Tencent Music Readies For IPO
Tencent Music, the audio streaming arm of the Chinese publisher Tencent, has filed the initial paperwork for a US-based IPO later this month. Tencent hasn’t decided if it will list itself on the NYSE or NASDAQ, and has set a placeholder valuation at $1B (which has no reflection on the actual price they could go public at). As you may recall, Spotify owns 9% of Tencent thanks to a mutual ownership swap they executed in 2017. So there’s speculation that Tencent will try to copycat the successful direct-list IPO move Spotify pulled off earlier this year.
If you’re not familiar with Tencent you’re not alone in the US. Think of them as a combination social platform and entertainment company. Their primary product is a messaging service called WeChat which has 1B monthly MAUs (yes, that’s roughly the global reach of Facebook). They also own several digital entertainment services, including Tencent Music, which have a collective 700M MAUs. With this kind of scale they’re definitely one of the biggest global publishers on the planet, which is why the streaming space should be watching their IPO carefully.