Menu
Warner Music strikes deal in China to stem piracy, spur sales

Warner Music strikes deal in China to stem piracy, spur sales

Chinese Internet giant Tencent will distribute music from the U.S. record company

Tencent's Chinese music site.

Tencent's Chinese music site.

China's rampant piracy has made the country an unfriendly market for digital music, but the U.S,'s Warner Music Group hopes to change now that it has cut a distribution deal with one of the country's biggest Internet firms.

Tencent, which runs some of China's largest messaging services, will distribute Warner's music catalog to legitimate audio services in the country, excluding mobile carriers.

The Chinese Internet giant already licenses Warner's music for its own streaming audio service. But the deal announced Thursday seeks to "accelerate" the development of licensed music models in China by working with Tencent to provide better audio and entertainment services.

China has over 600 million Internet users, but music companies have struggled to tap the market due to piracy. However, there was a breakthrough in 2011 when Baidu, the country's leading search engine, agreed to license music from three major record companies, after years of criticism for allegedly promoting pirated songs.

More licensing deals with China's major online music services have been struck since then. But digital music sales in the country are still minuscule: an estimated US$82.6 million last year, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). That's a drop in the bucket, considering that China's digital music industry had an estimated total value of $4.9 billion in 2012, the IFPI said in an annual report.

Part of the problem is that music providers, such as Baidu, offer free licensed music, in addition to paid services. At the same time, the country still has many smaller websites distributing unlicensed music downloads.

Warner's deal with Tencent is focused on providing high-quality music through the Chinese company's many different platforms. Tencent's most popular product is chat client QQ, which has over 800 million users. It also runs a top Internet portal in the country and social networking and videos sites, and has a mobile messaging app with 468 million users. Artists from Warner will have greater access to promote themselves on all these products as part of the partnership.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetlegalintellectual propertyInternet-based applications and servicesMusic and audioTencent

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments