Tencent Music and Universal Music has recently announced the signing of a licensing agreement to expand the Chinese music market. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, TME will distribute music from UMG’s roster of record labels and global recording stars on its streaming platforms QQ Music, KuGou, and Kuwo. TME will also be UMG’s master distribution and licensing partner to exclusively sub-license UMG’s content to third-party music service providers in China.
Apart from plans to develop artists, the collaboration is also part of the plan to continue reinforcing a more robust copyright protection environment. In addition, TME will support UMG artists to promote their music, leveraging Tencent online properties and other media channels.
In China, TME is one of the largest music platforms, providing over 17 million songs to 600 million monthly active users. TME is a strong advocate of authorized music and has earned industry recognition for driving growth in the digital music industry, with more than 15 million paying subscribers.
Furthermore, to accelerate the development of Chinese recording artists and advance a vibrant local repertoire, UMG and TME will work together to design, build and develop Abbey Road Studios China, a state-of-the-art recording and mastering facility inspired by UMG’s iconic recording studio in London.
“We are honoured to be UMG’s master distribution and licensing partner in China. With extensive user reach and deep industry knowledge, TME is the partner of choice for the music industry to engage with music lovers. Our partnership with the world’s leading music labels will further demonstrate our commitment to cultivating a vibrant ecosystem that benefits music lovers, artists and songwriters,” said Martin Lau, President of Tencent.
“Leveraging UMG’s resources and our distribution capabilities, we can provide a rich and personalized experience to hundreds of millions of music lovers in China. This strategic agreement will further strengthen our efforts in copyright protection and shift the industry towards the paid subscription model. In addition, with the establishment of Abbey Road Studios China, we will work together with UMG to help local artists produce top-quality recordings for distribution in China and across the world,” said Cussion Pang, CEO of Tencent Music Entertainment.