TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Night Time Industries Association has again criticised the new COVID measures going into effect across England later this week, while also publishing the results of new research in which 75% of the 400 night-time businesses surveyed said they were now likely to permanently close before Christmas... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES New COVID restrictions will lead to total collapse of night-time sector, says NTIA
LEGAL European Commission IP report talks piracy and AI
DEALS Mike Chapman extends and expands Blue Raincoat deal
LABELS & PUBLISHERS IMPALA publishes new recommendations for post-COVID music industry recovery across Europe
Concord Music launches prize for music-inspired visual artists

MEDIA BBC Asian Network announces new shows
INDUSTRY PEOPLE Save Our Scene to protest lack of help for musicians during the pandemic in London and Bristol this week
AND FINALLY... Halsey says getting Grammys nominations is about "knowing the right people"
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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.
Tuesday 23 Feb 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
How do artists go about building a fanbase in 2020? In this webinar we'll talk through the fanbase building process, from when artists are working truly DIY, through the involvement of different music industry business partners like management, distributors, labels, promoters and specialist agencies.
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Music Rights Data In Ten Steps
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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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New COVID restrictions will lead to total collapse of night-time sector, says NTIA
The Night Time Industries Association has again criticised the new COVID measures going into effect across England later this week, while also publishing the results of new research in which 75% of the 400 night-time businesses surveyed said they were now likely to permanently close before Christmas.

Although the current national lockdown in England ends this week, replaced by another three tier system where rules differ around the country, most of England will be in tiers two or three. Entertainment and hospitality businesses will have to close in tier three regions. In tier two, pubs, restaurants and venues can open, but alcohol can only be served with food. So pubs and bars that do not sell food will have to close, and venues will not be able to sell drinks.

Those restrictions will make it impossible for many entertainment and hospitality businesses in tier two regions to operate in a commercially viable way during what would usually be the super lucrative pre-Christmas period.

And while everyone acknowledges that COVID restrictions are still required to tackle the second surge of the virus, reps for the night-time sector reckon they are subject to particular draconian rules, given COVID is much more likely to be transmitted in colleges and work-places, or at the house parties and unofficial events that will inevitably occur with many night-time businesses closed.

NTIA surveyed 400 entertainment and hospitality businesses following the announcement last week of the new COVID measures. It found that 73.1% of the surveyed businesses have made employees redundant since the start of the pandemic, with 65.2% having now let go of at least 40% of their team members.

Meanwhile 74.4% of the businesses surveyed are commercial tenants, of which 77.6% are now behind with rent payments by at least two quarters. With these new restrictions making it so hard to trade this month, many of the businesses interviewed said they feared they would close down for good before the end of the year.

When it comes to live music specifically, some companies - especially venues - may have received grants from the UK government's sector-specific funding initiatives for the cultural and heritage industries. But many businesses in the wider night-time sector didn't qualify for that funding - and not all music venues received support either.

And while there have been the general COVID support schemes for businesses shutdown by lockdown, most effected companies still face significant and mounting financial challenges.

Commenting on the stats, NTIA boss Michael Kill said: "[The government's new restrictions lead] us to believe that they are intentionally aiming to collapse our sector. Every town and city across the UK stands to lose valued and much loved venues. This will be another stab in the heart of our town and city centres".

"We stand to lose the cultural institutions and amazing workforce of professionals that the UK are renowned for globally", he added. "Our clubs, bars, venues, security, freelancers, staff, managers, DJ's and many more will lose their livelihoods and continue to suffer financial hardship without government intervention".

Addressing Prime Minister 'Boris' Johnson directly, Kill went on: "What are you doing to save the lives and livelihoods of the many businesses and workers within the night time economy, businesses that have been closed since March and are continuing to suffer? They have staff and freelancers that will lose their jobs irrespective of furlough because the businesses won't survive. What do you say to that Prime Minister, I hope you are sleeping well at night because thousands within our sector are struggling to sleep, in fear of their future".


European Commission IP report talks piracy and AI
The European Commission last week published a paper on a wide assortment of intellectual property matters, looking at how laws and systems relating to trademark, patents, designs, copyright and other IP matters could be enhanced and reformed across the European Union.

Obviously, when it comes to copyright, EU member states are still implementing last year's copyright directive, including its headline-grabbing reforms of the copyright safe harbour. Nevertheless, some of the proposals in the EC's paper impact on copyright matters, and therefore the music industry

In particular, the paper said that tackling piracy in its various forms should become a higher priority across Europe, at both a national and EU level, adding that "the capacity of law enforcement authorities has to be substantially strengthened".

