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News of the Week 12/28 Selected Music Industry News

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Financing 

Traditional Chinese Instrument Education Chain Chengyu Zhengye Received Nearly 10 Million Yuan in Angel Round Financing

On December 21st, Beijing Chenyu Zhengye (晨语筝业) Education Technology Co., Ltd. announced that it has completed its angel round financing and received nearly 10 million Yuan in capital. Sources reveal that the company is preparing for the Pre-A round in the near future.

Online Music Education Company CloudNotes Completed Angel Round and Pre-A Round Financing

On December 21th, sources revealed that CloudNotes (云音符), an online music education brand, has completed angel round financing and Pre-A round financing, with a total capital of 55 million yuan. CloudNotes dedicates to promoting online music education for children and teenagers.

Indian TikTok-like App Josh Received Over US$100 Million in Funding

As of December 26th, India’s Tik Tok Josh has received over US$100 million in investment from US companies including Google. According to Google’s data, the app has been downloaded more than 50 million times in India.

Labels

Universal Music Japan Appoints Rui Suzuki as CFO

On December 22nd, it was reported that Universal Music Japan (UMJ) appointed Rui Suzuki as Chief Financial Officer and he will take office on January 1st, 2021.

Guitar Center Exited From Bankruptcy Proceedings 

On December 21st, Guitar Center, the world’s largest musical instrument retailer, officially withdrew its Chapter 11 bankruptcy application.

Concord and Universal Music Group Renewed Publishing Agreement

On December 21st, Concord announced that it had renewed its global publishing agreement with Universal Music Group. According to the new contract, Universal Music Group will continue to provide physical and digital music distribution services for labels under Concord Music, including Craft Records, Fantasy Records, Fearless Records, Loma Records, Rounder Records, Concord Jazz, and KIDZ BOP.

Live Entertainment

Lang Lang Will Hold Solo Online Concert on Christmas Eve

Lang Lang solo recital “Goldberg-Variationen” will be streamed on Tencent Video at 8 pm on December 25th. The recital will be recorded live at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig where Bach served.

2020 M_DSK FEST Suzhou Stop Schedule on New Year’s Eve Cancelled

On December 27th, Modern Sky announced that the 2020 M_DSK FEST Suzhou stop will be canceled due to the pandemic.

Pollux’s New Year Special Tour Guiyang Stop Canceled

Due to the pandemic, Pollux (北河三)’s New Year Special Tour Guiyang Stop originally scheduled to be held on December 31st was canceled. The first stop of the tour was moved to Chengdu and two performers were added.

Rock Band Young Drug’s National Tour Beijing Stop Postponed

In order to prevent further Covid-19 outbreak, Young Drug (回春丹乐队)’s Beijing Concert original scheduled on December 24th was moved to January 21st, 2021. In addition, Tencent WeSpace Beijing announced that it will temporarily cancel all performances scheduled from December 24th to December 27th until further notice.

CCTV Will Broadcast the 2021 Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert

CCTV Channel 15, CNR MusicRadio, and CNR Golden Radio will be broadcasting the 2021 Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert conducted by Italian conductor Riccardo Muti at 6 pm on January 1st, 2021.

SMGLive and Modern Sky Join Hands in Creating Asia’s First Immersive Music Festival 

On December 25th, SMGLive (上海文广演艺集团) and Modern Sky announced that they have reached strategic cooperation that explores different fields such as music festivals, immersive drama, musicals, and live house performance. The first project of this collaboration will be Asia’s first immersive music festival planned to launch in Shanghai next fall.

The Online Arts Festival of the National Centre for the Performing Arts Attracted More than 100 Million Views

On December 22th, the 13th birthday of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, the Public Open Day Art Festival (公众开放日艺术节) that was held offline every year but moved online today attracted more than 100 million viewers to participate. The festival was streamed online uninterrupted for 12 hours and trended on Weibo and Douyin.

Beijing 13Club Will Close on New Year’s Day

On December 25th, 13CLUB announced on its WeChat official account that “Due to the impact of the pandemic, we will be shutting down on New Year’s Day”. 13CLUB has been closed for eight months this year. After its reopening in September, it was unable to afford the rent for the entire year and was unwilling to crowdfund to stay open. After careful consideration, it was decided to close its doors on New Year’s Day. Beijing 13CLUB opened on December 24, 2004, and has been operating for 16 years.

