TODAY'S TOP STORY: R Kelly has formally filed an appeal in relation to his conviction in the New York courts for establishing and running a criminal enterprise in order to abuse women and teenagers... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES R Kelly formally appeals New York sex abuse conviction
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Indies account for 27.1% of global music publishing market, says new IMPF report
Armada Music launches new venture to acquire dance music rights
LIVE BUSINESS Live Nation launches "destination experience company" Vibee
MEDIA BBC opens phone line as part of Tim Westwood investigation
GIGS & FESTIVALS Frank Ocean pulls out of second Coachella set
ONE LINERS Ed Sheeran, Bebe Rexha, Kim Petras, more
AND FINALLY... Mac DeMarco releases 199 track album
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R Kelly formally appeals New York sex abuse conviction
R Kelly has formally filed an appeal in relation to his conviction in the New York courts for establishing and running a criminal enterprise in order to abuse women and teenagers.

The new court filing raises issues with the jury, disputes the testimonies of some of the musician's victims, and argues that there was lots of evidence presented in court that was not relevant to the crimes he was accused of and which meant he didn't get a fair hearing.

The New York trial was the first criminal case against Kelly to get to court following the airing of the 'Surviving R Kelly' documentary series, which put the spotlight on the allegations of abuse that had been made against the pop star for decades. A second subsequent trial then also took place in Chicago.

He was convicted in both cases, being sentenced to 30 years in jail in New York and 20 years in Chicago. Although those two sentences will mainly be served concurrently, with just one year of the Chicago sentence set to follow the New York jail term.

According to TMZ, in the appeal documents Kelly's lawyers present various arguments as to why the conviction in the New York case should be overturned or a new trial convened. They argue that at least four of the jurors involved in the case have since admitted to prejudging Kelly's guilt, with two saying they had watched the 'Surviving R Kelly' documentary.

In terms of the testimonies of Kelly's victims, they allege that some of those witnesses claimed to have had sexual contact with the musician when they were under eighteen, when in fact they were eighteen or older when sexual relations began. For any victims who were underage when they first had sex with Kelly, he insists they told him they were over eighteen at the time.

The lawyers also take issue with evidence being presented during the trial that focused in more general terms on Kelly's sex life, sexual preferences and sexual health. That evidence was not directly relevant to the crimes he was being tried for, they claim, and was used by the prosecution to further tarnish Kelly's reputation in order to sway the jury.

It remains to be seen how the New York court responds to the various claims in the appeal - and also if more or less the same arguments are presented when Kelly's team gets round to appealing the Chicago conviction.


Indies account for 27.1% of global music publishing market, says new IMPF report
The Independent Music Publishers International Forum - or IMPF to its friends - yesterday published its latest 'Independent Music Publishing Global Market View'.

That's an annual report that collates and reviews facts and figures about recent trends in music publishing - this time mainly crunching 2021 stats - alongside insights from key executives from the indie side of the music publishing sector.

In terms of top-line figures, the report estimates that the global music publishing market was worth €7.68 billion in 2021, up from €6.51 billion in 2020. Independent publishers - so that's everyone except the publishing businesses of Sony, Universal, Warner, BMG and Kobalt - together have a market share of 27.1%, which means the indie sector was worth €2.08 billion in 2021, compared with €1.95 billion in 2020.

Of course, the songs side of the music rights industry was more impacted by the COVID pandemic than the recordings side, because songwriters and publishers earn when music is performed live, and things like the broadcast and public performance of music are a much bigger deal in the publishing sector.

Because money that flows through the collective licensing system - which is a lot of the money on the songs side - can take some time to get to the writer and publisher, especially once you go global, revenues received in 2021 and 2022 were affected by the impact COVID had on the industry in 2020 and 2021. However, the IMPF says that 2023 figures should show that the negative impact of COVID is now pretty much over.

During the pandemic, the ongoing rise in streaming revenues helped mitigate to an extent the impact of the slump in live and public performance. Though, of course, when it comes to streaming, much more of the money paid over by the digital platforms flows to the record industry than to writers and publishers.

Although every digital deal is different, of the money that flows from streaming to the music industry, approximately 80% ends up with the record industry and 20% with writers and publishers. That fact remains controversial in the songwriting and publishing communities, with those indie publishers that don't have sister companies dealing in recorded music being generally the most vocal about this.

The new IMPF report notes: "Various voices from the publishing industry have raised their concern regarding the split between recorded music and music publishing from what is now the main source of revenues for the industry - streaming - with a structural inequity favouring owners of sound recordings vs music publishers".

"Considering the contributions made by music publishers to the global ecosystem", it adds, "particularly their work in identifying and developing new talent, many in the industry see this as a basis to call for a 'rebalancing' of the streams of revenues between recording and publishing".

Citing an earlier study by GESAC - which represents song right collecting societies in Europe - the IMPF report goes on: "This 80-20 split is a leftover from the CD era when most of the investment in releasing music fell on the record labels, who had to incorporate the cost of physical distribution into their cost structure. But while the split structure was relevant in the physical era, publishers and songwriters feel that time has come for a fairer distribution of revenue between recording and publishing".

