Latest Industry: Troy Carter, Sony Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Concord Music, U2, The BBC, More…

Will Troy Carter leave Spotify?

Following the company’s decision to stop promoting music from R. Kelly and XXXTentacion, multiple sources have told Variety that Troy Carter may exit Spotify.  He has reportedly pushed back against the company’s decision to “determine values.”  Hours within the announcement to stop promoting both artists’ music, sources say that Carter had called an “urgent team meeting” to discuss the backlash over the news.  A Spotify representative has denied the rumor.

Women’s advocacy group now calls on Spotify to remove even more music.

Women’s advocacy group UltraViolet has called on Spotify to remove music from Chris Brown, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nelly, Eminem, The Eagles’ Don Henley, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Tekashi 6ix9ine, and Ted Nugent.  In an open letter, UltraViolet executive slammed the company as these artists “continue to profit from your promotion.”  The women’s advocacy group hopes that Spotify will take a stand against all artists accused of sexual misconduct.

Spotify set to launch in the UAE later this year.

Spotify will reportedly launch its service in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the fourth quarter of 2018.  The company has also leased an office in Dubai.  In addition, Spotify has posted four new jobs.  These include a Technical Account Manager for the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) and a Senior Editor for the Middle East & Africa, among others.

Apple Music hits the 50 million users mark.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that Apple Music now has 50 million users between paid members and trials.  The company has also posted around 4 million monthly conversions to paid subscriptions a month.  In addition, Cook confirmed the company’s strong push into television and movies.  Apple has signed a lease for a building in Culver City, CA, which is expected to be its content-related headquarters.

Apple Music promotes a live Shawn Mendes performance.

This Thursday, Apple Music will promote a live concert by Shawn Mendes in Los Angeles.  The company will offer free tickets to members of the #mendesarmy to attend the show.  Fans can livestream the performance on Apple Music and the company’s YouTube channel.

U2 to perform at the Apollo Theater.

At New York City’s Apollo Theater on June 11th, U2 will perform at an invite-only concert exclusively for SiriusXM subscribers.  This marks the first time the group performs at the venue.  Subscribers can view the performance on SiriusXM channel 30 and through the SiriusXM mobile app as well as online at

Does the BBC fear streaming music services?

According to Bob Shennan, the BBC’s Director of Radio and Music, streaming music services have “set their sights on radio.”  He suggested that streaming rivals – not commercial UK radio services – are now the BBC’s largest rivals.  Shennan told the Radio Festival, “Whereas in years gone by, my predecessors would… be eyeballing their competition across the UK radio sector, our competition isn’t even based on this island.”  He said that the broadcaster will work to reinvent and grow BBC Radio.

Meredith Graves named Director of Music at Kickstarter.

Kickstarter has named Perfect Pussy singer Meredith Graves as its Director of Music.  She currently runs indie label Honor Press and has previously worked as an anchor at MTV News.  In a post on the company’s blog, Kickstarter also confirmed that music projects have received the most funding on the platform.  These include “27,488 albums, performances, independent venues, archival re-releases, and experimental events that span genres and geographies.”

The Foo Fighters announce the Cal Jam 2018 lineup.

The Foo Fighters will once again curate and headline the Cal Jam Festival.  The group has also announced that this year’s edition will co-star Iggy Pop, Billy Idol, Tenacious D, Gargabe, Greta Van Fleet, and more Dave Grohl-endorsed artists.  One-day tickets will cost $99, plus taxes and fees.  Saturday ticket holders can purchase a Friday evening ticket for $30, plus taxes and fees.  Tickets and campaign packages go on sale on Thursday, May 17th at 10 am PST.

Keith Naftaly named President of A&R at RCA Records.

RCA Records has named Keith Naftaly as President of A&R.  He previously served as Executive Vice President and Head of A&R.  Naftaly will remain based in the label’s New York headquarters.

Parlophone signs a joint venture label partnership with Disturbing London.

Parlophone Records has signed an exclusive label partnership with creative agency Disturbing London.  In a joint venture, both companies will work together to grow the indie label, discovering and breaking new talent as well as seeking global opportunities for the joint venture’s existing artist roster, including A2, DJ Charlesy, Wiz Kid, Yxng Bane, and Tinie Tempah.

UMPG’s Evan Lamberg named President of City of Hope’s Music, Film, and Entertainment Industry Board.

City of Hope, an independent research and treatment center for cancer, has announced its new Music, Film, and Entertainment Industry Board President.  In the two-year position, Evan Lamberg, President of Universal Music Publishing Group North America, will oversee efforts and fundraising strategies for the Music, Film, and Entertainment Industry Group.  The division is comprised of a wide range of music industry executives, including all major labels, law firms, artist management, music publishing, concert promotion/touring, and digital and gaming companies.  Lamberg takes over for Peter Gray, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Promotion & Media at Warner Bros. Records.  Gray’s two-year term ended December 30th, 2017.

Jessica Phelps named General Manager at The Orchard.

The Orchard has named Jessica Phelps as General Manager of its Nashville office.  In her new role, she’ll lead strategy, development, label management, and marketing for key Orchard artists and labels in the market.  Phelps will also heighten and maintain relationships with key accounts and clients across a variety of genres.  She’ll also attract, sign, and retain new talent to grow The Orchard in Nashville.  Phelps will report to COO Colleen Theis.

Brad Saks named Director of Programming at the Durham Performing Arts Center.

The Durham Performing Arts Center has named Brad Saks at Director of Programming for Concerts, Comedy, and Special Events.  The veteran concert promoter will start his new job on May 21st.  Saks handle all concert, comedy, and special events booking at the performing arts center.  He has previously worked at AEG Live.

STX Partners with Tencent to bring the Billboard Music Awards to China.

STX Entertainment has struck a deal with dick clark productions (dcp) and Chinese internet giant Tencent to bring the Billboard Music Awards to China for the next three years.  STXdigital, an STX division, will oversee distribution rights for the awards show in Chinese markets.  In addition, STX will continue to partner with Tencent to create original content from the award show’s ‘Red Carpet.’

Vinyl superfans spent around $85 million last year to purchase their favorite vinyl records.

According to figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association, 72% of the vinyl market in the UK is attributed to a small number of consumers.  Around 157,000 high spenders, dubbed ‘superfans,’ contributed £62.9 million (around $85 million) to the total sales of vinyl last year, with the market now valued at £87.7 million ($118.5 million).

Apple Music, Classic FM, and PPL back the Classic BRIT Awards.

Apple Music, Classic FM, PPL, and the Royal Albert Hall have partnered with the Classic BRIT Awards.  The awards show will take place on June 13th at the Royal Albert Hall.

Concord Music signs deals with Sean Lennon and Teddy Sinclair.

Concord Music has announced two new deals.  The company has signed a worldwide agreement with Sean Lennon.  The deal includes the artist’s catalog and upcoming second album due in 2019 on ATO Records.  Concord Music has also signed a global publishing agreement with Teddy Sinclair to represent her forthcoming writing.

Sony Music acquires stake in Peanuts.

Sony Music Entertainment has acquired a stake in the Peanuts brand from DHX Media.  The two companies announced the strategic partnership which sees Sony indirectly purchase 49% of DHX Media’s 80% share in Peanuts for $185 million.  DHX Media will now own 41% of the brand, Sony Music 39%, and the Charles M. Schultz family 20%.

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