BMG has signed what it's calling a "game-changing" digital distribution deal with China-based internet giant Alibaba. Under the pact, Alibaba's Digital Entertainment arm will "promote BMG writers and artists through channels such as its streaming apps Xiami and TTPod," according to a BMG statement. "It will also monitor and take action against digital and mobile services who may infringe the rights of BMG clients."
The deal gives Alibaba digital rights to over 2.5 million copyrights to recordings from artists ranging from Black Sabbath, Kylie Minogue, Bruno Mars, John Legend and the Rolling Stones.
The agreement with BMG is a sign of Alibaba's growing commitment to music and follows a similar distribution deal that its chief rival, Tencent Holdings, struck with Sony Music Entertainment in December. A month earlier Tencent signed the same digital deal with Warner Music Group. BMG is also betting big on China, the world's most populous nation, and in November struck a publishing deal with Chinese indie label Giant Jump.
Dora Yi, chief investment officer of BMG China, said, "This is a game-changing deal for BMG. Alibaba is one of the most progressive and successful companies in China and is the ideal partner for us as we begin to unleash the potential of BMG’s catalogue here."
Alibaba's president of Digital Entertainment Patrick Liu said his company's "rich experience in big data analysis will help us lead innovation in the music industry that ultimately enhances customer experience."