Expanding on this, Ender Atis from German publisher BuddeMusic is quoted in the report as saying: "Like every other sector of the music industry, the business of music publishers has been transformed by the advent of streaming services. It has taken a while and a lot of effort, but digital revenues are starting to become significant for us and sit alongside our traditional revenue streams".

"However, many publishers believe that songs and compositions continue to remain undervalued in the digital licensing market, especially in comparison to recordings", he adds. "It is our mission to establish fair terms for songwriters and publishers in the digital world; terms that reflect the essential role our works play".

You can download the full report here.


Armada Music launches new venture to acquire dance music rights
Dance music label Armada Music has announced the launch of a new investment fund, backed by Pinnacle Financial Partners, which will seek to acquire recording and song catalogues in the electronic music space.

Called BEAT - or Best Ever Acquired Tracks - the new venture has already a secured deal to acquire the KMS Records recordings catalogue of Kevin Saunderson, and another to buy the recordings and publishing rights of Arty. Armada will handle the distribution of the recordings that have been acquired.

Armada Music CEO Maykel Piron says: "It's a privilege to be working with the tracks that sparked my passion for dance music at an early age".

The new venture, he continues, "adds a new dimension to the work we're doing with Armada Music, and we're super excited to bring in more incredible labels, artists and songs to boost and complement our current catalogue of 40,000 tracks".


Live Nation launches "destination experience company" Vibee
Live Nation in the US has formally launched a new venture that will offer travel packages linked to festivals promoted by divisions of the live giant.

That new venture is called Vibee and is described by Live Nation as a new "music-led destination experience company". And why not? The plan is to "transform the way fans travel and connect with their favourite artists", it adds. Yeah, maybe.

"Vibee was founded to build indelible memories between fans and their favourite artists in a new way", states Harvey Cohen, who is President of Vibee. "We are poised to deliver a range of once-in-a-lifetime destination experiences for every type of fan in vibrant locations all over the world".

The new division will build travel and VIP packages around partner festivals as well as standalone events that build on those festival brands. Participating events will include those promoted by Live Nation affiliates Insomniac and C3 Presents, so that includes Electric Daisy Carnival, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.


BBC opens phone line as part of Tim Westwood investigation
A phone line has been set up as part of the BBC's ongoing investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse that have been made against DJ Tim Westwood. Anyone with any information about alleged bad conduct on Westwood's part - or the BBC's knowledge of that bad conduct - is encouraged to get in touch.

The BBC instigated that investigation after a media exposé last year in which a number of women made allegations of sexual misconduct against Westwood. Some of those women said that, after they agreed to meet with the DJ to discuss their careers in music, he had pressured them into sex. Others claimed that he had groped them as they posed for photographs at events.

Many of the alleged incidents took place between 1994 and 2013 when Westwood worked for the BBC, which is why the broadcaster began an independent review to look into the allegations, and also the extent to which BBC management were aware that Westwood had been accused of sexual abuse while he was still working for the Corporation's radio stations.

The new telephone line will be in operation 24/7 for four weeks. People who call with any information will be put in contact with either Gemma White or Jahnine Davis, who are together leading the investigation.

Davis says: "We know that it's not easy to come forward. We want to make certain those who want to do so can speak directly to someone who has experience and expertise of these sensitive matters".

The phone line is 08000 121 838 or people can alternatively send an email. All evidence given will be confidential and can be anonymous.

It recently emerged that police are also investigating five accusations of misconduct that have been made against Westwood, and that the DJ has been formally questioned by police officers twice in recent weeks. In the past, Westwood has denied all the allegations that have been made against him.


Approved: Prima Queen
This week, Alex Lee Thomson is approving some artists he checked out at last month's SXSW showcase festival in Austin.

The exceptionally promising Prima Queen made quite an impression with their honest and beautiful set at SXSW, which charmingly showcased their Transatlantic roots. Their evocatively resonant performance at the British Music Embassy venue showcased their undeniable talent, as their voices blended in perfect harmonies, filling the courtyard with irresistible guitar strokes.

Their latest single is 'Back Row' - taken from the upcoming debut EP 'Not The Baby,' which is out on 3 May. As always the band seem to pour their hearts out through a cheerful facade masking a melancholic core, creating a resonance that speaks to the soul.

Lead singers Louise Macphail and Kristin McFadden's bond as friends and bandmates translates into their writing. It's felt in the songs, and viewable on stage live from a thousand paces. Similar to seeing Wet Leg, you end up enveloped by the whole warming experience of it all.

Watch the video for 'Back Row' here.

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

Frank Ocean pulls out of second Coachella set
Frank Ocean has pulled out of the second weekend of this year's Coachella festival. He headlined the event last Sunday, but his performance was both praised and criticised, with many feeling that it was not up to standard.

Later in the week it emerged that Ocean had sustained an injury prior to the festival set, which had meant he wasn't able to proceed with the show as planned. This injury is also the reason he has cancelled the second performance this weekend.

