TODAY'S TOP STORY: Triller has settled its legal battle with Sony Music, though a dispute with Universal Music Publishing continues. That's according to a filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission in relation to plans by the TikTok rival to directly list on the New York Stock Exchange without an Initial Public Offering... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Triller confirms it has settled Sony Music legal dispute
DEALS Iconic announces deal with Cher
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Nettwerk Music Group launches new European HQ in Hamburg
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Jeremy Corbyn's Music For The Many initiative allies with the Save The Leadmill campaign
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Qobuz partners with Soho Radio
MEDIA Bauer Media launches Greatest Hits Radio spin-off station Ken Bruce's Secret 60s
ONE LINERS Chai, Stormzy, Kobalt, more
AND FINALLY... Stream-ripping site claims rivals are hitting its Google ranking by filing Rickrolling copyright notices
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Triller confirms it has settled Sony Music legal dispute
Triller has settled its legal battle with Sony Music, though a dispute with Universal Music Publishing continues. That's according to a filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission in relation to plans by the TikTok rival to directly list on the New York Stock Exchange without an Initial Public Offering.

Sony Music sued Triller last August claiming that the video sharing app owed it millions in unpaid royalties and had continued to use music controlled by the major even after its licensing deal had been terminated. Universal Music Publishing then went legal over unpaid royalties in January this year.

Having originally courted the music industry, late last year Triller started to play down the importance of commercially released music on its platform.

It let some of its music licences lapse and said that its data suggested that creators posting videos onto its platform didn't need access to commercially released music, preferring to create their own soundtracks or tap audio uploaded by other Triller creators.

The Triller company originally planned to list itself on the Nasdaq stock exchange via a merger with SeaChange International, shares in which already trade on said stock exchange. When that deal fell through, Triller said it would seek a direct listing, ultimately opting for the New York Stock Exchange.

The SEC filing discusses Triller's legal battle with the music industry. On the Sony dispute, it states: "On 16 May, 2023, the court entered partial final judgment in favour of [Sony] on [its] breach of contract claim, and ordered the company to pay plaintiffs $4,574,250".

"Thereafter", it adds, "the company and the plaintiffs entered into a confidential settlement agreement dated 21 Jul, 2023 to resolve plaintiffs' remaining claims and provide for an agreed plan for payment of the judgment".

As part of that deal, "the company agreed to pay an additional sum of money to plaintiffs and, upon receipt by plaintiffs of certain payments under the agreement, plaintiffs agreed to release claims arising under the content distribution agreement, effective 1 Sep 2016, between the parties and this action".

Elsewhere in the document it also confirms: "We are in litigation with Universal Music Publishing Group in connection with a payment dispute, and such litigation will likely result in the payment of settlement amounts, which may have a material impact on our financial condition and results of operations".


Iconic announces deal with Cher
Cher has sold a "range of music assets" to the Iconic Artists Group, the company co-founded by veteran artist manager Irving Azoff.

Needless to say, Cher is "THRILLED". Though technically about her long-standing friendship with Azoff. She's "pleased" about the deal.

"I've known Irving for 50 years", she says in a statement. "I am THRILLED to still be friends and pleased to have Iconic on board to represent my past work in entertainment from music, TV and film. While I'm still working away, it's good to have a long-time friend to honour and market what I've already accomplished these last decades".

Adds Azoff: "I've been fortunate to count Cher and her sister Georganne as friends from my absolute early days arriving in LA where we all chased our dreams".

"Over the past six decades", he goes on, "Cher has transcended boundaries, reached the pinnacle in music, TV and film, and became a global superstar. We are proud to work with the one and only Cher to extend her legacy and promote her talent to future generations".

In terms of what the deal covers, Billboard reports that "IAG has acquired Cher's full interest in her past sound recordings and compositions for a sum that the company declined to reveal".


Nettwerk Music Group launches new European HQ in Hamburg
Canadian music company Nettwerk has formally launched a new European HQ in Hamburg, headed up by Martin Schuhmacher, who has been with the company since 2006.

The Nettwerk Music Group - which has label, publishing and management operations - already has a number of offices beyond its home country, including in LA, New York, Sydney and London. It says that the new Hamburg base is part of a move to "expand its European activities and presence with investments in both infrastructure and teams".

Says Nettwerk boss Terry McBride: "We are very excited to open our new European headquarters in Hamburg. It is an important music location in Europe and has earned an excellent global reputation through initiatives such as the Reeperbahn Festival".

