THURSDAY 14 JULY 2022 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The BBC and The Guardian have published a series of new interviews accusing Tim Westwood of misconduct and abuse in relation to incidents that took place between 1990 and 2020. The new interviews were initiated after ten women came forward in response to the BBC Three documentary about the former Radio 1 DJ which was aired earlier this year. The experiences of five of the DJ's accusers are covered in a new programme that went live yesterday... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Tim Westwood accused of sexually abusing fourteen year old girl
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DEALS Hipgnosis announces new partnerships with SACEM and Peermusic
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Yolanda Brown named new Chair of the BPI
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MEDIA Promotions galore a Global
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RELEASES Tegan & Sara announce new album, Crybaby
Gilla Band announce new album, Most Normal
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ONE LINERS Harry Styles, Flo Milli, Death Cab For Cutie, more
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AND FINALLY... Triller CEO calls on all Americans to delete rival app TikTok
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WORSHIP ARTISTS - MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
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Our Communications teams across AEG encompasses wowing our customers by promoting our venues and attractions as leading London destinations and by working with external contacts including partners, agencies, tenants, and media contacts to drive regular positive coverage. We now have two positions available; one working at The O2 and one for AEG Europe.

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Locomotion Entertainment is looking for a day to day manager to help manage our roster of some of the most remarkable new British music talent. The role would suit an ambitious and highly driven individual who will form part of our small and hard working management team at the forefront of the global music industry.

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LOCOMOTION ENTERTAINMENT - MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
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We are currently seeking a Label Manager to join our team to assist with our growing number of labels and releases. The ideal candidate will be experienced in managing products from creation to delivery, including marketing and promotional campaigns, building new relationships, and maintaining existing ones. Experience in physical music distribution is preferred, but not essential.

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Tim Westwood accused of sexually abusing fourteen year old girl
The BBC and The Guardian have published a series of new interviews accusing Tim Westwood of misconduct and abuse in relation to incidents that took place between 1990 and 2020. The new interviews were initiated after ten women came forward in response to the BBC Three documentary about the former Radio 1 DJ which was aired earlier this year. The experiences of five of the DJ's accusers are covered in a new programme that went live yesterday.

The original documentary aired in April and saw seven women make allegations of sexual misconduct against Westwood. Three of those women said that, after they agreed to meet with the DJ to discuss their careers in music, he had pressured them into sex. The other four claimed that he had groped them as they posed for photographs at events.

Among the new allegations, one woman - now in her 40s - says that Westwood sought a sexual relationship with her when she was just fourteen. She was a fan of the DJ, who at the time had a show on Capital Radio, and met him in 1990 at a London club night that he ran.

He was definitely aware of her age, because that had come up during a conversation at the club. After a couple of months of being in contact around the club night, Westwood invited the teenager to a West London flat where the sexual abuse began.

The woman recalls how, once in the flat, Westwood began kissing her. She says: "I was like, OK, I don't have a problem with that. And then, it progressed from there. We had sex". Obviously, aged fourteen, the teenager was unable to legally consent to any kind of sexual relationship.

Similar encounters then followed. "I kind of thought it was normal, but that's because I didn't understand the gravity of the situation", she adds. "It wasn't a relationship and it wasn't about love, it was just a thing, and a thing you couldn't discuss with anybody".

The woman says that she broke off contact with Westwood when she was sixteen. She didn't speak about the abuse at the time, she explains, because she felt that she would "get the blame, not him... because I'm no one". However, with hindsight, she believes Westwood was a predator who groomed her for sex.

Another woman accusing Westwood of misconduct says that she was sixteen when she began a sexual relationship with the DJ, having met him at another club night he was involved in. He initially told her he was 27, but she later discovered he was actually in his 40s when the relationship took place.

Although the sex was technically consensual, she says "it didn't feel like a healthy sexual relationship because he was a grown man and I was a teenager". Moreover, during the eighteen months that she was in a relationship with the DJ, he sought to isolate her from friends and family, and to assert control over different aspects of her life.

