missing out on some or all of their song royalties to get connected to that revenue stream.
One of the issues with the way streaming currently works is that when record labels and music distributors deliver tracks to the digital platforms, they only grant permission for the recording rights in those tracks to be exploited and provide rights data about the recording. They do not license or provide specific data about the songs contained in the recording.
This means that the music publishers and collecting societies that license the song rights then have to identify what recordings contain their songs and claim any royalties they are due from the streaming of those songs. If a recording isn't formally matched to a song by any publisher or society, then the streaming services don't know who to pay.
A system has been set up in each country to deal with the money that is due on the unmatched works, although none of those systems are perfect by any means. In the US, the current system - when it comes to the specific 'mechanical royalties' due to songwriters - was put in place by the 2018 Music Modernization Act, and is now run by the MLC.
A good way to try to identify what songs are contained in unmatched recordings is to consult the distributors that delivered those recordings, who in turn can liaise with the artists that made them. In the case of the DIY distributors in particular, the artist may well have written the song themselves, but not be allied with any publisher or society to claim their song royalties.
Therefore, this alliance between the MLC and a network of distributors - including a number of DIY distributors - is a really good idea, and could make the US system for dealing with unmatched recordings the best system in the world.
"Our data has identified millions of dollars in unmatched digital audio mechanical royalties due to creators for songs they've recorded and released through more than 1800 independent music distributors, aggregators and labels around the world", says Dae Bogan, The MLC's Head Of Third-Party Partnerships. "By giving these companies visibility into the data, we can help them serve their customers better and help The MLC reduce unclaimed royalties".
One of the companies already using the tool is distributor and labels services business Empire, whose SVP Legal & Business Affairs Vinny Kumar says: "As Empire is a company with both distribution and publishing arms, DURP is an invaluable tool that will give us a clear view into our catalogue to identify unmatched works. This type of transparency will allow us to effectively bridge the gap between our publishing and distribution clients and to identify unclaimed royalties for present songwriters as well as unpublished artists".
London club Printworks "in detailed talks about our return to our much-loved venue"
The decision to approve planning permission for the redevelopment of the Printworks site came after more than 700 objections and an 11,000 strong petition. In its report, Southwark Council noted these objections and that the club had been "very successful", but pointed out that, when the club had opened in 2017, the plan was always for it to be there temporarily while a strategy was developed and agreed for the permanent future use of the site.
The council and developer British Land did say - as the planning permission was granted - that they intended to have some sort of cultural space on the site alongside the offices and shops that will be built, adding that they would be working with the operators of Printworks - Broadwick Live - on making that happen.
Now, however, the Printworks team have indicated that the 6000 capacity club will return in its current space in "a number of years", after the redevelopment work is completed.
"We're pleased to confirm that in partnership with British Land we're in detailed talks about our return to our much-loved venue", reads a statement posted on Printworks' social media yesterday. "While there is still a detailed planning process that needs to take place before we can 100% confirm the future of Printworks, we're positive about our future".
"At this point, we can confirm that the venue will close in the New Year for a number of years during a period of modernisation as planned", it continues. "As a team we're committed to preserving the essence of the iconic Press Halls and retaining the spirit that we've all come to love, so we are working hard in partnership with British Land on designs that only seek to elevate the space".
"In the meantime, we're going to see out this chapter of Printworks in its current guise, in the best way possible as a salute to the legacy of the past five years", it concludes. "Thank you for your unwavering support. The backing of our community has been vital in getting us to this point and is crucial to the future of Printworks London".
London's Night Czar Amy Lamé - who was already pushing for a significant venue to remain on the site - said in a subsequent statement: "I'm delighted that Broadwick Live and British Land are working together to develop the next chapter for Printworks. This fantastic temporary venue has become a major destination that attracts some of the biggest names in electronic music and visitors from all over the world. I will keep working with them and offer all the support we can to secure an exciting future for the venue".
Next up at the current iteration of Printworks is a night headlined by techno DJ Charlotte De Witte this Friday.
Sony Music Publishing has signed actor Dove Cameron to a new deal. "I'm so excited to be joining the Sony Music Publishing family where they continue to grow and support me as an artist and a songwriter", she says. "With this partnership, I look forward to bringing my fans music that can become the soundtrack to their lives".
LABELS & PUBLISHERS
GESAC - the pan-European grouping for song right collecting societies - has published a new report on streaming. We'll run through its key findings in tomorrow's CMU Daily, but you can download a copy for yourself here.
EDUCATION & EVENTS
Classic Album Sundays and Resident Advisor have teamed up for a new event called Producer Pioneers, which will celebrate female music producers with a series of on stage interviews. Kicking off in October at Colour Factory in London, Honey Dijon, Flava D, Lucinda Chua and Emma-Jean Thackray will all discuss their careers. Find out more here.
