TODAY'S TOP STORY: What do you do when the likes of Hipgnosis and Round Hill have made buying up music rights a popular past-time among those super-rich city types and you're meant to be a pro at that sort of thing? I know, get $300 million out of the cash box and buy up the entire songs catalogue of a songwriter so good he won a Nobel prize for his lyrics. So, yes, Universal Music has bought up the entire songs catalogue of Bob Dylan... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Universal acquires Bob Dylan's entire songs catalogue
LEGAL Neil Young dismisses copyright lawsuit against Donald Trump
Judge declines to dismiss publicity rights case over Cardi B artwork

LABELS & PUBLISHERS IMPALA presents Outstanding Contribution Award to #loverecordstores initiative
BRANDS & MERCH You Me At Six have made their own hot sauce
ARTIST NEWS BBC Sound Of 2021 longlist announced
ONE LINERS Deezer, Roxi, Gwen Stefani, more
AND FINALLY... Royal Mint shoots new David Bowie coin into space
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.

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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 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.
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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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Music Industry Basics 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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Universal acquires Bob Dylan's entire songs catalogue
What do you do when the likes of Hipgnosis and Round Hill have made buying up music rights a popular past-time among those super-rich city types and you're meant to be a pro at that sort of thing? I know, get $300 million out of the cash box and buy up the entire songs catalogue of a songwriter so good he won a Nobel prize for his lyrics. So, yes, Universal Music has bought up the entire songs catalogue of Bob Dylan.

"This landmark agreement encompasses more than 600 copyrights spanning 60 years, from 1962's cultural milestone 'Blowin In The Wind' to this year's epic 'Murder Most Foul'", said the Universal Music Publishing Group yesterday. It didn't sully itself talking about money in its official announcement of the deal, though sources who spoke to the New York Times reckoned the $300 million price tag was a decent estimate.

There has been increased interest in owning music rights, and especially song rights, in recent years, of course, even as songwriters express frustration that they are yet to see the benefit of the streaming boom in financial terms. With the music rights industry at large in steady growth, some investors - especially those with a more long-term perspective - see the value of having an interest in music copyrights, or even just an artist or songwriter's royalty rights stemming from copyrights they helped create.

Companies like Hipgnosis and Round Hill have exploited that interest to raise significant funds and acquire significant catalogues, usually via mega-bucks deals that secure a career's worth of copyrights or royalty rights from established songwriters.

Of course, more traditional music publishers like Universal are signing deals and acquiring rights all the time, however many of the big long-term wide-ranging career-spanning acquisitions involving major artists and writers have been led by the likes of Hipgnosis in the last couple of years.

But Universal just secured one of the biggest. And while song rights ownership can be complicated - so that those acquiring the rights aren't always actually acquiring all the rights - sources suggest this deal is pretty all-encompassing.

Says the boss of Universal Music Publishing, Jody Gerson: "To represent the body of work of one of the greatest songwriters of all time - whose cultural importance can't be overstated - is both a privilege and a responsibility. The UMPG global team is honoured to be Bob Dylan's publishing partner. We look forward to working with Bob and the team in ensuring his artistry continues to reach and inspire generations of fans, recording artists and songwriters around the world".

Meanwhile, the overall chief of the Universal Music Group, Lucian Grainge, adds: "It's no secret that the art of songwriting is the fundamental key to all great music, nor is it a secret that Bob is one of the very greatest practitioners of that art. Brilliant and moving, inspiring and beautiful, insightful and provocative, his songs are timeless - whether they were written more than half a century ago or yesterday".

"It is no exaggeration to say that his vast body of work has captured the love and admiration of billions of people all around the world", he goes on. "I have no doubt that decades, even centuries from now, the words and music of Bob Dylan will continue to be sung and played - and cherished - everywhere".


Neil Young dismisses copyright lawsuit against Donald Trump
Neil Young has dismissed his lawsuit against Donald Trump, meaning that an interesting test case in relation to the outgoing US President's use of music at his political rallies without the express permission of songwriters will not now proceed.

Countless artists, of course, have complained about Trump using their music at the increasingly bizarre political freak shows that he has performed across America ever since making his first move into politics. However, many of those complaining artists have conceded that legally they can't stop Trump using their music at such events because of blanket licences and the collective licensing system.

Which is to say, most of the venues used by Trump will have blanket licences from the music industry's collecting societies, like BMI and ASCAP, meaning songs repped by those organisation can be legally played on those premises without the specific permission of each songwriter.

