TODAY'S TOP STORY: Twitter is being sued by the music industry for hosting “countless” videos that contain unlicensed music. Because - while many in the music community may not be particularly happy with the amount of money paid into the industry by Twitter rivals like TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat - at least those companies have bothered to get themselves some music licences... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Music publishers accuse Twitter of "massive copyright infringement" in $250 million lawsuit
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Music distributors ally to fight streaming fraud
Physical product manufacturing accounts for three quarters of record labels' carbon emissions

LIVE BUSINESS Police urge more witnesses to come forward in Brixton Academy crowd crush investigation
RELEASES Posthumous Sparklehorse album to arrive later this year
GIGS & FESTIVALS Anita Baker drops Babyface from her US tour after social media grief from his fans
ONE LINERS Halsey, Empire, Alice Cooper, more
AND FINALLY... Becky Hill calls receiving a BRIT Billion Award "wild"
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email [email protected] or call 020 7099 9060.
FKP Scorpio are looking for a Head Of Ticketing. The UK office of Europe’s fastest-growing promoter is looking for someone to manage their ticketing, which includes large scale concert tours, festivals, exhibitions and special events.

For more info and to apply click here.
AEG Presents are looking for an Assistant to Head of Comedy & Junior Promoter who'll be responsible supporting the Head of Comedy with all aspects of AEG's comedy, podcast and spoken word tour set up and promotion.   

For more info and to apply click here.
Experienced digital catalogue manager required to work within a long established independent record company in central London. We cover a broad section of music from Rock alternative to Metal. Knowledge of these music genres is not essential but a passion for digital sales and marketing is.

For more info and to apply click here.
AEG Presents are looking for an EA to support the CEO of European Festivals and the Senior Vice President of International Touring. You’ll be responsible for providing full administration support including full diary management; email/inbox management and follow up on actions from meetings.

For more info and to apply click here.
We’re looking for an Assistant Production Manager to supervise and coordinate the event contracted production companies, staging, seating and labour provision for indigo at The O2.

For more info and to apply click here.
Stones Throw Records is seeking a full-time Project Coordinator based in our East London office. This is a supportive role working closely with the marketing team, which includes project managers, project coordinators, and digital marketing and sales staff.

For more info and to apply click here.
Warp Publishing is a leading independent music publishing company representing music by Khruangbin, Dry Cleaning, Danny Brown, Nightmares on Wax and many more. We are looking for an experienced Copyright Manager to join our team based in our London office, with a hybrid office and work from home model.

For more info and to apply click here.

Music publishers accuse Twitter of "massive copyright infringement" in $250 million lawsuit
Twitter is being sued by the music industry for hosting "countless" videos that contain unlicensed music. Because - while many in the music community may not be particularly happy with the amount of money paid into the industry by Twitter rivals like TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat - at least those companies have bothered to get themselves some music licences.

The Twitter-targeting copyright lawsuit has been filed with the courts in Nashville by a consortium - no, actually, a coalition, or maybe a congregation - no, fuck it, a convocation of music publishers, including all three majors.

"This is a civil action seeking damages and injunctive relief for Twitter's wilful copyright infringement", says the legal filing. "Twitter fuels its business with countless infringing copies of musical compositions, violating publishers' and others' exclusive rights under copyright law".

"While numerous Twitter competitors recognise the need for proper licences and agreements for the use of musical compositions on their platforms", it goes on, alluding to the TikToks, Instagrams and Snapchats of this world, "Twitter does not, and instead breeds massive copyright infringement that harms music creators".

Expanding on its theme, the lawsuit continues: "The pervasive infringing activity at issue in this case is no accident. While the Twitter platform began as a destination for short text-based messages, Twitter widened its business model to compete more aggressively with other social media sites for users, advertisers and subscribers".

"By design", it adds, "the Twitter platform became a hot destination for multimedia content, with music-infused videos being of particular and paramount importance".