"As regards counterfeiting and piracy, the Commission sees a clear need to step up efforts", the paper states. "New forms of IP infringements have arisen on the internet, such as cyber theft of trade secrets (accounting for an estimated 60 billion euro of losses in the EU), illegal internet protocol television (IPTV) and other forms of illegal (live) streaming. They raise particular challenges for manufacturing, the creative and cultural industries, as well as the sports sector".

Of course for the music industry, piracy isn't as big a talking point as it used to be, partly because the streaming boom has taken the record industry back into growth, and partly because getting that safe harbour reform became the priority in more recent years.

That said, plenty of unlicensed music continues to be distributed and accessed online, and music companies still try to hinder such activity wherever they can. That often requires cross-border collaboration to be truly effective, which means record companies and music publishers will welcome any pan-European anti-piracy efforts.

The paper also considers the impact of artificial intelligence, both in enforcing IP rights, but also creating them. As AI technologies start composing music, creating content and inventing stuff, questions arise about to how copyright - and other forms of IP - protect that work, and who owns said rights. Some copyright systems have already anticipated those questions, though others remain silent on the matter.

The paper acknowledges that "discussions on the impact of AI on intellectual property rights are ongoing both in Europe and internationally". It goes on: "A study published today stresses the need to distinguish between inventions and creations generated with the help of AI technologies and the ones solely created by AI technologies. Whilst inventions and creations autonomously created by AI technologies are still mostly a matter for the future, the Commission takes the view that AI systems should not be treated as authors or inventors".

It then adds: "The study also shows that current EU IP framework and the European Patent Convention appear broadly suitable to address the challenges raised by AI-assisted inventions and creations. However, harmonisation gaps and room for improvement remain. These should be addressed in order for European excellence to blossom in AI. As a first step, the Commission will map and analyse all issues and engage in stakeholder discussions".

So, if you thought all EU-wide copyright matters had been addressed by last year's copyright directive, think again!


Mike Chapman extends and expands Blue Raincoat deal
Blue Raincoat Music has announced that songwriter Mike Chapman has renewed his deal with the company - expanding it to a worldwide agreement. Chapman was one of the firm's first signings, back in 2016, that deal covering the UK, France, Japan, Australia and South Africa.

"If there is one thing I have learned over the last 50 years, it's the value of teamwork", says Chapman. "Now I will have one of the most experienced and dynamic teams in the music business to help me accomplish my goals going forward. Looks like that fishing trip is going to have to wait!"

Blue Raincoat co-founder Jeremy Lascelles adds: "We were all pretty THRILLED when we made our deal with Mike four years ago. It's even more exciting that we are able not just to extend our relationship but to now represent his catalogue of songs for the world".

"A big hats off to Emma [Kamen, SVP Business Development] who has worked so closely and effectively with him on our behalf in that time", he goes on. "I would just like to add that not only is Mike an incredible songwriter, he is also one of the best people in the music industry to share a meal and a glass or three of wine with. Those stories!"

Chapman's songwriting catalogue includes 'The Best' by Tina Turner, 'Love Is A Battlefield' by Pat Benatar, 'Can The Can' by Suzi Quatro, and Mud's 'Tiger Feet'.


IMPALA publishes new recommendations for post-COVID music industry recovery across Europe
The pan-European organisation for the independent music community, IMPALA, has published a number of recommendations aimed at the European Union and governments of each EU member state to ensure that there is continued and long-term support for the music sector as the COVID crisis initially extends and then ultimately ends.

IMPALA launched a COVID-19 taskforce early on in the pandemic back in March, which then published a ten point plan to support the independent music industry through the COVID crisis, identifying action points for the European Commission, EU national governments and the music community itself.

As the EU then started to put together a COVID recovery plan in April, IMPALA identifying another ten priorities, those focused on what the EC and national governments could do to ensure the survival and recovery of the music sector.

Multiple European countries are currently battling a second surge of the virus of course, and it remains unknown just how quickly the various vaccines that have been developed will be approved and widely available.

That said, active consideration is now being given to what kind of government support will required to allow the music industry to return to normal once the virus is finally under control, in addition to what support is needed while COVID restrictions are still in place over the next few months.

