Apple Music expands Chinese music reservoir via Tencent deal – TechCrunch

Apple Music users worldwide will soon be able to access more Chinese musicians. Tencent Music Entertainment, Tencent's online music subsidiary, announced Tuesday that artists and record labels can now use Apple Music to distribute their work.
Tencent is not the first company to partner with an international online music service provider. The Chinese internet company entered into a share-swapping agreement with Spotify in 2017. The agreement did not include content sharing.

TME's announcement was vague, and the partners remain tight-lipped about details of the arrangement. TME's Music Cloud is the key to how much this deal will weigh. According to the firm, this is what it means:

TME Music Cloud, a global music distribution platform, will offer 'content self management,' ’online distribution and promotion','settlement and royalties' and'music data insights. This global level omnichannel distribution platform for creators and partner labels will allow for global distribution. TME's industry resources, Tencent's social ecology and TME's content creation support will be available to content creators for content promotion and commercial realization.

Music Cloud, as the name suggests, will help small-time artists without big record labels' marketing and distribution support.

TME has created a platform where independent musicians can share their music, attract fans and host virtual concerts. This platform is now available to them for the last four years. TME receives licensing rights to their works in return.

TME's rights to Jay Chou, a top pop musician, are the real moneymaker. TME has made the Taiwanese singer so important to its user loyalty, that it brought a case against NetEase Music in 2017 for violating Chou's copyrights.

TME spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the years to secure music licensing from Universal Music, Warner Music, and Sony Music Entertainment. These are collectively called the "big three" record label. TME's walls have been smashed by China's antitrust crackdown in its tech sector. TME was penalized by the country's market regulator for using "unfair" market practices in July and ordered to stop claiming exclusive online music rights.

TME is unlikely to share its expensive music with Apple Music. Otherwise, it will be a costly partnership. When the partners make more information public, we will be able to find out more. The prospects of reaching a global audience are enough to keep emerging Chinese musicians enthused for now.