Music streaming service provider Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) shut down its digital collection business and has transferred some team members to other departments, Jiemian News reported on November 16.
TME’s digital collection business was initiated in QQ Music in early August 2021. It is the first mainstream platform in China that defines an NFT as a digital collection and takes music records in NFT form, with technical support provided by Tencent Cloud’s Zhixin chain.
On August 15, 2021, QQ Music officially released its first digital collection, which is the vinyl record for the 20th anniversary of “Monk” by singer Anson Hu. The digital collection contains the DEMO version of “Monk” which was recorded over 20 years ago, and is limited to 2001 copies each with a price tag of 199 yuan ($28.1). Over 80,000 people applied for a copy.
Since then, digital collections of many musicians including Law Tai-yau and Tengger have been released. Although the transfer function has never been opened, users were supposed to be able to transfer their digital collections after owning them for 365 days. This function is not operational now.
Like Ant Group’s Jingtan and Tencent‘s Huanhe, TME initially prepared to launch an app for the business. However, when Huanhe was officially shut down in August, TME’s team did not promote its digital collection business.
Since the second half of 2022, Tencent‘s digital collection platforms have been shut down one after another. Tencent News suspended the sale of digital collections on July 1, and Huanhe decided to shut down on August 16. However, TME has not made a public resolution, though no new products have been released on the platform since June 30, and the site login has been hidden in August.
TME said in September that the business is still under evaluation. A person close to Tencent said that Tencent had discussed the digital collection business and chose to give it up due to regulatory factors and its own strategic direction.
After the surge of digital collections in China for more than a year, the industry witnessed problems such as poor sales volume and illegal transactions. Internet giants in China eventually settled on three different directions. Ant Group’s Jingtan chose to deepen the digital collection business, Tencent chose to give it up, and Baidu and Bilibili chose to develop their own digital collection business in China and issue NFTs to overseas markets.