TODAY'S TOP STORY: Live Nation has committed to start showing upfront the full costs of a ticket - including any commissions and fees - for shows at all of the US venues it operates and its American festivals. The commitment from the live giant and its ticketing business Ticketmaster comes as part of an initiative by US President Joe Biden to get rid of what he calls "junk fees" from the marketplace... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Live Nation tells Joe Biden it will introduce all-in-pricing for US tickets
LEGAL Former MegaUpload execs jailed in New Zealand
LIVE BUSINESS Industry criticises government u-turn on drug testing at festivals
MEDIA Harry and Meghan lose out in Spotify's podcasting cutbacks
Bauer Media bigs up Isle Of Wight Festival coverage
RELEASES Sigur Rós release first new album in a decade
ONE LINERS Doja Cat, Pharrell Williams, Leigh-Anne, more
AND FINALLY... Viral TikToker finally joins Weezer on stage
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.

Live Nation tells Joe Biden it will introduce all-in-pricing for US tickets
Live Nation has committed to start showing upfront the full costs of a ticket - including any commissions and fees - for shows at all of the US venues it operates and its American festivals. The commitment from the live giant and its ticketing business Ticketmaster comes as part of an initiative by US President Joe Biden to get rid of what he calls "junk fees" from the marketplace.

Most ticketing platforms - including the ticket resale sites - have in the past expressed support for all-in-pricing, where the full cost of buying a ticket is stated in marketing materials and on the first screen of a ticket purchase.

Some ticketing platforms have adopted that system voluntarily, but others have said it should be mandated through law or some other kind of regulation. After all, if it's entirely voluntary, the companies that do the right thing will be disadvantaged, because at first glance it will look like tickets on their platforms are more expensive.

In the UK, all-in-pricing is now pretty much standard in ticketing, not least because the country's advertising industry regulator - the Advertising Standards Authority - has a rule that states: "All quoted prices must include non-optional taxes, duties, fees and charges that apply to all or most buyers - if a booking fee is not optional, ticket prices must be stated inclusive of any booking fee".

In the US, ticketing platforms - including Ticketmaster - have said they'd support a law that mandated all-in-pricing. That hasn't happened yet, though with Biden's wider campaign against fees that are added to purchases mid-transaction, the number of companies making voluntary moves in this domain is increasing.

Live Nation stated yesterday: "Live Nation will begin providing a new all-in pricing experience for concerts at the venues and festivals the company operates across the United States starting this September".

Of course that doesn't impact any of the tickets sold by other venues and promoters on the Ticketmaster platform, although they will seemingly be given the option to follow Live Nation's lead in this domain.

President of Live Nation's US venues division, Tom See, added: "Live Nation is proud to provide fans with a better ticket buying experience. We have thousands of crew working behind the scenes every day to help artists share their music live with fans, and we'll continue advocating for innovations and reforms that protect that amazing connection".

Providing a general update on his campaign against junk fees, Biden confirmed that: "Starting in September, Live Nation will automatically list all the prices upfront for all tickets to events at more than 200 venues of its own, benefitting over 30 million customers".

Noting that some ticketing platforms - including TickPick and Dice - have "used this process for years to sell tickets", he also announced that SeatGeek "is set to give customers the option of seeing all-in, upfront prices".

Despite these commitments, many reckon there should still be a change to the law in the US that mandates all-in-pricing, and ensures all platforms basically take the same approach.

Richard Blumenthal - a US Senator who has been vocal on issues in the ticketing market - told Reuters: "Rather than a voluntary patchwork varying by company, Americans deserve a basic disclosure standard so they can be fully aware of the prices and fees they're being charged. The days of padding corporate profits by nickel and diming consumers are numbered".

There is an assortment of campaigns running in the US right now - and multiple proposals in Congress - that seek to increase the regulation of ticketing.

All-in-pricing is part of that, though plenty of other measures have been proposed, some targeting mainly primary ticketing, some mainly secondary ticketing, and some focused specifically on the market dominance of Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

Earlier this year Senators Ted Cruz and Maria Cantwell proposed the TICKET Act which would make all-in-pricing a legal requirement. And earlier this month Congress members Jan Schakowsky and Gus Bilirakis introduced basically the same proposals into the House Of Representatives.

Some of the other proposals in Congress go further. Blumenthal has teamed up with fellow Senator Amy Klobuchar to propose new rules to deal with the alleged market dominance of Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

Meanwhile, long-term Ticketmaster critic Bill Pascrell recently introduced the latest iteration of his BOSS ACT which proposes a whole bunch of ticketing reforms.


Former MegaUpload execs jailed in New Zealand
The two former MegaUpload execs who reached a deal with US prosecutors last year to avoid extradition to America have been sentenced in New Zealand. They were both handed jail terms of two and half years.

