Chinese music giant Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) is now an investor in fast-growing virtual concert startup Wave, the company announced early Thursday — a move that sees Tencent taking minority equity in the company as well as establishing a partnership to bring Wave’s animated shows to all of Tencent’s music platforms.
TME is the latest in a list of high-profile investors Wave has wrangled this year, joining the likes of Scooter Braun, Alex Rodriguez, and most recently a star-studded investment round made up of The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Jillionaire and Top Dawg Entertainment, Kendrick Lamar’s label. TME’s partnership with Wave helps with the company’s push for more immersive content, bringing Wave’s animated-style shows to ventures like TME Live, the live music platform TME launched in March.
“The collaboration with Wave marks an important step forward in our efforts to integrate technology and music, aiming to amplify the immersive music experience for our users, enhance user engagement and promote content consumption,” TC Pan, TME’s group vice president of content cooperation, said in a statement. “With this strategic partnership, we will further extend the boundaries of music services through virtual performances, and build a broader music ecosystem.”
Since the coronavirus pandemic halted — and continues to devastate — in-person concerts, interest in online experiences like livestreams or in-game performances has skyrocketed, as reflected in Wave’s growth along with popular concerts like Travis Scott’s show on Fortnite or Lil Nas X’s performance on Roblox. Through the pandemic, Wave has aired concerts for major artists including The Weeknd, John Legend and Tinashe.
““It’s really just about making the right decisions, getting the right people on board and building out our future,” Wave CEO Adam Arrigo previously said to Rolling Stone of his company’s fast-paced growth. “It feels like the world is our oyster.”