Tencent Music has formed a partnership with Apple's music-streaming service to offer Chinese music to the subscribers in its US business.
Under the partnership, record labels and artists who are part of TME Music Cloud, a new global music distribution platform launched by Tencent Music, can distribute their music to audiences from across the globe via Apple Music. Tencent Music said this partnership can enable global audiences to explore China's music culture and genres, enhancing "the global discovery of Chinese music and assisting in the international development of Chinese musicians."
TME Music Cloud will also adopt a number of features, including content self-management, online distribution and promotion, settlement of royalties, and music data insights, providing global level omnichannel distribution for a wide range of partner labels and creators.
Tencent Music positions itself as an online music entertainment platform in China, offering online music and music-centric social entertainment services with the four music mobile apps in China, namely QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing, to over 800 million users. Moving forward, the availability of Tencent Music's catalogue on Apple Music will help promote more Chinese music overseas. Reliant on technology and data, Tencent Music also empowers artists as well as content partners to produce and monetise their music.
However, in July, Tencent was ordered by China's antitrust regulator The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) to give up its exclusive music licensing rights. It has also been fined for unfair market practices in the online music market after acquiring China Music Corporation in 2016.
In a statement, SAMR said after investigating the tech giant's activities in the online music broadcasting platform market in China and the acquisition of China Music five years ago, as Tencent owned more than 80% of exclusive music library resources, such dominance offered Tencent an advantage over its competitors while it is able to reach more exclusive deals with copyright holders as music copyright is the core asset.
SAMR said it was based on regulations to penalise Tencent. The company, along with its affiliated companies, must give up exclusive music rights within 30 days, not engage in exclusive copyright agreements with upstream owners of exclusive music rights as required by SAMR. Tencent is also required to report to the SAMR on its progress every year for three years, while the antitrust regulator will strictly supervise its implementation.
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