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News of the Week 12/14 Selected music industry news

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Financing 

Eventbrite Acquires Marketing Platform ToneDen

On December 4th, Eventbrite announced that it is acquiring ToneDen, a platform that automates social media marketing and advertising for live events.

Cisco Acquired London Software Company IMImobile for US$730 Million

On December 7th, Cisco announced that it had acquired London software company IMImobile for approximately US$730 million. After the acquisition, Cisco will be able to establish a more comprehensive CXaaS solution to provide customers with end-to-end services with a better experience throughout the project life cycle.

Sony Music Acquires Probity, a Music Merchandise Company

The merchandise division of Sony Music The Thread Shop has acquired Probity Europe LTD, a British independent music merchandise sales company. Probity provides touring, retail, e-commerce, ticketing and licensing services worldwide.

Tencent Music Stock Price Soared, Its Latest Market Value Exceeded US$30 Billion

On December 8th, US Eastern time, Tencent Music Entertainment Group (NYSE: TME) rose 7.08% and closed at $18, hitting record high. According to the latest estimates, the market value of Tencent Music Entertainment Group has exceeded US$30 billion.

Labels

WMG’s Distribution Subsidiary ADA Worldwide Sets up Office in France

On December 9th, ADA Worldwide, a music distribution company under Warner Music Group, announced that it is going to set up ADA France. The headquarter of ADA France will be located in Paris and led by industry veteran Alassane Konaté.

Live Entertainment

Popular Japanese Band King Gnu Livestreamed Their Tour on Bilibili

On December 6th, the popular Japanese band King Gnu announced that it would stream its first special concert on Bilibili. The ticket price for the livestream was 229 yuan, and the replay video was available from December 7th to 8th.

 

Forgotten Club’s 2020 Tour Chengdu Stop Postponed

On December 9th, Live Nation’s official WeChat account issued an announcement stating, “Due to the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak, FORGOTTEN CLUB’s “WHERE SHALL WE GO” 2020 tour Chengdu stop will be postponed until further noticed. Fans who have purchased tickets can choose to keep the tickets or apply for a refund. ”

Teatro all Scala Held Opening Concert of the 20/21 Season

On December 7th, the world-famous Italian opera house Teatro alla Scala begin its 20/21 season with an all-star opening gala. It was a no audience pre-recorded performance directed by the famous Italian director Davide Livermore.

TME Live Made three Online Concert Announcements

On December 11th, TME live, a live entertainment brand under Tencent Music Entertainment Group, announced three Ultra Live performances at the end of the year within one hour: Wu Qingfeng (吴青峰)’s 16 Leaf (16叶线上演唱会) concert on December 20th, Nicholas Tse (谢霆锋)’s Crazy Rock (“锋狂摇滚”) concert on the 26th and A Mei (张惠妹)’s UTOPIA EAST concert on the 30th. These three concerts will be streamed on QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music, as well as WeSing.

Lang Lang Joins Hands with World-renowned Artists for Online Charity Concert

Lang Lang International Music Foundation moved its biennial charity concert online for the first time. As in previous years, Lang Lang invited top artists in jazz, ballet, opera and other fields to the stage. The concert was broadcasted live on Lang Lang’s YouTube channel.

 The Second Tencent Music Entertainment Festival Will Be Held in Macau

On December 11th, Tencent Music Entertainment Group announced that the second Tencent Music Entertainment Festival will be held in Macau on January 23rd, 2021. This year’s theme is “Music to Live.” The festival will feature many musicians and singers, and it will be streamed on QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing simultaneously.

Bilibili Will Jointly Host the Most Beautiful Night 2020 Bilibili Gala with CCTV’s Short Video App

On December 11, Bilibili announced that it would jointly host the Most Beautiful Night 2020 (“2020最美的夜”)Bilibili Gala with Yangshipin (央视频), CCTV’s short video app. According to Bilibili the broadcast will adopt 4K ultra-high-definition picture quality and Dolby Atmos production standards. There will be four venues in Beijing, Wuhan, Hong Kong, and Taipei. The “Most Beautiful Night of 2020” bilibili party will be broadcasted simultaneously on Bilibili and Yangshipin.