Mathias Ortmann and Bram Van Der Kolk were among the execs arrested when the US authorities staged their dramatic shutdown of file-transfer and video-sharing platform MegaUpload all the way back in 2012. Alongside the company's founder and frontman Kim Dotcom, they were accused of running a platform that encouraged and facilitated rampant copyright infringement.

The Americans wanted all the former execs to face criminal copyright charges in the US courts. That resulted in more than a decade of legal wrangling as US prosecutors and their counterparts in New Zealand - where the three men lived - pursued extradition proceedings. The NZ courts ruled that they could be extradited, though the extradition is still awaiting government approval.

In May last year, it was confirmed that Ortmann and Van Der Kolk had both reached a deal with prosecutors that would see them face charges in relation to their time running MegaUpload within New Zealand rather than the US.

As part of that deal they pleaded guilty to crimes that could have resulted in up to ten years of jail time, while also agreeing to help prosecutors in their ongoing case against Dotcom.

Setting out the case against the former MegaUpload execs, Detective Inspector Stuart Mills from the NZ police said: "Megaupload was a global criminal enterprise estimated to have cost copyright holders more than half a billion dollars".

"As one of the largest copyright fraud schemes ever seen", he went on, "MegaUpload operations involved the deliberate and systematic infringement of copyrighted material for financial gain. It exploited the work of artists, programmers and entrepreneurs as well as the organisations and corporations that represented them".

According to the NZ Herald, judge Sally Fitzgerald told Ortmann and Van Der Kolk that she had also received statements from various parties setting out the impact of MegaUpload on copyright-owning businesses.

That included statements from the Recording Industry Association Of America and the Motion Picture Association Of America, but also people like a New Zealand-based software developer whose sales were hit by the unlicensed distribution of his product via the MegaUpload site.

Putting an even higher price tag than the police on losses MegaUpload contributed to, the RIAA estimated that its members lost $5.3 billion in the years that Megaupload was operating. Meanwhile, the developer from the NZ city of Timaru had to take other jobs to make a living such was the drop in sales of his software. Both said that their attempts to get MegaUpload to block the copyright-infringing content on its platform were unsuccessful.

Based on the specific crimes Ortmann and Van Der Kolk pleaded guilty to, Fitzgerald confirmed she could jail each of the two men for around ten years.

However, she said that - due to their guilty pleas and willingness to help prosecutors with the ongoing case against Dotcom - she would reduce the jail terms to two years seven months for Ortmann and two years six months for Van Der Kolk.

Their lawyer had been pushing for the two men to serve their time under house arrest, but the judge declined that request. She did, however, delay the start of the sentences so that the two men can deal with family matters before actually going to prison.

Needless to say, Dotcom responded to the latest developments in the long-running MegaUpload saga by again disputing the allegations that have been made against his old business.

His former colleagues, he insisted, pleaded guilty not because they were actually guilty, but to bring to an end more than ten years of legal wrangling which could ultimately have resulted in 185 years of jail time in the US.

"My legal team says that my co-defendants in the MegaUpload case are eligible for parole after ten months and will likely get parole as part of the deal they made with the US government", he tweeted. "They will serve less than a year instead of the 185 years we were charged with. Good for them".

"That's why my former partners took the deal", he later added. "Not because they actually believe that they are criminals. They are not. But they were tired of fighting and gave up in exchange for a 98.5% discount of the 185 years we were charged with. I don't blame them. They have been through hell".

So there you go. One strand of the long-running MegaUpload story comes to an end. Though the always more lively Dotcom strand continues. And now I've got the MegaUpload Song stuck in my head again.


Industry criticises government u-turn on drug testing at festivals
Festival promoters have criticised a move by the UK government's Home Office that could hinder efforts at major music events this summer to test confiscated illegal drugs in order to identify and communicate specific risks posed by substances that are in circulation.

Last weekend, Manchester's Parklife festival was not able to undertake any such testing because it was told that a specific licence from the Home Office was now required, whereas previously drug testing was undertaken through agreement with the local police force.

A number of festivals in various countries now have some kind of drug testing system in operation. Depending on relevant laws and the position of local authorities, in some cases festival-goers can hand over drugs to testers directly and get information about the substances they have bought.

In other cases, people provide drugs anonymously via dump bins or the tests are carried out on drugs confiscated by security and law enforcement.

In those latter cases, if testing identifies specific issues with substances that could pose heightened risk to those consuming them, that information is pushed out through social media, and provided to police and on-site medical personnel.

At Parklife, the testing is done on confiscated drugs. The festival has undertaken testing of this kind since 2014, working with the specialists at drug testing charity The Loop and Greater Manchester Police. But this year the testing couldn't go ahead because of the Home Office insisting it now needs to license such activities.

