HELLO THERE! This is the very last CMU Daily of 2020. So, before you get on and read today's news, we just wanted to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

I don't think this was the year any of us were wishing for. It's not been an easy one and we know that many of our readers have been facing a tough time.

Hopefully we are now nearer the end of this tunnel and 2021 will be a vast improvement on 2020. We'll be back again on 6 Jan, when we hope that's more the kind of news we'll be bringing you.

In the meantime, we'll still be reporting on the big stories on our website - follow us on Twitter for updates on those.
TOP STORIES Music industry welcomes COVID support and copyright reforms contained in mega-bill passed by US Congress
LEGAL Fyre Festival ticket-buyer requests rethink in ongoing bid to get class action status for lawsuit
YouTube says it has a "smoking gun" to prove Pirate Monitor's bad conduct in ongoing Content ID dispute

City Of London Police says stream-ripping operations could be liable for criminal copyright infringement

DEALS Indian rapper Raftaar releases new track in Fortnite
LABELS & PUBLISHERS ASCAP and BMI launch song rights database
ONE LINERS Burns, The Beatles, Katy Perry, more
AND FINALLY... Ed Sheeran enters Christmas number one race - is LadBaby safe?
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.

For more information and to apply click here.
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.

For more information and to apply click here.
Secretly Distribution is looking for a Digital Content Manager to be based in London (this position will be work from home until further notice).

For more information and to apply click here.
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 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.
Tuesday 2 Mar 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
What are the tools, tactics, channels and platforms utilised by the music industry when promoting artists, releases and events in 2020? This webinar provides a speedy overview of the modern music marketing toolkit and the ten main tools inside.
Tuesday 9 Mar 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
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.
Navigate and understand the music business with guides and reports from CMU...
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
GET FULL ACCESS TO THE CMU LIBRARY by going premium for just £5 a month

Music industry welcomes COVID support and copyright reforms contained in mega-bill passed by US Congress
The music industry has welcomed US Congress's passing of a new spending bill. The 5593 page bill includes new COVID support for American citizens and businesses, specific financial support for venues, and an assortment of non-COVID related measures, including some key copyright reforms.

The long-time-coming new COVID support schemes follow on from those provided by the CARES Act that was passed by Congress in the early weeks of the pandemic. Some individuals and small businesses in the music community will benefit from the general financial support measures in the new legislation. However, specific support for the music industry comes via a section referred to as the Save Our Stages Act. That will provide finance to, among other things, music venues and promoters that have been in shutdown since March.

Both welcoming and explaining that specific support for venues, the US National Independent Venue Association said in a statement yesterday: "The Save Our Stages Act will provide financial assistance to independent venues and promoters that have been devastated by the pandemic's shutdown. The Save Our Stages Act will enable these locally owned businesses to hold on until it is safe to gather, re-open fully, and once again return to serve as economic engines for their communities".

It continued: "The legislation provides critical help to shuttered businesses by providing a grant equal to 45% of gross revenue from 2019, with a cap of $10 million per entity. This grant funding will ensure recipients can stay afloat until re-opening by helping with expenses like payroll and benefits, rent and mortgage, utilities, insurance, PPE, and other ordinary and necessary business expenses".

Trade groups from across the US music industry - including the American Association Of Independent Music, the Artist Rights Alliance, the Music Artists Coalition, Nashville Songwriters Association International, the Recording Academy, the Recording Industry Association of America, performer unions SAG-AFTRA, and Songwriters Of North America - issued a joint statement welcoming the Save Our Stages Act and the other COVID support measures that will now be available in the US.

They said: "This legislation is a much-needed lifeline for so many in the music industry who have faced loss and uncertainty for far too long through no fault of their own. We are very grateful for the extension of vital CARES Act benefits including pandemic unemployment assistance, and the inclusion of the Save Our Stages Act, which will make billions of dollars in grants available to venues and live entertainment workers who have been unable to do their jobs for months".

"We are also THRILLED by the inclusion of a dedicated $100 weekly benefit for mixed earners", the statement continued. "Simply put, these relief provisions will save lives and livelihoods, and they are a substantial step on the road to recovery".

The nearly 5600 pages of legislation passed by both chambers of Congress yesterday doesn't only deal with COVID support schemes - it being what is referred to as an 'omnibus bill'.