TME Will Live Stream Tomorrowland New Year’s Eve Party

On December 27th, TMELive announced the Tomorrowland New Year’s Eve Music Festival lineup. TME’s three major platforms, QQ Music, Kugou Music, and Kuwo Music, will stream it at 8:00 pm on December 31st, 2020. The festival will have 4 digital stages and feature 25 top musicians in the world, including Martin Garrix, David Guetta, and Armin Van Buuren.

The U.S. Congress Passed 15 Billion Dollar Aid to Save Small Music Venues

Recently, the US Congress passed the ‘Save Our Stages’ bill that will provide US$15 billion in aid to independent music venues as part of the COVID-19 relief plan.

Jägermeister Partners with NIVA to Save Small Music Venues

On December 21st, Jägermeister announced that it will partner up with the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) to help save small music venues across the United States. Jägermeister donated US$1 million to NIVA’s emergency relief fund.

Musicians

Jay Chou Confirmed to Star in the Voice of China

On December 21st, the official Weibo account of the Voice of China (《中国好声音》) announced that Jay Chou is confirmed to join the Voice of China again in its new season in 2021.

Omnipotent Youth Society’s New Digital Album Inside the Cable Temple Sold 400k Copies

On December 22th, the new digital album of indie rock band Omnipotent Youth Society(万能青年旅店), Inside the Cable Temple (《冀西南林路行》), was released on NetEase Cloud Music. As of press, the album has sold more than 396,000 copies.

Nicholas Tse Held His First Online Concert

Nicholas Tse (谢霆锋)’s first online concert was held on December 26th. During the concert, he performed his new single “Induction” (《感应》). The concert was streamed on TME Live and Kugou Live.

Jiulian Zhenren’s First Album Amin Released on QQ Music 

On December 23rd, Jiulian Zhenren (九连真人)’s first album Amin (《阿民》) was officially launched on QQ Music. The album includes 12 songs.

Elva Hsiao Released a New Digital Album

At 8 pm on December 24th, Elva Hsiao (萧亚轩) released a new digital album Naked Truth on QQ Music. The new album contains 10 songs and is priced at 25 yuan per copy.

Mayday Releases New Year Special Album

On December 25th, Mayday (五月天) released a new year special album. The new single “Because of You, I” (《因为你 所以我》) has been released on QQ Music, Kugou Music, and Kuwo Music under Tencent Music Entertainment Group.

Amber Kuo Established Electronic Music Label Nomad City

On December 25th, Amber Kuo (郭采洁) announced the establishment of her new electronic music label Nomad City and released the music video of its first electronic single “NaKuNa” at the same time.

Henry Liu Joins Bilibili Block B Music Hall

On December 22nd, Henry Liu (刘宪华) announced that he is joining the Bilibili Block B Music Hall (哔哩哔哩B街区音乐馆) and has released two videos on the platform.

CLC Member Elkie Terminates Contract with CUBE Entertainment

On December 25th, the Korean girl group CLC’s Hong Kong member Elkie (庄锭欣) made an announcement to terminate the contract with her agency CUBE Entertainment. She also issued a lawyer’s letter stating that the company didn’t disclose revenue details of the group, didn’t pay her share of the revenue, and has already made it really clear they would stop promoting the group.

Music Video of EXO’s Kai’s Solo Song “Mmmh” Hit 30 Million Views on YouTube

On December 26th, the music video of EXO’s member Kai’s solo debut song “Mmmh” has accumulated over 30 million views on YouTube.

Korean Tenor Kim Ho Joong’s New Album The Classic Album Sold over 500,000 Copies in Pre-sale

On December 19th, South Korean tenor Kim Ho Joong’s new album The Classic Album sold over 500,000 copies in pre-sale. Executives of his publishing company Warner Music said it was the best-selling classical music album this year globally. 

Oricon 2020 Charts were Released and ARASHI Won the Best Selling Artist of Year for the Ninth Time

On December 25th, Oricon released its annual music sales chart. The popular Japanese boy group ARASHI, which will disband at the end of this year, topped the chart for the ninth time.

