Tencent Music Entertainment Group Invests in Audio Entertainment Ecosystem to Drive Long-term Growth
Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the leading online music entertainment platform in China, has made significant progress in the long-form audio market in China. As part of a broader strategy to build synergies within its music entertainment ecosystem, long-form audio will continue to be a key focus of TME’s strategic growth plan.
Long-form audio includes podcasts, audiobooks, Chinese comedy, audio drama, talk shows, among other types of audio programs. As a relatively new area with low market penetration, long-form audio has significant potential for growth in China.
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TME made its initial foray into the long-form audio industry in December 2019 when it launched the “Ten Billion Sound Makers” campaign on Kuwo Music. As part of the campaign, TME invested significant financial resources to increase the quantity and quality of user-generated content (UGC) on the Kuwo Music platform, including offering awards up to RMB100,000 to incentivize creators to contribute long-form audio content.
To cater to the diverse demands of users and to create synergies between its music and audio services, in April 2020, TME formally announced its long-form audio strategy, including the launch of long-form audio tabs and content sections on QQ Music, Kugou Music and Kuwo Music, as well as a standalone platform Kuwo Changting. The move marked a new stage in the Company’s strategic expansion of long-form content and development of an audio entertainment ecosystem. In the same month, Kugou Music launched Kugou Radio through collaboration with popular fiction authors, drama producers to bring high-quality audiobooks, children’s channels, sleep-aid programs, and other audio content to users. In December 2020, TME’s QQ Music announced an in-depth collaboration with the leading podcasting app Xiaoyuzhou to launch a podcast section on the platform, bringing professional podcasting content to users.
In January 2021, TME announced the acquisition of Shenzhen Lanren Online Technology Co, Ltd (“Lazy Audio”, “Lanren tingshu”), a well-established audio platform in China. Lazy Audio’s approach to audio dovetails seamlessly with TME’s long-form audio strategy by enriching TME’s content library with its comprehensive catalog and significantly boosts TME’s production of audiobooks with its recording capacity, while TME brings a wealth of industry expertise, cutting-edge technology and strong promotional capabilities to bolster Lazy Audio’s growth.
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Tencent Music’s investments in the long-form audio space have already started to deliver concrete results. In the third quarter of 2020, TME expanded its long-form audio content exponentially, quadrupling the number of licensed titles on its platforms year-over-year. This strong growth in content has driven a sequential increase in average user time spent on its platforms. The number of long-form audio users on TME platforms also continued to grow, with long-form audio penetration of monthly active users (MAU) reaching 11.7% in the third quarter of 2020, compared with 4.7% in the same period in 2019.
TME will continue leveraging the massive user base across its platforms, synergies between online music and social entertainment, and the strong support of TME partners, to focus on the strategic development of long-form audio products and services. Future endeavors in this space will range from increasing support for UGC, to creative content release and promotion. In its exploration of new forms and opportunities in audio entertainment, TME remains firmly committed to providing users with high-quality music entertainment service experiences.
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