Independent artists distributed by companies like TuneCore and others are eating into the market share of major music companies – and now they have a vital passport to do so in China.
TuneCore has entered into a partnership with China’s Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) that will make recordings of artists distributed by the platform available to Tencent’s massive listener base in the country.
TuneCore, which was acquired by Believe Digital in 2015, announced in May that its artists earned $83 million in the first quarter of 2019 – a 21% increase on Q1 2018 and the equivalent of nearly $1m per day (across the 90 days in Q1).
TuneCore’s deal with TME and the opportunities it will open up for independent artists in the market is another major indicator of the growing strength of the global independent artist sector.
A couple of weeks ago MBW reported that the market share of independently-distributed artists on Spotify’s Top 50 daily chart in Sweden hit an all-time high last month, rising to 44% (i.e. 22 tracks out of 50) on September 5.
In addition, UK-based Midia Research estimated that revenue generated by ‘Artists Direct’ (self-releasing artists) topped $643m worldwide in 2018, up 35% on the previous year.
And as reported in Rolling Stone in May, “self-releasing” artists or on course to earn more than $1 billion in 2019.
TuneCore offers distribution, publishing administration and a range of promotional services. The platform pays artists 100% of what they earn from digital streams and downloads.
Artists distribute their music to over 150 digital platforms worldwide including iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Deezer, Google Play, and now, Tencent Music.
“We create partnerships, tools and services that bring the greatest possible value to musicians, and this alliance with Tencent Music is a tremendous opportunity in a fast-growing and sought-after market.”
Scott Ackerman, TuneCore
When TuneCore delivers artists’ music to Tencent Music, releases will be available on the following platforms:
QQ Music, which focuses on popular artists and top mainstream hits for younger music fans in China; Kugou Music, a music service with a mass-market focus and deep user penetration in China and Kuwo Music, which focuses on selected genres and segments, such as DJ mixes and children’s songs.
“TuneCore is the go-to platform for independent artists to expand their audiences and scale their income worldwide,” said Scott Ackerman, CEO, TuneCore.
“We create partnerships, tools and services that bring the greatest possible value to musicians, and this alliance with Tencent Music is a tremendous opportunity in a fast-growing and sought-after market.”Music Business Worldwide