Here is some stuff I did in August 2020…

Virtually Tallinn

It was great to be in Tallinn yesterday, even if it was on a screen as I delivered a presentation from my desk in London. Either way, it’s still nice to get outside of Zone Three, even if it’s virtually. Hopefully in 2021 I’ll get to talk digital dollars, distribution revolutions and all that other music and copyright stuff on some actual stages. Thanks to Tallinn Music Week for letting me on your big screen!

Chapman v Minaj

The Tracy Chapman v Nicki Minaj copyright case is getting interesting. On one level, it’s just another uncleared sample dispute. But it also contrasts common music industry practice with what copyright law actually says. We reported on the latest developments in yesterday’s CMU Daily. Or if you don’t like reading, we’ll be discussing it on next week’s Setlist podcast.

Fortnite v Apple

The big Fortnite v Apple bust up is equal parts fascinating, dangerous and hilarious. Indeed, it’s fair to say, it’s pretty Epic. As a gaming story, it’s not even really CMU territory, but the potential impact on the wider media and digital sectors (not to mention Spotify’s interest in it all) means we’ll be covering it quite closely in the CMU Daily. Plus there’s some chit chat about the story so far on this week’s Setlist.

Tallinn Music Week

It’s Tallinn Music Week next week, with actual showcases and conference sessions in actual rooms and everything. Though there’s also an online strand to the conference, which is where I’ll be presenting a session on the ‘Distribution Revolution’ report we produced with AIM last year and then chatting about the evolution of music distribution, the emergence of artist services, and what that means for artists and labels. Info here.

Future of live music

I do like it when different strands of my life collide. Tomorrow I’ll be hosting a debate on the future of live music as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Central programme of online events. Post-COVID, will everything just return to normal or is gigging changed forever? Joining me to debate that will be music journalist Arusa Qureshi, Jamie Sutherland from Broken Records and Summerhall, Mark Howe from The Neutrinos, and Ric Salmon from ATC Management. It’s tomorrow at 2.30pm and entry is free. Info here.

Twitchy music stuff

Interesting to see Twitch’s music licensing gaps and challenges rising up the industry’s agenda of late. We ran a story on the latest developments in today’s CMU Daily – will Jeff Bezos step forward with a licensing update for US Congress and the Artist Rights Alliance? – plus I gave a couple of quotes in this recent and more in-depth piece on ‘Should streamers be worried about DMCA strikes on Twitch?’

Virtual Festival 2020

Had the world not gone weird, I’d currently be in Edinburgh meeting a multitude of performers with Edinburgh Fringe shows to promote. That isn’t happening. But Edinburgh’s festivals and the Fringe community are presenting a plethora of online shows this month and ThreeWeeks is covering all that. Look out for Caro’s tips and interviews this month at – or sign up to our TW Weekly bulletin to get it all by email.

TikTok cakes

Look what just arrived! And just as I’m finishing off today’s CMU Daily Top Story on Trump’s grand TikTok ban. But it won’t affect my totally independent reporting on that outrageous, unwarranted and unforgivable decision by the US President. Honest. I should add, it’s because TikTok is celebrating its second birthday in the UK. Nothing more sinister than that. Oh my God, have the cup cakes been bugged by the Chinese government? Quick, I better eat them all!

Streaming chatter

Lots more interesting chatter about the streaming music business model this week following the most recent Spotify figures. I won’t add to it all just at the moment (and only partly because I’m too busy writing nonsense about Panini sticker albums), but – if you missed them back in May – I think our Setlist specials ‘The Ten Things People Get Wrong About Streaming’ provide plenty of useful background info to anyone wanting to join in the debate. You can tune in here.

A:E Day thanks!

Thanks to everyone who tuned in to our Artist:Entrepreneur Day yesterday and all the brilliant experts who took part. I particularly enjoyed hearing how Roxanne, Emma and Kimberly have been using social and direct-to-fan platforms in recent months. I think one of the very few up-sides of lockdown has been artists and managers having time to experiment with and capitalise on the still often under-tapped D2F side of the business. That’s why we expanded this section of A:E Day and, as a result, there were loads of great tips and ideas on offer. Thanks again!