Bytedance-owned short video app Douyin reached a music licensing deal with Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) near the end of 2019, marking the first major cooperation between the two companies, media outlet 36Kr reported.
Why it matters: Bytedance has been working to find new original music sources as its old deal with global musical labels expires and negotiations for new contracts drag on.
- Tencent has also been seeking to increase traffic to its music platforms, and inked a partnership earlier this month with video-sharing site Bilibili to promote independent musicians.
- Tencent is known for signing exclusive licensing deals with major music labels and passing the costs to smaller music platforms.
Details: TME’s online music platform QQ Music, Kugou Music, and Kuwo Music have all registered official accounts on Douyin.
- TME will begin licensing music to Douyin, according to the report citing people familiar with the matter.
- The deal also involves the joint promotion of music and musicians, with Tencent providing the content and Douyin driving the traffic.
- Following the partnership, Douyin will standardize the use of copyrighted music.
- Bytedance declined to comment on Monday afternoon. TME could not be immediately reached for comment.
Context: The two rivals have been competing fiercely in the online content market, with Tencent trying to curb the growth of the most valuable startup in the world with numerous lawsuits.
- Tencent’s media advertising revenue dropped 28% year on year in the third quarter of 2019 as Bytedance apps’ growing popularity with advertisers took hold.
- The Douyin owner overtook Baidu and Tencent to nab the second-largest share of China’s digital media spend in the first half of 2019.
- Tencent has sued the TikTok owner at least eight times since November 2018 over game copyrights, trying to bar Tencent’s games from being livestreamed on all Bytedance platforms.
- Tencent has successfully secured a temporary ban from three Bytedance platforms any livestreams containing three of its most popular titles: “Honour of Kings,” “Cross Fire,” and “League of Legends.”
- Bytedance has also returned the favor. Li Liang, the vice president of Bytedance, sued Tencent for defamation in August 2019.