TODAY'S TOP STORY: Both the European Commission and the UK government yesterday unveiled proposals for new laws that will regulate online platforms. Although copyright protection is not core to these proposals, the music industry hopes that - as lawmakers seek to combat illegal content online - any new rules will also include additional measures to stop copyright infringing material from being posted and shared... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Music industry says proposed new regulations of online platforms are a good start but need work
LEGAL European Commission publishes its latest Piracy Watch List
DEALS Becky Hill renews Sony/ATV deal
Jay-Z's Roc Nation partners with Random House to launch book publishing division

LABELS & PUBLISHERS BMI allies with ICE on European digital licensing
AWARDS Artist And Manager Awards reimagined as documentary film
ONE LINERS Rüfüs Du Sol, Alesso, Billie Eilish, more
AND FINALLY... Machine Gun Kelly apologises to bands upset that he doesn't like their shoes
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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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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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 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.
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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.
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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.
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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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What data is being gathered about the fanbases of the artists you work with and who has access to it? This webinar talks through the ten key categories of fan data, how artists can access and utilise it all, and where data protection law fits in.
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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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Music industry says proposed new regulations of online platforms are a good start but need work
Both the European Commission and the UK government yesterday unveiled proposals for new laws that will regulate online platforms. Although copyright protection is not core to these proposals, the music industry hopes that - as lawmakers seek to combat illegal content online - any new rules will also include additional measures to stop copyright infringing material from being posted and shared.

The responsibilities of large internet companies that allow third parties to post and share content have become a big talking point in political circles in recent years. Much of the conversation to date has focused on the distribution of extremist, violent and abusive content, as well as misinformation and disinformation. Although all of that is often grouped together under the banner "illegal content", which obviously covers a wider range of material.

The general consensus is that large internet firms are not currently doing enough to block and remove this kind of content and that new laws are required to increase the legal obligations of said firms in this domain, so to force them to act.

The tech sector, while insisting it takes all of these things very seriously indeed, obviously would prefer not to face new legal obligations, and to that end generally urges politicians to be cautious when writing any new laws, talking quite a lot about the "unintended consequences" of any proposed new rules.

As is always the case when internet regulation is discussed, the tech sector is often supported in opposing at least some of the proposed new regulations by free speech advocates, some of whom are raising legitimate concerns regarding the impact new internet laws may have on freedom of expression.

In the EU, the proposals for new internet laws come in the form of the Digital Services Act - which looks at the obligations of large internet businesses when it comes to policing content on their networks - and the Digital Markets Act - which seeks to stop the largest internet businesses unfairly exploiting their market dominance. The proposals will likely ultimately result in new EU-wide regulations and amendments to the EU E-Commerce Directive.

Unveiling the proposals yesterday, European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: "The two proposals serve one purpose: to make sure that we, as users, have access to a wide choice of safe products and services online. And that businesses operating in Europe can freely and fairly compete online just as they do offline. This is one world. We should be able to do our shopping in a safe manner and trust the news we read. Because what is illegal offline is equally illegal online".

Fellow Commissioner Thierry Breton added: "Many online platforms have come to play a central role in the lives of our citizens and businesses, and even our society and democracy at large. With today's proposals, we are organising our digital space for the next decades. With harmonised rules, ex ante obligations, better oversight, speedy enforcement, and deterrent sanctions, we will ensure that anyone offering and using digital services in Europe benefits from security, trust, innovation and business opportunities".

In the UK, ministers have published a formal response to a white paper the government published last year all about 'online harms'. That response sets out how a new 'duty of care' obligation applied to internet platforms might work, and what new responsibilities that might hand to said platforms.

Launching the British proposals, the UK's Secretary Of State For Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, said: "I'm unashamedly pro-tech but that can't mean a tech free-for-all. Today Britain is setting the global standard for safety online with the most comprehensive approach yet to online regulation".

"We are entering a new age of accountability for tech to protect children and vulnerable users, to restore trust in this industry, and to enshrine in law safeguards for free speech", he added. "This proportionate new framework will ensure we don't put unnecessary burdens on small businesses but give large digital businesses robust rules of the road to follow so we can seize the brilliance of modern technology to improve our lives".