That insistence poses challenges for other festivals too. It can take three months for such licences to be issued and the application process can reportedly cost over £3000.

Plus, according to sources who spoke to The Guardian, Home Office officials usually want to inspect the premises where any drug testing will take place weeks in advance, but at festivals the testing is done in temporary cabins or tents that are put in place just days before the festival kicks off.

Parklife founder Sacha Lord says that the Home Office's new position on licensing drug testing activities will put people at risk. "Drug testing onsite has been an essential part of the work we do, with the support of Greater Manchester Police, to keep festival-goers safe", he explains.

"This move is a disappointing, senseless u-turn of government policy that puts people at risk", he adds. "This huge misstep from the Home Office could set a potentially dangerous precedent for the summer's festival season. We call for an immediate reversal of this decision so that organisers can continue to prioritise the safety of festival-goers".

Those concerns are echoed by the MD of Live Nation's Festival Republic, Melvin Benn, who tells The Guardian that what happened at Parklife is "extremely worrying for everyone in the industry, and even more importantly festival-goers. If festival organisers fear their safeguarding measures will be pulled at the eleventh hour, then how can we guarantee the wellbeing of our guests?"

But a spokesperson for the government was adamant that "anyone interested in undertaking lawful activities involving the possession, supply or production of controlled drugs, including those who wish to provide drug testing services, need to apply for a Home Office licence".

"Festival organisers in consultation with local partners are responsible for decisions relating to drug testing at festivals", they add. "We will continue an open dialogue with prospective licensees throughout the festival season".


Harry and Meghan lose out in Spotify's podcasting cutbacks
As part of Spotify's downsizing of its podcasting operations, it's been confirmed that the most royal of the streaming firm's podcast partnerships is not being renewed. That being the one with a certain Harry and Meghan Windsor.

Spotify's deal with Archewell Audio - the content company set up by the often controversial (if only to Piers Morgan) royal couple - was agreed in 2020 when the streaming firm was busy splashing the cash to try to become the dominant player in podcasting.

The exclusivity agreement was reportedly worth $20 million, though sources have told the Wall Street Journal that that was dependent on a level of output that was never achieved. So Archewell will have received a lower amount for the exclusive rights to the twelve part Meghan-hosted podcast series 'Archetypes' that it did produce.

As part of wider cost-cutting efforts at Spotify, the streaming firm recently rejigged its podcasting division resulting in around 200 job losses.

A general shift away from exclusive podcast content seems to be part of that rejig, which means Spotify is likely to allow other expensive exclusivity deals with podcasters to lapse. It's also thought that programmes made in-house at Spotify will start to pop up on other platforms, to boost reach and therefore potential sponsorship income.

Meanwhile, according to a new Bloomberg article, when it comes to podcasting, Spotify is now prioritising its platforms that provide services to independent podcast producers. That includes what was Anchor, now Spotify For Podcasters, and especially Megaphone, which is aimed at media firms and higher-level podcast makers.

If true, this means that - while it will continue to make its own programmes in-house - Spotify's real mission in podcasting moving forward will be to help other podcast producers better monetise their content.


Bauer Media bigs up Isle Of Wight Festival coverage
Bauer Media yesterday confirmed that not one, not two, not even three, but in fact - and I guess this isn't going to be much of a surprise to fans of counting - four of its radio stations are covering this weekend's Isle Of Wight Festival, which means that coverage could reach up to seventeen million people if RAJAR figures are to be believed.

Following various recent on-air promotions giving away tickets to the event, performances and interviews from the festival will now air on Absolute Radio, Greatest Hits Radio, Hits Radio and Magic Radio, with artists presumably selected according to each station's musical remit. Of the four stations, it's Absolute Radio that is going all-in on its IOW Festival coverage, with special shows this evening and tomorrow evening, and then eight hours of coverage on Sunday.

Says Bauer Media Audio UK's Chief Content And Music Officer Ben Cooper: "Our mission is to make our listeners' lives sound better, so not only have our music-loving audiences had the chance to win seeing the range of amazing artists at the Isle Of Wight Festival in person, but across the weekend we'll also treat them to live music and exclusive interviews on their radio, smart speaker and phone".


Playlist: Brand New On CMU
Every Friday we round up all the new music we've covered over the preceding week into a Spotify playlist.

Among the artists with brand new music to check out this week are Doja Cat, Pharrell Williams, Sigur Rós, Leigh-Anne, CamelPhat, Kasabian, Bombay Bicycle Club, Asking Alexandria, Peggy Gou, Sparklehorse, Alice Cooper, Quantic, Knocked Loose, Chai, Killer Mike, Anonhi And The Johnsons, Georgia, The Hives, Devendra Banhart and more.

