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News of the Week 12/21 Selected Music Business News

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Financing 

Tencent-led Consortium Acquired Another 10% stake in Universal Music Group

On December 18th, 2020, Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) announced that a consortium led by Tencent Holdings through a wholly-owned subsidiary of its subsidiary will exercise the rights to acquire 10% stake of Universal Music Group at a valuation of 30 billion Euros. In March 2020, the consortium completed the acquisition of the initial 10% equity of UMG at the same valuation. After this transaction, the consortium’s equity in UMG will increase to 20%, and TME still accounts for 10% of the equity in the consortium.

Kuke Music Released Prospectus for US IPO

On December 18th, Kuke Music released the prospectus for its US IPO. Kuke Music is China’s leading classical music licensing, streaming and education service provider. According to Frost & Sullivan, Kuke Music became China’s largest online classical music licensing service provider and the second largest online classical music subscription service provider in 2019, accounting for 46.6% and 13.8% market shares in these two areas, respectively.

ARTLIST Acquires Digital Asset Marketplace MOTION ARRAY for US$65 Million

On December 15th, the subscription-based music licensing platform Artlist acquired Motion Array, a digital asset marketplace, for $65 million. Motion Array’s video-editing tools and video templates will allow Artlist to expand its digital media offering for video creators and filmmakers.

Lyte Raised US$33 Million in Series B

On December 17th, live entertainment ticketing platform Lyte raised US$33 million in Series B financing round. Recently, Lyte announced a partnership with Jacob Collier around his new tour plan.

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

Hip Hop Club Co-created by Modern Sky and Xigu Shangbo will Open in Shanghai in December 

Sources revealed on December 19th that the HIPHOP CLUB AKOMA jointly created by Modern Sky and night club management company Xigu Shangbo (希古尚博) will officially open in Shanghai in December. MVM, MOJO STUDIO, and AMZ SUDIO jointly designed the club. Its co-owners include Akin(阿克江), Tizzy T, Young Jack(满舒克), BooM(黄旭), Li Daben(李大奔), OB03, CARTA and famous director Tian Yusheng(田羽生).

Bilibili BML-VR2020 Holographic Concert Held on December 19th

On December 19th, Bilibili BML-VR Concert was held at the Shanghai National Convention Center. More than 30 virtual singers from Japan and China participated in the performance.

 

“This is Arashi LIVE” Online Concert will be Streamed on NetEase Cloud Music Exclusively

On December 17th, the Japanese boy group Arashi announced that it will host its first live audience-less concert “This is Arashi LIVE 2020.12.31” on December 31, the day before the group goes on hiatus. The performance will be exclusively broadcasted on the NetEase Cloud Music “Cloud Live” (「云上live」) platform, and the tickets are now open for pre-sale.

 

British Virtual Band Gorillaz’s Live Stream Performance Attracted over One Million Viewers

On December 15th, Gorillaz completed three large-scale live shows at LiveNow in London. Damon Albarn and his 14-member band performed three live show on stream for more than one million viewers in more than 120 countries.

Musicians

NINEONE’s New EP Release on December 15th

Nineone (乃万)’s new EP 91% was officially launched on her birthday, December 15th. The EP is a musical letter to five different people.

Yang Ce Created New And Charles’s Trio and Signed with Ruby Eyes Records

Recently, keyboardist Yang Ce (杨策) formed a new band Charles’s Trio and officially signed with Ruby Eyes Records (赤瞳音乐). Charles’s Trio was formed in Beijing in 2018 with three members, keyboardist Yang Ce, bassist Abe and drummer Xin Yi. The band focuses on Fusion, Nujazz, Funk and Soul, among other musical genres.

The Second Album of Omnipotent Youth Society Released on December 22th

The second album of Omnipotent Youth Society (万能青年旅店) was released on NetEase Cloud Music on December 22nd. The album titled Inside the Cable Temple (「冀西南林路行」) is Omnipotent Youth Society’s first album in ten years.

Warner Chappell Signed Publishing Deal with French Rapper Solo Maness

Recently, Warner Chappell and French rapper Soso Maness signed a global publishing agreement. He is currently working on a new album scheduled to be released through RCA Records in the spring of 2021.

Paul McCartney Joins Tik Tok

Paul McCartney, a member of the Beatles, joined TikTok to celebrate the release of his new album “McCartney III”.

