TODAY'S TOP STORY: So, it was the BRIT Awards last night. There were Brits. There were awards. There were non-Brits too. Not sure why, I thought we'd "taken back control". But, don't worry, all the non-Brits taking home awards came from the land of the Don. Which is to say, they were American. And - I think we can all agree - Americans are the least foreign of all the foreigners. Phew!... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES The BRIT Awards happened and tradition dictates that we tell you
LEGAL Former Journey frontman settles legal dispute over 1991 demos
Labels and Grande bicker of what evidence should be aired before the jury as the next big ISP copyright case approaches
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Universal Music Publishing unveils new royalty reporting portal
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Mixcloud launches new look for tenth anniversary
EDUCATION & EVENTS Sound City announces fundraising partnership to expand professional development programmes
ARTIST NEWS BMG announces Ronnie James Dio documentary
AND FINALLY... Foals talk about new bassist Jack Freeman
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Secretly Group is looking for a motivated, ambitious and enthusiastic full-time Project Manager. The position will be based in one of our three main US offices: Bloomington (IN), Brooklyn (NY), Los Angeles (CA). 2-4 years of music industry experience are essential.

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Union Chapel looking for an experienced Head of Events and Commercial Activities with a keen interest in events management, programming and income generation for the benefit of the arts, culture, social justice and heritage.

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Adelphoi Music works with brands and agencies to create music and sound concepts for moving images. They are on the lookout for a remarkable individual to join the team in generating new business opportunities for music composition, music licensing, recording projects and artist partnerships, and to lead new business for the UK and beyond.

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Independent label 3tone Records is looking for an enthusiastic and adaptable Marketing Assistant to join their Bristol office. You'd be assisting the Marketing department in co-ordinating social media plans, researching, executing effective advertising, creating compelling assets and liaising with external teams to serve a growing roster of genre-spanning artists.

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Name PR is looking to hire an accomplished communications professional with demonstrable experience. You will help lead our growing consumer division, working on exciting projects like 51st State Festival, the AIM Independent Music Awards and Ninja Tune technology releases, and clients as diverse as Jean-Michel Jarre and VP/Greensleeves Records.

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The Edinburgh International Festival is looking for an experienced, passionate and dedicated Music Publicist to join the marketing and communications team. We want you to help us deliver this unparalleled celebration of the performing arts, which brings some of the most exciting and creative artists working today to audiences from around the world.

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Warp Records is seeking a legal and business affairs assistant to join its team in London. The role will also give the opportunity to work closely with other parts of the Warp Group, including Warp Publishing and its retail and technology businesses.

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Experienced digital marketing person required to work within long established independent record company Snapper Music in central London. The label covers a broad section of music from alternative rock to metal. Knowledge of this music genre is not essential but a passion for digital marketing is.

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Secretly Group/Secretly Distribution requires an Office Administrator. Located in the Shoreditch office, this is the perfect position for anyone with office administration or management experience.

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The BRIT Awards happened and tradition dictates that we tell you
So, it was the BRIT Awards last night. There were Brits. There were awards. There were non-Brits too. Not sure why, I thought we'd "taken back control". But, don't worry, all the non-Brits taking home awards came from the land of the Don. Which is to say, they were American. And - I think we can all agree - Americans are the least foreign of all the foreigners. Phew!

Though for the proud Brexiters in the room (anyone?), there was still probably far too much cultural and musical diversity on the stage, with Stormzy and Dave delivering the stand-out performances. The racists, for certain, would have been unhappy. Though at least the misogynists could take heart in the general lack of women in the non-gender specific award categories. And a posh white boy told the jokes. And an old white man closed the show. And the whole thing occurred in a big white tent. That's diversity, people!

But what about the awards? Well, in between the performances and the politics some awards were definitely handed out. I assume. I wasn't there. I was 1500 miles away wondering why my hotel bathroom has eleven separate lights. I deal with the real issues, see.

