Tencent and Sony Music Renew Digital Pact in Mainland China

Shen Chunchen/AP 
Shanghai, China photographed on April 5, 2016. 

Sony Music Entertainment has renewed its strategic partnership with Tencent Music, the music arm of Chinese tech giant Tencent. Under the agreement, Tencent Music will continue to market and distribute Sony Music’s audio master recordings in mainland China. (Disclosure: Tencent has content syndication deals with Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter.)

"Tencent Music's promotion of the legal use of digital music has made a very positive and lasting change to the market for music labels and music fans," said Denis Handlin AM, Chairman & CEO of Sony Music Australia & New Zealand and President, Asia. "The difference we have made together in the development of artists and in fan engagement through our strategic partnership is most significant."

Tencent Surges to Become Asia's Most Valuable Company

Tencent operates the popular QQ Music streaming service, often referred to as China’s Spotify. It got even bigger in July when Tencent Holdings and China Music Corporation, parent of competing streamers KuGou and Kuwo, announced a strategic merger of their digital music businesses. "The new company will promote a freemium model built upon authorized music rights, where users can enjoy free streaming with superior experiences and artists and record companies can be rewarded for their creativity through premium service offerings," the companies said in an announcement.