"It was quite controlling in lots of ways", she claims. "I had a home phone, and he demanded to have the password to it so he would often listen to my messages". She was also obliged to join Westwood on his travels, she says, because he didn't trust her to be on her own.

This particular victim says that she chose to come forward to talk about her experiences because of a statement previously put out by Westwood in response to rumours on social media, in which he said that he could "categorically" state that he had "never had an inappropriate relationship with anyone under the age of eighteen".

Plus, she adds, she feels that Westwood would find it hard to deny that their relationship had occurred because plenty of people saw them together, including at the BBC.

"I'm probably one of the few girls that he couldn't deny being with because there was quite a lot of witnesses", she says, adding: "I wish more people had stepped in … the adults who were around him, the bodyguards, the secretaries, the people who I would say were bystanders".

In addition to the investigation into Westwood's past conduct by BBC News, management at the broadcaster are also looking into complaints made against the DJ. Despite initially saying that they were not aware of any formal complaints against Westwood that pre-dated the BBC Three documentary, BBC bosses recently admitted they had now found some old complaints.

The BBC management investigation is set to publish its findings within the next two weeks. Meanwhile, Capital Radio, where Westwood had shows before and after his nearly two decades at the BBC, are yet to comment on the allegations.

For his part, Westwood has denied all the claims made against him, with a representative earlier this year stating: "Tim Westwood strongly denies all allegations of inappropriate behaviour. In a career that has spanned 40 years, there have never been any complaints made against him officially or unofficially. Tim Westwood strongly rejects all allegations of wrongdoing".

You can read about the latest claims made against the DJ here and watch the new programme on those allegations here.

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Hipgnosis announces new partnerships with SACEM and Peermusic
The Hipgnosis Songs Fund has announced two new deals to help it better manage and exploit the catalogues of song rights it has acquired in recent years, with a new administration partnership with French collecting society SACEM and a sub-publishing arrangement with Peermusic.

SACEM will manage and process digital royalties generated by the Hipgnosis catalogues in a number of markets, principally the UK and European Union.

With song rights, all the entities that are licensing streaming services - whether they are music publishers or collecting societies - have to process a stack of usage data every month in order to calculate and claim what royalties they are due.

SACEM already handles that process for the Anglo-American catalogues of a number of publishers - including Universal Music Publishing and the indie publisher licensing alliance IMPEL - as well as the French repertoire it directly controls.

Outlining the services the French society will now provide Hipgnosis, SACEM CEO Cécile Rap-Veber says: "Hipgnosis will benefit from SACEM's negotiation with multi-territorial [streaming services], and technological expertise, especially in the field of data management with its innovative URights platform, which will give Hipgnosis full visibility, in real time, on the revenues generated by its catalogues".

"Our goal is always to add value to music by leveraging the transformations in consumption and distribution modes, in order to contribute to the vitality of creation and cultural diversity", she adds. "We are THRILLED to partner with Hipgnosis. This partnership once again demonstrates SACEM's ability to serve innovative players in the music market and increase the remuneration of works of major artists and to contribute to the preservation of these catalogues".

Peermusic will act as a sub-publisher for Hipgnosis in the rest of the world, excluding the US, handling royalty administration and seeking sync opportunities. In the US, Hipgnosis has its own on-the-ground operation for such things - known as the Hipgnosis Songs Group - which evolved out of Big Deal Music, the publishing business it acquired back in 2020.

And, in fact, the Peermusic partnership was originally with Big Deal, as Peermusic CEO Mary Megan Peer explains. "We initially started this relationship through Big Deal Music", she says, "and have built a genuine connection from there".

"As the sub-publisher for Hipgnosis Songs Fund, Peermusic will work to maximise sync opportunities for Hipgnosis clients in all local markets, as well as provide them with the first-class administration for which Peermusic is known", she goes on.

Commenting on the new deals - and how they will reduce some of the complexities involved in processing royalties due to the Hipgnosis catalogues - the company's founder and CEO Merck Mercuriadis says that the combination of SACEM, Peermusic and the Hipgnosis Songs Group "provides us with global coverage from best in class operators with a focus on collecting more, collecting it faster and getting it paid through faster".

