|WEDNESDAY 19 JULY 2023||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: After much chatter of late about the ongoing licensing negotiations between TikTok and the major record labels, Warner Music yesterday announced a new deal with the social media company - a “first-of-its-kind partnership” no less. That announcement came as TikTok's new standalone music service went live in three more countries... [READ MORE]|
Warner Music announces new deal with TikTok, as TikTok Music arrives in three more markets
The new deal involves both the Warner Music record company and music publishing business Warner Chappell, and covers various platforms run by TikTok owner Bytedance. That includes the main TikTok app and the recently launched TikTok Music, as well as video editing app CapCut and the social media firm's Commercial Music Library.
In their announcement, Warner and TikTok also say that they will work together to "create new revenue, marketing, and insights opportunities for [the major's] artists and songwriters" as well as "deepening the engagement with TikTok's huge audience of passionate music fans", while also developing "additional and alternative economic models". Which all sounds like fun.
Although the music industry has had licensing deals in place with TikTok for some time, there has been increased criticism in the last year about how much money the digital firm is paying over to the music community.
A 2022 report from the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry reckoned that as much music is consumed on social media platforms as on streaming services like Spotify. However, the streaming services pay significantly more into the music industry each year.
And aside from how much money is generated in total, the structure of the music industry's deals with social media companies is often different than with Spotify et al. The latter operate on a revenue share model, whereas the likes of Meta and TikTok initially negotiated lump sum deals, where they pay a set fee per year oblivious of how much music is actually used.
With those social media firms' own revenues booming, some in the music industry have been seeking to get revenue share arrangements with them too. Although, as music is only one part of what those platforms do, figuring out how a revenue share model might work is more challenging.
All of this put a lot of pressure on TikTok as it sought to negotiate its next round of licensing deals with the music industry. The marketing value of TikTok is also a factor of course, and Bytedance will have sought to exploit that in order to get a better deal.
Plus, it's been known for some time that Bytedance planned to more closely integrate its standalone music service Resso with the TikTok app, and then roll that service out globally. That process began earlier this month when Resso basically relaunched as TikTok Music in Brazil and Indonesia.
As that service arrives in more countries, it will mean that the main TikTok platform is more overtly promoting a premium music service that pays money into the music industry more akin to Spotify.
YouTube did the same thing, of course, and that very much helped it improve its relationships with the music industry. So Bytedance's plans for TikTok Music will have been a key part of the most recent round of deal-making too.
Obviously, those negotiations and the deals that come out the other end are always top secret, but whatever has been agreed with Warner Music will result in a "significantly improved partnership", the major's CEO Robert Kyncl declared yesterday.
"We are happy and excited for our next chapter together with TikTok", says Kyncl. "Through this expanded and significantly improved partnership for both companies, we can jointly deliver greater value to WMG's artists and songwriters and TikTok's users".
Shou Chew, CEO of TikTok, adds: "We are very excited to partner with Warner Music Group to create a shared vision for the future in which artists, songwriters, music fans, and the industry can all benefit from the power of discovery on TikTok platforms".
So that all sounds just great. Although, there has also been criticism within the music-maker community about the total lack of transparency regarding the music industry's past deals with TikTok. So it will be interesting to see how much Warner now tells its artists and songwriters about the "new opportunities" and "economic models" referenced in yesterday's deal announcement, and exactly how they will generate royalties for music-makers.
Also, it is not yet clear quite how TikTok and TikTok Music will work together. The latter is likely to become a bigger talking point in the music community as it begins its global expansion. Last night it was announced that TikTok Music is now beta testing in Mexico, Australia and Singapore, meaning the new service is now operating beyond the markets where Resso already existed.
"TikTok Music is a new kind of music service that combines the power of music discovery on TikTok with a music streaming service offering millions of tracks from thousands of artists", a TikTok spokesperson stated. "We are now beta testing TikTok Music in Australia, Mexico [and] Singapore, and will have more news to share on the launch of TikTok Music in the coming months".