Among the other measures included are two key copyright law reforms: the introduction of a small claims court for copyright cases and new laws that empower the US Department Of Justice to charge commercial enterprises making available streams of unlicensed copyright-protected content with felony copyright infringement.

Lobbyists for the tech sector and free speech groups had criticised the inclusion of copyright reforms in this catch-all mega-bill, arguing that - with so many proposals included and most attention understandably focused on the COVID related sections - these changes to copyright law were being passed without proper scrutiny.

In the case of the new sanctions against illegal streaming services, that's probably true. Senator Thom Tillis only published the specifics of his Protecting Lawful Streaming Act earlier this month. Though in the end, it wasn't those reforms that the tech sector was really opposed to. Despite some online chatter to the effect that they could result in individual streamers being jailed, in fact, Tillis's proposals only relate to commercial for-profit enterprises that are in the business of specifically and deliberately streaming unlicensed content.

When publishing his proposals, Tillis stated: "This common sense legislation was drafted with the input of creators, user groups, and technology companies and is narrowly targeted so that only criminal organisations are punished and that no individual streamer has to worry about the fear of prosecution".

It's the copyright small claims court that has caused more controversy, even though those proposals have been bouncing around Congress for years, and the specific CASE Act that is included in the big old mega-bill was actually passed by the House Of Representatives last year.

It provides a cheaper and simpler route to pursue copyright infringement cases and is designed to specifically help independent creators. But critics argue it could be open to abuse and make it easier for copyright owners to restrict free speech and fair use.

However, unsurprisingly, the music industry has welcomed both sets of copyright reforms included in the mega-bill. The joint statement from all those music industry trade groups continued: "We also welcome the inclusion of consensus-driven intellectual property reforms in the omnibus bill".

"The Copyright Alternative In Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act and Protect Lawful Streaming Act (PLSA) will strengthen creators' ability to protect their works against infringement online, and promote a safer, fairer digital environment, which are particularly needed as the arts struggle to survive the pandemic", they added. "We look forward to continuing our work to provide greater relief for the American creative community".

Having been passed with overwhelming support in both the House Of Representatives and Senate, the mega-bill now needs to be signed off by President Donald Trump, though no issues are expected at that final White House stage of the process.


Fyre Festival ticket-buyer requests rethink in ongoing bid to get class action status for lawsuit
The ticket-buyer leading one of the original Fyre Festival lawsuits has asked a US court to reconsider his bid to make the litigation a class action. Or, if the judge won't reconsider, that another ticket-buyer be allowed to become lead plaintiff on the case.

The disastrous Fyre Festival led to a flurry of litigation, of course, as well as the criminal action that resulted in the event's founder Billy McFarland being jailed.

Daniel Jung sued the Fyre company and McFarland pretty much as soon as the infamous festival collapsed at the end of April 2017. That litigation has been slowly working its way through the system ever since. Jung wanted class action status for his lawsuit, so that other ticket-buyers could benefit from any successful outcome.

But the judge overseeing the case recently declined to classify the litigation as a class action. That was partly based on the fact that Jung currently resides in the Netherlands leading to concerns he couldn't "adequately monitor and direct counsel" on behalf of the proposed class.

Judge P Kevin Castle also said that the case centred on ticket-holders making buying decisions based on marketing communications put out by McFarland and his company. However, it was not certain that all class members had seen or acted upon the same marketing messages.

In a new legal filing, Jung argues that Castle's decision was based on some misunderstandings. First, while he is currently in the Netherlands, that's a temporary thing and he plans to return to the US once the COVID pandemic subsides. Plus, despite being abroad, he has continued to actively engage with the legal process.

As for what unites the class, Jung adds that he relied upon Fyre Festival's social media marketing and that - while it's true different ticket-buyers may have seen and acted upon different specific messages - the class is united in having been influenced by the event's social activity. And that should be sufficient to count as 'typicality', ie that Jung's claims are typical of the class he seeks to represent.

The new legal filing states: "[While] it would be impossible to pinpoint every plaintiffs' specific advertisement they saw that induced them into purchasing their ticket ... courts have agreed that 'minor variations' in the fact patterns do not preclude typicality, nor should defendants be rewarded for a common scheme that was successfully executed because of the slight variations made".

