China's Tencent, Warner Music partner for music streaming

China's Tencent, Warner Music partner for music streaming

BEIJING - Chinese fans of Linkin Park and Jason Mraz will be able to stream licensed music from Tencent Holding Ltd after the internet firm said on Thursday it had signed a distribution deal with Warner Music Group (WMG).

In a statement, the two companies said the deal would help music companies and artists by giving consumers better access to licensed music. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tencent doesn't disclose how much money it makes from its music business, including its QQ Music streaming service, but QQ Music falls under its social network group, which contributed almost one quarter of total revenues for the third quarter, growing 47 per cent from a year ago.

Under the deal, Tencent will also help promote WMG's artists through its video service, social networks and PC and mobile games.

Online piracy has long been a scourge of the music industry, and China is no exception.

Consumers are used to not paying for licensed media products, often streaming the latest TV shows online for free or buying pirated versions of video games.

Free music streaming has also recently courted controversy, with US singer Taylor Swift pulling her entire catalogue from streaming service Spotify.

This reignited debate about whether music should be given away and whether services like Spotify pay artists enough.

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