Britney Spears and Elton John have released the video for 'Hold Me Closer'. "This was an emotional one for me as I grew up with Britney", says director Tanu Muino. "After seeing 'Slave For You', I decided that I wanted to become a video director. Elton John is an icon that I and the world grew up listening to. Going into this video, I knew there would be a lot of emotional expectations the audience and fans would have. With this responsibility, I had to do something different and unexpected. The visuals had to be different".
Gaz Coombes has announced that he will release new solo album 'Turn The Car Around' on 13 Jan. From it this is new single 'Don't Say It's Over'. "When I wrote 'Don't Say It's Over' I had in mind wandering through some bustling holiday town at night, two people sharing strange and beautiful moments together", he says. "The feeling of love and all its complications. I think this song is very much light and dark in equal measures. Those contradictions I find interesting and thought provoking… and they make for cool, fucked up love songs".
Shygirl has released new single 'Shlut', taken from her debut album 'Nymph', which is out this week.
Mount Kimbie have announced new album 'MK 3.5: Die Cuts | City Planning' - essentially two solo albums from the duo's members, Dom Maker and Kai Campos. "Over the last two years or so, we've been working on music separately, in our studios in London and Los Angeles", they say on Instagram. "This record is a collection of collaborations and solo productions that were made during that time". From Maker's half of the record, this is 'F1 Racer', featuring Kučka.
Devin Townsend has released new single 'Call Of The Void', taken from his upcoming new album 'Lightwork', which is out on 28 Oct. "The concept of the song is based around the 'call of the void' as an analogy for intrusive thoughts", he says. "Thoughts that you know are wrong, but you fear that you won't be able to control the impulses to deny it. The point being: often I feel we have a choice, and trying not to lose sight of that was very important to me during recent difficult times".
Frankie Cosmos have released new single 'FOOF'. "For me, 'FOOF' is about creating random boundaries and schedules for yourself in an attempt to feel in control", says frontwoman Greta Kline. "Feeling time passing at varying speeds and time travelling with music. We could all stand to smash our computers and go touch some grass".
Nicolas Bougaïeff has released new single 'Designer Love'. The track, he says, "is about the aftermath of messing up so bad you push somebody away, and only when you lose them do you realise just how deep your feelings were".
Rachael Dadd has released new single 'Children Of The Galaxy'. Her new album, 'Kaleidoscope', is out on 14 Oct. "We were locked down, I was living with my two children, solo parenting. Life needed a certain amount of escapism, and music and songwriting were providing this", she says of making the album. "A combination of listening to Sun Ra at the time, the hot sleepy sunshine, and finding this particular pattern of notes meant I could feel as if I were on the other side of the earth's atmosphere, and imagine other civilisations and a different way of life compared to our own".
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Pusha T drops second McDonald's diss track
He's recorded a second diss track for US fast food chain Arby's, this time taking aim at the McDonald's McRib sandwich, which, if this song is to be believed, is really shit. You'd be better off eating an Arby's Real Country Style Rib Sandwich. Yeah, for some reason this track is pork rather than beef based.
Titled 'Rib Roast', Pusha proclaims on the track: "They call me when it's time to do damage / When the quality ain't up to my standards / That McRib falls below average / Replaced by the Country Style Arby's Rib Sandwich".
Strong words indeed. Later in the track he raps: "McDonald's what you sellin, mystery meat? / Hop up and go away, what does history teach? / Micky D's McRib, you ain't it in the streets / The Real Country Style Rib Sandwich here to compete".
Just to show he really means business, he concludes the track with the killer line: "This is a paid advertisement by Arby's". Oof, take that McDonald's.
As hinted at, this is not Pusha T's first corporate diss track. In fact, it's not even his first for Arby's.
Earlier this year he called out the McDonald's Filet-o-Fish sandwich (again, no beef), telling the brand: "Filet-o-Fish is ass / And you should be disgusted / How dare you sell a square fish, asking us to trust it / A half slice of cheese, Mickey D's on a budget? / Arby's crispy fish is simply it / With lines round the corner / You might need as guest list / Exit stage left, the sandwiches taste fresh / A little cube of fish from a clown is basic".
Pusha T's beef (BEEF) with McDonald's goes back further than the day that Arby's threw a load of cash at him though. He's miffed because he reckons that he wrote the McDonald's 'I'm Lovin It' jingle back in 2003, which was then credited to Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams.
Speaking to Rolling Stone when his first Arby's track was released in March, he said: "I am solely responsible for the 'I'm Lovin It' swag and the jingle of that company. That's just real. I am the reason. Now I gotta crush it".
There is some dispute over Pusha T's level of involvement in that jingle - some claiming that he wasn't involved at all and that he just rapped on one of the adverts that was produced to launch it. But he's holding firm, if only to help justify his alliance with Arby's in this war against McDonalds.
If you want to join him in that war, there is a uniform for this new army. The rapper and Arby's are selling a line of merch to allow fans to show which side they're on. It all costs far more than it should. But can you really put a price on showing your allegiance to a fast food chain?