 


 

Musicians

BTS Won Eight Awards at MAMA

On December 7th, the annual Korean music awards ceremony “Mnet Asia Music Awards” (MAMA 2020) was broadcasted online without an audience. In addition to Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, and Song of the Year, BTS also won Worldwide Fans’ Choice, Male Group Dance Performance, Best Music Video, Best Male Group and Worldwide Icon of the Year.

BoA Won Inspired Achievement Awards at MAMA

At the “2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA/Asian Music Awards)” awards ceremony on the evening of December 6th, the legendary Korean singer BoA, who debuted 20 years years ago, was awarded Inspired Achievement award.

BTS Was Named Entertainer of the Year by Time Magazine

BTS was selected as Entertainment of the Year by Time Magazine for not only topping the chart but also being the biggest band in the world.

EXO KAI’s SOLO Debut Song “Mmmh” Topped Gaon’s Weekly Download Chart

According to Korean media, the first solo mini album of EXO member Kim Jong-in KAI caused strong reaction after its release on November the 30th. Currently, “Mmmh” ranks the first on Gaon’s Weekly Download Chart.

Roy Wang’s “Four Hundred Strikes” Topped Apple Music China’s Top 100 Songs of 2020 List

Apple Music China’s Top 100 Songs of 2020 List was released and Roy Wang (王源)’s single “Four Hundred Hits” (《四百击》) ranked first on the list. 

Taylor Swift’s New Album Evermore Released on December 11th

On December 11th, Taylor Swift’s ninth studio album Evermore was released. The album has a total of 15 songs, including collaboration singles with Haim, The National and Bon Iver.

Gen Z Singer-songwriter Jefferson Qian Signed with CAA China

Recently, Gen Z singer-songwriter Jefferson Qian (钱正昊) signed with CAA China. CAA China will help this promising young artist to continue expanding his career in different fields.

Takashi Murakami Joined Douyin

Recently, contemporary artist Takashi Murakami has joined Douyin (Douyin ID:村上隆) and joined #DOU Arts Project# to promote art on the platform. His first live stream on Douyin was on December 12th.

BTS Won 4 Awards at TMA 2020

Due to the epidemic, this awards ceremony show had no audience and was broadcasted online instead. BTS won “Artist of the Year” and three other awards.

Copyright

Universal Music Publishing Group Acquired the Entire Catalog of Bob Dylan

On December 8th, Universal Music Publishing Group announced its acquisition of the lyrics and music rights of all Bob Dylan songs. This acquisition covers a total of more than 600 songs in Bob Dylan’s 60 years of creative career, including 1962’s “Blowin’ In The Wind” and this year’s “Murder Most Foul”.

Nintendo Asked YouTube to Remove Video with its Game Audio

Recently, Nintendo Japan asked YouTube to delete videos with its game audio. Nintendo started going after copyright infringement in August 2019. At the same time, Nintendo has been issuing copyright warnings on many other platforms as well.

Wise Music Group Acquired Catalog of Italian Composer Riz Ortolani

Wise Music Group has recently acquired the catalog of legendary Italian composer Riz Ortolani. Ortolani is one of the most important Italian composers of the last century. He composed music for more than 200 films, including many Hollywood films such as “The Storm Is Waiting for Dawn”, “The Yellow Chariot” and “Landing in Anqiao”. Ortolani’s most famous work is “More” from the documentary The Cruelty of the World.

Hipgnosis’s Market Value Reached 1.25 Billion Pounds and Half Year Revenue Reached 50.04 Million Pounds

On December 4th, music copyright fund Hipgnosis, announced its mid-year financial results. From the end of March to the end of September 2020, Hipgnosis’s total revenue was £50.04 million (US$67 million), more than doubled the revenue in the same period last year. Hipgnosis predicted that on March 31st, 2021, net income for the whole year would exceed US$120 million.

