TODAY'S TOP STORY: MPs on the UK Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee yesterday heard from music industry experts and representatives about the work that has been ongoing within the music community since the committee published its report last year on the economics of music streaming. There were definite developments around transparency and data to be updated on, although it was clear from yesterday's session that artist remuneration remains a key sticking point... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Artist remuneration remains a key sticking point as MPs return to the economics of streaming debate
LEGAL Dua Lipa hits back at another of the Levitating song-theft lawsuits
RELEASES Yard Act team up with Mad Professor for dub version of debut album
Former REM drummer Bill Berry's new band The Bad Ends announce debut album

Chat Pile to release film soundtrack this week

AWARDS Grammy nominations announced
ONE LINERS Nickelback, Panic! At The Disco, Romy, more
AND FINALLY... Mariah Carey's Queen Of Christmas trademark bid blocked
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email [email protected] or call 020 7099 9060.
Kilimanjaro Live is seeking a Promoter Assistant to work with 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.

For more information and to apply click here.
The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) seeks a talented Marketing and Content Creations Specialist to lead on content creation and digital marketing strategy across the ICA. The successful candidate will understand each artist’s audience and manage tailor-made digital campaigns.

For more information and to apply click here.
We are looking for a dynamic, talented individual to work as part of a hard-working team. You will be required to assist the Agents and Directors with admin tasks for the acts we represent. You will liaise with Artists and Promoters on a daily basis.

For more information and to apply click here.
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...

Artist remuneration remains a key sticking point as MPs return to the economics of streaming debate
MPs on the UK Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee yesterday heard from music industry experts and representatives about the work that has been ongoing within the music community since the committee published its report last year on the economics of music streaming. There were definite developments around transparency and data to be updated on, although it was clear from yesterday's session that artist remuneration remains a key sticking point.

The select committee called for a "complete reset" of the streaming music ecosystem in its July 2021 report, which was based on a series of oral sessions in Parliament last year and a plethora of written submissions from across the music community.

MPs basically concluded that artists and songwriters were not benefiting enough from the music streaming boom that took a recorded music business that had been in decline for fifteen years back into growth in the mid-2010s. With that in mind the committee made a number of recommendations, including a number of proposed copyright law reforms which were then also included in a private members bill presented in Parliament by committee member Kevin Brennan MP late last year.

In response to the report, the UK government said that MPs had raised some important issues, but that its preference would be for the wider music community to come up with industry-led solutions to said issues, rather than having copyright law re-written - albeit with the option of copyright law reform still on the table if no solutions could be found.

Keen to facilitate those industry-led solutions, the government's Intellectual Property Office instigated a number of projects overseen by what it calls the music industry contact group, a committee mainly made up of representatives from the various music industry trade associations, so the organisations that represent artists, musicians, songwriters, managers, record labels, music publishers and the streaming services in the UK.

There are some independent experts on that committee too, including myself, there to give other viewpoints. Through all of CMU's editorial, educational and consulting work, we are in a position to provide the big picture view, ie how all the cogs of the digital music business fit together. Which is a good viewpoint to have, I reckon, given many of the issues with streaming occur between the cogs.

Having been involved in some of that IPO-led work - as well as continuing to collaborate with the Music Managers Forum on its long-running 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' project - I was among those questioned by MPs yesterday. Appearing alongside music economist Will Page and intellectual property expert Hayleigh Bosher, we were questioned about general trends and developments in the streaming music sector and, in my case, about the progress made by the IPO-led projects.

In the second hour of the session Naomi Pohl from the Musicians' Union, Tom Gray from the Ivors Academy and Geoff Taylor from the BPI then outlined their respective positions on the issues, solutions and progress made in the last year. It was during that section that the current sticking points became very apparent.

But first, what has happened in the last year behind the scenes? The IPO organised its work into three strands. That was a sensible move, because the economics of music streaming debate is actually a number of separate debates, and it gets confusing quickly if the distinction between the different debates isn't made. The three strands were respectively focused on data, transparency and creator remuneration.

