Here is some stuff I did in May 2020…

Birthday stuff

In the old world BC there were plans afoot that would have meant I’d have been back in Tanzania running workshops for the local music community around about my birthday. Which would have been nice. But I spent yesterday recording a podcast, stocking up on supplies and enjoying a steak dinner in Leytonstone – which was nice too! And there’s always the snow globes as a reminder of the BC travelling. Plus there were social media birthday greetings from all over the world – they were very nice as well – thank you one and all!

Shut-up Alexa

I bought an Echo because I was worried Amazon didn’t have enough personal data about me and my business compared to Google and Facebook. First lesson? If you are pre-recording a webinar that requires you to say the word “Alexa” remember to turn off the Echo first. Unless you want a very confused virtual co-presenter.

Safe harbours

Last year’s music industry v YouTube battling may seem like a lifetime ago, but the copyright safe harbour was back in the news last week after the US Copyright Office finally published its long-awaited report on the big copyright get-out for internet companies. With that in mind, we made a new CMU Trends ten step guide to all things safe harbour. We also chat about it on this week’s Setlist. Check out the guide hereCheck out the podcast here.

Lockdown reading

This is a very interesting in-depth article on the long-term impact of COVID-19 on live entertainment, which brings together the two separate conversations happening in my social feeds – ie among the music community (CMU) and the Fringe community (ThreeWeeks). As someone who gets ever so slightly claustrophobic in packed-out venues, I actually quite like the idea of socially-distanced gigs and shows. But, of course, there are all sorts of reasons why it won’t work, as Neil Cooper sets out really well here.

Webinar tunes

During today’s CMU Lockdown Webinar it was suggested we should use CMU Approved tracks during the pre-session countdown, rather than our super funky / slightly cheesy / really very annoying [delete as applicable] library music. So I’m now thinking of putting together a webinar on the complexities of licensing music for inclusion in webinars. Anyone interested?

Latest Setlist

Today we published part two of the special edition of Setlist that runs through the ten things people get wrong about streaming. With the digital pie debate very much back on the agenda, over these two episodes we run through the ten things people often misunderstand or simply don’t know about in relation to the streaming business, all of which impact on how digital royalties get shared out between and distributed to everyone in the music community. Check the latest edition of Setlist here.

AIM House thanks

Thank you to everyone who made yesterday’s AIM House virtual conference possible – the AIM team, the sponsors, our brilliant panellists and everyone who tuned in. It reminded me how much I like moderating panels at TGE – meaning I missed the whole thing even more – but it was great to be able to go ahead with some of our conversations in an online form. I presented lots of super speedy briefings along the way and you can download the slides from them at

Cook with Wide Days

In the absence of The Great Escape, don’t forget AIM and CMU are presenting a series of online panels tomorrow in the virtual AIM House – see you there at 10am! But if what you’re really missing from the TGE Conference is the legendary Scottish networking bash from Wide Days, well they’re on hand with some advice on how to replicate at least part of it in your own home. No prizes for guessing what Scottish delicacy this ‘how to make’ video is talking you through!

Missing Brighton

In a parallel universe I’m currently in Brighton at the end of the first day of the Great Escape Conference. In this universe I am not. However – thanks to AIM inviting us to host a room in their virtual AIM House conference on Friday – I am still sitting at my laptop writing briefing notes for six brilliant panels. No sea front view. But working wifi. Check out CMU’s AIM House programme on this web page here.

More AIM House

The AIM House virtual conference is THIS FRIDAY and we have some great conversations going on in the CMU Insights Room. There’s some background to our big podcasting conversation here. And the lowdown on what our going global panel is all about here. Don’t forget, tickets are free from the AIM House website. Hope to see you there!

More digital pie

With the digital pie (aka “digital strudel”) debate very much alive online at the moment – and the top story in today’s CMU Daily thanks to a new MU and Ivors campaign – we are putting out two special editions of Setlist running through the ten things you need to understand about streaming income to follow that discussion. We also provide a speedy summary of the key points in today’s Daily plus you can currently download our CMU Trends ten step guide to digital dollars for free. Info on all that here.

Loud & Quiet

Two years ago I joined Gareth Main on a stage in Jakarta (of all places!) to talk about the challenges facing music media and music journalism in the digital age. It was a very interesting conversation. Now, in the context of Loud & Quiet’s battle to survive the COVID-19 lockdown, Gareth has written a piece on the same topic. Definitely worth a read. We’ll be covering some of the same ground in the first CMU session at the AIM House virtual conference on Friday – hope you can tune in!

Music education debate

We’re currently providing some context to the panels CMU is presenting as part of next week’s AIM House virtual conference. One session will put the spotlight back on our Pathways Into Music project which is mapping music careers and exploring the best ways to support new music talent. Aspiring music-makers today need to think like entrepreneurs. So, could and should we teach entrepreneurialism within music education? And what does that even mean?! We’ve got a great panel of creative entrepreneurs and fanbase building experts to debate that topic. Info here.

Music media debate

Next week we’re presenting a series of discussions as part of the AIM House virtual conference and we’re currently providing some context for each of those conversations in the CMU Daily. The day will kick off with music media – in print, on air, online, and beyond – in the spotlight. What do we even mean by music media in 2020? In an era where everyone’s an influencer and content is free, how do media find an audience and make money? And what does this mean for the music industry? Check out more info here.

ABC Music Talk

Even though there’s a new edition of Setlist out today, here I am plugging someone else’s podcast! OK, it’s an interview with me. But there are 29 other editions of Alex Branson’s excellent ABC Music Talk podcast, so that’s plenty to choose from without my voice getting in the way. It was great to talk to Alex about all things CMU and digital dollars, and a little bit of lockdown too. Check it all out and tune in here.