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Warner announces expanded deal with Tencent

By | Published on Tuesday 23 March 2021


Warner Music has announced an expanded multi-year strategic licensing agreement with China’s Tencent Music Entertainment. And why the hell not? If you’re going do a deal, it’s always fun for it be expansive, multi-year and strategic. Scoring all three, what a result!

Under the deal Warner’s music will continue to stream on Tencent’s various platforms within China, including QQ Music, Kugou Music and Kuwo Music, and karaoke service WeSing. But that’s not very expansive, is it? Or strategic. More of the same really. Yeah, the official announcement talks about Tencent’s “connected devices” such as “in-car audio systems”, and Warner’s tunes being available via all that, but still, we were promised expansive and strategic.

“The companies also agreed to launch a new joint venture record label”, adds the announcement, adding that that label will be “leveraging 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”. OK, maybe that’s expansive and strategic. I mean, a bit boring, but it expands Warner’s alliance with Tencent in a strategic way. So, boxes ticked. Job done.

“Our collaboration with TME has already delivered tremendous results for local and international artists, and now we’re opening up even more opportunities together”, reckons Warner’s President of International Simon Robson. “Alongside our increased investment in A&R 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”.

“With our joint exploration of the emerging music market for designated connected devices in mainland China, we will further optimise value in recorded music distribution”, adds Tencent’s VP of Content Cooperation TC Pan.

“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”.

Lovely stuff. Well done, one and all.