TODAY'S TOP STORY: The live music industry has welcomed a change to the new COVID rules that go into force in England tomorrow that will allow venues in tier two regions of the country to sell alcoholic drinks to ticket-buyers. The new rules initially said that alcohol could only be sold alongside a meal... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES UK government says alcohol can be served at venues in tier two under new COVID rules
LEGAL Rita Ora apologises for breaking lockdown rules with 30th birthday party
DEALS Stormzy signs to 0207 Def Jam
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Independent Label Market launches online advent calendar
LIVE BUSINESS Live Nation and Oak View selected to lead new arena complex in Cardiff
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Music piracy site Kingdom Leaks to shut down, tells users to consider a Spotify subscription
ONE LINERS IMPEL, Delic, Rig Aid, more
AND FINALLY... Spotify's Wrapped charts confirm Universal and Joe Rogan were this year's big streaming winners
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email [email protected] or call 020 7099 9060.
Ninja Tune is seeking an enthusiastic and driven Marketing Assistant, to support its UK based team on a full- time basis. This is a perfect opportunity for someone looking for an entry level role into the music industry, eager to learn and does not mind rolling up their sleeves, to get things done in a team environment. Please note this role is admin based.

For more information and to apply click here.
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.

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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.
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 government says alcohol can be served at venues in tier two under new COVID rules
The live music industry has welcomed a change to the new COVID rules that go into force in England tomorrow that will allow venues in tier two regions of the country to sell alcoholic drinks to ticket-buyers. The new rules initially said that alcohol could only be sold alongside a meal.

The current national lockdown across England finishes overnight tonight, with a three tier system replacing it. Most of the country will be in tiers two or three. Venues are not allowed to open at all in tier three areas, but can operate in tier two providing social distancing regulations are adhered to.

However, a separate tier two restriction that alcoholic drinks can only be sold as part of a meal meant that realistically few venues would be able to open in a commercially viable way. The reduced capacity caused by social distancing already makes it challenging for venues to break even, but without bar sales making a profit would become pretty much impossible.

That's especially true for grassroots venues. When the new rules were unveiled last week, the Music Venue Trust pointed out that the average grassroots music venue makes 65% of its revenues from bar sales. It also argued that buying a ticket to a cultural event should be equated to buying a meal in a bar or restaurant, stressing that attending a socially distanced gig is different to hanging out at the pub, even when alcohol is consumed.

Both MVT and the new cross-sector trade group for live music, LIVE, have lobbied ministers on that point in recent days. And yesterday it was confirmed that the UK government was clarifying the new COVID rules pretty much in line with what the MVT had recommended. So venues will be allowed to sell alcohol at shows.

Welcoming that move, MVT CEO Mark Dayvd said: "Music Venue Trust alongside LIVE has worked hard with the government to make the case that the consumption of culture and the consumption of food should be treated equally. If music be the food of love play on!"

"We are delighted that we have been listened to and that guidance has been issued that makes it clear that ticketed events at grassroots music venues can go ahead in tier two with alcohol on sale", he added. "It makes a direct difference to the number of shows that can be delivered and is a significant step forward in the campaign to revive live music and re-open every venue safely".

Phil Bowdery, Chair of the Concert Promoters Association, also welcomed the rule change, stating: "This announcement is hugely important for our industry as stopping the sale of alcohol was going to mean that, even if venues were technically able to open under tier two, they wouldn't have been able to financially. There's still a long way to go for the live music industry to recover, and the new situation is extremely challenging for those in tier three, but we're grateful to all those involved, in the industry and in government, for securing this sensible step".


Rita Ora apologises for breaking lockdown rules with 30th birthday party
Rita Ora has apologised for holding a 30th birthday party for herself during lockdown, when that sort of thing is definitely not allowed. The singer said that it was a "serious and inexcusable error of judgment", after police broke up the event at a restaurant in London on Saturday.

In an Instagram story post, Ora wrote: "I attended a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK".

It's not clear how many people were in attendance at the event - reports vary from seven to "more than 30". Still, when England comes out of its month-long lockdown tomorrow, tier two restrictions in the capital will forbid any people from different households meeting up indoors - with only six people allowed to meet outdoors. But we're not even out of lockdown yet, so that is irrelevant, and Ora was just breaking the rules.

