Sony Music and Chinese company Tencent Music Entertainment are starting a label together: Liquid State. Liquid State launched this week in Hong Kong. It will have a core focus on EDM and electronic music across Asia. The label will also play a role in artist tours and nightclub events.
Logically, Tencent Holdings owns the majority of Tencent Music Entertainment. They currently have a market cap value more than $500 billion on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Estimates state that Tencent Music Entertainment is worth around $10 billion.
Other artists on the label’s roster include China’s Chris Lee, Hong Kong’s Nicholas Tse and Senugri (a member of the South Korean band BIGBANG).
Sony re-upped an exclusive sub-licensing deal with Tencent for China back in October 2016.
In December, Tencent Music Entertainment closed a stock swap deal whereby it acquired a 10% stake in Spotify. As part of the agreement, Spotify also took a 10% stake in Tencent Music Entertainment. In other words, Sony has just launched a label with a company part-owned by Spotify. Furthermore, like Universal, Warner, and Merlin, Sony is itself a minority stakeholder in Spotify. Funny old world.
As part of the deal, Tencent-owned media channels will actively support Liquid State and its artists. These channels include WeChat, QQ, Tencent Video, and QZone. Tencent will also push the artists on its digital music channels such as QQ Music, Kugou Music, and Kuwo Music. In addition, the deal gives Tencent the ability to host Sony Music copyrights on its own music services. Furthermore, Tencent will be able to license them to rival digital platforms in the region.
Sony Music Australia CEO and Chairman Denis Handlin made the following statement on Liquid State’s launch:
These are exciting times for the music industry and Liquid State has been created to support and enhance the discovery and development of electronic and EDM talent across the Asia region.
Together we will make Liquid State the destination for a wide range of highly talented new and established global and local artists. I would also like to thank Tencent for sharing the passion and vision to provide music fans in China and around the world with exciting new music, unique experiences and incredible artists through Liquid State.
Cussion Pang, CEO of Tencent Music Entertainment Group also made a statement:
With the formation of Liquid State, our goal is to create an unmatched culture exchange between the East and the West through the power of electronic dance music.
It is a music genre like no other, and together with Sony Music Entertainment, we aim to build a win-win solution for all of our stakeholders and believe that the collaboration will give birth to some truly memorable moments in both the music and culture sectors for years to come.
Multiplatinum-selling Sony Music act Alan Walker has signed up for involvement with Liquid State. The Norwegian DJ/producer will reveal collaborations on Liquid State in the coming months.
He made the following statement regarding the deal:
Asia has always been such a special place for me so I’m thrilled to help Sony Music and Tencent with the launch of Liquid State,
I’m convinced that Liquid State will grow to play a significant role in breaking new artists from Asia on a global scale, as well as enabling international artists to unleash the huge potential that lies within the Asian market.
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