SONY AND TENCENT’S JV LABEL, LIQUID STATE, HIRES VICTOR LEE AS ITS NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR

Liquid State – the joint venture label co-owned by Sony Music and Tencent Music Entertainment – has a new boss.

Liquid State has announced today (October 8) that it’s hired Victor Lee as its new Managing Director, as it aims to become “the top electronic dance label” in Asia.

Hong Kong-based Lee was previously VP of International Streaming and Marketing at Mike Caren’s APG (Artist Partner Group).

Lee succeeds Gunnar Greve as Managing Director of Liquid State. MBW understands that Norway-based Greve exited as the Sony/Tencent company’s MD in May, following two years in the role.

Victor Lee will now take responsibility for discovering and developing Asian electronic artists at Liquid State, as well as providing opportunities for international artist collaborations. He will report to Andrew Chan, Managing Director of Sony Music, Greater China.

“Victor is an experienced and successful music industry executive who brings with him extensive experience across various regions as well as a track record of developing successful labels,” said Chan.

“With Victor joining, we look forward to fostering more domestic Electronic Dance Music talent in Asia and expanding the number of international collaborations.”

Lee brings over 30 years of music industry experience to Liquid State, having supported artists such as Avicii, Bob Sinclar, Kylie Minogue, Gucci Mane, Wyclef Jean and Whitney Houston during his career.

At APG, the exec managed the firm’s international relationships with Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, QQ Music, JOOX, KKBOX, and others in Asia, whilst also working to maximize global streams for the likes of Ava Max, Bazzi and Charlie Puth.

From 2013-2019, Lee joined At Night Management and co-founded PRMD Music, the label home of the late Tim Bergling, a.k.a. Avicii.

Under PRMD Music’s partnership with Universal Music Group, Lee spearheaded the marketing campaigns for Avicii’s debut album True – including the huge hit Wake Me Up – and the artist’s second studio album, Stories.

As Global COO of PRMD Music, Lee also managed campaigns for releases by Wyclef Jean, Cazzette, Syn Cole, MORTEN and US DJ/producer Deorro. The latter artist’s Five Hours and Five More Hours singles (featuring Chris Brown) have generated more than a billion global streams to date.

“Electronic Dance Music is an important music genre that we believe has a lot of potential for growth,” said Andy Ng, Group Senior Adviser, Tencent Music Entertainment.

“Victor’s appointment will bring us a step closer to our ambition of becoming the top electronic dance label in the region, developing new fans and providing more opportunity for local talents to showcase their work.”

Added Lee: “With the combined resources and expertise of Sony Music, Tencent Music and Liquid State, we are uniquely placed to provide the deep bench of untapped electronic talent in Asia with a pathway to the global success they deserve.

“Likewise, we can enable international artists to unleash the huge potential which lies within the Asian market. As such, I am thrilled to be working alongside Andrew Chan and Andy Ng in taking Liquid State into its next phase at, what is, an amazing moment in the history of the Asian music market.”

TWITCH, STILL UNLICENSED BY MAJORS, LAUNCHES RIGHTS-CLEARED MUSIC VIA DEALS WITH INDIE DISTRIBUTORS AND LABELS

Well, it’s licensed now… but not by the major record companies.

Instead, Twitch has struck licensing deals with a clutch of global distributors that work with indie artists, in addition to a handful of indie labels from around the world.

The repertoire of these distributors – including more than a million tracks by those independent acts – will now be available, fully rights-cleared to be used by Twitch streamers.

Twitch announced today (September 30), that it’s been developing a new creator tool for the past year called Soundtrack by Twitch, offering rights-cleared music for livestreams via partnerships with a number of labels and distributors.

At launch, Soundtrack will have more than a million tracks available from over 30 music companies, including the likes of UnitedMasters, DistroKid, CDBaby, Anjunabeats, SoundCloud, EMPIRE, Future Classic and Nuclear Blast.

All independent businesses – which obviously means no deals with Sony, Universal or Warner.

It also appears not to be licensed by independent label agency Merlin, whose members include indie label giants likes Beggars Group, Kobalt’s AWAL and Secretly Group.

The Soundtrack beta, which launches today and rolls out to all Twitch streamers over the next few weeks, features genre-focused Stations and Playlists of regularly updated curated tracks.