That said, if Castle is still not convinced, the lawyers leading the case have requested that they be able to change the lead plaintiff on the lawsuit, switching to a ticket-buyer that would satisfy the judge's requirements.

Castle also recently declined Jung's motion for a default judgement in his favour. The new legal filing also requests a rethink on that point too.


YouTube says it has a "smoking gun" to prove Pirate Monitor's bad conduct in ongoing Content ID dispute
YouTube has provided information about an alleged "smoking gun" that it has uncovered in its legal battle with rights management company Pirate Monitor. It says that information it has found proves that Pirate Monitor acted in bad faith when issuing takedown notices against the Google video site. That in turn demonstrates why it did not deserve access to YouTube's Content ID system.

Earlier this year Pirate Monitor teamed up with musician Maria Schneider to sue YouTube over its content takedown systems. Which is to say, the systems it is obliged to operate for the benefit of copyright owners in order to enjoy safe harbour protection from liability for any copyright-infringing content uploaded to and stored on its site.

YouTube, of course, has a pretty sophisticated takedown system in the form of Content ID. However, access to Content ID is only provided to larger content owners and distributors. Schneider and Pirate Monitor then argued that the manual takedown systems provided to those copyright owners denied access to Content ID are mediocre and not sufficient for the Google site to enjoy safe harbour protection.

In its response, YouTube argued that Schneider could access - and, indeed, had accessed - Content ID via a distributor. Meanwhile, it argued that Pirate Monitor was proof as to why YouTube had to be careful as to who it grants Content ID access, given that system allows users to block and monetise other people's videos.

YouTube alleged that, in a bid to prove that it was a big enough concern to have Content ID access, Pirate Monitor had basically uploaded its own clients' content to anonymous channels on the video site, and then issued manual takedown requests against those uploads.

Given that uploaders on YouTube sign up to terms and conditions that confirm that they own the rights in their videos, that would mean that Pirate Monitor was either breaching those terms with its uploads, or breaching US copyright law by issuing takedowns against videos that it knew didn't infringe copyright.

In its response to those allegations last month, Pirate Monitor argued that YouTube had failed to demonstrate that it had any connection to the anonymous channels on which content it represents appeared and against which it had filed takedown notices. To that end, it urged the court to dismiss the counterclaims made by the Google video site in the ongoing case.

But wait a second, says YouTube in a new legal filing made on Friday, it can definitely demonstrate that connection. In the filing, YouTube explains why it first became suspicious about the Pirate Monitor takedowns. It says that it first noticed irregularities when a flurry of takedowns were issued against various short 30 second clips of obscure Hungarian movies. Those clips had been uploaded in bulk to similarly named YouTube channels via IP addresses in Pakistan.

"That alone was suspicious", YouTube writes in its filing. "There is no obvious reason why short clips from relatively unknown Hungarian-language movies should be uploaded to YouTube from accounts and devices in Pakistan. Further, numerous clips came from a series of accounts having similar user names - eg 'RansomNova11', 'RansomNova12' etc. And the uploads did not appear consistent with users actually seeking to share copies of the movies - among other things, there was no apparent order to the clips and the users supplied nondescript, non-informative titles for them".

It then adds: "The timing of the takedown requests was even more suspicious. Pirate Monitor was sending takedown requests for the clips very soon after they had been uploaded, and in many cases, before the clips had even been viewed by anyone".

Then comes the supposed "smoking gun". YouTube says that, while the uploads came via an IP address in Pakistan, on one day in November the owner of one of the RansomNova channels suddenly logged in from an IP address in Hungary. The exact same IP address in Hungary, YouTube alleges, that had been used by Pirate Monitor to issue its takedown requests. Oh dear. That suggests, of course, that Pirate Monitor had been using a VPN to make it look like the sneaky uploads were occurring more than 2500 miles away from where the takedowns were being issued.

YouTube's legal filing goes on: "After considerable digging, YouTube found a smoking gun. In November 2019, amidst a raft of takedown notices from Pirate Monitor, one of the 'RansomNova' users that had been uploading clips via IP addresses in Pakistan logged into their YouTube account from a computer connected to the internet via an IP address in Hungary. Pirate Monitor had been sending YouTube its takedown notices from a computer assigned that very same unique numeric address in Hungary".