However, in a statement, police said that "officers attended and carried out enquiries at the scene" but "found no record of any offence being committed".

Still, Ora went on: "I'm deeply sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk. This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgment. Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility".

"I feel particularly embarrassed knowing first hand how hard people have worked to combat this terrible illness and being fully aware of the sacrifices that people and businesses have made to help keep us all safe", she added. "Even though this won't make it right, I want to sincerely apologise".

Back in March, Ora fronted a World Health Organisation campaign to highlight the need for people to act in ways that will stop the spread of COVID-19. She said then that "we all have a part to play in helping to stop the spread".

Exactly who agreed to host the party at Casa Cruz in Notting Hill is not clear. Its owner, Francois Perrodo, denies any knowledge, as does Director Nicholas Fallows. Kensington and Chelsea Council said it is investigating the incident, saying in a statement: "We are aware of the reports and will be investigating them with the premises".

It has been reported that Ora has already paid a £10,000 fine to the council. Which, in terms of celebrity party budgets, might be pretty nominal, even if it was all broken up early.


Stormzy signs to 0207 Def Jam
Universal's new 0207 Def Jam label has announced its first signing. It's quite a big one. It's pretty much downhill from now on to be honest. Because they've only gone and bagged Stormzy.

He, of course, worked with Warner on his first two albums - signing with Atlantic Records in the process - while the mini-major's label services division ADA also distributes the rapper's Merky label.

The all new 0207 Def Jam label was launched last week, headed up by twin brothers Alex and Alec Boateng - the latter of whom was, until recently, co-head of A&R at Atlantic. That's probably not a coincidence, is it? And it makes the hire a very good decision for Universal right off the bat. Bagging the UK's biggest rapper is not just a coup for the major, but also a big vote of confidence for the new UK Def Jam spin-off.

Last week, Jeff Harleston, who heads up Def Jam in the US, said: "It is a perfect fit having Alex and Alec at the helm of 0207 Def Jam. Their creativity, artist relationships, and connection with culture are all key elements that have made Def Jam such an important label for over 35 years. I have no doubt that Alex, Alec and their team will only make the label and the brand even stronger".

How soon we can expect new music from Stormzy isn't clear - his second album, 'Heavy Is the Head', was released just under a year ago. There were three years between his first two albums. Presumably Universal will want him to hurry things along a bit third time around.


Independent Label Market launches online advent calendar
Hey, it's December! I will begrudgingly allow you to do Christmas-related things as of now. Mainly just opening advent calendars though. I'm still judging your already-up decorations. And speaking of advent calendars, the Independent Label Market has launched one. Digitally.

Unable to hold its traditional Christmas market, what with all the things and stuff, ILM will instead highlight a different UK indie label each day from now until 24 Dec. Gifts for you from each will include exclusive artist and label mixtapes, vinyl-only mixes, festive discount codes and flash sales.

There will also be an ILM takeover of Tim Burgess's Twitter listening parties, which will see him and fans listening along to Alex Cameron's 'Miami Memory' on 9 Dec, Dream Wife's 'So When You Gonna...' and Keeley Forsyth's 'Debris' on 10 Dec, then Ghostpoet's 'I Grow Tired But I Dare Not Fall Asleep' and Baxter Dury's 'The Night Chancers' on 11 Dec.

Is that enough? Well, either way there's more. There will also be a raffle to raise money for homelessness charity Crisis, with a whole load of indie label prizes to be won. Have a look at what you could win and bung £2 (or more) into the pot here.

Keep your eyes on the ILM Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts for more on that advent calendar.


Live Nation and Oak View selected to lead new arena complex in Cardiff
Live Nation has been selected as the preferred bidder to run a new arena venue set to be built in Cardiff. The live giant partnered with rival venue operator Oak View Group to bid to run the major new venue complex in the Welsh capital.

