TODAY'S TOP STORY: Cross-sector trade group UK Music has reported that the economic impact of the British music industry in 2019 was £5.8 billion, up 11% from the previous year. The industry was also employing more people, and its impact on UK exports and UK tourism were both also up. However, of course, this was all before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the entire live industry and negatively impacted on many other strands of the music business too. The music community, UK Music says, now faces a "marathon effort" to get back to where it was in 2019... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES UK music industry's economic impact reached £5.8 billion in 2019 - further support will be needed to restore that post-COVID
LEGAL Music publishers denied a second hearing on damages in Wolfgang's Vault case
Sexual assault lawsuit against Russell Simmons dismissed because of statute of limitations

DEALS Killers sell publishing catalogue
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Japanese major label Avex downsizing
ARTIST NEWS Little Mix's Jesy Nelson taking "extended" break from the group
ONE LINERS BMG, Bandcamp, TaP Music, more
AND FINALLY... Katy Perry partners with Coca-Cola for, you know, just to be nice
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email [email protected] or call 020 7099 9060.
FKP Scorpio is looking for someone to lead the marketing team, creating and managing marketing campaigns for concerts, tours and festivals across the UK, plus overseeing and coordinating marketing for our European Touring division.

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Erased Tapes is currently seeking a highly organised Production Assistant to support the company Director and Production Manager in their regular administrative duties. The chosen candidate will assist with the production and distribution of Erased Tapes products (digital and physical), including vinyl records, CDs, and label merchandise.

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Secretly Distribution is looking for a Digital Content Manager to be based in London (this position will be work from home until further notice).

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Juno is looking for an experienced music equipment service and support assistant to assist with product testing, customer support and related administration.

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Expand your knowledge about the inner workings of the music business, best practice across the music industry, and all the latest trends and developments, with CMU's weekly webinars.

Taking place every Tuesday afternoon at 2.30pm London time, these one hour online training sessions are delivered by CMU's Chris Cooke.

Each webinar presents timely and easy-to-understand insights about a different music business topic, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Attendees can also access online resources - including downloadable slides - and a recording of the webinar available for a month after the live session.

BOOK NOW at special rates - access to each individual webinar is just £25, plus you can book into four webinars for £75 and all nine for just £150.

Tuesday 24 Nov 2020 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Music distribution has changed a lot over the last fifteen years. This webinar reviews the evolution of digital distribution, explaining how distributors expanded their services and client base, and runs through the distribution options open to artists and labels today.
Tuesday 1 Dec 2020 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
As the legitimate digital music market has evolved so has online music piracy. This webinar looks at the piracy challenge over the last 20 years, how the music industry has sought to tackle the problem, and which anti-piracy tactics actually work today.
Tuesday 8 Dec 2020 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The role of the artist manager has changed dramatically over the last two decades as artists themselves seek to take more control over their recorded music and fan relationships. What does management now involve, what skills and knowledge are required, and what should management deals look like?
Tuesday 12 Jan 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The music rights business makes money by exploiting the controls that come with the copyrights in songs and recordings. Get to grips with all the basic principles of copyright law and how music copyright makes money in this user-friendly easy-to-follow webinar.
Tuesday 19 Jan 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Sometimes the music industry licenses through direct deals, other times it employs the collective licensing approach. Fully understand how collective licensing works - in the UK and around the world - in this user-friendly easy-to-follow webinar.
Tuesday 26 Jan 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Getting songwriters and artists paid when their songs and recordings are played often comes down to whether or not the right data is in the system. But what data? This webinar runs through all the key data points and explains how to get information into the system.
Tuesday 2 Feb 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Streaming now accounts for more than half of recorded music revenues worldwide - and in many countries it's much bigger than that. Get fully up to speed on all the key trends and developments in the global streaming music market in this super timely webinar.
Tuesday 9 Feb 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The streaming business is complex in terms of how services are licensed, and how artists and songwriters get paid. Get to grips with it all via our concise user-friendly guide to digital licensing and streaming royalties - explained in full in just ten steps.
Tuesday 16 Feb 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Streaming is a revenue share game, with digital dollars shared out each month between artists, songwriters, labels and publishers. We explain how the money is currently split up and talk through why some people in the industry believe a different approach is needed.
Navigate and understand the music business with guides and reports from CMU...
NEW! Artist And Songwriter Rights In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the rights artists and songwriters enjoy over their music
Music Rights Data In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to music rights data, data standards and databases
Music Industry Basics In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to all the different strands of the modern music industry
Streaming Challenges In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the challenges facing the streaming business in 2020
Collective Licensing In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the collective licensing system
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UK music industry's economic impact reached £5.8 billion in 2019 - further support will be needed to restore that post-COVID
Cross-sector trade group UK Music has reported that the economic impact of the British music industry in 2019 was £5.8 billion, up 11% from the previous year. The industry was also employing more people, and its impact on UK exports and UK tourism were both also up. However, of course, this was all before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the entire live industry and negatively impacted on many other strands of the music business too. The music community, UK Music says, now faces a "marathon effort" to get back to where it was in 2019.