For data and transparency, working groups were convened made up experts from across the industry, most nominated by the aforementioned trade associations. They were tasked with considering, debating and scrutinising the data and transparency issues that had been raised in the select committee's report and the proposed solutions to those issues.

The members of the working groups are there to offer expertise rather than negotiate, although alongside each working group there have been discussions between the trade associations in a bid to agree some plans.

A plan for better communicating to artists and songwriters how their music is exploited and monetised by the streaming services. And a plan to better manage the music rights data that is key for ensuring artists and especially songwriters are properly credited and paid when their music is streamed.

That work is very much ongoing and - perhaps unsurprisingly, given how many stakeholders need to be consulted - it is taking slightly longer to be completed than originally hoped. However, depending on how the final negotiations go, the plans of action on both data and transparency could be in place in early 2023.

I am actively involved in the transparency working group and therefore discussed that work at yesterday's select committee hearing.

Earlier this year, I worked with the various creator organisations - including the Featured Artists Coalition, Musicians' Union, Ivors Academy and Music Managers Forum - to put together a transparency wishlist, including all the data and information that artists, writers and their managers would like to have access to so that they can fully understand their own individual digital music businesses.

That wishlist has then informed a document that sets out a number of aims and commitments for labels, publishers, collecting societies and streaming services in terms of what data and information they will seek to make available moving forward.

That will be done both reactively - ie answering questions asked by artists, writers and managers - but also proactively, making some data and information available through each company's portals and other communication channels day-to-day, so that the wider music community understands how different services work and how they get paid.

For their part, the creator organisations - who come together via the Council Of Music Makers and are pretty much in agreement on all of this - have been pushing for a wider range of data and information to be made available, and for more of that data and information to be provided via proactive communications, rather than on a reactive basis.

So, lots of progress, but still plenty of work to be done and things to be negotiated and agreed before those data and transparency plans are ready to go.

And, at that stage, it will be important for the wider music community to embrace the proposed changes around data and transparency, as success will need the involvement of many stakeholders, and many of the teams working within labels, publishers, societies and streaming services, not just those with specific data or communication remits.

Education and communication has been part of the planning process within the working groups already, and the importance of that outreach was stressed during yesterday's hearing.

But what about creator remuneration? Actually, that in itself is at least three separate debates.

Firstly, there is the debate about how streaming money is allocated each month to each track in a streaming service's catalogue. Second, there is the debate about how streaming money is split between the separate recording rights and song rights, and the streaming services themselves. And third, there is the debate about how the money that flows through the recorded music side is shared between the labels and the artists.

The IPO-instigated work on creator remuneration has generally focused on the latter. That's because the copyright reforms proposed by the select committee are mainly focused on the latter too, based on the argument that artists - or at least some artists - should be getting a bigger cut of the streaming money generated by their tracks than they currently receive.

What cut each artist gets depends entirely on the deal they did with their record label or music distributor, and could be anything from a few percent to 100%. The select committee - and Kevin Brennan's subsequent private members bill - proposed a contract adjustment right that would allow artists to renegotiate old deals that they feel are no longer fair and a reversion right that would actually allow them to terminate those old deals.

Then there was the proposal that performer equitable remuneration be applied to streaming, which would mean that artists would get at least some of their cut of streaming money directly via the collective licensing system - so via PPL - at industry standard rates as currently happens with radio. Session musicians, who currently get nothing from streaming income, would also likely benefit from an ER system of that kind.

Labels - both major and indie - have raised a number of concerns about all three of those proposals, including the impact they would have on any one label's ability to invest in new talent, and the fact that the increasing number of artists who release music via their own labels - in partnership with a distributor or another label - could actually be worse off if those copyright reforms went ahead.

However, those concerns haven't really been officially raised or scrutinised within the IPO-led work to date because a different approach was taken on creator remuneration. Rather than going straight to a working group, research was commissioned to consider the potential impact of the three proposed copyright reforms, ie the contract adjustment right, the reversion right and the ER right. That research is nearing completion, after which discussions will begin.

