Here is some stuff I did in February 2024…

Back at Spot+

I’ll be back in Denmark for Spot+ in May. I’ll be talking music and AI on the Friday, and then presenting and joining a panel on all things streaming on the Saturday. Also looking forward to hearing from some other brilliant speakers on both topics, including an update from Frederik Juul Jensen on his fascinating research work on streaming models. Hope to see you in Aarhus!

AI speed briefing

The perfect venue for my MENT speed briefing on music and AI. It even prompted me to research an extra ‘Brief History Of AI’ section for the start of the session. Well, I got ChatGPT to write a brief history of AI, but that’s what we call ‘research’ these days. Anyway, thanks to everyone who joined me to talk through the disputes, debates, challenges and opportunities posed by artificial intelligence in the music industry.

I’m at MENT

I’m in Ljubljana at MENT. Yesterday I got to meet some of the alumni of the Eastern European Music Academy, which I’ve delivered some online lectures for. Today, I’ve been talking about streaming – panel earlier, mentoring next – and then tomorrow I’ll be delivering my AI speed briefing.

CMU digested

It’s this week’s CMU Digest, recapping key music business stories from the last seven days. The MLC and Pandora are going to court in a difference of opinion over royalties; Believe CEO Denis Ladegaillerie announces a plan to delist the company from the French stock exchange and return it to private ownership; UK Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch squashes music export funding for Belfast group Kneecap; + more. Read here.

This week’s Setlist

On this week’s Setlist we discuss questions and potential legal action over the politicisation of arts funding, as Kneecap are denied money by the British government and Arts Council England issues new guidance for anyone thinking of being controversial. Plus the legal battle over royalties currently brewing between MLC and Pandora, and some nostalgic safe harbour chat. Access the podcast via the CMU website or whichever app you feel does the podcasting thing the best.

Heading to MENT

This time next week I’ll be in Ljubljana for the latest edition of the magnificent MENT. On the Thursday I’ll be talking music and streaming, and on the Friday music and AI. If you’re heading there this year, do say hello!

CMU digested

It’s this week’s CMU Digest, recapping key music business stories from the last seven days. It’s Q4 earnings time – and both Warner Music and Spotify released their financials and held earnings calls with analysts and investors; the UK ditched a proposed voluntary code for AI + copyright; commercial radio groups are unhappy at the BBC’s plans for new stations; and the 3tone saga continues. Read here.

Setlist theme

I just remembered that we released an extended version of the Setlist podcast theme tune a couple of years back as part of a big old metadata case study we presented at The Great Escape.

I checked to see if it’s still on Spotify and noticed I’m listed as ‘composer’. Andy actually composed the track, but you do hear me saying “hello” at various points. And if you think it’s outrageous I’m credited as a ‘composer’ just because of that, I agree with you. Clearly I should be listed as ‘lyricist’. But metadata can be tricky.

Anyway, don’t listen to that, sign up to the podcast instead. New edition out later today!

CMU digested

It’s this week’s CMU Digest, recapping key music business stories from the last seven days. Who will blink first in the UMG x TikTok standoff; Women & Equalities Committee report says music industry is “boys club” and misogyny is “endemic”; the UK’s Transparency Code was finally published; the House Of Lords published a surprisingly insightful report on AI; deepfake images of Taylor Swift surfaced on X resulting in calls for new legislation. Read here.

Transparency Code

The UK Intellectual Property Office yesterday published a transparency code that has been agreed by the music industry, which I’ve been involved in developing for some time, initially on behalf of MMF and later the wider Council Of Music Makers.

Throughout the digital dollar project, the lack of transparency around streaming deals and digital royalties was repeatedly raised as a key concern. The code is a compromise, and is a starting point rather than the end game. But I think we have a framework that can bring about some positive change.

Transparency is first and foremost a communications challenge, and there are some great communicators in the music industry. If that’s you and you want to know how you can help make this work, do get in touch!