Tencent Music and Indie Collective Merlin Renew Licensing Agreement (EXCLUSIVE)

Jem Aswad
·2-min read

Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the leading online music entertainment platform in China, and Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent labels, have renewed their multi-year licensing and cooperation agreement. According to the announcement, as part of the renewal, TME and Merlin will “deepen their longstanding strategic partnership, explore ways to drive the creation of music value, and enhance the music experience for TME’s users.”

Under this agreement, Merlin will also now license into TME’s social community, WeSing, an online karaoke service in China; the renewed partnership will continue to include TME’s QQ Music, KuGuo, and Kuwo music streaming services. TME reached its initial strategic cooperation agreement with Merlin in 2018.

TC Pan, Group Vice President of Content Cooperation of TME said, “Merlin has the world’s top musicians with a strong appeal among Chinese music fans. This collaboration not only creates a ‘music express’ for Chinese lovers of global music, but also enriches the overseas music library of online karaoke for users, to meet the demand for an international singing music and entertainment experience. TME’s strong advantages in music digital transformation, user operation, and big data management will combine with Merlin’s high-quality music content to explore the organic integration of overseas music with the Chinese digital music market.”

“We are excited to renew our agreement with Tencent and expand our strategic partnership, including the extension of our deal into the dynamic WeSing service. Merlin’s members represent the most iconic and diverse repertoire in the world,” said Jeremy Sirota, CEO of Merlin. “We look forward to continuing to support our members in engaging their fans and finding new listeners for the music that resonates with them.”

Merlin members account for more than 15% of the global digital music market, representing tens of thousands of labels and hundreds of thousands of artists, with artists from virtually every country in the world. It has deals with over 30 digital partners, including Boomplay, Deezer, Facebook/Instagram, JioSaavn, KKBox, Pandora, Snap, SoundCloud, Spotify, TikTok, Triller, UMA, Yandex and YouTube Music.

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