As I noted yesterday - while I believe that the work on data and transparency is incredibly important - the creator remuneration debate is a crucial part of the wider conversation. And, for the artist, writer and management communities, creator remuneration is the single most important of the various streaming debates. Which means there is now a sense of urgency within those communities to progress that strand of the IPO's economics of music streaming work.

A possible alternative to the three proposed copyright law reforms is an industry agreement regarding artist remuneration, possibly similar to that recently agreed within the French music industry. That would likely include some kind of minimum artist royalty and a system for making payments out of streaming income to session musicians.

There is some support in the label community for that approach and, indeed, some indies already basically operate a minimum artist royalty rate system, applying a minimum rate across their catalogues. However, so far that's not a consensus position among all labels.

Many labels argue that artist royalties are slowly increasing on new record deals anyway, mainly due to competition in the market place to sign talent, which is true. And therefore many labels are already offering royalty rates higher than any likely minimum on their new deals - and an artist working on a distribution basis with a label is likely getting much more than that possible minimum rate.

However, artists and managers point out that a minimum rate would enhance that existing trend, and also - crucially - benefit the many artists stuck in old record deals where artist royalties are lower and where labels are still applying those old royalty rates. As a general rule, the older the deal the lower the rate, so some heritage artists will be on single figure percent rates.

The increasingly urgent need for the IPO-instigated work to open up an active discussion on artist remuneration - and for that conversation to include consideration of a minimum royalty rate - was a key theme of the second section of yesterday's hearing, when the reps of the Musicians' Union, Ivors Academy and BPI spoke.

The MU's Naomi Pohl confirmed that her major frustration with the IPO-led process so far is that the "big issue" and "elephant in the room" - ie artist remuneration - has not had any formal discussion.

While the in progress research is to be welcomed, "what we need is to sit around a table and have a negotiation and it's not happened. There might have been some conversations out of the room, but conversations haven't been happening in the room. And I just feel that that is an absolutely urgent priority".

Addressing the issues around artist remuneration may well involve a package of solutions, she added. "Equitable remuneration is one option and it might be the best option - I'm quite supportive of ER as a solution".

"But", she went on, "it could also be a minimum digital royalty, for example. And, for session musicians, it could be more of an upfront payment for session musicians with something on the back end as well, which might not be equitable remuneration, but could be a pot of money set aside and processed by PPL".

"There's lots of different ways that you could solve the problem", she added, "but at the moment, the committee clearly identified that there is a problem in terms of artist remuneration and we're not anywhere close to getting a solution on that".

Asked for his take on the artist remuneration debate, the BPI's Geoff Taylor stressed again that on new deals artist royalties have been increasing and that - whereas in the past a label would often control an artist's recordings for life of copyright - with modern deals the rights often revert to the artist after a period of time.

Meanwhile, on older deals signed before 2000, all three majors are now paying through royalties to artists who never recouped the advances they received in the past or paid back any other upfront costs that were recoupable in their deals.

"The three major companies all announced that they will write off unrecouped balances on pre-2000 deals", he stated, "which is a very substantial announcement, which means that thousands of artists will now be receiving streaming royalties on top of their advances that they previously received".

Meanwhile, with session musicians, he added, "we've been doing work on the industry side with the Musicians' Union, where we've put a proposal to the MU for a significant increase in session rates for the session musicians to ensure that they are not left behind".

Unlike featured artists, who have royalties in their label deals, session musicians are generally paid one-off fees. Therefore, Taylor conceded, they haven't really benefited from the streaming-led revival of recorded music. "And so we think they have been somewhat left behind", he went on, "and so we have put forward a proposal to address that".

But Tom Gray - who is involved in this conversation both as Chair of the Ivors Academy but also as founder of the #BrokenRecord campaign - backed up Pohl in saying that further discussion is urgently needed about artist remuneration, including a possible minimum royalty rate.

While it's great that the majors are paying through royalties to unrecouped artists, he said, that commitment will sometimes relate to old record deals "where the rate is 2%, or 5%, or 6%, on a stream that's worth a third of a penny. So, you know, if you don't lift those artists up to a minimum royalty of 15% or 20%, then that's not going to cost the labels an awful lot of money".