 

Streaming

Sensor Tower: TikTok Once Again Became the Most ludicrous Mobile App in Terms of Revenue

Sensor Tower store intelligence data shows that in November 2020, Douyin and its international version TikTok generated more than 123 million US dollars in revenue in App Store and Google Play across the globe, which is a 2.7 times increase year-over-year. About 85% of revenue comes from Douyin; the US market is the second biggest, contributing 8% of the revenue; the Turkish market ranks third, accounting for 2% of the revenue.

NetEase FEVER Launches FEVER FAMILY Project

FEVER FAMILY is an “electronic music community” created by FEVER, a electronic music label under NetEase. FEVER FAMILY gathers people from all walks of life to explore the boundaries of electronic music together.

Sony’s Hi-Res Music Streaming Service Upgraded Sound Quality to 192kHz

On December 10th, Sony announced that Sony’s selected Hi-Res music streaming service has upgraded the sound quality to support streaming at 192kHz. Sony said that 192kHz/24bit standard audio contains about 6.5 times the amount of sound information comparing to CDs, allowing listeners to enjoy concert hall sound quality anytime, anywhere.

Amazon Music Adds Video Function But Only for Amazon Music Unlimited Users 

Amazon Music recently added a new feature to add music videos to the service, so that subscribers can watch videos and listen to music in the same app. It is reported that this content is only available to paying users.

NetEase Cloud Music: LOOK Released In-Vehicle Version on Link&Co 05 App Store

On December 7th, NetEase Cloud Music’s LOOK live streaming platform released an in-vehicle version. Owners of Lynk & Co 05 can enjoy live audio content on LOOK in their cars for the first time.

Apple Music and David Hockney Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th Birthday

Recently, the top British painter David Hockney joined hands with Apple Music to commemorate Beethoven’s 250th birthday. Hockney used Apple Pencil to draw an exclusive portrait of Beethoven for Apple Music on iPad Pro. The painting is titled “Beethoven After His First Symphony”. Users see this painting on the cover of playlist “Beethoven’s Music Universe.” At the same time, Apple Music also launched the “Beethoven 250” commemorative topic. Users can enjoy Beethoven’s immortal masterpieces through exclusive recordings, videos, playlists, radio and more on Apple Music.

First AI-generated Song “Wake Up” by NetEase Cloud Music Will be Released at the “2020 NetEast Future Conference”

NetEase Cloud Music announced that at the “2020 NetEase Future Conference” (2020网易未来大会), it will release the song “Wake Up” (《醒来》) created by NetEase Fuxi (网易伏羲) and NetEase’s Leihuo (网易雷火音频部)’s AI technology. This is the first song entirely generated by artificial intelligence, from lyrics, voice to arrangement. The song signifies a breakthrough in NetEase’s AI music technology.

 

Music Marketing

Douyin Launched Music Charity Program for Children with Hearing Loss 

Recently, Douyin’s College Student Music Competition High-Note Teenager (《高调少年》) and the charity organization Loving Decibels (爱的分贝) jointly launched a support program for hearing-impaired children. Fang Zhixuan (方志轩) and many other contestants went to children’s audiologic rehabilitation centers to help children regain language ability.

Furniture Store Cabana Invited Re-TROS to Share their Stay-home Playlist

Cabana Furniture has become Apple Music’s first music guide for the home retail industry in the world. Cabana has created a monthly “Play At Home” playlist and plans to invite the world’s top architects, artists, designers, writers, and filmmakers to share their personal stay-home playlists and their music stories. The band Re-TROS recently served as the first guest of “Play At Home”. Besides sharing the playlist, they also expressed their views on space, lifestyle, and design.

Tencent Music Entertainment Celebrates Two Year Anniversary of Its IPO with “TME Sweet Candy Festival”

December 12th marks the second anniversary of Tencent Music Entertainment Group’s public offering. Tencent Music launched the first super music carnival in the digital music entertainment industry, “TME Sweet Candy Festival” (TME甜蜜发糖节). Offline, five groups of “sweet ambassadors” landed at Tencent Music’s offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. And through TME MEET live stream, they interacted with Tencent Music employees and online music fans simultaneously. More than 40 famous artists and musicians send best wishes to users for the coming new year.