UK Music has been assessing the economic impact of the wider music industry - technically speaking the 'gross value added' - every year since 2013. It involves gathering stats for each strand of the music industry, including recordings, publishing, live, management and the thousands of individual artist and songwriter businesses. As of last year, music lawyers, music accountants, recording studios and music retailers are also included in the stats.

Based on all of that, the economic impact of the wider music industry in 2019 was £5.8 billion, compared to £5.2 billion in 2018. That breaks down as £2.7 billion (music creators), £1.3 billion (live), £613 million (recordings), £524 million (publishing), £463 million (retail), and £170 million (artist representatives).

Elsewhere, according to UK Music's maths, employment hit an all-time high with 197,168 people working in the sector, while the industry's contribution to music tourism was up from £4.5 billion to £4.7 billion, and its impact on exports was up from £2.7 billion to £2.9 billion.

In normal times, of course, these stats would spark a celebration about just how brilliant the British music industry is doing thanks to all its general brilliance. But in 2020 the focus is entirely on the catastrophic impact of the COVID shutdown and what that will mean for music industry revenues - and the economic impact of the sector - this year. And, for that matter, next year and beyond.

Positive announcements regarding COVID vaccines have increased optimism that live music will return in 2021, but most people expect the revival of the sector to take time. As for what impact the shutdown has had on the industry's infrastructure, that will only really become fully clear once the revival begins.

Financial support from the UK government - both sector-specific and general - has helped many music companies and music professionals, but by no means all music companies and music professionals. Too many have missed out on support because of technicalities.

Industry-led schemes have filled some of those gaps to an extent, but plenty of companies and individuals continue to struggle. And even those who have funding in place to get them through to next March, still face plenty of challenges in the year ahead.

Of course COVID has hit different strands of the music industry in different ways. Because subscription streaming hasn't really been affected by the pandemic, the record industry - for which that is now the biggest revenue stream overall - has been much more COVID immune. That has also sparked a big debate over industry conventions that mean that artists and songwriters often see a much smaller cut of streaming monies than they do with other revenue streams.

Whatever happens next, any 2020 stats published next year for all but the record industry are going to make for depressing reading. The challenge for the record industry will be defending why its stats are still pretty healthy. While the challenge for the industry at large will be how it can get back to 2019 levels, so that once again its economic impact in the UK tops £5.8 billion. Further and ongoing government support is certainly going to be crucial.

Commenting on his organisation's latest 'Music By Numbers' report, UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: "Our music industry is a key national asset. As this report shows, it contributes £5.8 billion a year to the economy, generates £2.9 billion in exports, and supports almost 200,000 jobs. It boosts Britain's standing in the world, bringing a soft power that few other industries can boast. This report shows just how valuable our music industry is – and how important it is that we take action to protect it".

"The UK music industry was a vibrant, fast-growing and commercially successful sector before the pandemic hit, and with the right support it can be again", he added. "I am convinced we have the people, the drive and determination to fire up our industry once more and become a key part of our country's post-COVID-19 economic and cultural revival".


