STRINGER DOESN'T "MINCE" WORDS IN FT CHAT

Sony Music Entertainment CEO Rob Stringer sounded off on AI, TikTok, his days as an A&R man and showing artists the money in a new interview with the Financial Times, through which we also discovered the mogul's preference for lunching on butter lettuce and whatever "mince and potatoes" is.

Stringer's company may have superstars named Beyoncé, Harry and Adele, but he said he still pores over the streaming charts every day in search of a new competitive advantage. And although platforms such as TikTok have been crucial in new-artist discovery, Stringer worries about the associated, breakneck pace. "Someone can have half a hit and they are straight on the second stage of a festival,” he said. "It’s come full circle, as it’s almost like that replaces those packages of the ’60s where someone did their hit and then got lost. It’s hard to be different. I’m a firm believer in letting culture breathe."

To that end, he said he felt "super-fortunate to work with Tyler, the Creator, or SZA. Their alchemy is incredible. I’m much more interested in that than trying to resurrect a brand of music that I might have listened to when I was 14 years old. What excites me is people using music as a fantastic all-you-can-eat buffet to find a new thing."

Elsewhere, Stringer defended taking down online AI derivations of Sony's works, asserting that if tech companies "are building something off the back of someone’s creativity," artists "have to be paid." He said he won't rule out pulling Sony artists from TikTok a la what Universal Music Group did last month, adding that the controversial Chinese social media platform provides an "astonishingly small" return compared with other streaming partners.

He may have been eating mince during the interview, but Stringer didn't mince words about the rush of private equity firms into the catalog-ownership space and their ability to drive value. "I put my money where my mouth is and put hundreds of millions of dollars back into the artist’s hands," he said. "We can make even more money because of our expertise. Do I like hedge funds talking about how they’re in the music space? I am cynical about what will happen."

Sony will deliver back-to-back #1 albums this week and next with Future and Metro Boomin's We Don't Trust You and Beyoncé's act ii: Cowboy Carter, which follow recent big successes from Hozier, 21 Savage, Travis Scott, Bossman Dlow and SZA. Columbia alternative powerhouse Vampire Weekend will seek to extend its run of three consecutive #1 albums with Only God Was Above Us (4/5), while the label group is enjoying monster singles and albums by AWAL’s Djo, RCA’s Bryson Tiller, FAX/Epic’s Tyla, RCA’s Tate McRae, River House/Sony Nashville’s Luke Combs and Alamo’s Rod Wave.

WHAT’S HEATING UP AS SUMMER NEARS?
The future's so hot, they gotta wear shades. (5/29a)
A STELLAR TOP 20
Better get used to this 1-2 punch. (5/29a)
HITS LIST SLIPS
INTO SUMMER
The grill's fired up. (5/29a)
DOJ FILES ANTITRUST LAWSUIT AGAINST LIVE NATION
A game of Monopoly on Capitol Hill (5/24a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
HOWDY, PARTNER
Redrawing the Mason-Dixon Line (5/24a)
THE NEW UMG
Gosh, we hope there are more press releases.
TIKTOK BANNED!
Unless the Senate manages to make this whole thing go away, that is.
THE NEW HUGE COUNTRY ACT
No, not that one.
TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN PLAYLIST
Now 100% unlicensed!
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)