"Videos draw much higher rates of engagement than posts that merely include text, images, or animated GIFs", it continues. "Audiovisual tweets, and especially ones containing publishers' copyrighted works, attract and retain users to the Twitter platform, drive ad impressions, and advance Twitter's key metrics and economic interests".

And just in case Twitter is planning on moaning about how damn complicated music licensing is, well, hang on one second, because, well, fuck no. "There is a vibrant existing market for social media companies to pay fees for the use of musical compositions", the publishers stress.

"Social media companies behind such well-known platforms as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat have entered into agreements with publishers and other rightsholders that compensate creators of musical compositions for use of their works on those platforms".

And just in case Twitter is planning on arguing it's a mere conduit protected from liability for copyright infringement by the pesky safe harbour, well, hang on one second, because, well, fuck no. Twitter needs to be prolific in responding to infringement notices submitted by copyright owners to get that protection.

And, "publishers ... have spent significant time and resources to identify specific infringers and specific infringements, and to notify Twitter of them. Those specific infringers and specific infringements already number in the hundreds of thousands. Twitter has repeatedly failed to take the most basic step of expeditiously removing, or disabling access to, the infringing material identified by the infringement notices".

"Twitter has also continued to assist known repeat infringers with their infringement", the lawsuit claims. "Those repeat offenders do not face a realistic threat of Twitter terminating their accounts and thus the cycle of infringement continues across the Twitter platform".

The new lawsuit, coordinated by the US National Music Publishers Association, has been a long-time coming, with Twitter towards the top of the music industry's digital gripe list for some time. And Elon Musk's high profile acquisition of the social media firm last year didn't change anything.

"Both before and after the sale", the lawsuit confirms, "Twitter has engaged in, knowingly facilitated, and profited from copyright infringement, at the expense of music creators, to whom Twitter pays nothing".

The publishers want the courts to confirm that Twitter is infringing their copyrights; an injunction ordering the social media firm to stop doing so; and - of course - lots of lovely damages.

Ideally statutory damages of $150,000 for each of the 1700 specific songs that the publishers have identified as being made available on the Twitter platform without licence, which would exceed $250 million.

We await Twitter's response. Actually, no, we await Musk's response. That'll be more fun, won't it?


Music distributors ally to fight streaming fraud
A number of music distributors have come together with Spotify and Amazon Music to form Music Fights Fraud, a new initiative described as "a global task force aimed at eradicating streaming fraud".

It's no secret that there are scammers who upload content to the streaming services with the aim of fraudulently pulling money out of the digital royalty pool each month.

Some aim to get legitimate streams for misleadingly labelled or copyright-infringing content. Others set machines listening to the music they upload via their own premium accounts, with the current streaming business model allowing them to pull out more in royalties than they spend on subscriptions.

These scams have been common knowledge for years, with some in the industry consistently vocal about the need to tackle the fraud. Others were somewhat suspiciously quiet about it all for quite some time. However, in the last year calls for action have been increasing, including from the majors, in part because the scale of the fraud is both increasing and becoming ever more apparent.

Changing the business model - for example to a user-centric system - would stop some of the fraud. But in the meantime, it's generally agreed that one of the problems is the lack of coordinated action between the streaming services and music distributors. Each company has its own system in place to spot and stop scammers, but a lack of communication across the industry allows the fraudsters to keep jumping from one distributor to another.

Music Fights Fraud will seemingly seek to address that weakness. The companies involved in the initiative say that the scheme "represents the first time all corners of the music industry have aligned as a united front to combat fraud in music streaming".

It "will focus on streaming fraud and streaming manipulation across digital streaming services and will work to ensure that the global music streaming market is fair and that all members actively contribute to solutions intended to balance the equity of its operations". The objectives of Music Fights Fraud are to "detect, prevent [and] mitigate" fraud and "to enforce anti-fraud measures, thereby moving closer to an industry where fraud has no place".