In a statement this morning, IMPALA says: "Targeted support and coordination take on renewed importance as restrictions gradually lift and we can hopefully find some optimism about tackling the spread of COVID-19 over the next year. Sectors such as music will be last to come out of the crisis and will feel the direct impact on revenues for years, even without a potential third wave".

In its latest call to action, IMPALA urges the EC and national governments to ensure existing COVID support is rolled on as lockdowns extend and that support will continue even once things start to slowly return to normal. Governments should also review the charging of VAT on things like tickets, livestreams and record store sales, it adds.

Beyond specific COVID support, IMPALA also calls on EU countries to implement last year's copyright directive sooner rather than later, and without watering down the safe harbour reforms contained in article seventeen of that directive. There are also other copyright matters to be considered, it adds, including performer and broadcast rights.

Commenting on the organisation's latest COVID statement, IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith said this morning: "The aim of IMPALA's call is to take stock and look ahead. This is essential to inspire the next generation of artists and music professionals to pursue their passion and contribute to Europe's diversity and growth".

Meanwhile the group's Chair, Francesca Trainini, added: "Cultural and creative industries have been recognised as a priority ecosystem and culture received a boost last month with over half a billion euros in additional funding proposed in the EU's budget. These are IMPALA's recommendations to build on that".

You can read IMPALA's recommendations in full here.


Concord Music launches prize for music-inspired visual artists
Concord Music is launching a new competition for visual artists, who are invited to propose an original piece of art - which can be a painting, sculpture or installation, or video or photography project - inspired by one of ten songs selected from the music firm's catalogue.

Launching the prize, the music rights company says: "It is no secret that from great art comes great art. That's why we want to create a new opportunity as part of that process. By encouraging visual artists at any stage in their careers, we hope that music will be a part of their futures. We have chosen ten of the greatest pieces of music from our catalogue - from Mark Ronson to Stravinsky, Krept & Konan to Pink Floyd - to act as inspiration for visual artists to create their own works".

Interested artists need to submit a proposal for their creation. Shortlisted creators will then get a £1000 bursary to create their piece, with all those artworks being exhibited in London next year. An overall winner will then get a prize of £10,000.

Commenting on the initiative, Sara Lord, Concord's SVP International Sync And Project Development, adds: "The most enjoyable part of my job here is delving into our incredible catalogues and sharing it with others who create. By encouraging visual artists at whatever stage of their career to let loose with a song or piece of music that moves them – felt like a no brainer. Music and art – what more could you ask for?"

The ten songs artists can pick from are:

Pink Floyd - The Great Gig In The Sky
Mark Ronson feat Yebba - Don't Leave Me Lonely
Joan Armatrading - Love & Affection
Rodgers and Hammerstein - My Favorite Things
Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians
Stravinsky – The Rite Of Spring
Newley & Bricusse - Pure Imagination
Ray Barretto - A Deeper Shade Of Soul
Lyra - New Day (Jackie Lomax)
Krept & Konan – Broski

More info here.


BBC Asian Network announces new shows
The BBC Asian Network has announced a number of changes to its schedule, set to take place early next year.

As part of new boss Ahmed Hussain's commitment to increase British Asian representation and popular South Asian music culture across the station, four new shows are to be introduced to the schedule. The station will also begin broadcasting 24 hours a day.

Entertainment reporter Haroon Rashid will host a brand new Saturday morning show 'Beyond Bollywood'; presenter duo Nikita Kanda and Mistah Islah will join the station for a new Saturday afternoon show; 'The Pakistani Show' will be a new addition to Sunday evenings; and AJD will present a new Thursday night show. Nayha Ahmad will also take over drivetime Monday to Friday, while all Friday and Saturday evening shows will begin an hour earlier.

"I want to welcome all of our new presenters to the Asian Network family", says Hussain. "Being British Asian means so many things to so many people, and our new changes mean that we are actively evolving to ensure that we are representing the culture right across the spectrum. I look forward to hearing a new weekend offering from Thursdays onwards, alongside our current outstanding DJs and presenters. We're also going 24 hours which means more music all day AND night".

With new presenters coming in, the station will also be bidding farewell to Preeya Kalidas, Eshaan, Sunil and Nim, and Waqas. "I'd like to thank Preeya, Eshaan, Sunil, Nim and Waqas for their dedication and passion to all of the shows they've presented with us", Hussain adds. "We'll be sure to celebrate their final shows!"

The changes are due to be implemented from 1 Mar 2021.