And while I did survey all the BRIT-esque social chatter, it was all about Stormzy and Dave delivering their stand-out performances, and the latter calling 'Boris' Johnson' a racist. Don't worry Alexander - remember the posh boy, the old man and the big white tent. But whatever, there were definitely some winners and here they all are stacked up in a list. You're welcome.

Female Solo Artist: Mabel
Male Solo Artist: Stormzy
International Female Solo Artist: Billie Eilish
International Male Solo Artist: Tyler The Creator
Group Of The Year: Foals
Best New Artist: Lewis Capaldi
Rising Star: Celeste
Song Of The Year: Lewis Capaldi - Someone You Loved
Album Of The Year: Dave - Psychodrama


Former Journey frontman settles legal dispute over 1991 demos
Former Journey frontman Steve Perry has reached a tentative settlement with a musician he collaborated with all the way back in 1991 after a dispute over the rights in some demo recordings.

Perry sued musician Phil Brown in 2018 arguing that he owned the copyright in the 1991 demo recordings outright and accusing his one time collaborator of trying to release those tracks. The latter claim seemed to be based on social media posts Brown had made following the 2018 release of Perry's third solo album 'Traces'.

The Journey man added that he never intended for the 1991 demos to be released because he didn't believe they were good enough. Although, for his part, Brown alleged that Perry had, in fact, expressed an interest in releasing their collaborations on various occasions in the past.

As for the 2018 social media posts, Brown argued that he never directed or authorised any communications to be made that mentioned the old demo recordings. He added that his girlfriend made the offending posts without his knowledge, and that he had not been aware of them at the time because he rarely uses the internet.

Although Perry had decided to go legal over the dispute, the judge hearing the case urged the two musicians to reach a settlement, reckoning that neither side had anything really to gain from the litigation. He suggested the two men sit down for an hour to see if a tentative settlement could be reached, and seemingly that's exactly what happened.

According to Law360, having heard a deal had been done, the judge said "I am absolutely delighted the case has settled", before stepping away from the bench to shake hands with the two musicians. It's thought the settlement basically says that neither man will seek to release the demos without the other's approval.


Labels and Grande bicker of what evidence should be aired before the jury as the next big ISP copyright case approaches
One of the big labels v ISP legal battles is heading to court, and both sides are currently seeking to have certain bits of evidence excluded from the courtroom.

In recent years, of course, the US record companies have sued various American internet service providers seeking to have the ISPs held liable for their users' copyright infringement.

It's based on the argument that said ISPs should not enjoy safe harbour protection under US copyright law because they have deliberately slack policies for dealing with infringement and repeat infringers on their networks.

It was BMG who first successfully pursued that line of argument in court via its lawsuit against Cox Communications. The majors then similarly prevailed in their legal battle with Cox, getting that controversial billion dollar win late last year. The next big case of this kind involves the ISP Grande Communications.

In pre-trial legal filings, Grande wants to ensure that it can put the spotlight in court on the finances and operations of anti-piracy agency Rightscorp. The labels case is based on Grande not effectively responding to copyright notices it received from Rightscorp. But the ISP wants to question the legitimacy of those notices and the company that sent them. The labels, for their part, say such criticism of Rightscorp is irrelevant and shouldn't be expressed before the jury.

On the other side, the labels think that the jury should be told about Grande's policies regarding disconnecting customers when they fail to pay the ISP's fees. Grande reckons those policies are not relevant to the copyright dispute. But the labels argue that the ISP insists that disconnecting users on copyright grounds would be a "drastic measure", because of the importance of internet access to its users. But, say the labels, given the ISP is happy to disconnect customers for non-payment of fees, it can't be that drastic a measure.

It remains to be seen how the judge rules on these various pre-trial requests. Once the case is in court the industry will be watching closely to see if the precedent set in the two Cox cases can be applied to a rival internet firm.


