Universal Music Group has kicked off 2024 with a big deal announcement: The world’s largest music rightsholder has confirmed a new multi-year licensing agreement with Tencent Music Entertainment (TME).
Under the contract, TME will continue to have access to UMG’s music catalog for QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music, and WeSing. The expansive partnership includes music streaming in Dolby Atmos and high-definition (HD) formats.
Tencent Music Entertainment is the largest music streaming platform owner in China.
As of the end of September 2023, the company’s online music services counted 103 million paying users.
TME is majority-owned by Tencent Holdings, which in turn leads a consortium (Concerto Partners LLC) that owns a 19.92% stake in Universal Music Group.
Cussion Pang, Executive Chairman of TME, said, “UMG has been an invaluable ecosystem partner to TME with deep mutual trust. Our diverse user demographics, large subscriber base, extensive industry insights, and advanced technologies have positioned us as a standout partner of choice.
“With a shared passion for music, we look forward to enriching our cooperation and strengthening our vibrant ecosystem to promote growth and prosperity.”
Adam Granite, UMG’s EVP of Market Development, said, “We are pleased to extend our licensing agreement with TME for the Chinese market.
“With our renewed focus on signing and supporting the best talent from across Greater China, 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 family of artists in China.”
TC Pan, TME’s Group Vice President and Head of Content Cooperation Business, added, “We are committed to offering our users the most comprehensive music content through diverse scenarios across our platform.
“Through our concerted efforts with UMG, we’ll also explore innovative ways to facilitate artist-fan interactions while unleashing artists’ creativity.”
Timothy Xu, Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Greater China said, “We are delighted to extend our relationship with TME, as we continue to create new opportunities for UMG’s artists to connect with the many millions of dedicated music fans here in China.
“UMG will continue to work with TME to bring the very best in music to these passionate music consumers, and to explore new ways to enhance their listening experiences.”
China broke into the world’s Top 5 recorded music markets in 2022, according to IFPI data, landing at No.5 ahead of France (No.6), South Korea (No.7) and Canada (No.8, see below).
China generated USD $1.2 billion for recorded music rightsholders in the year, says IFPI, up 28.4% YoY.Music Business Worldwide