The new venue is set to have double the capacity of the existing Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, which is also run by Live Nation. The city's council began the process of selecting partners to launch the new arena late last year after buying the Cardiff Bay site where it will be built. Construction group Robertson are also part of the Live Nation/OVG consortium that won the bid.

The three companies in that consortium said in a joint statement: "We are delighted to have been announced preferred bidder today to deliver the new Cardiff arena. We look forward to working in partnership with Cardiff Council to bring this ambitious vision to life over the next few years".

"Our combined experience in the delivery and operation of facilities of this nature will result in a world-class facility that will bring economic benefits to the entire region, both during its construction and for many years to come once it's open", they went on. "In 2021 we will embark on the next phase of the planning process, which will provide the wider community the opportunity to see our exciting proposals for the site".


Music piracy site Kingdom Leaks to shut down, tells users to consider a Spotify subscription
A popular music piracy website called Kingdom Leaks has announced it is closing down, though not because of any legal pressure. Rather the people who run the site no long have time to keep it going.

Although the music industry's main piracy gripe in recent years has been stream-ripping, other kinds of online piracy remain a concern, including online communities where members share links to unofficial music files that can be downloaded.

For a brief time a few years back communities of that kind were the targets of legal action from the music industry, especially where there was a focus on linking to and therefore leaking new music pre-release. But Kingdom Leaks was able to keep going for seven years, possibly helped by music companies shifting their online enforcement focus onto safe harbour reform and then the stream-rippers.

Explaining why the site was now closing down, one of its operators, known as Lord Kingdom, states: "This was not a decision made lightly or abruptly, nor was this choice made because of legal pressure, a data breach, or anything of that nature. The simple but unfortunate reason is this: [fellow operator] mR12 and I have decided to move on, and there is no safe way to hand over the website to another party out of concern for the safety of everyone involved since the site's inception seven years ago".

"With a baby on the way and getting married next year, this is something that I need to put in the past, officially", the statement goes on. "This reality has left us at the following decision: we will be permanently shutting down our servers on 1 Jan 2021. All user and site data, including that which is stored on PassTheLeaks, will be permanently deleted".

There are, of course, other similar sites that users of Kingdom Leaks can switch to. Although that other operator of Kingdom Leaks, known as mR12, has actually suggested those users consider going legit and signing up to Spotify.

"Many will understandably and reasonably move to other music blogs [and] other download sites", he writes. "However, I would like to argue, through a serious and practical consideration of the actual need that must be filled, that Spotify is the solution many people are looking for but simply don't know it or haven't given it enough consideration".

He then sets out a number of reasons why he thinks Kingdom Leaks users should consider a premium Spotify subscription, reckoning that $120 a year is actually a fair price to pay. How many of the piracy site's users will follow that advice remains to be seen, though the blog post does play into a line used by Spotify a lot in its earlier years, to the effect that "we turn pirates into legitimate subscribers".


Approved: Smrtdeath
Smrtdeath - aka Mike Skwark - has just released his latest album, 'Somethjing's Wrong', his first for Epitaph since signing to the label in March. Mixing emo-rap with alt rock and pop hooks, it's an eclectic but well-crafted and endearing record.

Following singles including 'Back With Me' and 'She Told Me To Kill Myself', the latest focus track from the record, 'Don't Love Me', is one of its standouts which, Skwark says, "is about wanting someone you can't have".

"Kind of like meeting someone at the wrong time, or when you're too focused on yourself to have time to pursue a connection anywhere else", he goes on. "It's also about the misguided feelings people can have about someone based on a fleeting connection".

Watch the video for 'Don't Love Me' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.


MBMB Publishing - the publishing arm of UK dance label Cr2 Records - has signed up to IMPEL, the organisation that negotiates direct deals in the digital domain on behalf of an assortment of independent music publishers. The firm's Mark Brown says: "We are particularly looking forward to joining such a great group of like-minded, independent publishers in which we can collaborate ... and ensure rights-holders are paid accurately and fairly".



Music start-up Delic - which is developing collaboration tools for music-makers - has announced the appointment of Claire McAuley of Warner Chappell and Cliff Fluet of Lewis Silkin to its advisory board. Both will also take part in a panel discussion later today called 'Independent Or Interdependence?' - info here.



