Tencent Music revenue jumps 18%, beats estimates, as paid subscribers flock to expanded library – Reuters India

Tencent Music revenue jumps 18%, beats estimates, as paid subscribers flock to expanded library – Reuters India

Tencent Music Entertainment celebrate the company’s IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 12, 2018. REUTERS/Bryan R Smith/Files

(Reuters) – China’s Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) said on Monday its quarterly revenue leaped 18%, beating Wall Street estimates, as it put more music for streaming behind its paywall and grew its paid subscriber base by more than half.

The strong performance comes amid a growing rift between Beijing and Washington that has overshadowed Chinese firms in the United States. Shares rose 2.4% in extended trade after it said second-quarter revenue grew to 6.93 billion yuan ($997 million).

Asked whether TME had a plan to deal with a recommendation from President Donald Trump’s administration over auditing U.S.-listed Chinese firms, Chief Strategy Officer Tony Yip told analysts in a briefing that it was “premature” to speculate over a potential delisting.

Controlled by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, TME’s capitalisation on the New York market is about $26 billion.

For the quarter ended June 30, TME said paid users of its online music service rose 52% to 47.1 million, the fastest quarter on record according to TME. Net income attributable to shareholders rose 1.3% to 939 million yuan ($135 million) from 927 million yuan a year earlier.

The company has signed multiple partnerships with international and domestic music labels to expand its premium user base. On Monday, it also extended its multi-year licensing agreement with music company Universal Music Group (UMG), home to Taylor Swift and The Beatles, while also announcing a new joint venture music label.

In comparison, investor and peer Spotify Technology SA reported 138 million paid users in the quarter.

Unlike Spotify, TME generates only a part of its revenue from music subscription packages and relies heavily on services popular in China such as online karaoke and live streaming.

($1 = 6.9502 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Pei Li in Hong Kong; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Kenneth Maxwell

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