"We find the conditions ideal to intensify our European activities, enter new local partnerships and offer even better support to our artists in Europe", he goes on. "Martin Schuhmacher, together with his team, will expand cooperation with the local music community, sign local acts, inspire people, and further strengthen our presence in Europe".

Schuhmacher himself adds: "Our focus is on working with emerging independent artists to connect them with music fans around the world. This gives them the opportunity to make a living doing what they love: making music! We see ourselves as a flexible partner for a growing number of artists and their management who strive for independence".

"The company's establishment in Hamburg is a clear indication of our intention to expand further into Europe", he continues. "Our new presence will enable us to better promote the careers of young talents from both Germany and other parts of Europe".


Jeremy Corbyn's Music For The Many initiative allies with the Save The Leadmill campaign
Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn will introduce a gig at Sheffield venue The Leadmill later this month as part of a campaign he is involved in to "secure the long-term future of music venues".

It comes as the team who run the popular Sheffield performance space ramp up their own Save The Leadmill campaign against their landlord. Though that landlord disputes the idea that any such campaign is required to secure the long-term future of this particular venue.

The show at The Leadmill on 19 Aug - headlined by alt-pop artist Zand - is being staged by the Peace And Justice Project, an organisation founded by Corbyn in 2021 with the aim of "bringing people together for social and economic justice, peace and human rights in Britain".

One of its specific campaigns is called Music For The Many. And that has the stated aim of working "with organisations, trade unions and supporters to promote and secure the long-term futures of music venues as community assets and support people from marginalised communities in accessing opportunities in the creative industry".

Which is a very admirable aim, of course, given it's no secret that grassroots venues face huge pressure at the moment and are closing down at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, the team who currently run The Leadmill are fighting moves by their landlord to remove them from the building, which sounds like just the fight the Music For The Many campaign was set up to support.

Except, of course, the Save The Leadmill campaign is a little more complicated, given that the landlord isn't a property developer that wants to turn the building used by the venue into residential apartments. Instead it's the Electric Group, a music company that already runs venues in London, Bristol and Newcastle, and which now wants to directly programme and manage The Leadmill.

Nevertheless, since it launched last year, the Save The Leadmill campaign has won a lot of support from artists and music fans. And in an emotive video posted last week, the venue's current management team said: "This is the battle for the soul of Sheffield, it's a battle for everything that has made our city what it is today".

Electric Group boss Dominic Madden has been very critical of current Leadmill operator Phil Mills and his Save The Leadmill campaign, which - Madden argues - is misleading people into thinking that the venue faces closure rather than simply a change in management. In fact, Madden insists, his company bought the building that houses The Leadmill to safeguard its long term future.

He said in a recent statement: "Phil Mills, the current operator of the Leadmill, had several opportunities to purchase the freehold of the building, including during a public auction in 2014. However, he chose not to pursue this course of action, and as a result, Electric Group acquired the freehold in 2016".

He went on: "Electric Group acquired the Leadmill building from MCR Properties with a genuine concern for its future and the possibility of redevelopment. As operators of multiple music venues across the UK, it seemed only natural that we would step in to protect this iconic space".

Despite all that, the current Leadmill team still have plenty of supporters. Including Corbyn, who said earlier this week: "The Leadmill is an absolutely iconic music venue with a phenomenal heritage in British music".

"The jobs of the dedicated staff team are threatened by the new landlords", he added, "and there are real concerns on their ability to maintain the venue in the safe, inclusive manner that all community spaces need to be run. We stand with the workers and community in defence of this absolutely vital piece of music history".

On the show being presented by as part of his Music For The Many campaign later this month, the politician continued: "We are delighted to announce Zand as the headline act of our biggest Music For The Many show yet. Exciting new artists like Zand are just part of the reason the government must do more to protect venues like The Leadmill. Without them, wonderful talents like Zand will not be able to develop their craft and build up support to advance their careers".

The Electric Group has now begun legal action to force Mills out of The Leadmill building, with that case due to get to court next year. Meanwhile next month Sheffield Council will consider the venue firm's application for its own licence to operate The Leadmill moving forward.


Qobuz partners with Soho Radio
High quality audio digital music platform Qobuz has announced a new creative partnership with London-based Soho Radio.

The collaboration aims, we are told, to "redefine the way music enthusiasts connect with emerging artists and grow the following of both brands through a series of on-air shows, live sessions, exclusive mixes and specially curated playlists".

