Wave, the virtual concert platform that has previously produced events for John Legend and The Weeknd, has signed an agreement to bring its virtual concerts to China through a partnership with Tencent Music Entertainment Group.
The deal includes Tencent’s minority stake in the music service, the companies said in a statement.
As part of this partnership, TME will be able to deliver Wave experiences in China across all of its platforms, including QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing.
For Wave, this is another step in its long march to set up a new way for artists to create live events for fans, and opens up a huge market for American artists who want to tap into Chinese audiences.
The two companies are collaborating on ways to integrate Wave’s virtual events into Tencent’s TME Live production.
âOne of the first things we’re going to do is get the western artists we work with to tour China,â Wave CEO Adam Arrigo said. “Our ambition is to super serve artists and to have an outlet for them to have a global virtual tour. “
Arrigo sees opportunities not only to leverage Tencent’s music platform, but also to extend the company’s virtual entertainment environments to Tencent’s popular gaming ecosystem.
For artists, there is the added benefit of alternative sources of income, like in-stream tips, giveaways, and merchandising that have yet to really take hold in the United States.
âThese models are ingrained in these Asian live broadcast audiences. It’s a huge opportunity to access the public and these modalities in the West that are going to take longer to put in place, âsaid Arrigo.
Tencent has been a dominant player in the Chinese gaming and entertainment ecosystem for some time now, both through its massively multiplayer online games, messaging service, WeChat, and payment services.
âThe collaboration with Wave marks an important step in our efforts to integrate technology and music, with the aim of amplifying the immersive music experience for our users, improving user engagement and promoting content consumption. “TC Pan, vice president of TME’s content cooperation group, said in a statement. “With this strategic partnership, we will further extend the boundaries of music services through virtual performances and build a larger music ecosystem.”