Alibaba has been trying to expand its entertainment offerings overt he past few months but has generally been sticking with fellow Chinese companies when forming partnerships. However, it looks like that’s starting to change as the Chinese Internet giant has signed its first-ever music deal with a foreign company, Berlin-based BMG, which grants Alibaba access to 2.5 million tracks from some of the most popular artists out there.
BMG has signed what it’s calling a “game-changing” digital distribution deal with China-based internet giant Alibaba. Under the pact, Alibaba’s Digital Entertainment arm will “promote BMG writers and artists through channels such as its streaming apps Xiami and TTPod,” according to a BMG statement. “It will also monitor and take action against digital and mobile services who may infringe the rights of BMG clients.” The deal gives Alibaba digital rights to over 2.5 million copyrights to recordings from artists ranging from Black Sabbath, Kylie Minogue, Bruno Mars, John Legend and the Rolling Stones. The agreement with BMG is a sign of Alibaba’s growing commitment to music and follows a similar distribution deal that its chief rival, Tencent Holdings, struck with Sony Music Entertainment in December. A month earlier Tencent signed the same digital deal with Warner Music Group. BMG is also betting big on China, the world’s most populous nation, and in November struck a publishing deal with Chinese indie label Giant Jump.