Las Vegas home searched as part of new investigation into the murder of Tupac
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department carried out a search of a home in Henderson, a suburb of the city where Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting on 7 Sep 1996. No arrests have ever been made in relation to the killing, with police claiming in the past that their investigations quickly stalled because no witnesses were willing to cooperate.
In a new statement, the police said: "LVMPD can confirm a search warrant was served in Henderson, Nevada on 17 Jul 2023, as part of the ongoing Tupac Shakur homicide investigation. We will have no further comment at this time".
Regarding the new investigation into the 1996 murder, the Las Vegas Review Journal quotes police officer Jason Johansson as saying: "It's a case that's gone unsolved and hopefully one day we can change that".
Nevada does not have a statute of limitations for prosecuting homicide cases, which means if the new investigation does gather useful evidence or testimonies, criminal proceedings could be pursued against any suspects.
Mushroom Group launches new booking agency MBA
"Mushroom has been esteemed as the independent leader in the Australian music and entertainment industry", says Yilmaz. "Partnering with a company that not only emphasises but promotes an independent entrepreneurial culture was essential to me".
"[Mushroom CEO] Matt Gudinski has long been successful in the touring realm, and he's continued to foster a culture that empowers those he works with", he goes on. "There was room for a new and dynamic offering within Mushroom, so partnering with Matt on MBA was incredibly appealing and a natural progression".
Gudinski adds: "We're delighted to have Guven join the Mushroom family. He's a very well respected agent and operator, with an incredible track record to boot. I look forward to establishing this new agency together with Guven and the team".
In addition to Yilmaz, the team at MBA includes Shelley Liu and Sam Rogers, while the Sydney office will be led by former Niche agent Matt Thomson. Its roster at launch includes Peking Duk, Bliss N Eso, Conrad Sewell, Skin On Skin, Winston Surfshirt, Big Wett, Kaylee Bell, Milan Ring and Tasman Keith.
MBA will operate alongside all the other label, publishing, management and live music businesses that make up the Mushroom Group, which also includes another booking agency, Premier Artists.
SoundCloud partners with Sony on artist accelerator programme
The artists chosen to participate this year are Wolfacejoeyy, DJ_Dave, Nitepunk, Sojabrat, and Sim0ne, all of whom - we're told - are "creating new musical landscapes in a unique way that can only be done on SoundCloud".
They will be given access to one-to-one mentoring, early access to SoundCloud beta tools and new Sony audio creation technologies, marketing support, opportunities to perform at SoundCloud and Sony-hosted events, and more.
"First On SoundCloud has always been about empowering emerging artists and fostering music discovery for our listeners", says Emmy Lovell, Global Head Of Music at SoundCloud.
"Partnering with Sony's audio team is a great step in this mission", she continues. "We're THRILLED to unveil the new class of breakout talent and embark on a collaborative roadmap to hit creative milestones, expand global fanbases, and make a significant impact in each artist's unique journey".
Head Of Brand & Business Development at Sony America, Jordy Freed, adds: "Sony's audio team is always looking towards the future and collaborating with SoundCloud on this artist accelerator programme aligns with our mission to support music creation and artists on the rise with our latest products and tools".
"We hope to further bolster this incredible line-up of talent with our upcoming brand platform and campaign that puts creator vision first", he goes on.
Launched in 2018, First On SoundCloud has seen artists including Kehlani, Peggy Gou and Little Simz pass through its ranks.
Paul McCartney to tell the stories behind his lyrics on new podcast
Indeed, the idea for the podcast came from reviewing recordings of interviews that were done as part of writing that book, explains Muldoon. He says in a preview episode released this week: "When we listened back to the tapes, we realised there was something very special happening in these conversations. It was McCartney unfiltered".
Each episode of the show will see McCartney and Muldoon focus on a single song from the former's catalogue, delving into the inspirations behind them. The twelve episode first series will focus on songs including 'Eleanor Rigby', 'Let It Be', 'Penny Lane', 'Live And Let Die' and more.
Produced by Malcolm Gladwell's Pushkin podcast company, the first episode will be released on 20 Sep, with Pushkin+ subscribers getting access to the full first series on the same day.