Deezer Launches New Music Service in Cooperation with A1 Telekom Austria Group 

Recently, the French music streaming platform Deezer announced a partnership with Austrian telecom operator A1 Telekom Austria Group in launching a new music service brand, A1 Xplore Music. Through this partnership, A1 customers will have access to a selection of A1 Xplore music playlists, including some local and global content on Deezer.

See Music and Mango Hearing Reached API Partnership

On December 9th, See Music (看见音乐) and Mango Hearing (芒果动听) reached an API access partnership agreement. The agreement licenses nearly 20,000 minutes of multilingual children’s audio content for children of 0 to 14 years old, covering Mandarin, ancient poems, English stories, etc.

Kuke Music Joints Hands with China Symphony Development Foundation to Promote Music Education

On December 9th, 2020, China Symphony Development Foundation and Kuke Music (库克音乐) launched the “A Collection of Chinese Works in the New Era” project and 12 orchestras joined the project.

 

 

Variety Shows

New Voices Please Advice 2 Audition Began

College musician development variety show produced by Kugou Music and Zhejiang Satellite TV (浙江卫视) New Voices Please Advice (《新声请指教》) season 1 was well received by the audience. Recently, the audition for its second season has officially started.

 

Physical/Hardware

U.S. Department Store Retailer Marshall and BEAMS will Create a Joint Portable Speaker

Recently, American department store rMarshall and BEAMS teamed up to launch a new portable speaker. BEAMS chose Marshall’s classic KILBURN II and STOCKWELL II models in indigo blue. Currently, this series is up for pre-sale on BEAMS official website.

Apple Music has Landed on Google Assistant Devices

Starting on December 8th, Apple Music can be used on devices that support Google Assistant, such as Nest Audio, Nest Hub Max, Nest Mini, etc. According to Google’s official announcement, users can now play their favorite music on Apple Music through Google Voice Assistant.

Apple Releases Headset AirPods Max, Priced at 4299 Yuan

On December 8th, Apple launched new headset AirPods Max on its official website. According to Apple’s press release, this headset has excellent sound quality, adaptive equalization, active noise reduction and spatial audio functions.

BUTTONS Air X TWS Headset Released Two New Colored Versions

The headset brand BUTTONS, founded by the musician will.i.am, recently launched two new colors for BUTTONS Air X true wireless Bluetooth headsets, “Sunset Orange” and “Misty Blue”. These two new colors are available in BUTTONs flagship stores now.

Razer Released Hammerhead Pro V2

Razer launched the TWS headset Razer Hammerhead Pro V2 on its official website on December 6th for 1599 yuan each. The headset provides users with a more immersive audio experience with its in-ear design. It is waterproof and sweat proof. It has a 4 hour playtime and has a 20 hour battery life when paired with a charging case.

Simon Fuller Signed a Cooperation Agreement with Verizon Aimed at Optimizing 5G/AR/VR Experience

Simon Fuller’s entertainment company XIX is collaborating with Verizon’s XR Lab and 5G Lab to jointly create new entertainment experiences. The first project of this collaboration will be a short immersive VR video set to be released early next year. Fuller said that they aim to optimize entertainment experience for those with 5G, VR or AR devices.

Changhong Rainbow Cube Reached Strategic Cooperation with Kugou Music and Ultimate Music 

On December 12th, Changhong Rainbow Cube (长虹虹魔方) and Tencent Music Entertainment Group’s Kugou Music and Ultimate Music (爱听卓越) held a launch conference for “The World’s First 5G+AIoT Smart Screen” in Chengdu, Sichuan. Changhong, Kugou and Ultimate will collaborate on creating a smart TV music entertainment ecosystem.

Music Organizations

“Chinese Music Heritage Map” Seminar Held in Beijing

On December 10th, a seminar on the scientific research project “Map of Chinese Music Heritage” sponsored by the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection and Research Center of the Central Conservatory of Music was held in Beijing.

The Global Live Music Industry Suffered a Revenue Loss of US $30 Billion in 2020

According to Pollstar’s yea-end live entertainment industry report, the global live entertainment industry lost more than US$30 billion in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including $9.7 billion in box office. Before the pandemic, box office was estimated to reach a record high of US$12.2 billion in 2020.

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