Sony Music Artist Raftaar Became the First Indian Musician to Collaborate with Fortnite

On December 23rd, Sony Music India and Epic Games teamed up to launch a new music event in Fortnite, the Bhangra Boogie Cup. Raftaar, an Indian musician represented by Sony Music, became the first Indian musician to collaborate with Fortnite.

Twenty One Pilots Sets Guinness Record for the Longest Music Video

On December 23rd, the music video of the song “Level of Concern” by the American boy group Twenty One Pilots sets the Guinness record for the longest music video in the world. The video lasted 4264 hours (approximately 178 days), breaking the previous record held by the music video of Pharrell’s “Happy”.

Copyright

VFineMusic and Huayin Reached In-depth Copyright Enterprise Service Agreement

On December 21st, the Chinese commercial music distribution platform VFineMusic and the new video social platform Huayin(画音) have reached an in-depth enterprise service agreement to provide customized copyright licensing on Huayin App.

HIFIVE Music Collaborate with ADUPS

On December 21st, HIFIVE Technology Co., Ltd. (HIFIVE) and ADUPS (广升车载), a leading FOTA platform, has reached a music copyright agreement. Through HIFIVE’s open platform, ADUPS would gain automatic licensing of music in the automobiles with its software.

PizzaBGM and NetEase Cloud Music Reached a Copyright Agreement

On December 25th, PizzaBGM, a leading Chinese commercial music licensing platform, announced that it has reached a strategic cooperation agreement with NetEase Cloud Music. The cooperation will focus on music discovery, promotion, licensing, procurement, and other related businesses.

Huya Launched “Trend Music Radio”

On December 19th, Huya (虎牙) “Trend Music Radio” (潮流音乐电台) went online. The radio is a collaborative project created by Huya Live (虎牙直播) and Beijing Media Network. Starting from December 19th, Here Comes the Beats (《节奏驾到》), a music lifestyle program, will be broadcasted every Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 4 pm on Trend Music Radio. 

NetEase Cloud Music and Alipay Collaborates to Release New Year Single

On December 21st, NetEase Cloud Music announced that it will continue to collaborate with Alipay on its Spring Festival Jiwufu (集五福) event. The theme song for the event this year will be selected by the public from a collection of songs solicited from the public for the first time.

QQ Music Launched Podcast Function

On December 23rd, the Podcast page created by QQ Music in collaboration with Xiaoyuzhou podcast App (小宇宙播客App) was officially launched. QQ Music aims to make the Podcast a place for listeners to learn new knowledge and get inspired.

Tencent QQ Released Annual “Listen Together” Chart

On December 25th, Tencent QQ released it’s annual “Listen Together (一起听歌)” list. “Listen Together” is the first function in the QQ “Together” series, and it has been well-received since its launch in August last year.

NetEase Cloud Music Released 2020 Music Chart

On December 26th, NetEase Cloud Music released the 2020 Music Chart. Justin Bieber’s Changes, Taylor Swift’s Folklore, Lady Gaga’s Chromatica, Troye Sivan’s In A Dream, Lauv’s How I’m Feeling won Western Album of the year.

Spotify Patents its Automatic Personal Playlist Technology

Recently, Spotify is applying for a new patent for its automatic personal playlist algorithm that generates personalized playlists based on the user’s listening history.

Stacc Will Launch a Paid Streaming Service for Concert Videos

On December 23rd, the Swedish technology startup Staccs announced it will launch a paid-on-demand streaming service for concert video recordings and plan to launch in the Nordic region in the first quarter of 2021. Staccs provides a new source of income for artists and copyright holders. The platform will include high-definition video and high-fidelity audio content, and there will be different tiers with different prices and video/audio quality. Pricing details will be announced before its launch in the Nordic region in the first quarter of 2021.

TikTok’s UK Business Lost $119.5 Million in 2019

According to Tik Tok’s new financial data released on December 24th, TikTok’s UK business suffered a loss of US$119.5 million in 2019, with expenditures mainly in advertising and marketing. Its parent company ByteDance has not disclosed global revenue data, but according to the latest documents submitted this week, the sales in the UK in 2019 was US$20 million while the cost was US$109 million.

