May 29, 2024 3 min read

⏩ One Liners: SM Entertainment, Pandora, James Blake + more

Hybe sells SM shares; emPawa Africa, Eli Brown, Cheerful Music deals; Towersey Festival to close; FREENOW supports MVT; Pandora price increases; Transgressive, Amyl & The Sniffers, DIIV, Senses Fail, University Of Westminster shows; new releases from James Blake, Romy, Alien Chicks

⏩ One Liners: SM Entertainment, Pandora, James Blake + more


K-pop company HYBE has sold around $50 million worth of stock in SM Entertainment - roughly 3% of the company. Last year, HYBE got caught up in a battle to control SM with South Korean internet firm Kakao. It lost and ended up with a minority stake in the company. Following the share sale, HYBE still owns 9.4%.
Tekno has announced a new deal with Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africa company. The agreement will see the producer become a partner and investor, as well as bringing his own Cartel Music venture into the business. “This strategic alliance with Empawa promises to be a gamechanger for the African music industry and a beacon of opportunity for artists”, says Tekno. “We look forward to seeing how this partnership will catalyse the growth of emPawa Africa, its artists, and the broader African music ecosystem”.
Warner Music Canada has signed hip hop producer Eli Brown through a partnership with his own Loophole Records. “Our shared aspirations extend beyond reshaping Canadian music history to revolutionising the entire music industry as a whole”, says the producer. Sure. 
Universal Music Publishing China has signed record label Cheerful Music to a global publishing deal, excluding mainland China. “International expansion is intrinsic to our ethos, and I am profoundly confident that our partnership with UMP China - with their expansive network and proven success - will propel our journey of internationalisation even further”, says Cheerful Music CEO Snow J


Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the Towersey Festival in Buckingham has announced that its 2024 edition will be its last. “Like so many other independent and grassroots festivals, we have faced too many forces outside of our control which have made it increasingly difficult to operate and survive”, say the event’s organisers. According to the Association Of Independent Festivals, this is the 43rd UK festival to postpone, cancel or close this year. 
Taxi app FREENOW has announced its continued support for Music Venue Trust following a number of initiatives over the last three years. If passengers choose to round up their cab fare to the nearest pound, the extra money will now be donated to MVT. “FREENOW have already proved themselves to be great supporters of grassroots music venues and the broader live music ecosystem”, says MVT CEO Mark Davyd. “This new initiative takes our partnership to the next level, offering a chance for everyone to contribute to the music ecosystem”.


US streaming service Pandora has increased the prices of its individual, family and student plans. The individual and student plans are both now up a dollar to $10.99 and $5.99 per month respectively, while the family plan goes from $14.99 to $17.99. “Despite the continual rise in music licensing costs, we have been able to maintain consistent subscription prices”, the company told disgruntled users, who were informed of the increases last month. “However, the current increase in our fees indicates how significant those licensing costs are”.


Transgressive Records has announced a series of events this autumn to mark its 20th anniversary, including headline performances from Arlo Parks, Mystery Jets and Kokoko! “To kickstart our anniversary, we wanted to reflect the eclecticism and inclusivity of the company’s roster and culture by putting together some communal moments”, says company bosses Toby L, Tim Dellow and Lilas Bourboulon. Tickets go on general sale on Friday. Find out more here
Amyl & The Sniffers will be in the UK for shows this November, including a performance at the Roundhouse in London on 15 Nov. Tickets go on general sale on Friday. 
DIIV have announced a run of UK shows in December, which will follow two nights supporting Fontaines DC at London’s Alexandra Palace in November. Tickets on sale now. 
​​Senses Fail and Saves The Day have announced a co-headline UK tour in September, kicking off with a show at the Kentish Town Forum on 24 Sep. Tickets go on general sale on Friday. 
The University Of Westminster will showcase artists graduating from its music degrees at Signature Brew in Haggerston tonight. Set to perform are Duccbod, Temm, Whereslm, Svirgo19 and Bradley Jago. Free entry if you sign up here.


James Blake has released new single ‘Thrown Around’, his first since becoming a fully independent artist earlier this year.
Romy has released new single ‘Always Forever’
Alien Chicks have released their new single ‘Qwerty’. It’s the second track from their upcoming debut EP ‘Indulging The Mobs’, which is out on 18 Jul.
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