Qobuz will have a presence on James Endeacott's daily morning show on Soho Radio, which is called 'Morning Glory', plus the two companies will together record twelve live sessions over the next six months. Content from those sessions will made available via both the radio station and the streaming service.

"Soho Radio's audience is a perfect fit for Qobuz, and vice-versa", says Qobuz MD Dan Mackta. "I got a great response when I guested on 'Morning Glory' earlier this year, and working with James and the team is always fun and exciting".

Soho Radio Station Manager Rachael Bird adds: "We are THRILLED to partner with Qobuz - as pure music lovers and enthusiasts ourselves, this is a tailor-made fit to join forces and create some really unique content for our listeners. We can't wait to get going!"


Bauer Media launches Greatest Hits Radio spin-off station Ken Bruce's Secret 60s
Bauer Media is celebrating the fact that Ken Bruce has nearly doubled the audience of its Greatest Hits Radio morning show by launching a whole spin-off station in honour of the DJ.

While the official remit of GHR is "the biggest songs of the 70s, 80s and 90s", the spin-off station will play music from the 1960s. In secret seemingly, given the new station is called Secret 60s.

Bruce left his long-standing Radio 2 show to join Bauer's GHR earlier this year. The latest RAJAR radio listening figures show that he is pulling in about 3 million listeners to his morning show on the station, which is almost double the number of people who tuned in to that time slot on GHR a year ago.

Meanwhile, the morning slot back at Radio 2 lost more than a million listeners in the last quarter after Bruce's departure, with the BBC station's total audience also down about a million.

That said, Bruce's replacement Vernon Kaye only kicked off his new show in the middle of the most recent RAJAR quarter and - even with the post-Bruce slump - that time slot on Radio 2 still gets more than double the audience of Bruce's new show over on GHR. So it's all relative I guess.

The new Secret 60s station will be available to subscribers of the GHR Premium service and will be promoted on the main GHR station this weekend with a smattering of sixties tracks being played in among those "biggest songs of the 70s, 80s and 90s".

Actually, Bruce says he's already been sneaking some 60s songs onto his GHR show. So, is that why the new station has "secret" in it's name. Yeah maybe.

Though the GHR listener who picked the name says "it feels as if we're not meant to like sixties music anymore so in my head this new station is like this little underground club". A secret underground club, presumably.

Bruce himself says of the Secret 60s spin-off station: "Don't tell the bosses but I've been sneaking the odd sixties record into my show for a while now, so the fact that I've got a whole station to now play with is very exciting".

"You can expect the greatest hits, obviously", he goes on, "but also some buried treasure you haven't heard in a while. I'm sure many people will agree it's the soundtrack of our youth! I can't wait for you to hear it, just don't tell anyone – it's a secret remember!"


Approved: Aho Ssan
Aho Ssan - aka composer Niamké Désiré - is set to release his second solo album 'Rhizomes' this autumn. Commissioned by Nicolás Jaar's Other People label, Austria's Donaufestival and Paris recording studio INA GRM, the record features a whole host of guests, including Clipping, Mondkopf and Jaar himself.

The album draws inspiration and takes its name from the philosophical theory of an endlessly-evolving structure with no beginning or end, developed by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guatarri. "The root thought is the one that kills everything around itself while the rhizome is the root that stretches out to meet other roots", Désiré explains.

Sending the sprawling audio representation of this idea out into the world is the album's first single 'Till The Sun Down', which features cellist Resina and the unmistakable voice of Clipping's Daveed Diggs.

Set for release on 6 Oct, the album will be accompanied by a book featuring illustrations by Kim Grano.

Listen to 'Till The Sun Down' here.

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



Kobalt has promoted Kenny McGoff to UK Head Of Creative. He was previously Head Of A&R in the UK. "Kenny's dynamic spirit and passion for music is infectious", says Kobalt COO Jeannette Perez. "He has been integral in continuing to build Kobalt as a preeminent destination for songwriters and his leadership has undoubtedly furthered our creative success. His promotion is well deserved, and I am excited to see him take on this new role and lead our UK creative team".

Matador Records has formally announced a number of recent appointments. Alex Keague-Davies steps up from UK General Manager in the London office to the role of General Manager of the global label in the New York office. Emma Buchanan has been promoted to Director Of A&R and Jake Whitener to the new role of Director Of Digital A&R, while Malcolm Donaldson becomes Senior Manager Catalogue & Operations. In the London office, Josh Turner is promoted to Senior Project Manager and Rachel Mercer joins the company as Junior Project Manager.

