Watch out Spotify… Chinese web commerce giant Alibaba set to launch a new music division Alizila

Jack Ma

Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, attends the 2015 China Green Companies summit on April 21, 2015 in Shenyang, China.

Billboard:

Alibaba, the Chinese web commerce giant whose stock serves double-duty as Yahoo’s revenue shield, has announced the formation of a division to focus on the music industry.

The company’s news site, Alizila, reported on June 20 that Alibaba, which boasts a market capitalization of $207 billion, had made an announcement of the launch on June 15, though no statement to that effect is visible on the company’s site.

Alibaba Music Group will be run by chairman Gao Xiaosong, a singer-songwriter and talk show host, and CEO Song Ke, a former executive with Warner Music. One of the company’s first announcements was that it will fold its two existing music streaming apps, Xiami — which Alibaba acquired in 2013 — and Tiantian into one.

“It is hoped that [Gao and Song] will creatively disrupt and catalyze the music industry… combining their cumulative experience… with Alibaba’s capabilities in the Internet space and big data,” Alibaba said in a statement.

While Alibaba Music Group is entering a crowded international market, it is one of the few companies in China that can operate at scale in that country’s fraught music space (it established a framework to support international intellectual copyrights in the ’90s), along with Baidu, Tencent and Youku.

In March of this year Alibaba signed a distribution agreement with BMG, giving the company legal access to 2.5 million song copyrights including Black Sabbath and The Rolling Stones. It also was reported to be planning a $200 million investment in another hot tech company, Snapchat. Its chief rival, Tencent, announced deals with Sony Music and Warner Music Group in late 2014.

Sony might take Beyoncé’s discography off TIDAL due to ownership dispute

JAY Z might have 99 problems, but Beyoncé and Sony are numbers one and two. Sony, who owns Beyoncé’s discography, is still in talks with TIDAL over the streaming service’s right to host its artist’s music. Reportedly, the Japanese conglomerate is asking for a huge sum of money from the service as a guarantee, and is threatening to take off Queen B’s content unless the amount is paid.

Ironically, Beyoncé is a co-owner of TIDAL and JAY Z’s wife, but it remains to be seen how this saga will unfold. Make sure to check out HYPETRAK for more music-related news.

CEO Andy Chen of JAY Z’s music streaming site TIDAL has stepped down

JAY Z’s music streaming site TIDAL is still afloat in recent news as CEO Andy Chen leaves and steps down from his title with Aspiro Group, the company that JAY Z recently acquired for TIDAL and WiMP. In light of the abrupt changes, former Aspiro CEO Peter Tonstad will temporarily be stepping in interim until the company finds a permanent replacement. The official statement reports:

TIDAL’s new interum [sic] CEO is Peter Tonstad – a former CEO of parent company Aspiro Group. He has a better understanding of the industry and a clear vision for how the company is looking to change the status quo. He’s streamlining resources to ensure talent is maximized to enhance the customer experience. We’ve eliminated a handful of positions and refocused our company-wide talent to address departments that need support and cut redundancies. TIDAL’s offices globally will remain and grow: we are already hirinig for several new positions now. We’re excited about our future and what’s in-store for fans who want the best listening experience.