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News of the Week 2/8 Selected music industry news

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Financing 

Canxing Media Failed to IPO

On February 2nd, ChiNext (创业板), the NASDAQ-style subsidiary of Shenzhen Stock Exchange decided to reject Canxing Media (灿星文化)’s request to IPO on the exchange. Canxing Media is a renowned variety show production company that produced many hit variety shows such as The Voice of China (《中国好声音》). Canxing originally planned to issue 42.6 million ordinary shares for 1.5 billion yuan.

 

Audio Community Platform Lizhi FM Share Price Rose More Than 60%

Recently, Clubhouse became popular because of Elon Musk, and the audio platform industry attracted investors’ attention once again. Lizhi FM (荔枝), an audio community platform stock surged by more than 60%.

Kuaishou Officially Listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange

On February 5th, Kuaishou was officially listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The stock rose 194% to HK$338 as soon as the market opened. The stock closed at HK$300 that day with a market cap of HK$1232.5 billion, becoming the ninth largest company listed on the HKSE by market cap. 

 

 

Labels

Sony Music Announces Fourth Quarter Financial Results

On February 3th, Sony announced the financial results for the fourth quarter of 2020 (Q3 of FY2020). In this quarter, Sony Music’s global revenue was US$1.36 billion, up 17.5% year-over-year. Physical sales increased 41.3% year-over-year to US$ 336 million. Streaming revenue was up 26% y-o-y to US$843 million. Sony Music’s total global music revenue for the calendar year 2020 would be around US$4.51 billion, which is an increase of 8.1% y-o-y.

WMG Stock Rose Over 8% After Earnings Call

WMG stock rose due to the positive impact of its first-quarter financial report that came out on February 2nd. The stock rose by more than 8% to US$38.3 in the same morning. Later, Bank of America analyst Jessica Reif Ehrlich upgraded the company’s rating from “Neutral” to “Buy” and raised the target price from $39 to $48.

Taihe Music Group Reached Cooperation Agreement With Bandcamp

Taihe Music Group (太合音乐集团) recently entered the internationally renowned independent music platform Bandcamp and listed songs from its various labels such as Maybe Mars(兵马司唱片), Ruby Eyes Records(赤瞳音乐) and indie music network Indie Works on the platform so that international fans can hear the voice of Chinese indie music.

Modern Sky’s New Label WaterMade Signed  Its Second Artist

On February 3rd, singer-songwriter KALA officially signed with Modern Sky’s sub label WaterMade(水形) and became the second artist signed under the label.

Warner Records Partners With BPG Music

Warner Music has recently reached a strategic partnership agreement with BPG Music founded by industry veteran Gee Robertson and his long-term business partner Jean Nelson. The partnership will allow artists under BPG to retain creative control while having the reach of a major record company. Singer Erica Banks has joined Warner Music through this partnership.

SM Entertainment Received Large Taxed Bill From Authorities

According to Korean media, SM Entertainment received a tax bill of about 20.2 billion won as a result of the tax investigation conducted by the local tax authorities. The bill is equivalent to 3.19% of S.M Entertainment’s capital. SM agreed to pay the full amount by the end of March.

 

Live Entertainment

The Fallacy Announced It’s 2021 National Tour Schedule

On February 4th, rock band The Fallacy (疯医乐队) announced the schedule for its 2021 National Tour. The tour will take place from April 9th to May 22nd in 13 cities including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Zhengzhou, Xinxiang and Qingdao. Online pre-sale will start on February 24th.

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Added A Series of Performances for the New Year Celebration

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (上海交响乐团) will add a series of performances at 2pm everyday from February 12th to February 17th (first day to sixth day of the lunar new year). 

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Launches Online Concert Hall

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (上海交响乐团) plans to launch an online concert hall during the lunar new year. The online concert hall will host a series of high-quality content including 42 chamber music pieces, 115 live recordings, 88 music classes and 180 music appreciation videos.

