Tencent Buys Stake In Virtual Concerts Company Wave

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Tencent Buys Stake In Virtual Concerts Company Wave

The global pandemic hasn’t slowed down Tencent Music Entertainment’s acquisition strategy in music.

 

Earlier this year, the company, which is majority-owned by China’s Tencent Holdings, acquired a minority slice of Universal Music Group via a Tencent-led consortium’s $3.4bn buyout of a 10% stake in UMG.

 

In June, Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) also acquired its own sliver of Warner Music Group, paying around $100m for a stake worth around 0.8% of WMG. (Tencent Holdings acquired a further 0.8%.)

 

Last month, MBW revealed that both Tencent Holdings and TME had acquired a minority stake in the fast-growing, AI-driven A&R platform Instrumental.

 

And today (November 19), Tencent Music has announced an additional acquisition of a minority stake in an intriguing music company – Los Angeles-based virtual concerts platform Wave.

 

Wave blends broadcast technology and real-time gaming graphics to transform artists into digital avatars in a virtual world, through which they can play livestreamed concerts for fans to watch and interact with. To date the company has hosted over 50 events from artists including The Weeknd, John Legend, Tinashe and Lindsey Stirling, performing for millions of viewers around the world.

 

Those viewers can access and share Wave concerts via YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, plus other digital and gaming channels.

 

You may recall that Wave received a $30m funding boost in June, via investors including Scooter Braun, plus ex-New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez, in addition to Superfly co-founder Rick Farman, and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin.

 

Tencent Music says that, under its new strategic partnership with Wave, TME will be able to air Wave experiences in China across all of its platforms including QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music, and WeSing.

 

In addition, the collaboration will see Wave and Tencent Music develop virtual concert content for TME Live, TME’s in-house live music performance streaming arm.

 

Tencent claims that TME Live “pioneers the integration of offline concerts with an online experience”.

 

Since its launch in March this year, TME Live has hosted more than 30 online concerts from artists such as Andy Lau, Eason Chan, Jessie J, and Charlie Zhou.

 

TME Live attracts sponsorships from high-profile domestic and international brands, while offering additional services such as VIP packages and virtual gifts for users to engage with their favorite artists.

 

“The collaboration with Wave marks an important step forward in our efforts to integrate technology and music, aiming to amplify the immersive music experience for our users, enhance user engagement and promote content consumption,” said TC Pan, Group Vice President of Content Cooperation of TME.

 

“With this strategic partnership, we will further extend the boundaries of music services through virtual performances, and build a broader music ecosystem.”

“THE COLLABORATION WITH WAVE MARKS AN IMPORTANT STEP FORWARD IN OUR EFFORTS TO INTEGRATE TECHNOLOGY AND MUSIC, AIMING TO AMPLIFY THE IMMERSIVE MUSIC EXPERIENCE FOR OUR USERS, ENHANCE USER ENGAGEMENT AND PROMOTE CONTENT CONSUMPTION.”

TC PAN, TENCENT MUSIC

 

According to Tencent Music’s latest quarterly results, the company ended Q3 2020 with 646m Monthly Active Mobile Users of its online music services.

 

Jarred Kennedy, COO of Wave, added: “Wave is committed to bringing our interactive virtual entertainment experiences to music fans around the world, and TME is the ideal partner to accelerate these efforts.

 

“We share the belief that gaming technology will dramatically expand the breadth of possibility for creative expression and audience interaction in music, and we are thrilled to be collaborating with TME to build that future.”

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