That said, it subsequently emerged that the Trump campaign had its own music licences from the collecting societies. And those were special licences for political campaigns that individual songwriters can choose to opt out of. Plus, any holder of such a licence is not meant to rely on any one venue's licence in order to use music made by a songwriter that has opted out of the political licence.

This meant that songwriters who had opted out of one of those political licences could possibly go legal if their music was still used. Though there are enough technicalities in this domain that we could really do with a test case in court. When Neil Young - a long time Trump critic - announced in August that he was going legal over the President's use of 'Rockin In The Free World' and 'Devil's Sidewalk' at his rallies, we thought we had that test case.

However, Young has now requested that his lawsuit be dismissed with prejudice, which means it cannot be filed again in the future. That suggests an out of court settlement has been reached, though no details of any such settlement have been made public.

It doesn't mean that Trump's always busy lawyers have no copyright cases on the go. Eddy Grant also sued the President over the unauthorised use of his music, although that related to a campaign video, where there are arguably fewer complications legally speaking. Although Team Trump have tried to add some complications by claiming the unapproved use of 'Electric Avenue' in a Joe Biden bashing video constituted 'fair use' under US copyright law.

As for Trump's use of music at this rallies, the French company that controls the rights in the Village People catalogue did threaten to sue last month over the President's frequent playing of 'YMCA' at his political events, although we await more information about that possible litigation.


Judge declines to dismiss publicity rights case over Cardi B artwork
A judge in California has declined to issue a summary judgement in Cardi B's favour in an ongoing dispute with a model who accuses the rapper of infringing his publicity rights by Photoshopping his image onto the cover of her 2016 mixtape 'Gangsta Bitch Music Vol 1'.

A photo of Kevin Brophy was inserted into the cover artwork so that it appeared as if he was performing oral sex on the rapper. You can't see Brophy's face in the artwork, but he argued that his distinctive back tattoos made it super obvious that it was him in the image. And to that end he sued in 2017.

Seeking summary judgement in her favour, the rapper argued that the designer who created the 'Gangsta Bitch Music Vol 1' artwork significantly altered the original photo of Brophy's back. Therefore, the use of the photo was "transformative fair use" and not an infringement of Brophy's publicity rights under Californian law.

The judge conceded that the designer had indeed altered the original photo when inserting it into the artwork image. But, he added, "significant elements of plaintiff's tattoo remain untouched in the final album cover". Therefore the fair use argument would need to go before a jury.

Judge Cormac J Carney wrote in his judgement: "To constitute a transformative fair use, the revised image must have significant transformative or creative elements to make it something more than mere likeness or imitation. A reasonable jury in this case could conclude that there are insufficient transformative or creative elements on the 'GBMV1' cover to constitute a transformative use of plaintiff's tattoo".

Which means the case can now proceed to a jury trial.


IMPALA presents Outstanding Contribution Award to #loverecordstores initiative
The pan-European organisation for the independent music community, IMPALA, has presented its annual Outstanding Contribution Award to the people behind the #loverecordstores initiative. The campaign was launched earlier this year to support record shops that were facing significant challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down high streets in countries across the world.

The initiative began on social media, and also included the staging of a Love Record Stores Day in June and a year-end Independent Albums Of The Year programme. It was conceived by [PIAS] UK MD Jason Rackham, who worked with Jeff Barrett of Heavenly Recordings, Rupert Morrison of Drift Record Shop, Tony Crean of Fleet River Music, Andy Saunders of Velocity Communications, and [PIAS]'s Art Director Annelise Keestra to make it all happen.

IMPALA says that the campaign was "hugely successful and ground-breaking, driven via digital marketing and social media", and that the Love Record Stores Day in June "generated over £1 million of revenue, with several record stores reporting a month's worth of profit in just 30 minutes".

Announcing that the initiative is the recipient of IMPALA's Outstanding Contribution Award this year, the organisation's Executive Chair Helen Smith says: "Record stores play a vital role in our ecosystem and this campaign provided essential support and visibility, in what has been an unimaginably tough yet inspiring year. Jason's energy made it happen and this award honours that, and the contribution of the whole team. Independent music companies and specialist record stores are essential partners in communicating with music fans".

Confirming that he and the #loverecordstores team are honoured to receive the IMPALA award, Rackham himself adds: "The campaign was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic and has grown into an incredibly positive movement that the independent sector has driven - the labels, the distributors, the artists and, of course, the record stores themselves. These stores are beacons of hope in turbulent times - we must cherish and protect them".


