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Universal Music signs up with China’s Tencent

By | Published on Wednesday 17 May 2017

Universal Music

Universal Music has followed the lead of its major label rivals, and others, and struck up an alliance with Tencent Music, what is now the key player in the emerging Chinese music market that everyone hopes is going to be worth shedloads in the relatively near future.

The mega-major says that the “landmark licensing agreement” will “significantly expand the Chinese music market” and “accelerate Universal Music’s development of local Chinese artists and repertoire”. Oh, and they’re going to build a Chinese version of London’s famous Abbey Road Studios, which are now a division of Universal, of course.

As with Tencent’s other deals with the global music players, under this arrangement it will get access to Universal’s catalogue for its own streaming platforms, including QQ Music, and will also be the major’s distribution partner in China, meaning it will also control the flow of tracks to other streaming services in the region.

Anything else? Well, so promises the official announcement of the deal, “both parties will work together to find new ways to develop artists, to innovate business models and to reinforce a robust copyright protection environment. In addition, Tencent will support Universal Music artists to promote their music, leveraging Tencent online properties and other media channels”. Good times.

Says Universal Music big cheese Lucian Grainge: “We’re looking forward to working with Tencent as we develop local Chinese artists and repertoire, as well as global stars, in this dynamic and expanding music market. With more than 80 years of history in China, Universal Music has been engaged in the unique evolution of the country’s music business and I’m looking forward to working with Tencent to bring exciting new artists and services to music fans across China”.

Meanwhile Tencent President Martin Lau adds: “We are honoured to be Universal Music’s master distribution and licensing partner in China. With extensive user reach and deep industry knowledge, Tencent 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”.