This week in music news:
The ongoing tensions between Hipgnosis Songs Fund and Hipgnosis Song Management are continuing to escalate, with HSF calling for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). The stock market listed investment fund, HSF, founded by Merck Mercuriadis, and HSM, a joint venture between Mercuriadis and private equity giant Blackstone, have been at odds for some time due to investor concerns about the fund’s underperforming share price. The original board, viewed as sympathetic to Mercuriadis, was replaced in October 2023, and the new board has issued a statement calling for an EGM and criticizing a ‘call option’ in its deal with HSM.
Apple is facing backlash for its compliance with a court order relating to App Store payment rules in a legal battle with Fortnite maker Epic Games. While a California court ordered Apple to allow all app-makers to link to external payment options, Apple has announced that it will charge a 27% commission on those external payments, leading to accusations of “bad faith compliance” from Epic and Spotify.
Pitchfork, a popular music publication, is being folded into GQ, resulting in job cuts. According to Chief Content Officer Anna Wintour, this move is “the best path forward for the brand” in order to continue thriving within the company.
The former VP of Audio at Stability AI has launched a non-profit initiative called Fairly Trained, which will certify generative AI companies that only use licensed content for training, addressing concerns about ‘fair use’ in copyright law.
In the UK, the Council Of Music Makers has urged employees at major music companies to address ongoing issues with the streaming business model that negatively impact artists and songwriters.
Additionally, the US Mechanical Licensing Collective has warned streaming services of an upcoming audit to ensure the correct payment of royalties, while music data company Luminate’s 2023 stats wrap highlighted the explosive growth of music streaming in India.
For more industry insights, be sure to check out CMU’s series of virtual masterclasses to stay up-to-date with key music business topics. And don’t forget to catch the latest episode of the Setlist Podcast for a recap of the week’s key stories and news.