Music publishers denied a second hearing on damages in Wolfgang's Vault cases
A judge in New York last week declined to order a new trial to consider what damages should be paid to the various music publishers who successfully demonstrated that their copyrights had been infringed by concert streaming service Wolfgang's Vault. However, he did award the publishers legal costs, albeit somewhat less than had been requested.

Launched in 2003, Wolfgang's Vault began life as an archive of concert recordings previously owned by promoter Bill Graham, although it later expanded its content sources. As that happened, and the channels through which the firm disseminated and monetised the live recordings expanded too, the company became somewhat controversial in music circles.

Various legal challenges were made, with the US National Music Publishers Association pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of various publishers, including all the majors, back in 2015.

The publishers then prevailed in that lawsuit in 2018, although damages were not set at the time, with a separate court hearing considering what Wolfgang's Vault should pay the music companies taking place in March this year.

In the end, the publishers got a total of $189,500 in damages. Which is rather low for a copyright case of this kind in the US. The original lawsuit listed 197 songs that had been specifically infringed, and under US law a court can award a copyright owner up to $150,000 in statutory damages per infringed work. Which is why multi-million dollar payouts are common.

The publishers were, needless to say, disappointed. Seeking a new trial on the damages issue, the publishers said that the low payout was the result of rushed jury deliberations which, in turn, were the result of mounting COVID-19 concerns.

The pandemic was starting to spread around the US at the time of the damages court hearing and public health concerns were mounting. On the final day of the trial, one juror specifically expressed concern about the virus, pointing out the court case they were involved in was entirely focused on what money the publishers should get and - in the wider scheme of things - that didn't seem sufficiently important to put the health of jurors at risk by having them come into court each day.

The juror wasn't asking for the case to be put on hold, he simply sought assurances that the trial would be completed as quickly as possible. In response, the judge stressed that the courthouse had introduced a number of measures to reduce the risk of the virus spreading in the building, while also noting that the jury was likely to begin their deliberations later that day anyway.

When that happened, the jury took less than an hour to reach its decision that $189,500 was due. The publishers said that, given the COVID concerns that had been expressed, and given how quickly the jury reached its conclusion at the end of a nine day trial, they didn't feel proper consideration was given to what level of damages would be appropriate. Which, they added, resulted in the unusually low payout.

However, last week the judge hearing the case concluded that neither the COVID concerns nor the speedy jury decision nor the unusually low payout were grounds for saying that a "miscarriage of justice" had occurred when the publishers were awarded $189,500.

The publishers cited as precedent an earlier case in the American courts that was overturned on appeal because a jury had not properly deliberated as a result of public safety concerns. In that case, the insufficient deliberations were the result of an incoming hurricane.

However, in that case, the judge had pressured the jury to reach a speedy conclusion, which didn't happen in the Wolfgang damages hearing back in March. Plus there was no evidentiary basis for the decision the jury reached in that earlier case, whereas in the Wolfgang litigation jurors correctly used their discretion in setting damages within the albeit wide parameters set by the law.

On the legal costs issue, the judge concluded that there were grounds for forcing Wolfgang's Vault to cover some of the publishers' attorney fees. However, whereas the publishers requested $6 million - which the operator of the Wolfgang's Vault site said would leave him in financial ruin - the judge ordered the payment of $2 million.


Sexual assault lawsuit against Russell Simmons dismissed because of statute of limitations
A lawsuit filed by an unnamed woman accusing Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons of sexual assault has been dismissed because of the statute of limitations.

Various accusations of rape and sexual harassment were made against Simmons in 2018 in the wake of the #MeToo movement. A number of women came forward after model Keri Claussen Khalighi and screenwriter Jenny Lumet went public with their allegations in November 2017. Two lawsuits followed, although one was subsequently dismissed at the request of both parties a few months later.

In the second lawsuit, the unnamed accuser alleged that she met Simmons while at a concert with her son. She then claimed that, later the same day, Simmons pressured her to accompany him to his hotel room and that, once there, he raped her.

Simmons has denied all the allegations of sexual assault that have been made against him, including those made in this lawsuit. Meanwhile, he sought to have the lawsuit itself dismissed because of the statute of limitations.

