Jul 10, 2024 7 min read

⏩ One Liners: Management deals, Sonicbids acquisition, streaming fraud detection + more

Champ, Red Light and Vector Management deals; Sonicbids acquired; Reed Smith, Cinq and PPL PRS appointments; Dean Guitars vs Gibson; Nirvana lawsuit; Young Thug update; YouTube Music’s AI radio; Spotify podcast comments; streaming fraud detection tools, venue closures and latest releases

⏩ One Liners: Management deals, Sonicbids acquisition, streaming fraud detection + more


Matt Musacchio’s Champ Management has partnered with Red Light Management, bringing artists Vincent Mason, Jessie James Decker and Dawson Anderson to Red Light’s roster. Musacchio stated that he has “always looked up to” what Red Light founder Coran Capshaw has built, “and after getting the opportunity to sit with him and talk about joining the Red Light Management family, I knew it was the right next step for Champ Management and my clients”. 
Vector Management has expanded its Los Angeles operations with several new artist and manager signings. New managers joining the LA office include Henley Halem, bringing artists Yung Gravy and Valentino Kahn, and Bryant Barnes and Gabriel Apodaca with 3OH!3. The company has also signed The Aces and Jack Harris. The LA operation is led by Nicki Loranger, Head Of Vector West, who stated: “After sixteen years with Vector, I am so proud and excited to enter this new phase of the company’s history”. The latest expansion follows Vector's 2023 launch in Nashville.
Sonicbids, the gig booking and electronic press kit platform for musicians, has been acquired by Daniel Melnick's Advance Music Technologies. Melnick, who has been involved with Sonicbids for seven years and is now CEO, stated: “I'm eager to leverage this foundation as we embark on a new journey to innovate and grow”. The deal marks a new chapter for Sonicbids, which was previously acquired by Backstage in a $15 million deal in 2013.


Law firm Reed Smith has hired Jackson Abbeduto as counsel in its Global Entertainment And Media Industry Group. Abbeduto, who formerly worked at YouTube and Universal Music Publishing Group, joins from Granderson Des Rochers and will focus on the firm’s digital practice in the US. Stephen Sessa, co-chair of Reed Smith's Global Entertainment And Media Industry Group, stated: “Jackson's reputation is sterling in the marketplace, and I knew he would be the perfect fit with our culture, drive and ambition”. 
Cinq Music has promoted Diana Schweinbeck to Senior Director Of Artists And Label Services, heading up the company’s recently expanded services division. Barry Daffurn, Cinq Music President and Co-founder, stated: “Diana is a seasoned operator with artist management experience and a strong network, making her the perfect fit for understanding artist needs and running this department”. In her new role, Schweinbeck will focus on streamlining onboarding, optimising release processes and communicating industry trends to Cinq’s clients, including recent signee Lil Mosey.
PPL PRS Limited has appointed Greg Aiello as Managing Director, succeeding Andrea Gray. Aiello was previously Commercial Director at PPL PRS, the joint venture licensing entity owned by UK collecting societies PPL and PRS. Aiello stated: “We're just six years young with significant opportunities for further growth, which is an exciting time to be taking on the MD role”.

Dean Guitars has secured a new trial in a trademark dispute with Gibson, overturning a 2022 verdict. The dispute centres on Gibson’s claims that Dean infringed on trademarks for iconic guitar shapes, including the Flying V and Explorer. The US Fifth Circuit Appeals Court ruled that evidence of other companies making similar guitar shapes must be admissible. Dean CEO Pam Rubinson called that ruling a “complete vindication” for Dean's V and Z models, while Gibson vowed to seek reconsideration, asserting confidence in its “well recognised intellectual property rights”.
Nirvana, fashion brand Marc Jacobs, and former Geffen Records employee Robert Fisher have reached a settlement in their long-running dispute over the band’s “smiley face” logo. The conflict began in 2018 when Nirvana accused Marc Jacobs of copyright infringement for using a similar design. Fisher later intervened, claiming he created the logo while working at Geffen. US District Judge John A Kronstadt has paused all case deadlines, giving the parties until August to finalise their settlement or provide a status update.
Rapper Young Thug has called for the removal of two Fulton County prosecutors and judge Ural Glanville from his ongoing racketeering trial, following the release of a transcript detailing a secret meeting between them and a key witness. Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, argues that Glanville and prosecutors Adriane Love and Simone Hylton unethically persuaded witness Kenneth Copeland to testify against him, saying “It is impossible for any reasonable person to believe that Judge Glanville is neutral”. The case is currently paused while an outside judge reviews motions for Glanville's recusal.


