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News of the Week 11/16 Selected music industry news

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Financing 

Spotify Acquires Megaphone For US$235 Million

According to Reuters, Spotify announced on Tuesday that it has reached a deal to acquire the podcast advertising platform Megaphone for US$235 million. With the help of Megaphone’s technology in targeted podcast advertising, Spotify will be able to provide third-party podcast publishers with accurate advertising monitoring tools.

Snapchat Will Acquire Israeli Voice AI Company Voca.ai for US$120 Million

Snapchat is in the process of acquiring Israeli voice AI company Voca.ai for US$120 million, including US$70 million in cash and US$50 million in stock. Voca.ai was founded three years ago with a mission to provide companies with AI call centers.

The MCN Company Founded by Hu Haiquan Received Pre-A Round Funding

On November 11th, news broke out that the innovative new retail MCN operation service platform Jujiang Xingchen(聚匠星辰), founded by the musician Hu Haiquan in June 2020, has recently completed the Pre-A round of financing with Xiaomi as the only investor in this round.

This is Xiaomi’s only strategic investment in live stream e-commerce. The size of this investment is undisclosed.

Koala Fund Took Over Shares from Zheng Jun in Related Companies

According to tianyancha.com, Haiermen (Beijing) Cultural Industry Co., Ltd. has recently undergone a change in ownership. Original shareholder Zheng Jun withdrew from the company. Koala Fund and Beijing Ruqisuoshi Culture Communication Co., Ltd were added to the list of shareholders. Zheng Jun owned 9% of the shares. 

Labels

 Sun Entertainment Culture Limited Posted a Loss of HK$17.89 Million in the First Three Quarters of 2020

On November 12th, Sun Entertainment Culture Limited announced that for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, the company’s revenue was HK$21.406 million, up 77% year-on-year; net loss attributable to the company’s owners was HK$17.89 million, a significant improvement from a net loss of HK$39.176 in the same period last year; net loss per share is HK$1.4 cents.

 

Live Entertainment

National Centre for the Performing Arts’s Online Performance Series Received 1 Billion Views

On April 11th, 2020, the National Centre for the Performing Arts launched an online performance series, which updates every Saturday evening. The series presents performances in high-quality audio and film quality visuals. As of October 31st, the 34 performances in this series received a total view count of 1.027 billion.

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Japan Tour Confirms

According to the Japan Broadcasting Corporation NHK, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will be allowed special admission into Japan to perform from November 5th to November 14th. Vienna Philharmonic’s original plan was to tour Japan, Taiwan, Mainland China, and South Korea, but due to the pandemic, only the Japan tour actualized.

Shanghai “One Day One World” World Music Special Ends Successfully

During the 2020 Shanghai outdoor stage performance festival, the “One Day One World” World Music Special held at SAIC Shanghai Cultural Square. Tibetan singer Yungiema, Mongolian nomadic rock band Hot Ground and fusion band JAM performed a variety of songs in a different style.

2020 K-musical Pitching Was Held Online

On November 10th, 2020 K-musical Pitching took place in SAIC Shanghai Cultural Square. The event was sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korean Culture and Arts Commission and hosted by Shanghai Cultural Square and the Korea Set Management Support Center.

Due to the pandemic, the event was moved online, replacing physical roundtables and live performances with promotional videos, online performances, and zoom conferences.

Tencent’s THE FORCE 2020 National Tour Officially Reopens

On November 13th, Tencent Musicians’ 2020 THE FORCE National Tour officially kicked off. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night between November 14th and December 11th, top musicians from THE FORCE original music competition will perform in 10 cities including Nanjing, Hangzhou, Chongqing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Xi’an, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, and Changsha.

Kuming 500 Miles Music Festival Announced Lineup for 2020

Kunming 500 Miles Music Festival will be held on November 28th and 29th. This ten-year-old music festival released its 2020 performance lineup on November 13th, among which are Song Dongye, Miserable Faith, Tizzy T, and KAFE.HU. There will be two stages performing simultaneously at the festival.

Modern Sky Cancels Shanghai Strawberry Music Festival

On November 13th, the official WeChat account of Modern Sky issued a statement stating that the Shanghai Strawberry Music Festival originally scheduled for November 20th to 22th will be canceled due to a travel ban resulted from a small coronavirus outbreak. Modern Sky will refund all fans within 10 business days. 

Hatsune Mike Online Crowdfunding Concert Will be Held in June 2021

The crowdfunding page for HATSUNE MIKU EXPO 2021 Online launched on November 12th. The crowdfunding successfully raised enough money for the concert and it will go online for fans to stream for free in June 2021.
 

Live Nation Stock Soared 22% After News Broke About COVID Vaccine

On November 9th, Live Nation’s share price went up 22% after Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine was reported to be more than 90% effective. An effective vaccine is a really good news for the live entertainment industry.
 

Musicians

GOT7 Will Return With Their 7th Album “Breath of Love: Last Piece”

JYP Entertainment announced on November 9th, Korea time that GOT7 will release the new album “Breath of Love: Last Piece” on the 30th. At the same time, the new song “Breath” will be released at 6 pm on November 23rd. This album will be the first official album in 2 years since the release of “Present: YOU” in September 2018.

Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Book skmt: Who is Ryuichi Sakamoto is Opened for Pre-sale

On November 9th, the Chinese translated version of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s new book skmt: Who is Ryuichi Sakamoto began pre-sale online at RMB 59 yuan per copy. The book contains conversations between Ryuichi Sakamoto and famous editor Shigeo GOTO from 1996 to 2006, giving readers a direct view of Sakamoto’s inner world. Topics range from childhood musical enlightenment, famous work, the Gulf War and 911, end of the century, diseases, exploration within musical genres, poetry and literature, the relationship between humans and nature, etc.

Winners of MTV EMA Awards Ceremony Announced

The winners of the MTVEMA Awards Ceremony were announced on November 9th. Lady Gaga won “Best Artist”; Coldplay won “Best Rock”, Cardi B won “Best Hip Hop”, and R1SE won “Best Greater China Act”.—–

Singer J.He to Start Her First Live Streaming Show on YY Live

On November 11th, YY Live announced that singer J.He (何洁) officially launched her first live streaming show My Exclusive Rhythm on the platform. The premiere is scheduled for November 12th at 8 o’clock in the evening. YY Live has two modes of celebrity live streaming programs. One is a long-term personal show, and the other one is regular programming inviting different celebrities for each broadcast. YY Live launched a program this year called Idol See You on Friday already featuring R1SE, Rocket Girls 101, THE9, SKY, UNINE, etc.

Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Last Live Streaming Performance This Year Scheduled for December 12th

Ryuichi Sakamoto recently announced that he will live-stream his last performance this year Ryuichi Sakamoto: Playing the Piano 1212020 on December 12th. This is the first time Ryuichi Sakamoto holds a solo piano concert in Japan since 2013. The concert will be broadcasted by MUSIC/SLASH, the live streaming service with the best audio quality.

The performance will be in collaboration with new media artist Daito Manabe, and Zakkubalan will be the filming consultant.

The Coming One – Super Band 2020 Album Released

Variety show The Coming One – Super Band 2020 released an original song collection album The Coming One High Graduation Memorial Book. The album includes remixes of popular songs from the show.

 

Kris Wu Sued TikTok Parent Company Byte Dance for Copyright Infringement

According to tianyancha.com, a new court announcement was added to Beijing ByteDance Technology Co., Ltd. The plaintiff is WUYIFAN (Kris Wu) and the defendant is Beijing ByteDance Technology Co., Ltd. and Lin Jinxia. The case number is (2020) Beijing. 0491 Civil First No. 26834, the case is a dispute over online copyright infringement. This case will open on December 8th. 

Copyright

Universal Music Publishing Group Signed with Rainbow Chamber Singer’s Songwriter Jin Chengzhi

On November 11th, Universal Music Publishing Group China announced that it has signed a publishing deal with Jin Chengzhi, the artistic director and songwriter of the Shanghai Rainbow Chamber Singers, and will be managing his 100+ songs worldwide exclusively.

 

Streaming

CTR Releases Short Video Marketing Report

CTR Market Research recently released the Short Video Marketing Report, which shows that Douyin and Kuaishou have a stable duopoly in this market. Competition among smaller players in the field is fierce due to a lack of differentiation.

Data shows that in August 2020, Douyin is installed on 510 million different devices, and Kuaishou followed closely at around 380 million. The average daily usage time from a single user for Douyin, Kuaishou, Watermelon, and Douyin Volcano all exceeded one hour.

Lizhi’s Q3 Revenue Up 10% YoY

Lizhi FM announced its third-quarter financial results. Lizhi’s revenue for the quarter was 362 million yuan, up 10% year-on-year. Audio entertainment revenue was 356 million yuan, up 9% year-on-year; podcasting, advertising and other revenues were 5.65 million yuan, up 61% year-on-year. Net loss for the quarter was 6.07 million yuan, significantly less than a net loss of 48.49 million yuan in the same period last year. During the reporting period, the average monthly active users on mobile was 56.2 million, up 21% year-on-year; the average monthly paying users was 448,300, up 17% year-on-year. The company expects net revenue in the fourth quarter to be between 370 million yuan and 400 million yuan.

Former CEO of TikTok Joined Access After Resignation

On Monday, the investment company Access Industries announced that Kevin Mayer, the former CEO of TikTok, has joined the company as a consultant. Once a popular candidate for CEO of Disney and having served briefly as CEO of TikTok, he will focus on looking for media-related investment opportunities for Access Industries.

TME Posted Stellar Q3 Earnings

On November 11th, Tencent Music Entertainment released its unaudited financial report for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020.

The total revenue in the third quarter increased by 16.4% year-on-year to RMB 7.58 billion (US$1.12 billion). Subscription revenue increased by 55% year-on-year to RMB 1.46 billion (US$215 million). Net profit attributable to company shareholders was RMB 1.13 billion (US$167 million). Paid users reached 51.7 million, an increase of 46% year-on-year, and a net increase of 4.6 million quarter-on-quarter, the largest single-quarter net increase since 2016, which brought online music service payment rate up to 8.0%, higher than the 7.2% in the previous quarter and 5.4% in the same period last year. Overall, TME maintained a steady growth, which beats expectations during the pandemic.

