Apr 2, 2024 4 min read

⏩ One Liners: SM Entertainment, St Vincent, Machinedrum + more

Spotify x UMG, Virgin Music x 3AM Entertainment deals; SM, Concord appointments; Astroworld litigation update; BMI member payments; new music from Tom Vek, Fairground Attraction, St Vincent, SMILEZ, Slay + Sigma, and Machinedrum + Duckwrth

⏩ One Liners: SM Entertainment, St Vincent, Machinedrum + more


Now best buds ever since the streaming service revamped its entire royalties model (at least in part) to placate a tetchy Lucian Grainge, Spotify and Universal Music last week announced an "expansion of their strategic relationship" that will "amplify music discovery and social interaction and enhance fan experiences". And let's face it, with its ongoing beef with TikTok, Universal could really do with some extra tools to amplify music discovery and social interaction and enhance fan experiences. So job done! The deal also includes an agreement with Universal Music Publishing to allow Spotify to roll out its big bold new idea that somebody somewhere presumably wanted - music videos on an audio platform - into the US. 
Universal Music's label services division Virgin Music has partnered with 3AM Entertainment, the LA-based label co-founded by Jay Sean, Jeremy Skaller and Jared Cotter focused on artists from the South Asian diaspora. The first release under the deal will be 'Heartless', a collaboration between Sean and Toronto-based Punjabi artist Ikky. “No single artist has done more to bring South Asian music and culture to a global audience than Jay Sean”, says Virgin Music co-CEO Nat Pastor. “Jeremy and Jared have been with Jay on that journey. Through our partnership with 3AM Entertainment, we are creating a platform to increase our presence in this fast-growth market to support and expand the reach of South Asian music". 


K-pop company SM Entertainment has re-appointed Tak Young-jun to the role of co-CEO, working alongside Jang Cheol-hyuk. Tak has held the co-CEO role before, but stood down in 2023 shortly after Kakao took a controlling stake in the business, instead working as COO. Outlining the respective responsibilities of the two CEOs moving forward, SM said in a statement, according to Koran JoongAng Daily, "Jang Cheol-hyuk will focus on the business side, including aligning the system with Kakao and other affiliates, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations and management, while Tak Young-jun will lead the company's artist management and content production to spearhead the SM 3.0 strategy for the company to take another leap as a leading entertainment company". 
Concord has appointed Stephanie Hudacek as President of its Rounder Records label in Nashville. “Throughout her career, Stephanie has shown a deep commitment to artists and songwriters as well as an incredible intuition for what it takes to bring their music to the world", says Concord Label Group CEO Tom Becci. "I couldn’t be more THRILLED to have her at the helm at Rounder". 

A court in Texas yesterday heard arguments from various entities named as defendants in the Astroworld lawsuits, who claim that they had no role in event security and safety and therefore cannot be held liable for the deaths and injuries that resulted from a crowd surge during Travis Scott's headline set at the festival's 2021 edition. Drake, who guested during Scott's set, and Apple, which livestreamed it, were among those whose claims to be removed as defendants from the lawsuits were considered. The judge also heard arguments as to why the CEO of the festival's promoter, Live Nation's Michael Rapino, should sit for a deposition and answer questions under oath posed by lawyers working for the families of those who died. Legal reps for Live Nation argued that Rapino was not actively involved in planning Astroworld 2021 and therefore his deposition would not provide information useful to the case. 


US collecting society BMI last week announced that it has paid out $100 million to its members from the big pile of cash generated when its former owners - a bunch of broadcasters - sold the rights organisation to equity outfit New Mountain Capital. One of those broadcasters, iHeart, previously told its shareholders that it would also net about $100 million from the sale, which possibly puts the songwriter payments into some kind of perspective. “It’s especially moving that our former shareholders closed out their chapter at BMI in this meaningful way and I’m gratified that we were able to deliver these special funds on their behalf", said BMI boss Mike O’Neill.


Tom Vek has announced he is releasing a new EP called 'Confirm Yourself' and has posted the first track from it, 'Nothing Bad', which comes with an AI-generated video. The new music will also be available via Supercollector, the direct-to-fan platform Vek co-founded. 
After a short break of just 34 years, Fairground Attraction have reunited and will release a new album and go on tour later this year. Here is first single 'What's Wrong With The World'
St Vincent has released another single from her forthcoming seventh full-length studio album 'All Born Screaming', which is out on 26 Apr. The new track is called 'Flea'.
SMILEZ has released new single 'Self Sabotage', produced by Digital Nas. "I found myself reflecting a lot and saw that I had a tendency to self sabotage and wanted to explore that", says the LA-based artist of the new track. 
Slay and Sigma have only gone and teamed up for new track 'Kenny'.
Machinedrum has teamed up with multidisciplinary artist Duckwrth on new single 'ILIKEU'. "Duckwrth is one of the most innovative creators right now and working with him was incredibly inspiring”, he says. “We built the track together and intentionally made unconventional arrangement choices that added unpredictability in how the song flows".
Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to CMU.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.
Privacy Policy