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AIRHEAD: THE LYING KING
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Blighty Beat
INDIE LABELS JOIN CHINA GOLD RUSH
3/16/18

Independent labels have joined the race to legitimize China's music industry with global rights agency Merlin signing non-exclusive licensing deals for its members with the state’s biggest streaming services.

Aside from advance payments given to major labels in exchange for licenses, the market, which was previously plagued by piracy, has yet to generate serious revenue for the majority of rights holders. Is that set to change?

The Merlin deal—which will be serviced by market-leading music industry services company Outdustry—means NetEase Cloud Music (NetEase), Xiami (Alibaba), and Tencent’s QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo will now be able to legitimately host music from a wealth of independent labels worldwide. The deal is unique in the fact it’s not exclusive to one service; Universal, Sony and Warner have all signed exclusively with Tencent.

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