Also name-checking Peermusic Executive Chair Ralph Peer II, he adds: "We've had a long-standing admiration for both Ralph and Mary Megan Peer, who are the first family of music publishing, and SACEM has been elevated to a gold standard under Cecile Rap-Veber's leadership. We very much look forward to welcoming them to the Hipgnosis family and working closely together".

The new partnerships will initially apply to 36 of the catalogues Hipgnosis controls, including music from Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chrissie Hynde and Jack Antonoff. They will then extend to other Hipgnosis catalogues in due course.

Alongside announcing the new partnerships, Hipgnosis has also published year-end results for the last financial year. Selecting some key stats from those results, Mercuriadis brags thus: "Over the last four years we have acquired an incomparable portfolio of some of the most successful and culturally important songs of all time, now valued at $2.7 billion".

"The unique strength of our catalogue", he goes on, "is demonstrated by the 9.9% increase in the operative net asset value to $1.8491 per share, as reported by our independent portfolio valuer, and a total net asset value return of 14.2%. This is largely driven by our iconic songs outstripping the general market growth in streaming, particularly in the second half of 2021, providing validation for our investment strategy".

Looking ahead, Mercuriadis notes the recent upbeat predictions for further growth in the digital music market from Goldman Sachs, and the recent US Copyright Royalty Board decision regarding song royalty rates, concluding: "I believe we are looking forward to very attractive market conditions. Given our incomparable collection of iconic songs, I believe Hipgnosis is perfectly placed and will continue to deliver excellent returns for our shareholders".

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Yolanda Brown named new Chair of the BPI
UK record industry trade body the BPI has announced that musician and broadcaster Yolanda Brown has been appointed as its new Chair.

Brown replaces former major label exec Ged Doherty, who announced plans to step down from the role in February this year, having been in the position since 2014.

"This is an exciting appointment for the BPI, and I congratulate Yolanda and wish her all the very best in the role", comments Doherty. "It's been an honour serving the BPI, its Council and hundreds of wonderful members, and I thank Geoff [Taylor, CEO] and his great team for their valued support as well as the members of the BPI's Equity And Justice Advisory Group for their never-less-than passionate contributions. The last seven years have been a joy and I wish everyone well, and I look forward to seeing British music continue to thrive".

Meanwhile, Brown herself says: "There is something special about British music - our artists across many genres and generations have been the soundtrack to people's lives. The last few years have been challenging for our music community - we've had to evolve, listen more and show greater empathy, address past issues and collaborate to a much greater extent. There's still more to do, but there are also so many exciting opportunities that lie ahead".

"I am honoured to take on this role as Chair of the BPI", she continues. "A big thank you to my predecessor Ged Doherty for his drive and dedication, which I will continue to build on. I am looking forward to working with the entire BPI Council and members, CEO Geoff Taylor and his team, labels of all shapes and sizes, and of course artists and the wider industry bodies as we all continue to fly the flag for British music".

Speaking of Geoff Taylor, as both Doherty and Brown were, he has thoughts on all this too. He says: "I am delighted that someone of Yolanda's extraordinary talent and creative energy is joining the BPI as its new Chair, and I also welcome the fresh perspective that she will bring to our work at this pivotal and exciting time for British music. Her breadth of experience drawn from across so many parts of the music community will prove invaluable as we continue to support the success of our label members and their artists globally".

This appointment adds yet another title to Brown's bulging CV. First and foremost a saxophonist, she has toured with the likes of The Temptations, Jools Holland's Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Beverley Knight and Billy Ocean. She also composes music, currently working on children's programmes 'Sesame Street', 'Bea's Block' and 'CocoMelon Lane'. And she also has her own children's show on CBeebies, 'Yolanda's Band Jam'. For the grown ups, she hosts a show on Jazz FM and regularly appears on BBC Radio 4's Loose Ends.

