TODAY'S TOP STORY: Two more European song right collecting societies have published their stats for 2022, confirming the trend seen elsewhere: ie decent growth in revenues thanks to a post-pandemic recovery of performance income and the ongoing streaming boom... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES STIM and SGAE reports confirm revenue growth trends around Europe
DEALS IDOL signs Erick The Architect to artist services deal
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL 2Funky Arts to research cultural impact of black music record stores
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Meta's new Twitter rival due to launch this week
MEDIA Community radio station criticised for airing sweary lyrics during kids show
GIGS & FESTIVALS Suede cancel Brixton Academy shows that would have taken place on the anniversary of fatal crowd crush
AND FINALLY... Bombay Bicycle Club get the fans to do the singing at Rough Trade shows
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STIM and SGAE reports confirm revenue growth trends around Europe
Two more European song right collecting societies have published their stats for 2022, confirming the trend seen elsewhere: ie decent growth in revenues thanks to a post-pandemic recovery of performance income and the ongoing streaming boom.

Swedish society STIM saw its collections increase by 20% last year, to SEK2.7 billion, or nearly £196 million. Pay outs to the society's writer and publisher members were up 16% to SEK2.2 billion, or nearly £160 million.

The songs side of the the music rights industry was hit harder by the COVID pandemic, of course, due to the fact that - for songwriters and publishers - monies coming in from the live performance of music, and the use of recorded music in public spaces, are key revenue streams. And both were hit hard when the COVID lockdowns went into effect. However, those revenue streams started to recover last year.

STIM notes: "The live music market recovered strongly during the year, despite some pandemic restrictions during the first quarter. Revenues from concerts and festivals increased by 213% to SEK117 million, which is on a par with pre-pandemic figures".

Meanwhile, "income from hotels, restaurants, shops and clubs also showed an upward trend. STIM collected SEK201 million over the year from the background music market, an increase of 28%".

That said, the society also observes that challenges remain on the live side of the business. "The ongoing trend of smaller and medium-sized concert halls and venues disappearing poses a risk of the market being significantly redrawn in the future, at the expense of diversity and inclusivity", it states.

Digital is now a key revenue stream for STIM, accounting for 40% of total collections. And not all digital income is even captured in that category.

STIM, as part of ICE, does directly license its repertoire to digital platforms in many markets. But in some countries the local collecting societies will do the deals, and the money they collect appears under what STIM calls 'international income', which accounts for 32% of total collections.

And streaming income in international markets is key, partly because of the number of Swedish songwriters who have global success, and partly because a lot of the potential for future growth, certainly in relation to Spotify-type streaming services, is in other markets.

STIM states in its new report: "Although streaming has been around for more than ten years, it is still a developing market, with enormous potential for even further growth".

"In several European countries, the proportion of the population subscribing to a music streaming service is low, such as in Spain, Germany and France. Besides the expected growth in these markets, we also expect to see a conversion of free users to paying users, which will also push future revenue streams".

"In overseas areas where STIM licences directly", it goes on, "such as the Middle East and parts of Asia, there is additional potential, as these markets are far behind Europe and North America in terms of users with subscriptions".

Also reporting its 2022 stats this week is the sometimes controversial Spanish collecting society SGAE. It states that it "distributed €316.3 million among its members and administered rightsholders in 2022, representing an increase of 27.4% compared to 2021. Revenue reached approximately €349 million, the highest amount since 2007, 35% more than in 2021".

The trends reported by both STIM and SGAE - in terms of the return to growth and what is powering that growth - echo was had been reported by other collecting societies around Europe, including PRS in the UK and SACEM in France.


IDOL signs Erick The Architect to artist services deal
Digital distributor IDOL has announced a new artist services deal with rapper/producer Erick The Architect, who is also one third of hip hop outfit Flatbush Zombies.

Under the deal, IDOL will provide both distribution and marketing services on the rapper's upcoming releases, working closely with his management team at Quincy Jones Productions. The first release under the new partnership is the single 'Parkour', out on 11 Jul.

Says IDOL President Pascal Bittard: "As IDOL continues to strengthen its presence in the North American market, the new deal with Erick marks a significant milestone for our US team as well as the company's wider international ambitions".