"There is no reason not to introduce minimum royalty rates into the market, it should be on the table", he insisted. "I don't know why it's not on the table".

While artist remuneration clearly remains a big sticking point in the wider music community - as does the split of streaming monies between the song rights and the recording rights - there is also quite a lot that unites all strands of the music rights industry, including the obligations of user-upload platforms that use music and concerns over proposed new copyright exceptions in the AI domain.

In the first part of yesterday's session, Hayleigh Bosher also noted that the baseline cost of streaming to the consumer has not really increased since Spotify went live in the late 2000s, with the 9.99 price point getting less lucrative every year because of inflation. Given that streaming is a revenue share business for the music industry, that means there is less revenue to share.

Of course, as Bosher also noted, Apple has now increased the baseline subscription price for its music service to 10.99. And it seems likely that Spotify - which has previously only really instigated price increases to its bundles like the family plan - will probably now follow suit. And "growing the digital pie" in this way is supported by pretty much the whole music community.

Although, Will Page made a very interesting observation. He talked about herbivore and carnivore markets, suggesting music streaming has been the former to date, but will become the latter.

Basically, most players in music streaming have been mainly targeting consumers yet to sign up to a paid-for music service and in many cases they are targeting different kinds of consumers. Therefore all services have been steadily growing their subscriber bases over the last decade. But, he added, when you get to market saturation, services start to go after their rival's subscribers and it becomes a carnivore market.

When that happens, you have to wonder whether any of the players in the market will want to compete on price point. Optimists have mused that, once the 9.99 price point is broken, music services will probably start instigating semi-regular price increases like the video services to keep up with inflation. But if the carnivore market kicks in just as we get to that point - maybe not.

One last point raised during yesterday's session related to those aforementioned working groups and, in particular, which music industry people have been appointed to them. That isn't currently public knowledge which, it was noted, means - somewhat ironically - there is a lack of transparency about the transparency working group.

Now, members of those working groups are there as experts not negotiators, donating their time and expertise to the process. But still, it was a valid observation. Fingers crossed we can get some transparency on that particular point pretty quickly, even if it takes a few more months for the data and transparency projects to generate some outcomes. As for whether any resolution on the artist remuneration debate can be achieved in the short term - well, let's see shall we!

You can watch yesterday's select committee hearing here.


Dua Lipa hits back at another of the Levitating song-theft lawsuits
Lawyers for Dua Lipa have said that a lawsuit claiming that her 2020 hit 'Levitating' rips off an earlier song is "speculative", "vague" and "devoid of a shred of factual detail". And if that sounds familiar, it's similar to the criticism Dua Lipa's lawyers made of another lawsuit also accusing her of ripping off an earlier song when writing 'Levitating'.

Because, yes, 'Levitating' is subject to two concurrent song-theft lawsuits, which is fun. And one of those lawsuits actually accuses Lipa of borrowing from two separate songs when writing her hit, so that's a total of three songs that were allegedly ripped off by Lipa and her team in the making of one track. Quite the achievement!

The lawsuit responded to my Lipa's attorneys this week relates to just one possibly ripped off song: 2017's 'Live Your Life' by Artikal Sound System. The Florida-based band sued Lipa and her label in March reckoning they are both liable for copyright infringement because of the way 'Levitating' apparently borrows from 'Live Your Life'.

The outfit's initial legal filing was pretty concise compared to most song-theft lawsuits which usually have tediously long sections running through the beats and notes and lyrics that the new song has in common with the old song. It also didn't have a particularly well formed theory as for how Lipa and her collaborators accessed 'Live Your Life'.

All of which means the disparaging formal response from Lipa's lawyers this week is not surprising. According to Billboard, they wrote that "plaintiffs fail to allege a single fact that identifies what material from 'Live Your Life' is copied in 'Levitating'".

The original lawsuit stated that "given the degree of similarity, it is highly unlikely that 'Levitating' was created independently from 'Live Your Life'".

