Tencent Music Entertainment records 4.9 million new music paying users, reveals efforts to enrich content in Q1 2021 report

Tencent Music Entertainment records 4.9 million new music paying users, reveals efforts to enrich content in Q1 2021 report

Shenzhen-based entertainment giant Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) has recorded its biggest quarterly net increase in online music paying users since 2016. 

In its financial report for the first quarter of 2021, which was released on 18 May (Beijing Time), the company announced that its total number of online music paying users had grown by 4.9 million, which represented a 42.6% year-over-year increase. TME now boasts 60.9 million online music paying users

Additionally, TME saw an increase in its revenues from music subscriptions in the first quarter of 2021, generating an impressive US$258 million (a 40.2% year-over-year growth). Its total revenues amounted to US$1.19 billion, representing a 24% year-over-year increase

"2021 began on a solid note as we hit multiple milestones across the spectrum of our business while investing in future initiatives aimed at improving our long-term positioning. For online music services, our revenue growth accelerated quarter-over-quarter, driven by strong momentum in music subscriptions and advertising services," said Cussion Pang, Executive Chairman of Tencent Music.

Aside from announcing its financial results, TME also detailed its efforts to improve its content in the first three months of the year. To do so, the company expanded its coverage of music content, upgraded its products, and continued to enrich its long-form audio offerings.


On the music front, TME diversified its coverage of genres in the hopes of boosting user engagement among younger audiences. Firstly, it sought to use its Rappers' Alliance programme to cultivate interest in hip-hop music in China. Through this initiative, TME supported both budding and established hip-hop artists in China.

Secondly, it continued to be a proponent of Chinese traditional music and aided Chinese ancient-style music artists in finding spaces for content creation and promotion.

Thirdly, TME ventured into the realm of video game music with 'Battle For Glory', the official theme song for PUBG mobile which it produced in collaboration with Tencent Games.

Finally, TME extended its multi-year digital distribution deal with Sony Music Entertainment. Moving forward, this will allow it to develop new ways to market its content and promote its artists and strengthen its relationship with Japanese pop culture fans.


One of TME's goal for the first quarter of 2021 was to make its products "more social, personalized and visually appealing". A product that the company focused on was Putong Community, an online platform within its QQ Music app that brings fans and artists closer to each other. TME has noted the potential of Putong Community, which has quickly risen to become a popular platform. Another product that TME targeted was Kugou Fans Club, a platform that allows artists, labels and content IPs to connect with fans in real time. According to TME, Kugou Fans Club is becoming increasingly popular among young users.


Seeing the potential in long-form audio content, TME expanded its long-form audio library in the first quarter of 2021. In its report, the titan announced that its total number of licensed titles had seen a fourfold increase year-over-year. TME also launched the Ground Zero Podcast programme, which gives creators financial support and equips them with tools, through QQ Music.

Additionally, TME merged its recently acquired Chinese audiobook platform Lazy Audio with audiobook and podcast app Kuwo Changting to form a new platform, named "Lanren Changting". This move has allowed TME to consolidate its long-form audio business. 

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