Universal Music Group (UMG), the global music platform, and China-based Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME), majority-owned by digital entertainment giant Tencent, have announced a new joint venture music label dedicated to reaching audiences across China through cultivating, developing, producing and showcasing talented domestic artists and their original music. The companies have also extended their current licensing agreement.
TME dominates China’s music streaming industry through its apps, QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo, as well as running live events and WeSing, a popular karaoke app.
651 million users streamed music through TME channels in this year’s second financial quarter, including 47.1 million paid subscribers.
With the extension of the licensing agreement, TME will continue to distribute music from UMG’s record labels and roster of domestic and global recording stars on its platforms. UMG’s content will also be licensed for use on TME’s WeSing Karaoke platform, along with other live streaming and expanded digital services.
UMG and TME have been working closely to reinforce a sustainable music licensing ecosystem in order to help support the industry’s evolution in China. Under the existing partnership, TME has promoted UMG’s music to hundreds of millions of fans. The two companies have also collaborated on music product innovations, including online music shows and videos.
Adam Granite, UMG’s London-based EVP of Market Development, said:
‘We are pleased to extend and evolve our licensing agreement with TME for the Chinese market.
‘We look forward to working together with TME to help create compelling new experiences for fans across all TME platforms and to expand on the opportunities available to UMG’s global and domestic family of artists in China.’
Cussion Pang, TME’s Chief Executive Officer, said:
‘I am delighted to announce this landmark win-win strategic cooperation with Universal Music Group. Supported by our hundreds of millions music lovers, powerful promotional channels, extensive user insights as well as well-rounded digital music services, we have been a valuable partner for the industry to engage with music lovers.
‘Through this partnership expansion, we look forward to cultivating the growth of the dynamic and expanding music entertainment industry in China, taking our shared love and pursuit of new music, to new levels that will benefit all.’
Sunny Chang, Universal Music Greater China’s Chairman and CEO, said:
‘The extension of this agreement provides our roster of artists access to significant further opportunities in China, building on new momentum in the Chinese music market. China has grown to become one of the world’s leading music markets, driven by the adoption of streaming by more and more Chinese music fans.
‘UMG is excited to continue working together with TME to continue to deliver UMG artists and their music to this rapidly growing population of passionate music consumers. Furthermore, we look forward to working with TME together on our new music label in China to develop talented artists and bring their original music to a global audience.’
TC Pan, TME’s Group Vice President of Content Cooperation, said:
‘Universal Music Group and TME are excited to share the same passion and vision when it comes to the music industry.
‘Together, we can build an international pioneering music label to produce new music loved by the younger demographic, bringing in iconic music stars, innovative music works and more breakthrough music genres to the global music market, ultimately providing music fans in China and around the world with a spectacular music entertainment experience.’