The alleged assault took place in 1988. Under the relevant laws, the alleged victim would have needed to file her lawsuit by 1990. There are some legal technicalities that could have been employed to justify having gone legal later. However, the judge considering the case concluded that the latest a lawsuit could have been filed was 2014.

Having previously rejected Simmons' bid to dismiss the case on statute of limitation grounds - because of other legal technicalities - this time the judge granted the industry veteran's request.

The accuser didn't actually formally oppose the motion this time, even though the judge offered extra time for her to respond. With no such response being made, the dismissal of the case was confirmed on Friday.


Killers sell publishing catalogue
The latest act to sell their publishing catalogue are The Killers, who have announced that they have sold all of their pre-2020 songs to investment company Eldridge.

"The Killers have been an icon of American music for nearly two decades", says Eldridge co-founder Tony Minella. "As huge fans ourselves, we're excited to partner with an incredibly talented band that has such an original sound, impactful lyrics, and the remarkable ability to connect generations through their music".

Killers frontman Brandon Flowers adds: "We have the greatest fans in the world. Eldridge's broad network across music, television and film will provide new opportunities for our music to be enjoyed by millions across the globe".

This is the first publishing catalogue deal of this type that Eldridge has done. The company has stakes in businesses across various sectors, including media and entertainment, with interests in Billboard and Hollywood Reporter publisher MRC and UK production company Fulwell73.


Japanese major label Avex downsizing
Japan's fourth major label, Avex, has begun a possibly significant downscaling, in part as a result of the pandemic, according to Billboard. It has reportedly put its Tokyo HQ up for sale and has offered early retirement to almost a third of its staff.

In a statement to Billboard, the company said: "It is true Avex is moving forward with structural reforms and is considering selling the head office building as part of these, but we have not made a decision at this time".

At one time the dominant record label in the Japanese recorded music market, it was last year third behind Universal Music and Sony Music, seeing its market share halve in just five years. The fall, apparently, is due to many of its former big earners being past their career peak, or - in the case of singer Namie Amuro - having retired from music completely.

It has also been hit by the pandemic, even though COVID restrictions in Japan have generally not been as severe as in Europe and North America. Nevertheless, Avex has been hit by COVID in two ways.

Firstly, while Japan has finally begun to shift to digital, physical record sales remain much more important than in other territories - with 68% of the country's record industry revenues coming from the sale of physical discs in 2019. And, of course, COVID has had a bigger impact on physical sales than digital consumption. Avex has also generally been slower than other majors to recognise and embrace the shift to digital, meaning it has been harder hit in this domain.

Secondly, according to Billboard, with record sale revenues in decline, Avex had started becoming more involved in live entertainment as a means of boosting its overall income. Meaning that it was also involved in the side of the music industry even more impacted by COVID.

Sources who spoke to Billboard said that the company is hoping to downsize its 1500 strong workforce by 100 people. However, anyone over the age of 40 at the business - around 440 people - has been offered early retirement.

The record company continues to actively release new music and has seemingly begun looking to build profile for its artists outside of Japan. Artists signed to the label include numerous girl groups, such as Faky, BiSH and AKB48 offshoot SKE48, 'mannequin rap' duo FEMM, and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.


CMU Insights Webinar: The Evolution Of Music Distribution
CMU's Weekly Webinars continue every Tuesday at 2.30pm. Over the next three weeks we are presenting three sessions looking at the evolution of different aspects of the music industry.

The first of those puts the spotlight on 'The Evolution Of Music Distribution'. It reviews the evolution of digital distribution in particular, explaining how distributors have expanded their services and client base over the last decade. It then runs through the distribution options open to artists and labels today.

Topics covered include...
• Why music distributors play a key role in the record industry.
• How and why the range of services distributors offer has expanded.
• The pros and cons of artists working directly with distributors.
• The key factors to consider when picking a distributor.
• The key challenges in the music distribution sector today.

You can book a place on this webinar - and watch it live or on-demand, or both - for just £25. Or book into a number of CMU's upcoming webinars to get further discounts. Get all the info you need here.

Little Mix's Jesy Nelson taking "extended" break from the group
Little Mix have announced that Jesy Nelson will be taking an "extended" break from the group, due to "private medical reasons".