But, Lipa's team argue, Artikal Sound System's attempts to show those similarities are "vague" and "devoid of a shred of factual detail". In fact "plaintiffs merely conclusorily allege purported similarities between the two works without any factual detail whatsoever".

And as for how Lipa et al got access to 'Live Your Life' before writing 'Levitating', the new legal filing says "plaintiffs are essentially seeking to plead access by alleging that someone who knows someone who knows someone might have met one of the 'Levitating' writers".

We await to see how Artikal Sound System respond.


CMU:DIY: See you at the Ultimate Seminar this weekend!
This Saturday the London edition of the Ultimate Seminar is taking place for 2022.

Once again those early on in their music careers will have the opportunity to hear and learn from – and network with – a wide range of music industry professionals, including Amy Thomson, Jacqueline Eyewe, Mark Mitchell, David Dollimore and Dani Sawyerr.

CMU's Chris Cooke will also be in the building moderating the panel 'Knowing Your Business', looking at how artists go about building businesses around their music, and the role of data, social media and Web3 in growing a fanbase and generating income and opportunities.

Find out more and sign up for the event here.

Yard Act team up with Mad Professor for dub version of debut album
Yard Act have teamed up with Mad Professor to create a dub version of their debut album 'The Overload' - fittingly titled 'The Overdub'.

"Back when I first moved to Leeds and discovered [record shop] Jumbo Records, I used to treat myself to a record with my student loan once every two or three weeks (bloody students, scrounging bastards)", writes Yard Act frontman James Smith. "Jumbo always had (and still does have) an excellent dub/reggae selection - and actually released reggae records on its own 'Jumbo label' imprint back in the 70s (how ace is that?!)".

"I had a grounding in reggae from my dad who'd turned me onto the likes of Burning Spear and Linton Kwesi Johnson, but didn't really know much about dub music beyond a Bob Marley record produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry he'd given me called 'African Herbsman'", he goes on.

"I started dabbling in dub off the back of that. After a few choice 'Scratch' cuts and King Tubby best of, I bought the Jah Shaka meets Mad Professor record in Jumbo purely because I liked the artwork and because I thought the name was cool. What a purchase. I've been a fan ever since".

"From his work with Lee Scratch Perry through U-Roy and of course not forgetting his masterful reinterpretation of Massive Attack's 'Protection', the Mad Prof truly is a living legend and it is an absolute honour to have had him stick his dubby fingers all over 'The Overload'".

"We're such a vocal heavy band by trade, so it's really ace to hear his reimaginings of the tracks largely stripped of that", he concludes. "His bass heavy mixes, for me, are a gorgeous reminder of what supports my ramblings, a reminder of the man I made them with, the backbone of this band, and the genesis of all these musical ideas that started off our adventure together".

"These mixes pay tribute to the man with four strings, those low end things, Mr Ryan Needham, and whenever I hear this record, not only will I be reminded of the Mad Professor's greatness, but of our Ry's as well. Now go blow some speakers!"

Mad Professor adds: "'The Overdub' is the natural title. When presented with the project, I thought to treat it in the most creative way possible, working with Joe AriwA, Black Steel and Horseman. Naturally with such a team, the over dubs came before the dubs!"

'The Overdub' is available on vinyl (and only on vinyl) now, exclusively from Rough Trade. You can listen to one track from it online - the dub rework of 'Pour Another', re-titled 'Pour More'.

Yard Act begin a sold out run of UK shows next week.


Former REM drummer Bill Berry's new band The Bad Ends announce debut album
The Bad Ends - featuring Mike Mantione of Five Eight and former REM drummer Bill Berry - have announced that they will release their debut album, 'The Power And The Glory', early next year. It's the first LP recorded by Berry since leaving REM in 1997.

Songs for the record were initially written for a Mantione solo album, but a chance meeting with Berry in Athens, Georgia - REM's home town - led to a jam session, which in turn resulted in The Bad Ends being formed.

