Variety — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has created a music division that could eventually match its ambitions in film and video. The Ali Music Group will be headed by singer-songwriter and TV host Gao Xiaosong as chairman, and by Song Ke, a former Warner Music executive, as CEO. The two veterans of the Chinese music industry previously worked together to establish Taihe Rye Music.
THE music streaming world just got a whole lot more competitive, especially in Malaysia, with a new player joining the ranks of Spotify, Deezer and Raku in an already crowded marketplace. On June 26, Tencent Holdings Ltd introduced Joox, its online music streaming service. Tencent is also the owner and operator of the hugely popular WeChat instant messaging software.
Japanese messaging app Line is bolstering its dominance in Japan with a paid on-demand music streaming service featuring an initial catalog of over 1.5 million songs. Line Music is an app and a Tokyo subsidiary that began streaming music in Japan by domestic and foreign artists on Thursday. The catalog covers music from about 30 labels and publishers, including Sony Music Entertainment Japan, in genres including classical, dance music and J-pop, or Japanese pop. Line plans to expand the catalog to 5 million songs this year, and aims for over 30 million in 2016.
Chinese Internet company Letv.com formally announced in Hong Kong that they have established a music company. Yin Liang, core creator of Letv’s music business, was appointed chief executive officer of the new Letv music company; while Lei Zhenjian was appointed chairman. Lei said that Letv music is currently one of the largest platforms for music video content creation and 4K content in China. At the same time, it boasts being the only music video provider that covers PC, phone, tablet, and TV terminals.
BMG, a music business subsidiary of Germany’s Bertelsmann Group, has signed an exclusive online music distribution agreement for the Chinese market with Alibaba. Under the agreement, Alibaba will become the exclusive online distributor of BMG music and artists in the Chinese market. Alibaba will sell those products on its own platforms such as Xiami.com. In addition, the Chinese e-commerce group will assume the monitoring responsibilities and take actions for BMG-related infringements in the Chinese market.
BEIJING: Germany’s BMG music rights company said on Monday it had signed a music digital distribution deal with China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, as the world’s largest e-commerce firm firms up its bid to become a digital media empire. The deal, one of the first in China made by a major music publisher rather than a label, will bring more than 2.5 million copyrights to Alibaba, whose music platforms already had many of the songs from artists including Kylie Minogue, the Rolling Stones and Jean-Michael Jarre, an Alibaba spokeswoman said.
NEW YORK: Spotify is coming to the PlayStation, replacing Sony’s own Music Unlimited service, as the company continues to expand the game console into an entertainment hub beyond video games. Spotify hits the PlayStation 3 and 4 on Monday, with a new app adapted for large television screens. Sony says partnering with Spotify expands its music service to 41 countries, rather than the 19 available with Music Unlimited, and offers better tools for playlists and music discovery.
China’s LeTV is best known for its popular online streaming platform, but in the past year the company has really been branching out. Within that timeframe it has moved into smartphones, film production, and electric cars. Now it’s moving into the music business too, having on Thursday announced the establishment of the LeTV Music Company in Hong Kong. LeTV Music, which will be headed by former LeTV entertainment boss Yin Liang, is aiming for China’s music market by way of vertical integration, since it already has the technology and internet platforms to distribute smoothly to most of the country.
STOCKHOLM: Swedish music streamer Spotify will provide the soundtrack for Sony devices, the companies said on Wednesday (Jan 28), spelling the end to the streaming music service from the Japanese tech giant that invented the Walkman. The deal – which makes the Swedish startup the exclusive provider for Playstation Music and Sony’s smartphones and tablets – sees the companies link up in 41 markets.
TAIPEI–Taiwan’s MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), the leading chip supplier for Chinese smartphones, said Tuesday it is collaborating with Google Inc. on a home audio streaming technology that enables users to access music quickly and easily. MediaTek’s audio system-on-chip (SoC), MT8507, will allow consumers to connect with Google Cast Ready speakers and sound bars from personal devices such as iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and tablets, MacBook laptops and Windows PCs using Google Cast Ready apps, the company said in a press release.
Chinese Internet company Tencent and Sony Music Entertainment jointly announced a strategic cooperation agreement under which Tencent will exclusively manage Sony Music’s online music service in mainland China. No financial details of the agreement were released. Basing on the agreement, Tencent will recommend Sony Music’s artists on its QQ music streaming media website and other platforms.
Cyberjaya Creative Playground (#CJPlayground) is a three-day festival that brings together an international panel forum featuring technologists and entrepreneurs, gaming and live music by OAG, An Honest Mistake and others. The Cyberjaya Creative Playground, #CJPlayground will take place from Nov 14 to Nov 16 2014 at the Lim Kok Wing University of Creative Technology and Multimedia University (MMU) and will be hosted by Cyberview Sdn Bhd.
When Line makes an announcement, Line really makes an announcement. Following some big revelations – including new payments, taxi hailing, and on-demand food services – the company delivered another blast of big news for Line’s gaming, manga, and music offerings. On stage at Line Conference Tokyo 2014, senior executive officer Jun Masuda explained the company’s additional plans to become the “number one entertainment platform” in Japan and beyond.
In what comes as the largest funding round for a Taiwan startup this year, Taipei-based KKBox has announced it just raised US$104 million from Singapore’s GIC, a government owned investment firm. The company says it will use the funding to continue its overseas expansion and improve its technology. “The investment stems from GIC’s confidence in the long-term growth potential of KKBox given its unique music streaming service and strong franchise in its home markets.
SAN FRANCISCO, May 23 ― As Spotify celebrates hitting the 10 million paying subscriber milestone, Samsung is reaching the end of its music streaming venture. And, from July 1, Samsung’s Music Hub will cease to be. The company is already advising users that they will need to download all music purchases made from the app and use up any vouchers for it if they don’t want to lose any of their tracks when the music-streaming service stops.
Japanese convenience store chain Lawson will announce its US$1.1 million series A investment in Tokyo-based startup Beatrobo later today, Tech in Asia has learned. Beatrobo is a global, social music service that uses customizable robot avatars as a conduit for sharing songs and discovering new artists. The company’s first attempt at hardware, PlugAir, may become the digital mixtape of the future. The tiny device plugs into a mobile device’s earphone jack and acts as a key for instantly downloading music.
Today, music streaming service Spotify is now officially available in the Philippines. This comes a couple of weeks after Tech in Asia spotted Spotify’s quiet ‘soft’ launch in partnership with Coca-Cola. When Spotify soft launched in the Philippines, interested users could only get a sign-up code by sending an email to the Coca-Cola team. That is changing today, because now anyone in the Philippines can now download and create an account on Spotify.
Philippine telco Smart now has an iPhone app to go with its music streaming service. Called Spinnr, it allows users to download or stream music. All the tunes come from publishers Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. Spinnr already has over three million songs in the database.