Huya’s third-quarter revenue was 2.815 Billion Yuan, Up 24.3% YoY

On November 11th, Huya announced its third-quarter 2020 financial results. Huya’s revenue in Q3 was RMB 2.815 billion, a year-on-year increase of 24.3%; net profit under non-US GAAP was RMB 361.2 million, a year-on-year increase of 75.0%.

In terms user data within China, in the third quarter, Huya Live has a MAU of 172.9 million and 74.2 million mobile MAU, with year-on-year increases of 18.3% and 16.3%, respectively. The number of paid users was 6 million. This is a 13.2% increase from the 5.3 million in the same period in 2019.

SoundCloud Adds Sharing to Snapchat Function

Songs on SoundCloud can now be shared on Snapchat. Soundcloud will also support sharing to Facebook Stories in the near future.

Tik Tok to Collaborate with Canadian E-commerce Platform Shopify

On October 28th, Tik Tok announced that it has reached a new global partnership agreement with the e-commerce platform Shopify. The collaboration aims to help more than 1 million merchants on Shopify reach Tik Tok’s young audience. The two companies believe that the partnership will eventually be expanded to include other in-app shopping features.

Ticketing and Concert Streaming Platform DICE Launched in India

Ticketing and live streaming platform DICE has recently landed in the Indian market. DICE was founded in 2014. Users can watch exclusive performance videos and purchase tickets on DICE platforms on phones, PCs, and TVs. It also introduced a live stream function in April this year.

Spotify’s Q3 Revenue Increased by 14% YoY

On October 29th, the music streaming platform released its third-quarter financials, which posted quarterly revenue of $2.32 billion, an increase of 14% year-on-year. However, its quarterly loss is $118 million. In Q3 last year, the company recorded a profit of $282 million.

In addition, Spotify had 320 million monthly active users and 144 million paid subscribers this quarter, up 29% and 27% year-on-year respectively.

 

Variety Shows

Yuehua Entertainment Trademarked Wang Yibo’s Team Name in Variety Show Street Dance of China

According to tianyancha.com, Yuehua Entertainment recently applied for multiple trademarks related to “Yibowangzha(一波王炸),” Wang Yibo’s team name in the famous dance competition show Street Dance of China Season 3. The applications were submitted on November 3rd and are still in review. The classifications include food, advertisement, beer and beverages, and education and entertainment.

Registration for Variety Show Strawberry Man Starts 

Strawberry Man is the first variety show competition for spots to perform at an outdoor music festival. The show is co-produced by Youku, Modern Sky, Damai, and Muguangshidai. The show will feature more than 30 rookie independent musicians and they will win spots to debut at Strawberry Music Festival by performing their songs and beating the other teams. Registration starts on November 11th and will end on December 18th. 

GAI Confirms as the Rap Instructor of Asia Super Young

On November 11th, Youku announced its first S+ variety show Asia Super Young’s instructor lineup. GAI will be the rap instructor for this new idol boy group competition show sponsored by Alibaba.  

Music Marketing

Chace Appointed the First Chinese Musical Director for W Hotel

On November 9th, the international hotel brand W Hotel officially announced in Shanghai that it will be inviting electronic pop musician Chace to be the special music director of its new music project “W Seeking Music Season”. And Chace is also the first and only Chinese musician to receive this title. The event will take place from December 2020 to February 2021. Chace will perform in Chengdu W Hotel, Xi’an W Hotel, Suzhou W Hotel, and Shanghai Bund W Hotel as a part of the event.

Physical/Hardware

Counterfeit AirPods Sold 600 Million Units in 2020, Far Surpassing Apple’s Real Ones

According to Apple’s supply chain data, suppliers have supplied components for around 80-90 million pairs of AirPods. Renowned market research organization Counterpoint Research predicted that Apple’s AirPod line sales will exceed 100 million pairs in 2020 and AirPod did not meet expectations.
According to incomplete information, counterfeit AirPods sold more than 600 million pairs in 2020. There are low-end ones worth less than RMB 100 yuan and higher-end ones with active noise cancellation features. The prevalence of counterfeit AirPods far exceeds real AirPods and holds a significant market share in the TWS headset market.

Legal

The Standing Committee of the National People Congress Passed New Amendment of Copyright Law

According to CCTV news, on November 11th, the amendment for the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China is approved by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, effective June 1st, 2021. The amendment significantly strengthened copyright protection for master recordings.

Entertainment Venues in Germany Closed Indefinitely

German Chancellor Merkel announced on October 28th that Germany will shut down most public places from November 2nd. Restaurants will close for a month. Theaters, gyms, nail salons, etc will be closed indefinitely. Sports will continue without an audience.

The State Administration for Market Regulation of China Issued a Draft for Comment for the Guidelines for Anti-trust under Platform Economy

On November 10th, the State Administration for Market Regulation started to publicly solicit opinions on the Guidelines for Anti-trust in Platform Economy.
The draft covers issues of market dominance, unfair pricing practices, exploitation of frequent customers, etc.

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