Bilibili Esports, the esports arm of Chinese video giant Bilibili announced that the company has signed a partnership deal with Chinese music copyright distribution platform VFineMusic.
The two companies will be dedicated to exploring possibilities to improve standardization and generalization of music copyrights in the esports industry. As part of the deal, VFineMusic will provide integrated music copyright solutions to Bilibili Esports in exchange for greater access to its esports operations and products. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
It should be noted that this represents the first time that a Chinese esports company has made incursions into the music copyright area. In addition, the partnership was potentially driven by the deal between Bilibili and Riot Games for the upcoming League of Legends tournaments.
Earlier this month, Bilibili signed a three-year strategic partnership deal with Riot Games for the exclusive Chinese media rights for the League of Legends World Championship (Worlds), Mid-Season Invitational, and All-Star event. Riot Games also announced that the Worlds will not only be hosted entirely in Shanghai this year, but will also return to China in 2021.
With the event to be held in China for two years in a row, Bilibili’s League of Legends media rights have acquired increasing commercial value in China’s esports and gaming market.
Every year, Riot Games creates an esports theme song for the Worlds. On Aug. 19, Riot Games signed a partnership deal with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), planning to create six new songs for the promotion of the Worlds 2020 final. Some Chinese League Legends fans have speculated that few songs would use Mandarin lyrics, bearing in mind that most of the English speaking artists cannot come to Shanghai due to China’s border policy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bilibili is one of the few Chinese companies in the world that operates as the owner of multiple esports teams, a tournament operator, and esports content provider. Recently, Bilibli Esports established a new subsidiary in Hangzhou, which is called Ganbei Esports Information Technology, Ltd, with a registered capital of 10 million yuan ($1.45 million), according to Chinese credit and rating tool Tianyancha. Although Bilibli Esports has not disclosed more deals of this subsidiary, the company has demonstrated an ambition to promote Chinese esports on the global stage.