It remains to be seen to what extent these legal reforms in the EU and UK help copyright industries like the music business. While the pesky copyright safe harbour, which reduces the copyright liabilities of digital platforms, is being reformed in Europe via last year's European Copyright Directive, that doesn't apply in the UK, and it doesn't deal with all of the music industry's safe harbour concerns even in the EU.

The copyright directive does increase the liabilities of safe harbour dwelling user-upload platforms, which is one of the music industry's big safe harbour gripes.

However, music companies would also like to increase the minimum requirements of the takedown systems that all safe harbour dwelling internet companies must operate, ie the systems via which copyright owners can demand that infringing content be removed. The key ask there is for a takedown-and-stay-down obligation, so once a copyright owner has removed some infringing content once, the platform must stop it from being re-uploaded again and again.

Beyond any further safe harbour reform, the music industry could also benefit from the EU proposals to put new transparency obligations onto digital platforms, and any measures that reduce the domination of the biggest tech players. European digital music companies like Spotify, Deezer and SoundCloud will also welcome moves to constrain American tech giants Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook.

To that end, reps for the music industry yesterday welcomed the new proposals, particularly the EU ones. Though they stressed that, from a copyright owner perspective, what has been proposed is a good starting point, but there is much more to be done.

Helen Smith from IMPALA, the pan-European trade group for the independent music community, said yesterday: "If we strike the right balance, both pieces of legislation represent opportunities to secure a more inclusive and competitive online ecosystem, where all actors can operate on a level playing field".

"From what we have seen so far", she added, "there is still a way to go for the legislation to achieve its purpose. At the same time, we fully support the aim of achieving a more accountable digital environment and welcome the recognition that some operators are quasi-public services with responsibilities that need to go beyond what is normally required of businesses in Europe".,

"As a starting point, any new competition tool needs to prevent the high levels of concentration and companies with entrenched market power for indispensable trading. Cultural goods are unique and not substitutable, and the impact of market power is particularly serious in such markets. We have been calling out the inadequacy of the current competition framework for a number of years now".

Smith concluded: "We want to see effective responsibility of all platforms, building on the EU's work under the previous legislature with the copyright directive and platform to business regulation. A safer and more accountable internet is in the interest of everyone, citizens and businesses alike. We look forward to working with member states and the European Parliament to ensure that the voice of independent music companies is heard in this debate and that together we can achieve the digital framework which Europe deserves".

Speaking for the music publishing sector, Director General at the International Confederation Of Music Publishers, John Phelan, said: "For too long there have been two rulebooks for the same game. We firmly support the EU's goal of 'what is illegal offline, must be illegal online'. However, work remains to realise this maxim. The DSA imposes a ream of welcome responsibilities on online services. It also extends some concerning paths to liability exemptions".

He added: "The DSA is propelled by the political goal of 'preventing harmful behaviour before it takes place'. Detecting and preventing illegal digital music can be easy thanks to existing technologies, but it is often problematic in practice as many services believe they are beyond laws. As things stand, the DSA lets some services off the hook. Some amendments to the final law will be needed so that Europe's digital music industry will not be devalued nor creators continue to be ripped off by certain platforms".


European Commission publishes its latest Piracy Watch List
The European Commission has published another 'Counterfeit And Piracy Watch List', which is basically a European version of the longer established notorious markets report in the US that summarises all the digital platforms that are causing the most bother to copyright owners at the moment.

From a music industry perspective, the most bothersome platforms are the good old fashioned file-sharing set-ups like The Pirate Bay and those pesky stream-ripping sites like Y2mate and Flvto, all of which get name-checked in the EC's report. Though the unlicensed download service Music Bazaar is also included, proving that - even though the legit download market has been in steep decline for years - illegal download stores are still getting some business.

All that said, more interesting in these reports are the legit internet businesses that get called out for their role in facilitating the copyright infringement of others. These days that usually includes internet services business Cloudflare. However, it no longer appears on the EC's watch list.

Cloudflare is often criticised by the music industry for providing services to piracy platforms and in particular helping said platforms mask their IP addresses, making piracy operators harder to track down. Music companies would also like Cloudflare to pass on contact information about copyright infringers among its customer base, though the net firm resists such calls except when instructed to do so by a court of law.

However, when preparing this report, EC officials seem to have been happy with Cloudflare's responses to its critics. "Cloudflare has reported that making generally available certain sensitive information about host IP addresses would jeopardise the protection of their clients' websites from threats or cyberattacks", the report notes.