"Simply put, whoever RansomNova is, he or she was sharing Pirate Monitor's computer and/or internet connection, and doing so at the same time Pirate Monitor was using the same computer and/or connection to send YouTube takedown notices".

All in all, YouTube argues, it has provided plenty of evidence of a connection between Pirate Monitor and the channels that uploaded the rights management firm's content, and therefore its counterclaims should definitely not be dismissed at this stage.

We now await Pirate Monitor's response with interest. Presumably it will take care to not accidentally email that response from the IP address in Pakistan previously used by RansomNova.


City Of London Police says stream-ripping operations could be liable for criminal copyright infringement
The City Of London's Intellectual Property Crime Unit, otherwise known as PIPCU, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to a popular stream-ripping site, telling its operators that they risk being prosecuted for criminal copyright infringement.

Stream-ripping - services that turn temporary streams into permanent downloads - remains a top piracy gripe for the music industry, of course. Earlier this year collecting society PRS said that use of stream-ripping platforms in the UK increased by 1390% between 2016 and 2019, adding that it would employ "all possible measures to prevent stream-ripping services from existing".

There have been various civil proceedings launched by copyright owners against stream-ripping sites in various countries. The operators of such sites usually argue that they are not actually liable for copyright infringement. That is generally based on the classic arguments previously used by file-sharing technology makers, ie that they don't actually host any copyright-infringing content and that their services have both legitimate and illegitimate uses.

Those arguments have rarely succeeded, resulting in various stream-ripping operations going offline or being subject to web-block injunctions. However, some legal disputes over the copyright liabilities of stream-ripping services continue.

In the US, Russia-based FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com are still fighting litigation from the record industry, albeit mainly on jurisdiction grounds rather than copyright law arguments. Meanwhile, Yout.com has actually sued the Recording Industry Association Of America, arguing that the record label trade body misrepresented its service when seeking to have it removed from the Google search engine on the basis it breached US copyright law.

But, even if, in the main, courts have agreed that stream-ripping websites are liable for direct or contributory copyright infringement, could the operators of those sites be liable for criminal copyright infringement, resulting in fines or even jail sentences?

It the cease-and-desist letter sent to one unnamed stream-ripping site by PIPCU, which has been published by Torrentfreak, the IP crime unit claims that there could be a case for prosecution, either for copyright infringement or maybe even fraud.

The letter states: "We have reasonable grounds to believe that through your ownership and/or operation of the website known as [REDACTED], you are involved in online copyright infringement either directly or indirectly and may be liable to prosecution under UK law for the following offences: conspiracy to defraud [or] offences under the Fraud Act 2006, Copyright, Design & Patents Act 1988 [or] Serious Crime Act 2007. Should a conviction be brought for the above offences, UK courts may impose sentences of imprisonment and/or fines".

After citing European and UK copyright law to back up its claims, PIPCU also specifically notes the advertising carried by the offending website. Showing that the distribution of unlicensed content is being undertaken or facilitated on a commercial basis for profit is generally key in order to ramp up copyright infringement to a criminal level.

The letter goes on: "By reference to the advertising on [REDACTED], the copyrighted content is being made available in the course of a business model funded by revenue generated through the placing of advertisements on the site. PIPCU monitors ad traffic using a third party vendors to evidence the revenue generated by websites through advertisements".

"PIPCU has the lawful right to pursue action against you and against the website [REDACTED] in order to prevent, detect and disrupt criminal activity", the letter adds, before urging the operators of the site to get in touch with its officers.

It's not clear what site the letter was sent to, and whether such letters have been sent to multiple stream-ripping operations. Either way, it remains to be seen if any of those sent the letters comply and shutdown their operations, or instead hit back against the claims they infringe copyright, at all or certainly in a way that makes them liable for criminal prosecution.


Indian rapper Raftaar releases new track in Fortnite
Sony Music India has done a deal with Epic Games to release a new track by rapper Raftaar inside the 'Fortnite' video game.

New track 'Click Pow Get Down' will be available via all the usual channels on 29 Dec. It will also be available to unlock as an award for winners of the 'Bhangra Boogie Cup' - an in-game competition aimed at gamers in India which became playable on Sunday. From 30 Dec, 'Fortnite' players will also be able to purchase the track from the in-game shop.