Copyright

VFineMusic and Want Want Holdings Reached Music Copyright Partnership Agreement

On December 14th, the music licensing platform VFineMusic and the snack giant Want Want Holdings reached an in-depth commercial service cooperation on music copyright licensing. The two parties will work on sync licensing, short video marketing and other customized projects to further explore marketing options of the digital age.

Primary Wave Purchased Part of Leo Sayer’s Catalo

On December 14th, Primary Wave Music announced that it has acquired some publishing rights and master recordings of singer-songwriter Leo Sayer. The company aims to take better care of these copyrights by further exploring opportunities in digital marketing, sync-licensing and film&TV.

 

African Music Company Africani and Warner Chappell Signed a Global Publishing Agreement

On December 14th, African digital music distribution, rights management and artist development agency Africori announced that it has signed a global publishing agreement with Warner Chappell to provide more opportunities for African Artists.

Kobalt and RÜFÜS DU SOL Signed a Global Neighboring Rights Agreement

On December 15th, the Australian boy band RÜFÜS DU SOL joined Kobalt and signed a neighboring rights agreement. Kobalt will provide RÜFÜS DU SOL with comprehensive global royalty management services.

Kobalt and DJ Carnage Signed a Global Publishing Agreement

Kobalt announced on December 17th that it has signed a global publishing agreement with music producer and DJ Carnage, which will provide a full range of creative support, sync-licensing and royalty management services for his existing and future work.

Round Hill Raised Another 33 Million Pounds for Copyright Acquisition

On December 17th, Round Hill Music Royalty Fund announced that the company has raised another 33 million pounds through share issurances, which brings the total capital raised by Round Hill to approximately 242 million pounds.

Beatport Acquires Loopmaster

On December 19th, the music streaming platform Beatport officially announced the acquisition of Loopmaster, which also includes its subsidiaries, LoopCloud (cloud sampling website) and Plugin Boutique (plug-in distribution website). This acquisition will allow Beatport to provide a full set of service to DJs and producers.

 

Streaming

7KEY MUSIC Launched a New Product

On December 18th, 7Key Music, China’s first integrated product that provides one-stop services ranging from online demo trading, publishing and production, announced its official launch.

 

QQ Music Internally Testing Podcast Function

Sources say that QQ Music is developing and testing a new version that highlights its podcast function. There will a “Podcast” button added to its home page and content recommendations in the “Podcast” page. The recommendation will be jointly managed by QQ Music and Xiaoyuzhou FM (小宇宙).

 

TME’s Kuwo Launches a New Streaming Platform Bodian Music

On December 14th, Kuwo Music, a subsidiary of Tencent Music Entertainment Group, launched a new music App Bodian Music (波点音乐).

Synth and Score Viewer App JamKoo Released Version 3.0

On December 16, JamKoo (自乐班)released version 3.0, which added social functions. In addition, the new version improved the Bluetooth support for Gong and Bo.

Apple Music Releases Top Songs of 2020: China List

On December 14th, Apple Music released its annual Top Songs list for Mainland China. Among the top 10 songs on the list, 9 are Jay Chou’s.

Facebook Launched Experimental Music Video App Collab

Facebook’s experimental music video production application Collab was released on December 14th and is now available for download in App Store. 

Spotify Launches Premium Mini in India

Spotify recently launched Premium Mini in India, offering daily and weekly subscription options. Premium Mini is priced at 7 rupees (around US$0.10) per day, or 25 rupees (around US$0.34) per week. 

Apple Gives Subscribers Trough Tik Tok a Four Mouth Free Trial 

On December 18th, Apple Music launched a new marketing campaign with Tik Tok, providing new subscribers through Tik Tok app a four-month free trial.

TME Establishes a New Subsidiary

According to data on tianyanch, Shenzhen Yilite Entertainment Co. Ltd was established on December 18th. The legal representive of the company is Yang Yi. It is a fully-owned subsidiary of Tencent Music Entertainment Technology (Shenzhen) Co.Ltd.