Participating distributors include CD Baby and its parent company Downtown, TuneCore and its parent company Believe, DistroKid, UnitedMasters, Symphonic and Empire. The initiative will also be supported by the National Cyber-Forensics And Training Alliance, a US-based organisation that aims to "provide a neutral, trusted environment enabling multi-party collaboration to identify, mitigate and disrupt cybercrime".

Confirming its participation in the programme, CD Baby's Chief Revenue Officer Christine Barnum says: "For 25 years, CD Baby has been committed to offering access for independent musicians and songwriters to grow their careers. As streaming has grown and dominated our industry the opportunities for bad actors to take advantage of the fragmentation has grown as well".

"I am proud", the goes on, "for CD Baby to be a founding member of Music Fights Fraud and for us to join forces to build a united and comprehensive solution to ensure all music creators are being compensated, with royalties generated making it to the right hands".

TuneCore boss Andreea Gleeson adds: "Streaming fraud is a costly issue, with bad actors diluting the royalty pool and taking money out of the pockets of legitimate music creators. This has a great impact on self-releasing artists, who account for 5.7% of the world's streams and represent the fastest-growing sector of the global music industry, with over 6.4 million artists".

"TuneCore is proud", she continues, "to join other leading digital music distributors and [streaming services] to, for the first time ever, pool our resources and stand together to fight streaming fraud and create a fairer, more equitable streaming landscape for creators".

The scheme has been welcomed by a number of music industry trade organisations.

Mitch Glazier, CEO of the Recording Industry Association Of America, says: "Music creators, distributors and services all have a shared stake in a healthy, reliable streaming economy that values human artistry, protects creators' rights and supports authentic streams. RIAA supports new innovations in the fight against all forms of stream manipulation, fraud and piracy, and welcomes the efforts of Music Fights Fraud".

Meanwhile, in the UK, Silvia Montello, CEO of the Association Of Independent Music, adds: "Streaming fraud, in all its guises, is recognised as one of the biggest - and growing - issues facing the recordings business. AIM welcomes all initiatives from distributors, platforms and labels to help tackle it effectively".

"The Music Fights Fraud alliance, which seeks to identify fraudsters, prevent 'distributor hopping' tactics and enable fraud investigation for criminals operating at scale, can only be a step in the right direction", she goes on. "AIM encourages this and other initiatives using technology to assist in the gatekeeping of content uploads so that genuine artists and creators receive the royalties due to them".


Physical product manufacturing accounts for three quarters of record labels' carbon emissions
IMPALA - the pan-European organisation for the independent music community - has published a new report tracking efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the sector, informed by labels using the Carbon Calculator the trade group launched last year.

That tool is designed to help individual independent music companies - as well as the sector at large - track their carbon footprints and identify actions that can be taken to reduce the negative impact their operations have on climate and the environment.

Crunching data submitted by labels already using the tool, the new report confirms that "manufacturing of physical products contributes the greatest proportion of emissions for reporting labels, representing 76% of emissions on average. Over three quarters of this figure is attributed to vinyl production".

"Both vinyl and CD production involve carbon-intensive extraction of raw materials", it goes on. "Both are made predominantly from different plastics (polycarbonates and PVC), which are derived from petrochemicals, ie from oil. Pressing vinyl to create the final product also requires large amounts of energy".

"Packaging choice also impacts the final carbon footprint of each product", it then notes, "a plastic jewel-case CD has a much higher carbon footprint than card packaging".

Distribution of those physical products is the second highest source of emissions, accounting for about 15%, while general label operations account for the other 9%, including things like business travel and office energy, water and waste.

The report also sets out various measures that individual labels and the label community at large can implement in order to reduce total emissions. That includes "engaging with suppliers on how products are made and packaged; making choices about how products are transported; and running your day-to-day operations more sustainably".

The focus of the report is inevitably on the carbon footprint of activities that labels are proactively involved in, such as the manufacture and distribution of CDs and vinyl, because that's where each label has direct access to the necessary data. With digital music, most of the activities that will have an environmental impact happen elsewhere in the supply chain.