In addition to all that, she is also Chair of Youth Music, a member of the Arts Council's national council, a trustee of the PRS Foundation, an ambassador for the Prince's Trust and London Music Fund, a champion for the children's mental health charity Place2Be, and sits on the advisory board of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Six by Southbank for the Southbank Centre.

Yeah, I hope you feel as lazy as I do now. And I haven't even mentioned her two masters degrees and PhD.

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Promotions galore a Global
UK radio giant Global has announced a number of promotions within the senior team that reports into the company's Director Of Broadcasting And Content, James Rea.

Mark Findlay becomes Group Head Of Talent, Music And Artist Relations, heading up a newly combined team which will be responsible for the broadcaster's artist relations, as well as booking acts and guests for both programmes and events.

Ryan Hunter, who is currently Deputy Managing Editor for Global station Capital FM, becomes Group Head Of Brand Content, Events & Specials For Global Player. He will take the lead on expanding the media firm's own app - that being the Global Player - being responsible for accelerating what the company calls its 'Global Player-first' strategy".

Russ Evans - Head Of Music for Global's Heart Network - becomes Group Head Of Music Programming. He will still oversee all things music at Heart, but will also support the firm's Managing Editors in developing music strategies across all its stations and brands.

Elsewhere, Capital XTRA Programming Manager Lisa Cheung becomes Capital XTRA Deputy Managing Editor, and Margherita Taylor - who presents shows on the firm's Classic FM and Smooth stations - becomes Senior Talent & Content Advisor.

Confirming all this, Rea says: "These are key appointments to my senior team to make sure Global is in the best shape and as focussed as ever to deliver for our audiences now and in the future".

"We also continue to accelerate our Global Player first strategy", he adds, "including developing and innovating with unique content from our flagship moments from all brands across the year, with Global Player fully integrated and cross-promoted across all of our platforms. I'd like to congratulate all those in their new roles at Global today!"

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Approved: Meditations On Crime
The latest project from Harper Simon - son of Paul - Meditations On Crime is set to comprise both an album, featuring a wide array of collaborators, and a book of essays from writers including Miranda July, Hooman Majd and Jerry Stahl, with artwork from Tracey Emin, Cindy Sherman, Raymond Pettibone and more. All of which, as the name suggests, will be themed around crime.

"Everyone is fascinated by crime", says Simon. "When you look at the history of song, romantic love songs may be the dominant mode of songwriting, but second would probably be songs involving crime - from murder ballads to political protest songs, crime is a major theme in all songwriting".

"I was trying to come up with a collective curated project that had political content, but wouldn't be so obvious and agenda-driven", he goes on. "That would give people the freedom to express some ideas that might meet that volatile period in culture and politics. One of the titles I came up with was Meditations On Crime - if you get down to it, crime is politics and politics is crime, so crime can go a lot of different ways. It seemed to be a way of approaching the moment that was a little more subtle and left space to explore".

Having released previous collaborations with Julia Holter and Gang Gang Dance, for new single 'We The People Of The Myths', Simon teams up with the Sun Ra Arkestra - the jazz group founded by the late Sun Ra - and King Khan, for a track that features a poem of the same name written by Khan, resulting in a psychedelic piece that feels pulled straight out of the early 1970s.

The track was co-produced by Hal Willner, in one of his final recording sessions before his death in 2020, and with whom Simon had worked previously on two live shows.

Khan - who Willner described as being like "a cross between Little Richard, Gil Scott Heron, James Brown and Johnny Rotten in one person" - explains: "There were many comets colliding in this track, [but] the late great Hal Willner was the main source of this interplanetary musical supernova".

"Hal put Harper in touch with me and the Arkestra, whom I had joined on stage a few times to perform the 'We The People Of The Myths' poem that I had written for [Arkestra leader] Marshall Allen", he continues. "Harper had composed the track for the Arkestra, which also featured the late great Danny Thompson on baritone sax. When Harper sent me the track, the poem fit perfectly into it like sacred geometry".

"It's as much an invocation to ancient spirits as it is a beacon for help", he adds, "asking the universe to send aid to this dying planet. I think if Sun Ra had heard this track, he would have been proud".