First series, you say? Yeah, there's a second already planned to get underway in February 2024. Oh, and also, the paperback edition of 'The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present' will be published in November this year. So, all in all, a great time to be a McCartney nerd.
AIM Independent Music Awards announces nominations
"This years' AIM Independent Music Award nominees represent our diverse, dynamic and inclusive community, truly showcasing the incredible range of talent across all genres of the UK music scene", says AIM chief exec Silvia Montello. "As the indie sector continues to grow, we look forward to celebrating the dedication of labels, artists and their teams".
The awards will be dished out at the Roundhouse in London on 26 Sep. Right now, voting for Best Live Performer is open here.
And the nominees are:
UK Independent Breakthrough
Best Independent Track
Best Independent EP/Mixtape
Best Independent Album
Best Independent Remix
One To Watch
Best Independent Video
Universal Music has appointed Sally Davies as Managing Director of Abbey Road Studios. "It's truly an honour and privilege to be taking on the role of Managing Director of Abbey Road Studios, a place of great music and ground-breaking sound", she says. "I'm excited about going on this journey with the fantastic team who have fostered the environment of creativity and innovation, and help make Abbey Road the special place that it is".
Melanie C leads a group of artists who have recorded an unofficial anthem for England's women's football team as they head to the World Cup, titled 'Call Me A Lioness'. Also on the track are Self Esteem, Wolf Alice's Ellie Rowsell, Marika Hackman, Rachel Chinouriri, Shura, Jasmine Jethwa, Rose Gray, Highlyy and Sports Team's Al Greenwood.
Noah Kahan has released a new collaboration with Post Malone, titled 'Dial Drunk'. "I never know when or why a song is going to land, and to see the meaning and connection you have drawn from this track has inspired me in a way I have never been inspired before", says Kahan. "You can only imagine my shock and excitement when Post told me he wanted to not only sing on it, but [also to] write his own verse. It has been a dream come true to make this collaboration happen".
Ash have released new single 'Like A God' from upcoming new album 'Race The Night'. Says frontman Tim Wheeler: "'Like A God' pushes the rock aspect of the album to its furthest limits. An ode to sexual apotheosis it revels in a carnal riff played with mantra-like repetition before reaching a frenzied climax".
Ariana Delawari has teamed up with Devendra Banhart on new single 'You Can Love Again'. "I wrote 'You Can Love Again' as a mantra of trying to create peace amidst destruction on Earth", she says. "I asked my friend Devendra Banhart to join me on the song, as I felt that our voices together could reach people's hearts".
Molly Burch has released new single 'Physical'. She will release new album 'Daydreamer' on 29 Sep. The LP was inspired by diaries she wrote as a thirteen year old, she explains: "Growing up I was extremely shy and filled with self-hatred. I would hide out in my bedroom to watch TV and daydream. I was so uncomfortable in my body and that was the age I started dealing with body dysmorphia, which later formed into an eating disorder. It was also the age I started realising I could sing, and how badly I wanted to pursue that, but told myself I couldn't".
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
BTS singer V named brand ambassador for Cartier
V has "distinctive characteristics as a dancer, musician and art enthusiast" and "makes choices driven by his own creativity and shows his unique style and elegance", says Cartier, explaining exactly why he's the perfect person for this job.
This latest deal makes it even more expensive for BTS fans who want to embrace the jewellery and fashion brands that their favourite pop stars profess to prefer (when paid to do so).
Earlier this year, V was also announced as a brand ambassador for the luxury brand Celine. Meanwhile, Jimin has previously fronted a campaign for Tiffany & Co, while RM has hawked the wares of Bottega, and Jungkook is a global ambassador for Calvin Klein.
While all this goes on, we are expecting more BTS members to follow the group's elder statesmen Jin and J-Hope into compulsory military service in their home country at some point in the relatively near future. Although Jungkook is currently doing a good job of not doing that by releasing some solo material, mainly his recently released debut solo single 'Seven'.