A load of sports stars, including James Haskell, Jeremy Irvine and Darren Gough, have joined together as Rig Aid to make a bid for Christmas number one. Proceeds from the single will go to the Restart Rugby charity. The track is out on 18 Dec. Here's a trailer.

Giggs has released the video for 'I'm Workin', featuring Jorja Smith, from his 'Now Or Never' album.

Wargasm have released the video for new single 'Rage All Over'.

Anna Straker has released new single 'Break Up Song'. "I wrote 'Break Up Song' the morning after a massive argument I had with my boyfriend", she says. "It captures the angst and fear and desperation you feel when you fight with your lover. When you've been with someone a long time and feelings build up and release in such an explosive way, it's consuming. I love the dance floor energy of this heartbreak anthem". Her new EP, 'Growing Pains', is out on 11 Dec.

Ragz Originale has released new track 'OG Lullaby'.



These New Puritans have announced that they will livestream a show this Friday, to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the release of their 'Hidden' album. The duo will be joined by original TNP member Thomas Hein, pianist Maria Chiara Argiro and composer Henry Dagg. The show will also be broadcast from Dagg's workshop. Tickets are available now for whatever price you choose between £1 and £1000 - with proceeds going to the Survival International charity. Here's a sneak peak of what to expect.

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


Spotify's Wrapped charts confirm Universal and Joe Rogan were this year's big streaming winners
Spotify has begun its annual year-end stats-happy Wrapped campaign, by announcing the most played artists, tracks and podcasts of 2020. So that gives us some idea of who the big earners from the company were this year (spoiler: Joe Rogan and Universal Music).

The most streamed artist globally was Bad Bunny, with four more Universal-signed guys making up the rest of the top five: Drake, J Balvin, Juice Wrld and The Weeknd. In the UK, the top five was slightly different, topped by Drake and with Ed Sheeran slipping in to break up the Universal party.

It's all very male-heavy again, with few women to be found in any of the charts Spotify has thrown up this morning. Dua Lipa's 'Future Nostalgia' was the fifth most streamed album globally and in the UK. Her track 'Don't Start Now' was the world's fifth most popular track and she was the third most streamed British artist in the UK. Other than that, Tones & I's 'Dance Monkey' was the UK's fifth most played track and the second most popular worldwide.

Continuing the uber-blokeyness, 'The Joe Rogan Experience' was the number one podcast in the UK and globally. So that possibly justifies the $100 million Spotify spent securing the exclusive rights to air the show. Or it might just annoy everyone who is already annoyed about that deal even more. Maybe both!

Anyway, here are some key charts:

Most Streamed Artists Globally
Bad Bunny
J Balvin
Juice Wrld
The Weeknd

Most Streamed Artists in the UK
Juice Wrld
Ed Sheeran
The Weeknd

Most Streamed Artists in the UK, from the UK
Ed Sheeran
Dua Lipa
Lewis Capaldi
Harry Styles

Most Streamed Tracks Globally
The Weeknd - Blinding Lights
Tones & I - Dance Monkey
Roddy Ricch - The Box
Saint Jhn - Roses (Imanbek Remix)
Dua Lipa - Don't Start Now

Most Streamed Tracks in UK
The Weeknd - Blinding Lights
Saint Jhn - Roses (Imanbek Remix)
DaBaby - Rockstar (feat Roddy Ricch)
Roddy Ricch - The Box
Tones & I - Dance Monkey

Most Streamed Albums Globally
Bad Bunny - YHLQMDLG
The Weeknd- After Hours
Post Malone - Hollywood's Bleeding
Harry Styles - Fine Line
Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia

Most Streamed Albums in UK
Lewis Capaldi - Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent
Harry Styles - Fine Line
Pop Smoke - Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon
The Weeknd - After Hours
Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia

Most Popular Podcasts Globally
The Joe Rogan Experience
TED Talks Daily
The Daily
The Michelle Obama Podcast
Call Her Daddy

Most Popular Podcasts in the UK
The Joe Rogan Experience
Shagged Married Annoyed
Times News Briefing
That Peter Crouch Podcast
Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster


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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