Simon says: "I'd always wanted to work with the Sun Ra Arkestra, and I knew Hal Willner had worked with them a lot. I reached out to Hal to see if he might be able to co-produce a couple tracks with me and the Arkestra".

"He set it up for me and I was really over the moon. It was a bit intimidating to write for them as I had never written for a jazz ensemble before, much less the legendary Arkestra, but I composed two pieces for them; melodic motifs and arrangements and a loose structure for them to improvise over".

"It was a great and memorable day", he goes on. "I'm so happy I got to spend this last day with Hal doing something so special. We were both satisfied and laughing and really high on the session when we drove back to New York that night".

"I knew I wanted to have a vocalist collaborate on the track", he continues. "Who else could even remotely pull that off except King Khan? I'd been a fan for a while and actually took Hal to see him play in LA some years ago. Since that time, they had worked together, so Hal connected us and he agreed to co-write".

"He'd performed with Marshall Allen and the Sun Ra Arkestra before", he explains, "and put down this vocal in Berlin; a hazy, cosmic rap that elevated our crime theme to a spiritual level, with his own idiosyncratic delivery and timing. King Khan is a rare musical artist - it was really an honour to collaborate with him and the Arkestra, and I hope we get to do it live one day!"

The Meditations On Crime book and album are set for release on 23 Sep. A film project is also in the works.

Listen to 'We The People Of The Myths' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Tegan & Sara announce new album, Crybaby
Tegan & Sara have announced that they will release their tenth studio album, 'Crybaby', this autumn. They've also released the first single from it, 'Yellow'. Not a cover of the Coldplay song, but its video does pay homage to that track.

Speaking about the creation of the album, which was produced by John Congleton, Tegan says: "This was the first time where, while we were still drafting our demos, we were thinking about how the songs were going to work together. It wasn't even just that Sara was making lyric changes or reorganising the parts to my songs, it was that she was also saying to me, 'This song is going to be faster', or 'It's going to be in a different key'".

Of the new single, Sara says: "['Yellow'] was written after we began to take steps to heal the bruises we have both carried with us since adolescence and early adulthood - wounds that never quite healed right and flare up seasonally, sending us spiralling backward in time. Are we doomed to remain forever fifteen, breaking up and breaking apart? I hope not. [The video] was shot in Vancouver, a city that didn't feel big enough to hold us both when we arrived here the first time. [But] 22 years later, we're back, calling it home".

In addition to the new album, a TV adaptation of the twins' 2019 memoir 'High School', is in the works. Being made for Amazon's IMDb streaming service, the show is set to star TikTok twins Railey and Seazynn Gilliland.

'Crybaby' will be released on 21 Oct - their first under a new deal with Mom+Pop Music. Watch the video for 'Yellow' here.

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Gilla Band announce new album, Most Normal
Gilla Band have announced that they will release their third album 'Most Normal' - the follow up to 2019's 'The Talkies' - later this year. It will include collaborations with Mandy, Indiana and M(h)aol.

The first single from the album, out now, is 'Eight Fivers', of which vocalist Dara Kiely says: "'Eight Fivers' is about 40 quid. It's about being out of touch with modern circumstances while feeling socially limited. Never fitting in and kind of proud of it. Stuck with what I have and happy for it. Being grateful and not fashionable, self conscious and too aware of what is lacking. Accepting that jealousy played a big role in my life but trying not to feed into it".

Formerly known as Girl Band, the group announced earlier this year that they were changing the name, telling fans: "We apologise for choosing a misgendered name in the first place and to anyone who has been hurt or affected by it. When we were starting off [the name Girl Band] was chosen without much thought, from a place of naivety and ignorance. We had no grasp of the weight of it at the time and in the past few years have found it impossible to justify or explain this choice".

'Most Normal' will be the band's first album since taking that decision regarding their name, and is set for release on 7 Oct. Watch the video for 'Eight Fivers' here.