"In very early 2017, a chance pedestrian encounter in downtown Athens found me face to face with one Mike Mantione", says Berry. "At that point it had been over two decades since I'd involved myself with the record making process and here was a man [who REM guitarist] Peter Buck recently described as 'the unsung hero of Athens rock and roll' offering [me] an opportunity to play in the game again".

"It was energising to once again play with top notch musicians", he goes on. "This record is unique for me in that it was the only one with which I was involved that was written, rehearsed, recorded, produced and mastered in Athens!"

Speaking about the the time of his life that inspired him to begin writing the songs that form the new album, Mantione says: "It was one of the happiest times, but I found myself tuning into the suffering around me and wanting to help family through their hardest times".

"One afternoon", he adds, "a close friend committed suicide. He left two sons fatherless. He was there for me years before, and he'd helped so many other people who wondered what happened. I doubled down on getting my life together and started writing and making music with a vengeance".

'The Power And The Glory' is set for release on 20 Jan. Watch the video for new single 'Thanksgiving 1915' here.


Chat Pile to release film soundtrack this week
Chat Pile have released two tracks from their soundtrack to new movie 'Tenkiller', in which frontman Raygun Busch also acts.

Following on from the release of their excellent debut album, 'God's Country', this summer, the soundtrack sees the band performing in their trademark noise rock style and also branching out into other genres - most notably country.

"The music we made for 'Tenkiller' is quite a bit different than what you may come to expect from us", say the band. "We were given the freedom to really experiment and explore territories that we've never done before. It's not going to be for everyone, but we hope some of you connect with what we set out to do".

The full soundtrack will be out this Friday, the same day the film hits Amazon Prime Video. Listen to the two newly released tracks: 'Tenkiller' here and 'Lake Time (Mr Rodan)' here.


Grammy nominations announced
Nominations for the 2023 Grammy Awards are out. All 91 categories. Beyonce is leading the pack with nominations in nine of them. Three of those are in the only four categories anyone actually pays attention to (she's been overlooked for Best New Artist yet again). Kendrick Lamar is just behind her with eight nods, also including three in the big four categories.

Beyonce is up for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Dance/Electronic Recording for 'Break My Soul'; Album Of The Year and Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for 'Renaissance'; Best R&B Performance for 'Virgo's Groove'; Best Traditional R&B Performance for 'Plastic Off The Sofa'; Best R&B Song for 'Cuff It'; and Best Song Written For Visual Media for 'Be Alive' from the film 'King Richard'.

She gets mentions in other categories too. The Terry Hunter remix of 'Break My Soul is up for Best Remixed Recording; Nija Charles is up for Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical for her work on songs including Beyonce's 'Cozy'; The-Dream is also up for that category, with six of the nine songs he's being recognised for written for Beyonce; and Boy 1da is up for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical for tracks including Beyonce's 'Heated'.

Basically, it's likely to be a big old Beyonce party in February. Unless she ends up winning nothing, which is also possible. Although that seems unlikely. Hell, she'll probably win in categories where she's not even nominated.

Kendrick Lamar, if you're wondering, is up for Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Rap Performance, Best Melodic Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album and Best Music Video. He should probably get all of those, so maybe it will actually be a Kendrick Lamar party and Beyonce will go home empty handed. We'll see (she won't).

The nominations for Best New Age, Ambient Or Chant Album, by the way - that's the prize for "albums containing greater than 50% playing time of new vocal or instrumental new age recordings" - are Will Ackerman's 'Positano Songs'; Paul Avgerinos' 'Joy'; Madi Das & Dave Stringer With Bhakti Without Borders' 'Mantra Americana'; Cheryl B Engelhardt's 'The Passenger'; and White Sun's 'Mystic Mirror'.