On that, the IMPALA report says: "The necessary data is controlled by [the streaming services] and their downstream partners. Some [services] are working towards gathering data from their operations and are establishing emissions calculation methodologies".

"Digital distribution is a vital part of our industry and makes up a significant portion of income for our members", it adds. "We're therefore working closely with [the streaming services] to encourage greater transparency and will support efforts towards measuring and reducing the impact of streaming".

You can access the full report here.


Police urge more witnesses to come forward in Brixton Academy crowd crush investigation
Six months on from the fatal crowd crush at an Asake show at London's Brixton Academy, the families of the two people who died, and police who are still investigating the incident, have urged any witnesses yet to come forward with information to do so.

Concert-goer Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson, who was part of the security team at the show, both died as a result of the crowd crush on 15 Dec. A third person, a 21 year old woman, remains in a serious condition in hospital.

The Brixton Academy has been closed ever since the incident, with London's Metropolitan Police recommending that Lambeth Council revoke the licence of venue operator the Academy Music Group.

That has led to fears that the venue might close permanently, resulting in a campaign calling on the local authority to ensure that a venue can definitely continue to operate in the building, with new safety measures put in place to ensure last year's tragic events cannot be repeated.

Meanwhile, police continue their investigation into the circumstances that led to the crowd crush. Speaking to reporters, Chief Inspector Nigel Penney, the senior investigating officer, has confirmed that officers are considering whether there are grounds for various criminal charges in relation to the incident.

That includes, he said, "corporate manslaughter, criminal negligence manslaughter, unlawful act manslaughter and health and safety at work offences, along with violent disorder and offences against the person or assaults".

He added that he was "extremely confident" that police would successfully identify what caused the crowd crush. However, he said, he still needed more witnesses to come forward with any information or mobile phone footage that could help with the investigation.

Hundreds of witness statements have already been taken, he confirmed, but thousands of people were at the venue on that night. "Come forward with anything you know", he urged those people.

That call for more witnesses to come forward has been echoed by the families of Ikumelo and Hutchinson in new interviews with the media, including the BBC.

It quotes Hutchinson's sister Nina as saying: "We're angry that there are things that haven't gone right that has led to people dying or being seriously injured, and we just want those people to have justice".

Meanwhile, Ikumelo's aunt Mary stated: "We want to know how it happened, we want to know why it happened, and then we just want to know how are we - moving forward - going to prevent this from happening to somebody else's daughter, mum, sister, niece".

"All we want is justice, for people to come forward and help us", she added. "Whatever they know, they should come and tell the police. It's really, really important for all of us as a community to stand together and to just make sure that this type of thing doesn't happen again".


Approved: Maija Sofia
Maija Sofia returns with her first single of 2023, 'Four Winters', a song of transformation and realisation, reflecting on darker times as she moves away from them. Sonically, she spans folk and baroque pop, with the musical backing of the track underpinning the emotional wave of the lyrics.

"This song came to me on a winter walk along the canal in Dublin", she says. "It was still lockdown and I was restless, walking towards the sea to go for a cold winter swim with the seals at Dollymount. The words of this song started coming to me really quickly and I was typing it into my notes app so I wouldn't forget".

"I realise now I was going through a transformative, healing period and writing this song was a wild cathartic exorcism of loads of bad feelings I'd been carrying around that were weighing me down", she continues. "I know the subject matter is quite dark but really this song is about joy for me: the joy of becoming unshackled, of resisting fear and resisting anger, of becoming stronger and being able to dance and laugh at the things that once made me feel afraid".

She is set to release her second album 'True Love' on 1 Sep - the follow-up to 2019's 'Bath Time'. Watch the video for 'Four Winters' here.

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

Posthumous Sparklehorse album to arrive later this year
The final album by Sparklehorse will be released later this year, more than a decade after the death of frontman Mark Linkous. 'Bird Machine' has been completed by his brother and bandmate Matt.

The brothers had begun work on the album in 2009, but when Linkous took his own life in 2010, plans for the album seemingly died with him.