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DEALS

Mojo Music & Media has acquired the song rights of country songwriter Sharon Vaughn, covering her full catalogue, which includes songs written for Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and more. "It is gratifying to know that the works I created over the past decades have found a good home", she says. "I feel Mojo will respect and enrich my catalogues and through their efforts my songs will realise their potential".

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APPOINTMENTS

Booking agency Wasserman Music has promoted three London-based agents - Dave Blackgrove, Mike Malak and Adele Slater - to the level of Partner. The company has also hired agents Nick Cave and Chris Smyth.

Warner Records in the US has announced that it has hired Dionnee Harper as EVP Marketing & Artist Development. She will officially take up the role on 15 Sep and is moving over from another Warner label, Atlantic. "It's an incredible opportunity to work with their fantastic artist roster and explore every avenue to embed their music in the culture and bring it to the fans", she says. "It's not easy leaving all my wonderful colleagues and artists at Atlantic, but I'm very happy to be staying within the WMG family, where I've spent my whole career".

Kartel Music Group has appointed Heather Swaine as Managing Director of its marketing and media promotions agency. She joins from WMA. "I have worked with Kartel on several projects over the years and have always admired their passion for innovation and indie spirit", she says. "I'm so pleased to be joining the agency and using my experience and relationships to further develop the agency's reach across the music industry".

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RELEASES

Harry Styles has released the video for 'Harry's House' track 'Late Night Talking'.

Ahead of the release of new album 'You Still Here, Ho?' next week, Flo Milli has released new single 'No Face'.

Death Cab For Cutie have released new single 'Here To Forever'. "It's a song both about our impermanence and the anxiety of these times", says the band's Ben Gibbard. "It's also about wanting to believe in something bigger even when it feels like nothing is out there". Their new album, 'Asphalt Meadows', is out on 16 Sep.

Daniel Avery has released new track 'Higher', taken from his upcoming album 'Chaos Theory'. The track features vocals from Sherelle, of whom he says: "Sherelle is a supernova artist and someone who always marches to the beat of her own drum".

Russian Circles have released new single 'Betrayal'. The track is taken from the band's new album, 'Gnosis', which is out on 19 Aug.

Sohn has announced that he will release his first album for five years, 'Trust', on 2 Sep. "On [previous album] 'Tremors' it was like I was behind glass, but 'Trust' feels like you could be sat in that room, and not just with me; you're sitting in this room with me, some musicians, some friends". From it, this is 'Segre'.

Just five months on from the release of their latest album 'Are You Haunted?', Methyl Ethel are back with new music, a single called 'Talk Louder'. Band leader Jake Webb explains that he wanted to make "something fresh and free spirited, without too much thought".

Fujiya & Miyagi will release new album 'Slight Variations' on 30 Sep. "We wanted to make a record that shows where we were, where we are and where we will go in the future", says the band's David Best. "I like the idea that if someone were new to us and they played this record it would convey everything that we are about". First single 'Digital Hangover' is out now.

Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.

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Triller CEO calls on all Americans to delete rival app TikTok
The CEO of Triller - Mahi de Silva - has called on all good, honest and patriotic Americans to delete rival app TikTok from their phones. As well he might. This isn't a sneaky effort to boost his own market share though, it is - he insists - a matter of national security due to the "meteoric concerns around TikTok in the United States".

There have been concerns about what the Chinese-owned TikTok does with user data for a number of years, of course. This culminated in efforts by former US President Donald Trump to ban the social media app within the States. That ban never actually went into force though, and the whole controversy had died down somewhat since Joe Biden took office.

However, it ramped up again recently after Buzzfeed published an article alleging that bosses at TikTok's parent company Bytedance over there in China do have access to US user data.

Following that report, one of the commissioners at US media regulator the Federal Communications Commission, Brendan Carr, wrote to the CEOs of Apple and Google, urging them to remove the app from their respective app stores. In the letter, he claimed that TikTok "functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data" to be passed on to the Chinese government.

Joining calls to take action against the app now is de Silva, who has published a blog post on the corporate site of the TikTok rival he runs, which - by the way - recently announced plans to IPO.