You can see all of the very long list of nominations here. The ceremony will take place on 5 Feb. And here's who's up for those big four awards:

Record Of The Year
Abba - Don't Shut Me Down
Adele - Easy On Me
Beyonce - Break My Soul
Mary J Blige - Good Morning Gorgeous
Brandi Carlile - You And Me On The Rock (feat Lucius)
Doja Cat - Woman
Steve Lacy - Bad Habit
Kendrick Lamar - The Heart Part 5
Lizzo - About Damn Time
Harry Styles - As It Was

Album Of The Year
Abba - Voyage
Adele - 30
Bad Bunny - Un Verano Sin Ti
Beyonce - Renaissance
Mary J Blige - Good Morning Gorgeous
Brandi Carlile - In these Silent Days
Coldplay - Music Of The Spheres
Kendrick Lamar - Mr Morale & The Big Steppers
Lizzo - Special
Harry Styles - Harry's House

Song Of The Year
Gayle - ABCDEFU (songwriters: Sara Davis, Gayle and Dave Pittenger)
Lizzo - About Damn Time (songwriters: Lizzo, Eric Frederic, Blake Slatkin and Theron Makiel Thomas)
Taylor Swift - All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (songwriters: Liz Rose and Taylor Swift)
Harry Styles - As It Was (songwriters: Tyler Johnson, Kid Harpoon and Harry Styles)
Steve Lacy - Bad Habit (songwriters: Matthew Castellanos, Brittany Fousheé, Diana Gordon, John Carroll Kirby and Steve Lacy)
Beyonce - Break My Soul (songwriters: Beyonce, The-Dream and Christopher A Stewart
Adele - Easy On Me (songwriters: Adele and Greg Kurstin)
DJ Khaled - God Did (feat Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend and Fridayy) (songwriters: Tarik Azzouz, E Blackmon, Khaled, F LeBlanc, Shawn Carter, John Stephens, Dwayne Carter, William Roberts and Nicholas Warwar)
Kendrick Lamar - The Heart Part 5 (songwriters: Jake Kosich, Johnny Kosich, Kendrick Lamar and Matt Schaeffer)
Bonnie Raitt - Just Like That (songwriters: Bonnie Raitt)

Best New Artist
Omar Apollo
DOMi & JD Beck
Muni Long
Samara Joy
Tobe Nwigwe
Molly Tuttle
Wet Leg



Nickelback have released new single 'High Time', ahead of the release of their new album 'Get Rollin', which is out this Friday.

Romy has released new single 'Strong', featuring Fred Again. "'Strong' came from a moment in my life when I was processing past grief", she says. "Whilst writing the lyrics I was thinking about my cousin Luis, we both have the shared experience of our mums passing away when we were young. I recognise in him the same trait I have which is to try and hold emotions down and put on a brave face. The song was a way to connect with these feelings, offer support and ultimately find a sense of release in the euphoria of music".

Kelela has released new single 'On The Run' and announced that she will release new album 'Raven' on 10 Feb. "I started this process from the feeling of isolation and alienation I've always had as a black femme in dance music, despite its black origins", she says. "'Raven' is my first breath taken in the dark, an affirmation of black femme perspective in the midst of systemic erasure and the sound of our vulnerability turned to power".

John Grant has released his version of American folk song 'God's Gonna Cut You Down', taken from Netflix series 'Inside Man'.

Emiliana Torrini & The Colorist Orchestra have released new single 'Mikos' and announced that they will release new album 'Racing The Storm' on 17 Mar. "When I am triggered by nice music, I see a movie happening in my mind", says Torrini. "When writing that song I saw a girl in a school uniform standing at the edge of a harbour looking into a turquoise sea at the body of a girl. She hears the girl's mother behind her looking for her at the market. She turns to look and then walks away not saying a word about it".

Teleman have released new single 'Easy Now I've Got You'. The track is taken from their new album, 'Good Time / Hard Time', which is out on 7 Apr. The band have also announced UK tour dates in April and May.

Post-hardcore supergroup Fake Names - featuring Minor Threat's Brian Baker, SOA's Michael Hampton, Refused's Dennis Lyxzén, Girls Against Boys' Johnny Temple, and Fugazi's Brendan Canty - have released new single 'Delete Myself'. The track is taken from their debut album, 'Expendables', which is out on 3 Mar.