"Frank Ocean will not be performing at weekend two of Coachella", reads a statement announcing the cancellation. "After suffering an injury to his leg on festival grounds in the week leading up to weekend one, Frank Ocean was unable to perform the intended show but was still intent on performing and, in 72 hours, the show was reworked out of necessity".

"On doctor's advice", it goes on, "[Ocean] is not able to perform weekend two due to two fractures and a sprain in his left leg".

Ocean himself adds of last weekend's performance: "It was chaotic. There is some beauty in chaos. It isn't what I intended to show but I did enjoy being out there and I'll see you soon".

Coachella was Ocean's first live set for six years, adding to the anticipation - and subsequent disappointment - surrounding the event.



BMG has promoted Heath Johns to President Of Australia, New Zealand And South-east Asia. He was previously Managing Director of BMG Australia. "Heath Johns personifies so much of what makes BMG great", says Chief Content Officer Dominique Casimir. "With his passion and enthusiasm for music he is a force of nature, but he combines commercial drive with an innate understanding of BMG's value system and ethical stance. The expansion of his responsibilities is a recognition of his talents".



Ed Sheeran has released new single 'Boat', taken from his upcoming album '-', which is out on 5 May.

Bebe Rexha has released new single 'Satellite', featuring Snoop Dogg. Her new album 'Bebe' is out next week.

Kim Petras has released new single 'Alone', featuring Nicki Minaj.

Beabadoobee has released a new version of her track 'Glue Song', featuring Clairo. "Claire's a good friend since she brought me on her tour around the release of her first album", says Beabadoobee. "That was super fun, she tried a part on a verse for 'Glue Song' and it sounds so sweet".

Bree Runway and Khalid have teamed up for new track 'Be The One'. "I'm obsessed with this song", says Runway. "Our voices marry together perfectly. It magically came together from a hangout in the studio. I love Khalid for his light and his incredible character, I'm really proud to call him a friend, and now musical collaborator".

Sleep Token have released new single 'DYWTYLM'. New album 'Take Me Back To Eden' is out on 19 May.

Django Django have released the third block of tracks from their new album 'Off Planet', including new single 'No Time', featuring Jack Penate.

Bloc Party have released new single 'High Life'. "I wanted 'High Life' to sound like falling in love again, the start of a new love intertwining, cemented by nights of abandon and stolen moments of intimacy", says Kele Okereke. "I really wanted it to feel like a celebration".

Charlotte De Witte has released new track 'High Street', which, she says, "is a fast paced track that breathes the energy of the streets on a vibrant Friday night. It creates a thrilling and invigorating atmosphere, setting the tone for an exciting night ahead. It is a blurring tune that unconsciously pulls you into the late night". The track is taken from a forthcoming EP called 'Overdrive'.

Das Koolies - aka Super Furry Animals minus Gruff Rhys - have released new single 'Best Mind Fuck Yet', featuring actor and original SFA frontman Rhys Ifans. They've also announced that they will release their debut album 'DK.01' on 22 Sep.

Man On Man have announced that they will release their second album 'Provincetown' on 16 Jun. "As we lean into what Man On Man is and will be, two things immediately come up: Energy and community", says the duo's Roddy Bottum. Out now is new single 'Showgirls'.

Léa Sen has released new single 'Alive', taken from her new EP 'You Of Now Part 2', which is out today. She's also announced her debut headline show at Laylow in London on 1 Jun.



Olly Murs has announced that he will livestream the final night of his UK tour in Manchester on 5 May. The tour begins tonight in Glasgow. Book tickets for the livestream here.

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


Mac DeMarco releases 199 track album
Mac DeMarco has released a brand new album called 'One Wayne G'. Announced just last night, the album comes just three months after his latest, 'Five Easy Hot Dogs'. Although it's probably more notable for the length of its tracklist, which runs to 199 songs.

The record seems to be a dump of unused song ideas, recorded between May 2018 and January of this year. Each track title includes the date it was recorded, while a handful have actual names appended too.

Announcing the album in an Instagram post, DeMarco also included images of vinyl and cassette versions. These physical releases are not available yet, and it seems unlikely that they'll include the full tracklist available on the digital release - which runs to nearly nine hours.

Earlier this week, DeMarco also announced live residencies in New York, Paris and London, in support of 'Five Easy Hot Dogs'. This will see him play three nights at London's Hackney Empire on 30 Jul to 1 Aug.

Right now, delve into 'One Wayne G' on Bandcamp or your streaming service of choice. Don't be daunted by the long runtime, it's a whole lot of fun.


ANDY MALT heads up our editorial operations, overseeing the CMU Dailywebsite and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
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CHRIS COOKE is co-Founder and MD of CMU - he continues to write key business news stories, and runs training, research and event projects for the CMU Insights consultancy unit and CMU:DIY future talent programme.
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SAM TAYLOR leads on the commerical side of CMU, overseeing sales, sponsorship and business development, as well as heading up training, research and event projects at our consultancy unit CMU Insights.
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CARO MOSES is Editor of CMU's sister media ThisWeek Culture and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh. Having previously also written and edited articles for CMU, she continues to advise and support our operations.
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