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News of the Week 1/25 Selected music industry news.

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Financing 

Changba’s Affiliated Company Invested in Beijing Golden Apple Education 

According to the news on January 18th, Beijing Golden Apple Education Consulting Co., Ltd. (北京金色苹果教育咨询有限公司) has undergone an ownership change. The original shareholder withdrew and Beijing Changba Technology Co.,Ltd. (北京唱吧科技股份有限公司) took over 100% of the company’s equity. The legal representative of the company changed from Yu Chuanxu to Chen Hua. 

 

Tik Tok Initiate Investment Plans in Japan

Sources revealed on January 21th that Beijing ByteDance Technology Company, Tik Tok’s parent company, will start to invest in Japanese companies in order to expand its operations in the country.

 

RF Entertainment Prepares for Hong Kong IPO

On January 22th, RF Entertainment (风华秋实集团) submitted a prospectus to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. RF Entertainment is a music entertainment company whose services include copyright management, artist management, and live event promotion. Famous artists under RF Entertainment’s management include Lu Han(鹿晗) and Black Panther (黑豹乐队).

 

Tencent Borrows 1.3 Billion Euros to Buy UMG Shares 

According to Bloomberg, Tencent recently took out a 1.3 billion Euro loan to buy shares of Universal Music Group.

Kuaishou Completed Roadshow For IPO

Kuaishou(快手) completed the roadshow on January 24th and launched an institutional IPO on January 25th. 10 cornerstone investors including Capital Group and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) subscribed to buy its shares.

 

Live Nation Acquires Concert Live Streaming Platform Veeps

According to the news on January 21th, Live Nation recently acquired a majority stake in concert live streaming platform Veeps. The Los Angeles-based company was founded in 2017 by Joel Madden and Benji Madden from the band Good Charlotte. The company engages fans through chat functions and exclusive merchandise sales. It also offers social media marketing and VIP services.

Native Instruments Acquired by Francisco Partners

According to the news on January 22th, the investment company EMH Partners has already sold its majority stake in Native Instruments to Francisco Partners, a technology-focused investment company.
The founding shareholders of Native Instruments and EMH Partners will continue to be a part of Native Instruments as minority shareholders.

 

Labels

WMG and Sky Digital India Signed Exclusive Distribution Agreement

On January 18th, Warner Music India reached an exclusive distribution agreement with Sky Digital India. Sky Digital currently has more than 42 Punjabi labels, two mainstream Hindi labels, and some Haryana and Bhojpur labels. Under this agreement, Warner Music’s independent artist and label service arm, ADA, will handle Sky Digital’s distribution outside of India. The agreement will also help to increase Sky Digital’s market share in India, which is currently around 1%.

 

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 Virtual Idol DJ Purple Performed at AKOMA CLUB Closed Beta

On January 18th, DJ-Purple, the virtual idol under Modern Sky’s virtual artist label performed at AKOMA CLUB’s “hybrid futuristic closed beta. Many well-known human musicians also participated, such as AKOMA CLUB’s co-founders Lil’Akin (阿克江) and DJ kommi.

Muma’s National Tour in March Opened Ticket Sales

At 8 pm on January 21st, Muma(木马乐队)’s National Tour opened ticket sales in three cities, Chongqing, Xi’an, Dalian, Shenyang, and Zhengzhou.

The National Centre for the Performing Arts Choir Performed Verdi’s Classic Operas 

2021 is the 120th anniversary of Verdi’s death. To commemorate him, on the evening of January 23th, the National Centre for the Performing Arts Choir  (国家大剧院合唱团) performed 6 classic Verdi opera songs.

SEVENTEEN Held Online Concert on January 23rd

The popular South Korean boy group SEVENTEEN held an online concert “IN-COMPLETE” on January 23rd, attracting fans from 122 countries and regions around the world. 

SEVENTEEN originally planned to continue their global tour “ODE TO YOU” that began in 2019 but had to suspend the tour due to the pandemic.

Glastonbury Music Festival Cancelled Again in 2021

According to the news on January 22nd, the Glastonbury Music Festival originally scheduled on June 23rd to 27th, 2021, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first time the festival was canceled for two consecutive years.

Musicians

StraightFireGang Officially Signed with K.O.O.D

On January 18th, the hip hop group StraightFireGang (直火帮) announced that it has officially signed with K.O.O.D Music. In 2020, StraightFireGang won the most popular hip hop group of the year at the QQ Music Fusion Hip Hop Ceremony. Its member Feezy won the top four on the variety show Rap For Youth. The national tour of StraightFireGang just ended successfully. And members XZT, Feezy, and Zigga all released their solo albums recently.