"Joining IDOL with an already impressive body of work under his belt, both as a rapper and producer, we are beyond excited to be working with an artist harnessing the level of talent and creativity displayed by Erick", he goes on. "With much planned over the coming months, we look forward to working with him and his team at Quincy Jones Productions to help execute his vision for a landmark debut solo album".

Erick the Architect himself adds: "When I first was introduced to IDOL, I had a solid piece of music - my new album - and I felt that it had to be nourished by the right individuals, considering I've been working on it for almost four years. Considering how special it is to me, I wanted to work with a team of people who saw my vision and believed in it just as much as I do".

"Working with IDOL has been such a joy", he continues. "They've identified how well my music can and will perform internationally and believe in the ability for it to span all across the world. It means a lot to me to work alongside them. They are an efficient, extremely competent and personable company and I can't wait for the world to see what we've been cooking up!"


2Funky Arts to research cultural impact of black music record stores
Leicester-based 2Funky Arts has secured lottery funding for a research project that will explore the cultural impact of UK independent record stores, past and present, that specialise in black music. The aim is to use the research to produce educational resources as well as a website, publications and a podcast.

The 2Funky Arts organisation - a social enterprise that is, and I quote, "dedicated to advancing and celebrating arts and music of black origin" - grew out of a record shop itself. Founder Vijay Mistry ran 2Funky Records in Leicester from 1997 to 2012, setting up 2Funky Arts in 2007.

On the new research initiative - called The Record Store Project - 2Funky Arts explains: "For the Windrush generation and black diaspora, the early independent UK record store was a music-fuelled vehicle for resistance against systemic racism. Such sites became fertile ground for new music and cultural ecosystems that shaped society's relationship with black music".

"The Record Store Project", it adds, "is seeking personal stories that illuminate black, African and Caribbean experiences. Oral histories, film and audio and photographic memories will be compiled to create an educational resource, a publication, website and podcast series".

2Funky Arts is working with the Sound/Image Research Centre at the University Of Greenwich and Manchester-based talent development organisation Brighter Sound on the project.

Mistry says: "2Funky Arts has been planning The Record Store Project for around four years, in conjunction with DJ Simon 'Schooly' Phillips, who will work on our heritage documentary. We are THRILLED to have received funding for such a culturally significant project".

"Thanks to National Lottery players", he adds, "we will be able to research this fascinating history and will be working with volunteers and practitioners from across the country to present oral histories in inspiring formats".

Anyone wanting to get involved with or contribute to the project can sign up here.


Meta's new Twitter rival due to launch this week
Meta's new app that everyone sees as a Twitter rival is due to go live tomorrow.

Very much connected to Instagram, the Threads app is, we are told, a "text-based conversation app" where "communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what'll be trending tomorrow".

"Whatever it is you're interested in", the official blurb in the Apple App Store goes on, "you can follow and connect directly with your favourite creators and others who love the same things – or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world".

Threads is going live following another interesting week over at Twitter. There has been much speculation about the latest shenanigans behind the scenes at the social media firm after owner Elon Musk announced at the weekend that the company was restricting how many tweets any one user can see.

Musk stated: "To address extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation, we've applied [some] temporary limits". The limits are not as extreme for people signed up to the paid-for version of Twitter that Musk has been heavily pushing in recent months.

Threads is seemingly a free service with no restrictions. Although Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has noted just how much user data Meta will access via the Threads app, in a tweet to which Musk replied, simply, "yeah".


Community radio station criticised for airing sweary lyrics during kids show
Northampton-based community radio station Inspiration FM breached broadcasting rules by playing Central Cee's 'Let's Go' at 10.48am on a Saturday morning without the swear words edited out.

That's according to media regulator OfCom, which is concerned about the impact the lyric "the last time that we fucked was fucked" might have had on the all the children out there in radio land.

Well, mainly the children who were actually presenting on the station at the time. Because this occurred during the 'IFM Kids' show on 14 Jan this year, the four presenters of which were aged ten, twelve, fourteen and sixteen respectively.

It seems unlikely that hearing the lyric will have actually traumatised anyone at all - in the studio or otherwise - and especially no one under the age of eighteen.

Though for the four children in the studio, who realised immediately that they'd broken the strict "no fucks allowed" rule of daytime radio, the whole thing was probably quite stressful. Which makes all this slightly odd: ie kids being traumatised because they broke a rule that aims to protect the welfare of kids.