 

Streaming

TME Launches New Music Chart Uni Wave

On December 22th, TME held a press conference in Beijing to launch its new monthly professionally ranked music chart Uni Wave Chart (浪潮联创音乐榜). The judges will include hundreds of the best music professionals in song-writing, lyrics writing, production, and arrangement. The well-known Chinese singer Eason Chan(陈奕迅)’s song topped the chart this month.

NetEase Cloud Music’s Affiliated Company Takes Equity in Shanghai Dongyi Culture

Recently, Shanghai Dongyi Culture Communication Co., Ltd. (上海栋易文化传播有限公司) has undergone a number of ownership changes. The new investor Hangzhou NetEase Cloud Music Technology Co., Ltd. took over 50% of the equity and became the largest shareholder of the company. At the same time, the company’s registered capital increased from RMB 1 million to RMB 2 million.

 

Music Marketing

Mobile Game Fantasy Westward Journey and Yang Hongji Released Collab Single

On December 25th, the “Fantasy Westward Journey (《梦幻西游》)” mobile game joined hands with national-level baritone singer Yang Hongji (杨洪基) to release a Bel Canto/Rap version of the theme song of Journey to the West (《云宫迅音》).

The Communist Youth League of China and NetEase Cloud Music Jointly Launched the “Songs for the Future” Campaign

On December 26th, the Communist Youth League of China and NetEase Cloud Music jointly launched the “Songs for the Future (写给未来的歌)” campaign. The theme song of the campaign “Sparkling Youth (《星火青春》)” sung by Bai Song (柏松) is now available on NetEase Cloud Music.

Compilation Album Chengdu 2020 and the Namesake Documentary Launched Simultaneously 

On December 21st, the compilation album Chengdu 2020 (《成都2020》) and the namesake documentary were launched simultaneously. Chengdu 2020 is a brand-new compilation album put together by the manager of Taihe Rye Music (太合音乐集团), Lao Lang (老狼) in collaboration with Chengdu Little Bar (成都小酒馆). It is also the sixth Chengdu rock band music compilation album planned by Chengdu Little Bar.

JUNPING x TangoZ New Single Released

On December 22nd, the Chinese plant-based skincare brand JUNPING and rapper TangoZ released a new collab single on NetEase Cloud Music on December 20th.

Variety Shows

iQiyi’s Dimension Nova Ended and Top Three Contestants Signed with iQiyi

iQiyi’s variety show Dimension Nova (《跨次元新星》) came to an end, Liu Ge (留歌) won first place with slightly more points than second-place winner PAPA. Shihuo (十火) won third place. The top three contestants signed management contracts with iQiyi. 

Interview Variety Show Podcast Twelve Windows Launches on QQ Music

On December 24th, TME announced that Twelve Windows (《十二扇窗》), Cai Kangyong (蔡康永)’s first celebrity interview variety show podcast Twelve Windows was launched on QQ Music. This program invited 12 celebrities to discuss hot topics such as work, wealth, interpersonal relationships, entrepreneurship, and dating.

Physical/Hardware

Huawei Music and WeSing Jointly Launches a Smart TV Karaoke Function

On December 26th, Huawei officially released a new smart TV S series. This series is equipped with a karaoke function jointly developed by Huawei Music and WeSing.

China’s Smart Speaker Shipments in Q3 of 2020 Decreased by 14.7% Y-o-Y

According to IDC’s latest data, China’s smart speaker shipments in the third quarter of 2020 were about 8.29 million units, which is a year-on-year decrease of 14.7%. Tmall Genie ranked first in shipment amount in China with 2.9 million units, accounting for a market share of 35%.

Apple Might Launch Airpods Max Sports Version in 2021

On December 23rd, Twitter user Apple RUMORs revealed that Apple might launch the AirPods Max sports version in the middle of next year. The weight of AirPods Max Sport would be about 290 grams, the battery life would be shorter than AirPods Max, and the price would be relatively affordable at about $US400 dollars.

Tesla System Update Added Boombox Function 

On December 26th, Tesla added the Boombox function in the 2020.48.26 version of the system update. This function allows car owners to customize the sound of car horns with built-in sound effects such as farting, goat calls, and trumpets. 

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