Tencent Holdings Limited has signed a wide-ranging agreement with Warner Music Group, which includes the first-ever master distribution partnership between a major record company and a leading ISP in Mainland China.
Tencent will distribute WMG’s repertoire and manage new releases to all legitimate local Chinese audio services, with the exception of Mainland China mobile carriers with which Warner Music China will continue to develop direct partnerships. WMG will drive all marketing and promotional activities across the region.
The partnership also covers the extension of commercial opportunities for WMG’s music across Tencent platforms, including the country’s flagship QQ Music streaming service. Tencent will also provide unique promotional opportunities to WMG’s artists through Tencent’s video and music streaming services, mobile and PC games, and social media capabilities, including its leading messaging platform QQ which currently has 820 million active users in China.
WMG recently completed the acquisition of Gold Typhoon’s recorded music catalogue and artist roster in the Greater China Region.
Stu Bergen, President, International, Warner Recorded Music, said “Since expanding our presence in China with the acquisition of Gold Typhoon, we have focused on establishing market-moving partnerships with innovative players such as Tencent that are successfully harnessing the incredible demand for music in one of the world’s most rapidly changing territories. Our exceptional teams have forged this partnership to help advance licensed music services and create new artist development possibilities. Providing music fans with access to high-quality music, and the right mix of regional and global artists, will be integral to the growth of the digital music sector in China.”
Dowson Tong, Senior Executive Vice President at Tencent, said “Leveraging WMG’s rich portfolio of artists, this strategic partnership will offer fans in China an extensive stream of entertaining and high-quality music content that is well-managed and protected under the license agreement. We are looking forward to integrating the music from WMG’s talented artists into our products and services, bringing the user experience and enjoyment to a new level.”
Elaine Feng, CEO, Warner Music China said, “As the industry continues to transform, it’s imperative that we drive bold new solutions that recognize the value of music. Enabling a deeper engagement between artist and fan is at the heart of this partnership and we are excited to create highly immersive music experiences that will foster the growth and enhance the vibrancy of the Chinese music market.”
Warner Music China has a large rosters of current Chinese stars including Jolin Tsai (pictured), JJ Lin, Jam Hsiao, Kenji Wu, Tiger Huang, Grady Guan and Li Ronghao. WMG global stars that are popular in China including Linkin Park, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Jason Mraz and Michael Bublé, among others.Music Business Worldwide