(Adds details on Warner deal, adjusted EPS and paid subscribers)
March 22 (Reuters) - Tencent Music Entertainment Group said on Monday it will create a joint venture record label with Warner Music in China, after reporting better-than-expected revenue on higher subscriptions in the fourth quarter.
The Chinese music streaming platform also signed an extended multi-year licensing agreement with the U.S. music label. The deal can help Tencent, which owns a stake in Universal Music Group, add more exclusive content.
People looking for a variety of entertainment, while stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, joined music streaming platforms such as Tencent and Spotify to drive away boredom. This helped Tencent Music’s fourth quarter as it added more paying users.
Revenue rose 14.3% to 8.34 billion yuan ($1.28 billion) in the quarter from a year earlier, beating estimates of 8.33 billion yuan. The sales were boosted by a 40.4% jump to 56 million paid subscribers in the company’s online music service.
Most of Tencent Music’s users are in its music streaming unit, but the biggest revenue drivers are social entertainment services, including karaoke platforms, where users can live stream concerts and shows. Revenue from social entertainment services and others grew 8.2% to 5.58 billion yuan.
Excluding items, the company earned 80 yuan per American Depository Share (ADS), missing analysts’ average estimate of 81 yuan per ADS, according to IBES data from Refinitiv .
$1 = 6.5070 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Tiyashi Datta and Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli