Tencent Music Entertainment has forged an alliance with US music media brand Billboard to promote the development of Chinese music globally.
The two companies aim to “shine a light on the diverse stories of Chinese music artists before an expansive world stage,” through an initiative called “Chinese Music Gravity Project,” TME said in a release on Wednesday (August 31), without providing further details into the said initiative.
In turn, Billboard’s global content including charts, music news coverage, and recommendations will be available on TME’s platforms including QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music, and WeSing.
The companies will integrate TME’s technologies and insights into the Chinese music industry with Billboard’s global presence to promote the impact of Chinese music around the world.
“TME will provide high-quality content to music lovers and upgraded professional services to the Chinese music industry. Our jointly initiated project will bring world-class Chinese music to an international fanbase,” TC Pan, Vice President of TME’s content cooperation department, said.
Speaking about the deal, Billboard President Mike Van said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with TME to promote the global development of Chinese music… Billboard is committed to elevating emerging artists around the world, and we could not have asked for a better launch partner than TME, a company who like us, places artists and fans at the center of everything.”
The partnership comes less than a month after Billboard launched its Chinese arm.
Billboard China was launched on August 8 to allow Chinese musicians “to share their art and unique sound amongst a global audience,” Van said in an earlier statement.
“TME will provide high-quality content to music lovers and upgraded professional services to the Chinese music industry. Our jointly initiated project will bring world-class Chinese music to an international fanbase.”
TC Pan, Tencent Music Entertainment
For TME, the deal with Billboard marks its latest attempt to bring Chinese tracks to the global stage after inking a deal with Apple Music in late 2021.
China is positioned as the sixth largest music market in the world, trailing behind the US, Japan, the UK, Germany and France, according to data from the IFPI.
“Billboard is committed to elevating emerging artists around the world, and we could not have asked for a better launch partner than TME, a company who like us, places artists and fans at the center of everything.”
Mike Van, Billboard
TME operates China’s biggest music streaming platforms. In the second quarter, it added 2.5 million paying users, ending the first half with 82.7 million paying subscribers, while rival NetEase Cloud Music lagged far behind with just 37.6 million paying users, up by 872,000 from the first quarter.
Speaking about TME’s deal with Billboard, the company said it will continue collaborations with global players to bring more resources and international exposure opportunities to China in a bid to provide support for local musicians and advance the global value of Chinese music.
However, China’s music streaming industry continues to be subject to regulatory headwinds.
Last year, TME had to give up its exclusive music licensing agreements, bowing to regulatory pressure from Beijing. It comes as TME had cemented its market dominance for years, holding more than 80% of exclusive music library resources in China, raising the eyebrows of antitrust regulators.Music Business Worldwide