The OfCom report on the incident confirms that the children presenting the 'IFM Kids' show stopped the Central Cee track as soon as they heard the fucks, with one quickly stating "I'm really sorry it had swearing in it".

Another added that the track didn't have the 'E' symbol that denotes 'explicit lyrics' on the station's music system. "There was no 'E', how was I meant to know?", one of the other presenters commented.

After someone complained about the incident to OfCom, bosses at Inspiration FM told the regulator that in the 27 years it has broadcast its 'IFM Kids' show, nothing like this has every happened before. They also stressed the unedited version of the Central Cee track was played by mistake and that the presenters apologised immediately.

But, in its report, OfCom criticises the station for failing to ensure that the sweary version of the Central Cee track could not be played in the studio. They also add that the on-air conversation between the child presenters after the swears had been aired suggests that they were not being properly supervised.

"We noted that, when the offensive language was broadcast, there did not appear to be any adult intervention or presence in the studio", the regulator says in its report.

Inspiration FM's own policies state that any presenters under the age of sixteen must be supervised, though the station admitted that it was short-staffed back in January due to illness.

"We took into account the licensee's representations that the song had been played in error", OfCom states. "However, we noted that Inspiration Radio had had the opportunity to check the song prior to broadcast and failed to do so. This failure had resulted in the young presenters being exposed to offensive and unsuitable content".

"We acknowledged the various steps taken by Inspiration Radio since the incident to improve compliance", it adds. "However, for the reasons listed above, we considered that the licensee failed to take due care over the welfare and the dignity of the child presenters, in breach of [broadcasting rules]".


Economics Of Music Streaming timeline
The UK government's economics of music streaming projects continue, with a new music metadata code and website recently published, and a music-maker remuneration working group announced.

That work was instigated after the big inquiry into the digital music business undertaken by the UK Parliament's culture select committee in 2021.

Don't forget you can track all of CMU's coverage of the inquiry and the subsequent government-led work, as well as other relevant debates, on this CMU Timeline in the CMU Library.

Suede cancel Brixton Academy shows that would have taken place on the anniversary of fatal crowd crush
Suede have canceled shows that were due to take place at the Brixton Academy later this year, replacing them with some more intimate gigs at the near by Electric Brixton venue.

That decision comes amid continued uncertainty regarding the future of the Brixton Academy. It has been closed ever since two people died as a result of a crowd crush at a sold out Asake show last December.

Venue operator the Academy Music Group has put forward plans for safely reopening the building. However, London's Metropolitan Police have criticised AMG, stating that the company has not properly responded to all of the concerns they have raised about the crowd crush.

With that in mind, the police have requested that local authority Lambeth Council undertake a full review of AMG's venue licence, proposing that it be revoked. That resulted in a campaign from music fans calling on police and the council to ensure that the Brixton Academy can continue to operate as a music venue.

Numerous shows that were due to take place at the venue this year have obviously had to relocate to other venues in London. The first of two Suede concerts scheduled at the venue later this year would have taken place on the one year anniversary of the crowd crush. It's possible that the band decided that that would be inappropriate, even if the venue is back up and running by then.

Suede confirmed yesterday that their Brixton Academy shows on 15 and 16 Dec have been cancelled. They then added: "In order to minimise disappointment, particularly for those of you that have already planned/paid for travel and accommodation, Suede will be playing three smaller shows at The Electric in Brixton on Friday 15, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 Dec".

Anyone with tickets for the Brixton Academy shows will get automatic refunds and then priority access to tickets for the Electric Brixton shows.


Bombay Bicycle Club get the fans to do the singing at Rough Trade shows
Bombay Bicycle Club have announced some shows this August where the fans will be doing the singing. Which seems fair enough. Why should the fans get away with just doing the listening?

The band's 'Karaoke Tour' will visit Rough Trade record stores in London, Nottingham and Bristol next month.

In a Twitter post alongside a video of the band doing some karaoke themselves, they write: "Can you sing better than these four terrible singers? If so, join us for a special Bombay karaoke night at Rough Trade London, Nottingham or Bristol".

"We're the backing band; you're the singers", they add. "We'll be playing Bombay songs but may have a few indie disco staples up our sleeves".

So, if you want to sing with Bombay Bicycle Club, get yourself to Rough Trade in London, Nottingham and Bristol on 22, 23 and 24 Aug respectively.


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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