"Cloudflare has also reported", it adds, "that it takes appropriate steps, through robust abuse reporting system and a 'trusted reporter' programme, to ensure that rights-holders have the necessary information to pursue complaints of alleged infringements with the hosting providers and website operators able to act on those complaints".

However, that's not to say there are no legit platforms on the watch list accused of enabling piracy. There's a new section for social media and messaging platforms, and both vKontakte and Telegram are listed in it.

The former used to top the music industry's piracy gripe list before it reached a settlement with the major record labels and launched a legit music service that is now a key player in the Russian digital music market. However, the movie industry still has plenty of VK gripes.

Meanwhile, music companies have been increasingly critical of Telegram of late, reckoning it doesn't do enough to remove copyright-infringing material. Confirming that, the boss of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, Frances Moore, specifically mentioned the addition of Telegram to the watch list when welcoming the new EC piracy report.

"In addition to the many ways that music benefits our lives culturally and emotionally, it contributes €81.9 billion annually to the EU economy and supports two million jobs. This contribution is jeopardised by the digital platforms identified by the Commission", she said yesterday.

"This year, in addition to identifying several music stream-ripping sites, we are encouraged to see that the report recognises social media platforms as a new category, and that it highlights that companies in this category, such as Telegram, simply must do more to put in place effective measures to prevent large scale copyright infringements on their services", she added.

"We hope that the watch list will raise awareness of these problematic activities and practices and encourage enforcement action and action by intermediaries to prevent misuse of their services. Such steps are vital to protect content for the benefit of our members, artists and their fans".

You can access the EC's useful directory of piracy services - I mean read the EC's important overview of the copyright infringing platforms that must be stopped - by downloading the new report here.


Becky Hill renews Sony/ATV deal
Sony/ATV has renewed its worldwide publishing deal with Becky Hill. So that's nice.

"I feel incredibly privileged to continue our partnership with the one and only Becky Hill", says Sony/ATV UK President David Ventura. "It is a pleasure to work with an all-round songwriter and artist who naturally encompasses a new generation of undeniable talent".

"Becky's work ethic is unparalleled", he goes on. "She hasn't stopped releasing new music and continues to make people dance and sing around the world. No one can resist her voice and it's no wonder she has had numerous singles top the charts. We are beyond THRILLED here at Sony/ATV to remain her publisher for years to come and through the release of her album next year".

Hill adds: "I've been working in the industry for nearly nine years now, and my ambitions have remained just as strong as they were at eighteen. Having David and Sony/ATV believe in me and my passion for songwriting from the very beginning, and still to this day, means the world to me".

"Having a new deal that reflects our hard work over the years is very humbling", she continues, "and I can't wait to work even harder over the years to come".

Come on now, have a little rest, I say. Anyway, the deal comes as Becky Hill's hard-working singing voice is all over the McDonald's Christmas advert. Although that's with a cover of Alphaville's 'Forever Young', which Sony/ATV has no stake in. So congratulations and Merry Christmas to Downtown Music Publishing!


Jay-Z's Roc Nation partners with Random House to launch book publishing division
Jay-Z's Roc Nation has its fingers in so many pies now that very soon it's going to have to grow a whole new arm. Does that make sense? Sure, you know what I mean. The company's latest venture takes it into the world of book publishing. In partnership with Random House, it is launching Roc Lit 101.

"The goal of Roc Lit 101 is to provide a creative outlet for acclaimed wordsmiths and artists to share their visions with new audiences', says Roc Nation EVP Jana Fleishman. "There are so many untold stories and we consider it a true privilege to be able to amplify diverse voices while exploring the uncharted worlds that are about to open to us".

Random House's Chris Jackson adds: "Our aspiration for the imprint is to create books that draw from the best of pop culture - its most imaginative and talented storytellers, innovators, and literary chroniclers - to create beautifully written and produced works that will entertain and enthral readers, but also illuminate critical issues. But the partnership isn't just about the books – it's also about audiences: we want to find new voices and new stories, but also new readers".

So, all you new readers out there, take note. And then take your pick. Several books are already slated for publication via Roc Lit 101, including a graphic novel by Lil Uzi Vert, plus memoirs from Meek Mill, Fat Joe and music journalist Danyel Smith.


BMI allies with ICE on European digital licensing
US song rights collecting society BMI has announced a partnership with copyright hub ICE which will see those elements of its repertoire not covered by direct licensing in the digital domain included in with the ICE Core licence across Europe.

