Warner and Tencent Music to launch a joint record label, as they ink multi-year licensing deal

Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) CEO, Cussion Pang

Warner Music Group and Tencent Music Entertainment are launching a joint venture record label in China, the two companies have confirmed.

The deal means that TME will have two new joint venture labels running with major music companies in China – after a similar launch was announced with Universal Music Group last year.

Today’s announcement comes as Warner and TME confirm they have also signed a new multi-year licensing agreement for WMG’s recorded music repertoire on Tencent platforms in mainland China.

Those platforms include including QQ Music, Kugou Music and Kuwo Music, as well as its live streaming platforms and WeSing, TME’s online karaoke platform.

Warner Music’s repertoire will also be made available, via TME’s online music platforms, on certain designated connected devices, such as in-car audio systems, in mainland China.

The two firms said the new JV label would “[leverage] Warner Music’s global resources and experience in supporting artists’ careers, as well as TME’s massive influence in mainland China’s music and entertainment market”.

The pact continues a long-running partnership between TME and WMG, who first signed a licensing deal for recorded music in 2014.

“This renewed and expanded partnership means we can help make our artists impossible to ignore in one of the world’s fastest-expanding music markets.”

Simon Robson, Warner Music

Simon Robson, President, International, Warner Recorded Music, WMG, said: “Our collaboration with TME has already delivered tremendous results for local and international artists, and now we’re opening up even more opportunities together.

“Alongside our increased investment in artist & repertoire and marketing in Greater China, this renewed and expanded partnership means we can help make our artists impossible to ignore in one of the world’s fastest-expanding music markets.”

“This cooperation will be a new industry benchmark for diversified development and value creation in China’s music industry.”

Cussion Pang, Tencent Music

Cussion Pang, Chief Executive Officer of TME, said: “TME and Warner Music have maintained a strong strategic partnership with deep mutual trust for a long time.

“We have shared the same passion and vision by closely collaborating on copyright protection, and empowering and protecting artists and their work, while unlocking the intrinsic value of music. This cooperation will be a new industry benchmark for diversified development and value creation in China’s music industry.”

“We’ve developed a great relationship since we started working together more than 10 years ago, based on mutual trust, and have worked together to open new opportunities for artists to engage with fans on a huge scale.”

Oana Ruxandra, Warner Music Group

Oana Ruxandra, EVP, Business Development and Chief Digital Officer, WMG, said: “TME is a true innovator. We’ve developed a great relationship since we started working together more than 10 years ago, based on mutual trust, and have worked together to open new opportunities for artists to engage with fans on a huge scale.

“I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to renew and expand our partnership and know that our collaboration will help power the growth of the whole digital music market.”

TC Pan, TME’s Group Vice President of Content Cooperation, added, “Going forward, with our joint exploration of the emerging music market for designated connected devices in mainland China, we will further optimize value in recorded music distribution.

“Through the new joint venture and other forms of deeper collaboration with Warner Music, we will seamlessly integrate the premium A&R capability of an international recording company with our vibrant and massive online music ecosystem, to discover unique musical talent and content, and bring unparalleled music experiences to fans as we showcase ‘new generation’ artists to the global music market.”Music Business Worldwide