Musicians

Musician Zhao Yingjun Passed Away Due to Cancer

On February 3rd, musician Zhao Yingjun (赵英俊) died of cancer in Beijing at the age of 43. His funeral was held at Beijing Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery on February 5th.

Zhao Cong Appointed the Head of the China National Traditional Orchestra

On February 3rd, the China National Traditional Orchestra (中央民族乐团) held a management meeting and announced the change of its leadership. Zhao Cong (赵聪) was appointed the head of the orchestra while Zhao Dongsheng (赵东升) retired from the job.

Huang Tingting Failed to Terminate Management Contract with Shanghai Star48 Culture Media Group Co. LTD

Recently, the court ruling on Huang Tingting(黄婷婷) and her management agency Shanghai Star48 Culture Media Group Co. Ltd’s contract termination case became public. The court ordered Huang Tingting to continue to fulfill the contract and bear all the legal costs. In 2019, Huang Tingting claimed that due to repeated deception from the company, she decided to terminate the contract with Star48. The company then filed a lawsuit against her action to unilaterally terminate the contract.

Huang Zitao Debuts Virtual Artist Salute

On February 6th, Huang Zitao (黄子韬) and his virtual idol ZTAO’s Man (韬斯曼) performed at Kuaishou Young Gala (快手超级播跨次元之夜). In addition to ZTAO’s Man, Huang Zitao introduced a new virtual idol, salute. He said salute is his favorite anime character, and the one he wanted to create.

Toby Davis Joins FEVER FAMILY

On February 7th, NetEase Cloud Music’s electronic music label FEVER(放刺) announced that Toby Davis will be joining the FEVER FAMILY as a co-producer, adding his unique bass sound into the FEVER FAMILY style.

Dan Auerbach and Concord Music Group Set Up Joint Venture

Recently, Concord set up a long-term joint venture with Easy Eye Sound, a company established by the lead singer of the Black Keys. The partnership will run under the name of Easy Eye Sound. Concord will distribute all new records by Easy Eye Sound. The joint venture plans to release 12 new albums in 2021.

Billie Eillish Release New Trailer For Her Documentary

Recently, another trailer for Billie Eilish’s documentary The World’s a Little Blurry was released on YouTube. The documentary will premiere in theaters and on Apple TV+ on February 26th. 

 

‘The Sound of Music’ Star Passed Away 

On February 5th, Canadian-born Hollywood actor Christopher Plummer died in Connecticut at the age of 91.

Plummer had an acting career for 75 years and starred in more than 100 films. He played Captain Baron Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

 

Copyright

PRS Provides Free License For Musicians Performing Their Own Work in Small Concerts

On January 27th, PRS for music launched a one-stop authorization platform, requiring artists to pay a fixed license fee for live events that generate less than £500 in revenue even if the artists are performing their own songs. After being criticized for it, PRS issued a statement on February 1st allowing artists to obtain licensing to perform their own songs for free.

 

Round Hill Bought More Than 18,000 Songs With US$282 Million

Recently, a UK-listed royalty fund managed by Round Hill acquired more than 18,000 songs for US$282 million. The acquisition Includes some early classics of the Beatles, as well as works by The Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, John Lee Hooker, Pat Boone, Ricky Nelson and some others.

Round Hill Acquired Catalogs of Two Members in Massive Attack

Recently, the American music royalty management company Round Hill acquired the catalogs of British band Massive Attack’s member Robert Del Naja and Grant Marshall. The acquisition agreement includes the publishing rights of their first five albums released between 1991 and 2010.

Streaming

Douyin Clarifies Rumors About Boycotting Tencent

On February 1st, Douyin responded to rumors that the platform is boycotting Tencent by not allowing users to post links to their Wechat profile on their Douyin account. Douyin explained that it is not trying to cut off traffic to Tencent. The act is solely for protecting consumers. Only medical and financial Douyin bloggers cannot link to Wechat, other users won’t be affected. 