Annabel Yao Releases Her Solo Debut Song “Back Fire”

On January 18th, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei’s daughter Annabel Yao solo debut single “Back Fire” was officially released on QQ Music, NetEase Cloud Music, and Kugou Music.

Jackson Wang Is Discussing Management Contract with Sublime Artist Agency

According to the news on January 21st, after GOT7’s contract with JYP Entertainment ended, members began to look for new management agencies. Chinese member Jackson Wang is currently discussing contract matters with Rain and Song Kangho’s management company Sublime Artist Agency.

Ryuichi Sakamoto May Cancel Work Schedule Due to Health Reasons

On January 21st, musician Ryuichi Sakamoto posted on his Weibo that he was diagnosed with rectal cancer. Due to his current health status and the coronavirus pandemic, he will not be able to carry out work tasks that require long-distance travel. He will try to finish all the work engagement while receiving treatment, but it’s still possible that he will have to cancel some work.

 

Copyright

AGM Released Its First Commercial Music Usage Report

On January 19th, HIFIVE(嗨翻屋科技)’s subsidiary AGM(曲多多) released its first commercial music usage report. The report included commercial music usage scenarios, types, licensing methods, and economic development and market relationships, etc. Because of AGM’s rich content reserve, the report would be a good reference for people who are interested in this area.

 

Alibaba Sued Tencent for Copyright Infringement

On January 19th, the court ruled on Alibaba’s copyright infringement case against Tencent for providing access to 10 albums including Mayday(五月天)’s first original album without a license. Tencent Technology will pay 432,000 yuan to compensate for Alibaba’s loss. 

 

HIFIVE and China Daily Reached a Music Licensing Agreement

On January 22nd, Tencent Cloud(腾讯云)’s Authorized Music Express (“正版曲库直通车”) Launches a new function for single song commercial licensing. Now video creators, MCN agencies, event planning, and production teams, e-commerce companies, and other small and medium-sized customer projects directly purchase licensing from Tencent Cloud’s website.

 

Migu Music and Nice Tune Reached Licensing Agreement

On January 22nd, Migu Music(咪咕音乐) and Nice Tune(好听音乐) reached copyright cooperation. Now users can listen to Nice Tune artists like Ge Bi Lao Fan(隔壁老樊) and Yang Ziyi(杨紫怡) on Migu Music.

 

Round Hill Acquires Collective Soul Catalog

According to the news on January 19th, Round Hill Music recently acquired American rock band Collective Soul’s catalog. The band was founded in 1993 and has released more than 10 studio albums since then. Their newest album is Half & Half released in 2020. 

 

Blue Raincoat Signed Administration Agreement with Nick Drake’s Estate

On January 20th, the British publishing firm Blue Raincoat and the independent music company Reservoir signed a global copyright agency agreement with the artist Nick Drake’s estate to represent all of his songs.

Hipgnosis Plans to Raise Funds Again For Catalog Acquisition

According to the prospectus released by Hipgnosis on January 21st, the company plans to issue another 1.5 billion shares in the next 12 months. At its current share price of 1.21 pounds a share, the issuance will raise more than 2 billion pounds.

 

Kobalt Signs Global Neighboring Rights Agreement with FRED

According to the news on January 22nd, Kobalt had signed a global neighboring rights agreement with British producer FRED, providing him with global copyright management services. 

Streaming

Douyin Held Annual Entertainment Festival

On January 19th, Douyin held an annual entertainment festival. During the festival, Douyin awarded notable industry practitioners and released an entertainment industry white paper with an in-depth analysis of the industry.

 

Tik Tok Adds Q&A Function

On January 21st, TikTok launched a new feature allowing content creators to answer questions from fans. Now, Tik Tok users with more than 10,000 fans can turn on the Q&A function on the settings page. Users can answer questions with videos or text.

SoundCloud and AdsWizz Reached an Exclusive Advertisement Sales Agreement

On January 20th, SoundCloud and SiriusXM’s subsidiary AdsWizz signed an exclusive agreement to sell audio ads in 14 European countries, including Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Advertisers can now access SoundCloud inventory through the AdsWizz audio purchasing platform, audio-centric DSP, or any major omnichannel DSP, select audio from a specific SoundCloud inventory, and place ads through AdsWizz Marketplace.