YouTube Music is testing a new AI-powered feature that allows users to create custom radio stations based on text or voice prompts. The experimental feature, which is currently in testing and not widely available, was spotted by a Reddit user. The tool presents an “Ask for music any way you like” interface where users can input specific requests. The app also suggests prompts like “catchy pop choruses” or “epic soundtracks” based on listening history. According to the screenshot, the app displays a disclaimer: “AI-generated responses are experimental. Quality and accuracy may vary. Please don't enter confidential or personal information regarding yourself or others”.
Spotify has launched a comments feature for podcasts, allowing direct interaction between creators and listeners. The feature builds on existing Q&A and poll features, which the company says have engaged over 9 million unique listeners this year. Maya Prohovnik, VP Of Podcast Product at Spotify, says: “Now, for the first time, listeners can actually have a two-way conversation with their favorite podcast hosts on Spotify”. Spotify has also released a new Spotify for Podcasters mobile app, enabling creators to manage shows and track growth on-the-go, regardless of where their episodes are hosted.
Ircam Amplify, a Paris-based audio technology company, has unveiled an AI-Generated Detector tool that the company claims can identify AI-created music with 98.5% accuracy, screening 5000 tracks per minute. CEO Nathalie Birocheau stated: “Generative AI is reshaping the creative landscape, especially in the music sector, where everyone can create music using AI tools. This is, quite rightfully, a concern for all those who are involved in the creation, distribution and revenue-sharing of music”. The launch comes as AI music generators like Udio, which reportedly produces ten songs per second, are raising concerns about copyright infringement and fair compensation for human creators.


The PRS Foundation has announced the latest recipients of its Hitmaker fund, supporting UK-based songwriters and producers. The five grantees are ATG Musick, EVALINA, Finn Wigan, Harvey Grant and Lizzie Nightingale. The fund provides up to £10,000 for career development, including studio time, equipment and travel expenses. Nightingale, who has collaborated with artists like Rudimental and Green Tea Peng, says “Receiving The Hitmaker Fund at this point in my career is an absolute game-changer for me. This funding will not only allow me to push my songwriting career to another level, but also give me the confidence to forge ahead”.
The ASCAP Foundation has launched the “In Her Voice” Scholarship for female-identifying creators. The initiative will support two students who submit songs with women’s empowerment themes. Nicole George-Middleton, ASCAP Foundation Executive Director, stated: “We hope this scholarship will help advance the careers of promising female-identifying songwriters and promote equity and inclusion”. Applications are open from 8 to 31 Jul, with funding support from She Is The Music.


Amuse has launched Stream Check, a new tool to combat streaming fraud. The feature provides artists with a visual health bar indicating artificial streams detected by Spotify in their catalogue. Erik Söderblom, Amuse Interim Chief Product Officer, says: “Amuse is proud to offer artists a proactive solution that puts them in the driver’s seat with all the tools they need to monitor and protect their catalogue and livelihood”. Stream Check aims to help artists avoid penalties or removal from digital platforms due to artificial streaming.


Berlin's Loophole, a key DIY art and music venue, has been forced to close after fifteen years due to permit issues and neighbour complaints. The Neukölln space was shut down on 4 Jul following a police raid. A Loophole spokesperson stated: “The venue was ordered closed and we are not allowed to enter the building, effective immediately”. The collective has launched a petition and GoFundMe to cover costs and relocate, aiming to continue supporting Berlin’s underground culture.
Manchester’s Partisan Collective, a DIY nightclub and community space, has announced its closure after seven years. The venue will cease operations on 31 Jul, citing “rising costs and the demands of running a full-time club” as the reason. In an Instagram post the venue said “This wasn't an easy decision. Those members who came to our last general meeting collectively decided to close the space”. The collective is calling for community support to help evolve the project beyond its physical location.


Mattel has re-released the Stevie Nicks Barbie doll in a limited run, which promptly sold out at $55. The doll, featuring Nicks’ iconic style from the ‘Rumours’ era, includes a black dress, platform boots and her signature golden moon necklace. Nicks previously commented: “When I look at her I see my 27 year old self. I am her and she is me”. Mattel has not announced plans for further restocks of the doll.


The Scottish Album Of The Year (SAY) Award has opened submissions for its 2024 edition. The national music prize, offering a £20,000 award to the winning album, will return to Stirling’s Albert Halls on 24 Oct. Robert Kilpatrick, CEO of the Scottish Music Industry Association, says “Scottish music is the soundtrack and stories of our lives. We look forward to immersing ourselves in this year’'s eligible albums”. Submissions for albums released between 1 Jun 2023 and 31 May 2024 close on 31 Jul. The ceremony forms part of Stirling’s 900th anniversary celebrations.


Queens Of The Stone Age have canceled several European tour dates due to frontman Josh Homme requiring emergency surgery in the US. The band said, “QOTSA regrets to announce that Josh Homme must return to the United States immediately for emergency surgery. Every effort was made to push through and play for you but it is no longer an option to continue”. The cancellations affect shows from 10 Jul to 27 Jul. The band is currently scheduled to resume performing at Way Out West festival on 8 Aug.
UNKLE has announced his ‘Rōnin Live’ tour, kicking off on 15 Oct at the Project House in Leeds. Tickets go on general sale this Friday at 10am here.


Laura Marling has released her new single ‘Patterns’. Her new album ‘Patterns In Repeat’ is out 25 Oct.
Bob Dylan has shared a previously unreleased version of ‘Forever Young’. This comes as part of his announcement of ‘Bob Dylan - The 1974 Live Records’ - a boxset featuring over 400 previously unreleased 1974 live tracks available 20 Sep. 
Floating Points has released his new single ‘Key103’. His new album ‘Cascade’ is out 13 Sep.
Courteeners have released their new single ‘Solitude Of The Night Bus’. Their new album ‘Pink Cactus Café’ is out 25 Oct.
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