"I can't wait to present the track to Indian gamers and partnering with Epic Games is a great way to wind 2020 up", says Raftaar. "I hope to make an impact with the song that has been created keeping the spirit of 'Fortnite' in mind".

Sony Music India MD Rajat Kakar adds: "Our partnership with Epic Games offers new opportunities to reach fans by fusing two great sources of entertainment together. Raftaar's 'Click Pow Get Down' is a song packed with energy and positivity, and we're excited to see the response from gamers".

Already a successful rapper, producer and TV personality in India, Raftaar signed to Sony Music in July, at the same time agreeing a partnership between the major and his own record label Kalamkaar.


ASCAP and BMI launch song rights database
US collecting societies ASCAP and BMI have launched a new song rights database called Songview, part of a long-running initiative to provide better and easy-to-utilise data regarding what songs the two organisations respectively represent.

Freely available on both societies' websites, the new joint database lets you see in one place what songs ASCAP and BMI members control, and with co-owned works what their respective splits are. At launch it includes data on 20 million songs.

Both ASCAP and BMI - separately and together - have been seeking to make better data available about song copyright ownership, partly to counter critics who say that a lack of clarity on what songs different societies represent justifies ongoing and increased regulation of the collective licensing system.

In particular, they aim to counter the suggestion that ASCAP and BMI should provide licences covering 100% of any songs they have a stake in, even when their members only actually control a slice of said songs. Such an approach is opposed by the music community, which had to go to court after the US Department Of Justice tried to force that kind of licensing system onto the two societies.

"This project is all about providing greater transparency for everyone who relies on this copyright data to guide important business decisions", says ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews of the new database. "When you see the Songview checkmark, you know that the data is consistent in both ASCAP and BMI's copyright systems".

"Drawing upon our 185 years of combined ASCAP and BMI expertise in managing complex and dynamic copyright data, we have built a convenient new digital tool for anyone who licenses music", she continues. "This release is our first iteration of Songview, and we are committed to enhancing this new platform as our industry evolves".

BMI CEO Mike O'Neill adds: "When two companies that are fierce competitors come together on a project this ambitious to address a need identified by the marketplace, it says a lot about how important greater data transparency is to both of our organisations".

"Today's launch", he goes on, "is a good first step in the ongoing evolution of transparent and accessible data, and I am pleased with what we have accomplished so far to meet the evolving needs of the music industry. I look forward to continuing to expand on the possibilities of Songview in the future".

While it is definitely a positive step, O'Neill acknowledges there that the new service is not perfect. One issue, of course, is that BMI and ASCAP are not the only song right collecting societies in the US, and the others are not involved. Which means that for co-owned works, Songview doesn't necessarily tell you who controls 100% of the copyright.

So, a search for 'Firework' by Katy Perry tells you that it is 75% controlled by ASCAP and 25% controlled by BMI. However, 'Get Lucky' by Daft Punk is more complicated. Its listing tells you that BMI controls 75% of the song, and ASCAP 0%. While it does list the society GMR as representing Pharrell Williams as a writer, and BUMA representing Imagem as a publisher, it doesn't tell you what splits they control. It also doesn't tell you which writer the publishers represent.

While databases such as this are certainly useful - and BMI and ASCAP is publicly sharing more data than many of its counterparts around the world - there is still a lack of joined up information when it comes to music rights data in general. Efforts to create a single global database of songs collapsed in 2014. As a result, what information is available and the quality of that data varies greatly from territory to territory, and accessing accurate data that links songs to recordings is even harder.


CMU playlists to get you through the festive break
As we know, people started listening to Christmas music much earlier than usual this year, with every single person getting into the festive spirit (or simply trying to will the year to end a little bit sooner) by mid-November. That probably means that you're absolutely sick of bloody Christmas songs by now. Don't worry, we have some playlists to soothe your eggnog-addled mind that are 100% Christmas free.

On The CMU Stereo 2020 - Listen here
Over the course of December, we revealed this playlist featuring 40 of our favourite tracks of 2020. Because, despite everything, there was a lot of great music released this year. So much so that it was a real effort to whittle this list down to just 40. But we did it, and as a result it's a finely-honed collection of tracks from all manner of genres, and covering the biggest songs to lesser-known releases that you might have missed.