Lots of music publishers now license their Anglo-American repertoires to digital services via direct deals in many markets and especially Europe. However, any songs not covered by those deals will still be licensed to streaming platforms via the collective licensing system.

Traditionally with collective licensing, the local society would issue the licence in each country, representing the rights of and collecting royalties for all the other collecting societies in the world. However, with digital some societies have started to directly license streaming services in other countries too, removing the number of links in the royalty chain once payments start to come in.

That's basically what BMI will now do in Europe through its partnership with ICE, joining the same digital licensing framework used by fellow Anglo-American societies PRS and IMRO, as well as Germany's GEMA and Sweden's STIM, plus some of the independent publishers going the direct route like Downtown, Concord and Peermusic.

Confirming the new tie-up with ICE, BMI's SVP International & Global Policy Ann Sweeney says: "BMI continues to applaud the invaluable work that the local CMOs perform every day for our songwriters, composers and music publishers, and we also appreciate the challenge that digital music services face in securing rights for their services across Europe".

"This new collaboration with ICE", she goes on, "helps to meet that challenge by providing an efficient one-stop-shop to the European [digital services] and supports our continued effort to serve BMI's music creators when their creative works are performed digitally in Europe".

At ICE, VP Commercial Ben McEwen adds: "At this time, it's more critical than ever that rights-holders have the best online licensing representation, with the expertise and shared resources to really address the market on their behalf, and we believe that ICE can provide that for BMI".


CMU Insights: Building A Fanbase Webinar Series
CMU's weekly webinars will return in 2021 - and among the upcoming sessions is a three part series all about fanbase building, including...

BUILDING A FANBASE FOR NEW ARTISTS Tuesday 23 Feb 2021 | 2.30pm How do artists go about building a fanbase in 2021? 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.

MUSIC MARKETING – TOOLKIT & TACTICS Tuesday 2 Mar 2021 | 2.30pm What are the tools, tactics, channels and platforms utilised by the music industry when promoting artists, releases and events in 2021? This webinar provides a speedy overview of the modern music marketing toolkit and the ten main tools inside.

GETTING THE MOST FROM FAN DATA Tuesday 9 Mar 2021 | 2.30pm What data is being gathered about the fanbases of the artists you work with and who has access to it? This webinar talks through the ten key categories of fan data, how artists can access and utilise it all, and where data protection law fits in.

You can get a ticket for all three sessions for just £60 - click here for info. Or to book into individual sessions click here.

Artist And Manager Awards reimagined as documentary film
What with 2020 being, well, you know, awards ceremony organisers have had to rapidly rethink their events. We've seen various forms of online award bashes taking place in recent months. However, the Featured Artists Coalition and Music Managers Forum's upcoming Artist And Manager Awards have been totally transformed into a documentary film.

Directed by Raja Virdi, the film will premiere on YouTube on 28 Jan, featuring interviews with eight award winners. It will explore themes of creativity, resilience, adaptability and entrepreneurialism, while documenting the relationships between artists and their managers during the pandemic.

Two of those to appear in the film will be Skunk Anansie vocalist Skin and LJM's Leigh Johnson, who have just been announced as winners of the Pioneer Artist and Pioneer Manager awards respectively.

"The Artist & Manager Awards is the FAC and MMF's opportunity to salute excellence and innovation in our communities and to bring the industry together in celebration", says FAC CEO David Martin. "For obvious reasons, we can't do that physically right now, but arguably there's more reason than ever to document the experiences of artists and managers in what's been such a challenging and demanding year".

"We felt that a film was the best way to capture this", he goes on, "and we're truly honoured that Skin and Leigh have jointly accepted our Pioneer Awards. We look forward to revealing other winners in early 2021, before our premiere on 28 Jan".

MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick adds: "The pandemic has been traumatic, devastating and life-altering, but it has also brought home the value and importance of music. The aim with this film is to explore the relationships and the resilience behind that music, and to celebrate these stories through five award categories".

"The MMF and FAC would like to congratulate Skin and Leigh for their much-deserved Pioneer Awards, and also thank our director Raja Virdi, and our sponsors at PPL, Songtrust, Spotify and YouTube Music, for making this project possible".

The categories still to be announced are the Leading Artist and Manager Awards, Breakthrough Artist and Manager Awards, Entrepreneur Award and Innovation Award.