Check out the whole playlist on Spotify here

Sigur Rós release first new album in a decade
Sigur Rós have surprise released a new album, almost ten years to the day since their last long player 'Kveikur' came out. The new record is called 'Átta' and is being released in partnership with BMG, just ahead of their performance with the London Contemporary Orchestra tonight as part of the Southbank Centre's Meltdown festival.

The album features both frontman Jónsi and bassist Georg Holm along with multi-instrumentalist Kjartan Sveinsson, who returned to the band last year.

Once back in the studio, Jónsi says, they found themselves "just wanting to have minimal drums and for the music to be really sparse, floaty and beautiful. We're getting older and more cynical so I just wanted to move us so that we felt something!"

Sveinsson adds: "We wanted to allow ourselves to be a bit dramatic and go far with these arrangements. The world needs that right now. It's hard to describe, but for me everything is always open to interpretation. People can think and feel how they want".

Confirming BMG's involvement in the release, the company's SVP UK Recordings, Jamie Nelson, says: "Sigur Rós hold a special place in the hearts of so many. Their music is progressive, emotional and timeless, and we are honoured to work with them in supporting their unswerving vision".

Among the ten tracks on the album is 'Blóðberg', the single that was released earlier this week.



Doja Cat is back with new single 'Attention'.

Pharrell Williams has teamed up with gospel choir Voices Of Fire for new single 'Joy (Unspeakable)'. "Working with Pharrell is always an amazing experience that not only inspires you, but drives you to dig deep within yourself for the best you have to offer", says choir leader (and Pharrell's uncle) Bishop Ezekiel Williams. "When the dream team finally came together on this song, I knew that moment in the studio was one of destiny".

Leigh-Anne Pinnock from Little Mix has released her first solo single 'Don't Say Love' - going by just Leigh-Anne in this new guise. "'Don't Say Love' is about no longer seeking external validation and regaining my confidence and sense of self in a world where I often felt misunderstood and unheard", she says.

CamelPhat have released new track 'Hope', featuring Max Milner - the first from their second album. "Our first album 'Dark Matter' came out of lockdown and from a really strange and surreal place for everyone", say the duo. "Our new second album is all about celebrating life and not taking things for granted. It's a very uplifting record and lead single 'Hope' is the perfect intro".

Kasabian have released new single 'Algorithms'. "[It's] a song that explores the idea that robots can't experience emotion and being in the moment, whereas humans can, and that is the beauty that separates us… for now", says frontman Serge Pizzorno.

Bombay Bicycle Club have released new single 'My Big Day', taken from their upcoming album of the same name, which will be out on 20 Oct. The band will also be touring the UK the same month.

Asking Alexandria have released new single 'Psycho'. "[It's] one of those songs that is talking about when you feel trapped inside your own head, trapped by your own vices and your own downfalls", says guitarist Ben Bruce. "Ultimately, at the end of the day we all feel a little bit crazy, a little bit like a psycho. It's just a fun song that we can all relate to".

Peggy Gou has released new single '(It Goes Like) Nanana' - her first release through XL Recordings. "There's a feeling we all know but is hard to describe, that feeling of love, warmth and excitement when you're surrounded by friends and loved ones and the energy speaks for itself", she says. "It's difficult to put into words but to me it goes 'nanana!'"

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


Viral TikToker finally joins Weezer on stage
Nearly four months after being invited to join Weezer on stage, guitarist Evan Marsalli has finally performed 'Buddy Holly' with the band. Which might seem like a long wait. Although, given that it took him almost three years of constant badgering to get that invite, maybe not so much.

Marsalli was never actually angling for an invitation to physically join Weezer on stage. He just wanted Rivers Cuomo to duet with him on TikTok. Starting in 2020, he posted a video of himself playing a riff from 'Buddy Holly' every day until the band's frontman agreed to duet with him on the video-sharing platform.

Due to either ignorance or sadism on Cuomo's part, this project lasted 990 days before he came and joined in. Good news for Marsalli, because as the 1000 post milestone grew nearer, his enthusiasm was clearly waning. "If Rivers doesn't do it on day 1000, do I still keep going?" he asked his followers the day that Cuomo finally relented.

As well as bringing the project to its conclusion, Cuomo also wrote alongside his video: "Challenge you to come play this live on Weezer's 'Indie Rock Road Trip' tour this summer. My people will reach out to your people".

That was in February, and this week - as the tour reached Madison, Wisconsin - Marsalli was able to meet that challenge, appearing on stage with the band to play 'Buddy Holly' with them.

Posting on Twitter alongside a short video of the occasion, Weezer wrote: "After 990 videos and one duet [Evan Marsalli] finally took to the stage to play 'Buddy Holly' last night in Madison, WI!"

Watch here.


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]