However, several years later, Matt and his wife Melissa - who had also played in the band - began working with Bryan Hoffa - an audio preservation specialist at the US Library Of Congress's National Audio-Visual Conservation Center - listening through Mark's archived recordings.

When they reached his final tapes, they discovered the songs more complete than they had imagined. "It was as though the songs let you know", says Melissa. "Mark communicated these songs. We just did our best to transmit them".

Still, the decision to complete work on the album was not one taken lightly. "It's the hardest decision I've ever made", explains Matt. "It's difficult making a choice about someone else's art, even if you've known them all your life and worked with them, even if they were your brother and best friend. We had long conversations about not wanting to take this into a different direction. We wanted to bring out what was there".

"It means so much to me, this last batch of beautiful stuff that my brother was putting together", he adds. "When I sit down and put on a pair of headphones, I'll run it all the way through. Everything from 'It Will Never Stop' to 'Evening Star Supercharger' to 'Stay', that's Mark just letting it out".

This is not the first posthumous release from Mark Linkous. Shortly after his death in 2010, his collaborative album with Danger Mouse and an array of other guests, 'Dark Night Of The Soul', was released.

'Bird Machine' is set for release on 8 Sep. Watch the video for first single 'Evening Star Supercharger' here.


Anita Baker drops Babyface from her US tour after social media grief from his fans
Anita Baker has announced that she is dropping Babyface as the support act on her current US tour because of grief she has been getting from his fans.

The two musicians announced plans to tour together late last year. Things seemed to be going fine with that tour until a show in Newark, New Jersey last month where technical problems resulted in a later than anticipated start time. With Baker keen to still perform a full set, Babyface's performance was pulled.

That resulted in lots of angry Babyface fans, who have seemingly been giving Baker grief on social media ever since. On Twitter earlier this week, she said that the outrage from Babyface's fanbase was partly due to a misunderstanding about the tour, with some reckoning it was a co-headline tour rather than him being her support act. And, with that in mind, she added, Babyface should clarify some things to his fans.

"Babyface is special guest / support act on my tour", she tweeted. "This false narrative, of a co-headliner, is creating unrealistic expectations and aggression from his fans towards me. He should tell you guys the truth".

Then on Tuesday, she returned to social media to declare that "after silently enduring cyberbullying, verbal abuse and threats of violence from the fanbase of our special guest / support act, [and] in the interest of personal safety, I will continue The Songstress Tour alone. Appropriate refunds will be made".

Responding, Babyface said in a statement: "It's unfortunate and disheartening to see how things have played out via social media. While I was looking forward to the rest of the dates, I have nothing but love and respect for Anita and I wish her the best for the remainder of her tour".



Halsey has signed a new record deal with Sony's Columbia Records, two months after departing Universal's Capitol. In April, Halsey's managers Jason Aron and Anthony Li told Billboard: "After eight great years the decision to leave Capitol is bittersweet, but we are excited about exploring a new partnership and sharing new music with fans". The record deal follows a new publishing deal with BMG, announced in December last year.

Soundtrack Your Brand - the music streaming service for businesses that play music on their premises - has raised $15 million of new funding, led by Matt Pincus's MUSIC company. "It's hard to believe but, before Soundtrack Your Brand, business owners had no legitimate option to play music on demand for their customers", says Pincus. "Almost every business has some need for music - and most business owners believe that music creators should be paid for their work. It sounds obvious, but it took a mountain of technological and business innovation to bring on-demand music to enterprise and Soundtrack nailed it".



Artist services business Empire has hired Alexandra Moore as Chief Business Officer. "Alex is a proven leader with strong business and operational acumen", says CEO Ghazi Shami. "She has a wealth of relationships in the music, talent and consumer internet industries and beyond, and I am confident she will be a key player to amplify our global presence".

Armada Music has hired Jason Ellis as Global Senior A&R Director. "Joining the team at Armada and the recently launched BEAT Music Fund feels like the natural next step in my career, given the exciting opportunity to utilise my considerable network and experience built up over many years", he says. "It's a very exciting time for both companies on many levels, but fundamentally it's all about building and nurturing the best music and artists. I can't wait to get started!"