Grammy nominated Rüfüs Du Sol have expanded their relationship with Kobalt so to include neighbouring rights on the recordings side as well as their song rights. "Being able to extend our relationship with Rüfüs Du Sol, whom we currently publish, to include neighbouring rights is an exciting opportunity", says Kobalt's Simon Moor.

Warner Chappell has signed Alesso to one of those worldwide publishing deals. The DJ/producer is "very excited" about it. Arvid Frisk, Head Of A&R at Warner Chappell Scandinavia, is "THRILLED".



Lynne Best has announced that she is standing down from her Head Of Communications role at collecting society PPL to launch a new company called The Fourth Pillar that will be "dedicated to championing the rights of creators and the sustainable growth of the creative industries through communications, advocacy and policy". Her initial focus in early 2021 will be on her homeland of Northern Ireland, with an initial client list including the Third Bar Belfast Artist Development venture co-founded by Davy Matchett and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody.



Apple TV+ has released the trailer for Billie Eilish documentary 'The World's A Little Blurry', which is set for release on the video streaming service on 26 Feb.

For their sixth 'Hanukkah Sessions' track, Dave Grohl and Greg Kurstin have covered Elastica's 'Connection'.

Kid Cudi has released short film 'Heaven On Earth', featuring music from his latest album, 'Man On The Moon III: The Chosen'.

Arlo Parks has released the video for new single, 'Caroline'.

Blues singer Lady A appears to have released a diss track aimed at the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum, titled 'My Name Is All I Got'. Legal action over who has rightful ownership of the Lady A name is ongoing.

Ms Banks has released new single 'You Don't Know'.

Drones have released new single 'Epitaph'. It's "the emo anthem of our new record", says vocalist Lois McDougall. "The umbrella term 'mental health' is so widespread and complex that it can be hard to pin-point the exact problem that one person is experiencing. Personally, I've done a lot of exploring over the last few years to try and find out which wires are crossed for me and since writing this song I have finally found some appeasing answers".



McFly have announced that they will play the O2 Arena on 21 Nov 2021. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.

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


Machine Gun Kelly apologises to bands upset that he doesn't like their shoes
What is the essence of rock n roll? Is it an attitude? A political stance? Nihilism? A haircut? No, the essence of rock n roll is shoes. Uncomfortable shoes. That, at least, is the opinion of Machine Gun Kelly. Although he has now apologised for thinking that.

Speaking on the Rock This podcast earlier this month, the musician - who shifted his sound from hip hop to pop-punk with his latest album - really let loose on bands who wear shoes that don't meet his approval.

"This is very important, the state of rock and roll depends on rock stars", he said. "I gotta see some 'fuck you'. I want some attitude, dude".

So far, so Liam Gallagher. But then he went on: "Look, this is what I fucking hate. This is what I will tell you. I did the Warped Tour, and these motherfuckers would wear comfortable shoes on stage every day. Fuck your fucking Nike, New Balance fucking comfy shoes, because it makes you feel comfortable".

"Put on some Doc Martens, you fucking fucker", he continued. "Put on some fucking Chucks, put on some Vans. It's not about you, it's about the show. You don't look cool, man. I fucking hate your feet. I hate your shoes. I hate everything about your... shit, you're comfortable. Rock n roll's not about being comfortable, it's uncomfortable. It's a metaphor. Your shoes are a metaphor. Fuck you".

I'm not sure Doc Martens, Converse or Vans would necessarily like to be depicted as uncomfortable shoemakers. Although for Vans, it might be more concerned that it came last in a list of shoe brands after a mention of the tour that it sponsors.

Whatever, yesterday people suddenly noticed that MGK had said all this and as a result he's taken a lot of stick on social media. So much so that he has now (sort of) apologised.

"To the bands mad I said they wear 'comfy shoes' - I'm very sorry that I can get you this upset just by talking about your little pointy New Balances", he tweeted. "I wear pink so like... what do I know anyway?"

So, hey, shall we call that a truce? I still think it's almost admirable that someone could get so angry about shoes though. And I do kind of agree with him. You really shouldn't go on stage looking like you took a wrong turn on your way to the shop to buy some milk.

Except for that time I saw The Fall and that was exactly how Mark E Smith looked. But you know, you always need an exception to prove the rule.


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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