Death Valley Girls have released new track 'What Are The Odds', the first single from their new album 'Islands In The Sky', which is out on 24 Feb. "When we wrote [2016's] 'I'm A Man Too' we were trying to revisit No Doubt's 'I'm Just A Girl' but through a new lens", says the band's Bonnie Bloomgarden. "'What Are The Odds' is in the same way an investigation/revisitation of Madonna's 'Material Girl' but with a DVG spin".



Panic! At The Disco have announced a livestream performance, viewable at 7pm UK time on 8 Dec. Tickets cost $5 and are available here.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie has announced UK shows in Manchester, Birmingham and London in March. Tickets are on sale now. His new album, 'Me Vs Myself', is out on 9 Dec.

Dream Theater have announced UK shows in February, including a performance at the Hammersmith Apollo in London on 21 Feb. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.

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


Mariah Carey's Queen Of Christmas trademark bid blocked
Mariah Carey is not the Queen Of Christmas. It's important you all know that. Well, maybe she is the Queen Of Christmas. But she's not the Queen Of Christmas (TM), that's what matters.

Because the US Patent And Trademark Office has rejected an application by one of Carey's companies to trademark the moniker Queen Of Christmas for use on music, fragrance and alcohol products, among other things.

Carey's claim to the title Queen Of Christmas mainly comes from the ongoing success of her hit 'All I Want For Christmas Is You', of course.

In past interviews the musician has insisted that it's others who have dubbed her Christmas's Queen, but that didn't stop her company from seeking to secure the exclusive rights to the 'Queen Of Christmas' brand through the trademark application.

That application was opposed by another music-maker, Elizabeth Chan, who calls herself a 'Christmas recording artist', runs a company that specialises in Christmas music, and released an album called 'Queen Of Christmas'.

In her objection to Carey's trademark bid earlier this year, she argued that no one person should have exclusive rights to that name. "Christmas is big enough for more than one 'Queen'", she stated, adding that, even within music, 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' singer Darlene Love and 'Rockin Around The Christmas Tree' singer Brenda Lee could both surely also be considered queens of Christmas?

Carey seemingly didn't respond to Chan's objection, meaning the latter musician won by default and the former's trademark application was denied. Which means Carey can't stop anyone else from using the 'Queen Of Christmas' brand.

Welcoming the decision, Chan said in a statement: "Christmas is a season of giving, not the season of taking, and it is wrong for an individual to attempt to own and monopolise a nickname like Queen Of Christmas for the purposes of abject materialism".

"As an independent artist and small business owner, my life's work is to bring people together for the holiday season, which is how I came to be called the Queen Of Christmas", she added. "I wear that title as a badge of honour and with full knowledge that it will be - and should be - bestowed on others in the future".

"My goal in taking on this fight", she then concluded, "was to stand up to trademark bullying not just to protect myself, but also to protect future Queens Of Christmas".

And if that's not a perfect example of the festive spirit, I don't know what is.

Another musician who backed Chan in opposing Carey's trademark application earlier this year was the aforementioned Darlene Love who performed 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' on Phil Spector's 1963 Christmas album.

Welcoming the news that application had been blocked, she posted on Facebook: "Thank you, Lord! Congrats to all the other Queen Of Christmases around the world, living and whom have passed!"

Neither Carey nor her legal team have as yet commented on the unsuccessful trademark bid. But then, it's mid-November already and the Queen Of Christmas is presumably very busy.


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.
[email protected] (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.
[email protected] (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.
[email protected] 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.
[email protected]
CMU helps people to navigate and understand the music business.

We do this through our media, our training and our research, and at a range of music industry events.

CMU Daily covers all the latest news and developments direct by email.

Setlist is a weekly podcast dissecting the biggest music business stories.

CMU Premium gives you access to the CMU Digest and CMU Trends.

CMU Insights is our music business consultancy: supporting the industry.

CMU:DIY is our future talent programme: supporting new music talent.

Pathways Into Music is our foundation supporting music educators.

© UnLimited Media, a division of 3CM Enterprises Ltd

UnLimited Media, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

Send press releases to [email protected]

Email advertising queries to [email protected]

Email training and consultancy queries to [email protected]

You can read our Privacy & Data Policy here

[email protected] | [email protected]