This is not simply an executive capitalising on an opportunity to give a rival a good kicking though. No sir. This is about The Kids? Oh Lord, why is no one thinking of The Kids? It's 10pm, do you know where your children are? Yes, they're in their bedrooms having all of their personal data hoovered up by the Chinese government.

"As the CEO of a global company whose mission is to help creators take control of their destiny in the creator economy, leveraging transformative adaptive technology, I stand with a growing chorus of elected officials, regulators, intelligence officials, other global executives, and consumers who recognise the enormity of the devastating impact of TikTok on our society", begins de Silva's blog post bombastically. "The danger signs abound from the leaders of our intelligence community to the most versatile and connected technology journalists".

"Every American parent needs to ask what this social video app knows about their children and how those signals are used to get a deeper understanding of the location, preferences, and habits of their parents and the entire family", he goes on. "The petaflops of data sent from American TikTok users start with content preferences and location information that can quickly lead to the determination of home ownership, work, and vacation schedules and a host of much more granular data on every aspect of our American lives".

"Today, we call for every American to remove TikTok from their devices immediately", he continues. "Additionally, Triller calls on the US government to take immediate action and ban TikTok and its Chinese-owned parent ByteDance. The stakes have never been higher".

"Our concerns as Americans should extend beyond our wallets to the very backbone of our society: representative democracy and free speech", he says, explaining what those stakes are. "The AI systems controlled by Chinese-owner ByteDance and delivered via TikTok are the penultimate tool to influence our youth by shaping content and perceptions favouring a pro-China agenda".

"There is no doubt that TikTok plays a central role in enabling surveillance networks inside and outside China", he insists. "The avenues that these technologies can access our lives are almost unlimited. This is a clear and present danger and a national security issue".

TikTok, of course, has denied all accusations made against it, saying that the recent Buzzfeed article is "misleading" and that it takes security very seriously, with its "access approval process is overseen by our US-based security team" and that it is working on "additional safeguards on US data for improved peace of mind for our community".

If everyone follows de Silva's plea to delete TikTok though, how the hell are people going to share their short-form videos and all that lovely personal data? Instagram Reels? YouTube Shorts? Well, of course, there may be another option.

"Like every other US company, Triller operates under the laws of the United States", de Silva continues. "It also may seem convenient for a company to call for the ban of the biggest company in its space. But at our core, Triller is about giving creators complete control over their content and their fan data - and ultimately… complete control of their destiny".

Who doesn't like to have complete control over their destiny? Triller can give you that! That's a de Silva guarantee. Put that in a short-form video, why don't you? But not on TikTok, obviously.

"Triller, the platform for creators by creators, has built a network of creator-first services and products", he goes on. "It has assembled a revolutionary ecosystem to serve the immediate and long-term needs of those who seek to share their passions with the world. While our focus is on the creator and the future of the creator economy, we believe the broader future of American innovation is at risk because of our continued indifference to this threat that is literally in our hands".

"Join us today and take action", he concludes. "Join us and all clear-thinking, freedom-loving Americans who believe in free markets, creative freedom, innovation, and a future where we can direct our lives unhindered by dark forces".

Got that? TikTok is the Empire, Triller is the Rebel Alliance. Or, if Star Wars isn't your thing, TikTok is Voldemort and Triller is Harry Potter. It's got a wand and a cool scar, which is way better than Voldemort's stupid, snaky face.

If everyone in the US did suddenly delete TikTok and install Triller instead, of course, that would really help the latter's IPO prospects. But I think what's important here is that we think of the children. Harry Potter was famously a child. Think of Harry Potter.

The recent accusations against TikTok are discussed in this episode our Setlist podcast.

BACK TO THE TOP OF THE BULLETIN

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily, website and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
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CHRIS COOKE | Co-Founder & MD
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and CMU Trends. He also leads the CMU Insights consultancy unit and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
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Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and also heads up business development at CMU Insights and CMU:DIY.
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CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media as a Director of 3CM UnLimited, as well as heading up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supporting other parts of the business.
caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
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