Save Our Scene to protest lack of help for musicians during the pandemic in London and Bristol this week
Two bike ride protests will take place in London and Bristol later this week, raising awareness of those musicians who have as yet received no financial support from the UK government during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Save Our Scene UK protests follow another that took place in October this year.

Many freelancers - including musicians - have fallen through the gaps of government support, leaving many with little or no income since March. Protesters have campaigned throughout the crisis for these gaps to be closed. So far without success. Meanwhile the government's specific schemes for the cultural sector have focused more on companies and institutions rather than individual creators.

As well as attempting to put pressure on politicians to act - rather than simply telling people to retrain - Save Our Scene UK is also raising money for the Help Musicians COVID support fund.

"As instructed by the government, the music industry is getting on their bike", says SOS co-founder George Fleming. "Our aim is to bring music lovers and professionals together and show the government how important it is to protect the arts. We will be protesting until we see change, we cannot stop and must stand strong for what we believe in".

"The first protest in London was so successful back in October and we're confident that it's only going to get bigger", he continues. "I'm excited to take the campaign to Bristol. The city is one of the most musically eclectic in the country. If you love music and have not been to Bristol before, now is your chance".

The campaign's other founder, Josh Parkinson, adds: "The industry has never needed our support more than now. The majority of musicians rely on events to make a living and right now we're not making a living. I'm urging everyone to get behind this campaign, we need your support".

"If you can't make this rally, come to the next one", he says. "If you can't make that, check out how you can donate through our Instagram page. If you can't afford to donate anything, spread the love and tell your friends. We're going make some serious noise and we're NOT retraining!"

The London protest will take place on Wednesday, riding from Speakers Corner in Hyde Park to Parliament Square. The Bristol protest will take place the following day, riding from Clifton Downs to St Andrew's Park. Each protest will be led by a vehicle kitted out with DJ equipment. DJing in London will be Parkinson and Jess Bays, while Bristol will have Got Some and Pablo Bravas providing the soundtrack.

Find out more here.


Setlist: Artists tell MPs streaming is "threatening the future of music"
CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including the first parliamentary hearing in the culture select committee inquiry into the economics of streaming, plus Instagram's insistence that no one would ever confuse its Reels feature with US cable TV channel Reelz.

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Halsey says getting Grammys nominations is about "knowing the right people"
Halsey is the latest artist 'snubbed' by the Grammy Awards to suggest that her lack of nominations in the recently unveiled 2021 shortlists may be down to her unwillingness to offer bribes.

"I've been thinking and wanted to choose my words carefully because a lot of people have extended sympathy and apology to me since the Grammy nominations", she said in an Instagram story post. "The Grammys are an elusive process. It can often be about behind the scenes private performances, knowing the right people, campaigning through the grapevine, with the right handshake and 'bribes' that can be just ambiguous enough to pass as 'not bribes'".

The most high profile artist to hit out at the Grammys for a lack of nominations is The Weeknd, who outright accused the event of being corrupt. In part, he said that he had received no nominations because he has signed a deal to headline the Super Bowl half time show next year, rather than playing exclusively at the Grammys awards show.

Speaking to Billboard, the boss of Grammy makers the US Recording Academy, Harvey Mason Jr, denied this, saying: "We were THRILLED when we found out he would be performing at the upcoming Super Bowl and we would have loved to have him also perform on the Grammy stage the weekend before. To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before The Weeknd's performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process".

Still, this idea was something Halsey ran with in her post, claiming that "committing to exclusive TV performances" so that the Recording Academy can earn "millions in advertising" is one way that artists can assure nominations, adding: "It's not always about the music or quality or culture".

"The Weeknd deserves better, and [my album] 'Manic' did too", she concluded. "Perhaps it's unbecoming of me to say so, but I can't care anymore. While I am THRILLED for my talented friends who were recognised this year, I am hoping for more transparency or reform. But I'm sure this post will blacklist me anyway".

So she's very pleased that her friends got nominated, even though she apparently assumes they got those nods in an underhand way rather than because they deserved them.

Artists being angry about not receiving any nominations at the Grammys is nothing new, of course. Although conspiracy theories such as those being pushed by The Weeknd and Halsey have only grown since the departure of short-lived Recording Academy CEO Deborah Duggan just ahead this year's big Grammys event. She made various accusations of corruption on her way out, which organisers have been attempting to quash ever since.

Of course, whether or not claims made by the likes of The Weeknd and Halsey are valid gripes or just Trump-style sore losing, it's probably worth remembering that all awards are basically made up nonsense.


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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