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Universal to pay-gate music in China as part of new Tencent Music deal

MBW has been prattling on about Tencent Music Leisure’s paywall technique in China for a while.

Briefly, with each week that goes by, TME – proprietor of QQ Music, Kuwo Music and Kugou Music – is making a more and more giant chunk of blockbuster music on its platform solely accessible for these customers who pay for Premium streaming entry.

It is a central tactic for TME in its quest to get extra Chinese language music followers shelling out for premium streaming subscriptions.

TME has a acknowledged headline goal, too: making certain that 20% of all music streams on its providers are of paywalled content material by the top of 2020.

The corporate simply received a giant hand on this mission – within the form of its new cope with Common Music Group.

TME revealed its Q2 2020 outcomes yesterday (August 10), confirming that its revenues from music subscribers on its providers hit $186m within the quarter, up by 64.7% year-on-year.

TME’s CEO, Cussion Pang, stated this spectacular subscription income development was his agency’s “most notable” music-related story in Q2, whereas noting the direct influence that TME’s “efficient paywall technique” had on the rise.

The announcement of TME’s Q2 outcomes got here hours after the corporate confirmed that it had signed a brand new multi-year licensing cope with Common Music Group, in addition to launching a brand new JV report label with UMG.

On TME’s Q2 earnings name, the corporate’s Chief Technique Officer, Tony Yip, was particularly questioned by analysts in regards to the agency’s paywall technique and the way the brand new UMG deal suits into it.



Yip confirmed that TME is on monitor to hit its 20%-of-streams-behind-a-paywall goal by the shut of this yr, whereas additional suggesting that the agency “may barely exceed that”.

Yip then confirmed that “as a part of [TME’s new] settlement with UMG, we intend so as to add the UMG content material behind our pay-for-streaming paywall”.

What this implies: We will anticipate to see an growing quantity of blockbuster/notably standard items of UMG catalog changing into premium-only on TME providers sooner or later.

Sources near the state of affairs counsel that TME and Common will resolve between them which releases / albums develop into pay-gated because the months and years roll on.

“as a part of [TME’s new] settlement with UMG, we intend so as to add the UMG content material behind our pay-for-streaming paywall.”

Tony Yip, Tencent Music

Yip additional confirmed that some catalog from “every of the large three” (Common, Sony and Warner) – is definitely already behind TME’s paywall.

“Finally, it’s essential for customers to understand the worth of music, and all gamers within the trade are shifting in direction of the pay-for-streaming course,” stated Yip, calling the pattern “an excellent factor for the trade general”.

The full variety of folks paying for on-line music on TME’s providers hit 47.1m in Q2, up 52% year-on-year.

Yip famous that this was “the fastest-ever reported quarter when it comes to year-over-year improve in our paying customers”, with 4.4m added versus the earlier quarter (Q1 2020).



TME’s high execs additionally gave some colour on the broader nature of the agency’s new cope with Common on their Q2 earnings name yesterday.

Cussion Pang instructed buyers: “In contrast to the final settlement [with UMG], which was successfully extra like a set value contract in respect of the income generated, the brand new [deal] has a fairly honest [minimum guarantee] degree that each events are incentivized to work collectively to exceed so the income sharing can kick in”.

“the brand new [UMG deal] has a fairly honest [minimum guarantee] degree that each events are incentivized to work collectively to exceed.”

Cussion Pang, Tencent Music

Tony Yip additional clarified that TME’s new cope with Common incorporates a “fairly honest minimal assure degree, which is in putting distance”.

Yip added that each UMG and TME at the moment are “incentivized to work collectively to exceed” this minimal assure threshold – one thing he predicted would occur “primarily based on the present trajectory of our subscription development”.


Tencent Music Leisure’s whole revenues from its on-line music providers within the second quarter of 2020 elevated by 42.2% to RMB2.22 billion (US $314 million).

This improve was pushed by robust development in music subscription revenues, supplemented by development in gross sales of digital albums and promoting service revenues.

These elements offset a lower in sub-licensing revenues, that are set to proceed to lower as music rightsholders like Common Music Group immediately license TME’s rivals – together with NetEase Cloud Music – in future.

Tencent Music’s majority-parent, Tencent Holdings, leads a consortium which acquired 10% of Common Music Group in March for $3.4bn.Music Enterprise Worldwide

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