Apple Podcast Launches “Spotlight” Function

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. According to the news on January 22nd, Apple Podcasts recently launched the new feature “Spotlight” on the platform, gathering a selection of the best podcasts of the month. Apple’s global director of podcast Ben Cave said that this new function can bring the best podcasts to a bigger audience.

Djooky Gives Out Cash Rewards For its Hit Hunter Competition

On January 23rd, the emerging music app Djooky launched a new feature called HitHunter in its app, which will pay users cash rewards to identify potential hits.

APP users can pick songs they think will get popular on the platform, and use the Hit Points to vote for songs of their choice. Every week, users who successfully predict the next hit single will receive a cash reward ranging from $10-$100 based on the ranking of the song. The final round of the competition will give out a $1,000 prize.

 

Tencent Music Entertainment Group Won Transform Awards

The Transform Awards ceremony hosted by Transform Magazine was held on January 19th. Tencent Music Entertainment Group’s “Infinite Wings(无限羽翼)” project won 5 awards with its creative and meaningful design. Many other globally renowned brands such as Coca-Cola, Volkswagen, and Nike also took home some awards during the ceremony.

 

Tencent Music Entertainment Group Won Transform Awards Citi Raises Target Price of TME to US$26 and Maintains ‘Buy’ Rating

On January 20th, Citi analyst Alicia Yap has raised the target price of TME stock from US$19 to US$26 while maintaining a “buy” rating. Yap said that TME’s fourth-quarter performance is expected to be in line with market expectations. Yap is optimistic about TME due to its focus on the subscription model, high-margin advertising business, and long audio content.

 

Variety Shows

Sisters Who Make Waves Season 2 Begin Broadcasting

The first episode of Sister Who Make Waves Season 2 (《乘风破浪的姐姐2》)broadcasted on January 22nd. Chen Zitong(陈梓童), who previously won third place on the Voice of China Season 4 got first place in the first round. Joey Yung(容祖儿) and Zhang Xianzi (弦子) won second and third place.

MBK Founder Kim Kwangsoo Fined 10 Million Won For Produce 101 Fraud

On January 22nd, the Seoul Central District Court ruled against Kim Kwang-soo and PocketDol CEO Park Kyu Heon on the Produce 101 case. The court ordered both of them to pay a 100 million won fine for fraud.

Music Marketing

MINISO Set Up Podcast Account on NetEase Cloud Music 

On January 18th, MINISO(名创优品) launched the “Emotion Management Radio(情绪管理电台)” on NetEase Cloud Music. MINISO invited three podcast content creators to talk about emotion management from different angles. MINISO also created a healing themed playlist on NetEase Cloud Music.

 

Physical/Hardware

Samsung Launches Galaxy Buds Pro Active Noise Canceling Headphones

On January 18th, Samsung released the Mainland China version Galaxy Buds Pro headphones. The headphone is available in three colors: Purple, Black, and Silver, for a price of 1,299 yuan a pair.

 

Global True Wireless Headset Shipments Expected to Grow by 83%

On January 18th, market research agency Counterpoint recently released a global wearables report for the third quarter of 2020. Data shows that headsets and smart bracelet products accounted for 93% of the global wearable device sales in the quarter. In the third quarter of last year, Apple’s AirPods sales ranked first, accounting for 29% market share. Xiaomi ranked second with a 12% market share, while Samsung and JBL are tied for third with a 5% market share. Counterpoint predicts that in 2020, global true wireless headset shipments will increase by 83% to 238 million, while smart bracelet shipments will increase by 2% to more than 100 million.

 

Education

A Baidu Affiliated Company Filed for Patent For Its Singing Training Technology

According to the news on January 20th, Beijing Baidu Netcom Technology Co., Ltd. (北京百度网讯科技有限公司) published a patent for its “singing posture correction method, device, electronic equipment and storage” technology. The publication date is January 19th, the patent publication number is CN112241653A. This technology can help users improve their singing by adjusting their singing postures.

 

Organizations

The Second TMEA Ceremony Ended Successfully

On January 23rd, the second TMEA Tencent Music Entertainment Festival (腾讯音乐娱乐盛典) organized by Tencent Music Entertainment Group officially ended at the Venetian Cotai Arena in Macau, China. With the theme “Music to Live(因乐而生)”, this year’s festival aims to use music to rekindle the enthusiasm and hope of life. So far, the second TMEA festival-related hashtags have received 11.4 billion views, 20 million posts, and 40+ trendings on Weibo. At the same time, the number of online viewers reached a new high. 

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