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News of the Week 1/18 Selected music industry news.

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Financing 

Kuke Music Successfully Listed on NYSE

On January 12th, Kuke Music (NYSE: KUKE) successfully listed on the New York Stock Exchange at a price of US$10 and the IPO raised a total of US$50 million. This is the biggest IPO in the Chinese classical music industry.

On the day of the IPO, Kuke Music closed 1% higher than the IPO price. In the following week, the stock price dropped slightly.

Kuaishou Plans to IPO in Hong Kong on February 5th

Sources revealed on January 15th that Kuaishou (快手) Technology, a company specializing in short video social media and live streaming, plans to IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on February 5th. Many people who participated in the Kuaishou IPO pre-road show confirmed the news.

 

TME Acquires 100% Equity of Lanren Tingshu for 2.7 Billion Yuan

On January 15th, Tencent Music Entertainment Group announced that it has reached a final agreement with all shareholders of Shenzhen Lanren Online Technology Co., Ltd.(深圳市懒人在线科技有限公司), a well-known audio streaming platform in China to acquire 100% of the shares of the company. 

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021. After the transaction is completed, Lanren’s large catalog of audiobooks will expand TME’s non-music audio content and its production capabilities will ensure TME continues to put out high-quality audiobooks.

Audible Magic Acquires SOCAN’s Music Publishing Arm

Sources revealed on January 11th that Audible Magic, a digital content identification, licensing, and monetization platform, is acquiring MediaNet, the copyright management arm of the Canadian performance rights organization SOCAN. SOCAN and Audible Magic also announced that they have established a strategic partnership with the intention to use Audible Magic technology and services to help SOCAN improve its operational accuracy and track royalty payments more efficiently for publishers and songwriters.

Pro Music Rights Prepares for US IPO

According to the news on January 12th, the Florida-based performance rights organization Pro Music Rights (PMR) is preparing to go public in the United States. PMR will issue Class A and Class B stocks, and 910 million Class A common stocks will be issued at a price of US$0.01 per share, raising a total of US$9.1 million. All Class B common stocks will be owned by PMR founder and CEO Jake Noch.

 

Labels

Modern Sky’s New Label, Water Made, Signed Its First Artist

On January 11th, Modern Sky announced the launch of a new label, Water Made (「Water Made水形」), and revealed that smellyhoover is the first artist signed under this label. Modern Sky stated that Water Made is a label dedicated to creating comfort music.

Capitol Studios Shutting Down Mastering and Tape Transfer Departments 

On January 15th, Capitol Studios, a 65-year-old record company under Universal Music Group, announced the formal closure of its master and tape transfer departments, and some employees will be laid off. A UMG representative said that a lack of demand is the main reason for the shutdown and the department will be transformed into a recording studio.

New Independent Music Venture Exceleration Music Launched

According to the news on January 15th, five well-known independent music executives led by former Concord Music Group CEO Glen Barros established a new company called Exceleration Music. The company aims to service indie labels and musicians.

Live Entertainment

The Phantom of the Opera China Tour Postponed

The musical The Phantom of the Opera 2021/2022 China Tour originally scheduled from February 16th to March 28th, 2021 announced its postponement due to the pandemic.

Rock Band Hedgehog’s National Tour Postponed 

This week, Hedgehog (刺猬乐队) announced that 8 stops (including performances in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Changsha, and Beijing)of its 2021 national tour will be postponed due to the pandemic.

KAFE.HU’s “Thank You” 2020 National Tour Cancelled and Postponed Multiple Stops

Modern Sky announced on January 12th and 16th that due to the pandemic, KAFE.HU’s “Thank You” 2020 National Tour Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Shanghai stop will be canceled. In addition, Beijing and Chengdu stops will be postponed until further notice. Modern Sky will refund the tickets through the ticketing platform ModernSkyNow (正在现场App). 

Journey Under the Midnight Sun Musical Will Land in Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center

The Journey Under the Midnight Sun Musical will be performing at the Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center (北京天桥艺术中心大剧场) from March 10th to March 14th.

National Centre for the Performing Arts Cloud Concert Series Went Live on NetEase Cloud Music LOOK

At 7:30 pm on January 16th, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (国家大剧院) Cloud Appreciation Series Concert “Beijing Cantata” (云赏乐系列音乐会《北京大合唱》) went live on NetEase Cloud Music LOOK. The concert depicts the history and culture on the central axis of Beijing through symphony and chorus, national opera, and Chinese traditional instruments.

Musicians

Chiu Awarded the Liu Huan Original Music Special Charity Fund

On January 11th, the winners of the Liu Huan Original Music Special Charity Fund (刘欢原创音乐专项公益金) were announced. Rookie musician Chiu (裘德) was awarded the fund by the winner last year, Qin Fanqi (秦凡淇).

Rock Band Naohai Officially Signed with Maybe Mars Records

On January 11th, Naohai (闹海乐队) officially signed with Maybe Mars Records (兵马司唱片). The band was founded in Shanghai and it now has guitarist and lead singer Qi Jinlong (祁金龙), guitarist Qu Weichen (曲浥尘), bassist Chen Hao (陈豪), and drummer Zhao Shuang (赵爽). Their music has a lot of influences such as noise rock and punk, making their sound very unique.

 

Icy Official Signed with Modern Sky

On January 17th, Modern Sky officially announced that Icy (曹方) will be joining the label. Icy has performed at Strawberry Music Festival many times and is expected to release a new album this year.

 

Xu Mengjie Establishes Her Own Company

According to the news on January 13th, Beijing Hongtang Cultural Communication Co., Ltd. (北京虹糖文化传播有限公司) was established with an initial capital of RMB 1 million and the legal representative is Xu Mengjie (徐梦洁), a former member of Rocket Girls 101 (火箭少女101). Xu Mengjie and her management company Jiemeitao each own 40% of the company.

TREASURE’s “MY TREASURE” MV Hits 11 Million Views

On January 16th, boy group TREASURE recently released a new Japanese album. The new album not only topped the charts in Japan, but the music video of the title track “TREASURE” also hit 11 million views on YouTube.

Lana Del Rey Released Track List and Cover Art of the New Album

Lana Del Rey recently released the tracklist and cover art for the album Chemtrails Over the Country Club she promised to release in 2019. There are 11 songs on the album, including “Let Me Love You Like a Woman” that’s already out and the controversial “Tulsa Jesus Freak”.

 

Copyright

KKR Acquires Majority Stake in Ryan Tedder’s Catalog

On January 11th, the global investment giant KKR acquired a majority stake in the three-time Grammy Award winner Ryan Tedder’s catalog. KKR revealed that the acquisition covers nearly 500 songs.

 

Universal Signed Exclusive Publishing Agreement with Louis Bell 

According to the news on January 13th, Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) recently signed an exclusive global publishing deal with six times Grammy-nominated composer and producer Louis Bell. The agreement includes hits like Post Malone’s “Rockstar”, “Better Now” and “Sunflower”, Camila Cabello’s “Havana”, Halsey’s “Without Me”, and Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker”.

Hipgnosis Acquires 100% of Shakira’s Publishing Rights

On January 13th, Hipgnosis announced that it has acquired 100% of the publishing rights of Shakira’s catalog, including the share of songwriters and publishers. The acquisition contains 145 songs that made Shakira the best-selling female Latin singer of all time.

Round Hill Music Acquires Billy Duffy’s Catalog

On January 13th, Round Hill Music announced the acquisition of Billy Duffy’s catalog. Billy Duffy is the songwriter and guitarist of the British rock band The Cult. In the mid-1980s, the band gained a number of fans in the UK with hits such as “Spirit Walker” and “She Sells Sanctuary”. In the first ten years of entering the mainstream music scene in the United States, single “Love Removal Machine”, “Fire Woman” and albums Electric, Sonic Temple, and Ceremony have all sold over a million copies.

Downtown Music Group and Ella Fitzgerald’s Estate Signed Neighboring Rights Management Agreement

According to the news on January 13th, Downtown Neighbouring Rights, an independent business unit established by Downtown Music Group in June 2020, has reached an agreement with Ella Fitzgerald’s estate to manage performance royalties on behalf of Ella Fitzgerald outside of the United States. 

Ella Fitzgerald is one of the most popular female jazz singers of all time. The agreement covers all of Ella Fitzgerald’s repertoire, including some of the most popular jazz records ever, such as Dream a Little Dream of Me, Cheek to Cheek, Into every Life some Rain Must Fall, and so on.

 

UMG Signed Licensing Agreement with Equinox’s Fitness App Variis

According to the news on January 14th, Universal Music Group recently signed a licensing agreement with Equinox’s fitness app Variis, providing workout music to people while using the app.

BMG Acquires the Rights to Some Mick Fleetwood Hits

According to the news on January 15th, BMG recently bought the rights to a series of popular songs by Mick Fleetwood, including “The Chain”, “Go Your Own Way” and “Landslide”, as well as the albums Fleetwood Mac (1975), Rumours (1977) and Tango In The Night (1987).

Streaming

Douyin and TikTok Generated Nearly US$142 Million in Global Revenue in December 2020

According to the latest data from the Sensor Tower, in December 2020, Douyin and its international version TikTok generated nearly US$142 million from the global App Store and Google Play, which is 3.3 times the income of December 2019. About 86% of the revenue came from Douyin; the US market contributed 7% of revenue; the Turkish market accounted for 2% of the revenue.

NetEase Cloud Music Producing Online Music Classes

According to the news on January 12th, NetEase Cloud Music and NetEase Musicians are producing online music classes, inviting top music producers, professors at music schools, and industry veterans as instructors, to teach musicians at different stages in their career how to improve their craft.

 

Tencent Musicians’ 2020 Report Released

On January 12th, Tencent Musicians officially released the 2020 Tencent Musicians’ Annual Report.

