Sony Music inks new licensing deals with Tencent Music and NetEase in China

Sony Music Entertainment has signed new multi-year licensing deals with the two biggest owners of music streaming platforms in China – NetEase Cloud Music and Tencent Music Entertainment (TME).

The news marks a fresh licensing structure for Sony Music in China, which has previously licensed its catalog exclusively through TME in the region.

The past 12 months have seen both of Sony’s biggest rivals – Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group – each announce fresh multi-year licensing deals in China, with both launching JV labels with TME as a result.

Sony Music already has a long-running JV label with Tencent – Hong Kong-based Liquid State.

Discussing the new Tencent Music deal, Dennis Kooker, President, Global Digital Business and U.S. Sales, Sony Music Entertainment, commented: “Sony Music is pleased to extend our valued partnership with Tencent Music to maximize the reach of our artists in the vitally important market of China.

“We look forward to working with TME to develop further growth in the Chinese music marketplace and drive greater levels of local investment in our global roster of amazing talent, which includes many of the world’s biggest superstars.”

Cussion Pang, TME’s Executive Chairman, said: “Extending our cooperation with SME was a natural next-step for us. We look forward to leveraging our strong distribution channels to explore new ways of music marketing and the promotion of new artists, as well as deepening our reach to Japanese pop culture fans in China.

“With the music industry in China booming and set to become increasingly important on the international music map, we believe alliances such as these enable our users to have the best possible experience at their fingertips.”

Discussing the new NetEase Cloud Music deal, Dennis Kooker added: “We are pleased to be partnering with NetEase Cloud Music to further grow the availability of our music in China and increase the level of global investment in our roster of world class artists. China is one of the most dynamic music markets in the world, and we look forward to working with NetEase Cloud Music to develop innovative approaches for our tremendous creative talent to connect with fans locally.”

Ding Bo, Vice President of NetEase Cloud Music, said: “With access to SME’s abundant catalogue of top artists across the globe, we’re thrilled to provide more unique and influential music content for our audience’s diverse tastes. The partnership will enrich and enliven our already vast and expanding library of quality music and propel China’s online music ecosystem forward.

“As leading companies in the music and entertainment industry, SME and NetEase are committed to providing music lovers with the ultimate audio experience and we look forward to working together with SME to explore more opportunities that benefit our vibrant community of music lovers.”

A report from Reuters last month suggested that, following an antitrust investigation, China’s State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) could fine Tencent as much as $1.5 billion.Music Business Worldwide