Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) is entering the virtual concert arena in partnership with a U.S. startup, as it extends its offerings beyond simply providing songs licensed from third parties.
On Thursday, the unit of internet giant Tencent said its latest tie-up will give it the rights to animated live concerts from Los Angeles-based Wave, which TME will air on its platforms including QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing.
Demand for virtual concerts, in which artists are transformed into digital avatars using broadcast and real-time gaming graphic technologies, has surged recently, especially as most live shows have been canceled or delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The two companies will also co-develop virtual concert content for TME Live, a live performance brand TME created in March. So far, 5-year-old Wave has produced more than 50 virtual events for a number of popstars, DJs and artists, including John Legend, Lindsey Stirling and The Weeknd.
In announcing the partnership, TME also said it will acquire a minority stake in Wave for an undisclosed amount.
TC Pan, group vice president of content cooperation at TME, described the partnership as a milestone in its “efforts to integrate technology and music.”
In this year’s third quarter, the number of TME’s paying online music users jumped 46% year-on-year to 51.7 million, according to the company’s latest financial report released last week.
– This article originally appeared on Caixin Global.