CMU Approved in 2020 - Listen here
Twice weekly, the CMU Approved column brings you music from great new artists deserving of your attention. This year we featured 90 new acts, and we've collected every single one of them together in this playlist. As ever, it's an eclectic journey through music, and we reckon you'll find something in here that will form part of the soundtrack to your 2021. Hey, maybe you'll even get to see them play live!

Other playlists
So those are our end of year playlists. Don't forget that we have playlists that are updated every week of the year - the ongoing CMU Approved playlist has everything we've featured in the column since 2015, while the Brand New On CMU playlist updates every Friday with all the new music we wrote about that week. Subscribe to those now, ready for their next updates in the new year.


Kobalt has signed producer and songwriter Burns to a worldwide neighbouring rights deal. This year he scored success with his work on Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' album. "When you have the big hits that Burns does as a producer, it's incredibly important to have neighbouring rights support from an agent who understands all the intricacies and nuances of collecting performance royalties around the world", says Kobalt Neighbouring Rights CEO Ann Tausis.



Universal Music Japan has hired Rui Suzuki as Chief Financial Officer. He previously held the same title at personal financial management company Moneytree. "I am quite confident that his extensive experience in international finance and fintech will bring us flexible and agile financing in a business world of rapid change", says CEO Naoshi Fujikura.

Glassnote has promoted Michael Starr to Head Of Promotion. He was previously Senior Director Of Promotion. "[Starr's] leadership skills and deep relationships with radio and media position our team and the incredible music we have coming next year for success", says the label's President Daniel Glass.



Peter Jackson has released a collection of clips from his upcoming Beatles documentary, 'The Beatles: Get Back'. The film is scheduled for release on 27 Aug 2021, so enjoy this. Watch the video here.

Grimes has changed the artwork for her 'Miss Anthropocene' album. Digital services now feature a painting by Rupid Leejm. The musician originally posted the image to Instagram earlier this year, revealing that it was her first choice for the album's artwork, but that she had chosen something else after "everyone said not to use it".



Katy Perry has released the video for 'Not The End Of The World', from her 'Smile' album. In it, aliens mistake Zooey Deschanel for Perry - a joke so obvious its hard to believe they didn't do it nine years ago.

Iggy Pop has released new song 'Dirty Little Virus'. He's also posted a short video explaining the track.

Burial has released new track 'Chemz'. It will be released on vinyl with another new track, 'Dolphinz', in April.

Lord Apex has released new single 'London Fog', featuring V Don and Westside Gunn.

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


Ed Sheeran enters Christmas number one race - is LadBaby safe?
Just when you thought your sausage rolls were safe, Ed Sheeran released a surprise new single in Christmas week. Although officially on hiatus, the musician released new track 'Afterglow' yesterday.

"Hey guys", he says. "'Afterglow' is a song I wrote last year that I wanted to release for you. It's not the first single from the next album, it's just a song I love, and hope you love too. Enjoy! Have a safe and happy festive break and New Year's. Back to dad land for me now".

And off he went again, just like that. But that's a pretty big upset in the Christmas number one race. Over the weekend, LadBaby's 'Don't Stop Me Eatin' took a comfortable lead, but was not completely safe from nearest contender Jess Glynne. And now Sheeran's got involved. What could this mean?

Sure, LadBaby had already racked up more than 80,000 sales (or equivalent) prior to Ed getting out of the starting blocks. But I think it's safe to say that anything could happen now. Well, not anything. But Sheeran might score a lot of sales and streams of his new song very quickly.

Watch the video for 'Afterglow' 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]
CMU helps people to navigate and understand the music business.

We do this through our media, our training and our research, and at a range of music industry events.

CMU Daily covers all the latest news and developments direct by email.

Setlist is a weekly podcast dissecting the biggest music business stories.

CMU Premium gives you access to the CMU Digest and CMU Trends.

CMU Insights is our music business consultancy: supporting the industry.

CMU:DIY is our future talent programme: supporting new music talent.

Pathways Into Music is our programme supporting music educators.

© UnLimited Media, a division of 3CM Enterprises Ltd

UnLimited Media, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

Send press releases to [email protected]

Email advertising queries to [email protected]

Email training and consultancy queries to [email protected]

You can read our Privacy & Data Policy here

[email protected] | [email protected]