 

NetEase Cloud Music Accused Kugou of Plagiarism

On the morning of February 2nd, NetEase Cloud Music official Wechat account posted an article accusing Kugou Music for copying several functions from NetEase Cloud Music.


In the evening, Kugou Music’s official WeChat account responded by posting several patent files.


On February 4th, NetEase Cloud issued a statement saying the patent posted by Kugou has nothing to do with the plagiarism accusations.

Spotify Korea Officially Launched

Spotify officially launched in South Korea. Spotify will provide dedicated korean playlists for users in South Korea.

 

Spotify Obtained New Patent

Recently, Spotify has obtained a patent for a technology that recommends songs to users by identifying their emotions in their voice. The patent was filed in 2018 and was approved on January 12th.

Clubhouse Competitor Tiya Built by a China Team

On February 1st, Tesla CEO Musk announced on Twitter that he would create a chat room in the voice social media app Clubhouse. The news brought voice social media into the spotlight. Clubhouse’s competitor Tiya was ranked top 10 in social apps in around 50 countries and was ranked 4th in the US at its peak. Tiya was created by Chinese online audio company Lizhi(荔枝).

 

TikTok’s January Revenue More Than Tripled Year-Over-Year

Sensor tower data shows that in January 2021, the world’s highest-paid non-gaming application was TikTok, with a total revenue of nearly 128 million US dollars, 3.8 times the revenue in January 2020. About 82% of the revenue comes from Mainland China, 8% are from the US market, and 2% are from Turkey.

 

Spotify Released 2020 Q4 Result 

On February 3rd, Spotify released its 2020 Q4 earnings. Even though global subscriber and MAU numbers both increased significantly, the profitability didn’t meet Wall Street expectations.
After the Q4 results came out, Spotify’s stock closed around $US 30 lower than the day before, at US$317.21 a share.

 

Xiami Music Shut Down on February 5th

At 12am on February 5th, Xiami Music officially shut down. Right now, users can only see the server shut down notice and refund option when they log in to the website. After March 5th, users will no longer be able to log in.

 

Variety Shows

Casting Began for The New Season of The Rap of China

On February 2nd, iQiyi began the casting for The Rap of China Z Project 2021 (《中国新说唱》全新企划Z·少年企划). Rappers aged between 18 and 24 are eligible to apply.

Music Marketing

Tencent Musicians, Tencent Kandian, QQ Browser, and QQ Music Jointly Launched Special Event

Tencent Musicians, Tencent Kandian, QQ Browser and QQ Music jointly launched a special event for the 2021 Chinese New Year “Don’t Change Your Accent” (“乡音无改”). Folk musicians will perform in different dialects to comfort the workers who are unable to go home during Chinese New Year due to the pandemic.

 

Universal Beijing Resort To Collaborate with Tencent Gaming

On February 3rd, Universal Beijing Resort and Tencent Interactive Entertainment announced their partnership. The two companies will jointly create a game themed seasonal event at the Universal Resort that will open in 2022. 

 

 

EXO’s Baekhyun Sang E-Sport Team T1’s Theme Song “Runner”

The world-renowned Korean e-sports team T1, which has a lot of famous members like the top League of Legends player Faker, made a theme song for itself in collaboration with EXO member Baekhyun and Korean hip hop musician CHANGMO. The song is produced by DJ Raiden, who also produced music for the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.


 

Organizations

The Number of Online Music Users in China Reached 658 Million

According to the 47th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China released by CNNIC, the number of online music users in China has reached 658 million, which increased by 23.11 million since March 2020, accounting for 66.6% of the total Internet users. The number of mobile online music users reached 557 million, which increased by 23.79 million since March 2020, accounting for 66.6% of mobile Internet users.

 

Policy

China Association of Performing Arts Issued New Rules 

On February 5th, the China Association of Performing Arts released a series of new rules regarding personal behaviors of artists. Artists who violate the 15 rules outlined by the new rules will be subject to a boycotting period by all members of the association for at least a year.

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