You Me At Six have made their own hot sauce
You Me At Six have launched their own hot sauce to promote new album 'Suckapunch' because... well, I mean, because... because... I suppose bands making their own beers has become unremarkable.

"We have always loved our hot sauce, especially when we are on tour", says bassist Matt Barnes, who apparently spearheaded the project in collaboration with sauce maker Lou's Brews.

"It is an absolute must to spice up the Super Noodles and microwave meals when travelling on the tour bus", he adds. "The 'Suckapunch' sauce is a habanero-based chilli sauce with distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. It starts with a big punch of spice, before the vinegar and sweetness come through and goes great with anything that needs a little punch of fire".

Lou's Brews founder, Lou, chips in: "I jumped at the chance to collaborate with the guys when I found out they're all a bunch of spice heads. It's been awesome working alongside the fellas, playing around with recipe ideas, and I'm stoked for the world to try our delicious little baby".

If you fancy tasting this hot sauce, you'll have to move as quickly as it's likely to make you run for the toilet, as it's limited to just 200 bottles and only available to people who pre-order the album on the band's website.

With everyone basically confident that the COVID-19 pandemic will be long forgotten by the summer, the band have also announced tour dates to promote the new album. They will also play a socially distanced show at PRYZM in Kingston the day before the record's release date, which is 15 Jan.

Here are all the dates:

14 Jan: Kingston, PRYZM (socially distanced event)
19 May: Glasgow, Barrowland
20 May: Bristol, Academy
21 May: Manchester, Academy
23 May: Newcastle, Academy
24 May: Cardiff University Great Hall
25 May: London, The Forum
6 Jul: Kingston, PRYZM
7 Jul: Nottingham, Metronome
8 Jul: Brighton, Chalk
9 Jul: Oxford, Academy
10 Jul: Sheffield, Leadmill
11 Jul: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
12 Jul: Preston, Blitz
13 Jul: Edinburgh, Liquid Room
14 Jul: Dundee, Fat Sam's


On The CMU Stereo 2020 - Winter
It's possible that 2020 has not made it into your top five years of all time. I don't want to put words into your mouth, I'm just guessing. But despite everything, there has been plenty of great new music released this year.

In the run-up to the festive break, we'll be revealing this year's On The CMU Stereo playlist, featuring 40 of our favourite tracks of the last twelve months. It's been really tough whittling it down this year, with last minute changes being made right up to the middle of writing of this sentence. But we've done it. We've selected 40 tracks released in 2020 that we've loved.

Today, we're letting you see the first ten, all of which were released at the beginning of 2020, back when the year was new and the possibilities seemed endless. Sure, there was talk of some virus thing happening over in China, but as if that was going to cause us any problems. As if!

We kick off with Keeley Forsyth, whose debut album 'Debris' was one of the early delights of the year. In fact, many of our albums of the year are represented here, with Dua Lipa, Rina Sawayama, Nnamdi, Nadine Shah, Katie Gately, Yves Tumor and Princess Nokia all featured.

The fact that all those artists are already on the playlist before we've really got started is testament to just how good 2020 has been in terms of music releases.

You can listen to all ten tracks on this Spotify playlist, and also follow the playlist so that you are super ready for the next ten, which will arrive on Thursday. Here's the tracklist:

Keeley Forsyth - Start Again
Rina Sawayama - Comme Des Garçons (Like The Boys)
Nnamdi - Flowers To My Demons
Wuh Oh - How Do You Do It?
Dua Lipa - Physical
Nadine Shah - Ladies For Babies (Goats For Love)
Katie Gately - Tower
Yves Tumor - Gospel For A New Century
Noga Erez - Views
Princess Nokia - I Like Him

BBC Sound Of 2021 longlist announced
The BBC Music Sound Of 2021 longlist has been announced, highlighting ten new artists tipped for success next year.

Chosen by a panel of 160 industry experts and alumni artists - including Billie Eilish, Stormzy, Jorja Smith, Wolf Alice, AJ Tracey, Yungblud, Foals and Charli XCX - the top ten acts are:

Alfie Templeman
Bree Runway
Girl In Red
Greentea Peng
Holly Humberstone
The Lathums
Pa Salieu

The top five ranking acts will be revealed on Radio 1 from 3-7 Jan. Last year's top five was Inhaler, Joy Crookes, Yungblud, Easy Life and, in first place, Celeste. Other previous winners include Sam Smith, Years & Years, Haim, Michael Kiwanuka and Adele.