Tencent Musicians Partnered with the Norwegian Embassy to Launch “Nordic Echo II” Project 

On December 16th, Tencent Musicians and the Norwegian Embassy held a joint press conference in Beijinq where they announced the official release of the second series of the “Nordic Echo (北欧回声)” Project, “The Aurora Falling on the Tropic of Cancer (《极光落在北回归线》),” fostering communication and collaboration between Norwegian and Chinese musicians.

Tuned Global Added New Business in Japan, Mongolia and Thailand

On December 17th, Tuned Global announced a number of new contracts, including the renewal of partnership with the Japanese streaming platform Line Music. In Mongolia, Tuned Global signed an agreement with AVE to launch an interactive music streaming application AV Play. In Thailand, Tuned Global partnered with True Digital to integrate the music API into the entertainment application TrueID.

Spotify Will Enter the Korean Market in the First Half of 2021

Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming platform, announced on December 18th that it will launch its services the Korean market in the first half of 2021.

 

Music Marketing

NetEase Cloud Music and Sogou Released a Short Movie Ad Campaign

On December 14th, in order to continue to promote the new feature “AI Music Chat Assistant (AI畅写音乐帮聊),” Sogou (搜狗) and NetEase Cloud Music released a series of short films illustrating how the new function can help you chat with more ease and grace.

NetEase Cloud Music Releases a New Indie Musician Promotion Program 

On December 16th, NetEase Cloud Music released another indie musician promotion program called “Music Master Strategy”. The program aims to foster sustainable career advancement of more than 100,000 indie musicians, and incubate 100 musicians with an annual income of over one million RMB and 100 music MCN agencies. NetEase also released the NetEase Cloud Music Master Development Guide.

FEVER and Tasogarede Coffee Collab Coffee Launched

On December 15th, NetEase Cloud Music’s electronic music label FEVER (放刺) and Tasogarede Coffee (隅田川咖啡) jointly launched three new coffee flavor, Techno, NuDisco and House.

Mandarin Becomes Levis’s Music Partner

On December 16th, Levis announced that it has invited rock band Mandarin to join its team as a music partner.

Peace & Waves Released Collab Single with Meters/bonwe

On December 19th, Meters/bonwe(美特斯邦威) and Sesame Street’s new collab line launched. The theme song for this new line by Peace & Wave (和平和浪乐队)’s was released at the same time.

Modern Sky Opens the First Strawberry Town in Hangzhou

Modern Sky’s integrated music entertainment space “Strawberry Town (草莓TOWN)” opened its first location on December 19th. “Strawberry Town” is a new take on the hottest new entertainment favorites of the younger generation including live music, street market, restaurants, lifestyle and interactive experience.

Naomi Ackie Casted to Play Whitney Houston in her Biopic

On December 15th Naomi Ackie is confirmed to be the lead in Whitney Houston’s biopic, ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’.

 

Variety Shows

The First Chinese Independent Rookie Musician Live Variety Show The Next Thing Released

Variety show The Next Big Thing (《见证大团》) jointly produced by StreetVoice (街声) and Tencent Musicians will be streamed on eight platforms including QQ music, Bilibili, Weibo and Tencent Video. The show seeks to discover original, spirited youngblood in the music industry. 

Physical/Hardware

Libratone Released New AIR Series TWS Headphone

On December 16th, Libratone officially released two models of the new generation AIR series true wireless headphones.

ESSENCE Headphone Available in Limited Quantities

On December 16th, ESSENCE earplugs will be sold in limited quantities. ESSENCE is a stage music earplug under TFZ. It not only kept the high definition and warm sound quality that’s typical of the TFZ series, but also adopted a great design.

Japanese Audio Company Final Launches a Headset Specifically for VR Gaming

On December 15th, Japanese audio company Final released the VR300 gaming headset. The headset is Final’s first product designated for VR gaming to enhance the sense of immersion.

Apple Preparing to Release AirPods Pro Lite Next Year

On December 17th, Apple has confirmed that it will release the “Lite” version of AirPods Pro, which does not support active noise reduction. The headset is expected to finish quality verification within this year and will begin production next year.

Music Organizations

The 8th China International Music Industry Conference Will Be Held in January

On December 15th, preparation for the 8th China International Music Industry Conference has been fully put into motion and the conference will be held in Beijing from January 20th to 24th, 2021. The conference will play an important role in building an important platform for exchange among music industry practitioners, and the exploration for the best way to run the music industry during the pandemic.

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