New York City-headquartered indie publisher Peermusic has inked a partnership with Tencent Music, including licensing deals for the latter’s QQ Music, Kugou Music, and Kuwo Music streaming services as well as the WeSing karaoke app.
Peermusic and Tencent Music formally disclosed the partnership this afternoon. The “exclusive digital licensing agreement” will bring Peermusic’s extensive catalog, including tracks from artists like Buddy Holly, The Rolling Stones, Beyoncé, BTS, and Justin Bieber, to Tencent Music’s more than 42 million paid subscribers (and many additional ad-supported users).
Peermusic – which operates 35 offices in 30 nations – noted that it “has seen rapid growth” since establishing a presence in mainland China back in 2015. Moreover, Spencer Lee, Peermusic’s Asia-Pacific president, noted in a statement that the nation of approximately 1.4 billion residents will play an integral part in the company’s international growth strategy moving forward. “This deal is a huge win for our clients, and the Chinese market remains a big part of peermusic’s plans for investment and growth into the future,” said Lee.
The 92-year-old company, which Ralph Peer II operates, has quietly racked up a more than 500,000-track catalog. Key acquisitions have bolstered the total, and Peermusic (formerly Southern Music) claims on its website to be the largest indie publisher in the world. “You Are My Sunshine” and Ray Charles’s “Georgia On My Mind” represent just some of the most well-known works in the extensive library.
Tencent Music, for its part, has continued to rack up noteworthy deals in 2020, despite the heightened regulatory scrutiny of China-headquartered companies that are traded on the stock market. (Separately, Taiwan moved to block all Chinese streaming services, Tencent Music platforms among them, amid rising regional tensions.) June saw the Shenzhen-based business acquire over five percent of Warner Music Group’s shares in an approximately $100 million deal. And shortly thereafter, Japanese animation film studio CoMix Wave Films (CWF) and Tencent Music finalized a major anime soundtrack partnership.
Also on the agreement front, Tencent Music announced a licensing and promotional collaboration with Kobalt Music Group in August, quickly followed by a partnership with Thailand’s largest media conglomerate and music company, GMM Grammy. Lastly, Tencent Music expanded its multi-year agreement with Merlin, which initially came to fruition in 2018, just last week.
Today, Tencent Music stock (TME) gained slightly (.81 percent), with shares closing at $14.87 apiece. The stock’s per-share worth dipped below the $10 mark during the domestic onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but has largely held steady around $15 since enjoying a resurgence in July.