Tencent Music Entertainment Group to move more content behind paywall

Pay-for-streaming service helping to drive Chinese tech giant's profit as business unit grows in importance


Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TEM) has announced its intention to charge users for more of its content in the first quarter as its pay-for-streaming accounts continue to grow in number.

The service, owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, announced an increase of 27.4% in the number of paid users in the three months ended March 31, with pay-for-streaming accounts climbing to total 28.4 million.

While the service accounts for just a small percentage of Tencent Holdings' wider business, the results have provided some light relief for the patent business, following a recent escalation in the US-China trade war which led to the company's shares falling 3.6% in after-hours trading on Monday. The business unit will hope to continue adding to its share of Tencent Holdings by moving more content behind the paywall and increasing revenue raised from subscribers.

TEM CEO Cussion Pang said: "As our users increasingly consume music content through streaming services, we are riding on this trend to gradually transition into a pay-for-streaming model over the coming years."

Speaking to Reuters, Beijing-based tech analyst Li Chengdong said that as Chinese consumers become more used to paying models, TME represented the largest company within the wider business offering "very positive" long-term prospects.

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