Image credit: 大 神

Tencent reckon that their new AI technology can predict the next big hit songs, reinventing music marketing and artist exposure.

There is an almost undefinable art in predicting what artist and which songs will be the next big thing. If you could tell music’s next hit then playlists would be reinvented to promote them, artists would be picked up for gigs and deals in preparation for their blow up. There is huge potential in predicting hitmakers.

That’s what makes Tencent‘s recent reveal potentially huge. The Chinese music business say that their AI-powered ‘PDM’ technology is now capable of predicting “the next hit song”. They’ve tested and confirmed it’s ability on QQ Music, one of Tencent’s owned music services including Kugou and Kuwo.

Tencent reveal that their PDM (predictive model) provides “insights and predictions on market potential for tracks based on audio and lyrics only”. For users, it can find “the most suitable playlists” based on listeners taste. By identifying the target audience for songs, the PDM can boost music’s reach finding and presenting songs based on “AI analysis of artist data, music content and track-down of changing music trends around the world”.

In their annual report, Tencent Music Entertainment write: “QQ Music is the first in China’s online music industry to adopt the PDM with the highest accuracy among its peers. Using the proprietary deep learning content value assessment algorithms, the PDM is capable of predicting the next hit song by analysing recent popular music trends and user preferences for precise content discovery and distribution to interested users.”

From their proud announcements, it seems that Tencent plan on using PDM widely within their services. They add: “We are incorporating AI into various parts of our product offerings. For instance, in 2023, we launched a full suite of AI-powered music production tools on Venus, our all-in-one platform for music production and promotion, and we use AIGC [AI-generated content] tools to improve artists’ music content creation and production efficiency.”

In their report they also revealed impressive growth, adding 20.6 million paying subscribers in 2023. Tencent Music Entertainment now report a total of 106.7 million paying subscribers, for the end of 2023. Revenue from music subscriptions rose an incredible 45.3% year-on-year in the fourth quarter. Overall revenue for Q4 was however down, due largely to a decline in Tencent’s social entertainment business.

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