Here is some stuff I did in May 2024…

Travelling montage

Many thanks for all the birthday greetings yesterday. With another orbit of the sun complete, here’s a little montage of some of the magnificent places I got to visit in the last year as I travelled around talking about copyright and streaming (with extra thanks to all the conferences and organisations which invited me). If you’d like me to talk about copyright or streaming in your magnificent place in the next year, do get in touch!

Happy birthday!

A big happy birthday to the magnificent Chris Cooke – by which I obviously mean the cricket player (who, Wikipedia insists, was also born on 30 May). The National Insurance people once told me two other Christopher John Cookes were born on the exact same day as me, so happy birthday to them too I guess. Do any of you want to buy off me? I’m not really using it.

This week’s Setlist

Let’s rewrite some copyright law! That’s what the US music publishers want to do and we explain why in this week’s Setlist podcast. Needless to say, it’s all Spotify’s fault. We also discuss Sony Music suing Marriott Hotels and more of this week’s music business news. Find it wherever you usually find your podcasts.

Big bad Spotify

PRS hosted a panel yesterday about the Music Modernization Act, which provided NMPA boss David Israelite with a great opportunity to be very forthright about big bad Spotify and why its sneaky audiobooks bundling scheme means it’s time to rewrite US copyright law again. You can read my report on the event here – we’ll also be discussing it on this week’s Setlist podcast, which is available tomorrow evening.

This week’s Setlist

If you want to understand why songwriters and music publishers are angry with Spotify, or why broadcasters and podcasters are angry with the BBC, or you’d just like to enjoy a very long sentence about AI from Sony Music, check out this week’s Setlist in your podcast app of choice. We cover all that and more of this week’s music business news.

TGE times

I had a great day at The Great Escape yesterday, back as a delegate rather than as a host (although I did sneak in one panel with the Council Of Music Makers, but that’s a secret, so don’t tell anyone). I caught up with so many people, I’m closer to losing my voice this year than in all those years I did lots of on-stage speaking. Back there this afternoon to meet lots more people and see if I can lose my voice completely.

Fringe stuff

I did some assessing for the Keep It Fringe Fund this week, which has got me all kinds of excited about this year’s Edinburgh Festival, which we’ll be covering again via ThreeWeeks in July and August. If you are planning on being there and are interested in reviewing for us, do let us know ASAP using this form.

This week’s Setlist

I ended up recording bits for three different podcasts while I was in Denmark last week, starting off with this week’s Setlist, which is already out. In it we talk about the UK Parliament’s AI report and the US Senate’s AI discussion, plus UMG and TikTok making up, the latest Co-op Live shenanigans, and more of the week’s music business news. You’ll find it in your podcast app of choice.

Hotel ratings

So I think I’ve finalised the Chris Cooke hotel rating system… 1. Decent wifi. 2. Lots of plug sockets, including by bed. 3. Breakfast from at least 6.30am on weekdays. 4. Take-away coffee cups in the breakfast room. 5. Clear instructions for the shower. And I can reveal that the Radisson Blu in Aarhus is the first confirmed five star hotel under this system!

Spot good times

Great time at Spot so far. Two speed briefings delivered, two panels to go. Plus interesting to hear insights galore from Will Page, Frederik Juul and Hanna Kahlert. Oh, and I got to talk about streaming algorithms with the Prompt podcast, which I must remember to plug once it’s out.

I’m at Spot!

I am back in super sunny Aarhus for the brilliant Spot festival. I’ve two speed briefings to deliver, tomorrow on AI and then, on Saturday, I’ll be looking back at the digital dollar debates of the last ten years. Plus I’ll be joining panels on new streaming payment models and streaming fraud. If you’re at Spot, do come along! Here is some info.

Pathways thanks

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the ‘Understanding The Pathways Into Music’ event in Derby last weekend, building links between music industry and music education, and discussing what young people need to know to pursue a career in music. So many insights shared and lots of great ideas to build on. We still have two more webinars for everyone to attend and then we’ll figure out how to capitalise on all the momentum.