Among musicians who enjoyed Tencent Musician’s exclusive income incentive benefits, more than 85% of them increased their total income by more than 50%, and more than 60% more than doubled their income. The total streams on all TME platforms for 2020 is around 300 billion, up 50% year-on-year. Original songs on the platforms exceeded 1.1 million, doubling from the year before. Musicians registered on the platform reached 185,000, which increased by 131% from 2019.

QQ Music Launches Music Podcast

This is the first time this event was recorded without a live audience. On January 14th, QQ Music launched a music podcast, inviting James Li (李泉), Leah Dou (窦靖童) and other big-name musicians to talk about their stories, the music culture, and other music-related topics.

Migu Music Joins Hands with the Chinese Musicians Association to Launch the “Extraordinary Music Class” Series

Migu Music(咪咕音乐) and the Chinese Musicians Association College Union (中国音乐家协会高校联盟) recently launched the “Extraordinary Music Classroom” (“非凡音乐课堂”) online classes. Starting from January 15th, users can access hundreds of high-quality lessons by famous teachers in the industry. The content covers all fields of music: piano, vocal, instruments, choir and live music, etc.

Kugou Released 2020 Annual Digital Album Report

On January 16th, Kugou Music released its 2020 Digital Album Report. In 2020, a total of 467 digital albums were released on Kugou Music, and total sales exceeded 8.5 million copies.

SplitWorks Joins NetEase LOOK Live Streaming Platform

On January 16th, SplitWorks launched its first live stream series focusing on international live music events. The show will start broadcasting at 8 pm on January 24th.

NetEase Cloud Music Added Radio Features

On January 16th, NetEase Cloud Music launched a radio feature with Dragonfly FM (蜻蜓FM), allowing users to listen to 1400+ radio channels nationwide anytime, anywhere.

Audio Streaming Market Bloomed in Germany

According to data released on January 15th, in the first half of 2020, the recorded music market grew 4.8% year-on-year driven by the audio streaming market. The total music streams in Germany in 2020 reached 139 billion, a big jump from 107 billion in 2019.

Universal Music Released Music Videos of Its Artists on Bilibili

On January 16th, Universal Music launched a large number of high-definition music videos on Bilibili, including works by Andrea Bocelli, The Beatles, Marvin Gaye, Nirvana, The Velvet Underground, Ariana Grande, Eminem, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, Troye Sivan and many Chinese-speaking artists such as Cai Jianya(蔡健雅), Teresa Teng(邓丽君), Lang Lang(郎朗), Stefanie Sun(孙燕姿), Wu Bai(伍佰), Jacky Cheung(张学友), Leslie Cheung(张国荣), A-mei(张惠妹), etc.

Twitch Grew by 83% in 2020, Music and Performing Arts Content Quadrupled 

New data shows that between March and April 2020, Twitch’s engagement time increased by 50% and continues to grow, non-gaming content on the platform is growing as well. Many artists who can’t perform live are seeking to generate income from Twitch. SoundCloud and Twitch partnered up to allow artists to monetize their music on Twitch. Music and performing arts content on Twitch have quadrupled in 2020.

 

Variety Shows

Esther Yu Confirmed as Teaching Assistant on Youth With You 3

Variety Show Youth With You 3 (《青春有你3》) officially announced on January 11th that THE9 member Esther Yu (虞书欣) will return to the stage of the third season of Youth With You as a teaching assistant. 

Music Marketing

Apple Launches Music Lab Courses

On January 13th, Apple and Pushu (朴树) collaborated to launch a “Today at Apple” course called Music Lab: Remixing Pushu Classic Songs (音乐实验室:重混朴树经典歌曲) for a limited time. In this course, participants will dissect Pu Shu’s classic song “The Ordinary Road”, and re-mix it with the GarageBand app.

 

Pokémon, Universal Music, and Katy Perry Partner up to Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pokémon

On January 14th, Pokémon announced a partnership with Universal Music and Katy Perry to commemorate its 25th anniversary through music. Pokémon will work with Universal Music to create a music program led by Katy Perry for a year-long promotion. Other artists from UMG labels will also appear in this program.

Physical/Hardware

Meizu Released POP Pro Active Noise Cancellation Headphones

On January 11th, Meizu Technology released its first TWS active noise cancellation headphones, Meizu POP Pro. It is priced at 499 yuan and will officially go on sale at 10 am on January 12th.

 

Tan Weiwei’s 3811 Physical Album Pre-sale Opens

On January 13th, Tan Weiwei’s 3811 physical album opened for pre-sale. The pre-sale price is 79 yuan per copy. The physical album includes a CD and a lyrics book.

 

Sony CES 2021 Releases Two 360 Audio Speakers 

According to the news on January 11th, Sony recently released two 360 ambient room-filling sound speakers, SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000. These two products are equipped with Sony ambient room-filling technology. The two speakers are now available on Sony’s UK official website.

 

Organizations

China Audio-Video Copyright Association Announced Karaoke Royalty Rate for 2021

On January 15th, the China Audio-Video Copyright Association issued a statement on the fee structure for Karaoke royalty. In order to stabilize the industry, the fee structure will be the same as in 2020. 

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