Outdustry has long been one of the most respected companies helping western music firms and artists do business in China (and more recently, India too). Its services have mainly focused on marketing and rights management / licensing, but now Outdustry is launching a music publishing arm focused on China called Outdustry Songs.
It has non-exclusive direct licences with the main digital music services in China: Tencent Music’s Kugou, QQ Music and Kuwo, as well as NetEase Cloud Music and Alibaba’s Xiami. There’s also a day-one partnership with global publisher Reservoir, with Outdustry becoming its exclusive sub-publisher in China.
“China is really ramping up in terms of creativity. There are more and more interesting, forward-thinking artists coming through who are thinking globally from day one,” Outdustry’s head of international Alex Taggart told Music Ally. “The demand for great songs is growing fast, but it’s a very complex market.” That’s been particularly true for publishing: it’s been hard for publishers in China to get data on how their works are being used on digital services, let alone get paid for that usage. “We’ve seen huge improvements on the recording side, but publishing has largely been ignored. No longer!” said Taggart. “With Tencent reporting 70% growth in year-on-year subscription revenue to Q2 this year, it’s now a question of getting the right systems in place to match consumption to ownership, and we begin to see a digital publishing market worth being very excited about.”