Tencent Music Entertainment Group and Time Fengjun Entertainment (TF Entertainment) announced the continuation of their strategic partnership. This news follows a similar announcement from NetEase Cloud Village. Both media giants have been engaged in a battle for rights and market share in China’s growing streaming industry. Accusations of media rights abuses and copyright monopolies have long bracketed the companies for over a decade. Since the Chinese government has implemented a variety of measures to break up digital streaming monopolies, the two businesses have been compelled to discover competitive edges, despite having comparable content libraries.
With TME’s renewed agreement users will have immediate access to music from TF Entertainment’s performers 30 days before other audio streaming platforms in China, a definite advantage over NetEase’s rights agreement. TF Entertainment is the home of TFBOYS, Teens in Times, and TF Family, three teen idol groups that are considered to have one of the largest thriving fan bases in China. TF Entertainment specializes in developing and training Pop artists who are connected to younger fans, a user base both streaming companies are eager to grow.
TF Entertainment’s artists enjoy great popularity on TME’s QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music, and WeSing platforms, and TFBOYS and Teens in Times have won multiple Tencent Music Entertainment Awards (TMEA).
As the battle for market share in the Chinese music streaming industry continues it seems the much bigger Tencent has got the upper hand in this deal. We’ll have to wait and see if NetEase has a counter.