Image Credit: Aaron Burden

Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent Music Entertainment Group enters the audiobook industry.

Tencent Music, the Chinese music streaming leader has paid $416m to buy the Lazy Audio platform. This ties nicely into their long-term audio entertainment strategy for the future. Lazy Audio will continue to function independently, whilst having access to Tencent Music’s technology, expertise and promotional capabilities. Over the past year Tencent Music has seen continued growth within its services – by September 2020 51.7 million people were paying subscribers to the music streaming platform, growing by 46% compared to the same quarter in 2019. It is also continually growing in dominance with wider investments, spreading throughout the audio entertainment world with stakes in every section of the music industry. Interest in audiobooks is only the latest venture.

Mr. Cussion Pang, CEO of TME, said in a statement:

Lazy Audio’s catalog is set to expand our audio content library, and its recording capacity will significantly boost our production of audiobooks. We believe this partnership will help us cater to the increasingly nuanced needs of our customers, strengthen our brand recognition in this segment, generate considerable operational synergies, and accelerate our journey to become a leading audio entertainment platform in China.

Mr. Cussion Pang, Chief Executive Officer of Tencent Music

Lazy Audio was founded in 2012 – it’s one of the leading audio platforms used across China, providing audiobooks, podcasts, radio shows and Chinese comedy. It has different channels to access content including subscription payment and pay per title. Tencent Music Entertainment Group meanwhile is the leading online music entertainment platform in China. It aims to ‘elevate the role of music in people’s lives’ with online music and live streaming services over hugely popular streaming apps QQ Music, Kugou Music and Kuwo Music, and online karaoke app WeSing.

The announcement comes as Tencent Music cements partnerships with record label giants, such as Warner Music, for rights to distribute their music across its streaming platforms. They also own 10% of Universal Music Group.