Apr 16, 2024 4 min read

⏩ One Liners: Taylor Swift, TikTok, Chaka Khan’s Meltdown + more

Warner Chappell, Josh Hoge deals; Hipgnosis, Secretly Distribution appointments; Anthropic CEO on fair use; Universal’s ongoing TikTok battle; Chaka Khan’s Meltdown line-up expands; Ludivco Einaudi, Public Service Broadcasting shows; new music from Jamie xx, TEMS, Pillow Queens, Group Listening

⏩ One Liners: Taylor Swift, TikTok, Chaka Khan’s Meltdown + more


Warner Chappell and ICE have expanded their partnership, with the music publisher set to move all of its online royalty processing in Europe to the licensing hub, which works with publishers and collecting societies on both negotiating and managing deals with digital platforms. “In today’s digital music market, there are vast volumes of data to process, and we need to work with a reliable partner to ensure we’re delivering best-in-class service”, says Warner Chappell CEO Guy Moot. “ICE has always proved to be an innovative and flexible partner, so we’re delighted to expand our relationship with them”.
Warner Chapell has also agreed a publishing deal with gaming company Electronic Arts. “Warner Chappell Music is more than just a giant of music publishing; they’re a visionary group of global professionals who understand that video games will play a vital role in the future of music itself”, says EA’s President Of Music Steve Schnur. “The administration of our music catalogue is now in the best hands possible, and we look forward to the opportunities that this partnership will create for our game soundtracks, and beyond”.
Sony Music Publishing Nashville and Verse 2 Music have renewed their joint publishing agreement with country musician Josh Hoge. “Josh is a creator who is always carving his own lane”, says SMP Nashville CEO Rusty Gaston. “He’s passionate, enthusiastic and delivers great songs again and again. We couldn’t be happier to continue this successful relationship”.


The board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund - that being the Hipgnosis entity that is listed on the London Stock Exchange - has appointed Cindy Rampersaud as Senior Independent Director. She has been Non-Executive Director since August 2023 and will remain Chair of the Audit And Risk Committee. 
Secretly Distribution has appointed Rich Thane as Associate Director Of Artist & Label Strategy. He joins from Warner Music and is also the founder of music website The Line Of Best Fit. “I’ve been a huge fan and supporter of Secretly Group and their respective labels for many, many years”, he says. “So to be able to join them at such an exciting time of growth is a dream to me”.


Dario Amodei - CEO of AI company Anthropic, which is currently being sued for copyright infringement by Concord, Universal and ABKCO - has said that he believes that the courts will agree that training AI on copyright protected material is fair use. “I think everyone agrees the models shouldn’t be verbatim outputting copyrighted content”, he tells the New York Times. “For things that are available on the web, for publicly available, our position - and I think there’s a strong case for it - is that the training process, again, we don’t think it’s just hoovering up content and spitting it out, or it shouldn’t be spitting it out. It’s really much more like the process of how a human learns from experiences. And so, our position is that that is sufficiently transformative, and I think the law will back this up, that this is fair use”.
When Taylor Swift’s music reappeared on TikTok last week, it came as something of a surprise, given that her label Universal Music is currently boycotting the video-sharing platform. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, she was made aware of the boycott before it was announced and made it clear all along that she would not be part of it. “Universal asked Swift’s camp to reconsider”, writes the newspaper. “Over more than a week of discussions, the label reiterated its position, laying out why it was holding firm on its stance, why it felt it was important for the industry and what is at stake. Swift’s camp didn’t budge. Neither did Universal. The star didn’t need permission to return to TikTok. Acts of her stature have more flexible deals, and Swift’s agreement with Universal allowed her to strike a direct agreement with TikTok”.
Taylor Swift aside, Universal is holding fast to its anti-TikTok stance and is now reportedly considering legal action that would accuse the video-sharing platform of failing to properly comply with copyright takedown notices. According to Digital Music News, the label has filed “tens of thousands” of takedowns over videos on TikTok containing its music since January, and believes that the app is failing to remove the accounts of repeat offenders. 


A raft of new names have been announced for Chaka Khan’s Meltdown festival at the Southbank Centre in London in June. New performers include Emeli Sandé, Bruce Hornsby and War. There will also be a free programme of events over the festival’s first weekend, starting 14 Jun, with events hosted by Habibti Nation, London Queer Sound System Day, Queer Cuntry and more.
Ludovico Einaudi has announced that he will play two nights at the London Palladium on 11-12 Nov, ahead of a new album release in January 2025. Tickets go on sale on Thursday. 
Public Service Broadcasting have announced UK and Ireland tour dates in October this year, including a show at the Roundhouse in London on 29 Oct. Tickets go on sale on Friday.


Jamie xx has released new track ‘Baddy On The Floor’ featuring Honey Dijon
TEMS has announced that she will release her debut album ‘Born In The Wild’ in May. Watch a trailer here
Pillow Queens have released new single ‘Heavy Pour’. Their new album ‘Name Your Sorrow’ is out on 29 Apr. 
Group Listening have released new single ‘Shopping Building’. Their new album ‘Walks’ is out on 10 May. They will also be touring the UK in May and June.
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