BMG strikes deal with China’s Alibaba

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BMG, the music publishing company owned by Germany’s Bertelsmann, has struck a digital distribution deal for China with ecommerce giant Alibaba.

The deal, one of the first made by a music publisher rather than a record label, covers more than 2.5 million copyrights from artists such as Kylie Minogue, the Rolling Stones, Bruno Mars, Aerosmith and Jean-Michel Jarre.

BMG is hoping that the deal will help boost earnings, stem piracy and “grow the legitimate music market in China”. In a statement, BMG said that Alibaba would “monitor and take action against digital and mobile services who may infringe the rights of BMG clients.”

Alibaba’s president of Digital Entertainment, Patrick Liu, said his company’s “rich experience in big data analysis will help us lead innovation in the music industry that ultimately enhances customer experience.”

“Internet and in particular mobile media are quickly providing an answer to the music industry’s long-time challenge of how to monetise the vast untapped potential of the Chinese market,” said BMG chief executive officer Hartwig Masuch.

Alibaba’s online rival Tencent Holdings recently struck digital distribution deals with record studios Warner Music and Sony Music Entertainment.