The Playlists and Stations are curated by Twitch music curation staff, as well as “select streamers and industry partners” and Twitch states that its in-house curation team will be adding new Playlists and Stations regularly.

Artists include Above & Beyond, mxmtoon, Porter Robinson, RAC, SwuM, and many others.

Other musicians, labels and publishers can visit this help page to learn how to get their music in Soundtrack.

According to Twitch, music from Soundtrack will be separated into its own audio channel so that music can be played during livestreams “without worrying about your archives being muted or receiving strikes against your Twitch channel”.

The “strikes” Twitch is referring to are copyright infringement notices, which multiple prominent Twitch users reported to have received from Twitch earlier this year for unlicensed music used in clips posted on their channels.

The company then threatened to terminate the accounts of “repeat infringers” and claimed that it was taking this action against its users because it had received “a sudden influx of DMCA takedown requests for clips with background music from 2017-19”.

This happened because of Twitch being legally required to comply with Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests served by rights-holders (like record labels) or an entity representing rightsholders like the RIAA, in order to be protected under US safe harbor laws – and thus, like YouTube, not be liable for infringing user generated content.

It will obviously need to continue complying with takedown requests for music it hasn’t licensed.

Nouveau monde. Xavier Niel : “Ce n’est pas la 5G qui fait augmenter le trafic de données”

L’opérateur Free a dévoilé cette semaine sa huitième génération de box Internet. Le PDG, Xavier Niel, présente cette innovation. Il s’exprime également sur les craintes montantes à l’égard de la 5G.

franceinfo : Quelles sont les caractéristiques de cette Freebox Pop ?

Xavier Niel, PDG-fondateur de Free : Cette nouvelle box intègre des choses que l’on n’a jamais vues dans une box. D’abord, la possibilité de couvrir entièrement votre foyer en Wi-Fi avec un débit jusqu’à 5 gigabits à partager entre tous les équipements. Côté TV, nous allons proposer les meilleurs moments de la Ligue1 de football, sous forme de notifications sur l’écran de télé. En outre, nous allons offrir à nos abonnés qui prendront cette box un forfait mobile 4G illimité, le seul de ce genre en France, à un prix extrêmement bas de 9,99 euros par mois, ce qui est du jamais vu. La box, quant à elle, sera proposée à 39,99 euros, qui correspond au prix moyen du marché. C’est aussi une box minuscule, la plus petite jamais créée en France.

Mais les box TV et Internet ne sont-elles pas vouées à disparaître, en raison de l’intégration de leurs fonctions dans les télés connectées et dans le réseau ?

Nous sommes l’inventeur de la box, et nous sommes donc très attachés à ce petit boîtier. Mais au-delà de cet attachement, le problème des offres sans box (comme celle de Bouygues, NDR) est qu’elles ne sont adaptées qu’aux dernières générations de téléviseurs. Nous, nous avons choisi de réduire au maximum la taille de notre box de manière à ce qu’elle devienne invisible.

Que pensez-vous des manifestions d’opposition à la 5G ?

Ce qui m’inquiète, c’est qu’un retard dans le déploiement de la 5G aurait des conséquences sur l’attractivité économique de la France. Si vous êtes investisseur, vous regardez tous les pays européens, et un retard de la 5G nous pénaliserait. C’est un premier élément. Au-delà de cela, l’appel d’offre sera lancé au mois de septembre. L’Etat a dit quels équipements pourraient ou ne pourraient pas être présents en France. J’espère maintenant que nous sommes partis que l’on pourra rapidement déployer ces technologies. Il faut savoir que la 5G, en France, va être déployée avec des fréquences qui sont utilisées depuis très longtemps, sans problèmes ni d’effets sur la santé. Par ailleurs, c’est une technologie plus moderne qui consomme moins d’énergie. L’empreinte écologique est meilleure avec la 5G qu’avec les autres technologies passées.

Mais la 5G ne va-t-elle pas contribuer à l’accroissement du trafic ?

Ce n’est pas la 5G qui fait augmenter le trafic, c’est notre utilisation des réseaux mobiles qui fait augmenter la consommation de données. Si l’on veut être raisonnable, il faudrait que tout le monde réduise sa consommation de données. Or, d’après les chiffres que j’ai en tant qu’opérateur, on ne va pas dans ce sens-là.