Sony and Tencent launch a record label together in Asia

Sony Music and Chinese giant Tencent are starting a label together.

Liquid State has been launched in Hong Kong this week, with a core focus on EDM and electronic music across Asia.

The label will also locally get involved in live touring and nightclub events.

Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) is majority-owned by Chinese media giant Tencent Holdings, which currently has a market cap value in excess of US $500bn on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

TME itself is believed to be worth in the region of $10bn.

In December, TME closed a stock swap deal whereby it acquired a 10% stake in Spotify. As part of the deal, Daniel Ek’s company also took ownership of a tenth of equity in TME.

In other words, Sony has just launched a label with a company part-owned by Spotify.

And like Universal, Warner and Merlin, Sony is itself a minority stake holder in Spotify.

Funny old world.

“Together we will make Liquid State the destination for a wide range of highly talented new and established global and local artists.”

Denis Handlin, Sony Music

Sony Music Australia CEO and Chairman Denis Handlin of Liquid State’s launch: “These are exciting times for the music industry and Liquid State has been created to support and enhance the discovery and development of electronic and EDM talent across the Asia region.

“Together we will make Liquid State the destination for a wide range of highly talented new and established global and local artists. I would also like to thank Tencent  for sharing the passion and vision to provide music fans in China and around the world with exciting new music, unique experiences and incredible artists through Liquid State.”

As part of the deal, Tencent-owned media channels such as WeChat, QQ, Tencent Video and QZone will actively support Liquid State and its artists.

Tencent will also push the artists on its digital music channels such as QQ Music, Kugou Music and Kuwo Music.

Cussion Pang, CEO of Tencent Music Entertainment Group commented: “With the formation of Liquid State, our goal is to create an unmatched culture exchange between the East and the West through the power of electronic dance music.

“It is a music genre like no other, and together with Sony Music Entertainment, we aim to build a win-win solution for all of our stakeholders and believe that the collaboration will give birth to some truly memorable moments in both the music and culture sectors for years to come.”

Multiplatinum-selling Sony Music act Alan Walker (pictured) has signed up for involvement with Liquid State.

The Norwegian DJ/producer will reveal collaborations on Liquid State in the coming months.

“Asia has always been such a special place for me so I’m thrilled to help Sony Music and Tencent with the launch of Liquid State,” Walker said.

“I’m convinced that Liquid State will grow to play a significant role in breaking new artists from Asia on a global scale, as well as enabling international artists to unleash the huge potential that lies within the Asian market.”

Others on the label’s initial roster include Grammy-nominated star ZHU, while China’s DJ Lizzy and Korean duo Junkilla are the first artists from the Asia region to be signed to Liquid State.

The deal gives Tencent the ability to host Sony Music copyrights on its own music services, as well as licensing them to rival digital platforms in the region.Music Business Worldwide

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