Tencent Music Entertainment Group (Tencent Music or TME,NYSE: TME), the leading online music entertainment platform in China, and Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the world’s independents, jointly announced that the two parties have renewed their multi-year licensing and cooperation agreement. As part of the renewal, TME and Merlin will deepen their longstanding strategic partnership, explore ways to drive the creation of music value, and enhance the music experience for TME’s users.
Under this agreement, Merlin will also now license into TME’s social community, WeSing, a dynamic online karaoke service in China. Through this cooperation, Tencent’s users will enjoy Merlin’s members’ diverse repertoire for a richer music experience. In addition, Merlin’s renewed partnership will continue to include TME’s QQ Music, KuGuo, and Kuwo music streaming services.
As a pioneer and leading online music entertainment service in China, TME reached its initial strategic cooperation agreement with Merlin in 2018.
TC Pan, Group Vice President of Content Cooperation of TME said, “Merlin has the world’s top musicians with a strong appeal among Chinese music fans. This collaboration not only creates a ‘music express’ for Chinese lovers of global music, but also enriches the overseas music library of online karaoke for users, to meet the demand for an international singing music and entertainment experience. TME’s strong advantages in music digital transformation, user operation, and big data management will combine with Merlin’s high-quality music content to explore the organic integration of overseas music with the Chinese digital music market.”
TME is committed to bringing high-quality overseas music content into China, including through its partnerships with labels that cover Europe, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, and other countries. The music genres range from popular to independent pioneers, from film and television music to variety music, from classic to new sounds. The TME-Merlin partnership helps to achieve this mission, unlocking a wide range of content from countries around the world through the breadth of Merlin’s membership.
“We are excited to renew our agreement with Tencent and expand our strategic partnership, including the extension of our deal into the dynamic WeSing service. Merlin’s members represent the most iconic and diverse repertoire in the world,” said Jeremy Sirota, CEO of Merlin. “We look forward to continuing to support our members in engaging their fans and finding new listeners for the music that resonates with them.”
Merlin navigates the music ecosystem by striking premium deals with digital services that enable its members to better control their future. Merlin likewise provides digital services with the ability to efficiently license the world’s most valuable independent music. Merlin members account for more than 15% of the global digital music market, representing tens of thousands of labels and hundreds of thousands of artists, with artists from virtually every country in the world.
This list includes: Armada Music, an independent internationally-awarded record company founded by a.o. Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren, with a roster including global dancefloor hit makers such as Loud Luxury, Andrew Rayel and W&W; global independent record label [PIAS], whose artists include the soulful Arlo Parks, ambient pop stars Cigarettes After Sex, Northern Irish indie rock band Two Door Cinema Club, and Bristol punk band Idles; and The state51 Music Group, featuring London-based, Korean-born pop artist nijuu, legendary singer-songwriter Donovan, rocker/10cc founder Kevin Godley, and psycho-sonic songsmith Cosey Fanni Tutti.