"Jesy is having extended time off from Little Mix for private medical reasons", said the group's publicist on Twitter. "We will not be issuing any further comment currently and ask media to please respect her privacy at this time".

Nelson has been notably missing from recent promotional engagements by the group, following the release of their new album 'Confetti'. This included the final of their BBC One talent show 'The Search' and their role as hosts of the MTV European Music Awards.



BMG has named Dominique Casimir as EVP Continental Europe Repertoire & Marketing. "Dominique has done an excellent job in developing our repertoire operation in Continental Europe", says CEO Hartwig Masuch. "With her deep understanding of BMG's distinct culture and business model, I am confident she will help us build further scale in territories across the world".



Bandcamp has launched a new ticketed livestreaming platform, called Bandcamp Live. The company will charge a 10% commission on ticket sales, although it is waiving this until 31 May 2021. Find out more here.



Artist management company TaP Music has launched a new sports division. TaP Sports will be headed up by Managing Director Zoe Prothero, and its first athlete client is Leeds United footballer Kalvin Phillips.



Former Head Of Music at Outside Organisation, Jack Delaney, has launched his own PR firm, Number 23. "I had seven amazing years with the fantastic team at Outside, learnt a lot from company founder Alan Edwards, and managed campaigns for many incredible artists and events along the way", he says. "I'm now very excited to be starting a brand new chapter with Number 23 and representing many more".



Ariana Grande has released the video for recent single '34+35'.

Depeche Mode's Martin Gore has released new solo track 'Mandrill'. His new EP 'The Third Chimpanzee' is out 29 Jan.

Ezra Collective have teamed up with JME and Swindle for new track 'Quest For Coin II'.

Wolf Van Halen has released the first track from his new solo project Mammoth WVH, 'Distance'. The video for the track is a tribute to his late father, Eddie Van Halen.

Litany has released the video for new single 'Uh-Huh', starring comedians Katherine Ryan and Joe Lycett.

Hannah Georgas and Matt Berninger have released new single 'Pray It Away'.

Attawalpa has released new single 'Killer'. The track is taken from his forthcoming EP 'Patterns', which is set for release next year.

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


Katy Perry partners with Coca-Cola for, you know, just to be nice
Out of the goodness of their hearts, Katy Perry and Coca-Cola have teamed up to spread a message of optimism and hope. Perry has lent a track to an advert, sorry, film (they're calling it a film), called 'Open To Better'.

The track is a new Tiësto remix of 'Resilient', from Perry's under-performing new album 'Smile', featuring new vocals from emerging artist Aitana.

The accompanying 'film' is directed by Chloe Wallace and "reflects the positivity and optimism of the Coca-Cola 'Open' platform". That being a thing that the company launched earlier this year encouraging people to be nice to each other while drinking Coca-Cola.

"To me, this campaign is about growing through challenges", says Perry. You know, challenges like your recent album not doing that well, which you overcome by convincing a big brand to put up some marketing budget and a big name producer to create a more appealing version of one of the album's songs. That sort of thing. Normal stuff.

Anyway, she goes on: "I think the song 'Resilient' ties so well into that because being resilient is getting back up after you fall, growing from failure, and getting through that challenge. I loved the unity perspective Aitana brought to the song, and how it evolves the message into the importance of being resilient as a group. It's not always just about personal growth, we need to grow together too!"

Coca-Cola's Europe Head Of Marketing, Walter Susini, says: "For more than 136 years, Coca-Cola has used its voice to help unite people across the world. In response to the current crisis, we launched the 'Open' platform, a campaign highlighting how the world has changed and to appreciate what perhaps was previously taken for granted".

"As we move towards the end of 2020", he adds "we are collaborating with Katy Perry to spread a message of hope and positivity, especially for the next generation. Lockdown has meant that young people have missed out on life-defining moments - from proms and graduations to just being with their friends face-to-face. This song is dedicated to them".

So, there you go, a Coca-Cola exec has decided who this song is dedicated to. Good old 2020. Tiësto, if you were wondering, is "THRILLED" about the project, while Aitana has praised "Coca Cola's important vision". You can watch the advert/music video/film here.


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]
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