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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sony and Tencent Plan Digital Music Takeover of China


Written by Music Business Worldwide — According to the IFPI, China generated $169.7m for recorded music rights-holders last year – up 63.8% on 2014 – making it the 14th biggest region for labels and artists.

However, with a population of more than 1.35bn people, China’s annual per capita (person) spend on recorded music last year was just $0.10.

Sony Music says it will collaborate with Tencent Music on the promotion, management and online distribution of its repertoire in the region, adding that the new deal ‘continues on from the original terms of the cooperation’.

The initial partnership between Sony and Tencent, inked in 2014, gave the latter company exclusive digital distribution rights for Sony’s repertoire in China (including Beyonce, pictured).

Tencent signed a similar deal with Warner Music Group back in 2014, while it also holds partnerships with Believe Digital and other music rights managers.

Denis Handlin AM, Chairman & CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia & New Zealand and President, Asia, said: “We are excited to continue [the] relationship and cooperation between Sony Music and one of our most valued business partners, Tencent Music.

“Tencent Music’s promotion of the legal use of digital music has made a very positive and lasting change to the market for music labels and music fans. The difference we have made together in the development of artists and in fan engagement through our strategic partnership is most significant. We look forward to taking the Chinese music market to the next level, becoming one of the top markets in the world.”

Dowson Tong, Chairman of Tencent Music, said: “I am delighted that the mutually beneficial cooperation between Sony Music and Tencent Music has been extended. Our partnership will continue to flourish as Tencent Music’s influence on the China market grows and as we bring even more great content from Sony Music’s global catalogue of heavyweight artists to China, enhancing Sony Music’s business and thrilling music lovers in the mainland.”

Tencent rival Alibaba signed a major deal with BMG last year, which included access to digital rights for over 2.5m copyrights, including publishing rights in songs from the likes of Bruno Mars, John Legend, Robbie Williams, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and will.i.am.

Tencent owns the profitable QQ Music streaming and download platform, which boasts more than 400m active monthly uses.

In July Tencent announced it was merging with China Music Corporation to form a new company in which Tencent had the controlling stake in a deal worth $2.7bn.

China Music Corporation runs two of China’s biggest digital music services – KuGou and Kuwo.

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