Find out more about all the longlisted acts on the Sound Of 2021 website here.



Sony/ATV has named Naomi Asher as VP, Neighbouring Rights, UK & International. "I cannot be more THRILLED to have joined the Sony/ATV neighbouring rights team", she says. "It's an exciting time to be part for this community and there is so much Sony/ATV can bring to this area of business".

Greg Dorfman has been promoted to EVP Promotion for Warner's Elektra Music Group in the US. "Warner Music has been my home since I started in the business, much of that time with Elektra", he says. "But I have to say that the past two years, since the launch of EMG, have been among the most exciting and rewarding of my career".



Deezer has done a deal with A1 Telekom to launch a white label streaming service called A1 Xplore Music. The tel co's 8.5 million customers in Austria, Slovenia and Bulgaria will have access to the service bundled in with their mobile phone contracts. "Our new partnership is the easiest way for millions of people in Austria and Eastern Europe to have the most personalised and localised experience", says Deezer's Ralph Pighin. "We can't wait for A1 customers to discover and listen to all that Deezer has to offer".

Guy Hands is b-b-b-back in the music business, after making a "sizeable" investment in streaming service Roxi. Hands, of course, previously led a disastrous acquisition of EMI, which resulted in the collapse of the major label. "We're delighted to have Guy Hands on the Roxi share register, just as we prepare to roll out the Roxi music entertainment experience on to millions of smart TVs worldwide", founder Rob Lewis tells the Financial Times.



Gwen Stefani has released new single 'Let Me Re-introduce Myself'. "This song is a way of saying I'm back with new music", she says. "The idea was to write a song that had a bit of a nostalgic feeling to it, so I think musically it reminds you of back in the day, going back to where I started musically, which was with ska and reggae. I'm still the same me but here's something a little bit new in case you feel like hearing a little bit more of me".

Boy George has released new single 'Rainbow In The Dark', featuring Asaf Goren.

Chilly Gonzales has released 'A Very Chilly Mixtape: The Coldest Crimbo'. The release sees Toddla T rework the pianist's recent Christmas album, with new additions from artists including Nadia Rose, Serocee, Coco and Deli OneFourz.

Greta Van Fleet have released new single 'Age Of Machine'. It will appear on the band's new album, 'The Battle At Garden's Gate', which is set for release on 16 Apr.

Scribz Riley has released the video for 'Secretly', taken from his recently released EP 'Wish Me Luck'.

Karima Francis has released the video for new single 'Carelessness Causes Fire'.



Gorillaz have announced three livestreamed shows later this month, taking place on 12-13 Dec. Here's a trailer and you can book tickets here.

Trivium have announced UK tour dates for November next year, finishing with a show at Brixton Academy on 14 Nov. Support will come from Heaven Shall Burn, TesseracT and Fit For An Autopsy. Tickets go on general sale tomorrow.

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


Royal Mint shoots new David Bowie coin into space
The Royal Mint has launched the third in its series of 'Music Legends' coins, this time celebrating David Bowie. But having already done Queen and Elton John, the novelty might have worn off a bit. Which could explain why the Mint shot one of these new £5 coins into space as it announced the Bowie addition to its Music Legends collection.

The coin, which incorporates the 'Aladdin Sane' lightning bolt motif, orbited the Earth for about 45 minutes before being returned to the ground below so it could be scooped up in order to offer it as a competition prize.

"We are THRILLED to unveil the third coin in the Royal Mint's Music Legends series, honouring the intergalactic legacy and career of David Bowie", says Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director Of Commemorative Coins at the Royal Mint.

"In recognition of Bowie's first hit single, 'Space Oddity', we felt it was fitting to send his coin into space and celebrate the Starman in his own pioneering fashion", she adds. "David Bowie's music has inspired and influenced generations of musicians and we hope this commemorative coin will be cherished by fans around the world".

Of course, only one person can win the space coin, but the design is available in a range of different versions that are on sale for between £13 and £2425. No, none are available for £5, stop asking that. You do get some sort of box with each of them though, so maybe that justifies the cost.

Obviously, having done this publicity stunt now, there will be pressure to keep up the momentum with future coin releases. Perhaps a Kinks coin could be put in a supersonic rocket ship, or a Beatles coin could be thrown into the sky with some diamonds, or maybe a Led Zeppelin coin could be walked up a stairway to heaven.

In the meantime, you can have a little look at all the manifestations of the Bowie coin 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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