Universal Music Publishing unveils new royalty reporting portal
Universal Music Publishing yesterday unveiled a revamp to its royalty reporting systems with a platform called UMPG Window. It is, says the major, "a next-generation royalty portal that provides songwriters and clients with instant access to clear, complete and real-time earnings and data". It can be installed on iOS and Android devices.

Fans of detail - and the songwriters and managers who care about things like this are usually big fans of detail - might want to know that UMPG Window uses, apparently, "the latest in cloud-indexing technology" meaning that it is "unparalleled in offering information on a highly-granular level".

The official blurb goes on: "Available in both numeric and graphic representations, clients will instantaneously view earnings by work title, accounting periods, territory, digital service provider, income source, income group, income type, local/international and more". Fun times.

Says John Reston, UMPG's EVP of Global Administration: "In designing and developing UMPG Window, our team worked closely with our songwriters and clients to best understand what they most wanted from a world-class, fully transparent portal and app. This kind of collaboration is a reflection of how we do business: our songwriters and publisher clients are partners in everything we do".

With the shift to streaming - which has resulted in much more usage data, and much more accurate usage data - the music publishing sector at large has been under pressure to get better at reporting usage and royalties to writers.

Kobalt was among the first to raise everyone's expectations in this domain, and others then followed. In terms of the majors, it felt like Universal was the first to respond to the "Kobalt effect" by evolving and enhancing its reporting platform. But more recently Sony/ATV has ramped up its reporting systems too. With the new fangled UMPG Window, Universal reckons it is now offering some reporting services not available anywhere else.

The company's EVP Global Technology, Mark Coltman, adds "UMPG Window is a testament to our commitment to building and delivering the best, most scalable systems in music publishing. Our guiding principle was creating a resource that empowered our songwriters and clients to easily access meaningful, usable and accurate data. We are so proud that the resulting application - functionally rich with superb, instant analytics - will be an outstanding, valuable tool that exceeds all expectations".


Mixcloud launches new look for tenth anniversary
Audio-sharing platform Mixcloud is celebrating its tenth birthday by launching a new visual identity and stating its mission for the next decade, which is to help build a "more sustainable future for online music". So, quite an ambitious mission then.

"We started Mixcloud to solve a simple problem", says co-founder Nico Periz, "to help DJs, radio stations, festivals and labels connect with listeners, fairly and legally. Our purpose has always been to amplify culture and community".

He adds: "A decade on, we believe streaming platforms can do much more to help creators make a living from their work. We're heading into 2020 with a refreshed brand and a refined mission: to supercharge the relationship between audio creators and their biggest fans, so that they can keep creating, distributing and amplifying their art sustainably".

In the last couple of years, of course, Mixcloud has ramped up the subscriptions side of its platform with a product called Select, as well as launching an in-house marketing agency seeking to encourage more brands to support creators on its platform.

And while subscriptions and ad sales are the standard revenue streams for the wider online music sector, Mixcloud has a different model to the Spotifys of this world which, it reckons, can better help artists with the all-important direct-to-fan relationship.

In his tenth anniversary statement, the firm's other co-founder, Nikhil Shah, noted: "Platforms like Patreon, Twitch and Kickstarter have paved the way for a creator-centric, fan-funded approach to online culture. We've taken a major step in their direction, and away from the algorithm-heavy streaming services. A year on from launching Select, it's great to see it grow from a disruptive idea in the music industry to a subscription service that's generating hundreds of thousands in revenue a year for artists and creators, and counting - funded directly from fans who want to support the culture".

So, it's an audio-sharing creator-support direct-to-fan revolution. Plus, new logo! Woo!


Sound City announces fundraising partnership to expand professional development programmes
The organisers of Liverpool Sound City have announced a new partnership with a fundraising agency called CAPLL which will seek to increase investment in the artist and music business development programmes Sound City currently runs.

Those new investments, alongside existing funding from Arts Council England, will allow Sound City to expand its professional development programmes. That includes an artist-centric initiative that has just been rebranded as Launch, which supports artists over a twelve-month period on areas like releasing music, tour management, building a brand, marketing and PR, and personal development.