Alice Cooper will release new album 'Road' on 25 Aug. "For 'Road', I wanted the band to be involved in the foundation of all the songs", he says. "I only see these guys when we're on the road. So, I wanted them to be as tight as they are for the show but on all new material. When you have a band this good, I believe in showing it off, and this is my way of doing so". Out now is new single 'I'm Alice'.

Quantic is back with new single 'Run', featuring Andrea Triana. "The seedling for 'Run' began with a remote collaboration between Andreya Triana and me", he says. "What started out as a simple sketch slowly became a patient gathering of lyrical ideas and musical fragments. These initial ideas were blended by an incredible array of musical contributors across New York and London. Our patience in seeing the idea through paid off and I think we found a perfect balance between raw emotion and musical expression for the dance".

Knocked Loose have released two new songs 'Deep In The Willow' and 'Everything Is Quiet Now' - their first since 2021's brilliant 'A Tear In The Fabric Of Life' EP. "[These songs] are a reminder that we are heavy, intense and extreme", says frontman Bryan Garris. "Some elements come and go, but those will never change".

Chai have announced that they will release an eponymous new album on 22 Sep. Out today is new single 'Para Para'. The band will also be in the UK for live shows in November.

Melanie De Biasio has released two new songs, 'Now Is Narrow' and 'We Never Kneel To Pray'. Both are taken from her new album 'Il Viaggio', which is out on 13 Oct.

Grove has released new single 'Stinking Rich Families', featuring Bob Vylan. The track is taken from new EP 'PWR", which is set for release on 19 Jul. "The 'cost of living crisis' is a phrase of pure propaganda", says Grove on the inspiration for the new track. "Repeated to us to take away blame from the greedy families who've syphoned off hundreds of millions of pounds of public money for themselves and their friends".

Andrew Hung has released new single 'Find Out'. "This is a song about isolation, which is very different from solitude", he says. "I've never really felt part of any particular tribe, yet I know it exists because belonging is a deeply-ingrained need". His new album 'Deliverance' is out on 11 Aug.



Colin Stetson will perform his soundtrack to the movie 'Hereditary' accompanied by the London Contemporary Orchestra at London's Barbican on 25 Apr 2024. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.

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


Becky Hill calls receiving a BRIT Billion Award "wild"
Becky Hill has become the latest artist to receive one of those BRIT Billion awards from the BPI, marking one billion UK streams of her music. The record label trade body announced this morning that it handed her one of its BRIT Billion trophies backstage before her performance at Manchester's Parklife Festival on Sunday.

"One billion streams of my music in the UK - wild", she says. "This year marks my eleventh year in the music industry and for eight of them I dreamed of 'breaking the UK'. I think this award signifies that goal being achieved!"

"Thanks to the songwriters and producers that created this music with me over the years", she adds. "And thanks to you music lovers for listening and dancing! Now for the rest of the world!"

Sixteen acts have now received the new award, which was formally introduced last month. They include Abba, Coldplay, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, AJ Tracey, Headie One, Anne-Marie, Ellie Goulding, George Ezra, Lewis Capaldi, Raye, Rita Ora, James Arthur and Sam Smith.

Last week, Years & Years' Olly Alexander was presented with his trophy backstage at the Mighty Hoopla festival. "My brain can't comprehend one billion streams in the UK", he said. "How is it possible?! It's an amazing feeling, honestly. Thank you to all my listeners and supporters - I literally love you!"

You may have noticed a theme emerging here. Expect to see more of these prizes dished out as the UK's festival season continues.


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.
[email protected] (except press releases, see below)
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.
[email protected] (except press releases, see below)
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.
[email protected] or call 020 7099 9060
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.
[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 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 foundation supporting music educators.

Published by and © 3CM UnLimited

3CM Enterprises Ltd, 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]