Booking agency Wasserman Music has announced four new hires. In the US, Andrew Buck joins as VP, and Andrew Morgan and Ryan Soroka as agents. In the UK, Shanae Dennis joins as an agent. "We're THRILLED to welcome this outstanding group of respected agents and industry movers to the Wasserman Music family", says the firm's EVP & Managing Executive Lee Anderson.



Stormzy has released new freestyle 'Angel In The Mist'.

Chai have released new single 'Neo Kawaii, K?' Their new album 'Chai' is out on 22 Sep.

Orla Gartland has released new single 'Kiss Ur Face Forever'.

Glasser has released new single 'All Lovers'. "It just kind of happened", she says of the song. "I didn't really have a great lyrical plan, I was going through a break-up, and I just sang some of the words that were on the page and felt their shape more than their meaning". New album 'Crux' is out on 6 Oct.



Finneas has announced that he will play his first ever UK headline show at the Electric Ballroom in London on 30 Aug. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

Steve Mason has announced new UK tour dates in December, alongside a remix of his track 'No More' by Shabaka Hutchings.

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


Stream-ripping site claims rivals are hitting its Google ranking by filing Rickrolling copyright notices
The operator of a stream-ripping service has gone legal in the US after seemingly being Rickrolled by a competitor. Well, sort of. The operator of the Y2Mate and YTMP3 platforms reckons that its Google ranking has been hit by a dubious copyright notice linked to Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up'.

There has been much debate, of course, about the legal status of stream-ripping sites, which allow people to grab permanent downloads of temporary streams, most commonly YouTube streams. The music industry reckons that these sites mainly exist to facilitate copyright infringement. But the stream-rippers counter that their websites have plenty of legitimate uses too.

That said, music companies - and other copyright owners - have had some success when targeting stream-ripping services with legal action. And with the music industry seeing stream-ripping as a top piracy problem, there has been plenty of legal action.

Sometimes that's full-on litigation. Other times the record labels have sought to get web-blocking orders against stream-ripping platforms. And sometimes they complain to Google, hoping to make it harder for people to find stream-ripping services via the search engine.

When the Recording Industry Association Of America tried to get the stream-ripping service Yout de-listed from Google entirely, it hit back and actually sued the record industry trade group.

However, the RIAA then successfully argued in court that Yout's platform circumvents technical protection measures put in place by YouTube to stop users downloading content from its site, and in doing so violates US copyright law. Yout has now taken that dispute to appeal.

Meanwhile, Y2Mate says that it is not only having to deal with copyright notices being filed against it by the music industry, but now its rivals are also filing such notices with Google. Or at least one rival is. It's still figuring out who exactly is behind these notices.

But it matters, because Google may delist or at least downgrade websites that are on the receiving end of lots of copyright notices, provided they are issued in line with procedures set out in the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

And, assuming Y2Mate's allegations are true, presumably its competitor is hoping that if it can get its rival downgraded in Google search, people searching for a stream-ripping service may be more likely to be directed to its site.

But the DMCA provides a number of rules regarding the sending of copyright takedown notices, in particular only the copyright owner or their agent can issue said notices. And Y2Mate reckons that its rival is submitting complaints about its stream-ripping sites by citing the ripping of audio from YouTube videos that that rival does not control.

For example, an entity called End Of YouTube Converter issued one copyright notice stating that Y2Mate was facilitating the unlicensed ripping of Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up'.

Given that entity doesn't seem to have any ties to the label or publishers that control the Astley hit, Y2Mate argues that that's not a legitimate copyright notice. And the sender clearly picked the 'Never Gonna Give You Up' video as a nod to the infamous Rickrolling meme.

Seemingly confirming that it is definitely caught up in a battle with a rogue copyright notice sender, Y2Mate adds that - on 15 Jul - it sent a cease and desist letter to an email address linked to the notices. Two days later a new copyright notice was filed against Y2Mate linking to Cee Lo Green's 'Fuck You'. So, fun times.

With all that in mind, the operator of Y2Mate wants the courts to intervene. Though, of course, from a music business perspective, if rival stream-ripping sites could Rickroll each other into oblivion, that would save the industry's anti-piracy chiefs quite a lot of effort.


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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