Artists set to benefit from that programme in 2020 include: The Mysterines, Lydiah, That's Juvey, Weezy Jefferson, Tomike, Nikki & The Waves, The Sway, Podge, L'nee Golay, Lizzie Ross, Molly Green and Daddy.

Confirming the new partnership, Loretta Spencer from CAPLL said: "[We] are passionate about projects that look to benefit local communities and create of positive impact for people in those communities ... we are very proud to now partner up with Sound City and help build on the huge success they have had over many years in providing a genuine platform for many people who are looking to enter the music industry".

Sound City MD Rebecca Ayres added: "Sound City's central ambition to nurture tomorrow's top talent - from the early stages of being artists to achieve personal, artistic and career success - goes far beyond our annual festivals and conferences. We have a wide range of programmes that put us at the forefront of artist and executive training and development in the North of England and beyond. The Launch initiative is the spark many fledgling artists need to turn their hard work into musical careers. We're pleased to be able to help so many exciting young acts alongside CAPLL Ltd and Arts Council England".


CMU Insights: Dissecting The Digital Dollar
Don't forget that CMU Insights will once again present its popular 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' masterclass next month - based on the MMF's ground-breaking 'Digital Dollar' research programme - and explaining in one afternoon all you need to know about the streaming sector and the way digital licensing works.

The streaming business model is complex, of course, and you need to understand some stuff about copyright law, record contracts, music publishing and collective licensing for any of it to make sense. But we'll also run you though all of that as part of the masterclass.

It all takes place at the London HQ of Lewis Silkin on Monday 2 Mar. Tickets are on sale now for £80 plus VAT. Click here for more info.

BMG announces Ronnie James Dio documentary
BMG's film-making division has announced a new project to make a documentary about the career of Ronnie James Dio. The music rights firm will both finance and executive produce the film, working in partnership with the late musician and one-time Black Sabbath frontman's estate.

The company says that the as-yet-untitled film will be "the definitive Ronnie James Dio documentary, incorporating never-before-seen archival footage and photos from his personal archives". It will also "offer intimate scenes with his closest peers, friends and family as they bring us inside the life of one of rock and roll's true heroes".

Announcing the project, BMG's Kathy Rivkin Daum says: "We are incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with artists to tell their stories on the big screen. Dio, a larger than life rock hero, whose music means so much to millions of fans worldwide, deserves nothing less. The story behind his passion, ambition, and the highs and lows of success, in the rock and metal worlds, is something audiences have never seen before and won't soon forget. We are honoured to partner with Wendy on this incredible journey celebrating Ronnie's life and work".

The there mentioned Wendy is Dio's widow, who also managed the musician for many years. She says of the project: "I am very excited to be working with BMG on Ronnie's long-awaited documentary. Ronnie loved his fans and I hope they will enjoy this trip through Ronnie's life".


Foals talk about new bassist Jack Freeman
Foals have been chit chit chat chatting about their decision to recruit Jagwar Ma's Jack Freeman as their new bassist. Freeman starting playing bass with the band at their live shows this week, replacing Everything Everything's Jeremy Pritchard, who had been filling that role ever since original Foals bass player Walter Gervers left the band in 2018.

According to the NME, Foals drummer Jack Bevan, speaking at last night's BRIT Awards, explained that: "When Walter told us he was leaving, with a lot of aspects of the band, we've tried to keep it in-house and in the family of all the people we know and work with, and I think with Everything Everything, who we've toured with, Jez was a natural choice".

And likewise with Freeman, it seems. "Jagwar Ma are a band we've toured with for years", Bevan went on, noting that the band's Jono Ma has also done production work with Foals. "Jack is just a great guy", Bevan concluded, "he just slotted in really nicely".

So that's all lovely, isn't it?


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 and CMU Pathways consultancy units 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 InsightsCMU Pathways and CMU:DIY.
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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.
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